.

Judges have until the timer runs out to turn in their reviews:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

SpinTunes #2: Round 3 Challenge

Secondary Historical Figures - For this challenge we want you to write a song about an unknown character from history, and what connection they had to a major historical event (fictionalization is fine). Paul Revere's stableboy, General Custer's wife, Hitler's art teacher, King Richard's blacksmith, etc... (2 minute minimum) (your submission is due November 7th 11:59PM Sun)

- Remember we're using Cincinnati time so keep an eye on the counter linked to above.

Example: "Alma" by Tom Lehrer
Here was Tom Lehrer's spoken intro to this song on his "The Year That Was" album:

"Last December 13th, there appeared in the newspapers the juiciest, spiciest, raciest obituary that has ever been my pleasure to read. It was that of a lady name Alma Mahler Gropius Werfel who had, in her lifetime, managed to acquire as lovers practically all of the top creative men in central Europe, and, among these lovers, who were listed in the obituary, by the way, which was what made it so interesting, there were three whom she went so far as to marry.

One of the leading composers of the day: Gustav Mahler, composer of "Das Lied von der Erde" and other light classics. One of the leading architects: Walter Gropius of the Bauhaus school of design. And one of the leading writers: Franz Werfel, author of "The Song of Bernadette" and other masterpieces. It's people like that who make you realize how little you've accomplished. It is a sobering thought, for example, that when Mozart was my age he had been dead for two years. It seemed to me, I'm reading this obituary, that the story of Alma was the stuff of which ballads should be made so here is one."



Album Art Contest:
In case you have forgot, this round includes an album art contest. You can find Details on the previous blog post.

Submitting Entries:
- Entries must be received by the given deadline. Otherwise it'll be posted as a shadow. Received means that it has to appear in my e-mail inbox by the given deadline. I will be going by the time stamp on the e-mail in my inbox.

- Send your file in a format that Bandcamp accepts. (.aiff, .wav or .flac) (at least 16-bit/44.1kHz) You can find the specific requirements for Bandcamp files HERE.

- Name your file the song's title, but without spaces & punctuation.

- Title of the e-mail should be the title of the Challenge & your band's name.

- Include the song lyrics in the body of the e-mail. (If your song doesn't have lyrics...consider yourself eliminated. Instrumentals can be pretty, but SpinTunes does require lyrics.)

- Include information on anyone that needs credited if you collabed with someone.

- File sharing options if you need them: YouSendIt, RapidShare, ZShare & MediaFire. Please send an e-mail as I already stated, but with the download link if you need one of these services. Please follow directions so your file doesn't wind up in my spam or trash folder accidentally.

- If you have a BandCamp account, you can just send me a link to your song on BandCamp if you include all the info I mentioned above. Make sure you have it set as a free download, and have it set so that I don't have to put in an e-mail to download it if you pick this option.

SpinTunes 2 Round 3 Album Cover Contest

This round I'm trying something different. Along with the song contest, we are going to hold an album cover contest. So if you have an idea for an album cover that fits the current SpinTunes 2 Round 3 challenge, feel free to join in. The challenge this round is:

Secondary Historical Figures - For this challenge we want you to write a song about an unknown character from history, and what connection they had to a major historical event (fictionalization is fine). Paul Revere's stableboy, General Custer's wife, Hitler's art teacher, King Richard's blacksmith, etc...

Details for entries & submitting your entries are posted below:

1. The cover needs to be submitted as a file BandCamp will be ok with.
"350 x 350 pixels minimum (bigger is better)
.jpg, .gif or .png, 4MB max"
2. No nudity or bad language. I won't make a list of words to avoid, but I'm sure you can keep it clean.

3. Submit only artwork you have created on your own & have full creative control over...no copyrighted or trademarked images.

4. You must include the title of the challenge prominently on the cover.

5. I really don't want dozens of people I don't know sending me to various websites I'm not familiar with, and I also don't want to download a bunch of strange attachments. So I decided to limit the sites you are allowed to use to submit your images. I picked 3 I feel comfortable with, and those are: Flickr, DailyBooth & TwitPic. So you'll need to upload your pictures to one of those sites & link me to them in an e-mail (NO shortened URL's). Make sure that they have a Creative Commons license so it can be linked to & downloaded.

Deadline:
You have until November 7th 11:59PM (Sun) to send me your entries.


I can't offer a prize other than bragging rights, and having the winner's art used as an album cover. That means the winner will be credited on the album & I'll link to a personal website if they wish. I really think it would be great to run these contests together & bring even more creative people together. This part of the contest will be held via popular vote. I'll post all the entries & a poll after the deadline.

Good luck.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

SpinTunes #2 Round 2 Totals

So here are the links to the individual reviews:

Dr. Lindyke - Glen Phillips - Kevin Savino-Riker - Jeff MacDougall - Zack Scott

Guest Judge's Review: Len Peralta
Alternate Judge's Review: Spin

You can listen to all the wonderful songs from this round by checking out the free album HERE.

Judges feel free to check my totals...I'm tired...mistakes are possible. However, if my figures are correct the 5 people in bold have been eliminated from the contest. I really hope they decide to continue in the contest as shadows, and I thank EVERYONE for their hard work this round.

Judges Totals:
Chris Cogott - 93
Edric Haleen - 78
Charlie McCarron - 74
Rebecca Brickley - 72
Ross Durand - 69
Ryan Ruff Smith - 66
Gweebol - 66
Mitchell Adam Johnson - 61
Inverse T. Clown - 58
Governing Dynamics - 53
Zarni De Wet - 51
Steve Durand - 47
Brian Gray - 39
Duality - 33
Danny Blackwell - 27
Common Lisp - 25
*Ben Walker - 6


*Was DQ'ed by the judges which meant ALL the judges had to have him in last no matter how much they liked the song.

-wait WHAT, Austin Criswell & Charlie Wolf missed the deadline & were already eliminated.

Dr. Lindyke:
Brian Gray - 17
Edric Haleen - 16
Rebecca Brickley - 15
Chris Cogott - 14
Gweebol - 13
Charlie McCarron - 12
Inverse T. Clown - 11
Ross Durand - 10
Zarni De Wet - 9
Ryan Ruff Smith - 8
Mitchell Adam Johnson - 7
Governing Dynamics - 6
Steve Durand - 5
Duality - 4
Common Lisp - 3
Danny Blackwell - 2
Ben Walker - 1

Kevin Savino-Riker:
Chris Cogott - 17
Ross Durand - 16
Governing Dynamics - 15
Edric Haleen - 14
Rebecca Brickley - 13
Mitchell Adam Johnson - 12
Ryan Ruff Smith - 11
Gweebol - 10
Steve Durand - 9
Brian Gray - 8
Charlie McCarron - 7
Zarni De Wet - 6
Common Lisp - 5
Danny Blackwell - 4
Inverse T. Clown - 3
Duality - 2
Ben Walker - 1

Glen Phillips:
Chris Cogott - 17
Ross Durand - 16
Ryan Ruff Smith - 15
Rebecca Brickley - 14
Steve Durand - 13
Charlie McCarron - 12
Mitchell Adam Johnson - 11
Gweebol - 10
Zarni De Wet - 9
Governing Dynamics - 8
Brian Gray - 7
Duality - 6
Common Lisp - 5
Inverse T. Clown - 4
Edric Haleen - 3
Danny Blackwell - 2
Ben Walker - 1

Jeff MacDougall:
Mitchell Adam Johnson - 17
Edric Haleen - 16
Charlie McCarron - 15
Chris Cogott - 14
Ryan Ruff Smith - 13
Inverse T. Clown - 12
Rebecca Brickley - 11
Gweebol - 10
Danny Blackwell - 9
Duality - 8
Steve Durand – 7
Ross Durand - 6
Common Lisp - 5
Zarni De Wet - 4
Governing Dynamics - 3
Brian Gray - 2
Ben Walker - 1

Zack Scott:
Inverse T. Clown - 17
Governing Dynamics - 16
Charlie McCarron - 15
Chris Cogott - 14
Edric Haleen - 13
Ross Durand - 12
Zarni De Wet - 11
Mitchell Adam Johnson - 10
Ryan Ruff Smith - 9
Gweebol - 8
Duality - 7
Steve Durand - 6
Rebecca Brickley - 5
Common Lisp - 4
Brian Gray - 3
Danny Blackwell - 2
Ben Walker - 1

Len Peralta:
Chris Cogott - 17
Edric Haleen - 16
Gweebol - 15
Rebecca Brickley - 14
Charlie McCarron - 13
Zarni De Wet - 12
Inverse T. Clown - 11
Ryan Ruff Smith - 10
Ross Durand - 9
Danny Blackwell - 8
Steve Durand - 7
Duality - 6
Governing Dynamics - 5
Mitchell Adam Johnson - 4
Common Lisp - 3
Brian Gray - 2
Ben Walker - 1

Popular Vote Totals:
Chris Cogott - 14
Mitchell Adam Johnson - 13
Ryan Ruff Smith - 12
Ross Durand - 12
Gweebol - 10
Duality - 9
Governing Dynamics - 8
Charlie McCarron - 8
Inverse T. Clown - 7
Ben Walker - 7
Rebecca Brickley - 7
Edric Haleen - 6
Zarni De Wet - 6
Common Lisp - 5
Danny Blackwell - 4
Brian Gray - 4
Steve Durand - 3
(135 total votes)

SpinTunes #2 Round 2 Review: Len Peralta

The rules say there could be guest judges, and I have attempted to get a few. This round we are lucky enough to have internet cartoonist Len Peralta as a judge. He has started many cool projects over the years. You may have heard of his sites "Monster By Mail" & "Flip Face". He also has a popular podcast called "Jawbone Radio". You can find links to more of his projects by visiting his website: lenperalta.com.

