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About Midway

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    Contributing Muse

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  1. 2011 Don Martin Lyric of the Year

    Well, another year in the books and another race to the finish line complete. Congratulations to Len, Scubed, and Jonie. Their pieces are all fine examples of lyrical art and deserving of their status at year’s end. There were so many good pieces to choose from this year. I had Feegis’s “Let Your Horses Run” on top - as fine a lyric as any I’ve read in a while and the perfect choice for a Bob Seger comeback, should he ever decide to scale back up to the heights he once commanded. Coming in a veryclose second was Wendy’s “Jerusalem”. I can hear so many ways to take this lyric musically, that I place it in that rare category of lyrics that defy genre – an extremely difficult trick to pull off. And closing out my betting slip was Kim’s “To Dine with Kings and Queens”. Sometimes a piece reaches inside and clamps its talons on you and refuses to let go. Thanks to Neal for loaning us his barn to put on this show. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote. Thanks to my fellow poets, without whom, none of this would exist. And thanks to the folks who were kind enough to score my entries high and/or were nice enough to mention their admiration. p.s. I’ll be posting another message in the Off Topic Board shortly, of which I wanted to inform everyone here, in case they would otherwise miss it.
  2. December Lyric Contest

    Thanks to everyone who scored me well enough to put me over the top. Congrats to scubed and Alistair for medaling alongside of me. And thanks to Neal for riding shotgun again. Great job, all. There was a whole buncha' styles again this month, which makes it hard to weigh one against another against another... My top group was: Feegis's The Ballad of Marcus Mann. Great story and great structure throughout the entire song (not an easy task to accomplish with so many verses, really good job there Feeg's). View From a Bar Stage by discatticus. How many of us here can close our eyes and remember living the life of the main character in this piece? It has all the elements of a really good song and I thought it would finish way higher than mine. And Pardisedismissed's Embers to Ash. I like nostalgia, and the homage to Robert Frost was a welcome, long lost friend come calling unexpectedly. And a bunch of the rest kept bumping each other aside trying to get higher on my list but only managed to keep taking each other's place. As for scoring, I've said it before during other contests and I'll say it again: It all comes down to taste. One person's gourmet tidbit is another person's garbahge. And, as others have pointed out, the Lyric Critique Board has become a study in futility, so I don't post anything there anymore. Most people posting there don't want to learn. They just want to be told how great their words are. And they can find plenty of clueless fans there to give them that. I just don't have the time nor the patience anymore to get stuck in there.

    THIS IS AWESOME!!! Thanks marrow. Such hyperbole can be humbling. It's a pity you missed out on the voting. Maybe your score could have eeked me up closer to the top. Oh well. There's always next time, right? Thanks again.

    Well done everyone. This contest is really blowing up in a good way. Congrat's to scubed and Dottie. Very well done gals. I had scubed's Maybe I'll Be Back Someday in a tie for second place with Gordon's The American Dream. Both good, hard edged scenarios with some currency, yet timeless in their scope. My top pick was Ron's Oh Beatrice. It's never easy to write tributes/derivations/retellings of existing stories, but you handled it well. Plus, your song has good structure and good use of uncommon rhymes, which work rather well for this piece. It just struck a chord and reverberated from the first line to the last with it's quaintness. After these three, I have to agree with Ron, everyone else was piled up just underneath them. There was such a wide variety of styles and subjects, each with their own merits, that it was tough to break them out individually. Thanks to everyone who voted my piece well enough to give it a respectable showing after my taking a long hiatus to focus on business and training a new pup. I'm still not back into the "groove" groove yet, but I can see it from here. Thank you for your kind words Kimmy. If I grazed your heartstrings, then I know I hit the mark I was aiming at with this piece. And thank you too, Jan. It's always good to know when someone likes your work well enough to place it on top of the mountain. What can I say Dottie? Whenever I don't write with a melody in my head, I always fall into that same old meter. It just feels natural to me. Thanks for voting it so high. I'm not sure if I'll post it on the Crit Board. Sweetie says if I change a word, she'll castrate me. Soooooo... (Luv'd the imagery in your piece, BTW. You've really grown by leaps-n-bounds in such a short time.) And take a well deserved bow, Neal. This month must have been a real handful keeping track of everyone and their scores.
  5. June 1+1 COMPLETE!

