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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SpinTunes #1 Round 1 Totals

I decided to post all the judges reviews on their own pages. It was just too long to put into one blog. So here are the links to the individual reviews:

Sammy Kablam - Joe "Covenant" Lamb - Julia Sherred - Niveous - Heather Zink

Alternate Judge's Review: Spin

As if there wasn't enough for you to read already, I thought this review of the judges was interesting: Dr. Lindyke

Since everyone who submitted a song is already moving on to the next round, the only thing these results affect is the album order on the SpinTunes #1 Round 1 Album.

As you're reading your reviews I hope you keep in mind a few things. The most important is that everyone has very different opinions on not just what makes a good song, but everyone had different opinions on how much importance should be placed on people meeting the actual challenge. Everyone will have a slightly different opinion of what makes a superhero & supervillian. Since nobody was eliminated based on these reviews you should look at this as an opportunity. An opportunity to see what individual judges like & dislike. See HOW they are judging your material. Are they really harping on the challenge or more interested in the music overall. I thought it was very cool that Jenny Katz ended up being someones FAVORITE entry, and yet anothers LEAST FAVORITE. So try not to be offended, but learn from the reviews. For instance, if you've read a Sammy Kablam review of Song Fight before, you should know to put on a cup before reading. But he is honest about what he likes & dislikes, so it should be helpful. That goes for any of the judges.

The round 2 challenge will be announced: July 1st 1AM (R).

JoAnn Abbott & Kevin Savino-Riker both tied, so I went to the popular vote....it was tied as well. The next deciding factor is the scores from the previous round....but this is the FIRST round. So the final factor (as in the rules) is ME. JoAnn wins the tie breaker based on my opinions of the songs.

Totals:
91 - Edric Haleen
77 - "Buckethat" Bobby Matheson
74 - Governing Dynamics
72 - Godz Poodlz
70 - Caleb Hines
66 - Steve Durand
62 - Denise Hudson
60 - Jon Eric
57 - Heather Miller
54 - Sara Parsons
45 - JoAnn Abbott
45 - Kevin Savino-Riker
43 - Ryan Welton
42 - Jenny Katz
40 - Ross Durand
37 - Charlie McCarron
36 - Gorbzilla
35 - Bram Tant
26 - The Offhand Band
18 - Emperor Gum

Popular Vote Results:
31 - The Offhand Band
18 - Heather Miller
12 - Caleb Hines
12 - Gorbzilla
10 - Edric Haleen
9 - Denise Hudson
7 - Ryan Welton
6 - "Buckethat" Bobby Matheson
6 - Godz Poodlz
6 - Steve Durand
6 - JoAnn Abbott
6 - Kevin Savino-Riker
5 - Sara Parsons
5 - Jenny Katz
4 - Jon Eric
3 - Governing Dynamics
2 - Charlie McCarron
2 - Bram Tant
1 - Emperor Gum
0 - Ross Durand
151 Total Votes (each person was allowed to cast 1-3 votes)

Heather Zink:
20 - Edric Haleen
19 - Steve Durand
18 - Caleb Hines
17 - Godz Poodlz
16 - "Buckethat" Bobby Matheson
15 - The Offhand Band
14 - Sara Parsons
13 - Bram Tant
12 - Denise Hudson
11 - Heather Miller
10 - Emperor Gum
9 - JoAnn Abbott
8 - Governing Dynamics
7 - Jon Eric
6 - Ryan Welton
5 - Charlie McCarron
4 - Jenny Katz
3 - Gorbzilla
2 - Kevin Savino-Riker
1 - Ross Durand

Niveous:
20 - Jenny Katz
19 - Steve Durand
18 - Edric Haleen
17 - Governing Dynamics
16 - "Buckethat" Bobby Matheson
15 - Godz Poodlz
14 - Ryan Welton
13 - Jon Eric
12 - Denise Hudson
11 - Sara Parsons
10 - Ross Durand
9 - Gorbzilla
8 - Heather Miller
7 - Charlie McCarron
6 - Kevin Savino-Riker
5 - JoAnn Abbott
4 - Caleb Hines
3 - Emperor Gum
2 - The Offhand Band
1 - Bram Tant

Julia Sherred:
20 - Jon Eric
19 - Governing Dynamics
18 - Heather Miller
17 - Edric Haleen
16 - Kevin Savino-Riker
15 - Bram Tant
14 - "BucketHat" Bobby Matheson
13 - Godz Poodlz
12 - Caleb Hines
11 - Denise Hudson
10 - Charlie McCarron
9 - Ryan Welton
8 - Steve Durand
7 - JoAnn Abbott
6 - Ross Durand
5 - Gorbzilla
4 - The Offhand Band
3 - Sara Parson
2 - Jenny Katz
1 - Emperor Gum

Joe "Covenant" Lamb:
20 - Caleb Hines
19 - Denise Hudson
18 - Edric Haleen
17 - Sara Parsons
16 - Kevin Savino-Riker
15 - Jenny Katz
14 - Heather Miller
13 - Godz Poodlz
12 - "Buckethat" Bobby Matheson
11 - JoAnn Abbott
10 - Governing Dynamics
9 - Jon Eric
8 - Charlie McCarron
7 - Gorbzilla
6 - Ross Durand
5 - Steve Durand
4 - Ryan Welton
3 - The Offhand Band
2 - Bram Tant
1 - Emperor Gum

Sammy Kablam:
20 - Governing Dynamics
19 - "Buckethat" Bobby Matheson
18 - Edric Haleen
17 - Ross Durand
16 - Caleb Hines
15 - Steve Durand
14 - Godz Poodlz
13 - JoAnn Abbott
12 - Gorbzilla
11 - Jon Eric
10 - Ryan Welton
9 - Sara Parsons
8 - Denise Hudson
7 - Charlie McCarron
6 - Heather Miller
5 - Kevin Savino-Riker
4 - Bram Tant
3 - Emperor Gum
2 - The Offhand Band
1 - Jenny Katz

SpinTunes #1 Round 1 Review: Sammy Kablam

Governing Dynamics - Origin
There is something delightful about the natural sadness of Governing Dynamics fuzing with the concept of superheroism. Especially given that there's nothing even all that somber about the topic. I expected GD to do a song about the death of Superman or, I guess, the death of any superhero/villain. Not to suggest Governing Dynamics is all about killing people, just... Look, he does a lot of sad songs. Anyway, this is one of the few entries that actually sounds really good musically, and has a lot of replay value. I'd have him redo the vocals at his leisure down the road to really sharpen them up, but otherwise, this is one of the clearly greater entries.

"BucketHat" Bobby Matheson - Super Villain Blues
Take this how you will, but I don't think I've heard a more emotionally driven song by Mr. Matheson. It puts you in the head of the "bad guy" and really displays the grey area in these matters. By the end, I find myself wanting to help this (likely obsessive, delusional narcissist) guy with his plan. Also, sounds kinda like Randy Newman, which makes it that much funnier.

Edric Haleen - A Letter To Humanity
Musically, the most heroic of them all. I don't really think I need to say much beyond that. The character certainly is broadly optimistic, and kinda sounds more like Jesus than Spider-Man -- and I definitely prefer Spider-Man. But I will say, it never really feels like it picks up when it should. It feels like a 3 minute introduction. At the last line, it sounds like it's finally about to really kick in...and then, of course, it doesn't. But it's still a top choice, as Edric has, once again, led the pack on nailing the theme.

Ross Durand - Don't Turn The Page
Ross is the only person from SongFight that I consistantly admire, and it's because his songs are well thought out, well written, and well recorded. The production value on this is simply amazing, and it truly deserves top marks. However, I'm not a fan of merging realities; this isn't a man begging for mercy, it's the actual drawing in the book. It knows it dies, and doesn't want to get there. But the weirdness of that idea is that it dies no matter what. Not looking doesn't make it not drawn. It's a great song, but I think about things too hard, sometimes, and the idea of...well, an Idea, begging you not to look at the drawing if its death... That just strikes me as very confusing. I like the concept, but I'll bet it works 100 times better as a fan not wanting to face his comic hero's death.

Caleb Hines - The Memoirs Of Clockwork Man
This sincerely sounds somwhere between JoCo and TMBG. The very beginning sounds ominous as hell, and then we get a plucky story about a hero. Granted, a hero that doesn't seem to care much, but it's 1885, what do you want? Just be glad someone in London isn't hateful. The song really isn't all that heroic, but it does seem to be about the most developed character of the bunch. Also, it has harpsichords that aren't annoyiing, which is just incredible.

Steve Durand - Gamma Man
This pretty much encompassed everything from the 70s era superhero tv shows. All I could think of was Nicholas Hammond, for some reason. The cry for help is classic, and the broken sentence of urgency is classic. The only thing I could EVER call a "negative" about this is the rhyme of "suit/pursuit", because the syllables don't rhyme, they're the same thing. But when that's my biggest gripe (because I have issues), you can safely say you've done a helluva job.

Godz Poodlz - The Human Bomb
Another very pleasing submission from Godz Poodlz. I like the fact that it's just a little complaint about ending up the way he did, without being as sad and emotastic as is could've gotten. The only downside is that the refrain's a little redundant, and by the third one, you're kinda left feeling like there wasn't a whole lot of thought put into it. But then again, you're lucky if an hour later, you're not saying out loud, for no reason whatsoever, "I'm the Human Bomb".

JoAnn Abbott - Why
This is very well written, lyrically. And it almost sounds like something from a broadway show. The ambiguity of whether it's a superhero or supervillain singing is incredible -- and would actually make for an impressive pre-climax duet as both sides are seen gearing up for their head-to-head battle at the end of the show. My ONLY problem (again, because I have issues) is that the challenge was to pick one. Now, one might argue "But she met the challenge! Her song is either by a superhero OR a supervillain". And that would be cute. But it still irks me. That said, it really is a very nice song.

