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Dan Barracuda

Collaboration Contest Results - April 2018

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Sorry for being so late to the party here, but looking back at the results and some of the feedback provided on the voting process/song notes, a thought occurred to me.  If emotional response is a criteria for liking/disliking a tune, why is it that IMO, some people seem to give a somber/reflective tune more weight than an amusing/comical one?  From a scoring perspective anyway.

 

Full disclosure, I had the Tracy/Moso tune 'Crocodilly Lilly' at the top of my scorecard.  I thought the lyrics were fun and the arrangement & performance were inspired lunacy at its best.  So unique, so original, great execution and so utterly 'out of the box' that I thought it stood out from a deep pool of quality entries, IMO anyway.

 

'Croc' had 4 first place votes (3rd most), but was left off of the top half of nearly half of the ballots (15 of 31).  That seemed odd to me compared to some of the other entries & scoring patterns.

 

Based on the quality of the rest of the field, and the vagaries of taste,  I am not complaining that it didn't win, but I am suggesting that an unintentional 'bias' might exist, that was only reinforced to me by some of the voters comments, that IMO seemed to suggest a similar theme: that, although the production/arrangement/performance/lyric were exceptional, it was good as a 'novelty tune' or somehow less worthy than the more somber/reflective 'serious' songs.

 

I fully realize that being so 'out of box', the song was fighting an uphill battle in the contest, but my bigger questions is this:

 

If creating an emotional response is so desirable in a song/lyric, why is somber/reflecting/crying seen as more worthy than smiling/amusing/laughing ?  Are they both not valid emotional responses of relative equal importance?  as far as scoring goes anyway, or am I just crazy on this?  

 

I am curious as to what others think.

 

    

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Oswlek said:

@PaulCanuck and @DonnaMarilyn might be interested to know that "Coyote" was playing in my head when I awoke yesterday.  The song was so clear that I was able to skip around and "listen" to varying parts without losing focus.  :)

Sorry about that - at least it wasn't in a nightmare :)

Thanks for sharing that!

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3 hours ago, Ty Cobb said:

Sorry for being so late to the party here, but looking back at the results and some of the feedback provided on the voting process/song notes, a thought occurred to me.  If emotional response is a criteria for liking/disliking a tune, why is it that IMO, some people seem to give a somber/reflective tune more weight than an amusing/comical one?  From a scoring perspective anyway.

 

Full disclosure, I had the Tracy/Moso tune 'Crocodilly Lilly' at the top of my scorecard.  I thought the lyrics were fun and the arrangement & performance were inspired lunacy at its best.  So unique, so original, great execution and so utterly 'out of the box' that I thought it stood out from a deep pool of quality entries, IMO anyway.

 

'Croc' had 4 first place votes (3rd most), but was left off of the top half of nearly half of the ballots (15 of 31).  That seemed odd to me compared to some of the other entries & scoring patterns.

 

Based on the quality of the rest of the field, and the vagaries of taste,  I am not complaining that it didn't win, but I am suggesting that an unintentional 'bias' might exist, that was only reinforced to me by some of the voters comments, that IMO seemed to suggest a similar theme: that, although the production/arrangement/performance/lyric were exceptional, it was good as a 'novelty tune' or somehow less worthy than the more somber/reflective 'serious' songs.

 

I fully realize that being so 'out of box', the song was fighting an uphill battle in the contest, but my bigger questions is this:

 

If creating an emotional response is so desirable in a song/lyric, why is somber/reflecting/crying seen as more worthy than smiling/amusing/laughing ?  Are they both not valid emotional responses of relative equal importance?  as far as scoring goes anyway, or am I just crazy on this?  

 

I am curious as to what others think.

 

    

 

 

 

 

I had quite the opposite reaction to this song. I didn't think it was particularly funny. I like funny songs, especially country ones. This one just did not tickle my funny bones. This is one of those songs that will fall at one end or the other of the love/hate spectrum. The use of shoes in the lyric seemed like it was forced rather than worked in naturally.  If original and unique are your criteria to judge a song then this fits your taste.  For me, if it is going to be a funny song then the lyric will have to carry it or my attention will wane. There was no bias on my part, intentional or unintentional. To answer your question, yes, they are both valid emotional responses and I judge them equally.  For example, my top pick was Lucky Man - a fun song, sensuous and humorous. 

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Maybe I should have presented this in a slightly different way.  I am certainly not questioning anyone's motives/methods of scoring, and I did not mean to create a dissection/justification of reactions to 'Crocodilly Lilly' in particular. 

