Sunday, October 14, 2018

SpinTunes #15 Sign-Ups

Sign-ups for SpinTunes #15 are now OPEN. 
  • Sign ups end October 26th @ 11:59PM.
  • The first challenge will be posted October 27th @ 12:01 AM
  • The entire schedule can be found HERE 

To sign up you and/or your band, do the following:
  • Copy and past the text below into an email, edit it as appropriate, and submit it to Include "Sign-up" in the subject of the email so it doesn't get confused with spam. 
  • Send it from an e-mail account that I can reach you at if need be. 
  • Don't panic if you don't get a confirmation e-mail immediately after signing up. This isn't automated. I'll message you back within 24 hours of getting your e-mail.
Please don't get cute and change the terms. I'll read them, and just not sign you up if you do. If you have questions or concerns, just email me (Dave) and I'll do my best to resolve them. Same address.

-------------------------------------------- Begin ----------------------------------------------------------

I _____________ wish to be entered into the SpinTunes #15 songwriting contest. I assert that
  • I will give my very best effort in each round to provide a NEW song, written in response to the challenge, that has not been released before in any form. 
  • Any music I submit into the SpinTunes contest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (details).  I realize it will be played at a listening party and will become part of an album hosted on along with the entries of other artists, and that it will be available for anyone to download for free for non-commercial use. I further realize that this license is not exclusive and does not restrict me from licensing my music to others under any other terms, including commercial terms. 
  • I have no expectation of remuneration or financial reward. The prize for winning this contest is acclamation for a job well done. 
  • Judges' rankings are final and non-negotiable. All stated deadlines are in US Eastern Timezone. Interpretation and enforcement of the rules are left to the sole discretion of the contest organizer, Dave Leigh.
  • I agree that this competition is Heather's fault.   
Name: (The name you or your group wants to be referred to during the competition.) 
Bio: (Give a brief description of your group/music/history. Try to keep it to 500 CHARACTERS or less. It's just an intro... you'll have the links below to direct people to your sites for more information.) 
Links: (Optional, and you can list more than one. Some examples:) 
  • Twitter 
  • YouTube
  • Band Website(s) (Bandcamp, Blog, Myspace, Facebook, etc.)
Picture: (Attach a band picture or logo. It will be re-sized at need, so big's better than small. But be reasonable.)

--------------------------------------------- End ------------------------------------------------------------

SpinTunes #15 Schedule

As always, the schedule is flexible. Acts of God and other unavoidable stuff happens. You can keep up with scheduled events on our Google Calendar. If you want these events to show on your own Google calendar, the Calendar ID is the same as our new email address:

October 13th (Saturday)
  •   Noon - Sign ups start.
October 26th (Friday)
  • 11:59pm - Sign ups end.
October 27th (Saturday)
  •  12:01am - First challenge is announced.
November 4th (Sunday)
  •  11:59pm - First song deadline.
November 5th (Monday)
  • 9pm - Listening party will be held HERE, and hosted by Tom.
  • Immediately afterward, the songs will be made available for free download on BandCamp at our new location,
During this gap:
- judges will rank the songs
- judges will review the songs*

November 10th (Saturday)
  •  4pm - Judges reviews are due.
  •  8pm - Reviews & scores are posted.
  •  10pm - Second challenge is announced.
November 18th (Sunday)
  •  11:59pm - Second song deadline.
November 19th (Monday)
  •  9pm - Listening party will be held HERE, and hosted by Tom.
  •  Immediately afterward, the songs will be made available for free download on BandCamp at our new location,
During this gap:
- judges will rank the songs
- judges will review the songs*

November 24th (Saturday)
  •  4pm - Judges reviews are due.
  •  8pm - Reviews & scores are posted.
  •  10pm - Third challenge is announced.

December 2nd (Sunday)
  •  11:59pm - Third song deadline.

December 3rd (Monday)
  •  9pm - Listening party will be held HERE, and hosted by Tom.
  •  Immediately afterward, the songs will be made available for free download on BandCamp at our new location,

During this gap:
- judges will rank the songs
- judges will review the songs*

December 8th (Saturday)

  •  4pm - Judges reviews are due.
  •  8pm - Reviews & scores are posted.
  •  10pm - Final challenge is announced.

December 16th (Sunday)
  •  11:59pm - FINAL DEADLINE.