Gorbzilla - Superhero Song
There has got to be a much better title for this. Anyway, I can tell you right now, some will argue that this doesn't meet the challenge of being from the pov of a superhero/supervillain, but personally, I think the way it's done make sense. Being The watcher, Uatu's not going to have a whole lot else to talk about. That said, I might have decided to do the song about how boring it is on the Moon, and how much Uatu wishes, deep down, that he could be as beloved and active as the superhumans on Earth. But, like I said, I think it's a fun route. I also think the music is perfect for such a lament, watching the other not-so-cool guys getting a place where they can all hang out, and hoping one day to join them. What I think some people might miss is that the song isn't about the new lives of the heroes mentioned thruoughout the song, but is rather about Uatu wishing he could join them; this is clearly a lament, and the guys getting the new life free of mockery have nothing to lament.

Jon Eric - Superman Sneezed
At long last, someone finally depicts Superman as a hypochondriacal puss. I hate Superman, and to hear him whining about being weak and fading away makes me smile. But then I get kind of irritated, because a living god is moaning about this emo nonsense. Now I want to lock him in a bathroom with a stack of Kryptonite razorblades and pipe in the Johnny Cash version of "Hurt" until something productive happens. Congratulations: you made me hate a stupid character even more than I thought I could.

Ryan Welton - Underdog Blues
Definitely one of the more unique sounds of the round. Unfortunately, I never understood why anybody ever liked Underdog, and this song hasn't helped his image in my eyes. It's kinda slow, and doesn't really go anywhere all that interesting. So, I guess it's a top notch homage to the show, but it doesn't really do a whole lot for me.

Sara Parsons - Starlite (Ballad For A Noble Steed)
After a mild debate, I'm still not convinced that Rainbow Brite is a superheroine, let alone her horse. However, short of the title "demi-god", I'm not exactly sure what I WOULD call her, so I guess she's getting a bye on this one. But the horse? The music is great, the story is terribly sad, and it kinda makes me wish horses could play guitars. But all I remember about Starlite was a lot of bragging and a Gay Pride hairdo.

Denise Hudson - Invisible Girl
This is one of those songs that, despite meeting the pov criteria, just lies dead on the floor. This has basically nothing to do with being a superheroine. It appears to be a love song FROM a superheroine, but the exact same terminology could be used from a girl in high school or a woman at the office who is or feels often overlooked and "lost in the crowd", always unseen by the one she desires. Neither the lyrics nor the music say ANYTHING superheroine to me.

Charlie McCarron - Faster Than Superman
Musically, this sounds like something you might hear over the sound system at JCPenny. With the vocals, it sounds like I'm in the Crocodile Lounge at the Marriott outside Las Vegas. Also, I'd like to say: I have no idea what this is about. Is it an existing character? I know the Flash is faster than superman, but I don't see him as a crooner.

Heather Miller - I'm Not Wearing Tights
Music is intriguing. However, I can't say for sure what it is, but something about your vocals was like shifting gears without the brakes. Oh, and I simply cannot be clear enough on how much it physically pains me when people use what I call "cheap rhymes". And when you got to your "Still feel like a zero, but they call me a hero", my teeth began to grind. It's like a fork on a china plate.

Kevin Savino-Riker - Tough Jobs Vs Iron Gates
I will, without hesitation, agree with the notion that Steve Jobs is a lunatic bent on world domination. However, I don't think he and his nemesis were successfully displayed as superhuman counterparts. It's not a terrible idea, I just don't think it worked out.

Bram Tant - Kebab Shop
Nothing made me laugh quite so long or quite so hard as this entry. As far as I can tell, this is the single greatest piece of work I've heard from Bram Tant. But I have two complaints: #1. I have standards for the term "supervillain", and whereas this shopkeep is certainly of a vengeful nature, his plan isn't all that diabolical. Can't really admit to him being all that super. #2. This isn't really a song. I understand the beginning is a fast sung introduction, but all the gold is in the spoken part. And it's more of a monologue than anything else. Now, I want to really stress, I think this is a HIGHLY genius bit. I just have a hard time calling it a song or a true supervillain.

Emperor Gum - Costume (Squirrel Girl)
The timing on the different parts feels off and on throughout the song, and quite honestly, the vocals are terrible. You might be on key and all that, but whatever filters you're using, or maybe the mic itself, I dunno -- but there's something in the vocal recording or mixing that is really killing this thing. Without the lyrics sheet, I'd have no idea what you were saying. I love that you chose such a wonderfully oscure character, I just wish I could hear the song.

The Offhand Band - Step Back Swooperman
First thing I notice? The vocals have no blend whatsoever with the music. Second thing? Cheesy damn "hero/zero" rhyme. Why do people do this? Ugh. As for the rest of the song. I think I can best describe it as... Well... You ever brush your teeth with a file? It's kinda like that.

Jenny Katz - Blofeld's Beginning
I realize that the chorus is a spiel from the pov of the villain, but the rest is not. And that kinda cracks the challenge. The whole thing was supposed to be first person. Aside from that, I have to say: the tempo, tone, and overall style of tihs song very accurately conveys the feeling I get every time I hear the name "James Bond": Instant boredom. Whereas the emo-ness of Governing Dynamic's style meshed well with the topic, this slow, quiet music in absolutely no way conveyed "vengeful, maniacal world destroyer". Possibly the least interesting song of the bunch. And I really do hate James Bond.

SpinTunes #1 Round 1 Review: Joe "Covenant" Lamb

My overwhelming thoughts about the round.
- There are some AMAZING and INCREDIBLE musicians involved in this.
- But some of the lyrics let some songs down and some vocals really need worked on.
- Songs need words, sung well-ish.
- OKay. These are my first thoughts on all the songs.
- And, as that's how most people listen to songs then here it is....

Anyway... Top 4 there were whiskers between. Caleb took it, but the next three could have been in almost ANY order.

Caleb Hines - The Memoirs Of Clockwork Man
- Brilliant. Just Brilliant.
- The only thing that would make this better would be if *I* had done the intro ! (Heh!)
- I am NOT going to mention JoCo similarities cos this is better.
- 9.5/10

Denise Hudson - Invisible Girl
- Brilliant musically, (in fact, melody-wise, best of the bunch), brilliant lyric.
- Some very subtle midi stuf in the background of this.
- Just wish the vocals were a TOUCH clearer.
- Seems to be a very layered song... doesn't seem to be just about "Invisible Girl"
- 9/10

Edric Haleen - A Letter To Humanity
- Edric seems to have discovered Midi big time!
- Even at 3mins, Too short Edric... too short.
- OKay, it made me think of "Dr Evil..." but so what !
- 9/10

Sara Parsons - Starlite (Ballad For A Noble Steed)
- Listening to Sara is like listening to butter.
- Its so good it HAS to be bad for you.
- I dunno anything about the concept, but the song works anyway.
- Music great, Vocals excellent, Harmonies sublime.
- 9/10

Kevin Savino-Riker - Tough Jobs Vs Iron Gates
- This started so promisingly.
- The jazzy guitar, (Vocals sounded a bit auto-tuned, but it could just be weird EQ)
- But then the *acid* guitar didn't work for me. Acid guitar is such a hard thing to do right.
- Good song, like the lyric for the most part, but got a bit odd in the middle.
- Maybe just needs some different mix choices.
- 8/10

Jenny Katz - Blofeld’s Beginnings
- Nice and Lo-Fi, which, 6 songs in, makes a nice change.
- Good lyric, but the occasional stacatto delivery jarred a little.
- Chorus is brilliant. Very interesting voice (A bit Joni and Mama Cass)
- Need to hear more from Jenny.
- 8/10

Heather Miller - I'm Not Wearing Tights
- Best title of them all.
- Mix is a bit off, lyric switches from trite to really quite clever in places.
- Could maybe have done with another go at the singing, but I liked this.
- (Yeah! Joe liked a *dance-y* type song, sue me!!) (DontSueMe)
- 8/10

Godz Poodlz - The Human Bomb
- Oh... Thats a sudden start.
- Odd vocal effect choice. Great song though.
- "What I touch explodes with a burst..." great lyric.
- Nice melancholic reveal.
- 7/10

"Buckethat" Bobby Matheson - Super Villain Blues
- Not bad Bobby, not bad at all. (Accordian!!!)
- Good workhorse blues number. Decent singing.
- Love the ending!
- 7/10

JoAnn Abbott - Why
- Such a shame about the bad quality recording. Very poignant.
- I liked this a lot. A few little wobbles, but the whole concept carried it off.
- 6.5/10

Governing Dynamics - Orgin
- Good, but seemed a bit one paced.
- 6/10

Jon Eric - Superman Sneezed
- The panning of the guitars on this gave a similar effect to the keyboard on Ryan's song.
- I know it was just the way they were being strum, but being right at the extremes of the stereo width it threw up the little differences in rythm too much.
- There is an odd lack of energy about this one that's hard to define.
- 6/10

Charlie McCarron - Faster Than Superman
- There is a GREAT song in here. I think all this one neds is a little more work.
- Very atmospheric
- 6/10

Gorbzilla - Superhero Song
- Dave, Dave, Dave.....
- Dave is unique. His voice certainly!
- Great musicality. Song just didn't grab me.
- 6/10

Ross Durand - Don't Turn The Page
- Gorgeous guitarwork, vocals not my style.
- Mix is really good. Instrumentation nice.
- Not a bad concept but loses points for using the phrase The American Dream....
- 5/10

