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*NO* Super Mario 64 'junkie'

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Cool concept - LT


this is an arrangement of the title theme from super mario brothers 64. i arranged it for nine voices (4+4+1 soloist). there isn't a huge amount of rearrangement - i basically just took the parts and transcribed them, and then added a mixed-meter section.

i was tired, don't blame me for the lyrics.

you can get it at - the title is actually 'junkie', lowercase j, however, this was a working title that's linked all over the place so ignore the fact that it's a different filename.

remuxer name - The Prophet of Mephisto

real name - Brad Burr

track name: junkie

performers: me, myself, I, brad, bradley burr, b-man, prophet, some random dude, and me again.

if you need anything else, just ask.

lyrics are as follows.

su-per ma-ri-o si-ix-ty four

the main ti-tle is good to the core

that game is sweet, game is sweet

play-ing i-it is not a bi-ig chore

yo-ou jump all a-round like a fool

a-nd ma-ri-oh is su-per cool

so play it all day, play it all day

don't go to school (repeat)

thi-i-i-i song is dri-ving me in-sane

its si-mila-r to crack co-caine

a-ddic-tive at first, now some-what in-hu-mane

please get me some as-prin i have a mi-graine

it would help if i'd played it at first

this song would'nt be so ac-cursed

i wish i'd been warned, now i'll be mourned

i think that my head is go-nna burst

all this said, it is still a sweet game

i really have no one to blame

so, play it to-day, play it to-day

you won't be a-shamed

mi-i-grane, i'm to blame

ai-ir-plane, as-cer-tain

bi-rd-brain, bu-u-tane

this game en-ter-tains

fore-or-dain, gy-ro-plane,

o-ver-lain, no-vo-caine

u-re-thane, win-dow-pane,

no rhymes for en-ter-tains WHAT


http://www.zophar.net/usf/sm64usf.rar - 05 "Super Mario 64 Main Theme"

Pretty shitty lyrics, but the words never truly stick out in execution. You tend to not really pay attention to them moreso than the rhythms of the source tune. When I did though, I felt lyrics should have been altered for a smoother delivery somehow, rather than necessarily using a syllable for each note of the melody. I'd also argue that the lyrics are too repetitive; for so short a track, I felt you needed some new material after the first iteration.

This was clearly personalized, but the structure being near-verbatim was a mistake, IMO, at least as far as the standards go. Might still be OK regardless due to this approach. There were some more interpretive and original moments in terms of the structure (e.g. 1:10-1:23), but those felt few and far between.

Production-wise, this lacked a shitload of balance as well; no offense, but par for the course with your previous material and something you specifically need to focus on improving. There were several areas with the lead sounding too indistinct/swallowed up by the supporting voices. I also thought the lead vocal delivery sounded too beginner-ish in some places. It's not terrible IMO, just spotty and incredibly lonely while trying to compete with a cacophony of backing vocals.

Some really sloppy clipping from 1:39-1:40, puffing air into the mic. Also, the ending just cuts out with no semblance of trail-off or light room reverb for a cleaner finish. Sweat the small stuff.

Lots to criticize, but the concept was good, as well as many aspects of the execution. The multitracked vocals actually worked pretty well, in terms of timing and harmonization. You should work on this more to get the most out of these promising ideas. Less verbatim-structure, more lyrical variation, better part balance, better lyrical flow, and a bit more finesse in the lead vocal performance would get this a lot closer to a YES. If you like this as is, Brad, no hate in that.

NO (resubmit)

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Nice start! I didn't notice the cheesy lyrics at first, really, since the focus was more on the parts themselves the way you mixed them. Had the lead vox been better balanced with the backings, however, I might have had cared more. ^_~

I do think that the lead needs to be mixed to the forefront, because it's totally drowned out at the moment. It sounds as though your mic was picking up some plosive P's and B's, though. Did you use a pop filter? If so, you may need to back off a bit more while recording. The backup vocals are definitely well performed (although I think the tenor I is a little harsh during the choruses). I hear nothing wrong with the lead performance, except that the lyrics and mixing don't do your voice justice.

As Larry already pointed out, it may help meet the arrangement criteria here if you didn't stick so close to the original structure. I started hearing much more interpretation starting around 1:10, and you definitely have a knack for jazzing things up. I'd just push that to the next level and either add a totally fresh section, or perhaps some killer scat solos if you're confident enough with that sort of thing.

In addition to those production/arrangement points, I think would be sweet if you'd consider re-writing the lyrics. Right now, it's sometimes hard to even tell where the rhythmic pulse is because the syllabic division of your words are so counterintuitive. A capella is the perfect genre for showing off your wit, and I know you have some! Dazzle everyone with something really clever. :D


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  • 2 weeks later...

Very fun take on the song, Brad. I think the Mario soundtracks definitely lend themselves well to an a capella style, based on the chords they often use. I know you yourself said that you took the parts and transcribed them, but I thought that wasn't giving this enough credit. There are definitely some meaty changes in the backing parts compared to the original, like the stuff going on at 0:23-0:30 and 0:55-1:10, not to mention 1:10-1:32, which had some original writing and chord changes. And it has a totally different feel from the original - very loose and swingy, with new emphases.

My biggest problem with the mix is that the lead vocal could be brought to the forefront more. There are times it gets drowned out and you can't make out the lyrics, but by and large, I never thought it hurt that badly. I agree with Larry and Jill's criticisms of the mixing, but I didn't think that really hindered this to the point where I would say no.


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This version sounds much better than the WIP I heard, which was not mixed/mastered as well. That being said, I think those areas could still be better, as noted (lead vocal tending to get drowned out), plus the overall volume could be nudged up a few db, if compressed properly. I have absolutely no problem with the lyrics as we're not really here to evaluate the quality of lyrics.. we've passed some pretty banal stuff before, and I think as long as they work syllabically and aren't incredibly offensive they're A-OK as original additions.