I'm not just pimping Len's sites because he's reviewing this round. I've hired him a number of times over the past 2 years, and I'd reccomend him to anyone. I'll include some of the work he's done for me at the bottom of the page. Now on to his reviews!

Chris Cogott - Roadward Bound
Wow! I really like this song. There are a few in the pack that are simply good songs in their own right. Even without the sequel connection, they stand on their own. This is one of them. What a great way to end the listening session. I’m actually going to download this and add it to my library.
A+

Edric Haleen - O! Say Can You See?
Maybe it’s just me, but I was waiting for a joke to kick in. Such an iconic song seemed ripe for parody. As a straightforward song, though, brilliant. I liked the take. Very gutsy, albiet show-tuney.
A

Gweebol - Thank You Mr. Postman
I have to say, I’m very impressed with all the female entries in this round. This one was a lot of fun a great sequel once again pulling enough from the original to enjoy it. Nice job. (Love those handclaps - you can’t beat those in a song!)
A

Rebecca Brickley - Elderly Dream
Ha! More handclaps in this song. How funny considering my last review. This is a really good song, but I think it is hamstrung by the other “old person” song in the group. Overall, this works well on its own. It’s still a fun song and imminently listenable.
A-

Charlie McCarron - Over The Bridge
Nice groove. I like the flip on this RHCP song. Enough like the original to get the idea across, but original enough to make for a great song. I would like to hear this sung by a more powerful singer. Nothing against the singer on this version, but it could really shine with an awesome set of pipes behind the mic.
A-

Zarni De Wet - Stacey’s Dad
Hilarious. Clever. Like the RHCP take, it pulls enough from the original and does its own thing.
A-

Inverse T. Clown - Hey, Jessie
I love the “Weird Al” feel on this song. Quirky and fun. I would love to hear this with full-on production values. Really nice job overall. It didn’t need the F-bomb at the end though. That prevented it from getting put in the A category. Dem’s the berries. If you’re gonna drop an F-bomb, at least get all Cee-Lo with it.
B+

Ryan Ruff Smith - Baby, We’re Through
As an original song, this is pretty tight. Good production values. Decent construction. I could listen to this in my car. You know, driving around and stuff. Or cleaning my bedroom.
B+

Ross Durand - Folsom Breakout Blues
Great fun. I love The Man In Black, so this was great to hear. Well done. Good effort.
B

Danny Blackwell - Like A Family
I really liked this song. It was simple and I’m a big fan of simple. I would want to hear this with more production value.
B

Steve Durand - Miranda
I love the horns on this groove. And I love the South of The Border feel. However, I don’t know if they were enough to pull this song up above some of the other competitors in this round. I actually would have liked to hear the horns with the standard ABBA groove. That would have been cool.
B-

Duality - Mars Ain’t That Kind Of Place
Pretty song, well done but like some others in the pack, I feel it just needed an extra push to really make it go from “meh” to “hey!”
B-

Governing Dynamics - Melt in the Sun (So Many Pretty Ways)
Once I got what they were trying to go for, it wasn’t so bad. The vocals needed a little bit of work - they were a bit rough for me. The song is constructed and written well, I just felt the vocals could have been a bit tighter.
B-

Mitchell Adam Johnson - When Donna Came Back
I don’t know what to say about this song. It’s well-written, well-produced, with competent songwriting. But nothing really makes it stand out for me. That kills me because it’s really well done. I just had a hard time moving it out of the “meh” camp. It needed some extra kick to push it over the edge.
C

Common Lisp - Science (In The Service Of Beauty)
I know what he’s trying to do here. However, I don’t know if he totally pulls it off though. While pulling from the original Thomas Dolby song, the song suffers because all I can think about is how good the original song was. You know when a TV show can’t get the rights to an original song, so they create their own version? This is like that. Plus, it could have been about a minute shorter.
D

Brian Gray - One More Cloud
Something seems off about this song. Maybe it’s because the guitar sounds slightly flat behind the verses. I’m not feeling this one. Also, knowing that it’s derived from Matchbox 20 makes me dislike it even more. (I’m not a big Matchbox 20 fan, unfortunately.)
D

Ben Walker - When I’m 102
Now we’re talking. Brilliant. Well-done. I loved it. I would want to play this for all my friends who are Beatles fans. Hell, I’d even play it for people who hate the Beatles. Just to be annoying. Good job.
A+

Thanks everyone for all your hard work. This was a lot of fun to listen to. I wish I had a small portion of your musical talents. I envy your skills. Thanks for giving me great music to listen to this morning.

Monster By Mail
Here's the video he did for my Monster By Mail.



Flip Face
I've had around 2 dozen avatars made by Len. I got one for each member of my family last Christmas (made a photo cube from them), and I use them in my "Spintown Interviews..." videos. I even had one made for Jeff MacDougall when I interviewed him.

SpinTunes #2 Round 2 Review: Zack Scott

Hey guys!. I didn't quite understand that I was to give an introduction last time, so I'll do one this time around to let you guys know how I judge.

I listen to these songs anywhere from 2 to 4 times. I can pretty much tell right off the bat whether I like a song, but further listening is needed to refine the exact rankings. I'm fairly picky in my tastes of music, and I'm not great with words, so I apologize if my reviews aren't that exciting. I like energy, clever lyrics, humor, or anything that makes a song exciting. I try to only rank songs highly if I would actually want to hear them again.

For this round, I took into consideration how well the lyrics and music of sequels followed their predecessors. But most importantly, the song had to be enjoyable to me. A few really stood out to me, and they got my high marks. Thanks to everyone who submitted.

Inverse T. Clown (Hey, Jessie) - "Jessie's Girl" was one of the best pop/rock songs of the 80s, and although this song doesn't sound similar, I do like this sequel. What I like about this sequel is that Clown wasn't afraid to take Springfield's obsession and bastardize it. Also, the second verse and some of the angry vocals were super cheesy, but oddly appealing to me. I'm sure some won't like the music (or even the song), but it actually has a great bridge and final chorus. I just wish the music was done with a real 4 or 5 piece rock band. Overall, it walks such a fine line from a truly awful song and a truly enjoyable one. I'm glad I'm able to see it for the latter.

Governing Dynamics (Melt In The Sun 'So Many Pretty Ways') - I really like "Fake Plastic Trees," and although this song doesn't sound too much like it, it does sound like Radiohead. And it does a great job of serving as a sequel, especially with the imagery.

Charlie McCarron (Over The Bridge) - Man, this song is so cool, and it's very delightful on its own. But additionally, it works really well as a sequel. I wish it sounded a bit more like RHCP's production, but nevertheless, this version was great. The lyrics were wonderfully done to be in RHCP's style.

Chris Cogott (Roadward Bound) - Does a super job of functioning as a sequel in terms of both music and subject matter. Also, it is really, really well produced. However, I miss the rock from last week. Bring that back!

Edric Haleen (O! Say Can You See?) - To me, it's hilarious that the Star Spangled Banner meets the requirements for this contest, and it's hilarious that a sequel was done. But I was pleasantly surprised! Without feeling overly political, the singer really nails this song. I feel like it could easily be a long lost sequel that was secretly written a long time ago. Or maybe it could easily be part of a concept album about America. It fits so well in with the original, that it reminds me of how movements of classical arrangements reuse pieces of music to make a new composition. I forget what that is called though.

Ross Durand (Folsom Breakout Blues) - I like how well Durand does Cash. This would fit extremely well in Cash's catalog.

Zarni De Wet (Stacy's Dad) - A charming, soft sequel to Stacy's Mom. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I really wish it had crunchier guitars and stronger synths.

Mitchell Adam Johnson (When Donna Came Back) - I first listened to this song without being familiar with the original, and I thought it was rather nice. It rose a bit up on my scale after hearing the original and fully appreciating this as a proper sequel and a good song together.

Ryan Ruff Smith (Baby, We're Through) - Excellent production, and I think it really captures the vibe of the original. I really like the vocals and guitar.

Gweebol (Thank You Mr. Postman) - A good sequel to the original that nails the genre and time period.

Duality (Mars Ain't The Kind Of Place) - Seems to be a decent song, but I really couldn't get into it. I like how its a sad ending to Rocketman, but it's just not a song I'd listen to. The vocals were much, much better than last round though.

Steve Durand (Miranda) - The song & arrangement is well done, but I found it boring in general. It just isn't my style.

Rebecca Brickley (Elderly Dream) - Did a nice job on the lyrics, but I couldn't get into the song as much. The energy I like about Teenage Dream was not captured in the music here. But then again, the song is about being old. The vocals sound really young though.

Common Lisp (Science 'In The Service Of Beauty') - It really doesn't hold up to the original. The original was catchy, and although this sequel captures some of the novelty and vocal flourishes, I can't overlook that it seems a bit like a mess.

Brian Gray (One More Cloud) - Simply put, I didn't really enjoy this song at all. I also thought the production was not very good. I don't mean any offense by this, because I thought Brian's song last week was fairly good.

Danny Blackwell (Like A Family) - It's a decent, soft song with great guitar playing, but I really don't get any feel whatsoever that it is indeed a sequel to the Spice Girls song. Sure, the opening lines are similar, but by being a rebuttal, it seems to separate itself from being a sequel. Often times, rappers will make rebuttals to other rappers' songs, but no one considers those to be sequels. Also, I was confused why this was only in the right channel, and I found that a bit annoying.

Ben Walker (When I'm A Hundred And Two) - Great song, but it's such a shame it doesn't meet the requirement to be a sequel of a song in the top 20 of any chart. I wasn't able to find such a chart, and the author admits the same. Very sad for such a good song and a great artist.

SpinTunes #2 Round 2 Review: Jeff MacDougall

I want to start by saying that I am really impressed by this round’s entries. The level of talent in this competition is, quite frankly, astonishing. Of course, that means I’ll be raising the bar a bit with my critiques.

