Tuesday, February 26, 2013

SpinTunes 6 Round 3 Reviews

Wow... tough round! I'm glad the judges are doing the judging. I'm going to give you opinions anyway.

First, the songs:

And, so there's no guesswork about it, here are my picks for "The Final Four" (in order of preference):
Ross Durand - Don't Send Them Away
Jenny Katz - Next Nice Town
Edric Haleen - On The Matter Of Bullying
The Middle Relievers - Love Builds Homes
Now the whys and wherefores (in album order):

TurboShandy - Guns 
Catchy and well-executed (can I say "executed" for this song??) but lacks subtlety.

Jenny Katz - Next Nice Town 
Witty, clever, and easy to listen to. It's a scathing rebuttal of First World insensitivity that has a bit of that Joni Mitchell "They Paved Paradise" vibe, and which suprised me with a little Hendrix homage. This is one of my picks for the final four.

RC - An Equal Start 
This has a great melody and sound. To my ears it's the best produced song of the round. Like TurboShandy's entry, I think the lyrics lack a little subtlety. 

Edric Haleen - On The Matter Of Bullying 
Edric starts this song in the "kiddie pool" and wades into progressively deeper waters. Not content to describe bullying, he punctuates his point with an assault-weapon barrage of words that will resonate with anyone who's been bullied. And once he posits that the adults will have a solution, he goes on to prove they don't. It's a great illustration that bullying reaches far beyond the playground. One of my picks for the final four.

Ross Durand - Don't Send Them Away
This is the quintenssential protest song format and subject. Ross bullseyed the challenge with this folksy military lament, and he makes it personal by adopting the voice of a wounded veteran. One of my picks for the final four, and my number one choice overall.

Steve Durand - Just War 
"Is it a just war / or is it just war?" I like the hook, I like the funk. As a war protest I don't think it carries the same kind of emotional impact as Ross' entry.
Steve has written a song bio.

Jerry Skids - The Separation Of State And Nothing
I was initially put off by the harsh vocals and the fact that it initially seems to be a bunch of aimless bitching, switching targets from verse to verse, finally resolving in the bridge into a protest against the Pledge of Allegiance. Then it hit me that the delivery (complete with explosive plosives) and the rambling seem to follow the pattern of a George Carlin-style monologue.  It became a lot more clever. Carlin had pretty much the same opinion of the Pledge.
Jerry has written a song bio.
“I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.” -- George Carlin
The Middle Relievers - Love Builds Homes
Instantly brain-catching song which makes it's point through illustrative storytelling, not bludgeoning. I wish the vocals were cleaner. It sounds like in a place or two the choice of note may have been up in the air. Nevertheless, one of my picks for the final four.

Brian Gray - Walk (Live From Woodbury)
Love the 9/4 time (which I mistook for 6/4 on first listen). It's clever, but as a protest song "about something you strongly believe", I think this Walking Dead tribute takes too many liberties with the challenge to hit the final four.
Brian has written a song bio. (I admit to not catching the hunger angle at all.)

Dr. Lindyke - The Square
Competent drums and piano this time, but given the dated material, weak vocals, and the strength of the other entries, I think it would be a travesty if this weren't our last round.
I've written a song bio.

MC Ohm-I - If You Don't Like Gay Marriage
I like everything I've heard from MC Ohm-I, and on this particular subject he's preaching to the choir. That said, this loses me a bit in the statistics. I think the Middle Relievers tackled this subject more convincingly, pulling both the intellectual and emotional strings. MC Ohm-I is missing the emotion.

Kevin Savino-Riker - Dinosaur Sam
This challenge was tailor-made for KSR's distinctive vocals. This has some really clever wordplay... and the West Coast funk is spot-on. I think it's edged out by my top-four pics, though.
Kevin has written a song bio.


"Buckethat" Bobby - Knock Off (Shadow)
The most polite protest song you will ever hear... a true Canadian protest. Stop fighting, eh? It's a shame it didn't make the deadline. I don't think it needs the bass.

The Boffo Yux Dudes - Eat The Whales (Shadow) 
I keep threatening to analyze the distinctive "BYD mode" of which this song is a prime example. I started to do that here, but it really deserves an essay, and maybe a government-funded study.

The Boffo Yux Dudes - The Ballad of the Last of the Hackers (Shadow) 
There will NEVER be a last hacker. ;)

Dr. Lindyke - Memory Of A Future Past (Shadow) 
This protests nuclear proliferation by means of a vision of the future. It's my first attempt at a live electric bass guitar, and I'm fairly happy with the way that turned out.
I've written a song bio.

Dr. Lindyke - It's A Joke, Not A Dick (Shadow)
The full title is "It's a Joke, Not a Dick (don't take it so hard)". Some people have suggested this should have been our official entry. Nah. This is a joke, and it's for a very limited audience of people who I hope have a sense of humor. Making it official would have ruined it as a joke and made it an insult.
I've written a song bio.


Steve Durand said...

Thanks for the review.

I posted a short song bio here:


Dave Leigh said...

Thanks, Steve, and thanks for the song. The domestic drones do bother me, as does the purchase of 1.4 Billion rounds of ammunition for domestic use. *shudder*

Call me an anarchist, or call me a patriot, I don't care which. But I don't trust any government official who WANTS me to trust him to this extent. I think our system was specifically designed to limit the power available to those who want it. Smart design.

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