Monday, February 25, 2013

SpinTunes #6 Round 3 Songs

There were some issues with U-Stream dropping audio, but overall the listening party went smoothly.  I just switched over to watch on YouTube & had no audio drops.  Seemed like an issue with U-Stream, and nothing we could blame Heather for.  Tom did a fine job once again.

The songs are now available for FREE download, and you can vote for your favorite entries as well. Many of you will be asking friends and family to support you in the popular vote. That's great, but when you do, please ask them to listen to all the songs & vote for their favorites. You can vote for up to 5 different people, so they might as well listen to everyone.

Until the round 4 songs are posted I will only allow people to download the round 3 album as a whole. But even after that, PLEASE download the entire album vs downloading just a handful of songs while the contest is on going. BandCamp limits how many free downloads I can give away, and 1 album download counts the same as 1 song download.

After the Listening party ended, some of us hung out in a Google+ hang out awhile. If you want to drop into our next hangout you can add me to your circles & I'll add you my SpinTunes circle. Also, we have a private Facebook group that any song contributor to the contest is allowed to join. I'd love to see you all there joining in on the conversations.

With 12 entries turned in for round 3, that means there will be 8 eliminations this round to set us up for the final round. That would leave 4 finalists for round 4. Good luck everyone.

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

(Album cover by Matt Schubbe)

- You can vote for your favorite songs with the poll in the right sidebar. -->

- Popular vote stays open until noon on March 1st  (F)

- Judges & guest judges have until noon on March 1st before noon (F) to hand in their reviews.

- Spintown will post the Reviews & Eliminations before 11PM on March 2nd (Sat).

- March 3rd 1AM (Sun) - The final Challenge is announced.

If anyone wants to make a video for their song, Spintown will include it here:

Links Of Interest:
- Dave Leigh wrote a song bio for all 3 of the Dr. Lindyke songs this round. (1, 2, & 3)
- Brian Gray wrote a song bio for his entry this round.
- Dave Leigh wrote reviews for this round.
- Jerry Skids wrote a song bio for his entry this round.
- Steve Durand wrote a song bio for his entry this round.
- Kevin Savino-Riker wrote a song bio for his entry this round.

Round 3 LP & Deadline News

For now you should know:
- There are 12 official entries on the album & 3 shadows. (unless more come in)
- I think I responded to all e-mails.
- The listening party will be hosted by Tom on U-stream tonight. It's at 8PM.

Listening Party Location:

Deadline Eliminations: Josh Holober-Ward - "Buckethat" Bobby

There will be 8 more judges eliminations to make this round. Good luck.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

SpinTunes #6: Round 3 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)

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.

- 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.

- 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!

- Other file sharing options if you need them: YouSendIt, Sound Cloud & Drop Box. 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.

Side Notes:
- Good luck everyone. I don't care who wins, but I hope you all have fun & maybe even learn a little something along the way.

- 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 #6, 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.

- Feel free to leave any questions in the comments.

Spintunes #6 Round 2 Review: Debs And Errol

Hello Spintunes and welcome back for Round 2, 'Song Fight'!

For Round 1, we ranked the songs together straight off the bat. This time we separately gave each song a rating between 1-10 separately and then combined those scores to get our final rankings. We were really impressed with the diversity of the submissions and many of the scores were really tightly packed.

Debs wrote up most of these which is why Errol keeps arguing with her about word choice even though he agrees with the content. Songs are posted in their original Bandcamp order.

1. TurboShandy - 'Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch FC'
We utterly adore this and even if you hadn't taken on the huge challenge of pronouncing one of the longest place names in the world, we would still utterly adore it. The metaphor in the fourth line is beautiful and 'singing it right' adds just that little hint of humour. The Celtic marching feel is irresistible and you completely sell it with those gorgeous, authentic vocals. It feels really epic, but almost understated at the same time which lets the deep pride and affection for the team really come through. The way you bring things down at the end instead of piling on more vocals is unexpected, but we like it.

Errol: Every time I see see that word, which is really just twice now, I think Piggy Wiggy. Which reminds me of Asterix & Obelix, who are gaulish! See how that fits?

Debs: No.

2. Glen Raphael - 'Gunn High Chess Team Fight!'
It feels there's a disconnection between the lyrics and the actual delivery because you're using a lot of aggressive words like 'dead', 'fight' and 'mighty' but there's very little aggression and drive in the way you're singing it. This would be a lot more effective if you either punched up the vocals or went with lyrics that were less in your face like 'better options are rarely seen'. It might be fun to play up the fact that the team is sort of uncomfortable about being aggressive in the jock sense because they're not naturally that way. More presence in the background bass would also help punch this up. The harmonies on this are really cohesive and we dig your choice of team.

E: Maybe they were trying to be in character. Chess people not really that excited about winning and being mighty. But if that were the case, I think the awkward could have been played better too.

D: You should know, you do awkward well.

E: Ya. Thanks for that.

3. Jenny Katz - 'Load The Cannon, Light The Fuse'
This actually feels thoroughly British as far as lyrics and performance go and that's really impressive. It comes across as slightly reserved and the jabs at the Emirates and the US are precise and elegant and bring a twinge of haughty pride to the mix. On headphones, the reverb feels a little thick when the additional voice comes into the second verse. On speakers, it's all good though. This is quite unique and ridiculously well crafted.

E: I read that as Warcraft.

D: Uh hunh.

E: See what I did there? War? Well crafted?

D: ...

4. The Middle Relievers - 'Here's To Joe's'
Now we're starting to get our hands dirty with a more traditional take on the challenge. We love the rough feel to this and the vocals completely sell it - they're really high quality without being too perfect...because you know, we're drinking after all. Melodically, this is pretty much perfect because it feels so natural and the rhythmic variation between the verse and the chorus is great. We hear some clipping in places like 'Home Run' but given the style we don't really mind. We like the clinking glasses but don't think they needed to be used as often as they were. A really solid entry.

E: The clicking reminded me of Monty Python.

D: Don't quote.

E: 'Where'd you get the coconuts?'


E: *sigh*

5. Brian Gray - 'Fei Gong!'
D: Notes from my first listen were ':D :D :D !!!!' because I was laughing too hard to get anything else down. This is a work of genius. The vocals are so darn earnest and just a tad sheepish at the same time as if to say, 'Yes, we know this is just slightly left-of-center'.

This is the smartest lyric of the challenge for us - 'Two teams enter, two teams leave' just about killed us and bringing in tapestry and crowning jewel feels very culturally appropriate. The breakdown is really wonderful too. We stand in awe.

E: This reminds me of 'Kung Fu Hustle.'

D: Every song reminds you of something.

6. Steven Wesley Guiles - 'Minecraft Fight Song' DISQUALIFIED
D: All right, I have a confession to make. I have never played Minecraft. I know how awful that is, being in a geek band, but it's true and I'm ashamed to say it.

