Jim of Seattle

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Jim of Seattle last won the day on March 9

Jim of Seattle had the most liked content!

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About Jim of Seattle

  • Rank
    Experienced Member
  • Birthday January 11

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    United States of America

Music Background

  • Band / Artist Name
    Jim of Seattle
  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    composer, lyricist, some production, music appreciation/history/criticism
  • Musical Influences
    Gershwin, Sondheim, Mancini, Bacharach, Beatles, Philip Glass, Residents, Radiohead, Beethoven, Debussy, Satie, Dada, Harold Arlen, Grizzly Bear, Dept of Eagles, Sufjan Stevens, Carl Orff, Fats Waller, Steve Reich, Renaldo & Loaf, Boo Radleys, Queen, Leroy Anderson, Frank Loesser, Richard Rodgers

Collaboration

  • Songwriting Collaboration
    Maybe

Critique Preferences

  • Getting Critique
    Any and All
  1. Hi all, this is my second album, released on Green Monkey Records in October, 2016. It is a concept album in two parts, but don't get too hung up on the concept, it's more just an exploration of different musical styles; the concept is just something to loosely hang it all on. I hope you enjoy it! Both the Planet Frank and the Chet Lambert Show
  2. Terrific recording! The arrangement seems right. Mix thoughts: * I would add 1-2 Db to the bass, and/or bring up the low frequencies. You don't want it booming, but a little more heft would fill it out a bit * Add a little reverb to the kick drum, it's a little thuddy * Might try taking a tiny bit out of the midrange across the board * Of course, get rid of the messiness at the very end, but you know that Nice job!
  3. Hey thanks! So glad you liked it. I have a newer one out too, in case you're interested. I should make a thread for that one too I suppose. Thanks again!
  4. It's cool. I heard epic spacey loneliness. I was reminded of "Astronaut" by One Eskimo. I would take it up a few steps - singing the title phrase down low where you have it now loses some of the potential power of the lyric and the soundscape you've started.
  5. Neat! I was reminded of maybe something from Nirvana Unplugged. Have you thought about introducing something new when you get to "dancing on the table"? I've heard the verse and chorus twice to that point and now I'm ready for something new musically. Then the return to the chorus would be more satisfying. I can hear that you've changed a bunch of lyrics from what you wrote here. It sounds like the new ones are improved, but it's hard to tell. You could edit the post if you want us to see the real lyrics. It also sounds like her long red hair has grown from her knees to her heels in the meantime :-).
  6. I think this is really pretty nice! I like your main theme, it's interesting and memorable. I think it loses steam a little in the middle theme. The oboe or english horn or whatever instrument you have for lead in the second theme is awfully synthetic sounding. Maybe you have a better one, or maybe you can breathe life into it with some reverb/EQ. Also, it's too obviously being played on a keyboard, so I'd mess with the note durations and such to make it feel more natural. Also, that middle theme isn't as inevitable as the main theme, it tends to wander trying to find its way and seems to go on a long time. I kept expecting the main theme to return again in big rousing fashion at the end, but I didn't get that big finish, and so the piece feels like is sort of peters out in an overly tuneful noodling fashion. Coming back with the main theme will drive it home and could be nice and satisfying. Good work! BTW, I used to be able to click around within a SoundCloud track to revisit different parts of a track, but it doesn't seem to let me do that now. I can't even start it over, I have to completely re-load the page. Did SC change something?
  7. Yeah, I thought this was fun. And too long. Just when it gets exciting, the song is over. In other words, we get the pattern much sooner, so get to the murder! Make a whole verse out of the murder itself. Another verse about the judge and jail. Cut half of the stuff prior to the murder. Also, a little confusing moment, it starts off about the story of Kate and Jim, as if you are an external narrator, but then you are the voice of Kate. That was confusing.
  8. critique