Steve Durand - Gamma Man
- When this started I thought it was something form late 60's early 70's UK TV...
- Brass-Superb
- Bass-Brilliant
- Drums-Excell... well, the fills messed the up.
- Vocals... moving on.
- 5/10

Ryan Welton - Underdog Blues
- Brilliant music, but couldn't take the constant slamming from left to right of the keys
- (REALLY made me wanna stop listening- if I hadn't been a judge I would have switched this off cos of it.)
- And the over-bluesy-blues singing is nothing I ever really like, started okay, got weak towards the end.
- Good concept, but I don't know anything about Underdog.
- 5/10

The Offhand Band - Step Back Swooperman
- Sorry guys. Musically hard to listen to. Melody almost non existant.
- There could be a fun song in here. But you didn't quite find it.
- It almost got better around 01:30, (and again at 02:44-03:02 I like that section, but the off key singing hurts me
- Don't chose a key you can't really sing in.
- 2.5/10

Bram Tant - Kebab Shop
- Sorry Dantes. Its not a song.
- Points for holding the accent together and the turkish guitar.
- (And the guts to sing about Allah and using the phrase Stupid Americans)
- 2/10

Emperor Gum - Costume (Squirrel Girl)
- This hurt to listen to. Nothing about this was good.
- I did not like this Sam-I-Am.
- 1/10

Shadows:
Boffo Yux Dudes - Shame this wasn't *in* this would have been highly placed by me. (bit long and starts to lose it towards the end)
Danny Blackwell - Funny and quite clever. Shame about the hard to hear vocals though. (Shouldn't condone drug use though) Its a bit Neil Innes-ish!
Dr. Lindyke - On oddly bad recording by Dave. But still a good song. (Elton!)

SpinTunes #1 Round 1 Review: Julia Sherred

My final ranks changed quite often as some of you are aware from following my tweets or listening to me bemoan in Artifiction chat. I think there needs to be a bit of an explanation regarding some of my thought processes as I went through the task of ranking Round 1.

First, what is a superhero/villain? This is a debate nerdlings have constantly. HUGE, epic debates. Many of which I have been a part of doing what I do (entertaining nerds and geeks). Some will say one has to have superhuman powers. Others will say one just needs to do superheroic/villainous deeds. And this is where arguments about whether or not Batman, as an example, is a superhero or not. I fall into the camp that Batman is indeed a superhero. You do not have to have superhuman powers to be a superhero/villain. Extraordinary acts or other such qualities (sly cunning or a criminal mastermind such as Lex Luther) will get you awarded the fitting title.

Second, if the challenger decided to create their own superhero/villain, I judged on how well they were able to sell that idea to me based on which camp I belong to.

Third, I am afraid there will be a language barrier from time to time as English is not my first language and American English is quite different than the English I do speak. I think I need to explain a word that I will be using in this review. And this is: pathetic. When I was gathering my thoughts while working out the reviews in my head, I found myself saying "This is so truly pathetic", quite a bit. When I use the word pathetic, I don't mean it in the "piece of shit/crappy/horrible" sort of way, but in the Pathos/sad/pitiable sort of way. Or at least that is the best translation I have been able to come up with.

Forth, if a song needed a guide... well you will have to read about that. I will say here so it is not missed, I will not read any guides until after I have submitted my reviews. A song should not need a guide. It should stand completely on their own. Just think about it, does the person who is listening to your song for the first time on the radio get the benefit of a guide? I will give you a piece of professional advice. If you are not aware, I use to run a radio station (I was the Assistant General Manager/ Program Director/ Creative Consultant) and I had my own radio shows. I have spent many years working with and promoting independent artists and continue to do so. If you ever hope to get any type of airplay, your song needs to be easily accessible. Don't worry about it being "commercial". There are plenty of niche markets and radio stations that play all types of music. But if your music is not easily accessible either emotionally or mentally, there is a high probability that it will never get airplay.

A lot of the placements I agonized with. There were quite a few groups of people who's placement kept changing. This was because: a) I either pretty much equally adored them for different reasons; b) was equally okay with them; or c) was equally disappointed with them for what ever reason. And just because I may be disappointed with a song, doesn't necessarily mean I disliked the song. I cannot say there is a single song that I hate, but I can say there are a couple groups of songs that did fall flat with me and that I don't quite like.

Group #1

All 6 of you were in my top 6 from the very first draft. But within this group, there were subgroups who's placement I had a difficult time deciding. And within those subgroups, rankings kept flopping back and forth. I'm not quite sure if what I just said made any sense at all, but I hope it did to a certain extent. Each of you moved either up or down or both until I made my final decision. I hope by the time I finish reviewing the top 6, you will understand why I had these struggles and how I came to my final decision.

#20 Jon Eric - Superman Sneezed

Out of all the superheroes, I personally find Superman's existence to be the most pathetic and the most lonely. When I tell people how sad I get when I think about Superman's life, a lot of people think I am daft. They think it would be cool to be Superman. Personally, I think it would be quite sad. I wrote a story about some of the reasons once. Your song illustrates the pathetic part of Superman's life and not the parts most people think about when they think of Superman. It would have been much easier to write a song where Superman praises his existence just like the people he saves. I thank you for not taking the obvious route. Your song made me cry the first time I listened to it during the listening party. As tears were forming in my eyes, I was thinking, "I hope the audience doesn't notice", because I didn't want to give anything away. And just because I believe Superman's life is pathetic and you approached it from that angle is not why you are first. It was because, in my opinion you were able to really demonstrate this point of view. I got to know Superman in a real way. How he was feeling and what he was thinking. And I was able to truly empathize to the point of tears. If that is not a challenge accomplished, I do not know what is. Especially as I am not one who easily exhibits emotion.

#19 Governing Dynamics - Origin

From the very first bar of music, before the vocals, this song pulled at this emotion place in my gut that, as a general rule, only classical music gets at. It was sad and pathetic from the start. Despite this, when I first went through my rankings, you were lower. But this is due to me not actually listening to the song the first time through. At first, even so you were always in the top 6, other songs were higher because they caught my ear as a result of the song either being musically unique in different ways or because of what I find to be creative ways of creating a superhero/villain. But as I listened through the songs the second time (after I thought I had my first final order), and actually heard it, I couldn't stop listening to it. I had to listen to it over and over again before I could move. And even after I had moved on, I kept finding myself wanting to stop what I was listening to and go back. And just like the first song, it made me cry and not just pull at my gut. I felt the pain and anguish of the character. So in my books, you succeeded. As I said above, a song that causes me to really emote is a winner. Then came the awful task of who gets 20 and who gets 19. You find yourself at 19 because I could better relate to 20, even so it is only by a fraction. And that is what it came down to in the end.

#18 Heather Miller - I'm Not Wearing Tights

You were so close to being first. I cannot tell you how much I adore this song. Lyrically, it made me smile for so many different reasons. One reason is because I find the notion of Superheroes/villains being in tights utterly absurd. And I have often thought, "Why on Earth has there not been a massive strike by these heroes and villains because people want and expect them to dress in ridiculous costumes?!?" So for you to have your superhero echo some of the same thoughts was very pleasing. Also, musically I love it! When the song started to play during the listening party, it was all I could do to not stop the song and exclaim, "This is the type of music I've been waiting for! I love this!" And it isn't that I don't enjoy the other genres. My taste in music is quite vast. You will find pretty much every genre in my music library. However, you'd find the majority is: alternative/rock, various genres of dance music and classical. So for me, having this style of music was more than welcomed. One other note, before the listening party when I first read the title, I do have to say I was very worried that it would be gimmicky and campy. I was very pleasantly surprised when not only was it not but also because of the style. If I were to judge this song solely based on the music and not take into account the lyrics and the big picture of what I feel makes a song a good one, your song would have been first. I do not know what more I can say aside from I look forward to hearing more from you.

#17 Edric Haleen - A Letter To Humanity

In a way, it pains me to see this song ranked here. I love the orchestration. I love the overall sound of the song. I love the twist at the end. And I know others have criticized that it builds, you expect it to have this big "bang" only for it to build again and again and again and again etc., and then when finally it reaches this "bang" the song is over. But that was the point, wasn't it? That was the intent. I understand what you were trying to achieve. I understand the reasoning that went behind the entire structure of the music and lyrics and I didn't need a guide to come to this understanding. The music and lyrics were the guide. For me, you met the challenge and you achieved your goal, both musically and lyrically. I do not see what others see as a negative, as being negative. Especially because I believe that was your intent. Now if I didn't think that was your intent and that is what occurred, it would have lost points in my book. And this is where the pain comes in. Because from my point of view, you accomplished exactly what you were wanting to achieve. You met the challenge. The song overall was quite enjoyable. There is no fail beyond the fact that the top two songs made me truly emote and the third song, I preferred the music just a smidgen more. I shouldn't feel awful that it came down to just that, but it is what it is. I can't wait to hear what you come up with in the next rounds.

#16 Kevin Savino-Riker - Tough Jobs Vs Iron Gates

And this is where I think people may find my rankings and judgment questionable and take issue with them. So I will try my best to explain my thinking. Musically, I don't think much can be said that is negative. That is a preference thing. As for my personal preference, musically I like this song 2nd. But as I already said, this competition is more than just sounds. Topic wise, well that is where the debate is, isn't it? People are going to argue that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are not Superheroes. And this is where it is my job to say that they can be classified as such. Some would even classify each of them as Supervillains just like they try to do with each other in the song. I was hoping some people would write songs based off of what some may consider real life superheroes/villains. After all, the personal attribute of fictional superheroes/villains are based off of real life archetypes. The struggles depicted in the song between Jobs/Gates are the same struggles in many graphic novels. There isn't much difference beyond real life aside from a fictional universe and some of them have powers.