December 17th (Monday)
  •  9pm - Listening party will be held HERE, and hosted by Tom.
  •  Immediately afterward, the songs will be made available for free download on BandCamp at our new location,

During this gap:
- previously eliminated competitors will rank the songs
- judges will rank the songs
- judges will review the songs*

December 22nd (Saturday)
  •  NOON - Judges reviews are due.
  •  NOON - Eliminated competitors rankings are due.
  •  4pm - Reviews are posted and a winner is announced!

SpinTunes #15 Official Rules

Welcome to another SpinTunes. I'm Dave Leigh, the vocal half of the band, "Dr. Lindyke", and I am your host. If you competed in SpinTunes #14, then good news... you already know the rules. There are no almost changes. I've only made a further clarification to the Wild Card Reinstatement section.

I'll also remind you that there is a Suggestion Box that you can use to submit suggestions for challenges or rule changes at any time.


The schedule will be similar to past contests. The schedule will be posted separately, and will contain instructions for signing up. There will be 4 rounds. At the beginning of each round a challenge will be posted on this website. You will then have a set number of days (usually a little more than a week) to write, record & send in your song, which should meet the conditions of the challenge.

There will be a short break between each round. During this time the songs will be played at a listening party, and the judges will voted on them, review them, and prep for the next round.


Judges will not compete in the contest, but will be allowed to shadow if they choose. Any shadow on which a judge has collaborated will not be eligible for Wild Card Reinstatement.

Judges will collectively determine whether each song met or failed to meet the challenge. Songs that fail to meet the challenge will be disqualified. Songs that met the challenge will be ranked.

Each round, the judges will rank all the songs of that round from their favorite to least favorite. Although judges are encouraged to take how well the songs met the challenge into account, ultimately, judging is by personal preference, and the criteria for ranking is the prerogative of each individual judge. JUDGES' RANKINGS ARE FINAL. They need not be explained.

I will not officially rank songs unless one of the judges cannot judge that round. Then I may step in.


Scoring is by rank. Each judge will rank the songs 1 (most favorite) to n (least favorite)  Then the songs will be sorted according to total score (low to high). The winner of the round has the lowest total score.

If there is a tie, I will determine the winner. If I am acting as a temporary judge, then in case of a tie the songs will be ranked in the order they were submitted.

Scoring is not cumulative.


There are several ways to be eliminated from the contest:

  • If you fail to meet a deadline,
  • If your official entry is disqualified for failing to meet the challenge,
  • If you score is below the elimination cutoff
  • If you exhibit poor sportsmanship

The cutoff is determined by the number of competitors at the start of the competition. There will be 4 competitors in the final round. So I'll subtract 4 from the number of competitors in Round One and divide the remainder by 3. That's the number of people who will be eliminated each round. It will not matter how they are eliminated, so even if you don't score well you might get lucky if a lot of people fail to meet the deadline or challenge. That makes it worth your while to submit a song even if you don't think it's good or if the challenge is particularly hard.

Final Round:

SpinTunes is "first past the post".  The top-ranked four competitors in Round Three will pass on to the final round.

If one of the top four fails to submit a song, then a Round 4 shadow posted by the next highest ranked competitor will be promoted to official entry. (See Wild Card Reinstatement, below)

In this round, the judges do not vote, although they'll still review the songs.

Instead, everyone who has been eliminated in any of the preceding rounds (who also submitted at least 1 song) plus the contestants themselves will be allowed to rank the songs.

If there is a tie, the judges will vote to break the tie.

If there is still a tie, then I will choose the winner.


Challenges can be anything. You could be given a theme, restrictions, a technical challenge, a song title, a mood, a story, a character type... anything.

There are some basic requirements for all challenges. They won't be listed every time, so here they are:

  1. For the purposes of this contest, a "song" is defined as having lyrics and music. Unless specifically stated otherwise, you must include both.
  2. Rap is ok, but the music must be substantially original. 
  3. Spoken word is risky, but it might be ok, so long as the music is distinctively original and integral to the piece. 
  4. Unless specifically requested, instrumentals are not ok.
  5. You must provide written (that is, readable) lyrics when you submit your song (see below). Those lyrics must actually appear in the song as performed. Minor deviations are common... people sometimes sing a few words differently from the written lyrics... but you cannot submit an instrumental and a separate lyrics sheet.
  6. You are not required to use the title of the challenge in the song.

Hopefully you're forced to do things you've never done before.

The challenges will be chosen or created by myself and the judges before the contest starts. The SpinTunes Suggestion Box has been active for a while now and some of the challenges may be taken from or inspired by suggestions there. You're encouraged to continue submitting suggestions as they come to you.

