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Sunday, June 26, 2011

SpinTunes #3: Round 2 Challenge

BREAKING NEWS! - You‘re writing a topical song. The challenge is pretty wide open, but there are some restrictions. Topical is going to be defined as something from a headline in a newspaper no older than 2 weeks from today. You can use your local newspaper or a major publication. You‘re even allowed to use the online versions of major publications. You will be required to include a link to the story that inspired your song, or attach a scan from the newspaper. (2 minute minimum) (your submission is due July 3rd 11:59PM)

If you have a question about a source, just send me an e-mail. What we’re looking for is a headline from a newspaper that is, or has been in print at some point. If the online version is something you have to subscribe to, I will allow you to submit screen grabs of your computer screen.

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. PLEASE do not wait until the last hour to send me something. If there is a blackout in your area, your computer crashes, or your dog actually eats your thumb drive...I will not care. You are allowed to send in a draft of your song early just in case something horrible happens & you miss the deadline. Then you can add polish to your song & send in a better version closer to the deadline. 1 minute late is still late people.

- 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. You do not have to send in MP3's.

- 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, Sound Cloud, Drop Box, 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. THIS IS THE BEST FILE SHARING OPTION!

Side Notes:
- PLEASE do your best to send in submissions that BandCamp will allow me to upload. Details about what BandCamp allows are only a mouse click away.

- Remember that you are allowed to send in a little background about your song. Some people don't like to do that, and you don't have to, but if you want to write a couple sentences about your song I'll post it on the BandCamp page for people to see. Some judges will look at the lyrics & this extra info, but they aren't required to.

- If you didn't sign-up in time to compete in SpinTunes #3, you can still complete the challenge & send in a song. It'll be uploaded with the other entries as a "Shadow Song". Check the FAQ if you don't know what that means. You can even complete past challenges from previous contests.

- If you didn't sign-up you can also do a song for "Single Rainbow Across The Internet". You're song would be played during the LP as well.

- The only other way to get your music played at the LP is to cover "Today's The Day" by Inverse T. Clown. This project was started in our little community of friends long before SpinTunes even started.

- Feel free to leave any questions in the comments.


  1. By "topical" do you mean it has to be related to the story itself, or can we use the headline as a jumping off point/theme/metaphor/whatever?

  2. We want you to write a song related to the story itself.

  3. As sources go, you say newspaper, but then you also say major publication. So would a magazine work? Like TIME or Wallstreet Journal or Scientific American or National Geographic? They are major news publications but not newspapers per se.

  4. I meant major publications as in large newspapers like the NY Times. I don't think magazines would be a problem, but just to make sure I avoid getting links to Highlights, Zoo Pets & Playboy...lets just stick with newspapers.

  5. I want to do Highlights! Wait a minute - We're shadowing, so we can do whatever we want (Insert Evil Laugh Here)

  6. If a song is clearly topical, must it be tied to a particular headline?

  7. Yep, but if it's clearly topical, it shouldn't be that difficult to find an article for it. Tons of newspapers are online, so start sifting through stories.

  8. How strict is the 2 week limit? If there's an article on the NYTimes website published 6/9 (just over 2 weeks ago) with almost the exact title I want, is that okay? There are other articles on the same subject which are currently being published, but I sort of want to reference the title of this one.

  9. I'm going to be an a-hole and say really strict. I just eliminated a bunch of people in round 1 for missing the deadline by minutes. Might not go over well if I start bending deadlines & stuff like that now. :p

  10. Does UPI qualify or do I have to find a newspaper that runs the UPI story?

  11. Does the title of the song need to be the same as the headline? Or does the song just need to be inspired by/based on the particular story.

  12. The title of the song can be anything you want. The song just needs to be based on the stoy.

    I was just asked in an e-mail about the Associated Press & Reuters; and now UPI. Technically it's not a newspaper, but since it is how newspapers get a vast amount of their content, I'll allow all 3 of those.

  13. This week is going to turn out to be a hotbed of newsaliciousness. Blago, Qaddafi, changing a state vegetable... Phew, it's gonna be tough to pick just one. Good luck, contestants!