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Saturday, June 25, 2011

SpinTunes #3 Round 1 Review: Kevin Savino-Riker

The first SpinTunes champ is back. He's been a competitor, he's shadowed, he's judged, and now he's guest judged. The man can do it all.


Hi, I’m Troy McClure Kevin Savino-Riker! You might remember me from such songwriting contests as Spintunes, Spintunes 2, The White Elephant Skultar Challenge, A Songwriting Cycle, Frankensong, and the Songfight Gift of Music 2010. It is my diabolical pleasure to return for a rousing round of guest-judging today.

I’m going to borrow a few words from my last stint on the bench:

There’s no room for ties; not at the top, not anywhere. This means it’s possible that a song I’d give an objective score of 95% might walk away with the top spot, while a song that I’d score 90% might only walk away with a few points. The points are not a measure of overall quality; they’re of relative quality, and with a field this tight there will be some exaggerated gaps between high-ranking and low-ranking songs, even if I think they’re both pretty damn good.

Here’s how I’m going to put you in order: I put the musicality of a song and the poetry of the song on equal and prominent footing... by which I mean, the *writing* of the music and the lyrical content have the same sway over me. If you choose a particularly tasty sequence of notes, that will make as big an impact on me as if you had written a very clever, moving, or otherwise exceptional lyric. If you’ve done both, it will be better still.

Right up there in importance is how well you’ve met the challenge while doing those two things. Someone who wrote a song that aces the challenge has done better than someone who wrote an equally pleasing song that only barely satisfies it. In this case, I feel there are a few ways to succeed here - writing a story in which someone is happy about death, or setting any kind of death story to happy music.

Lastly, but still importantly, is the performance... and by that I don’t necessarily mean ‘production values’. If there was passion and quality in your performance, it’ll be evident no matter the quality of the equipment that captured you. That said, I expect there will be a loose correlation between production value and rank... but only because I expect that the better songwriters among us are the ones more likely to have the experience, equipment and expertise to best capture the song they wrote.

Lastly-lastly (and my escape clause), is the “it” factor. This is still an art of subjectivity and subtlety. My preferences might escape my own reasoning. I might find one funny song better than a serious song, and find another serious song better than the funny one. If a song excels, and I mean, *really* excels in one criterion, it could make up for a deficiency in another. If a song stirs my emotions, it’s going to do VERY well.

Alright, now that that’s done, let’s hit some reviews. Songs are reviewed in the order they appear on the album, and my ranked list appears at the end of the post.

Governing Dynamics - Alive Again: Here we have a great alternative-pop song that, while happy, is also unabashedly creepy. I love how the narrator acknowledges his own obvious insanity and shrugs it off because, well... killing chicks really brightens up his day. The chorus is catchy and sing-songy, you’ve got nice harmonies - especially in the bridge - and a great chord structure behind the whole song. The upward key changes at the end really seal the deal here; there’s an approaching climax as he makes the kill, followed by a nice minor turn in the closing lines as he comes down afterward and foreshadows the need to kill again. Really excellent work here.

Gold Lion - In The Afterlife: I’m a little torn on this song. Musically, there’s some sweet stuff going on here. I love the peppy acoustic funk, and your vocals are really enjoyable, especially with the Pomplamoosian harmonies that show up two minutes in... but I wish we had more lyrical content here. Now, it’s possible to write a great song that only wants a few words, and I’d argue that this song certainly conveys your message through its tone and the one verse you’ve given us, but that’s only enough to meet the challenge criteria. You have competition who met the requirements as well as you while delivering a lot more content.

Dr. Lindyke - Wake me When It’s Over: This is a really well-crafted piece. There’s a pretty traditional composition here that works to good effect - it strikes the ear as familiar and soothing right off the bat. Very nice piano, and the shaker/percussion provides just the right amount of background ambiance. You have a great melody, and I noticed something very interesting about its effect on the lyrics. I’m not sure I can explain it. Reading off the page they’re basic, simple prose, but your vocals seem to evoke a layer of poetry on top of them. Listening to them sung, each word seems to be carefully selected and exquisitely placed. I also have to acknowledge the nice play on words with ‘wake me’. This song exemplifies “more than the sum of its parts”.