This rounds challenge is to write a sequel to a previously released song. Since meeting the challenge is paramount, I’ll be giving you an extra bump in the ranking if I knew what the original song you were referencing was without having to think too hard or look it up. All other aspects will be judged according my previous letter grade system (refer to round one for a breakdown) and, like the last round, all songs will be reviewed in order of the album and then placed by rank at the bottom of the page. Let’s begin:

Governing Dynamics - Melt In The Sun (So Many Pretty Ways)
Challenge: B – Although this technically meets the challenge, it didn’t really work for me.
Lyrics: A – Good lyrics. Nice rhymes.
Structure: A – Solid rock structure.
Melody: B – Not bad… but it doesn’t stick in my head.
Although your lyrics (on paper) reference Fake Plastic Trees, the song itself doesn’t feel like it does. I’m not saying that it has to feel like the original, but it should (in my opinion) make me think of the original tune at some point. That never really happens for me. I have to add that you should pay attention to your pitch with your performance. It’s hard to judge a melody when some of the singing is out of tune. All in all, a solid song.

Danny Blackwell - Like A Family
Challenge: B – Technically gets us there… but didn’t quite do it for me.
Lyrics: A – Good imagery. Nice rhymes.
Structure: A – Nice folk arrangement.
Melody: A – Good. Catchy.
I like this song. Very pleasant. Nice, catchy melody. But this song, like a few others this round, doesn’t really remind me of the original. Again, I’m not trying to imply that it should sound like the original, I just think it should, at some point, make me reflect on it. Good tune.

Ryan Ruff Smith - Baby, We're Through
Challenge: A – Great. Made me think of the original.
Lyrics: A - Solid. I like how it was written in the style of the original.
Structure: A – Good solid pop structure.
Melody: B – While this is a nice melody, you raised the bar for yourself by choosing a sequel to a Bacharach tune. For me, that means the melody has to be stellar.
Really nice work. Catchy tune. Good style. Not much to say except that I look forward to hearing more from this artist.

Common Lisp - Science (In The Service Of Beauty)
Challenge: A - Fantastic. Instantly knew what the original tune was.
Lyrics: A – Great lyrics. Keeps with the writing style of the original.
Structure: B – Not bad, but a little odd. Which I would have gone with given the nature of the song... Except that it caused me tilt my head like the RCA dog a few times.
Melody: B – Nice but didn’t stick with me.
A great technical effort here. I was smiling through the whole thing.

Inverse T. Clown - Hey, Jessie
Challenge: A - Awesome. Made me think of the original song by the first chorus.
Lyrics: A - Great. Really did a great job of picking up where the other song left off.
Structure: A – Solid pop structure.
Melody: B – Not bad. But didn’t stick for me.
Great job. Really enjoyed this one.

Mitchell Adam Johnson - When Donna Came Back
Challenge: A - Amazing. This made me think of the orignal in the first ten seconds. This might be the perfect sequel song.
Lyrics: A – Great. Perfect writing style for the song.
Structure: A - Good. Standard for the era.
Melody: A - Impressive. Not easy to come up with something so catchy that needs to rest in that song style.
This might be the perfect sequel song. All the elements came together in just the right way. Actually made me remember how sad I am that Richie Valens passed so young. Wonderful Job.

Ben Walker - When I'm A Hundred And Two
Challenge: F – Very disappointed that I have to fail this one. If only “When I’m 64” hit the top 20. If not for the “top 20” rule, this would have been an A.
Lyrics: A – Nice references to the orignal.
Structure: A - Great. Nice folk structure.
Melody: A - Great. Was humming it right away.
If not for the automatic fail on this one, it would have easily been in my top three.

Edric Haleen - O! Say Can You See?
Challenge: A – Amazing. Made me think of the original tune in the first bar.
Lyrics: A - Solid.
Structure: A - Nice. Very musical theatre.
Melody: A – Great homage to the original yet different enough to be it’s own.
Very nice. Really great work.

Charlie McCarron - Over The Bridge
Challenge: A - Good. Borrowed just enough melody from the original to make me reflect on it.
Lyrics: A - Nice. Almost better than the orignal.
Structure: A - Solid. Rock arrangement.
Melody: A - Good. Really like the chorus.
Great work. Met the challenge in every way.

Zarni De Wet - Stacy's Dad
Challenge: A – I knew what the oringal was instantly.
Lyrics: A – Great imagery. Evoked emotion.
Structure: A – Classic pop structure.
Melody: C – A little too similar to the original. Not enough to make me give it an F, but enough to get marked down.
Really good work. If the melody had been a little more unique this would have been toward the top of the list.

Duality - Mars Ain't The Kind Of Place
Challenge: A – Good. The lyrics tell us what the original song is.
Lyrics: A - Good. Nice imagery.
Structure: A – unorthodox but follows it’s own rules.
Melody: B – Nice but so atmospheric that it’s hard to remember.
Very pretty. Really enjoyed the electronic additions toward the end. Nice work.

Brian Gray - One More Cloud
Challenge: B – Technically meets the challenge but didn’t know what the original tune was by just listening to the song.
Lyrics: B - Fine. Bordering on cliché though.
Structure: A – Rock structure.
Melody: B – Not bad but didn’t stick for me.
This one just sort of laid there for me. Didn’t know what the original song was without reading the liner notes. Style and melody left me cold.

Ross Durand - Folsom Breakout Blues
Challenge: A - Great. Knew right away what the original song was.
Lyrics: A – Keeps in the style of the original.
Structure: A – Standard Blues.
Melody: B – Not bad but didn’t stick for me.
This technically does a good job with the challenge. But I’m not a big fan of this style and sound.

Steve Durand – Miranda
Challenge: A – Good. Knew what the original song was when I got to the chorus.
Lyrics: A - Good. Solid story telling.
Structure: A – Good pop stucture.
Melody: B – Good but perhaps a little too close to the original song at the chorus.
I like this song. Love the horn work but notice some tuning problems with some of the guitars. Very distracting.

Gweebol - Thank You Mr. Postman
Challenge: A – Great. Knew right away which song the original was.
Lyrics: A – Good. Keeps the style of the original.
Structure: B – Fine but a little unusual given the style.
Melody: A - Good. Very catchy.
Great work. Like the production. My only real criticism is that you got a little too creative (in my opinion) with your structure. When you do something that is so steeped in the period, you should stick to how it was done back in the day, if only because it took me out of song.

Rebecca Brickley - Elderly Dream
Challenge: B – Didn’t know what the original song was without reading the liner notes.
Lyrics: A – Great story and imagery.
Structure: A – Standard pop arrangement.
Melody: A - Nice. Catchy.
I really like this song. If this had just one had just given me a little more

Chris Cogott - Roadward Bound
Challenge: A - Brilliant. I knew what the original song was before I even heard a lyric.
Lyrics: B – I hate to give this a B, but you raised the lyric bar by choosing a Simon piece.
Structure: A – The structure is a little odd – just like the original. Perfect.
Melody: A - Wonderful. Reminds me of the original’s melody but it’s unique.
I love this. To be clear, I don’t really have a “problem” with your lyrics. But to keep them at the level of the rest of the song, you really need to add more imagery. They simply weren’t poetic enough. All in all, exceptional work.

Duality - Today (Shadow)
Challenge: A – Knew what the original song was with one listen.
Lyrics: A - Nice. Great imagery. Like the duet aspect.
Structure: A – Good solid pop structure.
Melody: A – Good. Catchy.
Not gonna lie, wish this was your official entry. Really like this song.

Danny Blackwell - La Reina (Shadow)
Challenge: C – Not sure what the original song is.
Lyrics: A – Enjoyed these lyrics.
Structure: A - Solid.
Melody: A – Very pretty.
I really like this. Although I have no idea what the original song is. Nice.

David Ritter - Cage Of Love (Shadow)
Challenge: A - Good. Knew what the original was before the chorus.
Lyrics: A - Great. Good story. Funny.
Structure: A - Odd. But in a good way.
Melody: A - Great. Catchy.
Really like this one. Disappointed that you can only shadow for the rest of this competition.

JoAnn Abbott - Georgia Morning (Shadow)
Challenge: A - Good. Knew what the original was by just listening.
Lyrics: B - Good. But bordering on cliché with some of the imagery.
Structure: A – Standard Structure.
Melody: B – Not bad but didn’t really stick with me. Sounded similar to a old standard.
Nice song. I was just missing a certain magic that I can’t put my finger on. Perhaps if the melody took some more risks? Not sure.

As you can see, many of the songs end up on equal footing using my letter grade system. This leaves me to, ultimately, rank many of these songs based on my subjective enjoyment. Again, the songs this round are really quite good, so even songs that appear near the bottom of this list aren’t bad… just not as good as the ones above it (sometimes but just a hair). Very impressive work everyone. Anyway, here we go:

Mitchell Adam Johnson - When Donna Came Back
Edric Haleen - O! Say Can You See?
Charlie McCarron - Over The Bridge
Chris Cogott - Roadward Bound
Ryan Ruff Smith - Baby, We're Through
Inverse T. Clown - Hey, Jessie
Rebecca Brickley - Elderly Dream
Gweebol - Thank You Mr. Postman
Danny Blackwell - Like A Family
Duality - Mars Ain't The Kind Of Place
Steve Durand – Miranda
Ross Durand - Folsom Breakout Blues
Common Lisp - Science (In The Service Of Beauty)
Zarni De Wet - Stacy's Dad
Governing Dynamics - Melt In The Sun (So Many Pretty Ways)
Brian Gray - One More Cloud
Ben Walker - When I'm A Hundred And Two

SpinTunes #2 Round 2 Review: Kevin Savino-Riker

So here we are again. But this time, things have changed a tad.