As we choose challenges, the judges an I will make an effort to devise judging criteria. You may get hints when the challenge is posted, so read carefully. Keep in mind that anything you're told to do, you must do, so getting too "clever" with the challenges can be risky. However, anything not spelled out is up to interpretation, and creativity is important. The judges may or may not be forthcoming on what is valuable in their eyes. Make your choices and do your best.


SpinTunes is unique in that you're encouraged to play along even if you're not competing. Sometimes it's just fun to try a challenge... sometimes you might want to "test drive" the contest before signing up as a competitor. Or you may have been eliminated in an earlier round, and still want to continue.

You can still submit your effort as a "shadow" entry. These unofficial entries will be played at the listening party and will be included in the album, but they will not be ranked. Individual judges may choose to review shadows, but they are not obligated to do so.

Shadows don't have to be new. Since they're not ranked, there's no risk in taking more liberties with the challenge. HOWEVER...

Wild Card Reinstatements

IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE REINSTATED into the competition after having been eliminated. Here's how that works:

If the number of people who submit songs in a round is less than the pre-defined cut-off, I may re-instate a competitor who has provided a "shadow" for the current round (see Shadows, below). For instance, if there are 8 competitors in Round Three, but only 7 of them submit entries, then I may "promote" a qualifying Round Three shadow from someone who was eliminated in Round Two. If nobody from Round Two shadowed, but someone from Round One did, I may promote their shadow. This holds true for every round, including the final round.

Once promoted, that shadow is judged and ranked on equal footing with all of the other entries from that round. Furthermore, that competitor may move forward in the competition as if they had never been eliminated.

It is conceivable that a person who was eliminated in an early round could shadow, be promoted, and win the competition, but only if the shadow they submit meets the challenge.



  1. Shadow entries that are submitted late are not eligible for Wild Card Reinstatement. (Think about it... it would just be immediately DQ'd again)
  2. Your shadow must meet the challenge. Again, I'm not going to promote a shadow that I'm going to have to disqualify.
  3. Only shadows entered by those who were eliminated by rankings may be reinstated. An artist eliminated by disqualification will not be reinstated.
  4. A shadow on which a judge appears as a collaborator will not be reinstated due to conflict of interest. (My advice: if you want to collaborate on a shadow with a judge, it's fine, but enter another shadow minus the judge for safety).
  5. As to which shadows are re-instated, that's at the judges' discretion. However, significant weighting will be given to those competitors who were ranked highest prior to their elimination.

Submitting Entries:
  1. An entry must be received by the given deadline. Otherwise it will be posted as a shadow, and the competitor will be eliminated. "Received" means that I must have received a link to the finished song 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. One minute late is too late.  Deadlines are given in the US Eastern time zone.
  2. You are allowed to send in a "safety" draft of your song early just in case something horrible happens and you miss the deadline. Then you can add polish to your song and send in a better version closer to the deadline. If you miss the deadline for the polished version, then the safety version will be used for judging. However, after judging is done, then the polished version will be included in the album.
    1. 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. Do not send MP3s.
    2. Name your file the song's title + the bandname, but without spaces & punctuation. Like this: "SummerRain-DrLindyke.wav"
    3. Title of the e-mail should identify the challenge and your band's name. Something like this would be fine: "ST13R1 - Dr. Lindyke".
    4. Include the song lyrics in the body of the e-mail. (remember, no instrumentals)
    5. Include information on anyone that needs credited if you collaborated with someone.
    1. If you have a BandCamp account you can just send me a link to your song if you include all the info I mentioned for emails. 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! It guarantees that your file will contain all the proper information and will be in the right format.
    1. Sound Cloud
    2. Drop Box
    3. Something I haven't thought of
    4. Please send an e-mail as I already stated, but with the download link if you need one of these services. Include in the email any required information (such as lyrics) that you couldn't include in the file. Please follow directions so your file doesn't wind up in my spam or trash folder accidentally.

Song Hosting (the BandCamp Album):

Each round I'll be uploading the songs onto BandCamp as an album. The songs will be set for free download only. BandCamp makes it easy to download songs, you can share one song individually or the album as a whole.

If you want to be entered into the contest, you must agree to the following:

You allow your song to be on the album and made available to everyone under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. This license allows us to re-distribute the songs and publish them on our Bandcamp page, but leaves you with all other rights. You retain all commercial ownership of your songs. If additional permissions are required for other purposes, we'll ask you.