 

I just though that MAYBE, (based on the communal efforts/energy/time investments displayed on this site) as a group of people that take songwriting/lyrics seriously we are giving more 'weight/respect/importance' to somber/reflective themes than to lighthearted/fun ones? 

 

I know my material is usually way more on the darker/somber/depressing side of the spectrum, so it is entirely possible that a song like 'Croc Lilly' appealed to me as it is so foreign to my stuff  that it made a stronger impression.   

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@Ty Cobb,

 

I think you are right.  Speaking from personal experience, I gravitate towards humor in stand up, television, and occasionally movies, but not so much in songs.  When I think of it, I especially don't tend to enjoy humor in original songs.  I enjoy humor in songs that the Capitol Steps performs, but those are parodies playing off existing well-known songs.  Weird Al is another example of someone who is as close as I can think consistently applies humor to songs but he commands a very small niche market and his songs do well because they are paradies of famous songs.  I don't particularly enjoy listening to his songs, although I did when I was a kid and my kids now love his songs.  It's kind of a shame, but I don't think, I'm alone.  Writing original humorous songs seems to be a huge challenge for a songwriter.

 

Having said all that, Crocodile Lily was in my top 4.  I think I scored it well because it was obvious how much work went into it and I thought it was creative and refreshing.  

 

-SOK

 

Edit:  Actually, thinking on this some more, there is this one album that I absolutely love that is full of humor (though quite raunchy):  Pharcyde:  Bizarre Ride to the Pharcyde: 

 

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1 hour ago, Ty Cobb said:

Maybe I should have presented this in a slightly different way.  I am certainly not questioning anyone's motives/methods of scoring, and I did not mean to create a dissection/justification of reactions to 'Crocodilly Lilly' in particular. 

 

I just though that MAYBE, (based on the communal efforts/energy/time investments displayed on this site) as a group of people that take songwriting/lyrics seriously we are giving more 'weight/respect/importance' to somber/reflective themes than to lighthearted/fun ones? 

 

I know my material is usually way more on the darker/somber/depressing side of the spectrum, so it is entirely possible that a song like 'Croc Lilly' appealed to me as it is so foreign to my stuff  that it made a stronger impression.   

For what it is worth... I had Crocodilly Lilly as my winner as well.   There are only a couple of the songs that I can clearly recall my reaction to when first listening... and that was certainly one of them.  It was like WTF.... Oh, that's cool... OMG... to smiling the rest of the way.  As evident by the massive amount of songs themed with love, reflection & even anger and conflict... it is easier to tap into those emotions as a songwriter.  Actually... I think you see that in most art.  You also have to be in the right place and frame of mind to accept silliness as humor or joyful.

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1 hour ago, Short Order Kook said:

 It's kind of a shame, but I don't think, I'm alone.  Writing original humorous songs seems to be a huge challenge for a songwriter.

This doesnt bode well for my 1+1 entry!!

 

I think if you are playing your songs live, for example at an open mic, a mediocre fun/funny song is much more palatable to listeners than a mediocre love song. Thats probably why I gravitate towards them a bit

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Doh, this is what happens when I make broad sweeping statements!  I should really say that I find it a huge challenge.  I want to wait till next week to make comments on the 1 + 1, but let me just say your song is fun and exceptionally clever!

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So fine to hear that, Justin. :) I admit, it keeps popping into my mind as well. ;)

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I think this is a question relevant to all artforms. Look at the Oscars for example. Every year a few hundred movies are released, and despite the fact that the customers choose to pay and go see Superhero movies and comedies, when it is time to go to vote it is usually the serious, moody pieces that win best picture.

 

Even the Grammys there is some of this, though not as stark a difference, Grammy winners do tend to also be big selling artists as well, but there is often a clear distinction between popular and something deemed as higher quality, or even "More Worthy".

 

I think a lot of (though am not suggesting it is something that is a huge factor here) is that when we are asked a question about our taste in culture we are more likely to lie and pretend to have more highbrow, or serious choices. I don't think there is a doubt this doesn't happen and does often end up producing meaningless surveys that reflect more who we aspire to be rather than who we really are.

 

A lot of it is also that serious and moody just seems more real than light and frothy. As Humans I think that we are more attuned to noticing when things are serious, and there has got to be something left over in our genes that produces that feeling, Fight or Flight, it is a feeling that is responsible for Humans still being here today, a important part of evolution. So emotions that are seen as more negative are registered more in our brains and thus feel more important.

 

Haha, that could be total bollocks, but I think there could be something there.

 

I thought Lily was awesome, it was close to being my top pick but just missed out to Footsteps. I did actually suggest in my notes that it was more of a novelty song and Footsteps won out because it touched me more. So I am just as guilty I guess.