In a way, Round #2 is the most important round in the contest, at least strategically speaking. In Round #1 everyone was flying blind, and your songs have been sorted in a manner that may have surprised you. But now you know your competition, and more importantly you’re able to start profiling your judges. If you got mixed reviews in Round #1, this is an opportunity to target the areas that gave you trouble with us last time. And it’s not a cakewalk for the people who scored highly either - they still need to parse out exactly what they did to get good scores from all of us to make sure they do it again this time (and that’s usually harder because we’re not giving them as many specifics as we would be if we were criticizing).

Last round taught all of you what one can and can’t get away with; even if you disagreed with negative feedback you may have received, paying heed to that feedback is more likely to help your placement than ignoring it. At the end of the day, this is still a *competition*, and you’ve all been exposed to new information that pertains directly to how well you are going to do. So, how did you use this information? That question will be in the back of my mind as I do these reviews.

What I’m looking for in this batch of songs is an unambiguous link to the original. If there’s only one song in the world I think your song could be a sequel to, then you have performed your task perfectly. Lyrics that link the songs are where this challenge will be anchored, but if you chose to match the original song’s musical style in addition, I view that as a huge reinforcement of that link. Suffice to say it will yield major bonus points if you show a bit of your own versatility by choosing to do so. And again, it will likely come down to personal preference.

These reviews may be a bit shorter than last round’s - I was really getting to know you all the first time around, so I dug deep. Now I can say a lot with fewer words, since I have the ability to compare and contrast this entry with your previous work. So let’s get started.

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Governing Dynamics - Melt In The Sun (So Many Pretty Ways): This is a very impressive showing. Your guitars are your signature, and you signed the hell out of this song. This is a great example of successfully linking to the original song despite not being done in the exact same style of the original. I will say that it’s definitely in the style of ‘Radiohead’, however, and that might be the smartest way to tackle this challenge. It looks like you brought in a guest vocalist in direct response to what gave you trouble last time, but lo and behold, you didn’t have to after all! Your vocals are much stronger here. Maybe you just needed an energetic song to coerce yourself to sing out where your voice works better. Your lyrics are evocative of the original while being expertly written, and this song has a great hook! You gave us everything we asked for.

Danny Blackwell - Like A Family: You have done two things very well here; you linked to the original not only with heavy use of key phrases, but you also captured an affectation of the Spice Girls in your lyrics; these feel like lyrics they could have written. You’re still keeping comfy in your own musical style, which actually works as it sets up your character as the quiet, mature male companion to the loud, brash Spice Girl counterpart. I don’t know how to feel about your vocals on the last line; it bothers me a little bit to hear, but I understand that you’re just goofing off.... I just don’t know how I feel about your goofing off.

Ryan Ruff Smith - Baby, We’re Through: There’s nothing wrong here. Nothing at all. The guitar lead adds a nice Gary Puckett flavor to the rest of the song’s stylings, and once again, your lyrics are peppered with great imagery. Everything here hearkens back to the Shirelles. Keep up the awesome work.

Common Lisp - Science (In The Service of Beauty): Boy oh boy, this was a challenge to undertake. This is a faithful tribute in addition to being a sequel, but there’s something working against you: the original is so incredibly catchy that all I can do is think of this song as less catchy than the original. But you’ve got some terrific ingredients here. You have a good melody and a great limericky batch of lyrics. One problem, or maybe two directly-related problems: the spoken word delivery has a bit of a clunky cadence and inflection to it. I think this song wants to be a good 15-20 bpm faster, and I bet if you sped it up, all the problems would disappear. The monologue would bounce better, and the added energy to the melody would make it instantly more catchy. After I finish writing these reviews, I’m gonna try a little experiment (hah hah) on this song and see if I’m right.

Inverse T. Clown - Hey, Jessie: Nothing sells crazy better than singing about disturbing topics over bouncy, happy music. This is another fun piece, but I feel like it’s a step backward in comparison to your last song; your vocals are sitting back more and the music is a little more chintzy. I liked the cut-time instrumental break; it was definitely needed to reset my ears. My favorite parts would have to be when you started acting out your character through your voice. I think that’s the ticket for you; it served you well last song, and especially if you’re going to keep singing over music that has minimal dynamic range, you need to oversell your vocals. They sound really good when you do it that way. You might want to dabble in harmonies, as well.

Mitchell Adam Johnson - When Donna Came back: You switched up vocalists and musical styles for this one, but your production is the same as last time, which is to say it’s superb. This song has one of my favorite melodies of the round. It’s impossible not to compare your song and Ryan Ruff Smith’s directly against each other, and while his is a picture-perfect translation of the sound of his original, you have overshadowed Ritchie Valens with yours. I’m not yet sure which of you will fare better, but you’re both fighting in very close-quarters.

Ben Walker - When I’m A Hundred And Two: Oh, Ben. What a shame this is. The best song of the round did not meet requirements. There’s no point in scolding you, so I’m just going to say this: I don’t wish that you read the challenge more carefully, I wish we had picked a different cutoff number. Had you discovered your error earlier in the week and chosen a different song to cover, then *this* song would never have been written. As sad as I am to put it at the bottom of the list, I am simply glad that it exists. Ben, please continue to participate here. If you don’t deliver a shadow entry next round, I’m going to bother you constantly on twitter. Forever.

Edric Haleen - O! Say Can You See?: This is brilliant. The piano and vocals here are gorgeously theatrical and flawless. This song hit my emotional sweet spot like Zarni’s did last round. It’s a swell of hopefulness and patriotism that matches the U.S. national anthem on every aspect. An unexpected take on the challenge; very well played, sir.

Charlie McCarron - Over The Bridge: This is my favorite musical performance of the round. The intro guitar segment and the driving bass guitar just scream RHCP, neither of which are easy things to accomplish without directly plagiarizing. You stayed -barely- on this side of that line, which is to say it’s distinguishable from the original, but it wears the similarity with pride. There’s a slight difficulty I’m having with your lyrics. They’re beautiful poetry, but this almost feels like a retelling of the original song, if not even a prequel to it. It won’t hurt your rank because I like the song so much, but I just felt the need to point it out.

Zarni De Wet - Stacy’s Dad: Is this a sequel? While it’s not clear that there’s a passage of time between the original and this song, the challenge states “A song that picks up where another famous song left off”, and that’s all. This could just as easily be interpreted as the next movement in a song about Stacy’s family. Yes, it’d have been less of a question if the song was about Stacy growing up and finally becoming the object of attention, but I think what’s been done here is fine. And what’s been done here is a nice little pop song. You swapped your powerful singing voice for one a little more adolescent and wispy this time around, and I’m not sure it worked to your advantage; while this style might be more ‘pop’ friendly, I miss your grown-up voice. I do like the fuller arrangement, though. All in all, it’s a good take on the original song, but I can’t shake the feeling that it needs a little something. I think if you nixed the synth strings in favor of a proper drum track, it would have make a world of difference here, actually.

Duality - Mars Ain’t The Kind Of Place: This is your round #1 song *and* your round #2 song, for the price of one! Once more we have a beautifully sung, sleepy ballad. But it sounds like you’re burying the rocket man, not sending him home. I went back and forth between thinking “okay, this song was appropriately somber for a man at the end of his journey,” and “these guys missed a huge opportunity to write a sequel that really connected with the original.” We already know you can write a sleepy ballad. You have all the proper ingredients: great vocals and excellent pianos, and from your shadow songs we know you can deliver harmonies, energy, and catchy hooks... all things ‘Rocket Man’ is rich in, and all things you seem to be deliberately avoiding in your official entries. For this round, that’s working to your detriment.

Brian Gray - One More Cloud: A serious song from a funnyman? A surprising departure from last time, you’ve got a plaintive and heartbroken followup to a song that never would’ve suggested this kind of conclusion to me.... but now that you’ve pointed it out, I see all the pieces are there. Your lyrics made a strong thematic attachment to the original but you used your music to coax it into this new emotional space of burying a lost loved one. I had to listen a few times to really notice it, but this is a very good answer to the challenge.

Ross Durand - Folsom Breakout Blues: I don’t mean to cheat you out of a personalized review, but I’m just going to borrow a phrase from above - there’s nothing wrong here. Nothing at all. Everything about this song is Johnny Cash perfection. Every lyric seems to be an inversion of a line from the original - great way to turn the tables on the song. You added a nice dash of harmonies, too; that puts this way up there for me.

Steve Durand - Miranda: I love those horns! This is a terrific treatment and a wonderful reply to the original song; this just fits in lockstep with the original with its poetry, its mood, and your harmony vocals on the chorus. A lot of people have been choosing original songs that require them to do well with what they’re already good at; so far you seem to be able to slip seamlessly from one task to the other and really change things up in the process. This is a very impressive submission.

Gweebol - Thank You Mr. Postman: Wow, you had a lot of fun with this one. You really belted those vocals out this time, and the tune just builds up so nicely. In a weird way, it feels like a modernization of the style, while still conforming to the original style.... I’m not sure that makes any sense, but whatever I’m hearing, I like it. This song is just dense with content, and as such it feels longer than it is, but it’s enjoyable the whole way through.

Rebecca Brickley - Elderly Dream: Every round there seems to be a place where I have to make an exception to my rules. This song of yours is my top example of how to write a clear sequel without borrowing from the original. This song is so clearly yours, and yet it’s as tied as it can be to Katy Perry’s original. I say “tied as it can be” because the original is really a bit of a prototype of a song; it’s not too specific itself, so it’s hard to forge any stronger of a connection than you have. Interestingly enough, that might allow this to be the only song that could successfully work as its own original. You have an excellent melody and a great voice to sing it with... this song happens to fit the challenge, but to me this is just a great Rebecca Brickley song.

Chris Cogott - Roadward Bound: Simply stunning. This is better Simon & Garfunkel than even they have done in some instances. You impressed me with your song last time, but this just... it makes my jaw drop. You seem to be fluent no matter what your task. I’m envious of your harmonies. The guitar interplay is gorgeous. You earn my top honors this round.

