March Music Challenge: MeFiAnthems

March 5, 2015 2:56 AM

At this time of change, let us band together in solidarity, gratitude, and general weirdness, and express ourselves in the best way we know how in this little corner of MetaFilter - via music.

As Mathowie takes up his "retired" badge, lets think back on our time as members of this site and write songs to celebrate our experiences here.

They don't necessarily have to have a particularly patriotic mood, because for some people*, a screambarfing dog is among their high points of MeFi membership. *me

But whether it's a little ditty that captures the mood of your first MeFi Meetup, a confused ode to scanner-ensconced cats, or a paean to our glorious leader, please upload your submission over the next month, and tag them MeFiMusicChallenge and MeFiAnthem.

posted by greenish (27 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

♫ So long,
auf Wiedersehen,
Goodbye. ♩
posted by Wolfdog at 8:31 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

It takes five bucks, what a surprise
Five bucks, to post on Mefi
It takes five bucks, it's really not a lot
Five bucks, that's all we want
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:31 PM on March 23, 2015

this challenge, it makes me a little bit sad
cause i used to think that i belonged here
and i thought that my work was respected
till a mod pulled my link to a song here
see, i always thought surely a link on the Blue
to a song posted here would be fine
but was told that was just ''self promotion''
apparently i'd crossed a line
i used to think putting my music here meant
that the members and mods would be glad
glad that musicians would share songs and such
giving freely the music they had
but if linking to music you've posted here (free!)
is seen by the mods as not cool
alright then, won't bother them ever again
what do i look like, a fool?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:27 AM on April 20, 2015

By the way, did anyone submit tunes for this particular Challenge?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:30 PM on April 20, 2015

Not according to the Challenge Page, although the deadline isn't until the end of this month. (I don't do songs about websites.)

If you're going to keep carrying this grudge around, you might as well bring it over to MetaTalk, huh? I don't think the mods ever come around here anymore.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 9:28 PM on April 22, 2015

I don't get it - Flapjax, you posted a link to a song here on the blue? I get why they'd object to that, cause if that was ok to do, wouldn't we all do it?

I think it would be different if someone else posted it. Like, if someone posted a song that was so great that someone else thought, I have to post this to the blue. I mean, I can't speak for the mods, maybe that wouldn't be ok either. Anyway, if you feel strongly about it why not bring it up in Metatalk. It'd be an interesting discussion to have either way.

Sorry this challenge hasn't been more successful! Does anyone have any requests for the next one?
posted by greenish at 6:24 AM on April 24, 2015

No, he posted a link to a song about Ferguson in the comments of a thread about Ferguson. (I think Ferguson was the topic at hand.)

That sort of thing has some precedent; IIRC, cortex has done it a few times.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 11:28 AM on April 24, 2015

Greenish, just to be clear, the link to the song was in a comment. It wasn't like I made an FPP about it.

And Karlos is right, the practice has precedents.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:04 AM on April 26, 2015

Hey, flapjax, I think the problem there was that it was actually the second time you had posted it, a few days after it was first posted here. The deleted instance was in a second Ferguson thread that I imagine mostly involved all the same participants who probably saw it the first time, which is maybe one reason why it was flagged a lot. I understand that it feels personal, but I can promise that it definitely isn't that way from our end. I know we've discussed it with you, but if you want to talk it over more with the community, Metatalk would be the best place for that.
posted by taz at 5:16 AM on April 26, 2015

As far as new challenges goes: I think that the problem, as it almost always is, is that MeFiMu is a tiny niche, and MeFiMu Talk is an even tinier niche within that. And I think it's gotten even tinier, with not many new people and a lot of the regulars fading away. (I admit I pretty much gave up on Music a couple of years ago.)

And yet the Flood project did pretty well. So here's my thought: change the challenges from monthly to quarterly (Summer Challenge, Autumn Challenge, etc.). Make each one an "event." And -- here's the important part -- announce them on MetaTalk.

For some of them, they can be voted on or even created via MetaTalk threads: for instance, maybe something like the Request Raffle, where non-MeFiMu-regulars would post their requests. (I didn't like the last one, myself, since I found the requests way too specific to fulfill, but there are lots of different ways it could be structured.)