Of course you wrote a Minecraft song, Steven! You are clearly having an awesome time with this and it shows. It has wonderful energy and excitement to it and is also really accessible for listeners of all ages. That's not just because you've brought in the kids but also because of the call and response in the 'Building! Crafting!' section. We love the pixelated-sounding intro and the synth that comes along for the melody ride provides some really nice support for the singing.

Unfortunately, we had to agree that Team Minecraft it doesn't qualify as a sports team and that makes us sad.

E: The 8 bit sounding intro you mean? How can it be pixelated?

D: Because it's old!


D: Yeah but it's still about things being broken up into little bits.

7. RC - 'We Will Bury You'
D: I gave these lyrics absolutely no credit until my third listen when I started reading along. Then I realized that they are ridiculously clever and awesome. Oh man, the puns!

The production is really high quality but we found ourselves wishing for a little more grit and oomph to really get the bite across because it almost seems too polished. We think that having multiple voices bringing in some raw energy would pretty much do it. What you're doing on the last 'you' there is utterly wonderful and the switch into minor there is perfect.

E: 'Switch into Minor'? You DO know what that tune is, don't you?

D: Yes. Sheesh!

8. Edric Haleen - 'A Father's Fight Song'
E: Debs, are you crying again?

D: What?!

E: You don't even have kids! Ugh... I'm surrounded by people with emotions.

Once again you've completely disarmed us with an arrow from left-field that that that goes straight to the heart. We know you said in your song bio that you loathed this challenge, but being able to pull something out of parameters you hate kind of feels good for the songwriting soul, right? The crowd and the kids in the background bring us right into the moment with you and that one synth is placed exactly where it should be for the mood shift.  This is poignant and beautiful.

9. Army Defense - '72Dolphins' DISQUALIFIED
This is pretty strong performance-wise and the vocals are cool but it's a victory song, not a fight song. That being said, we do like the lyrics a lot, especially what you've done with 'white lines'. There's no build climax to it though and unfortunately the long, drawn out clip became boring very fast and we found it hard to stay interested.

E: This reminds me of....

D: Stop it!

E: But...

D: Not listening!

10. The Chocolate Chips - 'Indian Cricket Team Fight Song (Win For India!)'
The exotic choice of team here made us chuckle and does make this stand out. Although the instrumental choices are really fitting, the tune feels quite Western in terms of its actual composition. We would have loved it you had taken the Indian influence further and drawn from traditional musical styles (we're thinking along the lines of using ragas or even going Bollywood). The fact that it's laid back seems really appropriate but it really does still feel like a fight song so kudos there. The lyrics aren't coming through distinctly in the mix, but one thing we'd like to suggest is to really be conscious of word and syllable emphasis. The line 'Defend our wicket' sounds forced and awkward because the melody is placing emphasis in the wrong place. If you were to speak this line, you would usually say 'DEfend our WICket' but what you've actually sung is 'DEfend OUR wickET.'

E: Hah! That's great! Wicket reminds me of -

D: Star Wars.

E: Yes.

D: Yes.

11. Kevin Savino-Riker - The 12th Man
The 12th man concept is really cool and make this stand out as unique even though it's a traditional as far the team you've chosen. There are some really tight harmonies in this one and we like how it builds and layers. The vocal delivery doesn't quite bring the bite and excitement we're wishing for - we want it to be rougher and less perfect with some added weight in the lower register.

E: Oh. That's a sporting term. I had to look it up.

D: It didn't remind you of anything?

E: Oh! It reminded me of -


12. Blimp Exhaust - Checkmate!
D:  CHESS PUNCH IN THE FACE! I don't think I've ever been this excited about chess, ever.

You do so many thing right here. 'Checkmate' is the perfect hook and 'You shall not pass' earned the loudest laugh of the night. We love how you're messing with our heads at 0:50, alternating bars of rhymically straightforward with crazy overlaid patterns. The minor on 'Your' ('kick your ass') is fresh because it's so unexpected.

E: What's wrong with chess? Why aren't you excited about it?

D: ...

E: You hate nerds.


13. Jerry Skids - Psyche 'Em Out!
HAH! Nice team choice. Energetically, this is another punch to the face, which is fabulous. We're really impressed that you can hit everything as cleanly as you are and still be belting, clearly you have superb vocal control.  We really like how the refrain comes right out of the verses without a break. We wouldn't have thought that would work but the 'beeeeers' yell as it's transitioning pulls it all together seamlessly. There's an unpolished and careless vibe to the lyrics (e.g. the 'blonde dude' line) that really fits the mood well. You've managed to put a lot of content into the lyrics and yet it's still really easy to sing along to the whole thing. Love it.

E: I thought he was saying 'bears'.

D: Uh hunh...

E: So I thought that was a real sport team.

D: Yup.

E: You're not listening to me... are you...

D: Uh hunh...

14. Dr. Lindyke - 'Cock Fight'
D: Please tell me he didn't...

E: You usually like stuff like this...

D: o.O

We know from the song bio that this challenge was a big stretch for you and that makes this even more impressive. You pulled it off admirably, better than admirably in fact. There was no waiting for jokes because they were stuffed into every line and damn well played.

E: Debs, are you crying again?

D: I'm crying because awesome!

The blending of voices is really well done and the panning is great too.

15. Steve Durand - Put Your Mettle To The Pedals
Clever title! This gets us right in the game and the horn flourishes are a real delight.  Bits of the lyrics were a bit hard to decipher but there are some great lines ('set the tempo' is a particular favourite and really elegant).  This is a really solid entry that does everything right.

D: I cringed a bit when 'Jaune' was mispronounced but after multiple listens I find it endearing since they wouldn't speak French anyway. I am confused about one thing though.

E: What?

D: What does HGH and EPO stand for? Because the Internet says it's drugs.

E: Umm....yeah.

D: But why are the mailmen taking drugs?

E: You do know this isn't a made up team right?

D: Oh. OH. I kind of just thought all the time biking around delivering mail would make them as good as professional bikers. Now I think I love that section more.

16. "BucketHat" Bobby - YTCWGWCT
D: A curling song! I love curling!

E: Wait, you've curled?

D: Yes!

E: Me too.


E: Yup... played on a team and everything.

D: You É did a SPORT!?

Ah, curling, a sport nestled in our Canadian hearts. The lyric is quite clever (rock into a roll) and it just wouldn't be a curling song without 'Hurry! Haaaaaaard!'  The flow of 'Yukon Territories' Canada Winter Games Women's Curling Team is really nice. It has a good sound and an easy groove but there's no energy spurring us onto new heights, so as a fight song, it feels a little indirect. The accordion (synth?) has some timing issues and there are a few trouble spots vocally but the performance overall is quite solid.

17. Ross Durand - Bigger In Texas
This so easily could have been just another football song but it's poking fun at itself with a twist that is really wonderful. It's highly smart, amusing and darn entertaining. It didn't really bring the ÒfightÓ energy in a traditional sense but we think that kind of works for the context. This is perfect Texas music too.

E: How would you know what perfect Texas music is?

D: I've been through Texas.