SHADOW ENTRIES:

Duality - Today: I so desperately wish I could rank this as your official entry; it’s a much better song for the contest. The lyrics are very engaging and you have an excellent chorus. This song thrives on its wonderful vocal performances, and the guitars sound really good - nice change of pace from the last song.

Danny Blackwell - La Reina: I so desperately wish I could rank this as your official entry! I loved every minute of this one! I liked your other song, but I like this one just a tad more. I understand if you were hesitant to submit this one because of the Spanish segment, but man... that sounded so good! And the “Key change” joke landed for me where the Spice Girls “oowoooOOOOOoowooo” rubbed me the wrong way in your other song. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. This is and “woodsetts” are my favorite songs of yours.

David Ritter - Cage of Love: Yep. You nailed it. Sting is a creepy creepy horrible person. I love this flavor of pop-rock that you’ve been bringing us, and I have to compliment you like I did Rebecca - you definitely made this song yours; I think you lifted just the right amount from the original to make the song work well. Great song; looking forward to the next one!

JoAnn Abbott - Georgia Morning: You’re continuing to step up your game here! The full accompaniment makes a difference, but ultimately the harmony vocals are what differentiate this song from your previous entries. You have a knack for writing good story songs, and this one, while about a rather unpleasant circumstance, is well-written as always. Caleb and Graham, thanks to you both for pitching in on JoAnn’s song; fine work all around, guys :)

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RANKINGS (points awarded / artist. First position is “first place”)

17 - Chris Cogott
16 - Ross Durand
15 - Governing Dynamics
14 - Edric Haleen
13 - Rebecca Brickley
12 - Mitchell Adam Johnson
11 - Ryan Ruff Smith
10 - Gweebol
9 - Steve Durand
8 - Brian Gray
7 - Charlie McCarron
6 - Zarni De Wet
5 - Common Lisp
4 - Danny Blackwell
3 - Inverse T. Clown
2 - Duality
1 - Ben Walker

SpinTunes #2 Round 2 Review: Glen Phillips

In general you guys need some serious help with mixing and EQ. A lot of these are painful to listen to. I’m of course not talking to Chris, Ross, Ben,Ryan, Steve or Mitchell. I asked my producer (Ken M) where I could point you guys to help out. This is where he suggested: http://www.recordingwebsite.com/articles/eqprimer.php
There are some gems in this crop! I don’t get the shadow thing, so I refrained from reviewing them, though I have to say the Dave Ritter tune was entertaining!

SpinTunes #2 Round Two: Sequel
Glennny’s judgemet:


17th place 1pt - Ben Walker (When I’m A Hundred And Two) - I searched all over the internet for an excuse to keep you qualified. I really loved this song. “When I’m 64” is one of those profound perfect songs, and far more popular in my world than nearly any song on any Billboard top 20. I’m amazed this song choice DQs you. I’m very sorry. And I’m angry. This sequel is excellent. This is great song on its own. It fits quite nicely as a follow up to the classic. The mix is excellent too. I’ll be keeping this and enjoying this for years. Your vocals and harmonies are superb! Nice groove with all the instruments. I enjoyed the “They’re going to crucify me” John Lennon reference, but I don’t get why it is there. I’m really mad you’re out of the contest. You were certainly a contender; I wanted to hear you compete deep into the competition. Anyway, fantastic job on this track! Sad to see you go. (I had you in 3rd place, were you to qualify)

16th place 2pts - Danny Blackwell (Like A Family) - WTF! This is just mono in my right ear? This dis-allows headphone listening. It’s quiet. You’re not even trying. Did you spend even an hour on this? There is nothing inventive or catchy in this to grab on to. Your voice is nice, your playing is okay. I didn’t like this at all.

15th place 3pts - Edric Haleen (O! Say Can You See?) - I trust this is legal. I trust there was some Star Spangled Banner version in the Top 20. This is painful to listen to. You are an excellent singer. I am impressed with your vocal abilities, and then baffled by your taste. This kind of Grobin schmaltz makes me murderous. I cringe with disgust. I think there’s some genre bias, but there’s plenty of acts in the vocalist section I enjoy. That vibrato reminds me of everyone who ever sang in church. Along with the piano, perhaps this just reminds me of church way too much. I hated church.

14th place 4pts - Inverse T. Clown (Hey Jessie) - The vocals are way too far upfront. Of course who wants to crank the drum machine? Another solo that just mimicks the vocal melody. Yawn. Ooooh edgy swearing! Ughhhhhh Up a step? Seriously? Really?

13th place 5pts - Common Lisp (Science 'In The service Of Beauty') - The mix is terrible. The groove is herky jerky and nearly the opposite of a groove. I do think this is inventive. I enjoyed the variety of timbres that weave in and out of the song. The cadence of the vocal speak-sing is painful. The melody is barely existent. I actually enjoyed the synth solo at 2:24. Although it just outlined the vocal melody. The rhythm guitar sounds like it’s in a different song. “The band” is not playing together. They’re all doing their own thing. Challenge is met well.

12th Place 6pts - Duality (Mars Ain’t The Kind Of Place) - There’s a lady I know, and if I didn’t know her, she’d be the lady I didn’t know. She’s choppin’ Broccoli!!! By that I mean this sounds improvised. This is pleasant background dinner music. However, when paying attention to it, it’s pretty boring. Your playing is nice; the subtle synth additions are tasteful. Your singing is really nice. You’re this low for the writing. It all just feels meandering. Challenge is met well.

11th place 7pts - Brian Gray (One More Cloud) - This mix is really awful. Vocals are way too up front. I hate the drum sound. What’s up with the big 80’s vibe for a 90’s staple? The challenge is met well. Why the dinosaur feet pace for this? The karaoke mix is painful. I like the guitar bend hook.

10th place 8pts - Governing Dynamics (Melt In The Sun) - You guys are killing me with your mixes. Vocals are too fucking loud! Especially when they are pitchy. The lead vocal is solid. That harmony vocal gets props for the effort but, falls a little short. The mix isn’t helping. Nice Dynamics! Hey, this solo is really cool. Then the vocals crap all over it. You’ve written a nice rock song, a rerecording could really rock. Oh shit, you’re responding to “Fake Plastic Trees”? Pretty damn bold! They made the top 20? I trust they did. That song always makes my top 5 of the 90’s decade. The vocals, the mix, the melody hold this down here as it is. I don’t like the lyrics much, but it checks the box.

9th place 9pts - Zarni De Wet (Stacy’s Dad) - The mix needs help. There are a lot of unwanted noises. That synth line is pretty cool, but I can barely hear it. Vocals are way too upfront. Anyway, from last round you were the only act that I didn’t already know and spent a while checking out your online presence. WOW! You are a star in the making. Incredibly talented! Young and at Berkelee, that’s awesome! So, going back to Stacy’s Dad; this is a crappy song based on a crappier song. It’s performed excellent, your voice is amazing. This meets the challenge well. Why do this song? It lifts maybe a little too heavily from the original. I trust you’ll survive. I think you’re a contender; you have the talent for sure. Let’s see how the writing goes! Some tasty lines in the lyrics!

8th place 10pts - Gweebol (Thank You Mr. Postman) - Those weird reverb effects on the shouting backing vocals are awkward. It would be alright with me if I never heard that clapping pattern again. The Tambourine is way too loud, the vocals are too loud, and the piano is too low. This could really stand to have some louder drums, especially kick. I didn’t need the “hope I’m not being to forward”. Motown is all about the rhythm section. The vocals are very nice! I appreciate the melody a lot! Backing vocals are very nice. Challenge is met well.

7th place 11pts - Mitchell Adam Johnson (When Donna Came Back) - Whew! Nice to hear a nice mix! Now I can concentrate on the song. The details are really sweet in this recording. I like this song. I don’t love it. Yes! Tasty sweet solo, love the guitar tone, it was too damn short, but fitting. This is one of the best takes on the challenge. Well done!

6th place 12pts - Charlie McCarron (Over The Bridge) - This is fantastic, this might have been higher on my list were it not for the drums. This is a response sequel to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It sounds like it’s attempting to groove akin to RHCP, but the drums fail you. The bass line is nice and groovy and flea-like. You’re a much better singer than Anthony; I would have guessed you choosing a Smiths song. A sequel to “Ask” would have been my guess. The song is good, the lyrics are good. Nice dynamics! This seems to be rather modeled after “Under”, as well it should. Good job!

5th place 13pts - Steve Durand (Miranda) - It’s just glorious to hear you play your horn. Nice bass line! The acoustic sounds good too. Your vocals are good too! I like the assembly of the band leading to the drum kicking in Chorus. Excellent take on the challenge! The chord change at the end of the chorus is my favorite part. Well done!

4th place 14pts - Rebecca Brickley (Elderly Dream) - I really hate hand claps in that rhythm. It’s so tired. Despite that nitpick, this is awesome. You rose above my distain for GnG ! You did this with super tight guitar playing. It’s in the pocket, and it complements the vocal line. The melody is very good and engaging. The vocals are dynamic and well performed. Good job!

3rd place 15pts - Ryan Ruff Smith (Baby, We’re Through) - I really dig this. The surf guitar sounds great. It’s a nice mix too! Vocals are terrific. The organ/guitar solo is nice. The drums sound really good, but I am TIRED of that beat. Your vocals are really nice, the “sha la la”s are beautiful. I wish the bass was louder, but it’s a nice supportive line. Excellent take on the challenge! Well done!

2nd place 16pts - Ross Durand (Folsom Breakout Blues) - Nailed it! It’s obvious you’re a Veteran of these contests. You “walk the line” perfectly. That is the line of how original to be and how much to quote the prequel. The mix is stellar! Everything is spot on, the vocals, the lyrics, the drums, the bass, the guitar, the solo, I had a tough time deciding my favorite of these top 2 songs. Much of the week I had you in 1st. It’s a tough call. This is a new RD classic for me. Awesome track! You knocked the challenge out of the park!