Or MeFites could vote on an artist that they'd like to see a mass covering of, à la TMBG. (Covering an prolific artist rather than a single album would allow more people to participate if they wanted, especially since most albums have fewer songs than Flood. Also, instead of just a mass chaotic vote, maybe several options could be presented and Mefites could choose or favorite their picks?)

Anyway, the basic idea is fewer challenges, but each one is more eventful and involving MetaFilter more in a fun way by inviting their participation in determining exactly what the challenge will be -- and then, of course, posting a wrap-up thread also in MetaTalk with a link to a playlist and maybe cover art or something.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 9:32 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

That is a DAMN good shout. Quarterly challenges. People could get their teeth into them a bit better, and it would be easier to post about each and every one on the grey.

I'd quite like to kick this off with something really simple, to draw in folk from the wider site who might not have posted on MeFiMu before. I don't think we're ready for a mass covering of an artist again yet, but that'll maybe be one for later in the year. Can I have votes/thoughts on the following options:

- cover your favourite song in a different genre to the original
- record a song (original or cover) that's about a city
- write the soundtrack to your favourite book

I think we'll kick one off for may-june-july, if no-one has any objections.
posted by greenish at 2:54 AM on April 27, 2015

What about covers of duets? It might be a good way of pairing-up people who post on MeFiMu with those who normally don't and they could create something together. (Feel free to ignore that if it's unworkable...) I'd love to be involved in a challenge but the best I could do would be to contribute vocals as I don't play anything so it would be nice to be able to work with someone else.
posted by billiebee at 3:21 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Can I have votes/thoughts on the following options:

I think a new thread might get more response at this point.

I like the "about a city" (or, maybe, a town or a place in general?) one best -- it's super simple, speaks to a lot of people, and I don't remember it ever being done before.

I find challenges involving the word "favorite" to be a little intimidating -- you don't want to screw it up! And maybe it's actually more fun to choose a source another way -- I remember the "cover the song that was #1 when you were born" was pretty popular.

I'm also in favor of collaborations in general.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 3:47 AM on April 27, 2015

I remember the "cover the song that was #1 when you were born" was pretty popular

It's a good thing that's been done, as alas this was No 1 in the UK when I was born...
posted by billiebee at 3:58 AM on April 27, 2015

I kind of agree on the "favourite" thing, but I feel like that's so accessible for folk who aren't currently posting, that it might be a good way in.

But I like the cities one more, so I think we'll go with that. I'll get it ready to go for May. I think I might start a new thread before that suggesting the whole quarterly idea.

billiebee, I LOVE the duets idea. I also had an ace idea over memail from another of our MeFiMu comrades, about submitting something on which you've worked with someone who is not a musician, so I think we could combine the two into one awesome challenge.

Also, ahem, I am from the Westcountry so actually an entire challenge of covering Wurzels songs sounds just fine to me.
posted by greenish at 5:16 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here's your challenge, greenish:

The words to Iron Maiden's "Back in the Village" fit perfectly to I Am a Cider Drinker.

Do it.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:08 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, also: make the MetaTalk thread clear that it's aimed at a General Meta audience to reduce the kicking from people complaining that things of that nature should be limited to MeFiMuTalk.

P.S. I have no idea what a wurzel is
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 7:28 PM on April 27, 2015

I'll just put in a plug for challenges that involve structural constraints (e.g. the 10 second challenge), rather than content constraints (e.g. songs about something, or covers). I don't personally enjoy the latter nearly as much in terms of actually powering through a song, though I perfectly understand if this is a definite minority viewpoint.
posted by advil at 7:40 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

I agree with you, personally. But covers are like red meat to the rest of MetaFilter and are the only thing they respond to en masse (save the occasional in-joke novelty song). Therefore, in order to increase the visibility of the music sub, I think cover-oriented projects are a strong way to start.

(Although a playlist presented on MetaTalk -- with an easy way to listen to everything without having to poke around -- of 10-second songs would be pretty irresistible, too.)
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:40 PM on April 28, 2015

I'm with advil. Working from a limited palette, on a monthly basis, is healthy musical development. That is the challenge. A creative kick some of us need and appreciate.

