About this month's MeFiMu Challenge...

October 3, 2008 12:08 AM

There were zero, yes, ZERO submissions for last month's Music Challenge. Why, heck, even yours truly didn't turn nuthin' in, and I generally don't miss a month. So... the current October Challenge is a little different: the NEW part is simply this: make something scary. A Halloween song of some sort, perhaps, like maybe a children-type scary song. Or just something incredibly frightening, like, say, a Carpenter's cover. And the OTHER part of the October Challenge is to choose one of the tragically neglected Challenge themes from LAST month. Cause, really, those weren't bad! I mean, cover a song in a language you don't speak? Man, I thought MeFiMusicians would be on that like white on rice! Not to mention the mashup Challenge, which should be fun and interesting, no? Anyway, here's hoping that a few more Challenge tunes roll in over the course of this month. As always, don't forget to tag your submissions appropriately, and remember, keep your tape heads clean. OK, that's all!
posted by flapjax at midnite (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I should have waited to post my Zombie Rap song..
posted by mediocre at 1:07 AM on October 3, 2008

I should have waited to post my Zombie Rap song..

Clearly, you must either post a remix, or make something new. Son of Zombie Rap?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:28 AM on October 3, 2008

I could remix.. actually, we are revamping the song with a whole new recording, the beat will be different too.. But probably only a little.. I'll see if I can get that done by the end of the month. We are re-cutting all our original demo tracks from last summer to better reflect our current situation. A lot of those songs I've posted were left with my first two vocal takes and no overdubs. Juicy Karkass was really meticulous about his tracks, but I tended to let mine hang and it shows. I'm looking forward to attacking that song again..
posted by mediocre at 2:46 AM on October 3, 2008

Yeah, I almost did the lyric challenge, but then it wound up being a really busy month, music-making-time-wise. I actually feel a little guilty about it. Scary, though, I might have a couple hours to take a crack at.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:31 AM on October 3, 2008

There were zero, yes, ZERO submissions for last month's Music Challenge.

I still do wonder if putting a brief summary of the current challenges on the front Music page would help.

Or maybe they were just too hard last month. My vox are embarassing enough without adding in an unknown language, and the sampling challenge is too much work for something that isn't "mine."

"Spooky Halloween songs" sounds fun, though.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 5:33 AM on October 3, 2008

I have every intention of making a vocal version of this song. It's not a cover, but it is in a language I don't speak.

I just couldn't find the time last month ...
posted by NemesisVex at 6:08 AM on October 3, 2008

Two of the three September challenges involved someone else's songs, either by virtue of a (foreign language) cover or sampling. I prefer to roll my own songs and sample spoken word stuff rather than other people's music for remixing.

That isn't a complaint, per se, just the reason I didn't submit anything; I didn't feel inspired.

Speaking of which, the idea of writing a spooky song in October is more of a predictable, vague thing than an inspirational idea...should I start writing my Christmas song soon?

sorry if that sounds harsh; it's late and I'm having trouble phrasing this in a constructive way, but try to take it as such for future challenges.
posted by davejay at 2:03 AM on October 4, 2008

Two of the three September challenges involved someone else's songs, either by virtue of a (foreign language) cover or sampling.

Thanks for making that point, davejay, which, honestly, I hadn't considered when deciding on last month's Challenges. I should've thought that through, and not put those two particular Challenge suggestions together in the same month.

And sorry for the predictability of the spooky thing... I'll shuffle things up next month and make sure to get a better mix of Challenges.

AND SPEAKING OF WHICH... y'all please try to send me more Challenge ideas, OK? I've got a backlog, but it's gonna start dwindling. SEND ME MORE IDEAS!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:33 AM on October 4, 2008

Yeah, maybe, but it's a good predictable. I'd've been pretty disappointed if there wasn't a spooky song challenge this month. I'm excited and delighted.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:33 AM on October 4, 2008

Aw, c'mon, you're extending last month's challenge because no one contributed? Isn't that like keeping the same sushi on sale for another month because no one bought it last month? It was nasty then, it's extra nasty now.

And you're asking for more Challenge ideas when you're not using 'em already? Ouch.

If you want more hot musician-on-musician action here, challenge, change, and inspiration are likely to get things going. Put out the best, newest, most interesting Challenge ideas and you'll get more submissions and more hot new Challenge ideas.

Now there'll be another month with low/no submissions, and I won't care so much about what next month's Challenge is. Bummer.
posted by lothar at 9:04 AM on October 4, 2008

Between working a second part-time job, having 2 concerts with one band, working on an EP for that band, and also working on 2 albums of my own stuff, I really haven't had the time to try to do any challenges, aside from the one that I posted a few months back that got bupkis for comments.

Not that I'm really fishing for comments (and I'm also guilty of almost never commenting), but one generally must admit that the work/attention ratio for the vast majority of songs posted to MeFiMu is pretty pathetic.
posted by chimaera at 4:10 PM on October 4, 2008

...and I won't care so much about what next month's Challenge is. Bummer.

Awwww... poowah widdle you.