18. MC Ohm-I - Let's Go Mets
Nice polished production here and the horns lend a really grand sense of occasion. The rap section has really great energy and get us pumped up and going with quick rhythms but once 'Time to play ball' kicks in, the drive kind of peters out. I think it's because those lines are sung in a really smooth, elongated manner and that creates a lull. All of the vocals from then on out feel sound really polished but far too restrained so there's no sense of love, fight or passion. Really love the lyrics in the first verse.

E: Do people actually sing songs at sports things?

D: 'Sports things?'

E: Ya... those things people go to É

D: We do.

19. Josh Holober-Ward - Let's Go Ravens!
This is a lot of fun! These are stellar vocals and you make a cappella sound effortless when we know that it's actually anything but. The intro growl and the rap later on are fabulous and really showcase your versatility. Lyrically there's a lot of great humour that we really dig. We also love how it feels as though you're making it up on the spot. Caw-CAW!

E: Uh... I didn't say 'Caw-CAW' at the end. That's all Debs.

D: What's wrong with that? I was imitating them!

E: He made it sound funny. You didn't.

D: Typing doesn't sound like anything!

20. Edric Haleen - ICA School Song (SHADOW)
* Laughs * This sounds so campy but that's a good thing. I like that it's crunchy. It's really sing-alongable too. It's cool that you took something you made this fifteen years ago. Your vocals are clear and fit the song and has the right amount of spirit and enthusiasm.

E: It's crunchy? WHERE'S CRUNCHY?

D: It sounds crunchy...and distorted! And that's cool!

E: I thought you've dated enough guitarists to know what crunchy mean.

D: Remember that jerk comment?

21. The Boffo Yux Dudes - Go, Trenton Wolverines! (Shadow)
Ha! Great take on the challenge! An embittered non-popular kid gets tasked with writing the team spirit song and for some reason, no one checks the lyrics. He's probably the creepy kid on the sidelines that stares at the one cheerleader whom he longs for but can't approach her. Not that this was Errol in anyway. Nope. Nosirree...

E: I'm hungry for a whopper now.

D: I don't think I've eaten a whopper in my entire life.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

SpinTunes #6 Round 2 Totals

Here are the links to your reviews:

Official Judges:

Guest Judges: Stephen Carradini
Alternate Judge's Review: Coming soon

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

Unfortunately there was a lot of people the judges & I considered for disqualification this round.  I think we looked for ways to NOT DQ people, but in the end there were 2 songs that we just couldn't find a reason to let through based on the challenge.  Getting DQ'ed does not mean the judges didn't like your song.  It just means we didn't think it met the challenge.

You guys will notice that the last elimination spot was decided by popular vote. (as the rules state) This isn't the first time this has happened, so please keep in mind that even though the popular vote doesn't count as a can still be important.

As usual, if your name is in bold, you have been DQ'ed or eliminated.  I hope you all decide to shadow, because it's been a lot of fun having you participate thus far.

Feel free to check for mistakes in my math...again.

Totals: (Debs &Errol) (Paul) (Niveous) (Graham) (Travis) (Stephen)
TurboShandy - 17 - 12 - 14 - 16 - 4 - 17 (80)
Steve Durand - 12 - 17 - 9 - 15 - 17 - 3 (73)
Jenny Katz - 15 - 2 - 10 - 13 - 14 - 16 (70)
The Middle Relievers - 10 - 11 - 12 - 12 - 13 - 11 (69)
Jerry Skids - 14 - 10 - 16 - 6 - 7 - 14 (67)
MC Ohm-I - 4 - 15 - 17 - 14 - 8 - 9 (67)
Ross Durand - 8 - 14 - 15 - 9 - 10 - 6 (62)
Kevin Savino-Riker - 6 - 16 - 6 - 7 - 11 - 12 (58)
Edric Haleen - 16 - 13 - 5 - 5 - 6 - 10 (55)
RC - 5 - 5 - 8 - 10 - 12 - 8 (48)
Brian Gray - 13 - 4 - 3 - 17 - 9 - 1 (47)
Josh Holober-Ward - 3 - 9 - 2 - 8 - 16 - 7 (45)
Dr Lindyke - 9 - 8 - 7 - 11 - 5 - 2 (42)
"BucketHat" Bobby - 2 - 3 - 13 - 4 - 1 - 15 (38)
Blimp Exhaust - 7 - 1 - 11 - 3 - 3 - 13 (38)
The Chocolate Chips - 11 - 7 - 4 - 2 - 2 - 4 (30)
Glen Raphael - 1 - 6 - 1 - 1 - 15 - 5 (29)
Steven Wesley Guiles - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 (0)
Army Defense - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 (0)

Debs And Errol:
TurboShandy - 17
Edric Haleen - 16
Jenny Katz - 15
Jerry Skids - 14
Brian Gray - 13
Steve Durand - 12
The Chocolate Chips - 11
The Middle Relievers - 10
Dr Lindyke - 9
Ross Durand - 8
Blimp Exhaust - 7
Kevin Savino-Riker - 6
RC - 5
MC Ohm-I - 4
Josh Holober-Ward - 3
"BucketHat" Bobby - 2
Glen Raphael - 1
Steven Wesley Guiles - 0
Army Defense - 0

Paul Potts:
Steve Durand - 17
Kevin Savino-Riker - 16
MC Ohm-I - 15
Ross Durand - 14
Edric Haleen - 13
TurboShandy - 12
The Middle Relievers - 11
Jerry Skids - 10
Josh Holober-Ward - 9
Dr Lindyke - 8
The Chocolate Chips - 7
Glen Raphael - 6
RC - 5
Brian Gray - 4
"BucketHat" Bobby - 3
Jenny Katz - 2
Blimp Exhaust - 1
Steven Wesley Guiles - 0
Army Defense - 0

Niveous Devilchild:
MC Ohm-I - 17
Jerry Skids - 16
Ross Durand - 15
TurboShandy - 14
"BucketHat" Bobby - 13
The Middle Relievers - 12
Blimp Exhaust - 11
Jenny Katz - 10
Steve Durand - 9
RC - 8
Dr Lindyke - 7
Kevin Savino-Riker - 6
Edric Haleen - 5
The Chocolate Chips - 4
Brian Gray - 3
Josh Holober-Ward - 2
Glen Raphael - 1
Steven Wesley Guiles - 0
Army Defense - 0

Graham Porter:
Brian Gray - 17
TurboShandy - 16
Steve Durand - 15
MC Ohm-I - 14
Jenny Katz - 13
The Middle Relievers - 12
Dr Lindyke - 11
RC - 10
Ross Durand - 9
Josh Holober-Ward - 8
Kevin Savino-Riker - 7
Jerry Skids - 6
Edric Haleen - 5
"BucketHat" Bobby - 4
Blimp Exhaust - 3
The Chocolate Chips - 2
Glen Raphael - 1
Steven Wesley Guiles - 0
Army Defense - 0