 

 

 

 

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Sorry this has taken a while - I have been busy dealing with numerous aspects of non-music "life." Here the my comments that I wrote down as I was listening. The songs are grouped as in the scoring. I should also say that I tried not to let performance or production play any role in my scoring. I try to consider these soley as "songs" – whether I would want to perform or record them myself, or if I was a producer or A & R person how much I would want to have one of my clients do them. Sorry if they are a bit unfiltered.

 

Indecision - Team:  Peek (Peko and Oswlek) Very good chorus, I would have liked less theatricality - well performed, melodic - would have used indecision 3 times

 

Shoes - Team: Kuster (Kuya & Murphster) charming - very nice arrangement - very well defined, melodically, rhythmically and harmonically. a little preachy lyric

Footprints in the Snow -Team: TriffidWolfe (Triffid & SongWolfe) - nice! A lot of dynamics. Really grew on me - lyrics intriguing

Lucky Man - Team: Jotto (Jonie and Scotto) Sly humor. Very evocative lyrics.Music is catchy. I like the "ooo-la-la-las"

 

Sole Mates - Team: Spider (Carl B & DinoRide) Vocaloid? Very A-Ha - quirky. Is that Vocaloid? I have one of the vocal models for that and have played with it some - . Altogether de obviously not enough.

Walking Shoes -Team: Cluda  (Dan Barracuda & Mike Clements) kinda catcy nice ac guitar part an dwell performed. Catchy Chorus - some good lines

Dancing shoes - Team: Lyres (The S, Lyrical) - somewhat  disjointed music - has some good lines and story has promise

Coyote - Team: Duck DonnaMarilyn/PaulCanuck - Good image-evoking lyrics, although feels a bit melodramatic. Melody and harmonic progression is very clear. Not bad but just doesn't resonate with me.

Walk a Mile - Team Tymed (TyCobb & syl_a_med) Altogether pretty decent. I thought the chorus seemed out of place. IMHO would be more effective left in the AABA format.  The low to high change in register and POV reminded me of Cat Steven's "Father and Son."

Lost In A Thought - Team: IronAndy (Tom Tognaci & Andy LeFevre) - A mess

 

Crocodilly Lilly - Team: Mobody (Tracy somebody & Moso) well produced and performed. Certainly the attempt was to be funny. Lyrically the song was a long list of the girls positive attributes and the joke was that he didn't like her shoes and that was the dealbreaker apparently. However, there was never any description of her shoes, no images or mention of what it was he didn't like about her shoes. Could it be because they were crocodile? I guess that would be the assumption from her name/title of the song but he never said that. As a "list song" the list kind of dragged on and didn't progress in any kind of logical fashion. So it never really resonated with me. But imaginative and well arranged and performed.

You Better Believe - Team: QUART (Quintin Penola & ART1108) not bad all in all. I thought the words were fairly cliché. Maybe it's just me, didn't make much of an impression.

D In My Shoes - Team: 1 4 Rock (14Music & Onewholovesrock) Competently constructed. Lyric is all tell and no show. Music is pretty good.

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Also to chime in on the subject of the emotional vibe of songs. I will tell you that most of my musical influences have a significant amount of humor in their work. Not going for gut busting laughs, but more subtle, tongue-in-cheek or at least with the goal being to elicit a smile. e.g.: Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Sting, the Beatles, Leon Redbone, Steely Dan, Leonard Cohen, Dan Wilson  I guess as a possible outcome of that, virtually everything I write tends to be "up," at least (hopefully) subtly humorous and almost always with a positive/optimistic point of view. Given that, songs that are depressing, angry, alcohol or drug influenced or overtly try to get over a political or philosophical message start out many steps behind in the race. When I perform, the positive/humorous songs always go over the best - both originals and covers. And as a result, I don't knowingly do any "down" stuff live. One of my friends in the Houston Songwriters Association who gigs a lot, writes a lot, and has won numerous awards tells me that when he is out on gigs while people say they like his more "down" songs also, his funny songs are the ones that always get requested. Not saying any of this of course is right or wrong, good or bad, just my point of view.

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5 hours ago, neuroron said:

Sorry this has taken a while - I have been busy dealing with numerous aspects of non-music "life." Here the my comments that I wrote down as I was listening. The songs are grouped as in the scoring. I should also say that I tried not to let performance or production play any role in my scoring. I try to consider these soley as "songs" – whether I would want to perform or record them myself, or if I was a producer or A & R person how much I would want to have one of my clients do them. Sorry if they are a bit unfiltered.