You allow your song to be played at the listening party and repeated on the recording of the LP on YouTube. (the license allows this)

Otherwise, best of of luck to you, but this is not the contest for you.


If you are fortunate enough to win the contest, you will win the admiration and respect of your peers and a Highly Coveted No-Prize.

No trophy. No cash. We might come up with some token, but the real prize is knowing you won and the music itself. If you need gifts and thousands of fans to motivate you to write songs then this competition ain't for you.

The winner will be allowed to be a judge in the next competition, unless they wish to compete.

Listening Party:

Tom Giarrosso ("Tommy G") will be hosting the listening party (the "LP") for each round (he will also help with uploading). This will be live-streamed on YouTube shortly after the submission deadline for each round and will be recorded for replay on demand. Recordings may be made accessible through public access channels under the same Creative Commons license. Tommy G will explain how that works at the first LP or in the SpinTunes Facebook group.

This is your chance to get together with the other competitors in one virtual place while the songs are played for the very first time. SpinTunes is a very supportive community, so come get your ego stroked.

Meet The Judges:

List of judges: TBA

  • I am the alternate judge. If a judge is unable to do his/her job, I'll step in and take over. If the judge has to withdraw from the contest totally, I'll fill in until I can find a replacement. If I happen to have a guest judge lined up already, there will be no need for me to step in as alternate.
  • There could be "Guest Judges" who drop by from time to time. I'm not promising anything, but if I can swing something cool for you all I want to leave that open as a possibility. When a guest judge ranks and reviews a round, it does count toward the scores for the round. If a song is disqualified by the regular judges, the guest judge's rankings will be edited to stay in line with the judges decision. 

Judge Responsibilities:
  1. Before the contest starts, the judges will...
    1. Make and choose challenges in the soooper-secret virtual batcave they'll be invited to.
  2. Each round, the judges will
    1. Weigh in on whether entries failed to meet the challenge. Typically we'll have 48 hours after the songs get posted to do that. I am the final arbiter for disqualifications, so if you don't speak up in that window of time you'll have to live with a decision I make on my own.  I typically go with the majority decision of those who speak up.
    2. Rank the entries for each round. 
      1. If a song has been disqualified, it is ranked last, even if you think it shouldn't have been disqualified.
      2. If a song has not been disqualified and you think it should have been, you're free to rank it as your conscience dictates.
    3. Review entries each round. Shadow entries don't have to be reviewed, but it would be nice if you found the time. You can type up your review or you can vlog it on YouTube. If you decide to vlog your review on YouTube, it needs to be kept private until after I post the reviews on the blog.
  3. Judges are responsible for checking their e-mail, and being generally accessible, especially on deadline nights. Sometimes issues requiring a decision just pop up.


For those of you that don't want to check this blog every day, but also use Twitter, I'll be posting updates on Twitter as well. @SpinTunes was created just for this contest, so we'll use it. You can unfollow it right after the contest if you want, my ego can take it.

There is a Twitter list that includes all the judges & competitors (SpinTunes List). Well, at least all the ones I know that are on Twitter.

Song Sharing:

They're your songs.  You are allowed to share your songs before the LP. In my opinion the songs will be better if you can go to another musician in this contest, share what you've got and get feedback. So if you want to share with a few friends or fellow competitors before the listening party feel free to do so.

Feel free to use your entries elsewhere, such as FAWM, Song Fight, Nur Ein, etc., keeping in mind the requirement that SpinTunes entries must be original, newly written, and meet the challenge.


I would prefer it if you kept it low key, and not pimp it all over the net (via Twitter, YouTube, etc...) until after the LP, but that's up to you as well. It does take a little excitement away from the LP if people have already heard the songs. Common sense.

Just don't try to get feedback from a judge, or from me since I'm an alternate.

Re-recording & Remixes:

In previous contests some people sent their song in on time, but then after the deadline wanted to post an updated version onto the album (they added bells & whistles).

That's fine, but you will be judged by what you turned in before the deadline, which is also what will be played at the LP. Remixes will not be added to the album until after the judging is finished for that round.

So anyone who decides they want to make a better mix of their song, and have it replace the one they sent before...that's fine. Send me the info, and I'll switch the files out. I might not do it instantly, but it will be done. These songs are something you should be proud of, and some people are bugged by not being able to add everything they want in that small window I give hopefully this helps...while still being fair.

In the end, album order is determined by how you scored in the round. But until the judges have scored the round, album order is originally determined by submission order.