I have been witness to and have been apart of many a geek/nerd SUPER charged argument regarding Jobs/Gates, Apple/PC, the personal merits or lack thereof of Jobs and Gates, etc. There are many who do see them as real life superheroes/villains. And both of them can be said to be megalomaniac. Now, another disclaimer. If you are going to create a Superhero/villain ESPECIALLY if you are going to base them on real life people, you better do a damn good job illustrating attributes that make them so: actions, deeds, etc. Doing this is very difficult task. You stretched yourself. You took a HUGE risk by not going the tradition route which may have led to campy, gimmicky and cliche. This is a much harder challenge than writing about a fictional character, especially one who has a large canon. And for me personally, you succeeded. Other songs are lower than yours that do fit what some would consider the classical definition of superhero/villain because: 1) at least you were original; 2) musically, I so enjoy it. 3) No where did it say when the challenge was revealed that it had to be the classical definition. And as I've already stated, you took a risk and least with me it paid off.

#15 Bram Tant - Kebab Shop

Debate re: Supervillain status, see above. In fact, you were able to sell me on the concept this guy is a Supervillain better than Kevin was able to sell me on the concept that Jobs/Gates are superheroes. Your character reminded me quite a lot of Mr Glass in "Unbreakable". I don't know how I can articulate just how much I appreciated the lengths your character went to in order to achieve his extremely wicked ends. Your spot and Kevin's spot swapped quite often.

In the end, it came down to the music. There is no doubt, Kevin's song is far superior in that area. And as others will criticize you that what you did was not a song on top of the criticizing that you didn't write a supervillain, I see their point of view re: music/song and I also disagree. There was a discussion about what makes Inverse T Clown's rant or William Shatner's rant a song but not yours. One argument was that they have music that builds and falls with the mood of what is being said. Your music stops. Well actually it doesn't. There is music constantly under the entire piece, but it does fade back quite a bit when you move from the first part into the speaking or rant part. I am thinking you wanted some type of musical change but didn't quite know what to do. It probably would have been better to keep the music more in the foreground than to cut it back like you did. If lyrically and conceptually I didn't find this song so bloody brilliant, you would have been much lower. But I give you points for originality and I don't hate what music you do have even so it could have been a lot better. Parts of the music, I really like. Your song did not bore me like others did. One piece of advice, if you ever think to do this again, don't. Well not like the way you did it this time. You really need to make it more musically. Do, however, keep stretching yourself like you did on this one.

Group #2

This second group was relatively easy. And this is where my reviews are about to become shorter and shorter. At least I think this next group made an honest effort. Once I get below 10, I can't always say that.

#14 "Buckethat" Bobby Matheson - Supervillain Blues

Musically, I love the style. I have a huge fondness for the Canadian/Acadian/Cajun thing that you do. There is something quite unique in your music that sometimes I think you have to be Canadian to truly appreciate. The biggest issue I had with your song is for me, you fell in the middle between a mix of getting to know this character and of the character being cliche and someone I am already quite familiar with. With the songs above you, I gained quite a bit of insight into who these people are and what they think and feel. And even so it isn't mandatory per se that you need to learn deep things about a character in a song when they are speaking from their point of view, it certainly does make the song stronger. I will always go for a song that is really meaningful over a song that is so very fun (such as yours) but lyrically soft. And even so Heather's song really wasn't all that deep, I didn't feel as if I've heard that character's point of view before. At least not in the way she told it. Whereas, I feel I've heard your character's point of view more times than not.

#13 Godz Poodlz - Human Bomb

I am a little torn with this one. On one hand, I feel so bad for this character. Such a pathetic existence he has as well. There are a couple of lines that made me laugh because the idea is just so ridiculous yet made me feel so sad at the same time for the same reasons. And they made me feel like a horrible human being for laughing at such a pitiable thing but that is good. One example of this are the lines "I held your face in my hands/ And I watched your skin melt and explode." The way it was delivered was fantastic. I snorted and then thought "OMG I'm going to hell because that isn't actually funny." And I believe it was those types of reactions you were wanting to achieve. I loved the morbid humour of it all. I laughed at this character but found him so pathetic at the same time. The only issue I had with this song is at times it feels as if you are trying to hard or are forcing it. I wish I had better words to describe this feeling that I get, but that is the best I can do. The words fail me at a moment which is a shame because I would like my critique to help you grow and I think I have failed.

#12 Caleb Hines - The Memoirs of the Clockwork Man

There are so many good things about this song. I find this character quite pathetic as well. Unfortunately, it really didn't make me emote anything. I didn't laugh nor did I cry even so the existence of the Clockwork Man is really pathetic. Musically, wow. So much going on. I loved the wrench. I loved the orchestration. I think the song may have gone a bit too long. And here is where I am having the difficult time. Even so I enjoy the music, at about the 3:30 mark, my brain says "Okay, enough of this. Let's move on." And it isn't that I don't like long songs. I don't consider 4:08 to be anywhere close to the ballpark of long. Could be the overly repetitive nature of the song that tires my brain even though it is enjoying what it is hearing. Musically, I enjoyed your song more than Godz Poodlz. Story, I think they did just a tad bit better than you did. I had a hard time deciding who should be in what spot out of the two of you. At first you were where they are because you have a lot of things that are better going on. But you ended up here on the second listen through because my brain got tired at 3:30. Again, it came down to such a little thing.

#11 Denise Hudson - Invisible Girl

I don't know what to say about this. And I'm afraid my critique is going to come off harsh. I've tried to think of nicer ways to say what I have to say and just can't think of any. You are the only person who stayed where they were after my first listen through. You are the only person that really didn't make me think about their placement one way or the other. And I don't know if that is necessarily a good thing. You fall exactly in the middle between good and bad. After you is where I have less good things to say to people. I am not quite sure about your song. I can see it as a superhero song and how she feels in her role as a hero and I also see it as just a song about an ordinary girl who feels invisible in a relationship. It isn't a good type of ambiguous. Also, the normal listener is going to have to really work to get any real meaning from the song. While being all metaphorical and stuff isn't necessarily a bad thing, a song will do better if it is easier to access, both mentally and emotionally. Songs that are easier to "get" will do better. As a result, the only thing saving you is that at least your song was not the cliche things you hear regarding superheroes/villains. You did indeed try to do something different. I can tell real thought went into it. Also, your mix is one of the few I am going to critique but only because I want you to grow. I liked the "transparent" sound of your vocals (best way I can describe it). At times though, the sound is too transparent and disappears far too much into the music. And considering what the song is about, it would not surprise me if that is what you were trying to accomplish (this transparent/invisible sound). But if one is having to really strain to hear what is being said and have to refer to the lyrics, once again the song that will do better is the one that is easier to hear.

Group #3

The next three songs, I give all the same critique. So I will give it in 1 paragraph instead of typing it out the same thing 3 times. The final ranking for the next three is based on what sound I liked the most as I found the next three songs to be equally cliche. I learned nothing about the character. I gained no real insight. The songs felt more to me like a theme song rather than a song from the point of view of a superhero/villain even so it is from their POV. I could have been sitting in front of the TV listening to the Spider-Man theme song. The songs were not bad. It isn't that I disliked them but I didn't like them either. I am neutral towards them. I don't feel as if any real effort went into the lyrics. Even so there were some really good things happening in the music, for me the songs fell flat lyrically. This is a song writing contest and not just a music writing contest and it is not a performance contest. Lyrics are very important. If I were okay with bubblegum lyrics (not that there is anything wrong with bubblegum) then they are not bad songs. But I prefer songs with meaning over bubblegum even so there is a lot of bubblegum I will listen to. This all being said, every once in awhile, a bubblegum song will rank higher than one with substance. But there better be something pretty huge going on in the music for that to happen.

#10 Charlie McCarron - Faster Than Superman

I just want to say one extra thing about your song. Even so I found the lyrics to be a tad cliche, the music was not bubblegum. There is a bit of a disconnect there. And I think that posed a bigger issue with me than cliche lyrics, the music and lyrics just don't seem to match.

#9 Ryan Welton - Underdog Blues

#8 Steven Durand - Gamma Man

Group #4

The Next 6 songs is another group that I struggled with. Most of you were originally lower than you find yourself now. Only one was higher at one point. Only one of you stayed at the same rank and that is Ross. And despite how biting my criticism may sound, the songs are not bad. If you were to listen to the songs on their own and not take into account the challenge on hand, I can see why many would find them quite enjoyable. But they did not meet the challenge as successfully as others, plain and simple.

#7 JoAnn Abbott - Why

I feel you cheated a bit in this song. Originally, you were much lower on my list because of this. But once I listened through the second time and figured out how I was going to judge this, you moved up slightly. Here is how I think you didn't quite do the challenge and therefor cheated to a certain extent. You didn't write about a superhero or supervillain. You wrote about both simultaneously. I don't find that clever. I had no idea who was singing the song. I have no idea as to what flavour of hero/villain this person is. It is quite generic and ambiguous. And then I found out your song has a guide explanation this was your aim. If a song needs a guide to be understood, it fails. A song should stand on its own. I didn't read the guide, nor will I read any guides until after my reviews are handed in. The reason for this is if this song were to play on the radio, that listener does not get a guide. Part of my criteria for judging these songs is how the general audience is going to receive the song. And this is really quite a shame because musically, you pleasantly surprised me. Even so I don't think you really fulfilled the challenge because you didn't pick a hero or a villain, at least you wrote from the first person and I didn't have to guess as to what they were thinking or feeling. At least that part was clear even though I can't name who this hero or villain is to any degree of certainty.