Alexa Polasky - You Will Never Die: The music here is very cool. The interplay between guitar and bass is delightful, the drums are tight and solid, and the heavily-effected vocals lend a nice ethereal feel to the song. I’m hung up on your lyrics though. I love everything about the verses and the bridge, but the chorus doesn’t make sense. I want to forgive it because your “only gets better” hook is really effective, but I feel like there’s a better way to convey what you’re trying to say. I’m pretty sure you aren’t actually trying to suggest “you never die/you will actually die, but it’s cool”.

The Offhand Band - All Over: I think this is the only song that addresses metaphorical / abstract death, which is not too surprising, but it is refreshing. The song is saturated with Beatles influences and allusions, but if you’re gonna borrow, borrow from the best. I like the verses a lot; they clip along with a lot of energy and really keep the song bouncing along, but then the chorus seems to fall flat on its face in contrast, so you keep losing me until we get to the delicious organ outro. the organs were fantastic throughout the entire song, actually. Urgent and intricate without crowding out your vocals. It might be my single favorite piece of instrumental work in this round.

Matt Walton - We’re All Going To Die: The music is almost necessarily a secondary element when it comes to folk songs, and this uke-folk accompaniment does its simple job just fine, leaving you room to get right into your story. So, let’s take a look at the story. It seems to arbitrarily start with a couple making dinner plans and then quickly derails into a laundry list of possible deaths distracting the narrator. I really like the idea that these two people caught themselves at a moment in the middle of their lives, and then spent their otherwise uneventful dinner in conversation about how they feel about life and death, and this song is the audience listening in on them... but I don’t think that’s actually what you did here. It seems more like we’re tapping into his inner monologue, and if that’s the case then the first stanza seems pretty disjointed from the rest of the song. Depending on what you were actually going for, it could sway my overall impression of the song quite significantly. All in all, it’s a pleasant simple thing.

Brian Daniell - Cubbies Will Win: This song is a goofy cute party. Great lead guitar licks throughout, and a fun crowd of happy backing instruments. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something childrens’ song-ish about the lyrical construction here, and it’s a good choice to avoid the typical darkness of death talk. There’s a heavy parallelism in a handful of songs in this round, in which they tell us death is good because it separates us from the tedious and unpleasant day-to-day worries of life. This is the first of them that we encountered, so it’s going to set the benchmark on how well a song does it. I did get a kick out of this one thing: the rest of the song is all about what you can stop worrying about, but one specific thing you’re excited about once you’re dead is that you can keep worrying about the Cubs since you can wait the necessary eternity for them to win. Cute.

Byron Blocker & The Offbeats - She’s Dead: Wow. This song is something special. The whiskey blues is flawless, the vocals are OUTSTANDING, there’s great instrumentation all across the board, so I’m not even going to bother trying to delve into it beyond saying that I loved the horn section that comes in with the the hook - it caused a great swell that drives the song home. But as good as this music is, I’m really fascinated with the lyrics here. You outlined a scenario, and then neglected to tell us what *must* be a really juicy story... and despite that apparent deficiency, this song is absolutely dense with terrific lines. From the imagery of the girl’s description to the excellent internal rhymes everywhere, these are all expertly written. I’m in love with that second verse, by the way - references to the fatted calf and Bacchus, in particular - it says to me, “Listen, a normal party won’t do. We’re so glad she’s dead we need to celebrate the way they did thousands of years ago: ritual animal slaughter and appealing to the gods of wine and celebration.” Damn, dude. **Full disclosure: Byron and I are buddies, but his ranking is solely based on the song he submitted. The song earned my praise, and it was not influenced by the fact that I know him.**

Edric Haleen - I Hope You Die: This review is going to be short, because there are simply no words. I mean, seriously. You used them all. The over-the-top cheerful music is just perfect, and you delivered the vocal performance of the year. Lance Armstrong wishes he had your lungs. Your writing, in addition to being so mechanically precise with nary a misplaced syllable, is funny, clever and witty throughout. Somewhere, Weird Al just woke up from a nightmare in which he’s no longer the best. This is the most impressive song I’ll hear all contest long.