In terms of arrangement, the rhythms were pretty heavily changed from the original throughout. Plus, while the main melody might be pretty close, the harmonies are definitely not 1:1 with the source. New voicings and variations on the harmony parts do qualify as arrangement. Palpable also pointed out the places where there is new writing and chords entirely, which are both points in favor of this mix's overall interpretation value. The time signature changes later on are also great, though they surprised me at first.

It's easy to write this off as just being close to the original, but I encourage the people who voted NO on arrangement to take a close listen in comparison with the source, and hear all the new stuff that's going on in the harmonies. I also don't think lyrics should rank high on the list of reasons to NO (or YES) any given ReMix and in fact should probably be pretty low, in the grand scheme of things.

All that being said, I'm going with a NO because of the production. If Brad is willing to have me (or someone else) re-mix and master it for him, I would pass it, as that's the only issue holding it back in my mind. Conditional YES is not quite applicable here because I don't feel like Brad could necessarily make these changes readily himself, and might not want to anyway.

NO, resub

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I hear what's up with the arrangement, but still think it's melodically not interpretive enough, plus the overall execution and production's still too lacking. Not to sound snide, but I don't see how this is even a close call, let alone an easy one in its current state. The concept is good, but the polish isn't there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just to clarify my vote a little:

I don't particularly like this, but it's well arranged (the backing vocal harmonies are intelligent and interpretive) and I can hear all the parts without much trouble. The mixing (especially on the lead) is admittedly weaker than it could be.

However, I don't know what kind of production polish you guys are looking for with an a capella arrangement. It works as far as i'm concerned.

I have absolutely no problem with the lyrics as we're not really here to evaluate the quality of lyrics.

I disagree.

Acceptable arrangement often involves more than one of the following techniques:

* Modifying the genre, chord progression, instrumentation, rhythms, dynamics, tempo, or overall composition of the source material

* Adding original solos, transitions, harmonies, counter-melodies, lyrics, or vocals to the source material

We constantly critique everything else on that list, so I see absolutely no problem with us basing part of our votes on lyrical quality.

Brad, these lyrics are terrible. They don't even sound intentionally bad, just like you scribbled them down on a post-it note in 3 minutes.

I need to think about this a little more, but for now my YES vote stands.

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I guess it's just that we routinely post stuff where the lyrics have nothing to do with the game, and treat these the same as lyrics that are directly ripped from the game, or lyrics that are merely inspired by the game... etc. Historically, it doesn't seem like we've ever really cared what lyrics have said. If we're going to let people get away with 0 effort lyrics, eg. directly ripping them from the original song, why are we going to make a big deal out of original lyrics that we just don't happen to like?

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I guess it's just that we routinely post stuff where the lyrics have nothing to do with the game, and treat these the same as lyrics that are directly ripped from the game, or lyrics that are merely inspired by the game... etc. Historically, it doesn't seem like we've ever really cared what lyrics have said. If we're going to let people get away with 0 effort lyrics, eg. directly ripping them from the original song, why are we going to make a big deal out of original lyrics that we just don't happen to like?

Yet we critique people's performances on solos that have nothing to do with the original either. I never said we had to make a big deal out of it either, just let that play a role in how we vote. If Brad had made the lyrics a lengthy tribute to statutory anal rape, i'm sure that we wouldn't ignore *that* would we?

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Well, what I'm saying is that we might need more of a standard for lyrics, for consistency. When someone takes the melody from a source tune and uses it verbatim, they are often heavily criticized (though this does not necessarily merit a NO, if the harmonic changes are excellent.) However, in a case like "Rhapsody in Poo", where someone uses all the lyrics verbatim, it's a non-issue. In general, it just seems to me like we don't care as much about lyrical content. Maybe Dave should weigh in.

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  • 1 month later...

yeah, i didn't vote on this yet. i forgot that i had heard it at vgmix and commented on it there.

fascinating track. the criticism of the lyrics is superfluous - that shouldn't matter. the vocals are on point. what is there to complain about?

to echo things that have been said earlier, your wit is amplified by the genre tenfold. the lyrics, simple as they may be, work. the recording has its issues (where on earth is your pop filter?) but the arrangement and the vibe is what videogame remixing is all about

this isn't stuff we keep fromt he community.

at worst, YES cond

so YES

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Oh I hear auto pitching something going on. But it's done in the music industry anyway so I wont have it as an issue...

In the section at around 20 seconds the background vocals almost drown out the lead, this definitely needs some more mixing and compression control.

NO (Good candidate for resubmission)

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Yeah, arrangement is fine. There's more than enough to make up for the structure and melody. Balance is wonky, but never too terrible. I never really lost the lead or anything (although it did get close), and everything else is clear enough. My problem is with the popping in the lead vocals, especially at 1:39 but less pronounced in a bunch of other places. They're really pretty distracting.

Get me a re-record of the lead. Adjusting the mixing or getting someone else to is another recommended course of action.

NO (resubmit)

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Man, this is a tough call. I agree with Zyko that the community would probably enjoy this. I also agree that the lyrics are too cheesy even for the tongue-in-cheek approach. My biggest beef is not that the lyrics themselves are kind of dumb, but the phrasing. The lyrics have no flow, and aside from what they're actually saying, the syllables and words sound very forced, and that rubs me the wrong way.

I don't mind the autotuning, or any of the other minor flaws as far as the performance or even production itself go--but I'm not sure I can live with the verbal attempt of trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole, which is the best way I can describe what these lyrics seem to be doing.

Blah, I could teeter for hours on this one--I'm going to follow my initial "gut instinct" call and say


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