I do want to make one suggestion. I think you need to start thinking of creative ways to do your songs. You got lucky this round and someone was able to do the piano for you. I have no problems with collaborating. If you can find someone to do that for you, great. I just want you to be prepared in the event you don't find anyone. Do multiple harmonies, barbershop it, something. Have another plan in the event of. And even if you do find someone to do the instruments, I still suggest to add layers to your vocals. You had a lot of good things going on. As I said, you pleasantly surprised me with what you came up with musically. I just think you really fell short on the challenge.

#6 Ross Durand - Don’t Turn The Page

This was difficult. Musically, there was a lot I liked. The only problem I had with this song, and it turns out to be a big one, is that it took me forever to understand the bloody thing. I listened to it like 6 times trying to figure out what the song was about. And then I had to look at the lyrics. As I've already stated above a couple of times now, if the listener has to work that hard at understanding the song, then there is a failure there even if musically it is quite enjoyable. I had you higher than JoAnn at one point but she ended up moving up because it was easier to understand.

#5 Gorbzilla - Superhero Song

And another song where I had to work too hard to understand it. I almost completely failed you. If it were not for me listening to what someone else had to say about your song and me going back to revisit it, I would have told you even so there is a lot going on in it lyrically and it is quite good in that sense, it was not from the point of view of the Superhero. It was just like the title says, a song about Superheroes and not from the point of view of a Superhero. And then I was told, it is a Superhero telling the tale of what he sees from the moon and how lonely he feels. I completely missed that. I had to comb through the lyrics to find this point because it got missed despite me listening to it multiple times. I really enjoyed the lyrics. I thought them be some of the best as far as substance. But there is that thing about almost completely missing that you did indeed tell it from 1st person and not 3rd as it sounds.

#4 The Offhand Band - Step Back Swooperman

Again, if it were not for someone pointing out one line in this song, I would have thought it failed the challenge completely because it was a song about a Superhero instead of told from the point of view as of a Superhero. And even then, the kid isn't really a superhero, he just has the potential to be one but his father won't let him make any attempts at it. I kind of liked the John Williams theme stuff. But it was too much and became gimmicky and cliche and by the end of the song, I wanted the musical references to end even though at first I enjoyed them.

#3 Sara Parsons - Starlite (Ballad For A Nobel Steed)

You failed to sell me on the fact that Starlite is a Superhero in anyway shape or form. You got some points for being from the point of view of Starlite. But as I said above, if you are going to make up a Superhero, you better do a good job selling it. There was nothing in this song that demonstrated to me why Starlite should be a hero. At least Kevin and Bram demonstrated archetypes in their characters that are used in graphic novels. I don't expect people to accept what I view to fall into the category of superhero/villain but at least I can make an argument as to why. I can point to specifics in the songs. I can't do that with yours. I tried to find some lyric in your song that would support the argument that Starlite is a superhero and could not. With your song, it is just a horse that has been forgotten. There were no mentions of heroic deeds. No archetypes. He/She (I don't even know the sex), is just a forgotten horse. Musically, the song was okay. This song would have failed even more but I have to believe that you believe Starlite is a Superhero otherwise you wouldn't have chosen it as the subject.

#2 Jenny Katz - Blofeld's Beginnings

The music was not bad. But this song confused me the most. When I first started to listen, I thought, "This is someone telling the story of. It isn't from the point of view of Blofeld. All that is needed in this song was to change the "he" to "I" and "him" to "me" and the song would not be bad at all." But then it would get to the chorus, and the POV changed. I found it rather confusing. Your ranking has jumped around the most in between positions 7 to where it is now. I don't like that it is where it is because I really enjoy the song overall. I just cannot figure out if you actually did the challenge or not. And even after silently listening to other people's views on this song, I still don't know. It really is a shame.

And then:

#1 Emperor Gum - Costume (Squirrel Girl)

This song is the only song where the engineering had the biggest effect on ranking. It would have been ranked so much higher, in the top 10, if I could hear the vocals. I quite enjoyed the music. Reading the lyrics, they seem spot on. I like this strange disconnect/disjointed thing you do with your music. But when you have to turn down the volume or just turn off the song when the vocals start because the sound is just so terrible, well none of the positive things you had going for you matter. And I am pretty sure you know what the issue is. I am assuming it has to do with headphones when you are mixing your music. Here's the thing. I would much rather hear the vocals completely untouched and with a lot of white noise and have them be poor quality than listen to a song where it is poorly produced especially when it could have been avoided. Not everyone has anywhere close to good mixing or recording equipment. This competition is about the writing process not production value. Sometimes it will come down to production value if two songs are so very close and that has to be the deciding factor. But if you can't listen to what otherwise would have been a fab song, it is such a shame.

Shadows:
I am going to keep this short and sweet.

Buffo Yux Dudes – As you know, you didn't write from the point of view of but rather about. I liked the song but it did fail to meet the challenge.

Dr Lindyke – I enjoyed your song. Had it been in the challenge, you probably would have fallen somewhere in the top 10. The top 6 still would be where they are. The only real issue I had with your song was that I found it ambiguous to a certain degree. But at least it was meaningful and I did understand that it was from the POV of a superhero even if I was not sure which superhero.

Danny Blackwell – I am really surprised more people did not take the slash fiction route. And as cliché as it may be to do so, the way you delivered it, I did not find cliché but rather quite cheeky. I hope you understand what I mean when I say that. I enjoyed the cheek. Only issue, your song did not meet the time requirement. Had it been in the challenge, it would have failed for not meeting that criteria.

Bryce Jensen – I love the music. I'm confused by the lyric. You are singing to someone and about someone from someone's point of view but is that point of view a song from a Superhero/villain to another Superhero/villain or is from someone normal? As already stated, it needed to be from the point of view of the superhero/villain not about them sung by another person.

SpinTunes #1 Round 1 Review: Niveous

Hey everyone, it's time for my SpinTunes Round #1 reviews and the first round is all about Superheroes & Supervillains. (I apologize beforehand for any spelling errors or typos. It's been a long long day and I'm not proof reading).

Governing Dynamics - "Origin": This is a pretty good song. I like the musical composition. The lyrics leave something to be desired. They lack a bit of poetic language. Hearing lines like "this superhero shtick" take me right out of the song. "The needle is really quite large"... really? Is that a necessary line? As for a hero tale, it may have been a made up hero instead of an existing one but it was a decent (not spectacular but decent) origin story. If it was a comic, would I pick up issue #2, probably not. But it puts Governing Dynamics in a solid place in the field for Round 2.

Ryan Welton - "Underdog Blues": Musically, the synth choice is questionable. If this was a straight up piano sound, I could enjoy it more. Instead, it has this NES videogame feel that doesn't fit with the 1960's cartoon hero. I like the vocal performance, especially the way he delivers the line "Underdog is here". It's certainly a catchy tune but it's a song about Underdog and Underdog is not a very interesting character in the slightest. Shoeshine boy becomes superman...um, superdog and that's about it. So, in the end, it all adds up to mediocre.

Steve Durand - "Gamma Man": Steve uses his trademark horns to turn his superhero song to create a 70's style superhero theme song. Occasionally, there were some awkward lyrics and I can do without the skit in the song but this was good fun. I could envision the Gamma Man opening credits and this song could get me to watch the Gamma Man show. This song is one of the best of the round.

Caleb Hines - "Memoirs Of Clockwork Man": The intro is beyond campy to the land of annoying. I completely understand that since it is Clockwork Man that the beat is tick-tock tick-tock but four minutes of that is a bit much and by that time, the story in the song is thread barren. The chorus is kinda cute with the crime fighting automaton. But it's a cheery little chorus that ends with he has no heart. It's supposed to be a dramatic line but it's lost in the cheeriness. The emotion of the not having a heart is lost in the la-dee-da of it all. The sound effects are way over the top. I like the wrench tightening as percussion, that's smart. The spring is just plain annoying. This is all over the place and doesn't come together.

Kevin Savino-Riker - "Tough Jobs Vs Iron Gates": First off, I appreciate that KSR infused a little more of a rocking sound to your song. That sticks out in this field of competitors. Now to the issue at hand...it's a tale of Gates & Jobs. The challenge is about superheroes and supervillains. As much as the song pushes the "we're trying to save the world", I can't look at Jobs & Gates and think superhero. I cannot look at iTunes and the XBOX 360 Red Ring of Death and think superhero. As much as the song has topnotch musicianship, the content is dreadfully lacking.

Jenny Katz - "Blofeld's Beginning": I absolutely love this. The idea of taking the James Bond theme, making it barebones and turning it into the sad tale of Blofeld was a stroke of genius. Now, there is the problem of the word "Point of view". Clearly, it was supposed to be from the p.o.v. of the character and this is 3rd person. That's gonna be a minor deduction from the East German judge but it makes up for that mistake with a great performance, some smart lyric writing ("when the world doesn't love you back, stroke the white cat") and nice storytelling. Definitely one of the best songs in the field.

The Offhand Band - "Step Back Swooperman": This falls flat on so many levels. It's very long. The music leaves an awful lot to be desired. Not everyone has more than MIDI but the choices you make when you only have MIDI are very important. Offhand made some very bad choices. The vocal performance is littered with bad notes and this whole song is all over the place. I understand wanting to reference various things but by the end, it didn't all come together into something cohesive.

JoAnn Abbott - "Why": JoAnn didn't pick a hero and instead went for a rather generic profile. This song could be sung by any superhero or supervillain. The song doesn't stand out, nor does it offend. The vocal performance could use some tightening up but there is very little to harp upon nor is there a lot to praise. This song is just there. It didn't commit to being a hero or villain and as a song, it never stood out.