1st place 17pts - Chris Cogott (Roadward Bound) - Ross was very close behind you, but this ultimately has to take the top spot. Again with my number one pick! It is clear which song this is a sequel too. The guitar playing is amazing. Sure it’s just a bear claw, but perfectly performed. The complimentary guitar is tasteful too. It’s very clear you know how to record; the tambourine is in the right place in both mix and composition. The harmonies are gorgeous; as they should be dare one to write a sequel to S & G. Excellent lyrics, I especially like the “.. nicotine patches” couplet. Super job!

SpinTunes #2 Round 2 Review: Dr. Lindyke

I think one thing is clear in this competition. No one will dominate it. I believe that these entries are exceptionally close in quality, as is evidenced by the degree to which everyone is shuffled around since Round One. As it stands, I have absolutely no clue as to who may win in the end... I won't even hazard a guess.

I've documented my expectations and process elsewhere, so I can keep this intro short. Suffice it to say that I'm looking for something that I believe is a great sequel, not just a great song.

As usual for me, I'm focusing on the song itself moreso than production, so I won't be discussing nuances of how it's mixed, or where the EQ is set; nor will I care very much if your vocals are a bit off-key or you're in need of a click track. If it helps you understand my mindset, I'm looking at all of these as demos to be judged for potential, then taken into a professional studio for a complete re-record. There are some caveats to that... if, through your performance, the potential is obvious, you will have an edge over entries where I have to do a lot of mental work. If I can listen without pain, I'll probably listen more closely. And, if your production is integral to the song itself then I'm weighing it more heavily than otherwise.

And now, the effluvium resulting from days of my amateurish ponderation:

Brian Gray - One More Cloud
"3 AM" by Matchbox Twenty
I can say far more about this song than I'm going to. Before anything else, I was struck with the fact that Brian produced an excellent serious song, entirely unlike what I was expecting from him. You need not look beyond the subject matter for a reason. The original song, 3 AM, is angry and frustrated, dealing with Rob Thomas' party mom (her way of coping with cancer). Brian takes this in a very personal direction, dealing with the aftermath of his mother's death. The transition from Matchbox Twenty's self-pity to Brian's genuine grief and loneliness is expertly done. Musically, Brian manages a soaring melody that communicates both love and sorrow without descending into monotony. Not only are the lyrics exceptional, but the melody stands alone and transcends the medium. I can easily see this as an accompaniment to interpretive dance with or without lyrics.. What wraps this up for me is the image of "one more cloud", that being his mother's ashes as they dance away on the wind into a predatory rain. I have rarely heard anything as poetically descriptive as this in a song. When I realized what was happening and noted that all the while, the ashes are referred to as "she", I broke down and cried. Unlike any other sequel in this list, "One More Cloud" makes the original song better on subsequent listens than it was before hearing Brian's song and knowing where it all leads. Brian, this is brilliant. You win. (Dave goes into detail about this song on his blog.)

Edric Haleen - O! Say Can You See?

"The Star Spangled Banner" by Whitney Houston Francis Scott Key
I cannot bring myself to describe "The Star Spangled Banner" as being "by" Whitney Houston. It's by Francis Scott Key, and don't you forget it. However, Whitney Houston's rendition did take it to the #6 spot in the US charts in 2001 (and to #5 in Canada, go figure) making it most solidly and assuredly fair game for this round. Now... full disclosure: I revealed the day before the listening party that if I had written a shadow, I would have based it on "The Star Spangled Banner"... of course, then I found out that Edric had done exactly that. It makes me glad that I didn't shadow, in that he always manages to do it better. In this sequel, the first two lines are a re-write of the opening to Key's classic; but Edric brings the story forward to the present, and instead of describing the smoke-filled skies of Fort McHenry, he provides us with an introspective retrospective of the freedoms for which this flag stands... and their limits. This would not be a sequel to "The Star Spangled Banner" without the iconic lines "O! say can you see...?" and "O! say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave...?" Edric works them into their proper places without being musically derivative. This is a song that would never itself be a national anthem, but is a worthy commentary on the anthem and the flag America holds dear, being simultaneously thought-provoking and patriotic. Why the hell are you teaching school, Edric? And aren't you proud of me for not using the word "insufferable" in this review? (oh. wait.)

Rebecca Brickley - Elderly Dream
"Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry
Now, this is an interesting thing. One of the challenges faced with writing a sequel is determining whether you're going to use the same style. How do you know when it's appropriate? Well, Bekka knows when it's not, and that's often the harder question. Here she takes "Teenage Dream", a contemporary song, and runs it fifty plus years into the future. What's appropriate for a 19-year-old girl just doesn't cut it when you're 75. "Elderly Dream" is age-appropriate, in both lyrical and musical content, yet is still sexy and playful. I lllllike it. If you were to remix this, Bekka, I'd cut the volume on the handclap just a tad and layer more claps on top of it. It would sound great. I know, because when I play it here at the house everybody claps along. Well done!

Chris Cogott - Roadward Bound
"Homeward Bound" by Simon & Garfunkel
Here's one where I didn't have to refresh my memory of the original. I loves me some Paul Simon, and when I first heard the "lie-lie-lies" I expected a sequel to "The Boxer". I wasn't far off. Chris was careful in his emulation of Paul Simon's style from that period, and it helps that he didn't pull all the influences from one song. The sequel's plot is exceedingly simple... having returned home, the singer's going back on the road taking his girl... The End. Nevertheless, the chorus has a good hook, "Is there still room for a one-man band?" Chris includes a lot of little nods to the original, my favorite being that the singer has given up smoking his "endless stream of cigarettes". This song has shuffled its position up and down this list, having been ranked below some "production" numbers, and then moving its way back up due to its replay value.

Gweebol - Thank You Mr. Postman
"Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes
I expected something quirky and good from Gweebol, and I got it. The original song, "Please Mr. Postman", charted at #1 repeatedly, demanding something special in a sequel. In Gweebol's follow-up, we learn that the boyfriend of the original song is in prison, and that his letters now are welcome only as a pretext for getting close to the Postman himself, the object of Gweebol's affection. This is both terribly clever and more than a little cute. Stylistically this is is an extension of the Marvelettes' original, which is frankly timeless. It manages to capture the original Motown groove and fill it with a brand new tune. More than any other song on this list, I just smiled when listening to this, and kept on smiling.

Charlie McCarron - Over The Bridge
"Under The Bridge" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
I'm under a double handicap in trying to understand the original song from which this is drawn. First, I've never understood it based on the lyrics alone; and second, owing to Weird Al's parody, all I can imagine is "Bedrock Anthem" when I hear it. Thanks to Google, I now know that it's about Anthony Keidis shooting speedballs under a bridge, thinking that the city of Los Angeles is his only friend. In other words, I still don't get it. But this isn't really about whether I can relate, but how well Charlie pulls off a sequel. My answer is, pretty damned well! First of all, I understand Charlie's lyrics. Second, he pulls off the sound better than the Chili Peppers. I pulled my three sons in for a second opinion, and we're unanimous on that. The "oo-ee-oo-ee-oo" is a great hook. The test remains, does it further the story? I say it does, as it makes clearer those things that are obliquely hinted at in the original and taking it in a different direction. I'm really impressed by the imagery, such as describing the heat of a drug injection as "I feel the sun set under my skin". I'm a sucker for a poetic turn of phrase. This has plenty of that, a great groove, and just enough hint of the Chili Pepper's style to hark back to the original song. VERY nice job.

Inverse T. Clown - Hey, Jessie
"Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield
Inverse T. Clown has an interesting take on the style question... "F**k the style, I'm going to do what I want. And what I want to do is a Nintendo soundtrack". It's OK, because while Rick Springfield's tune has a leg up, ITC's lyrics definitely have the edge. The singer's in prison, and is only waiting for his release to go after Jessie's girl with a newfound vengeance! It's funny and it's catchy, and it's infinitely more interesting than the original. This song has what I'm going to call an "engagement factor"... it holds my attention the whole way through. I think ITC won't be surprised that my criticism is performance-based. Yup, timid vocals. Inverse, you sound like you're afraid to wake the neighbors. Step away from the mic and belt that chorus out. Hell, layer some vocals on it.

Ross Durand - Folsom Breakout Blues
"Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash
People who aren't familiar with Johnny Cash tend to think of him as he was when he was older, after he'd generally slowed and his voice deepened to sub-woofer levels. The thing is, Johnny in his prime was pretty damned energetic on stage, and Ross has effectively captured that here. The song itself was a good choice for Ross, playing to his strengths as a vocalist and guitarist. Taking his queue from the last verse of the original, Ross could naturally segue "Folsom Prison Blues" into either a release or a breakout. Ross takes the risk and goes for the breakout... and he kept the train! As a sequel, this is quality work.

Zarni De Wet - Stacy's Dad
"Stacy's Mom" by Fountains Of Wayne
This is well-produced and well-performed. Zarni's voice has got it goin' on, including the accent. The lyrical direction is likewise excellent. I like the concern for Stacy's dad (and I'm a bit concerned for Stacy herself, come to think of it). The problem is that, despite the different instrumentation, this song borrows too heavily from the original for my comfort. That would be great if this were Fountains of Wayne's sequel, but it's not. A small bit of borrowing is enough to establish common ground with the original, and a number of competitors managed to walk that line. Again, this is not a copy; still, my spider-sense won't shut up, so I can't rate it higher than I have.

Ryan Ruff Smith - Baby, We're Through
"Baby, It's You" by The Shirelles
There is no doubt in my mind that I'm going to rub some folks the wrong way with some of my choices... but they do in some cases boil down to a matter of taste. This is likely one of those. "Baby, We're Through" is extremely well-produced, and yet it fails to keep my attention. I think the problem for me is that the meat of this song, like that of the original, is entirely contained in the title. The original is a variation of the time-worn "I love you for no particular reason" meme common in all ages, but most especially in the 1960s. "Baby, We're Through" is a reversal of that sentiment. Excellent period arrangement and execution doesn't entirely rescue the song from its shallow subject matter for me.

