whereis music challenge? February 10, 2008 8:21 AM   Subscribe

MeFi Music Challenge - wha' happened?

If it is no more, please post something to the MeFi music page.
Bring it back and I'll try to post a ditty.
posted by AppleSeed to Feature Requests at 8:21 AM (21 comments total)

The participation has been trailing off the last couple months. For January, we only had three songs total, and only on one of the suggested themes so we figured take a month off and resume in March.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:32 AM on February 10, 2008

Unsolicited theme suggestion: cover a MeFite.
posted by danb at 8:37 AM on February 10, 2008

In what?
posted by chrismear at 8:46 AM on February 10, 2008

Pancake batter, of course.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:55 AM on February 10, 2008

Ask and ye shall receive (if it's solicited it's not a self-link, right?)
posted by DenOfSizer at 9:15 AM on February 10, 2008

(that was in response to the solicitation for songs, not the batter-dunking, of course)
posted by DenOfSizer at 9:22 AM on February 10, 2008

I'd like to respectfully posit that we've only had a few entries recently because the themes have been somewhat uninspiring. I think if we did something entirely new, like say 'cover a mefite,' or 'story song' or something, we'd get plenty of new entries. Or something else, but I think we need to move past the 'words as themes' theme.

Just a thought. And thanks to the mods (especially cortex) for encouraging and supporting this challenge... and for not letting it die!
posted by ORthey at 9:25 AM on February 10, 2008

We could definitely try Something Different for March. One thing that has been consistent across every single challenge so far has been that some folks find the themes to be uninspiring, even as we've tried to change structure and style of the themes from month to month. Doing something more divergent is worth a shot, but I'm pretty close to convinced at this point that it's more of an intractable Lincolnian all-the-people-all-the-time dilemma than it is a matter of just choosing the perfect challenge.

Different folks respond to different stuff, in other words, so while I think continuing to mix it up is a good thing, we're just going to be dissatisfying a different group of folks each time. And hey, so be it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:26 AM on February 10, 2008

I agree, cortex, for sure. But the thing is, I think we've actually only tried one type of theme so far - where we're given a word (or three) and are then to use the words as inspiration. I think that style, while very popular at first, has burned out and we should try a different type. I also wouldn't worry too much about the Lincolnian dilemma (band name!), because there's just no way around that.
posted by ORthey at 10:47 AM on February 10, 2008

*Slight correction - it's true there have been themes like "very few words" and such that were different than just words. And I think we need to move more in that direction.
posted by ORthey at 11:10 AM on February 10, 2008

I agree that "cover a Mefite" would be great fun. I'm currently having problems with my portastudio, but if I manage to solve them in time, I'm in. (And if not, I'll still post covers of mefites past the deadline!)
posted by micayetoca at 11:38 AM on February 10, 2008

cortex: "We could definitely try Something Different for March."

My proposal theme: 9/4 time.
posted by Plutor at 12:16 PM on February 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks for letting us know what happened. The challenge actually encouraged me to put a song down in January, as I had a waltz ready!
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:25 PM on February 10, 2008

some folks find the themes to be uninspiring

Well, if you'd make the theme be "Biscuits 'n' Gravy am delicious," that'd change.
posted by middleclasstool at 2:35 PM on February 10, 2008

Will rite song liryx 4 fud
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:02 PM on February 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think robocop is bleeding's onto something -- one of the themes could be collaboration, where the challenge is that you write a song with another Mefite. In this case, robocop is bleeding could write the lyrics and someone else write the music or something.
posted by spiderskull at 7:11 PM on February 10, 2008

(oh, and has anyone else celebrated yesterday's No-Metatalk-Posts Day?)
posted by spiderskull at 7:13 PM on February 10, 2008

I know this is going to sound a little song-fighty, but perhaps "reveal" all the posts for a given challenge all at once? I personally have written two songs for the challenge so far, but haven't gotten around to recording and submitting them because (a) I don't feel any sense of urgency, because I know just as many people will stumble across it and listen to it in a year as if I submit it before the challenge ends, and (b) with such a wide window and casual release cycle, I sincerely doubt anyone's going "ooh, hey, let's see if anyone's submitted something!"

Of course, there's no reason to believe the challenge has to fulfill those things, but there's a reason I rush to get songs done for SongFight and not for this site, and it's not the voting -- it's the sense that if I don't get it done I'll miss my window, and so it lights a little fire under my ass.

I assume many (most?) people will read this and say "we're not trying to be SongFight, and if that's what you want do it over there" -- but perhaps this is a good time to find out what the MeMu challenge is about, given that you're taking a breather due to low participation.
posted by davejay at 10:44 PM on February 10, 2008

My proposal theme: 9/4 time.

I was going to recommend 3843/1708 time. I've never been good at determining the lowest common denominator.
posted by davejay at 10:48 PM on February 10, 2008

As someone who has contributed songs to every MefiMusicChallenge up until last month (I was too busy to do anything for January), I'd like to say this:

Brown is the new black and uninspiring is the new inspiring. I've started thinking that the somewhat uninspiring nature of the themes was the point. I mean, that's some serious challenge, right? Something that's essentially uninspiring, but you work with it anyway. Know what I mean? When you think of it that way, hey, we're really talking challenge here, and I ain't just whistling Dixie! This whole challenge idea: for me the interesting thing was just to be handed a word, or a phrase, and use it as a springboard. Now, normally, a piece of overheard dialog, or a comment from a friend or some little snippet from a news story or a novel or off the TV can serve as the match that lights the fuse and starts you writing a song. And if they catch your ear, that means they're often interesting turns of phrase, clever usages, or just something that sounds good. The MeFiMu challenge themes, however, have been, on the whole, so mundane as to eliminate the "easy inspiration" and move things into the territory of "allright, buddy, use your own brain and make something outta this!" For me this has made some of these challenges into an interesting experiment in musico-literary muscle flexing. Hey, you got the word "cupcake" here, pal, now go do something with it!

I'm not trying to bullshit anybody here, either: I've enjoyed the actual challenge of putting songs together based on an inspiration that is, ultimately, less than what you'd normally consider "inspiring". Maybe that's what "1% inspiration 99% perspiration" means.

I'll be sad if the MeFiMusicChallenge peters out. I was afraid it might, though...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:14 AM on February 11, 2008

Okay you guys? I said it before but this time I mean it... ask and ye shall receive! Awesome John Bonham drum tracks, unaccompanied, ripe for the composing!
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:06 PM on February 14, 2008

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