The theme for Game 89 was Previously Un-nominated, selected by Boban. I knew straight away which song I wanted to pick. It was on my list and I also was afraid Beat might pick her soon as I saw that he was listening to her in the What Song Are You Listening To? Thread.
I heard about Torres on Pitchfork when her sophomore album was coming out, and I was really intrigued by her. She had made the album with Rob Ellis who of course played with Polly Harvey on her first two albums. A lot of people had compared Mackenzie to Polly. I actually was going to use Strange Hellos for the theme once I won a game (the theme was going to be Angst Songs). But it seemed less and less likely I would be winning anytime soon, and this seemed like the more timely opportunity.
But back to the song. It hit me like a hammer the first few times I heard it and I still love it to pieces. It is reminiscent of Rid of Me era PJ Harvey in its vulnerability and anger. It rocks so incredibly hard and is a very cathartic listen. I was extremely eager to share this song with the community and really hoped that it would take on some kind of following. But what I have learned is that many people do not like this type of music nearly as much as I do.
I don't even remember the reviews on this one. I just know I was saddened, but not surprised to finish 12th in my SF and miss the F.
I really do hope that some of the players who gave it points really liked it.
Game 90 was Body Party, selected by John. The artist or song title had to have a body part in it. I thought long and hard about my song for this one. The song I wanted to pick was Mr. Bones by Throwing Muses but of course the album version is not on YouTube. I wanted that even more than Night Driving. I will submit a Muses song if it's the death of me.
So I thought of all sorts of other options. I literally went through a dozen or more Belly songs, carefully thinking and re-thinking if it was right or how well it would do. I thought of White Belly, then Seal My Fate, Now They'll Sleep, King. I didn't feel like any of them would do particularly well and I started looking at some of their B sides. Songs I love like Spaceman and Sweet Ride. In the end, I think I still was carrying over trauma from the last time Tanya got mutilated and I was in no hurry to put her in that position again. So my mind kind of went to left field and I thought of this great song from a few years ago that I really love.
I thought this was a courageous choice for me because it was a male vocal--the first one I had submitted (DMB does not count). I had said in one of the early games that I would never submit a male singer unless I had to, so this was definitely going out of my comfort zone. Not only that, but I really love the song. It's just very comforting to me and I just groove out to it. I love the way it explodes at the end and you just keep rocking along. It kind of has a trance-like quality in that way. I actually thought it could do fairly well. It was definitely pretty different from anything I had submitted in the past and I thought I could maybe pick up some new voters.
WRONG. LOL we'll see once I post the votes if any voting trends changed with this pick. In any case, I didn't get enough points to make the Final, another crushing 11th SF place. Again, I don't remember the reviews but Lazy Eye wasn't getting anything extraordinary so I knew I could be in danger. I'm kind of bummed this one didn't make it, because I did stretch my boundaries. I don't regret picking it though. I still think it's a really great song.
Game 91 was the game that restored my faith in humanity, or at least in BSG. The theme was Questions, submitted by Monzanator. The song I ended up using was originally my back-up. The first song I submitted was Your Dirty Answer by Kristin Hersh. The title is technically not a question, but the chorus of the song is "What's your dirty answer?" The title is clearly just a shortened form of that question. But Adey would not accept my pick. I didn't really think it was fair considering he has accepted Elastic Heart as a protest song and a Josh Groban song as a heavy metal song. But I don't make the rules. I had no choice but to acquiesce, rescind my pick, and go with my back-up.
There were several PJ Harvey songs on my list to submit, as there would be considering she is one of my favorite artists. ITD was not one of them, but it was a very easy song to choose. I love her vocal on it, so rich and full of character and nuance. The music is lush and different and kind of transporting. I honestly had no idea how it would do.
Then the reviews started to come in. Almost every one either loved the song or at least would be giving it points. I felt so happy and it was like "Finally! I know how to submit a song that people are feeling and will hopefully properly reward! "
So I made the final, as expected. I wasn't totally confident going into it, but I thought I had a decent chance to make the podium. That was definitely my goal, but I finished short of that in 6th place. It was still my best finish since my third game, but I wanted more. I was also mad that two voters' ballots who had given me great points weren't accepted due to voting errors. Those points would have likely had me on the podium.
I listened to all the songs in the Final and it was a really lovely pleasurable listen. I ended up giving my 12 to Mustafina's How Do You Swallow So Much Sleep? I really loved the song that came in 2nd as well. I wasn't totally mad that What Ya Waiting For? won except for the fact that the version posted totally cut out the intro which totally makes the song IMO.
Anyway, thank Sheezus for all the voters who gave me my mojo back in this game.