Charlie McCarron - Grandma And Grandpa: Gorgeous instrumentation and haunting melody. This is vivid and pure and heartbreaking, which makes it tough to evaluate. I think it’s happy and bittersweet. You met the challenge in the saddest way possible. But you met the challenge. The choir vocals are just beautiful; they redeem the heavy tone of the narrative by suggesting that the grandparents don’t just die at the end... they experience an ascension. Gorgeous song.

Spencer Sokol - Keeping Calm: This song is just so emotionally raw and moving. Your voice is plaintive and exposed and it makes the song beautiful, but I don’t know if it’s really very happy. Your choice of words is powerful throughout, and I love that you managed to identify a death without explicitly stating it. It’s hard to do that well, and you’ve certainly done it here. Great poetry. The guitar is crisp and powerful, and it gives the song more ‘mass’. Ultimately, though, that’s the only problem for this contest. The song is heavy, not happy. That said, this is probably my favorite song to listen to this round.

Luke Brekke, Esquire - Cannibal: You win the Silliest Song of The Round award. It’s funny for its absurdist approach, especially the “because he’s a cannibal” exposition choir. I laughed out loud every time they came in, especially with the cannibal/Annabelle rhyme. Deliciously silly. The music isn’t terribly interesting, though the pipe organ makes me imagine the singer as some sort of gothic Phantom of the Opera character hiding in his underground human-eating sanctuary. Good imagery evoked there, but other than that, this song lacks a little depth. It’s one joke carried out for three minutes, so it needs to be a really good joke to pull that off.

“Buckethat” Bobby Matheson - No Worries: We’ve come to the second song that takes the “death means no more worries” tack. This one does it in its purest form, and the list fills up nicely while being punctuated periodically with a very singable refrain. It’s a straightforward basic attack on the challenge, and it’s plenty enjoyable to listen to. You’ve got solid guitars and bass, and the accordion is a unique treatment, which is the one thing that keeps this song from feeling like the prototypical example of ‘happy song about death’. But it’s very close to what I imagine averaging everyone else’s entries would yield; I feel like you aimed for the middle of the pack and then hit the mark square on.

Alex Carpenter - The Day I Died: I suppose if you need to write a song about being the last guy alive after the zombie apocalypse, you can’t do much better than to make it a pop punk song. Everything fits together like it should; you’ve got the staccato chunky guitar chords and the cut time drum breaks that I love in songs like these. Your chord progressions and transitions are very well crafted, and I can tell there’s a lot of talent at play here, but there is a little bit of sterility in the final result, like it’s the consequence of being *too* carefully designed following blueprints from other successful songs. Feel free to disregard that criticism because music is incredibly subjective and I realize it sounds ridiculous for me to say ‘it would sound better if it didn’t sound so good’, but that’s just the way my tastes align. Your verses are superb. Returning to “dear diary” for each new stanza works really well, and you’ve done a great job describing the narrator’s plight. The chorus starts out a little weaker than the verses, though it resolves nicely. I’m more a fan of harmonies than unison vocals, but the second guitar helps fill the chorus out and inject a little more energy where the vocals didn’t, so it still works.

Inverse T. Clown - Caroline Is Dead: I can’t get enough of the vocal intro. Great harmonies, great way to trick us into thinking we’ve got a somber song on our hands. Once we pick up with the upbeat synth, you unleash a barrage of wickedly funny and smart lyrics that read like a giant limerick. Good structure here; the bridge is a welcome change, and it makes the final verse sound fresh again. Nice job.