Seriously, lothar, I was wondering when my efforts toward administrating this Challenge thing would get a little hate, and I see they finally have. Well, anyway, I see where you're coming from, but I happen to disagree with you: I don't think the September Challenge ideas were like nasty sushi, and I think they deserved a second chance. But, hey, maybe I'm wrong, and there'll be, as you predict, little to no submissions again this month. Well, heck, if so, it won't be the first time I've been wrong. I'm only human. At any rate, pleasing all of the people all of the time with something like this is outside the realm of possibility.

And, yeah, I AM asking for more Challenge ideas. Ouch yourself.

One idea that you recently sent me, lothar, is definitely going to get used, as I think it was excellent. But I promise I won't use it next month, since you've already indicated that, you know, you "won't care so much" about that one. I'll maybe put it up in December.

Loved Cephalopod, by the way.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:16 PM on October 4, 2008

Awwww... poowah widdle you.

I would like to say something as politely but clearly as I can: I don't think you should be administering Challenges or otherwise trying to lead here while being so sarcastic and dismissive when confronted with opposition or differing opinions.

You are not an admin but you have taken on some admin-like responsibilities. Metafilter admins take opposition in their stride. They do not call it "hate." When other people get hot under the collar, they try to find ways to calm things down, not add more fuel to the conversation by being insulting or vindictive. I can't imagine them saying something like what I quoted above, or like this:

But I promise I won't use it next month, since you've already indicated that, you know, you "won't care so much" about that one. I'll maybe put it up in December.

If lothar had a good idea it will benefit everyone and that should be how you determine whether it gets used. If you want make this place flourish you are obligated to keep what's good for everybody at the forefront of your decision-making, and to refrain from treating other people dismissively or with disdain -- even in a joking way.
posted by melissa may at 8:29 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]

You're right, melissa may: the sarcasm was inappropriate. Like I said, I'm only human. Apologies to lothar and anyone else offended by my above comment.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:39 PM on October 4, 2008

Thank you for that, flapjax, and for caring so much about music (and Music).
posted by melissa may at 9:52 PM on October 4, 2008

Dammit! I was hoping we'd finally have a reason to divert this thread over to MeTa, and you went and got all reasonable, Flapjax.
posted by davejay at 1:46 AM on October 5, 2008

...you went and got all reasonable...

Yeah, I do that on occasion. Sorry.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:04 AM on October 5, 2008

It's not hate, flapjax. The comments you're getting are because lots of people love the idea and want to play with the challenges. When they're fun. When they're able.

If you were our boss, you could make us do the projects you think are valuable. But you're our friend, so there's only so far you can push your agenda. Add in personal attacks and you're alienating us. Your project, your prerogative.
posted by lothar at 8:29 AM on October 5, 2008

When they're fun. When they're able.

Several people upthread have indicated that they were indeed unable to submit anything last month, due to time constraints and so forth. I had assumed that was one of the main reasons, in fact, for no Challenge submissions last month (I was one of those too-busy people myself), and that's why I decided to extend those Challenges into October. Like I said, that was a judgement call on my part, and it might turn out to be be a good one, or it might be a bad one. We'll see. I think you've made it clear by now that you think it was a bad one, and that these particular Challenge themes from September ("nasty sushi") were no good. No fun. That's understood, and your position is clear on that, lothar.

If you were our boss, you could make us do the projects you think are valuable.

I have no desire to "make" you do anything. I note that you've submitted 2 tunes to MeFiMu so far that were Challenge responses, and that's great, but I certainly don't feel that I made you do them. Your comment is framed in such a way as to imply that I would somehow want to be your boss. If you are indeed under such an impression, let me correct it now: I don't want to be your boss.

But you're our friend, so there's only so far you can push your agenda.

Agenda? Oh, christ. Aside from wanting to see this subsite thrive and be interesting, I don't have any "agenda".

Add in personal attacks and you're alienating us.

Lothar, I apologized upthread for the sarcasm, but it was sarcasm, not a "personal attack". Rereading my comment addressed to you, there was really only the "poor little you" bit that was actually mean-spirited: the rest of it is by no stretch of the imagination any kind of "attack". I really thought that my apology to you would be accepted and we could move on, as in, enough said. But, since you don't seem to want to let it go, and are blowing it out of proportion by calling it a personal attack, I'll say this: the tone of your original comment addressed to me was really not so nice in the first place, either. The tone of it was somewhat baiting, and your finishing it off with letting everyone know that my terrible transgression (keeping September's Challenges) is going to make you uninterested in future Challenges struck me, honestly, as an almost comic (certainly childlike) thing to say. That's why I made the jokey (as melissa may correctly characterized it) response about not using your Challenge suggestion next month. Again, that was sarcasm, not an attack, and, I'll say it one more time: I apologized for it. Still feel "alienated" after my apology? Then there's probably nothing I can do for you.

One thing I'm compelled to mention here, though: your use of the word "us" throughout your comment, as if you speak for everyone here, is really annoying. Speak for yourself and let others speak for themselves, OK? I'd really appreciate your not framing your statements in this way, as if it's MeFiMu against flapjax or something. There may well be folks here who agree with you 100%, who think I'm attacking you, who think I'm a jerk, whatever, but they have voices and should they want to raise them, they no doubt will. So don't pretend to speak for anyone other than yourself, please.