Game 92 was What the Funk? This had to have been chosen by Big Banana, as I know and love her. I wasn't really excited by this theme. Shocker! I couldn't really think of any funk songs off the top of my head but I am a resourceful bitch and I actually decided to do something I had never done up until this game. Actually do some research! This was the first game I submitted a song I did not know prior to picking it. I was trying to find something that was considered a good song and would do well and that obviously in the funk genre. After a little bit of digging, I came up with this gem which is actually #138 on Rolling Stone's list of Greatest Songs of All Time!!
I listened to it a couple times before deciding to submit it. I liked it quite a bit, it has a really nice hook. And I figured if it was good enough for Rolling Stone Magazine, it was definitely good enough for me! It was actually really hard to find a good audio of the song. They all suck, really. Someone needs to re-master this shit. This was the best version I could find. That's why there's like a minute and a half of dead silence at the end. I know someone was bitching about that in the thread.
The reviews were good and I sailed through to the finals. I thought I could do pretty decently here, if people were actually paying attention to the theme. Cause there was a whole lot of DISCO here. And while a disco game sounds fun, this was not that game. Anyway, I actually got votes from all of the first 9 voters. That had definitely never happened for me before! I thought I could go for the clean sweep but reality came crashing down and I wound up in 6th place, my second consecutive 6th place finish. I was actually happy with 6th place with this song, considering I had never heard it before this game. I was quite proud of my scouting ability.
Love Scorned was the theme for Game 93, selected by stromatolite. I was actually excited about this theme. I thought there were a lot of different ways you could go. Lots of options, for sure. The one thing that I didn't like was I felt it was too close to what my theme was going to be which was "Angst Songs". So I kind of had to scrap my idea at that point. But who knows. It could be another 50 games before I win, if ever, and then Angst Songs will work quite nicely. I actually have a new theme idea for when I win. Until someone steals it.
I knew what I wanted to use fairly quickly here. I was actually surprised it hadn't been used up to this point.
I love everything about this song! Starting with the video itself, definitely one of my all-time favorites. Lily is such a character to begin with, but this video makes me laugh every time I watch it. She's a trip. But I love how the song is really upbeat and happy but it's about taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune. But he had it coming!
I thought this song would be pretty safe to make finals, which it did. I had no expectations for any kind of great result because I thought it would be way too light to make any kind of big push towards a title. It actually did better than I thought it would by finishing in 12th place! There were a few decent songs in this final, but overall I didn't think it was a very good one. The Joan Baez song that won I didn't like at all. But it's probably one that needs repeated listens to grow on you? I don't know, but nothing grabbed me on the initial listen. This is the game where I really started to pay attention to Stan because he selected Fiona Apple's Get Gone. Fiona is my favorite artist that I have not yet submitted a song for, so I was instantly smitten with his great taste! Fiona is my soulmate. I am waiting for the right time and song of hers to use. Her stuff is very, very close and extremely personal to me so I have been reluctant to put it out there. It might do well though. Get Gone finished third here.
Here are the votes for Smile. I was actually really excited that I got a 12 from Nik for the first time. Probably the last time.
Game 94 was Rap & Hip Hop, selected by Monzanator. The funny thing about this theme was all the people who made it a point to say they weren't going to be playing this game. Funny stuff. There are actually lots of songs I like in this genre. I thought about picking Swimming Pools (Drank) by Kendrick Lamar, but I wanted to pick something that was a little more nostalgic for me.
This song reminds me so much of my life at the time. Actually having friends and going out and having fun! I love the violin on it. I love how fast Twista raps. I kind of marvel at it, actually. It's just a song you groove to and it has a little bit of drama. And Kanye produced it and is on the track, y'all!
Sadly, the community does not share my enthusiasm for this song. It did not get good reviews and finished all the way down in 17th place in the SF. I probably should have picked a better song, but I picked one that was significant to me. Sometimes you just miss the mark, and I missed it pretty badly here.
histery gave us an Open Game for 95 , only the second one I had played. I was so happy I finally got to use a song on my list, which has grown significantly.
I wanted to pick a song that would have support and that I knew Beat would like, at least. He's kind of my thermometer in that way. My goal was to get his 12. (Mission accomplished!) But most importantly, I picked this song because I think it is a masterpiece and the best song that I have submitted thus far.
I'm trying to remember the way I described it in my interview. Yes, I love this song so much that I actually filled out an interview for the Final Ceremony. Hmm, well let's start with the album it is from. Actor is a sublime work. Annie wrote it on Garage Band while watching old Disney films on mute. And she would score the scenes. Then she wrote the lyrics later. So many of the songs have this dramatic cinematic quality that is really quite lovely. The Strangers is the first song on the album and it really sets the tone straight away. There is so much whimsy in it that I love. The lyrics are witty and wonderful. The music is so intoxicating with all of the woodwinds. It really is just a joy to listen to. My favorite part of the song is of course when the guitar comes in out of nowhere and kind of gives the song a sinister tone. It is so much in just four minutes. Honestly.