    Congratulations to Ryandsy and Steve. Two very worthy winners. This was my first time voting in the song comp. and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of entries and the wide spectrum of musical styles. I had vtoutlander's My Baby Drives Too Fast as my top pick. Don't know why. It just tickled my sensibilities. Then I had Ryandsy's and Wendy's right behind it. Way to go crew!
  6. May Lyric Contest

    That's why I set my Lower Control Limit - LCL (a little inside baseball between techies ) to 5. Who knows, maybe I missed something most other people read into a lyric? I don't want to punish anyone unduly because I was having a sh*tty day when I scored their piece or because I'm scoring it late at night and feeling particularly dense, IYKWIMAITYD. That's just not fair to everybody. The first couple of contests I scored, I threw in a couple of 2's and 3's, maybe even a 1. But that only brings down your own score, because your score for your own piece is the average of all the scores you give everybody else; spite - nose - face, some disassembly required. Now, that usually leads to a lot of 5's, but you only need to weed out 2 or 3 pieces per contest as better than the rest, and they're usually obvious. Then, I trust my instincts as to which of the 3 is best, and so on. Once that decision is made, I never go back and change my scores. Congratulations Mr./Mrs./Ms. Monthly Winner, I give you a 9! That and $5 will get you a lo-fat-soy-sweet-n-low-double-mocha-machiado at Starbucks. Enjoy!
  7. May Lyric Contest

    Seems to me, just the opposite is the reality in your line of work. No one can take a back seat to an attorney's "flexibility" toward clear, unambiguous language. Of course, that all depends on what your meaning of the word "is" is.
  8. May Lyric Contest

    Wow, Alistair. You pretty much summed up the simplest, fastest, most efficient way to score these lyric contests. My own process echos yours fairly closely, although I never give anything a 10. By eliminating the lesser peices right off the bat, you save a lot of time and gray matter to spend on evaluating the better pieces. It's funny, but I usually end up going with my first instincts after one read thru of all the entries, and I'm usually right (judging on the cumulative scoring when it's released). I sometimes get the image in my mind of an old, Tin Pan Alley producer sitting in his office, stogie sticking out the corner of his mouth, listening to 6 seconds of a song, telling his secretary to turn it off by yelling, "NEXT!" as he tries to unearth the proverbial diamond in the rough. Half the time, I don't even make it to the second verse.
  9. May Lyric Contest

    Sorry I missed out voting this month. Too much business to attend to and not enough days. I probably would have picked the the winners as they stand now with the exception of Feeg's slightly over Alistair's. It was a nice sized crowd again this month. Congratulations to the winners and to everyone who entered. Once again, you've proven the wide variety of talent here at the Muse can be counted on to shine.
  10. April Contest WINNERS

    Ooopsie! Wrong thread, Neil.
  11. March Lyric Contest

    Hey Andy, kind of tangential to what you posted here: Which entry of yours made honorary mention in Am. Songwriter last month? I subscribe because I've entered a couple of their contests and have that issue laying around here somewhere. Also, what is your overall impression of the "winners" they tend to choose?
  12. March Lyric Contest

    Congratulations to this months creme de la creme. Jonie, really achingly good piece. Stars, I had you pegged on the top this month, so I wasn't far off in the end. Scooby-D, I had you neck and neck with a whole bunch of others, all near the top group. This was probably the hardest month to winnow out the top songs since I started doing these contests. The depth of field really makes you take the extra time to weigh one against another. And that's a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say. Thanks to Neal for herding this month. And thanks to everyone who voted my piece high enough to keep it in the running.
  13. March Lyric Contest

    Shall we all just claim authorship before the scores are released and start the mutual admiration society meeting early?
  14. March Lyric Contest

    some great lyrics. i found it difficult to score. if i did it again i'd probably get different scores!!! but i did try my best!! my favourites were bluebird and afraid to open my eyes. andy I'll say, Andy. I had finishing in order: It Doesn't Touch Me, Film Noir, then all these ties - Afraid To Open My Eyes, Love Don't Work That Way, The River, Just a Dream, and Sunday Night Song Affair. Good batch, definitely. Maybe Neal and his better half had an out of town gig these weekend or something.
  15. ....crickets......crickets......crickets......