Mj challenge?

July 8, 2009 6:57 PM

MJ challenge?

Any chance of an MJ tribute challenge? I would really want to participate.

Just throwing it out there.
posted by djduckie (24 comments total)

I approve, and could even perhaps be coaxed in to submitting something.
posted by phrontist at 12:01 AM on July 9, 2009

Yeah, actually, I made a last-minute 'put-out-feelers-on-this-idea' just a little while back, I think it was in the VU & N thread, since a couple of people had mentioned plans to do an MJ cover for posting here at MeFiMu, but the VU & N Challenge was just underway, and the MJ cover idea as an official Challenge was (rightly, I think) shuttled aside for the immediate future. As cortex commented, MJ will still be dead in a month or two (or something to that effect) and that is indeed true...

So, as far as an Official MJ Cover Challenge, well, why don't y'all just hash it out here, speak yer mind! Personally, I'm not all that keen on it, really, but I'm certainly not hard-set agin' it, neither, so, opinions and ideas welcomed. Maybe someone could come up with a spin on it, you know, beyond just 'cover an MJ tune'... something to give it a slant, make it a little more interesting/challenging in some specific way, spice it up a bit.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:04 AM on July 9, 2009

I'm all for some kind of MJ tribute, whether it be in challenge form or something else. I was kinda stunned that there wasn't more of a discussion on MJ over here at Mefi-mu, the one thread we had in Musictalk has less than 30 comments and half those aren't even about Michael. Whether you liked the guy or not you can't argue with his impact on the population, he's the biggest thing since the Beatles and no one, I mean no one owned a stage like he did (people talk about Mick's swagger, Mick had nothing on Michael). I'm with Snsranch on this one, I'm really bummed on his dying. Whether or not we have an official challenge about him whatever, I think the least we could do is at least discuss his death without some asshole making a MJ wise crack.
posted by BrnP84 at 5:40 AM on July 9, 2009

For the record, the MJ Challenge was discussed in the MJ Music Talk thread posted by snsranch, not the VU & N thread.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:48 AM on July 9, 2009

Well how about a genre shift rule, like you can only do punk or psychadellic or eddie money 80's wanker rock covers. (obviously only one genre for all entries) or you have to write a tribute that incorporates a sample of a given song, or a lyric.

just throwing stuff out there.

You know what else is weird? Before MJ was a scandalous friend of small boys, he was friends with Sir Paul McCartney who had to be atleast 15 years his elder.

And only sort of related but Lisa Marie was a lot prettier then i remember her when i saw her with MJ in an old interview from like 1995. She's pretty, but also has a lot of her dad's features (jaw line and eyes) so it's a little weird.

I looked in the MJ thread (maybe not enough) and i thought the only thing i saw was "there should be a challenge but the VU and N challenge has already started, too bad". Yeah i mean, i guess he will still be dead next month or two months from now or in 2012, i've just been relisting to a lot of his stuff since.
posted by djduckie at 7:47 AM on July 9, 2009

I've got no problem with people getting their MJ on, but I would like to say that I'm strongly in favor of us taking a break for a couple months from any sort of "do a cover of a mainstream song" challenge and try to come up with something that'll drive some more original writing.
posted by cortex at 7:55 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm strongly in favor of us taking a break for a couple months from any sort of "do a cover of a mainstream song" challenge and try to come up with something that'll drive some more original writing.

I hear that. I think with Hallelujah last month and VU this month, August and September should see some non-cover Challenges. Then maybe get back to another cover one around October...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:00 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm new to Mefi and mefi-mu, and even despite the fact that the MJ tribute challenge was my idea, i have to admit i was kind of confused when i saw the challenges to be covers. so maybe cortex adn flapjack are correct.

I'm bad at writing music either way.
posted by djduckie at 8:37 AM on July 9, 2009

I'm strongly in favor of us taking a break for a couple months from any sort of "do a cover of a mainstream song" challenge and try to come up with something that'll drive some more original writing.

I concur. I've got major cover fatigue. I say we shelve them for quite a while.
That said, I've just walked in the door from a week in dial-up-only land and I have some bigtime listening to do, as well as cranking out a Heroin.
posted by chococat at 9:49 AM on July 9, 2009

I agree with cortex (and those who agree with cortex) that we oughtta set aside the covers, at least for a bit. But I don't see any reason we can't have unofficial challenges, or bonus challenges, or whatever you want to call them, and the current unofficial challenge can be do an MJ song.
posted by ORthey at 10:23 AM on July 9, 2009

well, i don't know about when, or even if, this should be done but ...

seems to me that the most interesting way of doing an mj challenge would be to cover thriller the way we're doing with v u and nico
posted by pyramid termite at 10:51 AM on July 9, 2009

Or a song in the style of MJ.
posted by smackfu at 12:05 PM on July 9, 2009

Or a song in the style of MJ.

I like this idea; MJ's oeuvre covers so many styles of late-20th-c. pop music that each entrant would have a lot of space to explore, mix-n-match, innovate, etc. You could do a late-60s-Motown-style party song, a late-60s-Motown-style ballad, a disco number, a late-70s lite-funk vampfest, a synthy 80s club track, a super-soppy and melismatastic (or super-cheesy and childlike) love song, a song about how the media won't leave you alone, a song about your undying friendship for vermin, a song where you use your voice as a percussion instrument, etc. Or any combination or mutant outgrowth thereof.