Travis Norris:
Steve Durand - 17
Josh Holober-Ward - 16
Glen Raphael - 15
Jenny Katz - 14
The Middle Relievers - 13
RC - 12
Kevin Savino-Riker - 11
Ross Durand - 10
Brian Gray - 9
MC Ohm-I - 8
Jerry Skids - 7
Edric Haleen - 6
Dr Lindyke - 5
TurboShandy - 4
Blimp Exhaust - 3
The Chocolate Chips - 2
"BucketHat" Bobby - 1
Steven Wesley Guiles - 0
Army Defense - 0

Stephen Carradini:
TurboShandy - 17
Jenny Katz - 16
"BucketHat" Bobby - 15
Jerry Skids - 14
Blimp Exhaust - 13
Kevin Savino-Riker - 12
The Middle Relievers - 11
Edric Haleen - 10
MC Ohm-I - 9
RC - 8
Josh Holober-Ward - 7
Ross Durand - 6
Glen Raphael - 5
The Chocolate Chips - 4
Steve Durand - 3
Dr Lindyke - 2
Brian Gray - 1
Steven Wesley Guiles - 0
Army Defense - 0

Popular Vote Totals:
Jerry Skids - 59
Dr Lindyke - 18
Brian Gray - 12
Kevin Savino-Riker - 11
Jenny Katz - 10
RC - 10
Edric Haleen - 8
"BucketHat" Bobby - 8
Josh Holober-Ward - 8
TurboShandy - 7
Steve Durand - 5
Ross Durand - 5
MC Ohm-I - 5
Blimp Exhaust - 4
Glen Raphael - 3
Steven Wesley Guiles - 3
Army Defense - 3
The Chocolate Chips - 3
The Middle Relievers - 2
(184 total votes)

Spintunes #6 Round 2 Review: Graham Porter

I'm not going to use my last rounds point system here because I don't think it fits the challenge. It's a really good idea for you all to write either a brief when you submit your entry or link to a song bio. I promise I will read it! It helps gives an insight for the judges, helps us pick on things we might miss otherwise.

TurboShandy - Llanfairpwillo…Llanfiaiuh…Llafiaph…Lando…[sigh]...LFC
-While the punch is hilarious, this song work just as well in complete earnest. Beautifully folk music arrangement on top of a good marching drum rhythm. Some pretty rousing lyrics and some pretty vocals to boot.

Glen Raphael - Gunn High Chess Team Fight!
-Solid accapella, the melody is mostly good but falters and feels out of place in the bridge section. Good job on working in so many chess references, but lines like "play like a man insane" don't feel very chess like. Nice key change.

Jenny Katz - Load The Cannon, Light The Fuse
-USA line doesn't quite fit, otherwise the lyrics have a classic feel that works really well. Production sounds like it could be playing over the tannoy at the Emirates. Always a fan of random live elements and making a reference to your first round song gets you a thumbs up.

The Middle Relievers - Here's To Joe's
-Performance sounds great and like a bar which is good, but what sounds like either reverb or a television in the background is distracting. Excellent lyrics, nailed the fight song challenge.

Brian Gray - Fei Gong!
-The elaborate marching band orchestration with an oriental interlude gives this song a musical exuberance that would lift a team to being sportsmanlike, I guess. Some genuinely funny lyrics complete the song wonderfully.

Steven Wesley Guiles - Minecraft Fight Song
Synths add an appropriate edge to a solid fight song. The melody and lyrics are solid; energetic vocal performances too. Unfortunately it's not a song about a sports team.

RC - We Will Bury You
-Musically this was tremendous amount of fun, you were able to use a rock band to give a great fight song vibe without the usual instrumentaion. Breakdown was a bit unnecessary and the weakest element. While the lyrics got the enthusiasm and humour right, not writing about a sport in particular hurt you.

Edric Haleen - A Father's Fight Song
-Fun and memorable fight song melody. Production wise the contrast of the small 'live' sports event and the singer's inner thought is interesting. The descant's countermelody fits well but its sincerity feels a little too strong. Something coming from a place of pride rather than the almost fear presented here might have worked better.

Army Defense - 72Dolphins
This is not a fight song. The lyrics are vague, extended audio sample seems totally pointless. Its alright musically; there are some nice synthetic sounds going around, unfortunately they just aren't going anywhere.

The Chocolate Chips - Indian Cricket Team Fight Song (Win For India!)
-Indian music arrangement sounds fantastic and suits the theme of course, though your vocals are too quiet. Lyrics are unambitious but serviceable. The melody works well for a fight song, but overall this lacks enthusiasm; you could have sung 'lose for India' and it still would have sounded right.

Kevin Savino-Riker - The 12th Man
-Solid lyrics, writing a fight song more for the fans than the team is an interesting angle. Whistling and snare back up good vocals, build from solo voice to crowd works really well. The song is too long, you could thirty seconds or more out of this (the intro in particular) without it suffering.

Blimp Exhaust - Checkmate!
This is good rock song and a great rock sound. Unfortunately it lacks the melodic memorability that would get it sung by fans at sports event. An aggressive set of lyrics about chess work pretty well.

Jerry Skids - Psyche 'Em Out! (The Beers Fight Song)
-Simple accompaniment fits this fight/drinking song perfectly, which benefits greatly from a very enthusiastic vocal performances. The lyrics are decent, but some of the lines are little too inside Baseketball.
(For the record, had you written a song about the Zanarkand Abes I would have loved you forever.)

Dr. Lindyke - Cock Fight
-Good fight song lyrics that are both encouraging and hilarious, double entendres FTW. Competent marching band accompaniment backs up a great singing ensemble.

Steve Durand - Put Your Mettle To The Pedals
-Brisk! Beautiful wind performances, memorable melody, good lyrics, classic flavour, rousing stuff! I'm sorry I don't have anything more to see. Like. +1. Thumbs Up.

"BuckHat" Bobby - YTCWGWCT
-Great lyrics, I laugh every time at the punch in the chorus! This is a lovely song that endearingly performed, however it doesn't feel like that much of a fight song. Outside of the context of the challenge I enjoyed this immensely.

Ross Durand - Bigger In Texas
-Solid song, lyrics are generally pretty good though the second half of the second verse doesn't quite fit the fight enthusiasm or local team focus. Fun accompanying music.

MC Ohm-I - Let's Go Mets
-Delightful take on a traditional fight song. Enthusiastic lyrics and a sing-alongable melody. Brass provides an excellent accompaniment.

Josh Holober-Ward - Let's Go Ravens!
-A fight song for an occasional fan, contains some pretty funny lyrics with a really enjoyable vocal performance. Last verse brings enough sincerity back to the tone to round off the song nicely.


Edric Haleen - ICA School Song
-A great fight song, with some truly wonderful retro accompaniment. You went for something different with your official entry and that's cool, I'd say this one was the better of the two fight songs though not necessarily the better song.

The Boffo Yux Dudes - Go, Trenton Wolverines!
-Standard fight song sentimentality with a snarky undertone. I like it!