Mitchell Adam Johnson - When Donna Came Back
"Donna" by Ritchie Valens
In the original, Donna hits the road unexpectedly, leaving Ritchie Valens to languish away, and that's pretty much the whole plot. In this sequel, she returns, and her former love refuses to leave the woman he's settled for. "I could never do to her what you once did to me," he croons. Let's hope the singer's present girlfriend never hears this song, or he may never see the knife coming for his heart. "My sense of duty is all that keeps me from tossing her overboard" is not the sort of message you want intercepted by your significant other. Unfortunately, like "Baby, We're Through", this one fails to keep my attention, even though it is very well produced and is stylistically perfect (by the musical style alone it sounds to be about 10 years "later" than the original). I may be missing the boat here, but if so I'll just have to admit to it and move on.

Governing Dynamics - Melt In The Sun (So Many Pretty Ways)
"Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead
I'm sure Travis Norris is going to love this... I spend most of my time listening to folks like the people listed on this page, or to music I write myself, so I'm woefully ignorant of mainstream music. So when I first listened to "Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead, my initial thought was, "Huh! They sound like Governing Dynamics!" So -- let's take the style as a given. The original's lyrics are more Beatlesque imagery than narrative, which, I suppose, gives a body license to do most anything as a sequel. "Melt in the Sun" isn't a bad take on it. Travis has brought in Joe 'Covenant' Lamb for assistance on the ambitious vocals, and the guitar work is superb, all of which melt together (pardon the expression) into a very polished performance, if such a thing can be said about post-grunge.

Steve Durand - Miranda
"Fernando" by ABBA
The major problem I have with this is that it really needs to get to the meat of the song a lot sooner. It could drop a verse or two from the beginning and shuffle them back in after a chorus. Yes, Steve's vocals could use some help, but ignore that, please... once you get to the chorus the tune itself very nice and smooth. For this contest, though, I'm having a little trouble with it as a sequel. ABBA's English-language version of "Fernando" is about two veterans looking back on their time in the Mexican revolution.  Questionable enough material for a pop song, but ABBA easily carried it off with their stellar musicality. The problem I'm having is that "Miranda" seems to be a re-telling rather than a sequel. What we seem to have here is Fernando himself singing a response to "Miranda", whom we suppose to be the singer of ABBA's hit. Disregarding the challenge, as a song it's fine, and "Miranda" meets the challenge without question; but here I'm giving preference to songs that better further the story as well as have the melodic hook. The hook is there in "Miranda", but it takes a bit too much time to get to it.

Duality - Mars Ain't The Kind Of Place
"Rocket Man" by Elton John
Filling Elton John's shoes is a pretty tall order. My task is to judge this as a sequel... and in so doing, I feel I have to reference the original. "Rocket Man" portrays space as a boring, lonely, 9-to-5 daily drudge; and yet manages to do so with life and with movement. Even as the Rocket Man pines away for his wife on Earth, the song maintains a rhythm and a variety that keeps the listener engaged. By contrast, "Mars" hits a spot emotionally... and then doesn't move from that spot. It stays there for 4 minutes and 42 seconds. Now... I interpret this departure of style as a sort of parallel to a long-haul trucker or seafarer who arrives home to his sleeping wife -- not wanting to jar her awake, he addresses her gently and tenderly. If this is anywhere near accurate, then to me the song sounds about a minute and fifteen seconds too long. Musically, there are glimpses of some beautiful phrasing, but it gets washed out, like looking at a sunset through rose-colored glasses. I think the best analogy I can think of here is that a broad enough plateau simply looks like flat ground despite its height. There's a lot of beauty and sweeping stellar imagery here, but I think it loses sight of the fact that the Rocket Man has just returned to Earth, and nowhere does the tune itself do that. We need some contrast here that enhances the more beautiful phrases by showcasing them in relief.

Common Lisp - Science (In The Service Of Beauty)
"She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby
I like Paul's concept... our scientist is rich and famous and can now woo Miss Sakamoto from a position of power. Nice. Musically, though, Thomas Dolby is a hard act to follow, and this doesn't quite do it for me. I think perhaps the mistake here is in trying to replicate the new wave techno-pop sound and missing. The first thing I think one should notice about the style Dolby used is that that the effects and shouts are tightly arranged instrumentation... there's nothing random about them. Probably a better choice here would have been to use the intervening years (wow... 28 years since 1982!) as grounds for employing a more updated style. As the song's concept is that now the scientist is older, powerful and in control; it seems to me that this change in age and status should be reflected in a more sedate style that would play more to Paul's strength.

Danny Blackwell - Like A Family

"Wannabe" by The Spice Girls
Honestly, I think the best thing Danny could have done here is pick another song to write a sequel to. Of course he met the challenge... but what he's responding to is a fresh, sassy, hip-hop anthem of female empowerment; and his response is a slowly drawled ballad containing a counter-demand that she set aside that empowerment and all her friends, and go live the entirety of her life with this quaint little fellow in a quaint little cottage somewhere in the quaint countryside and play house. Not exactly what I'd call a convincing argument, on many levels. I'm not even buying the "she left me with a kid" angle, as I'd have to first buy into the premise that she could possibly get that drunk. (And for the record, I'm not slamming Danny, but the protagonist of the song, Mr. Get-Your-Ass-Back-In-The-Kitchen). I know Danny's going for the yuks, but it's just not working for me. Sorry.


DISQUALIFIED


Ben Walker - When I'm A Hundred And Two
"When I'm Sixty-Four" by The Beatles
Awwwww maaaaaan... We were pretty certain that by giving a specific, measurable guideline (Billboard Top 20) that we'd avoid any question of whether a song should be qualify for this round. When in doubt, simply check the Billboard (and Travis provided the link). While "When I'm Sixty-Four" is undeniably famous, it never charted in the Top 20 anywhere... and don't think we judges didn't look hard on international lists, and for covers... anything that would get this song to qualify. No such luck. Sadly, "When I'm A Hundred And Two" is disqualified for that reason. And that's a shame, as it would have placed highly. I love the style, I love the message, I love the instrumentation, I love the execution, and I love the fact that Ben once again produced a quintessentially British song that uses his voice to best effect. When I'm done writing these reviews I may hang myself in sorrow. I selfishly beg you to shadow the next round, Ben.


MISSING IN ACTION

Austin Criswell

Charlie Wolf

Wait WHAT?



SHADOWS


Due to time, I'm not reviewing the shadows this time except to mention to JoAnn Abbott... WELL DONE. I know you got assistance for the music and harmonies, but the concept, lyrics and tune make it your song. It's a fitting extension of the original, and hits the style both musically and lyrically. Really... well done.

Monday, October 25, 2010

SpinTunes 2: Round 2 Songs

You can find the album on BandCamp by clicking the image below:

(album cover by JoAnn Abbott)


You can vote for your favorite songs with the poll in the right sidebar. -->
(Popular vote stays open til 8PM on the 30th.)

Judges need to have their reviews sent to me by October 30th 8PM. I plan on posting the reviews/rankings/eliminations by 11PM...hopefully. :p

If all goes as planned...October 31st 1AM the round 3 challenge will be announced.

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

Like A Family by Danny Blackwell

La Reina by Danny Blackwell

Reviews & Links Of Interest For This Round:
- Yall should thank Jules (@GeekyJules) for setting up the poll this round. I know many of you didn't like the Blogger poll I used in round 1.

- Common Lisp made a "Making Of" video for his song this round.

- Edric Haleen posted a Song Bio for his entry.

- Brian Gray posted a Song Bio for his entry.

- Ross Durand posted a Song Bio for his entry.

- Charlie McCarron posted a Song Bio for his entry.

- Governing Dynamics posted a Song Bio for his entry.

- Common Lisp wrote a Review for this round.

- Niveous wrote a Review for this round.

Round 2 LP & Deadline News

20 people/bands managed to tough it out through round 1, but only 17 of them managed to turn in a song for round 2. wait WHAT, Austin Criswell & Charlie Wolf have missed the deadline & have been eliminated. There will be 5 more people eliminated by the judges before the round 3 challenge is announced.

I have finished uploading the 17 entries, and so far have 4 shadows uploaded as well. Hopefully we will get a few more shadows before the LP (I really hope the 3 people eliminated turn something in late), but it's a good batch of tunes already.

Listening Party:
It will be hosted by me at the following address: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/spintunes

It will officially start at 8PM Cincinnati time, (check the counter) TODAY. I will probably start broadcasting a little early just to make sure everything is set up & ready, but won't start the SpinTunes songs until 8PM. All songs will be available for FREE listen & download shortly after the LP.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Album Art Contest

Dave Leigh suggested I start an album art contest for each round of SpinTunes. The contest would basically run on the same schedule as the music contest. When the songwriting challenge is posted, the songwriters AND the artists would get to work & have the same deadline. After the deadline I would post all the album covers here, and while the judges are reviewing the songs...everyone else can vote on what cover we should use.

When the judges deadline has past, the album cover with the most votes would be used for that rounds album. You can also have covers for individual songs. So if a band likes a cover that didn't win, they can ask me to upload that cover for their individual song.

This idea was floated around before the start of the first contest (I forget who thought of it), but I decided not to move forward with it at that time. I had a lot going on, and wanted to use most of my focus to make the songwriting contest work. Now that I have 5 rounds of competition under my belt I think it would be nice to try this idea.

I'm going to need a little help with this part of the contest. I know musicians...and a few places to go to find musicians. I do not know many graphic designers...or where to go to find people interested in stuff like this. So for this to work I'm going to need a little help going out & finding those people. Spreading the word in communities that might be interested is key. Dave suggested a site called Deviantart, so hopefully one of you reading this is a member there? It would be great to get people from that site involved.