Ross Durand - "Don't Turn The Page": The performance is stellar. Musicianship is great. Now that that part is out of the way, let's dig into the content. This is about the death of Captain America. First up, it talks about a single man and a single bullet. No on both accounts. Three shots in the stomach by Sharon Carter. Minor gripe. Major Gripe is that this is not the point of view of Captain America. Even more peculiar is that it's not even someone in the comic talking about the death of Cap, nor is it a reader talking about the death of Cap, it's the point of view of a reader upset over what the death of Cap represents. Then the switches in the last verse and Cap is talking to the reader.... This doesn't fulfill the challenge. This is all well done which will keep it high on the rankings but it has some major flaws.

Sara Parsons - “Starlite (Ballad for a Noble Steed)”: Okay, so here's the thing. Rainbow Brite is pretty weak already as a superhero. Even Jem with her holographic earnings had more powers at her disposal than Rainbow Brite. This song isn't about Rainbow Brite as it's about Starlite, her talking horse sidekick. Starlite isn't the hero of the operation. Brite is. And Starlite wasn't a Snarf or an Orko, which was the sidekick who would often save the day too (though in a comedic fashion). Starlite was the horse that ran on rainbows and doesn't fulfill the challenge. Otherwise, the song is fine. Nice use of reverb to create some atmosphere in the song. I also like the harmonizing double track. Wish there was a little bass in this. If I had heard this outside the context of the contest, I would enjoy it more.

Bram Tant - "Kebab Shop": This is not a song. This is a bad monologue that was supposed to be funny. This is also not a supervillain, even with the whole "Turkish Kebob Strangler" thing. The real villain is Bram Tant who stole several minutes of my life with that. Even the music got grating and boring and that was within 2 minutes.

Godz Poodlz - "The Human Bomb": First off, the explosion was a little unnecessary. I like the idea of telling the tale of the Human Bomb and wanting to have human interaction. Too bad that this song goes astray in a serious way. That whole verse about the shrink was the song going the wrong way. It came back and that was much better but it still didn't hit all the emotional marks it could've. Musically, it's okay. the vocals weren't the best but they are far from the worst. I feel like it's missing something in the arrangement. Maybe some guitar lines or a more prominent bassline (is there a bass in this?)?

"Buckethat" Bobby Matheson - "Super Villain Blues": The song has a very plodding start that almost lost me but once that accordion kicks in, it's got me. It's a well arranged song that got my head bopping and my toes tapping and various other "I'm into the groove" clichés. There isn't a heck of a lot going on lyrically, but what's there is very solid. The "save the daaaaaaay" note needs some work. All in all, not a bad job here at all. It's not a round-winning, brought your A-Game masterpiece but it isn't anywhere close to the bottom of the pile.

Jon Eric - "Superman Sneezed": The challenge was left open to any superhero or supervillain and Jon Eric went for Superman. Really? Of them all, Supes? (Note- I am wearing a Superman shirt as I write this, so I guess I'm not that creative in my choices either) Musically, it's a simple guy & guitar song. There's nothing wrong but it's nothing very interesting. The vocal performance was reined in just enough that it worked. Clean. Crisp. Not my favorite but not a song for the trash heap. My biggest problem with the song is that it's just not interesting. It's milquetoast.

Gorbzilla - “Superhero Song”: The vocals of this remind me so much of Crash Test Dummies who have a great superhero song. This isn't a great superhero song. There is the challenge, Gorbzilla chose the Watcher. Is the Watcher a hero? He doesn't do heroic acts. He watches. And should I play my nerd card and complain about all the non-marvel characters being watched in the song? In fact, Uatu feels awfully tacked on like he wrote 2 verses and then said "Oh crap, it says ". The song with its simple g^2 (that's guy & guitar) set-up has grown on me over several listens. It's middle of the road. It loses points for not being about a hero or villain (Watcher is beyond all that) and it's a bit too cheesy for me (Capt Caveman, Sunshine Superman...) but it's not the worst thing I've ever heard.

Denise Hudson - "Invisible Girl": Let's imagine for a second that this wasn't a part of the SpinTunes competition. You just picked up the new DJ Ranger Den album and there was the song "Invisible Girl". Other than the fact that the title references the iconic Marvel heroine, does any other part of this scream out "this song is from the point of view of a superhero"? Okay, let's take Sue Storm out of the equation. It still comes off as invisible girl is more of a metaphor for the way the woman in the story is feeling in her relationship, not that she's really a person with powers. I enjoy Den's vocal style and piano. It fills a Tori Amos shaped hole in me (I'm not big on the last few Tori albums). If this song wasn't a part of SpinTunes, I would love it more. In this context, it doesn't fulfill the challenge (but I still dig it).

Heather Miller - "I'm Not Wearing Tights": A dance track. Nice. Not the strongest beat ever but it's got its charm, though it needs a little diversity. When the song got to the bridge, it didn't really change up much. Just a little change would do it good, especially because let's face it- the song is built around the fact that superheroes wear tights and that it doesn't produce a lot of material. So the 2nd verse is kinda sloppy and the bridge is as thin as thin can be. Then there's the story of it all. So, you wake up one morning and you see you have powers...your greatest concern is your fashion choices? Anyway. I kinda dig her voice. Please no more of the little I'm gonna stop singing and talk to myself lines ("Nope. I definitely was awake"). She's got potential but this song lands in the middle of the pack.

Edric Haleen - “A Letter to Humanity”: The delivery cries out for Broadway. It's a great vocal performance. Okay, I've got some problems with it though. So, we've got the big reveal. It's not a hero, it's a villain. I hate how this was handled, especially with the line that comes after it. The song is a crescendo and it ends with the big bang of... no, not the villain bit. It ends with it all starting the next day. So, the villain is going to kill all humanity but the big news as the music tells us is that he's gonna wait a day. It's as if he decided that everyone needed to die but first he was taking a trip to the 7-11 to get a Slurpee and maybe watch some Judge Joe Brown. If that one line wasn't there, it would be a perfectly fine punchline. Set-up the big hero moment and ta-da, he's a big lump, kind of like Aimee Allen ("I'd start a revolution...if I could wake up in the morning"). Instead it's set-up, big reveal and then extraneous bit that gets the energy from the crescendo. So, lots of good stuff leading to a fail at the end.

Emperor Gum - "Costumes": All hail the Great Lakes Avengers. I hate giving songs deductions on production. I believe you can have a good song with mediocre production. But if the production hurts my head, points start going away. It's like there's a sea of distortion or fuzz or something that is trying to drown me. And then the ending comes and there's like a head splitting something. It's a foggy blur of pain. And I listen to all the songs multiple times before I review, so I have endured some aches for this one. Now, why the focus on Squirrel Girl's costume? Her costume has never been much of a focus (unless you're a furry). All in all, interesting character choice. Musically, it was this experimental punk but I was lost in the production which didn't allow me to get any of the nuances. If this was put together better, I would probably get a lot more out of it. Shame.

Charlie McCarron - "Faster Than Superman": I love the cymbals. It gives the feel of someone running really fast. Musically, there's some fun things. The piano is nice and it's put together well. The story is questionable. So, it's the tale of someone with super speed. No mention of heroics. Then he starts complaining about having a restless mind and then in the end runs all the way into the afterlife (or at least, that place at the end of Lost). Umm. I don't get it. The story is very thin. I guess the idea is that being able to run at super speed has allowed him to see everything and now he longs to die and then just does. Umm... Does just having super speed constitute being a super hero? Nope. Just the super part. This could be an interesting tale but the way it's handled; the music doesn't match up with the story its trying to tell.

And now the shadows

Boffo Yux Dudes - "The Ballad of Henry Pym": Quizzical choice of character to run with. Damn, this song is long. And it doesn't vary from that same structure. Good god, this song drags like a dog's butt on the carpet. It's a humorous look at the odd life of the Avenger. But that's another problem, it's a look at and not a piece. This should've been Henry Pym singing and deciding to go from one gimmick to the next. Could have been a bit more amusing but still damn this song is long. It's less than 5 minutes and feels like 17.

Bryce Jensen - "Dearest Firestorm (Love, Multiplex)": A doo-wop tune portraying Multiplex as having a man crush on Firestorm (both personalities). Okay, I can't stand the doo wop. Only a few times can Doo Wop effectively put a joke over and this isn't one of them. And is it really that funny? So, the guy who can multiply himself wants to shag his enemy with the 2 people inside him, leading to two minutes of hilarity where the big ha-ha is that it may be two people but it's an orgy at the same time. Groan. At least, it fulfilled the challenge and it had to do with Firestorm.

Danny Blackwell - "Love Song From Robin To Batman": Way under the 2 minute min. I like the vocals. The guitar had some problems, especially when it comes to pacing as it just sped up at random bits. And the lyrics had some odd bits too (drowning in spunk...was that trip really necessary?). But the song was not without its charm, though that charm will only carry it so far.

Dr. Lindyke - "Save The World": Ah, the reluctant hero under some snazzy piano. This has got a great groove to it. It's very catchy and if this was actually a part of the contest, this song would have done very well. It's simple and straightforward. No gimmicks needed. A superhero who is tired but knows that it's his job and goes off to do it again. I like it. Nice job.

SpinTunes #1 Round 1 Review: Heather Zink

Edric Haleen – “A Letter To Humanity”: 20
As everyone was expecting, “A Letter To Humanity” was unpredictable. This made my #1 because it had a perfect mesh of quality elements that I, as a judge, look for in a songwriting competition. First, and foremost, it was obvious that the challenge was understood and the focus of the song, that being the point of view of this particular hero or villain, or whatever people what to view this character as. Secondly, the musicality of the top spot was there. Not only were the harmonies and music nice, but the dynamics and instrumentation really evoked emotion. Thirdly, the creativity of the motive of this hero to the world/villain to humanity was a nice twist, which ties in with the forth element (lyrics) which got me, as the listener thinking and feeling. Bravo.