I've never had higher hopes for a song than this one. At the time, I thought I was checking off all the boxes of what would do well. But now I realize that I should have seen that it wouldn't do well. It's almost too intelligent, too elevated. I look at the songs that win and they are not this good, sadly. But at the time, I thought I was swinging for the fences and would hit a home run.
So after the songs were released, people started bitching that they don't like this version and they prefer a live version that she recorded. Yes, Annie is amazing live and acoustic and of course it's a lovely, stripped down version of the song. But that is taking things way out of context. The album version has all of the intoxication of instrumentation that makes it such an experience. She isn't even able to play my favorite part of the song in this live version. So anyway, that just annoyed me right from the start. If I wanted to submit the live acoustic version, I would have. But I didn't. So get the fuck over it.
The reviews were really good for the most part, as I was expecting. I had really high expectations here. Not just because of the good reviews. But because I think this song is that good. Some songs I don't have high expectations because I don't think they are that good. Songs I mentioned before like My My Metrocard or Smile. Perfectly lovely songs but not having the depth that should be rewarded. The Strangers has everything.
I probably would have died of shock if I hadn't made the Final, but I did. Then we get to the horror show of the Final Ceremony. I was off to a pretty good start with 12s from Beat and Jen. But things soon went downhill quickly after that. It became obvious I just wasn't getting the points that this song deserved. I finished in 12th place. TWELFTH PLACE!! I was so upset, angry, and disappointed. I didn't get it. I have never been so frustrated in this game. I seriously thought about quitting because this was my best. What more could I give than this? 12th place was honestly a slap in the face. I felt like anything less than the podium was flat out not fair. It still clearly bothers me to this day, hence the length of this entry. *deep breath*
To make matters worse, I couldn't tell you the name of the song that won. That's how memorable it was to me. The second place song was actually a very good song, it was the one I gave my 12. But I can say with almost 100% certainty that The Strangers was one of the best 3 songs in that final. I'd bet my life on it. Maybe it needed more listens to be fully appreciated. I think some posters liked it the more they heard it. I really don't know at this point. I do know that after this game, I was definitely at my lowest point. I felt completely aimless and directionless. I didn't know what I was fighting for, or why I was still fighting. I guess the one positive thing I learned is that I will never have high hopes again. Because if I want to stick around like a masochist, I have to be a big boy and deal with the consequences. And if one of those is your song not getting the respect it deserves, then so be it.
People who did give Annie the respect she deserves:
Game 96 was Stranded. And not like I was last Friday night at work. As in you are stranded on a desert island, what track do you take with you? It was submitted by Mustafina. I admit I maybe under-thought this one a bit. Eh. Around the time this theme was released I had been on a huge BANKS kick. I had been listening to a lot of her music and really feeling it hard. I was first introduced to her when I played the last version of TF Survivor and we had our own mini-BSG (which I won both rounds of btw). Someone had submitted Waiting Game and I really liked it. But I hadn't gone much further than that when it came to her. Flash forward a few months and I stumbled across her NPR Tiny Music performance by chance. (I was watching Angel Olsen's for like the fifty fifth millionth time and came across Jillian's in the sidebar.) I was incredibly impressed by her vocal chops, which really do not come through in how her music is produced. I then listened to an interview she had done in London and she said her biggest influence was Fiona Apple and I was hooked. I listened to more and more of her music and the Fiona influence is everywhere. So we are definitely kindred spirits in this regard. So at this time, her music was very fresh in my mind so for the first time I picked a song to reflect that.
I was divided between submitting Beggin' For Thread or Alibi. I went with Alibi because it was the most recent song of hers I was really feeling. I thought there were maybe a few Banks fans in the community who could get me to the Final. I should have done more research and seen that she hasn't really done that well in the past? I don't care though; I knew I wanted to submit her and this was the first opportunity that I had the chance. Her music had really touched me that much. Alibi got nearly universally panned. Which is fine. Not everyone responds to the same stuff. I just love how the song slowly builds and her voice on it. The production gives an intoxicating effect I find, but many people just found it flat out boring.
I didn't expect to make the Final and did not, finishing 17th in the SF. I remember some funny stuff going on in the thread before the SF votes were revealed and Big Banana randomly gave it a 12. Good times.
Game 97 was Hard Rock/Metal, submitted by DollyRose before she went missing. The song I wanted to use was pretty obvious. I was just reading Brian's thread where he was thanking his parents for all the good music he listened to when he was young like Tracy Chapman. I did not grow up with the same good fortune. Most of the music my mom likes I really can not stand, even to this day. Fleetwood Mac is probably the only band I heard growing up that I actually like. But that was my inspiration for this Game, because this is literally one of my mom's favorite songs and I heard it ad-nauseam when it was popular. I always hated it, like with a passion. But it was a very successful song, fit this theme perfectly, and I thought it could do well. So I went with it.