I can't offer a prize other than bragging rights, and having the winners art used as an album cover. That means the winner will be credited on the album & I'll link to a personal website if they wish. I really think it would be great to run these contests together & bring even more creative people together.

There will be no limit to how many people can enter, but there will be some requirements.

1. The cover needs to be submitted as a file BandCamp will be ok with.
"350 x 350 pixels minimum (bigger is better)
.jpg, .gif or .png, 4MB max"
2. No nudity or bad language. I won't make a list of words to avoid, but I'm sure you can keep it clean.

3. Submit only artwork you have created on your own & have full creative control over...no copyrighted or trademarked images.

4. You must include the title of the challenge prominently on the cover.

5. I really don't want dozens of people I don't know sending me to various websites I'm not familiar with, and I also don't want to download a bunch of strange attachments. So I decided to limit the sites you are allowed to use to submit your images. I picked 3 I feel comfortable with, and those are: Flickr, DailyBooth & TwitPic. So you'll need to upload your pictures to one of those sites & link me to them in an e-mail (NO shortened URL's). Make sure that they have a Creative Commons license so it can be linked to & downloaded.

We will attempt to start this new contest when the round 3 challenge is announced on October 31st.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

SpinTunes #2: Round 2 Challenge

The Musician Strikes Back - We want you to write a sequel. A song that picks up where another famous song left off. (2 minute minimum) (your submission is due October 24th 11:59PM Sun)

We are going to define "famous" by making you pick a song that has at some point been on Billboard's Top 20 for at least 1 week. This gives you a lot of options while making it easy for the judges to say if your song was "famous" enough.

(There have been a number of questions asked that the above statement doesn't cover. I addressed them in the comments below...I suggest reading them.)

Examples Of Songs With Sequels:
"Peggy Sue" & "Peggy Sue Got Married " by Buddy Holly
"It's My Party" & "Judy's Turn To Cry" by Lesley Gore
"Space Oddity" & "Ashes To Ashes" by David Bowie

(Please send the song title & artist of whom you are writing a sequel for when you e-mail your submission to me. A link to the chart they're on would be great.)

Final Clarification:
There was confusion about EST & EDT...mostly on my part, but I'm going to make this simple. Just use the timer I link to up above. It'll be set to Cincinnati time (my time), and when it runs out...you're time has run out. (TIMER LINK)

Submitting Entries:
- Entries must be received by the given deadline. Otherwise it'll be posted as a shadow. Received means that it has to appear in my e-mail inbox by the given deadline. I will be going by the time stamp on the e-mail in my inbox.

- Send your file in a format that Bandcamp accepts. (.aiff, .wav or .flac) (at least 16-bit/44.1kHz) You can find the specific requirements for Bandcamp files HERE.

- Name your file the song's title, but without spaces & punctuation.

- Title of the e-mail should be the title of the Challenge & your band's name.

- Include the song lyrics in the body of the e-mail. (If your song doesn't have lyrics...consider yourself eliminated. Instrumentals can be pretty, but SpinTunes does require lyrics.)

- Include information on anyone that needs credited if you collabed with someone.

- File sharing options if you need them: YouSendIt, RapidShare, ZShare & MediaFire. Please send an e-mail as I already stated, but with the download link if you need one of these services. Please follow directions so your file doesn't wind up in my spam or trash folder accidentally.

- If you have a BandCamp account, you can just send me a link to your song on BandCamp if you include all the info I mentioned above. Make sure you have it set as a free download, and have it set so that I don't have to put in an e-mail to download it if you pick this option.

SpinTunes #2 Round 1 Totals

So here are the links to the individual reviews:

Dr. Lindyke - Glen Phillips - Kevin Savino-Riker - Jeff MacDougall - Zack Scott

Alternate Judge's Review: Spin

You can listen to all the wonderful songs from this round by checking out the free album HERE.

Judges feel free to check my totals...I'm tired...mistakes are possible. However if my figures are correct the 8 people in bold have been eliminated from the contest. I really hope they decide to continue in the contest as shadows, and I thank EVERYONE for their hard work this round.

Judges Totals:
Mitchell Adam Johnson - 127
Chris Cogott - 123
Zarni De Wet - 122
Ryan Ruff Smith - 114
Gweebol - 111
Ross Durand - 102
Ben Walker - 96
Edric Haleen - 94
Governing Dynamics - 88
Brian Gray - 87
Rebecca Brickley - 81
Steve Durand - 76
Danny Blackwell - 72
wait WHAT - 71
Charlie McCarron - 71
Austin Criswell - 70
Inverse T. Clown - 69
Duality - 65
Common Lisp - 65
Charlie Wolf - 56
Ominous Ride - 55
Russ Rogers - 50
Emperor Gum - 45
Heather Miller - 41
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 35
JoAnn Abbott - 28
Swatshots - 11
*David Ritter - 5


*was DQ'ed by the judges which meant ALL the judges had to have him in last no matter how much they liked the song.

Dr. Lindyke:
28 - Governing Dynamics
27 - Zarni De Wet
26 - Ominous Ride
25 - Mitchell Adam Johnson
24 - Ben Walker
23 - Ross Durand
22 - Edric Haleen
21 - wait WHAT
20 - Gweebol
19 - Steve Durand
18 - Ryan Ruff Smith
17 - Chris Cogott
16 - Rebecca Brickley
15 - Austin Criswell
14 - Charlie McCarron
13 - Heather Miller
12 - Brian Gray
11 - Inverse T. Clown
10 - Duality
9 - Emperor Gum
8 - The Boffo Yux Dudes
7 - Charlie Wolf
6 - Danny Blackwell
5 - JoAnn Abbott
4 - Common Lisp
3 - Russ Rogers
2 - Swatshots
1 - David Ritter

Kevin Savino-Riker:
28 - Zarni De Wet
27 - Ryan Ruff Smith
26 - Gweebol
25 - Chris Cogott
24 - Mitchell Adam Johnson
23 - Ross Durand
22 - Ben Walker
21 - Edric Haleen
20 - Rebecca Brickley
19 - Brian Gray
18 - Inverse T. Clown
17 - Common Lisp
16 - Steve Durand
15 - Duality
14 - wait WHAT
13 - Danny Blackwell
12 - Charlie McCarron
11 - Governing Dynamics
10 - The Boffo Yux Dudes
9 - Heather Miller
8 - Ominous Ride
7 - Russ Rogers
6 - Charlie Wolf
5 - Austin Criswell
4 - JoAnn Abbott
3 - Emperor Gum
2 - Swatshots
1 - David Ritter

Glen Phillips:
28 - Chris Cogott
27 - Ryan Ruff Smith
26 - Mitchell Adam Johnson
25 - Ross Durand
24 - Zarni De Wet
23 - Steve Durand
22 - Austin Criswell
21 - Charlie McCarron
20 - Gweebol
19 - Duality
18 - Governing Dynamics
17 - Danny Blackwell
16 - Charlie Wolf
15 - Emperor Gum
14 - Brian Gray
13 - Russ Rogers
12 - wait WHAT
11 - Rebecca Brickley
10 - Common Lisp
9 - Edric Haleen
8 - Inverse T. Clown
7 - The Boffo Yux Dudes
6 - JoAnn Abbott
5 - Heather Miller
4 - Ominous Ride
3 - Ben Walker
2 - Swatshots
1 - David Ritter

Jeff MacDougall:
28 - Mitch Adam Johnson
27 - Edric Haleen
26 - Chris Cogott
25 - Danny Blackwell
24 - Ryan Ruff Smith
23 - Gweebol
22 - Brian Gray
21 - Rebecca Brickley
20 - Zarni De Wet
19 - Ben Walker
18 - Common Lisp
17 - Russ Rogers
16 - Charlie McCarron
15 - Charile Wolf
14 - Ross Durand
13 - Steve Durand
12 - Duality
11 - JoAnn Abbott
10 - Ominous Ride
9 - Austin Criswell
8 - Heather Miller
7 - Inverse T. Clown
6 - The Boffo Yux Dudes
5 - Governing Dynamics
4 - Emperor Gum
3 - wait WHAT
2 - Swatshots
1 - David Ritter

Zack Scott:
28 - Ben Walker
27 - Chris Cogott
26 - Governing Dynamics
25 - Inverse T. Clown
24 - Mitchell Adam Johnson
23 - Zarni De Wet
22 - Gweebol
21 - wait WHAT
20 - Brian Gray
19 - Austin Criswell
18 - Ryan Ruff Smith
17 - Ross Durand
16 - Common Lisp
15 - Edric Haleen
14 - Emperor Gum
13 - Rebecca Brickly
12 - Charlie Wolf
11 - Danny Blackwell
10 - Russ Rogers
9 - Duality
8 - Charlie McCarron
7 - Ominous Ride
6 - Heather Miller
5 - Steve Durand
4 - The Boffo Yux Dudes
3 - Swatshots
2 - JoAnn Abbott
1 - David Ritter

Popular Vote Totals:
Rebecca Brickley - 33
Mitchell Adam Johnson - 32
David Ritter - 31
Edric Haleen - 22
Chris Cogott - 22
Heather Miller - 22
Brian Gray - 21
Zarni De Wet - 17
Gweebol - 15
Austin Criswell - 14
Governing Dynamics - 14
Duality - 13
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 12
Ryan Ruff Smith - 11
Ross Durand - 11
Ben Walker - 11
wait WHAT - 9
Inverse T. Clown - 8
JoAnn Abbott - 8
Charlie McCarron - 7
Danny Blackwell - 5
Ominous Ride - 4
Russ Rogers - 4
Common Lisp - 4
Charlie Wolf - 3
Emperor Gum - 3
Steve Durand - 3
Swatshots - 1
(167 total votes)