If the goal is more attention from the rest of the site then a quarterly covers/favourites/raffles challenges probably works for that purpose and to benefit of MeFiMusic.

But if the goal is community spirit and artist development then I'm all for the monthly challenges. I think that benefits the regulars here.

Think of it as festivals v open mic nights.
We can do both.
posted by we are the music makers at 6:32 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

The "Monthly" Challenges already each run for two months, at least, and even then the number of contributors rarely requires more than one hand to count. I don't blame the content, but the traffic.

Running two Challenges simultaneously could be done, sure, but I think a better case could be made for it if there were more "regulars" who were participating. Part of the purpose of the Quarterly "Events" is to both create more regulars by publicizing the actual existence of MeFiMu, and retaining regulars by giving them more feedback through increased exposure -- a number of former regulars have drifted away from this subsite, citing lack of feedback as a contributing factor.

Two simultaneous Challenges also necessitates an overhaul of the Challenges page to allow for two ongoing playlists. This may be a snap, I dunno, but I'm trying to avoid any suggestion that requires active support from the mods -- the last several years have taught me that that's extremely unlikely, and that's before unofficial "music mod" cortex had the much fuller plate that he has now.

Ultimately it's up to greenish. My experience, though, is that in the past when MeFites talk about all the different things they can do to increase visibility and participation in Music, it usually ends with a loss of focus and nothing changing. I vote for one idea executed strongly and clearly.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 5:53 PM on April 29, 2015

Still don't see why it has to be an either/or situation.
But if it's really too much trouble, then fine. I'm not disagreeing with quarterly events. They are an awesome idea. Get people in MetaTalk involved. Big it up.

Still think there is also an appetite for the smaller, not posted to MetaTalk, outside your comfort zone challenges.
And these would remain as the "Challenges" not the newer proposed "Events".
I felt the recent 10 second sample challenge, was just the tip of the iceberg and a step in that direction. These "challenges" would be for the few who take the time to click five words in from the top right.

If we did both, the overhaul of the challenge page means an addition of 4 more "Event" posts a year.
Basically four events and six challenges a year.
How about that?
posted by we are the music makers at 4:58 AM on April 30, 2015

I like the small, more specific challenges too, and I think there's room for both, but not at the same time. That might work in a larger, more active community, but I think here it would end up a bit messy and hard to keep track of. Anyway I actually find it refreshing to have the smaller ones in between the larger-scale ones, and it's a break from administrating the ones that take a bit of organisation.

But in the interests of luring encouraging some new folk to get involved, lets do a couple of large, noob-friendly ones before we dip back into the short specialist ones. Karlos is totally right - covers are catnip, but the next challenge will leave the floor open to those who want to contribute originals too. It's nice to make room for both where possible, but there's few challenges that will appeal to absolutely everyone here. Luckily it's possible to just post your cool tunes anyway :)
posted by greenish at 7:42 AM on April 30, 2015

we are the music makers -- I don't disagree, really, with anything you say. I love the smaller, "structural" challenges (although I haven't been as active as I used to be). I'm a big fan of the intersection of creativity and limitation. (Have you seen the documentary The Five Obstructions? I recommend it!)

I just think that, currently, there's not enough traffic to support the current setup, and no way to bring in new musicians or listeners or make the subsite more active. I'd like to see that change, and since there's little motivation from the mods to do anything about it, we have to do it ourselves.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:40 PM on April 30, 2015

That's cool guys. I get it. Whatever way MeFi Music moves forward I want to be involved. I like it round here.
I haven't seen that documentary yet Karlos but sounds goods, I'll check it out. I'm currently reading this so I'm currently all about new ways to get stuff done.
Avoid procrastination by reading about how not to procrastinate.
posted by we are the music makers at 10:26 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

It's nice to see a plan in the works for getting more ears over here because have you heard the tracks lately? Like, every single one is just killing it. Stellar stuff. Everyone should be here listening in.
posted by TheNegativeInfluence at 9:13 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I agree, the quality has been TOP recently.
posted by greenish at 3:24 AM on May 5, 2015

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