This was kind of me vulturing, I guess. Solely because I had never submitted a song before that I did not like. It felt kind of untrue to me to do so, but I wanted to play the game. Again, I just think I was a bit rash in my pick because I eventually came up with a song I love beyond words that I should have submitted instead. It's on my list now, don't you worry.
I was happy to make the Final and finish 9th with this song. Any time you make the Top 10, it feels pretty awesome, especially when it's a song you have no connection or affinity towards.
Game 98 was Music of Latin America. My initial reaction was SERIOUSLY ?? Again, it honestly gets so frustrating when you have all these great songs you want to submit but get bogged down in these themes that are personally of little interest. I said quite plainly in the thread it was Shakira or bust for me, and I'm not a dishonest person.
I have vivid memories of when this song very first came out. There was this crazy lady doing all this stuff against what was clearly a green screen. I am almost positive the first time I saw this video on MTV it was the Spanish version, which is way better anyway IMO. Obviously, Whenever Wherever was a huge hit but I also think it's a really good song. It has a really good beat, it's kind of funky and you can really dance to it. Of all the Shakira songs I could have picked, (I later found out She-Wolf had already been used !) this was the best one. I was definitely focused on the fact that it was in Spanish; it meant something to me considering the theme of the game.
Of course the usual suspects proceeded to diss my song, because as European white men over 40 their expertise clearly extends to Latin Music as well. I'm of two minds, because yes this was a clear safe, lazy, vulture pick. But it is also a really good song. Unbelievably good, IMO. There are some people who just hate mainstream music on principle. That is their idiocy. Good music can make the mainstream. It happens less and less these days, but this was not an example of this. If this had been a song by some unknown, they would have been licking their own jizz over it and that's what bothers me. In any case, I was happy to make the Final. 15th place was all I probably deserved to be honest. But that was even better than I expected considering the lack of effort I gave to this game.
This entry should probably come off happier than it will. That is why we call this my neurotic thread.
Game 99 was chosen by Chrono, who had won the Game that broke my heart. It was all about Food so your song had to mention food or drink in the title. I thought it was a GREAT theme considering Chrono almost never votes for my songs. I could do something with this.
I almost instantly got to work thinking about what I wanted to do. After a little bit of thinking, I thought of the song Milk by Garbage and submitted it. I really thought it would do well, although it's not my favorite Garbage song by any means. Anytime I think of it, I think of You Look So Fine, instead. Not a lot going on in Milk, tbh. But I'm not the best predictor of how songs will do.
So I was fine with this for a couple days or so. But I really felt I could do more and my mind kept thinking and thinking. I had never changed my song after I had submitted it, but it was becoming more and more obvious that my first choice was not always the best one. I was thinking back to the Hip Hop game, where I almost did change my song but didn't. And even more recently with the Stranded game.
And then, out of nowhere. Literally I still don't know how I thought of this song but it must have been because my sister had given me back some of my CDs that had been in her car that she had recently gotten back from being fixed. But I used to do these Mix CDs. Walt's Hix Mixes Volumes 1 through whatever, I think we were at 8 or 9 when I stopped. So one of those mixes were in what she returned to me and I thought of a song that was in one of the Mixes I had made.
One of my all-time faves and I'm so happy I thought to change my pick. Adey told me that someone else had submitted a Cibo Matto song, and I wrote him back and said, "That's fine. Let the best one win."
I can't say enough about this song. The chorus is beyond infectious. The video, directed by Michel Gondry of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fame, is really good too. I only realized after the fact that the video edit cuts off about 30 seconds of the song where you get another dose of that chorus at the end. I'm sure it didn't change anything, but I was a bit annoyed tbh. That last blast of the chorus just takes it even more over the edge.
The reviews were amazing. Everyone loved it. I was instantly worried because Apple was getting even better reviews. I was a bit dumbstruck because to me, Sugar Water is the far superior song. I didn't even know what song Apple was because it had been so long since I had listened to the CD. I guess the "oooh hooo. oohh waaa ahhh waaaa" chorus on Apple is very compelling. (That's sarcasm, folks!) It was a forgettable track to me, and not near one of my faves on Viva! La Woman. But that just shows you how much my taste sucks.
I sailed through to the Final. I felt pretty good about my chances of finally making that elusive podium, but I really wanted to win. I thought I had picked a winning song. Not long into the ceremony it became clear that Apple was the best Cibo Matto song according to BSG. It started out strong and kept gaining steam. My song was solidly in second the whole way and that's where it finished. I would like to say I was happy with second, but second place is the first loser. It has given me motivation to finally get to that top spot. Hopefully soon!
I really loved this game though. Salmon pants' selection Coffee was amazing as well as histery's selection Haxel Princess. They got my top marks.