Steve Durand – “Gamma Man”: 19
“Gamma Man” is a really, really fun song. The instrumentation was spot on. From the opening horns, to the real jazzy sections, and finally to the ah-ooga, ah-ooga distress signal, it felt like an opening to a cartoon television show about, well, Gamma Man. The creativity, lyrics, and musicality were really strong and spot on for the competition. I would have preferred to see a bit more of a personality, though I have the feeling that Gamma Man likes to keep on a more emotionless, indestructible façade while he’s wearing his ‘super suit’. Once again, I really enjoyed the song and found that I couldn’t sit still while listening.

Caleb Hines – “The Memoirs Of Clockwork Man”: 18
Caleb, killer intro! Setting up a mood for a song can be very effective and really, it was perfect for “The Memoirs Of Clockwork Man.” The instrumentation was really neat, how it was sounded dreary and sad, plus the constant turning of gears and cogs, as if hearing what Clockwork Man was hearing and thinking constantly. The song also had a storyline as well as a personal touch, which certainly made it interesting. I found that the verses had very nice lyrics and were much more meaningful than the chorus. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since the verses are the bulk of the song, however, since the listener has to hear the chorus more than once, it’s important for it to be really meaningful so it doesn’t get boring to them. Not that the chorus was rubbish, it just seemed to be lacking a bit. Also, when creating a bit of a long song using very repetitive and selective sounds, sometimes adding or changing the sounds can help hold the interest of the listener. The repetition of the cogs and gears, though I felt they had a nice effect, felt like it was either too much or not enough. But, really nice job!

Godz Poodlz – “The Human Bomb”: 17
POODLZ! I always love what you two have to offer. “The Human Bomb” is a very sentimental song from the perspective of a very destructive being. I thought that this song was very appropriate for the hero chosen and the challenge. It was interesting to be able to think about how the powers and duties of a superhero might be detrimental to their personal/love life (besides the whole fighting crime aspect). The Human Bomb is also not a superhero that you see all the time, therefore, it was a bit refreshing to hear about a character that is not made up, yet not overdone. The explosion effect was really nice and overall the tune was catchy and easily relatable. Nice job.

“BucketHat” Bobby Matheson – “Super Villain Blues”: 16
I somehow knew from the title, “Super Villain Blues,” that I was really going to enjoy this song. Bobby, you can really pull off the blues! My favorite thing about this song was the build-up, how it started real simple and soft and added more instruments and angst in the vocals as this villain focuses in on what he wants and why he can’t have it, then realizes that he would just have to keep plugging away until he gets the world domination that he’s been dreaming of. It was really in the moment and fun to listen to, and with clever lyrics sprinkled in with nice dynamics, the end product was great.

The Offhand Band – “Step Back Swooperman”: 15
Clever. Very clever. The first listening through, the beginning (first verse) had not been convincing to me, however, once the chorus hit it seemed to click and the rest of the song was extremely well done. As far as the beginning, it just felt like the music and the vocal line didn’t match up well. The structure and organization was nice, too, as far as lyrics go. It began sort of explaining the situation, Swooperman wasn’t a bad parent, a good parent actually, the child was just getting older and needs more space, and being a superhero Swooperman seems to be able to have more of a leash on his kid. I also thought it was hysterical that his thought of rebelling against his dad is becoming a supervillain. The music was also suitable and gave some dynamics and a bit of a dramatic feel that was highly enjoyable. Really nice job with this!

Sara Parsons – “Starlite (Ballad For A Noble Steed)”: 14
Sara, this is another perspective that I found really interesting and creative. Looking back on the glory days with a bit of nostalgia, wishing it could still be the same way. In this song, I really liked the intimacy, in every aspect of the song, particularly, lyrics, instrumentation, and harmonies. The guitar sounded full and had a really great moving part, it never dragged and was always pushing forward, which is excellent for a slower song. There wasn’t too much going on to distract from the meaning of the song and the harmonies in the vocal part were real subtle and beautiful.

Bram Tant – “Kebab Shop”: 13
This song was really interesting to me, there seems to be so much going on in it, but was still all tied together explain motives, plans, etc. Generally, I enjoy a bit more of musical elements, however, In this case, I feel like the Islamic style strings were just enough. I feel like if there had been more, it might have shifted attention away from the lyrics and even made the song more believable, as it felt the villain was speaking to the listener rather than a different character in the song. The accent, while it was effective, was a bit hard to understand sometimes, granted I had the lyrics in front of me, but sometimes it can distract the listener from what’s important. Also, the beginning of the song felt a bit rushed, but it was still clever. I liked the humor of the song, the seriousness of the character, and the ridiculousness of the scheme. Good job.

Denise Hudson – “Invisible Girl”: 12
Denni, nice job. The eerie, dark feel to it made me shiver a little, which I would say is a good thing. I feel like it took me a few time to listen for me to really take it all in, which could be a good or bad thing. It’s always good to make the listener think and feel, however, you don’t want to make it too subtle. In order to really understand the first few lines of the song, you have to go through and hear the rest of the song, and it makes more sense each time you listen to it. The positive on that is that rather than getting tired of listening to the song, I seem to like it better with each listen. The lyrics were meaningful, so, overall I think you did a really nice job.

Heather Miller – “I’m Not Wearing Tights”: 11
This is another song that I was looking forward to from the title. It is a really funny idea that a hero would be so concerned with her costume that it’s what is concerning her most about her new job to protect the people. It was a really creative idea for the point of view aspect of the challenge, and creativity of course is an important part of this whole competition. However, the music was a bit repetitive for me, though there were some good sound effects in there that I caught. I was pretty pleased with the lyrics as well, so it was a very solid entry.

Emperor Gum – “Costume (Squirrel Girl)”: 10
This song made me feel like I was inside a video game running, jumping over things, and fighting bad guys. I felt like sometimes there was a lot going on and made it hard to concentrate. Some parts were hard to understand, as far as vocals went, which can make it a bit less interesting or make someone have less desire to listen. The understanding of the challenge was there, as were small parts where more of a personality seemed to shine through, while most of the song seemed to be a narrative, and it wasn’t an original character. It was catchy and fun, there were just a few minor details to be cleaned up. Good job!

JoAnn Abbott – “Why”: 9
JoAnn, I’m glad you entered! I feel like you really have something to offer to the competition. I understand you liked having the mystery of questioning whether it was a hero or villain, and I can see how that would work either way. However, I think the lyrics were powerful enough that it really didn’t matter which side you chose. Despite the fact that the lyrics did have meaning, they weren’t the most original words. The song was really nice to listen to and fit the challenge, so you also, had a nice solid entry.

Governing Dynamics – “Origin”: 8
Travis, this song took a rather creative route and it was another one of those songs that I had to listen to a few times before it really began to soak in. There were a few lyrics that seemed out of place which threw off the other meaningful parts of the song. I really liked the balance between the vocals and the music and the calm dynamic of the whole thing. It was really smooth and relaxing to listen to and the music never distracted me from listening to the vocals and lyrics and the song also didn’t seem to drag. Like I said before, it was a creative way to take this challenge! Keep it up.

Jon Eric – “Superman Sneezed”: 7
Jon! I feel like you were SO close to hitting this challenge right on the head! All it really needed was a little more substance; the verses didn’t have enough in them to really make them meaningful or easy to connect to. Since there were less lyrics for verses, you repeated the more effective parts more, which in turn made them less meaningful. But, I feel like you really understood what you were supposed to do and the music and vocals were terrific.

Ryan Welton – “Underdog Blues”: 6
Ryan, you have a great sound and are obviously capable of throwing out good tunes. With this song, I don’t feel like the lyrics had much meaning or even fit together all the time. Plus, it took a bit of convincing to really say, “this is a song about a superhero,” which is what the challenge called for. Also, by the end of the song it had gotten a bit repetitive. Like I said I like your sound and I know that you are capable and deserving of being in the contest, and I’m so glad that you’re in and will be able to participate in the second round.

Charlie McCarron – “Faster Than Superman”: 5
This song was one that was a bit difficult for me to sort out. It fit the challenge, the music was enjoyable, but there was nothing that really stood out to me. All we really get out of it is that this guy is faster than Superman, all he can do is run, and he feels like there’s really nothing left for him to do. He’s definitely super, but there are no hints to whether it might be a hero or a villain. All the lyrics seem to run together and be very similar or repeat themselves. But, as I have said and will continue to say for competitors, you have the ability to write a good song and the production value is really nice, just make sure that listeners will be able to connect to it and feel the proper emotions. I’m glad I will be able to hear you next round!

Jenny Katz – “Blofeld’s Beginnings”: 4
Jenny, this was one of my favorite songs in the competition. The only thing was that the challenge was to write a song in the point of view of a superhero or villain, while “Blofeld’s Beginnings” was more of a narrative about Ernst Blofeld, though the chorus seemed to pull more of the direction of his point of view. I loved the James Bond sound during the song and your lyrics are very distinct and creative. The song is simple, yet has so much meaning and emotions. Great job! I’m really glad to be introduced to your music!

Gorbzilla – “Superhero Song”: 3
You have such a superhero voice, it makes me smile every time I listen! This was another song I really liked the way you approached this challenge, however, while going about it you kind of strayed off the path. It’s a great song and I really enjoy listening, but the song seems to be more about other superheroes. I understand that it’s Uatu’s perspective, thinking that he’s not a cool enough superhero, and is lonely, dismayed, and frustrated about it, but I really would have liked to hear more about Uatu.