Jutze - I Love The Dead: This is a great take on the challenge. It’s possibly the most acceptable means by which we can have a character love the fact that people are dying all the time. The whole song is joyful and carefree, almost inspiring. Here we have a character who could very well live a life of depression and darkness, but it doesn’t even occur to him to think that way about it. Though it is telling that he does think to qualify that his interest in the dead is platonic at best. That got a chuckle out of me. The guitar sounds great here, and the background the vocals are tastefully applied. Really fun song.

Godz Poodlz - Wake At The Sunnyside: Okay, this is brilliant. Cleverest approach to the challenge, bar none. The music is a fun and faithful expansion of a happy commercial jingle, and your lyrics are entertainingly insensitive yet believable as a sales pitch. I love the echoed harmonies that sync back up in the second half of the chorus. A near-perfect effort.

Tally Deushane - My Dead Goldfish: I like this music; it’s catchy and pretty, though I’m a little creeped out at the evil little girl singing. Actually, I’m mad at her. That aside, your voice is quite pretty and I love your melody, specially enjoying the way you transitioned between verse and chorus by changing the melody over a consistent uke accompaniment.

Ethan Ivey - The Four Year Itch: Heh, so we have another serial killer here, but at least this one is polite enough to date, marry, and allow his victims to live for a few years before he offs them. I don’t get a strong vibe from this song; it’s not pushing any musical boundaries - there’s only one piano part for the entire song, and the vocals follow the same progression except for the spoken-word segment, so it’s not particularly engaging to listen to. I’d suggest changing things up with vocals that don’t follow the piano, at least for part of the song... or a second chord progression for the chorus, or both. I know it’s not a long song, but it would still benefit from mixing things up a bit.

Matt And Donna - Lady On The Gray: Oh, I really like this song. The lead and backing vocals are terrific, and the trumpet is lovely. The lyrics are interesting to say the least, they’re a bit abstract to the point that I’m never really sure what you’re actually telling me; it could be a matter of my own ignorance, but I feel like this might be a little too subtle. I don’t think I’d know this was a song about death without liner notes. It’s a lovely song, and I’m not going to say it doesn’t satisfy the challenge just because I’m not good enough to pick up what you’re putting down, but I shouldn’t have as hard a time as I do to know for sure.

Ross Durand - No Taxes: Excellent. We have another one of our “nothing to worry about after death” songs, but this one manages to run through the list more stylishly than all the others. The guitar and vocal harmonies are so enjoyable to listen to, as well. I love the death and taxes reference, and actually I’m surprised we haven’t seen it anywhere else, but it’s great in this western /folk context. I also appreciate the Monty Python allusion; this song has a nice blend of the silly and serious, the personal and incidental, and it makes me feel happy listening to it. Excellent.

Menage’ a Tune - Isn’t It Nice: This song draws upon the spirit of the most sinister of the old nursery rhymes... the ones designed to scare the shit out of children to get them to behave better. The nursery rhyme musical theme certainly strikes a happy tone, but I find myself horrifyingly enthralled at the story unfolding underneath. I think this might actually be a character study of a psychopath more than a song about the deaths she caused, but either way it is very very dark. So dark that the music box accompaniment might not be enough to pull the song back into happy territory. The character is certainly happy with the outcome of her actions, but it’s still a powerfully upsetting song. I need a hug.

Glen Raphael - When You’re Dead: It’s another “you can stop worrying when you’re dead” song, but his song stands out from the rest because it has such a great vibe. Love the spoons and snare rhythm tracks. The vocal harmonies are complex and confident with shades of Bobby McFerrin throughout. I feel happy again. This one definitely gets the job done.

Doom SKITTLE - A Better Place: This song is trying to put a positive spin on the afterlife, but it isn’t making too strong a case for it. The speaking character doesn’t sound like he’s convinced that it’s a better place at all, actually. There would be a chance to brighten the mood with the guitar track, but you instead went with what sounds like a deliberately negative tone. I don’t think this song meets the criteria, and I might go so far as to say that it never really wanted to.