 

Indecision - Team:  Peek (Peko and Oswlek) Very good chorus, I would have liked less theatricality - well performed, melodic - would have used indecision 3 times

 

Shoes - Team: Kuster (Kuya & Murphster) charming - very nice arrangement - very well defined, melodically, rhythmically and harmonically. a little preachy lyric

Footprints in the Snow -Team: TriffidWolfe (Triffid & SongWolfe) - nice! A lot of dynamics. Really grew on me - lyrics intriguing

Lucky Man - Team: Jotto (Jonie and Scotto) Sly humor. Very evocative lyrics.Music is catchy. I like the "ooo-la-la-las"

 

Sole Mates - Team: Spider (Carl B & DinoRide) Vocaloid? Very A-Ha - quirky. Is that Vocaloid? I have one of the vocal models for that and have played with it some - . Altogether de obviously not enough.

Walking Shoes -Team: Cluda  (Dan Barracuda & Mike Clements) kinda catcy nice ac guitar part an dwell performed. Catchy Chorus - some good lines

Dancing shoes - Team: Lyres (The S, Lyrical) - somewhat  disjointed music - has some good lines and story has promise

Coyote - Team: Duck DonnaMarilyn/PaulCanuck - Good image-evoking lyrics, although feels a bit melodramatic. Melody and harmonic progression is very clear. Not bad but just doesn't resonate with me.

Walk a Mile - Team Tymed (TyCobb & syl_a_med) Altogether pretty decent. I thought the chorus seemed out of place. IMHO would be more effective left in the AABA format.  The low to high change in register and POV reminded me of Cat Steven's "Father and Son."

Lost In A Thought - Team: IronAndy (Tom Tognaci & Andy LeFevre) - A mess

 

Crocodilly Lilly - Team: Mobody (Tracy somebody & Moso) well produced and performed. Certainly the attempt was to be funny. Lyrically the song was a long list of the girls positive attributes and the joke was that he didn't like her shoes and that was the dealbreaker apparently. However, there was never any description of her shoes, no images or mention of what it was he didn't like about her shoes. Could it be because they were crocodile? I guess that would be the assumption from her name/title of the song but he never said that. As a "list song" the list kind of dragged on and didn't progress in any kind of logical fashion. So it never really resonated with me. But imaginative and well arranged and performed.

You Better Believe - Team: QUART (Quintin Penola & ART1108) not bad all in all. I thought the words were fairly cliché. Maybe it's just me, didn't make much of an impression.

D In My Shoes - Team: 1 4 Rock (14Music & Onewholovesrock) Competently constructed. Lyric is all tell and no show. Music is pretty good.

Hey, thanks Ron for the kind and well thought out comment ;-)

You are awesome!! Can you please remind me of the nuances between being brutally honest, as it's apposed to being constructive. 

Thanks again, Bud!!

 

 

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Hey Tom, sorry about that. When I was editing those initial comments, I must have highlighted something wrong and almost the whole thing got cut. I've been so busy with various aspects of life and illnesses in my family that I rushed through and didn't proof it. My bad. I don't think you've ever known me to give a critique like that (he said, begging for mercy). Here is what was supposed to be in there:

 

Lost In A Thought - Team: IronAndy (Tom Tognaci & Andy LeFevre): Nice little opening riff. The way the background vocals have been timed and some of the instruments seem to be a little out of sync and makes it sound a bit of a mess. Lots of imagery in the lyrics. The last 2 lines of the chorus are really nice both in terms of lyric and melody.

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Hi Ron….I should have known better. Sorry for jumping the gun. You have ALWAYS been a straight shooter. It was foolish of me not to give you the benefit of doubt. 

You and Bob had a good one, BTW.

                                                                            😎-Tom

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I'll add my thoughts to Ty's conversation.  The first thing I'll say is that I definitely have a moody bias.  I love miserable songs, I love listening to them and I love writing them.  A somber minor progression grabs my attention much easier than something more upbeat.  That said, I'm not against fun and silliness for their own sake.  I was class clown back in high school, I used to watch A&E's "Evening at the Improv" religiously, to the point where I was telling people about Jerry Seinfeld and Louie Anderson years before they became household names.  

 

My problem with "Lilly" wasn't that it lacked seriousness, it's that I did not think the lyric or the music executed humor particularly well.   The analog for my experience would not me rejecting a comedian solely because I was in the mood for something more dour, but me not finding this comedian particularly funny.  

 

As for uniqueness, I agree that "Lilly" was a standout in that regard, but that is supplemental for me.  When a song already scores well for other reasons, inventiveness can elevate it to a higher level.  When the song scores low for other reasons, being unique does very little to offset that.

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