Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Doing it again (but not)

In terms of music it's been a very quiet (har har) year overall. I wrote a few pieces for my friends new project but other than that things have been pretty uneventful until a couple of weeks ago when I saw a twitter notification pop-up informing me that SpinTunes was on again this year!

Great! Then I completely forgot about it and only remembered that I actually had to send an e-mail to confirm I wanted to be part of the competition the day before sign-ups ended. I composed my message, sent it on it's merry way and went to bed assuming there had been no issues.

The next day, however, upon discovering my profile had not joined those posted on the SpinTunes blog, I realized something had gone horribly wrong. I checked my sent box and confirmed my worst fears, the e-mail just hadn't gone through at all and I felt the pangs of disappointment.

I e-mailed Travis to see if he could make an exception, explaining my situation but alas, rules are rules and if your e-mail never came through, you don't get to be in the running. Luckily for me the people at SpinTunes are super-nice people and you can still write songs based on their challenge requirements, submit them and they will even include it on the album for that challenge even if you didn't get a chance to sign up!

I already knew this was an option and had threatened to do so last time around when I failed to make it through to round 2. Unfortunately this never happened and I didn't even manage to follow the challenge as closely as I did with SpinTunes 3 due to me being busy with University and things. Even if I had made it through, the plausibility of me writing more songs with my tight schedule was questionable so it was probably for the best I was voted out.

anyway I wanted to talk a little bit about the song I submitted just yesterday and go over things I like and what I think judges are/aren't going to like.

For me, this is probably one of my best songs that I've written in a while. It's got a meaning, a purpose and a pretty strong theme running through it which ties it all up nicely (although credit for that really goes to the brains behind SpinTunes!). I like the melody and the verse kind of has shades of "Stacy's Mom" by Fountains of Wayne though this was totally unintentional and I only realized this was the case after listening back to the whole thing. Not really a problem (at least not for me anyway) it's catchy and upbeat and I like the quieter verse/louder chorus dynamic I've worked out for the song. I've kind of tried this in a song before but it didn't work out as well as it has here.

Things I think judges are going to pick up on: I've amped up the bass so that you can actually hear it this time around but it's not a real bass guitar as my bass is not with me right now so I just had to make do. Also the line "I don't wanna get out of bed" is kind of dumb and phoned in but I really couldn't think of anything better and I wanted the last line of that verse to be a rhyming one. The other options open to me were to change it and it probably would have sounded even more stupid/phoned in if I had.

It's also entirely possible that it will be written off as an uncreative rock/pop song that doesn't fit the subject matter. I have kind of stuck with what I know works best this time around as last time I tried to deviate from my usual style and learned the hard way that experimenting with a new style in a contest is probably not the best thing to do at all. Plus I would defend it by saying the character in the song is supposed to be rebelling so it makes sense to use a rocky and loud style to back that up!

Also this is the first time I've really tried to break up a drum loop and have it drop out and come back in to a song. I achieved this by making it so that the symbols counted back into the chorus but the first time around doesn't work out as well as the second time.

Anyway, as with last time, I'm sure that the things that I think people will find fault with will not actually be what they criticize at all. It's a possibility but I'm 100% certain they will find faults with the song that I haven't even thought about!

I just hope that no-one compares my vocal stylings to that of a Muppet this time around (not bitter about that at all. NOPE.)

I shall be posting the song on here and links to the album it will be a part of here and on Twitter so look forward to the incessant @SpinTunes spam!


- Dex01

Friday, 6 January 2012


So, I did a crazy thing a couple of days ago and signed up to the SpinTunes songwriting contest. I followed it pretty closely last year after finding out about it from somewhere (though I don't rightly recall exactly where) and made a mental note to sign up for the next years contest.

I signed up because it looked like a really fun thing I could get into though now that I have officially sent in my credentials (see:none) and been added to the list of people competing, I am, shockingly, nervous and apprehensive.

The contest is designed to push you outside of your comfort zone which is something I know I need to happen. The problem is once I get out there I've no idea what's going to come out of it. I'm hoping for something good and I have the support of my friends who are backing me and assuring me that I do write good material. I am very likely worrying about nothing and will be most likely able to meet the first challenge with no problem. What I'm dreading is "write a song that is based on [insert musical style I know nothing about]" I really, REALLY hope that does not happen.

Writing the first song and making it to round 2 are two entirely different things of course. Mostly I'm just hoping for some good feedback from the judges even if I don't make it past round 1. I'm fairly confident that there's at least some chance of me making it to round 2. round 3 though, well, I guess we'll see what happens.

Other than all this competition shenanigans I have come into the possession of a professional microphone and it is the best thing I have ever owned ever. Soon (basically whenever the competition ends/I get voted out/I have time away from university things) I will begin re-recording my songs and make them sound good! maybe even write some NEW ones!

Yes, things are kind of crazy in terms of music things right now. It's going to be a very interesting journey for this creative endeavor.

Hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year! let's hope the world doesn't end!

- Dex01