Or the challenge could be really open-ended--"record a song in tribute to MJ," say--and then there could be a list of suggestions: 1) cover one of his songs, 2) write a song in one of his styles, 3) write a new song around the lyrics from one of his songs, 4) write a new song around a melodic or rhythmic figure from one of his songs, 5) write a sequel to one of his songs (a song from the perspective of Billie Jean, for instance), and so on to our collective heart's content.

And why should there be only one "official" challenge a month, anyway? It seems like up until not too long ago there were two or three challenges a month (a "lyric" challenge, a "music" challenge, and sometimes a "wildcard" challenge); was that system abandoned for some reason, or is it just a coincidence that there's only been one challenge the last two months?
posted by DaDaDaDave at 12:23 PM on July 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

This is a good idea, but it's a fair guess to say that we're all facing a little MJ burn out right now.

I was about to propose we do something nice for him on his birthday, but that's in August.
posted by snsranch at 4:11 PM on July 9, 2009

I'm bad at writing music either way.

Of course, by that you mean *bad*, right?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:17 PM on July 9, 2009

Agree re shelving the covers - I sort of concluded over the last day or two that although it's fun it's also kind of distracting from my own writing, and refashioning other people's music isn't what cranks my tractor. A purely personal and subjective view, before anyone goes off on one!

In terms of Cortex's plea for more original writing (I agree btw) the idea I posted a few days back could be worth considering in a modified form. If everyone puts up bits of unfinished songs - say over a 7-day period - the challenge for the month is to take whichever bit(s) you want and try to make either a new song from one of "bits" + your own ideas or fuse two or more "bits" to make something new or whatever hybrid approach you want really. Might be some interesting results? Certainly prima facie more creative than doing covers.....
posted by MajorDundee at 2:28 PM on July 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ooh, I love this idea, Major. The current challenge allowed me to pull a loop I've had sitting around for awhile off the shelf, dust it off, and deploy it in a rather delightful payoff. If it weren't for the challenge, I don't think it would ever have gotten used.

CarrotAdventure's Cone piece and dagosto's subsequent synth-solo guitar pwnership is a stunning example of how this challenge could go horribly horribly RIGHT.

Getting others in on a little mashup action with orphaned ideas could be a ton of fun, and help clear some catalogues of otherwise abandoned projects.
posted by man vs sun at 4:51 PM on July 12, 2009

Hey Major, just reading your comment above and realizing that there was no resolution to your original query. Maybe there's a little "challenge burn out" going on here.

I suggest that in the mean time, if you have some things that you really don't want to do all by yourself, you might think about collaborating one on one with other mefites. It's a bit more direct than just tossing it out there to see what happens but totally worth trying.

The first collaboration that I witnessed here was I Shine by micayetoca and chococat. It's beautiful.

So, sorry if I'm barking up the wrong tree or if this ain't your cup of tea, but there's always more than one way to skin a cat! Know where I'm at?
posted by snsranch at 5:04 PM on July 12, 2009

Not that I don't want to do stuff myself sns, but more about sparking off someone. Seeking inspiration. When I was in bands a lot of good stuff came out of jamming around something that someone just started messing around with....... So being (intentionally) minus a band I kind of miss the spontaneity and blast of that. Happy to try a collaboration with your esteemed self if you're up for it.....so long as you do the lead vocals....:-)
posted by MajorDundee at 11:55 AM on July 13, 2009

Yes, Major, I understand exactly what you mean. I guess what may have been lost in translation in your original thread was exactly how to proceed with it. Someone suggested using the original posted "seed" track in their mix. If I get you, the intent was just to play it one's self, catching the ball and carrying it.

So which of us is going to post a "seed track"? ;) You or me?

As far me singing lead: have you heard me sing? Truly, you are a mad scientist!

(Actually I do have an idea for a collaboration, bit it will take some more thought!)
posted by snsranch at 4:52 PM on July 13, 2009

You got it. The idea is to pick up the ball and run it down the three-quarter line as we head for the touchline*. So I would take your idea and then re-record with my bit(s) added and so on until we get something interesting. It's iterative, maaaan. I can't think of another way of doing it that won't involve a lot of pissing about with WAV files, sync tracks etc. But if there is, I'm all ears. I use a Yamaha AW2400 DAW - I can obviously upload WAV files onto it, but as the thing grows it's going to involve huge amounts of data flying about.... And I'm sub-literate IT-wise, so anything involving clever-clogs computer stuff is going to leave me bemused.

So where do we post stuff? Not really pukka to put on the main MeFiMu upload area and allow everyone to hear our dirty laundry - does the "Project" bit of MeFi make provision for "off piste" stuff like this? I'e got one or two bits that can be used as seeds, but I'm happy to work on one of your ideas. I really don't mind who kicks it off.

*apologies - that's a rugby analogy that probably means zip to you.
posted by MajorDundee at 1:57 PM on July 14, 2009

You might try taking a look at drop.io. Back during the RPM challenge, there was a collaboration I was involved in. Each collaborator was sent to a page there to upload their massive .wav. Really simple from an end-user perspective.
posted by man vs sun at 2:00 PM on July 14, 2009

If you two only need to be exchanging it between you two during the process, you can use yousendit.com or sendthisfile.com or a similar service. How about that?
posted by micayetoca at 2:02 PM on July 14, 2009

oh, man vs sun beat me to it.
posted by micayetoca at 2:03 PM on July 14, 2009

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