Wait What - Death: Everyone’s Doing It!: Schoolhouse Rocks: Blue Oyster Cult edition. This song is funny and irreverent for sure. The rap break, while completely incongruent with the rest of the song, is definitely the highlight for me. There are a ton of great pop culture references and witty one-liners here, which I appreciate very much. You guys definitely don’t take yourselves seriously, which can work for you by freeing you up to approach the topic with genuine silliness; it’s not a gamble that always works, but it tends to work on me. **Full disclosure: I’m friends with these guys too. If anyone thinks I ranked them unfairly, it’s probably because I’m judging them on the fact that they’re jerks to me in real life.**

Steve Durand - Die Happy: Glorious horns and a classy old-timey vibe make this song a real winner. There are periods where I’m detecting subtle musical allusions to a New Orleans funeral march, but then goes full-on big band and I can’t help but smile. This is a pure, no bullshit happy song about a happy guy not afraid of dying. I especially liked the “he died happy as my epitaph” and “punch every ticket on my bucket list” lyrics. Nicely done.

Jason Morris - Burning For You: Great instrumentation and arrangement here. You have an excellent play on words here with “I’m gonna burn myself into your mind”, and in this song you also managed to do that thing I love - you’re communicating clearly that you’re dying while avoiding the words that say so explicitly. The references to fire and ashes, normally appropriated for metaphorical use only, work so well here because you structure your lyrics such that they could be interpreted metaphorically or literally, and then the rest of the song supplies the clues needed to see that you’re really talking about setting yourself on fire. These are great lyrics and it’s an excellent song.

Caleb Hines - Haven’t You Ever: I love this song. The piano and epic background choir accentuate the ridiculous examples of conspicuous excess you get to enjoy with your inheritance. The “you can’t take it with you” lyric is a great hook, and you have come up with some genuinely funny material to anchor it to. I like the story you tell here because you’ve created a character I can’t hate. I can’t blame you for enjoying the money, since you’re planning to pay it forward once your turn is up. This is a fun song that I feel good about listening to.

Bryce Jensen - Thank You: Well, this is an interesting take on a happy ex-lover death. You manage to stay upbeat despite the disappointment of not getting to kill her yourself. Heh. Funny premise, and you set it up nicely so it’s a surprise when you get to the chorus. The music is pretty straightforward but the layered vocals make for some interesting sounds - you have some unusual harmonies in the chorus that keep this from sounding too much like a cookie-cutter composition.

Pat And Gweebol - Baby Go To Sleep: This is a really creative approach to the challenge. The Romeo & Juliet story deserves some happy treatment, and you delivered it. Awesome piano that shifts between pop and retro rock, and your vocals are absolute ear candy. You have a great way of describing the love between these two that strips all elements of tragedy from their story. Great job.

The Boffo Yux Dudes - Marked For Death: This is a Monty Python sketch if ever there was one. It sounds like this idea wasn’t completely fleshed out because of the extensive repetition, but it’s a funny set of lines you are repeating. I’m a little distracted by the English accent, mainly because I’m trying to figure out if there’s a specific reason for it to be there and I can’t seem to find one. There is a fun cadence to the song, and I really enjoy the walking bass line in the accompaniment - there’s a really enjoyable mood that it sets, though I think the song could benefit from a change in dynamics just to keep things interesting.

Young Stroke aka Young Muscle - My Name Is Death: This song is all over the place. You’re definitely Death, but the song isn’t really happy. There are a couple places where you suggest that people shouldn’t be scared of you, but mostly I’m hearing a lot of the boasting one expects at a battle. As far as the technical aspect of the song goes, there are a handful of times where you completely interrupt your flow ( “my job.... makes people sob”, etc.), but then you also have a few great lines that flow really well ( “roll down the end of my sleeves I’m skeletal” ). You have sort of a Kottonmouth Kings vibe going on, which I like stylistically, but rap is all about flow and I think there are some pretty obvious places where a little more effort would have made a big difference.

