Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Hope You're Having A Nice Time In Jamaica" song and "Watching the Riot" vote count posted at Song Fight

By some miracle Jerkatorium won 3rd place (out of 11 entries) in the "Watching the Riot" Song Fight, with a total of 8 votes.  Stranger still, we were just one vote short of matching the vote count of the two winners who tied with 9 votes each.  It's a big surprise, considering how last-minute our entry was - after four or more uninspiring drafts, Chumpy came up with the punk version the day prior to the due date with no intention of making it our entry, and it came together within the span of the few hours we had to work on it before the deadline.

"Hope You're Having A Nice Time In Jamaica" is the current fight, please give it a listen and a vote at  It's a somewhat similar story as the story above for "Watching the Riot":  Chumpy and I were working on various different approaches and we were juggling at least four different drafts before abandoning everything and doing the song that we submitted.  We worked on it literally up to the last minute prior to deadline, so it didn't get the sort of engineering/tweaking that we would have liked to have done.  I also would have preferred to add an accordion track, some more vocal harmonies, and I don't know what all else.  But I think it's a strong entry, with excellent vocal work by Chumpy.

I was too busy working on this month's Commuter Challenge to do cover art for the Jamaica fight.  The next Song Fight title is "It's Not Over", I'll let you know if Jerkatorium submits art and/or music for that one.

Monday, May 18, 2015

"Watching The Riot" song(s) and "Unsubscribe" vote count posted at Song Fight

Jerkatorium's "Unsubscribe" did pretty well for that Song Fight.  After submitting, Chumpy and I decided we'd be happy if we were among the top 50% and we were, coming in at 5th place out of 12 entries.  That's pretty good, especially considering we were only three votes short of matching the vote count for the winning bands; we got 9 votes and the two winning bands tied with 12 votes each.

Not that the vote count matters all that much.  I think the feedback we get in the review threads is more valuable, and from recent comments it looks like I need to spend a little more time mixing and engineering the tracks prior to submission.  I guess that means I should try to learn a little bit about sound mixing and engineering.

Jerkatorium's entry for "Watching the Riot" is posted at Song Fight right now, give it a listen and a vote.

More deserving of a listen and a vote is the entry by Margaret Benson And The Cheese Trio.  Chumpy and I worked on various different ideas for "Watching the Riot" from the time the title was announced through the morning of submission and ended up with several different versions, and none of those versions really thrilled either of us.  The day prior to submission Chumpy emailed me a first draft of the mashup that eventually became Margaret Benson And The Cheese Trio's entry.  I think he was half joking about it, but I liked it much better than any of the individual versions we'd been working on.

In addition to cutting and pasting the previous versions together, Chumpy had recorded some new clips and incorporated them into the mashup.  The new punk clip he'd added was so good that we worked to get that into shape as a separate song, and that became Jerkatorium's entry.  Although it is strongly recommended that bands only submit one song per fight, Chumpy got permission from the Song Fight fightmaster to submit the mashup version too.  The Margaret Benson And The Cheese Trio entry is mostly Chumpy singing, but my voice is unfortunately in there too (from an old, discarded draft), and Dr. Zoom's charming vocals figure prominently throughout.  I hope to work with Dr. Zoom on future songs too.

They used my submission for the "Watching the Riot" cover art.  My submission was just a cropped copy of Brian Raiter's December 2013 Commuter Challenge entry with words added (used with permission of the artist).  His original collage is epic and you should take a look at it by clicking this sentence.  The cropped version I submitted is below:

Saturday, May 2, 2015

"Unsubscribe" Song Fight up, and Deep Sub-Reddit vote count posted

The "Deep Sub-Reddit" Song Fight is over and the vote count has been posted.  Jerkatorium did very well with a third-place finish out of eleven entries.  As noted earlier, it is Jerkatorium's best song to date and the vote count clearly reflects that, and it's all thanks to Chumpy.  I still catch myself humming Chumpy's earwormy Deep Sub-Reddit melodies throughout the day.

Jerkatorium also has an entry for the "Unsubscribe" SongFight, and those songs were just recently posted at  As always, please give it a listen, and please vote if you like it.  We used more actual instruments than usual; the only 'software instruments' are the drums and organ tracks.