Spintunes #6 Round 2 Review: Niveous Devilchild

It’s time for Round 2 of SpinTunes and this time around, the challenge is to make a fight song about a sports team. I feel like somewhere in this, things went horribly awry. I don’t know if it was the fight song aspect (would it have been better to have everyone just write a song, not specifically make it a fight song) or is sports just such a polarizing topic? Either way, this ended up a weaker round than the previous . But, there were still some diamonds in the rough.
Let’s start off with a mention of the two shadows and the two DQ’s. Army Defense basically got DQ’d because it’s not a fight song. It’s a shame because it had a Soundgarden vibe to parts and it was an intriguing little experiment. I could probably listen to this song much more than some of the tunes in the round, even if I wish there was more meat to the song than just the Shula quote. Steven Wesley Guiles has proven in two rounds that he’s good at crafting catchy tunes. But as much as I like Minecraft, I cannot justify calling it a team sport. Edric Haleen’s shadow was ok. He should’ve just played the original instead of redoing the vocals. Boffo Yux Dudes brought a demotivational fight song. It was amusing. Nice touch with the deflated “yeah”.
Now to the remaining 17 songs from worst to first:
Glen Raphael - “Gunn High Chess Team Fight”
It’s supposed to be this rousing acapella rally cry but it’s so flat in the performance. There needs to be some vibrance in the performance, instead it comes off as monotone and dull. Then there’s the issue of the bad acapella bassline which is distracting. Lyrically it was okay, just outshined by the competition in that category. In the end, it just didn’t come together well.
Josh Holober-Ward - “Let’s Go Ravens!”
It’s a joke that doesn’t pay off. It’s the fight song from the guy who lives in the town but doesn’t watch football. It gave me a chuckle upon my initial listen but didn’t hold up over subsequent listens. The lyrical content hit some snags like the friendly goose line and the powerball line, which both earned groans instead of laughs. The vocal performance was alright. One thing that bothered me is that I know it’s a fight song which can just be a chant but I feel that Josh could have done more musically for this song than just a clap.
Brian Gray - “Fei Gong!”

First off, there’s no declared sport in the fight song. That dinged the score a little. Then there was the concept of the non-fighting fight song. It was a cute idea at first but it wore in later listens. Musically, I wasn’t a fan of the “horns” which sounded like a bad Super Smash Brothers sample. Lyrically, it was well composed but it wasn’t interesting. The performance definitely had some problems in the vocal especially on the big“school” lines. I think this was the wrong way to go, even if it was a wildly creative take, and it ended up making a mediocre song.
The Chocolate Chips - “…Win for India”
If this was rating the music, this would be much higher. Well put together musically as an Indian fight song. But the lyrics are as threadbare at best. That makes for a less interesting song. The vocals are okay but a bit muddy in the mix which makes the lyrics harder to hear and when there’s already so little going on in the words, it’s a negative atop a negative. Basically, there needed to be more to this song.
Edric Haleen - “A Father’s Fight Song”
It’s all about the concept here. The Dragons’ fight song is pretty generic, forgettable, and doesn’t even let us know what sport it is. It’s just there to be the groundwork for the second verse. The second verse is ok. Musically, it’s mostly ambience behind a character doing an aside. The performance is well done, though the word “teamwork” stick out like a sore thumb and dwarfs “humility”. It was pretty decent all together. It was just a little thin on song and higher on concept for my taste, plus it fails one of my most important tests- would I want to keep this song around? It doesn’t have staying power.
Kevin Savino-Riker- “The 12th Man”
Ah, the third team. Not the Giants, not the Jets, the Buffalo Bills. Sadly, this was my favorite song at the initial listen and one of my least favorites by the final listen. This is just the most middle of the road song in the pack. It’s a perfectly fine fight song. The marching percussion, the multiple voices and the chants, it’s got a great foundation. I think it’s a problem in the performance. It’s not energetic enough for a fight song. I can’t imagine the Bills gets psyched up hearing this. This song has great potential but doesn’t let loose. It’s like a metal singer in a thin walled apartment with neighbors who complain. It just needs to scream and shout but it doesn’t.
Dr. Lindyke - “Cock Fight”
I wonder just how tired the South Carolina Gamecocks are of dick jokes. All the double entendres here. Thrusting balls, mighty cocks, licking pussies. Let’s see if I can play along. It was amusing the first time but these Cocks just don’t have staying power. The joke blew its load after the first time I heard it. And the song doesn’t hold up against such stiff competition. Seriously, the song lacks some replay value and I’m not a fan of the “drums”Lindyke used. At least the performance was solid. They sold the joke as hard as they could.
RC - “We Will Bury You”
The best song of the lower echelon. It’s a musically strong song that has a good head bopping beat. It’s nice to get a fight song with a full band arrangement. Where this song got dinged was lack of sport. It feels more like a school song that you’d sing at a pep rally, more than a fight song for the school sports team… who play ??? There’s a mention of a game but you get no sense of what they play and since this song is based on a fictional team (you can get away with that when you are taking about a real team or fictional team with an established mythos), the listener is left slightly detached because it’s a fight song without the fight. Doesn’t stop it from being a catchy tune, though, with a decent concept behind it.
Jenny Katz - “Load The Cannon, Light The Fuse”
A very good song. The vocals are very good. I could do without the self-reflexive comment about Boom Goes the Dynamite. In fact, the lyric may be where this song trips up. I understand it’s about the Arsenal FC. But Jenny Katz tried mixing in a little political commentary and it muddied everything up. If you don’t know the song is about a football club, you can get easily confused. But this song has great replay value which is nice.
Steve Durand - “Put Your Mettle To The Pedals”
A strong entry from the elder Durand brother. It was a smart choice to mix in a little current events into your song by doing Lance Armstrong’s cycling team. It made the song a bit more interesting and made for one of the top lyrics of this round. I’m not a fan of the marching percussion but the horns are great and Bridget Durand did a get job with the woodwinds. She’s gonna win one of these contests before you know it. This is definitely the song that grew on me the most this round.
Blimp Exhaust - “Checkmate”
In this round, swagger has a first name. It’s B-L-I-M-P. This is a far less traditional fight song but it’s full of aggression despite it being a song about a chess club. The rap section is my favorite part with the effected vocals and it sounds a bit snide while also brimming with confidence. This is a fight song for a chess club that walks in wearing shades and give the opponent the middle finger when they get a checkmate. The rock section isn’t as strong as the rap section, though I enjoy the fact that it just clearly says “We’re gonna kick your ass”. Straightforward.
The Middle Relievers - “Here’s To Joe”
Whereas I liked the previous song because of its unconventional take, I like this song for how conventional it is. With the glasses clanging for percussion, this song sounds like it was recorded in a bar. It just feels like it wasn’t made for some online singing competition, it sounds like the MR just recorded a bunch of yahoos at a local bar who are singing after a game with some drinks. The lyrics are big flaw of this song as I question some of the choices like “the infield is deflating”.
“Buckethat” Bobby - “YTCWGWCT”
I was not a fan of this song at first listen. By final listen, I adored it. Last round, I thought Buckethat’s accordion playing was harsh. This time, it was perfect. He may not the best vocalist but he doesn’t push it too much. The lyrics make the Yukon team sound great, despite the last place team in the last Canadian Winter Games. The “hurry hard” lyric is a bit forced but it doesn’t take away from the charm that this song has. I would have not minded if this was a longer song.
TurboShandy - “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch FC”
“We’re singing the name and we’re singing it right”.Indeed. Once I got passed the long name and realized that it’s a real thing, I got into the song. It’s got some great harmonies. And the fact that you took the name and were able to make it into something musical is wild. The song is very well put together as well with the staccato guitars, the great percussion and the pipes. I didn’t think there would be many songs that I would keep in my jukebox from this round. This was the first song to prove me wrong.
Ross Durand - “Bigger in Texas”
This song has the necessary energy that you need in a fight song. The ending is just what you want, big screaming voices go “Run Faster!” I love the country twang mixed with the horns (did Steve give you a helping hand?). You may have taken a little dig at the Dallas Cowboys by mentioning their stellar playoff record as of late but you did a good job of making it seem miniscule in the long run because they are America’s team who can even lose big. Nice job.
Jerry Skids - “Psyche ‘Em Out”
It’s a punk song. It’s a fight song. It’s the story of the movie Baseketball. It’s great fun. The multiple voices over the guitars is very well done. It may be very sparse but like The Middle Relievers song, this song has the feel of a real fight song as if I could walk into a bar right now and find a bunch of guys drinking TurboShandys and loudly singing “Beers! Beers! Beers!” . But what put this song over the top is the lyrical content. While not the best lyric in the round, it does a great job of telling a story and makes me wanna watch the flick (which I haven’t seen in what feels like a millennia).
And number one…
MC Ohm-I - “Let’s Go Mets”
But Niv, isn’t it unfair that this is number one?
Aren’t you a New Yorker?
Who lives in Queens?
What are you getting at?
And you go to Mets games, right?
Fair enough. But who roots on the Mets? That’s like being a wrestling fan and rooting on Zack Ryder. Or being a football fan who roots for the Oakland Raiders? It’s masochism! :)
Okay, I just wanted to get that out of the way. Full disclosure (PS- I am a proud member of the Raider Nation). But it wasn’t local pride that gave this song the top spot. It’s the fact that this song feels the most to me like a real fight song. I can picture this song being in CitiField and hearing this blared over the speakers between innings. It’s got exuberance and the simple catchiness that makes this a great rally cry. And the sung parts are a nice contrast to the rap sections. This song is a winner.
For the bean counters:
MC Ohm-I
Jerry Skids
Ross Durand
Buckethat Bobby
Middle Relievers
Blimp Exhaust
Jenny Katz
Steve Durand
Dr. Lindyke
Edric Haleen
Chocolate Chips
Brian Gray
Josh Holober Ward
Glen Raphael