Chris Cogott - Drag Me Down: Terrific happy rock n’ roll song here. The arrangement here is complex without being crowded, and the main riff and musical breaks are excellent. Unparalleled instrumentation and wonderful vocal harmonies. A forbidden love with a mermaid? He dies and gets to be with her in the end? Happy song about death indeed. “But give me some time to learn to breathe in your world” is an amazing lyric. I like everything about this.

Happi - The Next Part Of Life: This is what I was hoping for in a rap song about death. You have a message and you spend the entire song stating your case. The energy is high in all the right places, and “the next part of life” gives the song a place to breathe in between. You take the listener on a journey up and down with you, and it’s a great ride. Great flow throughout. I like the hard drums contrasting with the piano backing track - great arrangement. A nonbeliever myself, I had to laugh at the style change during the atheist break. I mean, of course atheists are death metal. What else could we be? It was a jarring change, but it worked with your lyrical content and I got a kick out of it. All in all, this is a great song with high replay value.

Emperor Gum - Frequency: This song is interesting and engaging; the tempo changes and breaks fit the story well. I really like those ups and downs, but this song spends a lot of its time in a dark place. The first two verses promise a little lightness even though there’s a sense of foreboding throughout, but things take a turn toward the end and I feel like the whole song was dark as a result.

Jon Eric - Birthday: I want this song to play at my funeral. I’m a big fan of the Irish drinking chanty, and this one is one of the most heartwarming and beautiful ones I’ve ever heard. I listen to this and sing along and think of everyone I’ve known and lost over the years, and it makes me hope I can say it when my days are up. This song moved me more than any other this round, just on the merits of the chorus itself.

Hudson And Day - Silly Baby: This song feels a little bit like it fell apart and was put back together at random. We have some powerful vocals and a smokey lounge piano that cruises along, but it’s hard to decipher whether these are two people talking to each other, or two voices in the same head, or what, I don’t know... There’s no structure I could observe and no story I could glean other than a single thought in the beginning that someone’s not happy and she’s going to kill her significant other, and then the song sorta disintegrates. It’s a little too avant garde for my tastes.

Mick Bordet - The Highland Coo Song: Oh, boy. There have been funny songs in the running, but this I think might be the first true novelty song. Okay, maybe this and Luke Brekke’s song. So, it’s funny, but you managed to make it so without really putting any jokes in here, though... it’s all just an honest praise of the animal that’s about to feed you. Nice. The flute (?) solo put a smile on my face, as did the ‘crowd singing’ of the chorus. This is also a song I should not have listened to while hungry.

Noah McLaughlin - Thank You, Joss Whedon: Oh, how I love a good nerdy homage. And oh, how I love Joss Whedon’s body of work, so you get bonus points right off the bat. Zombie Whedon fighting Buffy and Angel? Wacky and yet perfectly fitting. I like your singing voice - there’s a little Neil Diamond in your style. The tempo change right before Joss comes back was a little rough, but the rest of the song was solid. The guitars layered well, and the piano in the background of the chorus was a nice touch. Do a Firefly song next!

David Ritter - Requiem For Bob: We don’t get many bluegrass songs ‘round these parts, but this one is here and it’s great. You went meta for the humor, but you did it with subtlety. And you’re absolutely right that the banjo just brings the mood up. Everything about your performance feels authentic, right down to the slight drawl in your accent as you sing. Impressively done.

Heather Miller - Throw My Anchor Down: Doing something in the style of a slave song seems to be an odd choice at first, but then again this is exactly what those songs were about: they were a tool to distract people from their plight. So while it sounds somber to today’s ear, it once signified the uplifting spirit to overcome sadness and treachery. I really liked the section at 1:25; great melody, nice lyrics here. The song feels aged and hopeful.... just about right for this challenge.

Anna P - Jesus’s Best Friend: Your singing here is wonderful and it’s great that you let your voice take center stage here. I like the narrator’s expectations of heaven, there’s a sense of wonderment and innocence in the lyrics that suggest she died young, and yet the song is truly a happy one. This would’ve ranked pretty highly if it were in the running.

