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The Collaboration Contest Rides Again Let's start again

#151 User is offline   jonie Icon

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:38 PM

Congratulations to Ron and Alistair on winning second place which, but for less than a point, could have been first. I certainly had them at the top with Joan and John's Rose Petals song second and Scotto's and Tracy's Tin Man song in third. I didn't score any team lower than a 7 as I thought all of them were really good.

I wasn't really considering whether the song/lyric looked similar to Jolene when it came to scoring. I went by how well I liked the overall song. I didn't interpret Len's guidelines to mean that the finished product had to adhere closely to the structural aspects of Jolene so I didn't feel restricted in my voting.

Steve was great to work with and I fell in love with the melody and tempo he'd come up with from his first, early recording of it.

Thanks to Len for taking over the running of this.

I'm still disappointed I didn't hear Mark and Bruce's entry. Maybe Mark will give a shot at a later time and post it up.
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#152 User is offline   Gordon Icon

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:12 PM

Hey everybody,

I just wanted to say that i thoroughly enjoyed this competition and thought every song here was excellent. Like Jonie, i set my baseline at 7, then tried to find reasons to bump one or two or three from there. I thought based on the description and reading the artists' logs that the idea wasn't necessarily to leave you with something identical to the original, but that you could kind of track how you started from that and ended up with something different, but apparently based on the original.

And, i certainly didn't want to be interjecting my own opinion as to whether someone strayed too far or stayed close enough, so i went by the assumption that everyone followed the intent of the theme and i voted how i best judged them... remembering that i probably have certain biases towards or against certain styles and genres... i am only human, after all! :D

I also put my awesome spell checker to work on the lyrics, to be used for potential tie-breaking! :)

Okay, with that said, congratulations to Steve and Jonie on finishing first. I loved everything about this... the lyrics are wonderful, nice extended metaphor, and consistent... i echo an earlier comment that i'd think they would be set to a darker music and be a real downer (like something i might try to write) but then Steve's sort of upbeat, slightly whimsical styling really gives it an ethereal quality almost... like something 70s retro, almost... very interesting and no surprise it won... i tied this for second.

My first place vote went to Alistair and Neuroron... though maybe they strayed a little farther from the Jolene structure, as i read their log, it made sense to me how they started very much with the jolene structure, then adapted it as their song evolved... this one reminded me that i used to play in a high school jazz band and used to love listening to Blood Sweat and Tears! I don't know why i haven't in years, but i need to! For this genre, it just sounded about perfect to me, and the lyrics were wonderful. I also loved their use of the plural "beers"... yes... i've been in too many arguments with people about whether "beers" was a legitimate word, and i've always contended it was... so that's worth a half-point to me right there.

i also tied Graybeard and Amerehobbyist for second. It seemed a simple song, but very catchy and i found myself feeling just a tad extra happy every time it came round as i listened to these over and over. I also kind of suspected, given the other great entries and the fact maybe they switched the rhyme scheme up a little in the chorus that maybe they'd be overlooked a little in the general vote, so combining those things, i decided to give them the slight bump over my remaining three, which i really didn't think were materially inferior...

Sharon and Kim's Broken obviously adhered to the Jolene structure most closely, and i really enjoyed it. Again, these lyrics remind me of something i might try to write, in that they are a little depressing - except whereas i would have kept it a complete downer, they bring out the resolution, the optimizism... the fighting and looking forward to making things better, of not settling for what others dictate... this i think gives the generally uplifting and almost spiritual feeling to it that makes it a sort of sad-sounding, reflective song, but one you want to hear, and makes you feel better after hearing it.

Scotto and Stars - i think you guys are making an awesome team! I loved "Hot River" in the protest song contest and i loved this as well. In both of them, i think you guys come closer to hitting my "genre" than others... Here again, i loved the lyric, and the style and Scotto's voice lended a very kind of plaintiff sound to it... another great extended metaphor and very creative. And as an example of how close i thought this contest was, i swear that after a couple listens through the group, i was leaning to placing this in first place. I'm not sure how i left you guys at a 7. As much as I liked "hot River" i know i put a couple ahead of you then, too... so maybe i'm reverse discriminating a little against you because it's more "my style" and i want to seem "objective"...

finally, Joan and John... i can't believe you two haven't worked together before. are you kidding me? John Fitzgerald and Joan Kennedy??? You would seem to be a natural pairing!! You should have your own songwriting company... probably a lot of creative ways you go with a name for the company... Again, here the lyrics were superb, thoughtful, and i love the twist at the end (for me it avoids it being too sentimental... ). In my high school jazz band, one of the songs we played regularly was "The Rose" and this brought back some memories of that. I see that Joan commented it was rather "bare bones" in production, but i think that gives a service to this - it is warm, heartfelt, moving... very personal in this way.

Anyway, i think you all did a great job, and i would not have been surprised in the least to see any one of the six voted in first place overall.

It seems like a very cool exercise, and i do want to try this with a lyric here in the near future. i've sort of unofficially done this sort of approach, just starting from some lyric i like and trying to "re-write" a part of it, but i didn't consciously try to follow this "scaffolding" technique...

So, kudos to Len for basing a collaboration contest on a writing technique - it seems you made a fun contest, underwrote it with a "teaching moment", and at least the six contest teams ended up with a great song in each of their portfolios!

thanks, everyone!!

#153 User is offline   scubed Icon

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:41 PM

Gordon, as a musician, I can't think of a higher compliment than having someone say they feel better after hearing something I've done. Thank you very, very much. :)

Regards,

Sharon
"First we sing, then we understand." -- Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

“Words make you think. Music makes you feel. A song makes you feel a thought.”
― Yip Harburg

Don Martin Lyric of the Year 2012 co-winner

#154 User is offline   ScenesFromPalacio Icon

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:33 PM

Woh that so generous -spirited Gordon-Giving such thoughtful reviews to everyone who wrote/performed here
Serious kudos man..Very B)

#155 User is offline   Gordon Icon

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:21 PM

I feel it's the least i can do...

i have may have missed once or twice, but on the song and collab comps, i really have been impressed with how good you people are at this. when the timing is right, i really enjoy a quiet saturday night at home with some beers, put on your songs and run through them... maybe then watch a pay-per-view movie on my system, then come back for a couple more run-throughs to puzzle out how to vote... and it's a lot of fun!! :D

then i know i'm not a musician so i can't give you a lot of technical details about the performance or mix or whatever, but i can let you know what i found enjoyable about what you've turned in...

and i must say, i am honestly impressed with how good these competitions really are!

#156 User is offline   Scotto Icon

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:56 AM

Thanks so much Gordon. Seriously taking the time like that is fantastic and your crits are as valuable if not more so because of where your coming from. Just a dude with a beer listening to some tunes...

:)

#157 User is offline   Joan Icon

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:21 PM

Gordon, thank you for such a thoughtful write-up. It's encouraging to hear there's honest pleasure to be had in listening and voting these competitions.

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