Your order on the album will change if you send in an updated file. Keep in mind that this can be important to tie-breakers!!!

Multiple Songs:

You can enter ONE official entry each round until you are eliminated. There is no limit on how many shadow songs you can enter each round. If you are still in the contest and have multiple songs you wish to enter, you just have to pick of them to be your official entry, while the others are listed as a shadows.

If you do submit more than one shadow to a round after you've been eliminated from a previous round, you should indicate which shadow you would have submitted had you been a competitor.

Collaborations are OK. In fact, you're encouraged to collaborate with other competitors. Each band, though, should have a separate email address and a separate contact person.

Wrap Up:

I sadly live in the Real World, as do all of you. At times I may be busy with work and other responsibilities. I will enlist the help of judges and a few other trusted members of our community to help out from time to time. Don't be shocked if someone other than myself responds to you via one of the SpinTunes social media outlets.

Banned Individuals:

There are no banned persons at this time.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

SpinTunes #14 Winner - MICAH SOMMERSMITH!

Winner: Micah Sommersmith (29 points)

Runner Up: Bubba and the No Longer Amiable Kraken (34 points)
3rd: Temnere (44 points)
4th: Megalodon (46 points)

Congratulations on a job well done, and you are extended an invitation to judge SpinTunes #15 this fall! Your theme song will be used to introduce each Listening Party in that competition!

Rankings (small numbers are good!)
Micah Sommersmith: (1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 1) = 26 
Bubba & TNLAK: (4 + 2 + 1 + 3 + 3 + 2 + 1 + 3 + 2 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3) = 34 
Temnere: (2 + 3 + 2 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 4 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 4 + 2) = 44 
Megalodon: (3 + 4 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 3 + 4) = 46

Votes were cast by*
Edric Haleen - Megalodon - Temnere - Bubba and the No Longer Amiable Kraken - Ominous Ride - Jordan Carroll - Micah Sommersmith - Governing Dynamics - Menage a Tune - Heather Zink - ShyFox - Bobby Matheson - Boy on the Wall - Glen Raphael - Riker's Island

* votes are private so the order of both these names and the scores were scrambled.

Judges' Rankings:

Artist Jerkatorium Paul Tom Allan Dave Travis Total
Bubba and the No Longer Amiable Kraken 1 1 1 1 2 3 9
Micah Sommersmith 2 2 2 2 1 1 10
Temnere 4 4 3 3 4 2 20
Megalodon 3 3 4 4 3 4 21

ST14R4 Reviews - Dave Leigh

This was haaaaaard....

I changed my mind a lot. Naturally, I had my own preconceptions coming into the round (full disclosure: I've already written a theme), and this challenge has been bouncing around in our suggestion box since before I took over. But the judges like the challenge, and after much thought, so do I. Cons of the challenge include replayability... but that's exactly what we're looking for! It has to be played at the start of each show, so it better hold up to repeated listens. Another con is that it could be perceived as self-serving. Well... sure it could. But presumably we're all playing this game because we like it. Besides... we didn't float the challenge until I already wrote a theme (so it's not because we need it, but to open it up for group participation).

But the challenge isn't what made this hard. It's the entries. Every single one of them deserves to be played in future listening parties, and I'm happy to say that after SpinTunes 15, they will.

Well done, all!

Micah Sommersmith - The Tunes are Spinning
This was the hardest for me to get behind. And then it just kept being an earworm. And when juggling these songs around repeatedly, it just kept moving upward. The lyrics are clever, with a great deal of specificity, and also just the right amount of ambiguity (in case Tom needs to move the listening party to another time or day). Plus the fact that it's just a really nice, catchy, quirky theme that seems to capture the eclectic mix of our participants. So... number one it is.

Bubba and the No Longer Amiable Kraken - Listening Party Theme
This one is my hands-down favorite when Micah's isn't. Seriously, there's about zero-point-zero-zero-one percent difference in ranking between this and Micah's entry for me. It's catchy, it's got specificity, and I absolutely love the "Get to the point, Tom!" line. It's also short and sweet after the instrumental break... just a repeat of the chorus and the show starts. When all was said and done, the separator here for me was that it's slightly too specific as to the time and day of the show, and that could limit it in the future.

Megalodon - STLIP-15
Things that I like about this most... you get to the point right up front. You're introducing a show, so it's nice to know when the pre-show ends and the show begins. I think you've got a good intuitive handle on that. It's not as lyrically dense as the higher entries, but this is still really impressive.