Donutworthy - Signal: Now this is something very unique. There’s a cool mix of shoegazer rock and space FX that sets the stage perfectly for this story. The doubled vocals add to the sci-fi mood, which in itself stands alone in being the only song here that tells of the death of something that isn’t a person or animal. Kill off an entire planet and sing happy songs of the intrepid survivors. Heh, this might actually be the Firefly song I requested from Noah. Great job, guys!

Green Mama Bathsalts - See You In Hell: This was one of the most enjoyable narratives I’ve heard so far. It’s a simple song but it’s an intriguing story. I’m imagining this being sung by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; lifelong friends getting into their share of trouble, having that trouble catch up with them, and going out together without regret. I really like it.

Common Lisp - Today Is Not That Day: This song defies categorization. There’s something of a modern/archaic juxtaposition throughout. The vocals remind me of a medieval chant, the treble- heavy dueling guitars have a madrigal quality to them, and the booming drums add to that pseudo-ancient vibe. This doesn’t sound like anything else here and it is terribly, terribly cool. I love the message and I love the delivery. I love the sound. Good work, Paul.

Kevin's Rankings: (the number is how many points you got from Kevin)
Edric Haleen - 37
Bryon Blocker And The Offbeats - 36
Jutze - 35
Godz Poodlz - 34
Ross Durand - 33
Pat And Gweebol - 32
Happi - 31
Jon Eric - 30
Dr. Lindyke - 29
Jason Morris - 28
Governing Dynamics - 27
Chris Cogott - 26
Charlie McCarron - 25
Caleb Hines - 24
Glen Raphael - 23
Alex Carpenter - 22
Inverse T. Clown - 21
Steve Durand - 20
The Offhand Band - 19
Brian Daniell - 18
Matt Walton - 17
Spencer Sokol - 16
BucketHat Bobby Matheson - 15
Matt And Donna - 14
Wait What - 13
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 12
Bryce Jensen - 11
Menage’A Tune - 10
Tally Deushane - 9
Emperor Gum - 8
Luke Brekke, Esquire - 7
Ethan Ivey - 6
Alexa Polasky - 5
Hudson And Day - 4
Gold Lion - 3
Young Stroke aka Young Muscle - 2
Doom SKITTLE - 1


  1. Huh. I had never thought of Joss Whedon as the apostrophed "you" in my song. The title was a complete fluke: as a Spin Tunes newb, (and Song Fight! veteran)I just called it "If You're Happy and You Know it, Raise the Dead." The Whedon thing was only commentary. I have since changed the title to "Sunnydale Wake," since my original ideal for the "you" was The Master.

    But now that you point out a zombie, Joss Whedon, I like it even better. Changing the title again.

  2. Wow. Without descending into a "review of the judges", I'm really impressed with the quality of the judging in this round! We're getting actual thoughtful commentary and constructive criticism out of you guys, and that's entirely... pleasant.

    Thanks for the comments, Kevin. The first half of "Wake Me..." is intentionally trite. It's the same old placebos that Mike picked up on in all those Catholic funerals, intended to re-assure. The second half is when we're supposed to see that the words are sincere. We were hoping we could do that through the music, and I'm glad to see it worked in your case.

    It's a great review, and we're flattered. Again, thanks.

  3. ((huggaKevin)) Glad you were cherrfully creeped out!

  4. Graham (Emperor Gum + DonutWorthy)July 4, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Thanks for the review, Kevin! You're right, Frquency was too dark. I'm giddy that you're thought Signal evoked Firefly, I had that image from the start of Serenity of the ships blasting off from Earth in my head!

  5. Kevin, thanks so much for taking the time and effort to review my shadow! I was very saddened that I couldn't manage a better showing for Spintunes 3, and getting some positive feedback helps. I'm not truly satisfied with the song, and the recording was very rushed, but I'm glad that apparently you were able to hear the song-in-progress I had going on in my head.