Your project, your prerogative.

Wrong. It's not *my* project. The Challenge was floundering, all but dead in the water, when, in a MeTa thread about it, sleepy pete suggested someone act as an organizer for it: to get the Challenges together each month, send the themes to the already very busy mods so they don't have to bother with it, and therefore make it happen again. Bring it back from the brink of extinction, as it were. And when he made that suggestion, sleepy pete was clear that he wasn't volunteering to do the job himself. I volunteered to take it on. So that's what I do. But the suggestions come from everyone, and it's a MetaFilter Music project, not my project. Understand?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:24 AM on October 5, 2008

This shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S
posted by BrnP84 at 4:03 PM on October 5, 2008

I certainly don't think you're a jerk or that you were intending to outright attack lothar, but I do very much agree with what melissa may was getting at up there, flapjax. I know and appreciate that you care a lot about Music being interesting and successful and you know I'm right there with you on that, but you really did come on pretty strong up there, and much of that last comment is probably the stuff of email between you and lothar, not public-square stuff at this point.

That you've been willing to do the upkeep on the Challenge stuff is something that I really appreciate, but it is fundamentally supposed to be a laid-back, no-worries sort of thing, and I think we're ending up short circuiting that as soon as anyone ends up getting bent out of shape about it. And that really has to go double for you if you're putting yourself in the position of corralling this, you know?

I know it can be frustrating at times if you feel like you're getting unmerited friction, but that's pretty much par for the course for both mefi and for creative communities, so the intersection of both those worlds is bound to be bumpy.

Anyway, I'm sort of carrying the meta-argument along here even as I'm wanting to encourage it to drop here, so apologies for dragging it out. I think it'd be best if anything further as far as person-to-person hashing out of this stuff go elsewhere, and let's leave this to get back to Challenge talk in the more productive/brainstormy/kibbutzish sense.
posted by cortex at 7:52 PM on October 5, 2008

I agree cortex, and much obliged for your even-handed comment.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:46 PM on October 5, 2008

Um, yes, so anyway - scary songs right? I'll definitely be putting in a submission in a couple of days - just as soon as I finish mixing the track tomorrow.


Hm, cover a song in a language I don't speak? - speak of the devil - I was sitting on the couch working out the chords to a Teresa Teng number only yesterday. I might be able to get it down on digitape by the end of the month...
posted by awfurby at 10:42 PM on October 5, 2008

Digitape btw is what you call it when you want to say "put something down on tape" but you know it's really going onto your harddrive.
posted by awfurby at 10:44 PM on October 5, 2008

This challenge is ripe for a remix of "last night a werewolf fell in love with me"; but as for scary . . .
posted by February28 at 7:00 AM on October 6, 2008

Is it possible to create a scary song with a ukulele, and with a voice like mine? Well, we're gonna find out, because I've got one. If it doesn't take, I'll use a piano and a fakey Tom Waits voice instead, but I'll probably stick with the upbeat version.
posted by davejay at 7:48 PM on October 12, 2008

Throw a really aggressive chorus plugin on a vocal and you've got insta-creepy; a great big wash of last-seat-in-the-theater reverb on the uke will turn it into a ghost story mush as well.
posted by cortex at 8:04 PM on October 12, 2008

"Last Night A Werewolf Fell In Love With Me" should put to rest any question as to whether Halloween/scary is a good challenge.
Last month's suggestions simply seemed daunting to me, and I needed the time for other music projects. But I didn't expect zero entries either. Don't be discouraged, flapjax. And if anyone is stuck for lyrics this month, I just posted one for collaboration. The one I'm working now uses gory humor. Not even sure I'll be able to complete it in time, but I'm hoping it's not offensive. Will a warning note with the post suffice?
posted by AppleSeed at 3:07 PM on October 21, 2008

I am new to MeFiMu. I am inspired by and would like to revisit many of the challenge suggestions that I never got a chance to participate in. Is this okay?

What (if any) is the protocol for submitting challenge-inspired recordings after the deadline? Am I correct in assuming that tagging an old challege with the challenge-tag will cause the song to wind up in the wrong challenge playlist? Should I just sumbit old challenges as regular songs?
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 11:45 AM on October 27, 2008

I think that the playlists for each challenge are generated dynamically based on song tags—so in principle you can submit a song as far after the challenge as you like and still have it show up in the playlist if tagged correctly.

But either way, by all means, do it to it. The challenges are a kick in the pants, not a contest, so if you're inspired by one to record a song, record the dang thing and upload it and we'll all be a little it richer for it.
posted by cortex at 12:56 PM on October 27, 2008

Oh yeah, by all means, what cortex said. I mean, it's fun to think of it as something to get in under the deadline (as cortex said, "a kick in the pants"), but I think it'll be great if past Challenges continue to inspire people, and get new submissions. The more the merrier, no matter when they come in! In that way they're kinda like a MeFi thread that never closes.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:13 AM on October 28, 2008

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