Temnere - Saturday Morning SpinTunes
I've been most impressed with the solid consistency of your entries this whole contest. We know your style, we know where you're going to go, and you go there. Bam! The reason that this lands behind the entries for me has to do with the feedback I gave Megalodon. You're introducing a show, so it's important to solidly break from whatever was previously playing. And here it takes right at a minute into a 2-minute song before you introduce us to the contest. That's not horrible... there's no criticism I could give that wouldn't overstate the difference in quality between these entries. Fantastic job!


Glen Raphael - SpinTunes Listening Party
Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! You Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! did Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! this Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! to Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! me! Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! You Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! made Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! me Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! hear Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! this Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! even Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! in Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! my Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! sleep! Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! Darn Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! you Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! to Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! heck! Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! Ba-duh-pah-te-bum! Ba-duh-pah-te-bum!...

Menage a Tune - SpinTunes
Nice and bouncy. I'd say that the second verse needs to be moved down a bit closer to the instrumental break. It's a good intro, so you should just hand it off to Tom for his voiceover without the "write a shadow" portion in the way. IOW, I'd reverse those. Musically, really commit to the shouting. If you're going to shout, SHOUT! And both of you do it, and layer it. Nice shadow! 

Menage a Tune - TailSpinTunes
It's a filk, and the tune's unoriginal, but you already know that. But it's a nice way of showing the same lyrics set to a completely different tune.

ST14R4 Reviews - Paul Rosenbluth

Paul's reviews will be coming soon. In the meantime, here are his rankings:

Bubba and the No Longer Amiable Kraken - Listening Party Theme 02:13
Micah Sommersmith - The Tunes are Spinning 02:06
Megalodon - STLIP-15 01:45
Temnere - Saturday Morning Spintunes 01:59
Glen Raphael - Spintunes Listening Party (SHADOW) 02:17
Menage a Tune - Spintunes (SHADOW) 02:22
TailSpinTunes 01:12

ST14R4 Reviews - Jerkatorium

As before, Jerkatorium's reviews will appear in PODCAST form at They inform me (Dave) that it was verrrry close (and I'm sure you'll hear about that in the podcast!) 

Here are their rankings:
  1. Kraken
  2. Micah 
  3. Megalodon 
  4. Temnere


You can directly download the mp3

00:00 Introduction
05:20 Micah Summersmith - The Tunes are Spinning
12:00 Bubba and the No Longer Amiable Kraken - Listening Party Theme
18:19 Megalodon - STLIP-15
23:00 Tenmere - Saturday Morning SpinTunes
28:15 Glen Raphael - Spintunes Listening Party (SHADOW)
32:19 Menage a Tune - Spintunes (SHADOW)
36:23 TailSpinTunes (SHADOW)
38:55 Rankings
49:41 Wrap-up

ST14R4 Reviews - Tom Giarrosso

(Dave's note: Tom is travelling today, so he sent me these reviews from his car somewhere near Toledo, Ohio)

First thoughts- I loved all of these songs, and will literally be using them for future listening parties.

I’m on the road with just my phone, so here are some abrevaited notes on the tunes

loved the 70’s feel. Instrumental was just the right length, and the retort just put you over the top. 

awesome bubbly tune, with lots of history. Well done!

nice and meta. I liked the self referential lyrics. 

a hard rockin theme that works great! 

I love the multiple versions. Definitely a catchy bed to talk over

bouncy tune for a bouncy LP. And a spare one as a samba/conga line!

Good luck to everyone, and thanks for making some totally amazing tunes for ST14!

ST14R4 Reviews - Travis Langworthy (Guest Judge)

Before I get going, I just want to say that everyone has done great to get this far.  I don’t run the contest anymore, but I do listen in & enjoy it as a fan now.  Like the competitors, the judges have done a wonderful job, and I’m thankful for their time & efforts throughout.  HOWEVER!  When I heard what the round 4 challenge was, I was not thrilled.  I thought it was a bad challenge for multiple reasons.

  1. It seems too self serving.  I’d have been worried that newer SpinTuners & possible future SpinTuners would see this as someone just trying to get a free theme song with the challenge & nothing else.  I’d thought of this challenge before, and that’s exactly why I never did it.  I’m sure that’s not the only reason this was selected as a challenge, but again...bad optics in my opinion.
  2. The final challenge in past SpinTunes has been a lot more interesting or challenging than this one.
  3. It’s bound to create an album of songs that will have little replay value other than being played at the SpinTunes listening party.