Spintunes #6 Round 2 Review: Stephen Carradini

I stumbled onto a pretty cool music blog called Independent Clauses awhile back.  When it came time to select the guest judges for SpinTunes 6, I immediately thought about inviting the man behind the blog to be a part of SpinTunes.  You can post comments for Stephen below, but after that, I suggest you check out Independent Clauses.

- Travis aka Spin


TurboShandy: I deeply enjoyed the Irish vibe here; it employed a powerful sound and tradition without being exploitative or cheesy. The emotive vocal performance is especially memorable here, and vaulted it to first place.
Jenny Katz: The martial beat contrasted with the vocals for a great tune. The harmonies were beautiful and the lyrics were clever, further setting this apart. Bonus points: "Boom goes the dynamite" reference.
"Buckethat" Bobby: I liked the songwriting here, as it meshed with the vocals very well. The rhythmic arrangement of the lyrics was attractive, reminding me of the Mountain Goats. This song had me humming this one.
Jerry Skids: The energy here is infectious, and the melodies are ridiculously catchy. The fact that it's about Baseketball makes it even better.
Blimp Exhaust: I love the guitar work at the end of the tune. The rap section didn't connect with me as much, but the instrumentals and the sung vocals at the back half of the tune were excellent.
Steven Wesley Guiles: Really playing up the lyrics here is a great move, as it allows the goofiness of the lyrics to validate the hyperactivity of the tune. The 8-bit coda is a great touch.
Army Defense: The most poetic of the contributions, I was impressed by the ability to pack so much punch into so few lyrics. The vocal contributions were a bit outside of my style, but the long found sound clip drove home the emotional impact.
Kevin Savino-Rilker: This one feels the most like a real fight song, from the detailed description in the lyrics to the optimistic outlook on a team that has been traditionally not so lucky.
The Middle Relievers: I love the pub vibe here. The male harmonies were especially fun.
Edric Haleen: I was surprised and pleased by the subversion of the fight song trope, both in lyric and sound.
MC Ohm-I: The flow here is solid and interesting, but the beat feels a bit intrusive on the song. The lyrics were solid, but could have had some more elements distinctive to the Mets. (No mention of Mr. Met?)
RC: I love the power-pop execution here. The pun on the violent language of winning and losing was notable as well.
Josh Holober-Ward: I like the funny lyrics, but it wasn't as substantial a tune as some of the ones that scored higher.
Ross Durand: Boisterous, loud and proud. The call-and-response melody structure would be great for including people during a live show, but it didn't strike me as well while listening to a recorded version.
Glen Raphael: I liked the idea, but this didn't have as engaging an energy as some of the other tunes.
The Chocolate Chips: The vocal contributions here didn't strike me.
Steve Durand: I wasn't a big fan of the vocal style, but the lyrics were clever and fun.
Dr. Lindyke: I wasn't a big fan of the innuendo, and the synths sounded a bit cheesy to me.
Brian Gray: This was a very complex song for such a short piece, with a lot going on. The juxtaposition of the synths, the marching band, and the East Asian sounds was a bit jarring.
The Boffo Yux Dudes: Fun, but a bit disjointed rhythmically and musically.
Edric Haleen: Funny intro to an actual fight song, which was only twenty seconds long.

Spintunes #6 Round 2 Review: Travis Norris

A note about reviews this round:

I was going to keep the same criteria and review format that I did last round, but it didn't really fit very well with the this challenge.  The question of "Did it meet the challenge?" (in the sense of being a "fight song") is much, much more important to my rankings than it usually would be this this time around.  I find it hard to offer much criticism or praise one way or the other for lyrics this round given the challenge.  Aside from the fact that most of us aren't packing a full band, I found most arrangment and lyrics on fairly equal footing this round.   As with last round, if you'd like clarification or more discussion on any particular point find me on Twitter or in the comments.

1. Steve Durand - Put Your Mettle To The Pedals
Well done, Steve.  Well freaking done.  Having real instruments helps a lot, but aside from that these are easily the best lyrics of the round.  And topical!