Kevin Savino-Riker – “Tough Jobs Vs Iron Gates”: 2
“Tough Jobs Vs Iron Gates” was another very interesting way of approaching this challenge that I did not see coming what-so-ever. However, though it was a very creative way of approaching it, I don’t view Bill Gates or Steve Jobs as being superheroes or supervillains, or even close to being one. Other than that, I thought it was a good song, I liked the intro and closing and the different perspectives of each of them, and how there was a distinct difference of who was perspective we were listening to. Keep up the creativity and good music!

Ross Durand – “Don’t Turn The Page”: 1
Ross, I think you’re a really great musician. I feel like you have great potential in this competition. I feel like your songs have meaning and the musicality isn’t lacking. I just didn’t feel that this song fit this challenge. I have come to understand that this song was about the death of Captain America, however, when the purpose of the challenge is to write a song about a superhero, it should be made more obvious, because I probably wouldn’t have figured that out on my own. When writing songs on your own, there is no problem with not making things clear, but it’s really hard to judge a song when the elements that were in the challenge aren’t obvious and really hidden. But, you really have the resources and talent to be in this competition, and I’m really, really glad that you’re in it and even happier that I’ll hear you again next round! By the way, LOVED the Grover/monster at the end of this book reference!

Shadows:
Boffo Yux Dudes – “The Ballad Of Henry Pym”
This song was outrageous and very well written! Henry Pym was a good way to go just because of how interesting and diverse his character is. You did a great job with it! It did get a little repetitive as far as the music went, but I always find myself so focused on the words that I hardly notice. The only thing, regarding the challenge, though, is that it is supposed to be in the point of view of the hero. Great entry!

Bryce Jensen – “Dearest Firestorm (Love, Multiplex)”
Wow. I really liked this song! I love being impressed with a cappella songs, because I know they’re really difficult, because, obviously, it’s harder to hide mistakes you might make with your voice. To be honest, I don’t really know much about the characters that you’ve chosen, other than Multiplex is the villain and Firestorm is the hero, but I still really liked the idea of all of Multiplex’s duploids singing an a cappella love song to Firestorm. Great job, Bryce!

Danny Blackwell – “Love Song From Robin To Batman”
Danny, I was not familiar with you until this competition, and I am so pleased you decided to shadow! I love new faces, sounds, styles, ideas…new is good. I found your song hysterical and I have listened to it many times now and it’s not any less funny or entertaining than the first time around, which is a difficult thing to do! Great job, I hope to hear from you again.

Dr. Lindyke – “Save The World”
I like to think of superheroes hating their job just as anyone else might. Not that their jobs are necessarily enjoyable, just never really occurred to me before that they might like to just sit down and relax for a while. I’ve always assumed they liked flying around and fighting crime. I liked the second verse, it wasn’t better than the others, it just made me smile a lot. I also, like how the complaining part is ended with the instrumental break before the realization part of why he does what he does, like he sat there and really thought about it. Not to mention, that the music was very well written, then again I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by you. Keep shadowing!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

SpinTunes 1: Round 1 Songs

You can find the album on BandCamp here: --> LINKAGE.

Vote for your 3 favorite songs with the poll in the right sidebar. -->

The deadline for the judges to get their reviews done is June 29th, at 11:59PM. The reviews & rankings will be posted on the 30th. If all the reviews get done before then, I'll post them earily. But the popular vote will stay open until the judges deadline. I'm not too concerned with the popular vote this round, since it's already been determined that everyone who finished a song in time advances to round 2. The only real effect the popular vote can have this round is helping to determine the order of the songs on the album if there's a tie in the judges rankings.

July 1st @ 1AM EST the round 2 challenge will be announced.

Videos:
If anyone wants to make a video for their song, I'll include it here:

The Ballad of Henry Pym by The Boffo Yux Dudes

Blofeld's Beginnings by Jenny Katz

Love Song From Robin To Batman by Danny Blackwell

Tough Jobs Vs Iron Gates by Kevin Savino-Riker

Save The World by Dr. Lindyke


Reviews & Links Of Interest For This Round:
If any competitors want to post reviews of the songs, they can do that in the comments section below. They can also e-mail me the review, and I'll post it here.

- A review from Dave Leigh.

- A review from Johannes Schult.

- Edric Haleen wrote a biography of his song "A Letter To Humanity".

- Caleb Hines wrote about his song "The Memoirs Of Clockwork Man".

- Here's a write up about "Step Back Swooperman" by The Offhand Band.

- Kevin Savino-Riker wrote about his song "Tough Jobs Vs Iron Gates".

- A Firestorm fan & blogger decided to feature Bryce's song on his website. You can check it out HERE.

- Russ Rogers (of Godz Poodlz) got this round a little press. COMICM!X

- Jules gave the round a shout out on Geeky Pleasures.

- Ross actually recorded 2 versions of his entry. Here's the one he didn't turn in. Take 2

- Tom & Al (Boffo Yux Dudes) share a little INFO about their song for this round.

Listening Party & Announcement

Ok, hopefully this isn't too long...

Listening Party Details
- Thursday June 24th 8:00PM EST (that's today people)

- Will be held HERE, and hosted by Jules.

- I had someone ask, "What is a listening party?" Most of the "Masters Of Song Fu" & TMA crowd already know, but for those who don't I'll explain. Jules has a U-Stream channel, and she will basically be an online DJ playing the songs people wrote for round 1 of SpinTunes. It's cool because if you come, you'll be there the moment people are hearing your song for the first time. You can get instant feedback from people in the chat room. BTW, you should really thank Jules for hosting the LP. In the future I'll be doing it, but I'm not ready to do that at this point in time.

- Someone also asked me if they could invite people or if it was just for the people who are in the contest. It's for EVERYONE. So if you have a friend that likes to hang out in chat rooms listening to good music...invite them. Just remember it's BYOB.

- The songs are already uploaded onto the Bandcamp album, and they will be available for everyone to hear & down for FREE shortly after the LP.

Deadline Casualties:
Well there were 31 people who signed up, and agreed to try to write as many as 4 songs for this competition. 11 of those people fell victim to the deadline. I feel I gave more then enough time & reminders, so I'm a bit shocked that many missed the deadline. I was planning on some people having to drop out here & there throughout the competition, but not that many that soon. Life happens, so I completely understand when the unexpected makes you switch your priorities around. I just hope that everyone really did put the effort in. Not submitting is one thing, but signing up and then just blowing it off for no reason is another. You let down the others that DID put in the effort, who expected you to be in the competition with them. Again I know some of you had GOOD reasons for not submitting, and that's fine. I really appreciate the ones who came to me in advance and said, "I'm having *insert issue*. I don't think I can make it, but I'm TRYING." Enough negative...on to positives...

Deadline ASS KICKERS:
I listened to ALL the songs already (except Bram's...because he asked me to wait until the LP). I did so while uploading them onto Bandcamp. I'm really happy with the quality of work on the round 1 album. A lot of people went in different directions with the challenge, and it was a blast listening to them. I can't express how thankful I am for the hard work you put in. I've had people thank me for doing this contest, and my response is that I'm not working nearly as hard as ANY of you. You make the music, and you make SPINTUNES. Sure some people got to hear me bitch about how long Bandcamp was taking to upload last night as the last minute submissions came poring in; but that's nothing. It's not hard to copy & paste lyrics & hit an upload button. A little time consuming...but it's not hard. Whether it's Ken Plume, me or anyone else doing the uploading & rule making...it's still YOU who make the music.

Announcement:
Yet another situation has came up that I didn't plan for. (shocking I know) Some people sent in their MP3's ON TIME, but then after the deadline wanted me to post an updated version onto the album (they added bells & whistles). My response to that is ok, BUT you will be judged by what you turned in before the deadline. So anyone who decides they want to make a better mix of their song, and have it replace the one they sent before...that's fine. Send me the info, and I'll switch the files out. I might not do it instantly, but it will be done. Now I'm not going to have someone send me a new mix every month because they like remixing their own stuff all the time, but I'll allow 1 update of each song down the road. These songs are something you should be proud of, and some people are bugged by not being able to add everything they want in that small window I give them...so hopefully this helps...while still being fair.

Shadows:
We had 2 shadows turned in so far. Mad props should be given to anyone who posts a shadow. They aren't even IN the contest, but decided to write music for us all. How awesome is that!? For those of you that missed the deadline, but have a song in the works, you can still turn in your song. It will be included as a shadow entry, and be on the album with everyone else. I don't care if it's turned in today or a month down the road, shadow entries are welcome each & every round.

Eliminations:
There were going to be 9 people eliminated, but the rules state that if you don't meet the deadline you are eliminated....and there were 11 people who didn't meet the deadline. So 11 people are eliminated. The next round there was supposed to be 10 people eliminated, but that will be changed to 8. That should get us back on track. So if you turned in a song for round 1, you made it to round 2. The judges will still review & rate your songs. The songs on the album are currently listed in the order in which they hit my e-mail inbox (but shadows are at the bottom). After the judges rate the songs, the album order will be changed to reflect the final scores.

Other Stuff:
- It's late, I'm tired, and I probably forgot to mention something I had planned to...or need to. So if you comment below, I'll address your questions, and include that stuff I forgot later.

- When it comes to turning in your songs, I'll have some minor changes for round 2. Don't worry, it'll make it EASIER on YOU. More on that when the next challenge is announced.

- Ross asked if there would be any changes about the eliminations because of the high number of deadline casualties. His answer is above.

Much love,
Spin.