I’m not trying to throw all the judges under the bus for this one bad challenge though.  Hell, I ok’ed the worst challenges ever (Sad song about birth).  I also ok’ed a challenge that I knew would have little replay value (jingle challenge).  So yeah, everyone makes a bad call from time to time, and I just thought this was one of them.  Oh, and maybe link to the examples mentioned in the challenge considering both aren’t exactly well known.  Enough time talking about the challenge... onto the songs.

Micah Sommersmith - The Tunes Are Spinning
I was at the listening party, and while this was playing I couldn’t think of anything good to say aside from the fact that I love accordion.  AFTER the listening party I listened to everything again on BandCamp and it sounded so much better.  The audio quality on YouTube really sucked I guess, because I didn’t have any major issues with this song.  The lyrics got the point across in a catchy humorous way.  You had the break in there.  Thought it was sang well enough, and did I mention I love accordion?

Because I feel the need to nitpick there are a couple things I felt could have been better.  I enjoyed the build up for Tom, but the line “I’d tell you more, but I think he might be onto me” feels off.  I mean I get he’s about to have to judge you, and it’s a joke about your sucking up to him with this song.  But in future contests, he won’t be judging you... and this is a theme song for future contests.  So it didn’t feel like a good choice.

The other small issue I had was with the line “Rhymes so sick you’ll need to take a couple days off ”.  I actually LOVE the line, but you rhymed it with “face off”.  Not exactly a sick rhyme. ;p

But like I said...nitpicky because overall I really enjoyed the song, and if this wins, I’d say it was deserved.

Megalodon - STLIP-15
Creative title…  Again this sounds way better on Bandcamp than it did on YouTube.  The first thing that jumps out at me is the fact that “Spintunes Listening Party” is too much of a mouthful to be catchy.  Should have just went with “SpinTunes”, cause I don’t think “Listening Party” needs to be forced into the theme.  Something like “Welcome to SpinTunes” could be worked into the lyrics easier & people would still know it’s the listening parties theme. 
Really enjoyed the instrumental section, and the music throughout was really catchy so nice work there.  Lyrically I don’t always mesh with Megalodon, but I think you did a really good job aside from the chorus.  Vocals, performance...I just really liked everything other than your chorus.  Solid entry, you got a shot.

Temnere - Saturday Morning SpinTunes
I wasn’t really sure how your sound would translate into a theme song, but it turns out pretty well.  There are parts that I listened to without the lyrics in front of me, and I swear I couldn’t make out what was being said.  But when I had the lyrics in front of me I was like, “Oh yeah, I hear that now.”  Not sure if that’s just me, or if the vocals need brought up a little or what.  “where war's fought mind to mind” was probably the line that got me most. 
You definitely make the contest sound pretty badass, and you do it while laying out exactly how the contest works.  Honestly I don’t think anyone could have done a better job of making it sound so epic.  Up until the line “set your mark and write the perfect tune” the song could’ve been about something completely different...yet it still fits SpinTunes.  I don’t know what else to say other than well done, and you’re probably getting my top vote.

Bubba And The No Longer Amiable Kraken - Listening Party Theme
Another nice title…  Dang, another I could see winning.  Obviously I’m going to have a favorite, but I see all 4 having a legit shot at winning.  You did a better job of making “SpinTunes Listening Party” catchy than Megalodon did, but I know less about SpinTunes from listening to your theme vs the others I think. 
No question you got a bouncy feel that honestly suits what I personally envisioned for a theme more so than the others.  The production was good, vocals good, just wish you could have worked in a little more detail about the contest.  Also, what happens if Tom changes the time or day for the listening party? ;p

Glen Raphael - SpinTunes Listening Party (Shadow)
Acapella is a bold choice.  I think in parts it turned out great, and in other parts it felt like a “wall of sound” which I think is how you put it in the chat room?  And really those moments come so close together, there’s a fine line that you seemed to step back & forth across multiple times.  Lyrically it’s a bit sparse in terms of detail about the contest.  It was certainly fun to listen to, and I always love getting shadows, but I think it’s where it belongs this round when compared to the actual entries.


  1. Micah
  2. Temnere
  3. Bubba
  4. Mega

SpinTunes #14 Round 4 Songs

Here they are!

Monday, May 21, 2018

SpinTunes 14 Round 4 Deadline News

Congratulations to all those who made the deadline! Those that didn't are shadows.

