Sunday, February 17, 2013

SpinTunes 6 Round 3 Challenge

Well, we made it to Round 3 by the skin of our teeth. A number of the judges weren't terribly fond of innuendo, which is a risk we took. We understood at the outset that folks who had never visited the University of South Carolina may not appreciate the fondness we have for our beloved Cocks. Nevertheless we're through, and that's what counts.  This week's challenge:
Occupy SpinTunes - Write a protest song in which you try to convince your listeners about something you strongly believe. (2 minute minimum) (your submission is due February 24th 11:59PM)
Oh, joy! This would appear to be the sort of thing that William can sink his teeth into, and I think it's best that we run with whatever idea he has, and give him most of the week to work on it. I also think we should expect elimination.

Spintown and the judges may believe they have a well-defined challenge here (and it is about as good as you can hope for), but the wiggle room here isn't for the competitors... it's for the judges. I'm fairly well convinced that we'll see evaluations based largely on how well we convince them... and should they have dearly held views that at odds with our own strongly held beliefs, then no convincing is possible, and no decent score is forthcoming.

Be that as it may, we shall buck up and do the challenge as written... no guessing at what might be a popular belief, or what the judges might agree with. No meaningless "crunchy-vs-smooth peanut butter" avoidance of the challenge. At least I hope not.

Wish us luck.


Update: In the first round we wrote right out in the open. In the second round, due to the surprise value, we said nothing. Here I'll be a little more reserved than in the first round, but will share a few thoughts.

First I'll note a couple of items of reference. Wikipedia has an article on protest songs. In addition to averring that protest songs are of a socially relevant nature, we also learn the following:
"Protest songs are frequently situational, having been associated with a social movement through context. "Goodnight Irene", for example, acquired the aura of a protest song because it was written by Lead Belly, a black convict and social outcast, although on its face it is a love song. Or they may be abstract, expressing, in more general terms, opposition to injustice and support for peace, or free thought, but audiences usually know what is being referred to."
At the moment we're still considering topics, but I personally am leaning toward a more abstract, minimalistic style for this performance. Just me and the piano. I've asked William to keep that in mind.

Since the challenge is wide open as to what we can actually protest... the only limit being "something you strongly believe", we kicked the tires on everything from spousal abuse (I'm from a broken home, so that's something I could get into, performance-wise) to nuclear disarmament (unlike many of the contestants, we were children of the Cold War and actually remember a day when "duck and cover" wasn't funny).


A possibility we rejected is the results of last round's judging. That was actually floated as a joke in last night's chat, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it could make a pretty damned decent protest song, if your mind is capable of separating fact from fiction.


Well... we did reject it. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would actually make a good song. And since the only people it would offend are those that actually earned it, I went ahead and did it, and I've moved that discussion into another post.


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