2. Josh Holober-Ward - Let's Go Ravens!
I was expecting a lot more of this type of song this round, the fact that there weren't really any other openly satirical songs really worked to your benefit.  I happen to live in Kansas City which experiences a phenomenon opposite of what you get in Baltimore, which is that all the fans are clinically depressed all the time and you aren't sure why.  My song would have been "Hey Chiefs (Why Does Everyone Hate You [Aside From Your Racially Insensitive Name])"

The recording could be a little better -- in the first bit especially it's tough to really identify a melody.  But this is well within tolerance as a "fight song" and some of the only lyrics this round I'd really call clever/funny brings it to the #2 spot.

3. Glen Raphael - Gunn High Chess Team
I like the idea that it's acapella because the chess team couldn't bring a band with them.  I also like that this is about a chess team.  More my speed than football.  Overall, this has good lyrics and arrangment.

4. Jenny Katz - Load the Cannon, Light The Fuse
Love the reverb!  I am a reverb person.  Arsenal has maybe the most interesting origin and history for a sports team I'm aware of, the lyrics make good use of that (also slip in some stealthy social commentary, nice).  This also meets the fight song challenge squarely, even if the average drunken fan probably can't manage the melody.

5. The Middle Relievers - Here's To Joe's
Not sure about the melody in the second half of the fourth stanza.  Appropriately, in terms of production this kind of sounds like it was recorded in a bar.  Meets the challenge well.

6. RC - We Will Bury You
Nice job making a rock arrangement of a fight song.  Something I wanted to do in college, but people were all "blah blah traditional blah" so no.  Maybe my favorite of the fictional teams as well.
The third Stanza had my favorite lyrics.  I could, for a moment, see apparent zombies playing... let's say football.  Well done.

7. Kevin Savino-Riker - The 12th Man
There's a lot of acapella + percussion this round, but everyone is pulling it off.  This meets the challenge well. The recording could use perhaps a bit more energy but it's easy to imagine this melody being supported by brass and woodwinds.  The stanza with the chant over the melody is my favorite part.

8. Ross Durand - Bigger In Texas
Like RC this is a good translation of a "fight song" into a different genre.  Hearing a whole stadium of guys that have been drinking for a few hours trying to reach the notes in the last bit would be pretty entertaining.  I'm not gonna lie, this one probably got a few points for taking a dig at the team as well.

9. Brian Gray - Fei Gong
Funny!  This might be trying my suspension of disbelief a little too much, but takes good advantage of the fictional option for this challenge.  Normally I'd complain about MIDI, but we pretty much set ourselves up for that.  For any of that this definitely sounds and feels like a fight song which helps keep it high in the rankings.

10. MC Ohm-I - Let's Go Mets
This is an irony-free (except maybe that line about working "harder than you"), enthusiastic, well performed song.  Parts of it are more "fight song" like than others which is why it's a little bit lower in the rankings, but for a team I don't care about in a sport I don't follow, I'm enjoying it quite a bit anyway.

11. Jerry Skids - Psyche 'Em Out! (The Beers Fight Song)
It's been some time since I've seen BASEketball but this did make me remember several funny things from that movie, so that's good.  Meets the challenge squarely and makes good use of fictional option to squeeze out some slightly more interesting lyrics than you'd usually see in a fight song.

12. Edric Haleen - A Father's Fight Song
It's an interesting idea to put a parents' internal monologue into a fight song, but this was a rare case where I thought attacking the challenge straight ahead might have been better. 
It's hard to offer much praise or criticism of lyrics in this challenge one way or the other but there was nothing about either the fight song proper or the descant that caught my ear.

13. Dr. Lindyke - Cock Fight
Good approach to challenge. I was laughing for most of this.  Why'd you have to put that "they said no but they meant yes!" line in there?  Am I gonna have to go call "pedantic Orion Sound review" on you?

14. TurboShandy - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch FC
Kind of a folk fight song.  Cool, although maybe not the best approach to the challenge in terms of meeting it squarely.  This sounds like a song for the soundtrack of a movie about.. whatever this team is.  Well played and produced, though.

15. Blimp Exhaust - Checkmate!
This is more like a theme song than a fight song (if that makes any sense) but I am glad somebody wrote a rock song this round.  And about chess!  This lost a few positions in the rankings because I have to admit other songs met the challenge better but in terms of my own personal enjoyment it's near the top.

16. The Chocolate Chips - Indian Cricket
Lyrically this is pretty thin even for a fight song, musically I like the idea (wooo sitar!) but I think the fans might have some trouble with those rhythms....

17. "Buckethat" Bobby - YTCQGWCT
This is a nice (and instantly identifiable as BHB) folk song but it's almost more of a story song than a fight song. 

(DQ). Steven Wesley Guiles - Minecraft Fight
Awww, man.  I really like this.  I (and the other judges) just couldn't figure out a way to justify Minecraft as a "team sport".  Team activity? Certainly can be.  Sport? No.  The chiptunes vibe is enjoyable and of course appropirate to the topic.  I voted for a DQ, but I might listen to this while I look for diamond later this week.

(DQ). Army Defense - 72Dolphins
This is an interesting song, but not a fight song and only appropriate to one particular year in the team's history.  I hope you guys will shadow the rest of the competition.

Edric Haleen - ICA School Song
Nice to hear one from the archives.  Much better than I ever managed with Finale (and that was like 8 years later...)

Boffo Yux Dudes - Go, Trenton Wolverines!
Too bad this wasn't an official entry.  Obviously I like the songs that rip on the teams.  This might have been top five!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Spintunes #6 Round 2 Review: Paul Potts

This was no doubt a very frustrating challenge. In fact, this one made me quite glad that I was judging, and not participating. It wouldn't be fair to say that all music geeks are all anti-sports or have no interest in sports, but a lot of us are. But the same reasons that a challenge is frustrating also serves to make it valuable -- you should be able to get out of your comfort zone and do it anyway.

There were disqualifications, and the judges had to hash this out. First -- Minecraft? We just couldn't see our way clear, by any stretch of the rules, to consider it a sport. The challenge was to "write a fight song for your favorite sports team." As far as I understand it, Minecraft doesn't even have an in-game team play mode the way World of Warcraft does, although people might sort of create their own team by communicating outside the game. I'm not sure if we might have been convinced to accept a song about a Warcraft guild, but I think a stronger case could be made there. In any case -- Minecraft -- not a sport even by a pretty loose definition. Sorry, guys.

A song that we could not manage to interpret as "fight songs" in lyric or style was disqualified. That would be Army Defense. Sorry, guys.

The judges debated whether to consider chess a sport for the purpose of the challenge. I wound up supporting the idea that it is a sport, but I was not really happy about it. If the challenge had said "team sport" instead of "sports team" I would have voted against chess. Chess is not a team sport per se -- it's not played by a whole team at once. This makes it sort of like wrestling. And yes, I've heard about chess in the Olympics.

Anyway, here we go.