For now you should know:
  • There are 4 official entries.
  • There are 2 shadows.
  • There were no deadline eliminations.
  • Remember...shadows are never late.  If you got a finished or near finished can still send it in.
This round it's the SpinTunes 14 COMPETITORS who will rank the entries! Remember, if you've had a qualifying entry in SpinTunes 14, even if you were eliminated in round 1, you are now a judge! After listening, send your rankings to

Listening Party Location:
  • 9 pm Monday, 21 May 2018 

Deadline Eliminations:
  • None! Congratulations!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

SpinTunes #14 Round 4 Challenge

It's Round 4, so lets get professional!
Welcome to the Show: Write a theme song to introduce the SpinTunes Listening Party.
The winning entry will be played at the beginning of each SpinTunes #15 listening party. This round's entries must be between one and three minutes long and must include an instrumental portion of approximately 20 seconds over which Tom can talk for introductory purposes (don't worry about adjusting the volume).
Examples? There's the JoeShow theme song, or you could listen to the theme created by Jerkatorium for their judging podcasts.

Submitting Entries:

  • Your entry must be received by May 20, 2018 @ 11:59 PM EDTOtherwise 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. One minute late is too late.
  • You are allowed and encouraged to submit a draft of your song early just in case something horrible happens and you miss the deadline. Then you can add polish to your song and send in a better version closer to the deadline. The last version received prior to the deadline is your official entry. 
  • Lyrics are mandatory. No instrumentals. Having no lyrics will get you disqualified.
  • Name your file your bandname and the song's title.
  • Title of the e-mail should be your band's name & the title of the Challenge. (e.g. "Dr Lindyke - Welcome to the Show")
  • Include information on anyone that needs credited if you collabed with someone. Remember, collaborations are OK. You must write your song, but if you want to use another vocalist or musicians, do so. 
  • 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. THIS IS THE BEST FILE SHARING OPTION!
  • Other file sharing options if you need them: Sound Cloud (set to download a format BandCamp is ok with) & Drop Box. Please send an e-mail as I already stated, but with the download link if you need one of these services. 
  • If you're using something other than Bandcamp, It's best if you 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.
  • If you send me an MP3, I will attempt to convert it for you. But be warned... I will be strapped for time, and I will post whatever Audacity spits out of the conversion. So if you picked the wrong sample rate, your dulcet tones may wind up sounding like termites or chipmunks or random static. And that is what will be judged. So please... save and submit your files in the right format. 

  • Side Notes:
    • You are allowed to send in a little background about your song. We encourage and appreciate "song bios". You don't have to do it, but if you want to write a couple sentences about your song I'll post it on the BandCamp page for people to see. I'll even link to longer blog posts if you want to explain your song on your blog. Some judges will read this extra info, but they aren't required to.
    • If you didn't sign-up in time to compete in SpinTunes 14, you can still complete the challenge and send in a song. It will be uploaded with the other entries as a "Shadow Song" and it will be played at the listening party. Check the FAQ if you don't know what that means. You can even complete past challenges from previous contests.
    • 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 #14 Round 3 Results

    Surprise! It's Dave! When checking the schedule, I forgot about the magic of Time Travel. So you'll be reading this 13 hours before it was written. Or something like that. All I know is it's going to be 9:30 am all the way home... ;)

     The standings as previously posted were incorrect. Tom's reviews were in album order rather than his ranked order (which were posted with the reviews). The corrected numbers are below. and the remainder of the post has been likewise corrected.

    Thanks to Edric Haleen, who brought this to my attention very early... although (being on a plane) I couldn't do anything about it until now. Note that it is MICAH SOMMERSMITH who takes fourth place and moves on to Round 4.

    So Round 4 has been judged! We have results, and they are as follows:

    Artist Jerkatorium Paul Tom Allan Dave Total
    Bubba and the No Longer Amiable Kraken 4 2 2 6 1 15
    Temnere 1 5 1 4 5 16
    Megalodon 5 1 7 2 2 17
    Micah Sommersmith 2 7 5 5 7 26
    Edric Haleen 3 8 6 7 3 27
    Governing Dynamics 6 6 3 8 6 29
    Glen Raphael 9 4 8 1 9 31
    Boy on the Wall 7 3 9 9 4 32
    Jordan Carroll 8 9 4 3 8 32

    The top 4 move on to the FINAL ROUND. The rest of you, please shadow, in case the front runners flake out. You still have a shot at winning this!

    The tie for last place is resolved resolved in submission order. So Boy on the Wall gets 8th place. (which could be significant if there needs to be a reinstatement)

    Awesome job, everyone! Can't wait to see what you do with the next challenge!