    This piece seems fine. From my perspective, when people say "I could hear this as background for something" what they are really saying is that the piece doesn't have enough going on to hold their entire attention, though what is there is perhaps suggestive of something and pleasant enough. Just saying that if I got comments that indicated my piece was background, I'd feel that I was missing something (unless of course it IS background for something, in which case we should know what up front). If a painter fills a canvas with blue, people might say "That looks like the sky", but I would argue that painting the sky and painting blue are very different things. And so it is for me as well. It sounds like the b.g. for something because there's not enough going on. At the big change a third of the way in, there is new material, and it stays interesting after that, but the structure is strange that you repeat a very short figure with very little variation for the first third of the piece, then all of a sudden a bunch of interesting stuff happens. I'm not saying it's wrong per se, just that it's odd that it establishes itself as harmonically minimalist, then changes its mind a third of the way in. Messes with my expectations a bit, again, not saying it's wrong, just that it struck me as odd.
  9. Nice and catchy. I like the verse tune. I'm confused about the lyrics. The statement "I hope I'll never have what I just had" doesn't seem to have anything to do with diversity. Wanting diversity is a wish for variety, for change, and the first line doesn't seem to be related to that. It confuses me. Something like "I hope I never have again what I've already had a million times" would make "I need diversity" follow more logically. Also, why repeat the exact same lines every verse? What about the first verse using "see" instead of "have", maybe the second verse being "hear" or even "eat" or "do" or "be". There could be some fun in that. Ironically, the lyric needs diversity.
  10. I disagree completely that your voice is "too old too bass" for recording. It's just fine. I find the rhyme structure. You don't seem consistent with rhymes, and I found that distracting. Either do the rhymes consistently or don't rhyme. Bringing the angel choir in for the chorus is a cool idea and it works well. (At first I thought it was the sound of a bathtub filling, and that was working too, actually :-)) I might try an abrupt key change there to add to the contrast between the darkness of the bathtub imagery and the hearing music. Could be cool. I also might try the song at a slightly faster tempo, it kind of plods along after a while and I found myself getting restless.
  11. I had the same thought as Steve Mueske. You are so far away from the mic that all the room noise is getting in there and making it harder to really get into it. If you do record again, come closer, we won't bite. I also second Bernd in that your labeling for which parts of the song are verse and chorus are 1) wrong, and 2) not really necessary. I never got why lyrics on record jackets felt the need to do that either (mark VERSE and CHORUS and all that). Seems weird to me. As for the song itself, you've only really got one 6-note melodic idea here that you repeat over & over. In what you are calling the chorus you change up the chords just a little bit but nothing else changes too much. I'd prefer a lot more contrast between the verses and chorus. In the chorus you switch from "you" to "she" and it feels really odd. Are they two different people you're singing about?
  12. I think you should be proud of your work on this so far. Like Monostone said, just keep at it. Not every output has to be The Masterpiece. Sometimes songs are just stepping stones to something else. I also appreciated that you have a sense of building to something and then you know where the payoff is supposed to be and you try to deliver. Those are all things some people never quite get the hang of, so that's good. Your singing also seems just fine, no worries there. I found the lyrics to have a lack of original imagery. There are a lot of kind of random metaphors strung together without enough sense of unity. You've got a road, a fire, a storm, a wire, there should be more commitment to something. It sort of feels like you just strung together some familiar lyric cliches without a whole lot of thought into an overarching theme. Lastly, this is a much easier fix: I find the chorus to be really midrange-heavy. I want to put a big old classic V EQ on it, get the bass to pop out much more and tone down the muddiness of the middle stuff. I think you'll find it feels a lot more satisfying.
  13. Hi, welcome to the group! Sorry to start you off on a bummer note, but this one isn't doing it for me. First off, I don't think it's in D Major, but G minor, so that was a big red flag there. Second, it doesn't appear to be a rondo either, though I could be wrong about that, my assessment is based on the fact that I can't hear a recurring theme that you return to which would be the case if it were really a rondo. So if there is one, then the problem is that it's not memorable enough to give us a sense of going away from it and the satisfaction of returning to it again. The writing for the strings for the most part seems fine, but I'm confused what the structure of this is. It seems to kind of go its own way without any regard to a listener's need for some discernible movement. When it gets to the end it feels less like it ends, more like it just stops. I think it would be more satisfying if I could get a sense of going from point A to point B, building to something, coming down from something, building tension, releasing tension, changing up the textures from big ensemble to solos, that kind of thing. This feels like a few minutes of classical-sounding writing with no sense of purpose, like someone starting a machine and then turning it off five minutes later.
  14. Congratulations on getting the first one done and welcome to the rewarding world of songwriting... This isn't really a song quite yet, but it's a good start. For one thing, you've got a nice 4-bar chord progression, but that's pretty much all you've come up with so far in terms of "songwriting". I would suggest coming up with some sort of contrasting section or sections, so that your piece as somewhere to go and somewhere to come back to. I like how you've pyramidded the instruments in the first minute, that's a good tried and true technique to start any song. I also wanted there to be a definable tune to it that you repeat and that can be remembered. Your soloing is fine, but I don't know that it stands alone. Good start though!
  15. I can't do an A/B because I think your old SC link is pointing to the same version as your new one, but it sounds a lot better to my ears now. You might look into a bifty free plug-in called SPAN by Voxengo, which shows levels for all frequencies. Really helpful for stuff like this.