1. Steve Durand - Put Your Mettle To The Pedals: Steve, your lyrics are hilarious, your political relevance impeccable. The song is RIPPED FROM TODAY'S HEADLINES! The instrumentation is perfect. This is a team sport, and a nerdy one at that. I might have even been a fan of it once; my road bike is a LeMond. The song feels genuinely enthusiastic even with just the right dose of cynical snark, which is fully appropriate given the circumstances. Nice work!

2. Kevin Savino-Riker - The 12th Man: is this some kind of joke? Wait... no, it's not? What? He's... serious? Not ironic at all? I don't even know how to judge this... what... how... ummm... well, very nicely done! Congrats on actually meeting the challenge head-on, no squirming or ironic evasion! This was one of the most convincing, as far as evoking a real fight song, although your voice sounds just a little stuffed-up and the performance is maybe a little restrained.

3. MC Ohm - Let's Go Mets: a rap fight song. Interesting choice. I'd say that it would be hard to actually get the fans to perform this at a game, except they kept it nice and simple and rhythmic, with a sung chorus. So it seems like it could work in real life. Instrumentation is fantastic.

4. Ross Durand - Bigger In Texas: very Texas-sounding. I can really hear this being led as a chant in the stands -- I'm imagining the on-field band would stop and get the fans to sing the chorus over and over.

5. Edric Haleen - A Father's Fight Song: Damn you, Edric. Damn you, you evil, cruel, mean, magnificent, beautiful man! I hate you! I love this! You nailed the challenge, while also taking it and turning it into something more. As I often feel about your songs, I hardly know where to rank this, because it's like you're playing on a different playing field. I didn't rank it as the best fight song per se, because it kind of... over-delivers? But it's wonderful. And I've got something in my eye...

6. TurboShandy - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch: hilarious and
impossible to sing. Nice simple instrumentation. I'm imagining this is one of the few team names that might actually get _easier_ to chant the more you drink?

7. The Middle Relievers - Here's To Joe: nice atmosphere, strong lyrics, really sounds like a bunch of half-drunk guys in a pub. So, very convincing. Not a lot more to it than that, and there doesn't really need to be more; challenge nailed.

8. Jerry Skids - Psyche 'Em Out! (The Beers Fight Song): I vaguely remember Baseketball from some movie but it doesn't matter that much, this pretty much sounds like a fight song (although I'm not sure a bunch of drunken fans in the bleachers would be able to hit the high notes and harmonies). Extra credit for being SHORT and ENTHUSIASTIC!

9. Josh Holober-Ward - Let's Go Ravens!: I love the concept -- a fight song by a guy (like me) who knows nothing about football but still insists on cheering for the team he doesn't know a whole lot about. Still sounds mostly like a viable fight song, while the lyrics... mock the very concept of football fandom. "Nobody footballs like you" -- LOL.

10. Dr. Lindyke - Cock Fight: Dear G-d. Why? All right. Very well. Fine. FINE! Instrumentation and melody and _style_ is dead-on, although it failed to really elicit a guffaw, I'm sad to say. If that's what you're into... not that there's anything wrong with that... and a rape joke! I love those! Oh, wait... no I don't. Marked down a bit because if this is the fight song it's definitely an UN-official one that the fans sing at the tailgate party.

11. The Chocolate Chips - Indian Cricket Team Fight Song (Win For India​!​): in comedy, if I'm working "ping-pong," That's when you take the most obvious stereotypes about a culture and reference them as a sort of shorthand. Like, you have a Chinese character, and you make that character say "ping-pong, ching-dong, ahhh sooo." It's a sort of shorthand for comedy and it can be considered distasteful or even racist. This strikes me as being just a _little_ on the ping-pong side. But I love the idea of a Cricket fight song, the instruments are right, and so I choose to imagine this as something I'd come across in a Bollywood movie -- that is, Indians making fun of themselves -- rather than a distasteful American comedy routine making fun of Indians in a possibly-offensive way. I'm not sure if everyone would see it that way, though. And it's not all that fight-song-ish... at least not that American fight-song-ish. So I'm having a little trouble imagining people in the stands actually singing it. Like, are sitars and tabla really usable as marching band instruments?

12. Glen Raphael - Gunn High Chess Team Fight: sounds like a fight song. Sort of. More of a chant. Clever lyrics. Chess fight song -- well, a little unconvincing. Credit for the chorused and harmony singing, but the recording is too quiet, and a total lack of instrumentation does not really serve the song well (not even pieces clicking on the board or some such -- that seems like an opportunity missed).

13. RC - We Will Bury You: the premise is hilarious, but I think if you're going to write a song about a nonexistent sports team for a real institution, it needs some kind of detail so I have an image in my head of what the sport is. This song doesn't say. Is it soccer? Competitive embalming? The gags are funny, but... what's going on? No image to hold in my head = weak storytelling = weak song. Also, the music is really well-done but to me it does not do a good job of evoking the usual instrumentation of a fight song.

14. Brian Gray - Fei Gong: the lyrics are hilarious, and I like the concept and the music, but it gets marked down quite a bit because it's too abstract, same as RC's song. It's a team of some sort, but vague; what sport are they actually playing? It seems like you are imagining a fictional team of some kind for a real historic school of Chinese thought, but it's not clear from what little I read about Mohism that they ever engaged in any kind of sport, even something like archery competitions, so there's not much to imagine going on that we'd be cheering for.

15. "BucketHat" Bobby - YTCWGWCT: a song about curling! Lyrics are excellent, nice performance, short and sweet. However, not all that fight-song-ish. More short-pop-song-ish, and so it sadly gets lowered to below the songs that struck me as something I might really hear at a game.

16. Jenny Katz - Load The Cannon, Light The Fuse: this sounds very good, and I get that it's about the Arsenal Football Club, but I found it a little confusing. It doesn't sound like a fight song to me. The imagery is of a battlefield. I guess it's making an artistic statement about a football (soccer) match as a battle, but with references to cannons and all that I have to say it doesn't seem to me that it meets the challenge very well.

17. Blimp Exhaust - Checkmate!: ummmm. Well, the lyrics are kind of like a fight song, but the music? Not at _all_. And so although I really quite like this as a pop song, it gets marked down lower because it's not very fight-song-ish.


Steven Wesley Guiles - Minecraft Fight Song:
I like the chiptunes music and the vocal performance, but the lyrics themselves undermine the whole idea that this is a sports team fight song.

Army Defense - 72Dolphins: strange distorted/slowed vocals over punk-ish music is interesting, and weirdly dark (I kinda like dark), but this song seems to be about a historic victory and is, in no sense that the other judges and I can work out, a fight song.


Edric Haleen - ICA School Song (Shadow): it's impressive that Edric has an archive of this kind of stuff. It makes me wonder what else is in his archive! Sounds like a real fight song.

The Boffo Yux Dudes - Go, Trenton Wolverines! (Shadow): Oh, I wish this had been a valid entry. The sentiment is... well, kind of mean and cruel actually, by which of course I mean that as a sports-hating person, I FREAKING LOVE IT. Glory days, my butt...