It is after 2am and I should be asleep. Especially as I have creatures I have to wake up in a few hours and get them ready for school But my head is currently spinning itself in circles. And maybe it is best that it is spinning now instead of during the day so that I can spit out my thoughts in relative peace and quiet, while the rest of the world sleeps and I do not intrude upon them once this blog gets spit out to the world and I do not have to subject many with my blarghity blargh blargh blargh blog.
I have a choice I have to make that I am not really looking forward to regardless which option I choose. I have a post I have to create for Geeky Pleasures tomorrow regarding the final round of Song Fu 6. Well I don’t really have to create it but in some ways I do. It really isn’t about obligation but yet again it is. I suppose it boils down to being happy with the choices I make. And if I chose not to write the post, I’d be much unhappier than the other two choices I am faced with.
This whole choice is about fairness. I like to think that I am a fair person. I like to think that others recognize this in me. I like to think that some of my readers read what stuff I spit out because of it. I am also a bit of a mouth piece and I make no apologizes for this. I think this goes hand in hand with being fair. People, for the most part, know what to expect from me. I am upfront, blunt and honest. I do not mince my words. If I like something, I say so. If I don’t like something, I say so. This is regardless if I am friends with someone, have respect for them or know them in any way shape or form. It is for these reasons that I agonized for quite awhile before I wrote my review of Wil Wheaton’s latest book “Memories of the Future: Volume 1” because what I had to say wasn’t exactly negative but it wasn’t all full of unicorns and rainbows either. It was a struggle especially since I could not allow myself to let any personal feelings I may or may not have interfere with giving a fair and unbiased review. I am also known for not talking out of school about people. If I do happen to make comments about people and they are not there to defend themselves, I expect it to get back to them. Especially when we live on the internet and news travel quickly and you no longer need to physically meet someone to get to know them and find things out about them
I am at yet another very similar crossroad. The final songs are in. I’ve cast my vote. And now, I have to write about it. But what do I write? Now if it were any other round, I would give a quick little something something and then post the songs I voted for. Some of those songs even made it to Geek of the Week. But this is different for so many reasons.
In the rounds leading up to this, there wasn’t as much at stake. I do not think my votes swayed anything one way or another. I think proof of this is how each person ended up placing in the end. But Geeky Pleasures is (aside from press releases I receive) about things that I geek out over and catch my eye. It was created as an offshoot of my radio show to spit out things during the week that I couldn’t necessarily cover during my shows. So stating what songs I voted for wasn’t about telling people who they should vote for, it was to bring attention to these awesome musicians who are given a challenge (to write a song in a specific style or with a specific theme/subject matter) and then have to write and produce it in a week. Also the other purpose was to fulfill the intention of that site, to share with people things I was geeking over.
Now it is the final round and there is something at stake. People say the votes don’t count. And really they do and they don’t. They matter in so far as it is nice to get a pat on the back for the work you’ve done and some type of recognition. And they don’t matter as (and this is after spending many hours talking with the awesome Fu participates about this on Too Much Awesome) they do it because they love it. It is a wonderful way to force creativity with real goals and deadlines. Because when all is said and done, all you get in the end if a sense of self-satisfaction and if you happen to win, questionable bragging rights, a trophy you cannot show anyone and the title of Master of Song Fu. But I personally feel there is much more on the line in this final round. I am not going to go into it as it matters but it doesn’t.
Actually, fuck that! I am going to get into it. And I hope those involved understand my point of view, especially since I respect all parties involved. Some I even have the awesome honour of calling my friends. Which makes this even more difficult. In the final we have an up and coming musician, Mike Lombardo and we have the songwriting teams of Dave Leigh and William Hoover. Both have very different styles. Both work hard at their craft. But I honestly think one deserves to win it and one doesn’t. Considering I’ve had Mike on my show, it is hard for me to say this, because I don’t want feelings hurt. I’ve told Mike time and time again that I find it incredible how much he has accomplished at his age. But when all is said and done, when the songs are finished and turned in, Leigh and Hoover have a far superior product. That is the bottom line.
But I have a fear. I have a fear because in some ways Song Fu boils down to a popularity contest and not about the songs put forth. In some ways, it is very American Idol-ish and this bothers me. Because Mike has a following that the other two do not (not to mention every one else who participated. There was a definite handicap as far as votes and popularity). Now to be fair to Mike, this is not his fault at all. It is the nature of the beast. He even tweeted yesterday after the listening party was over “Please note: Don’t just vote. Listen to both songs and pick your favorite. K? K. http://bit.ly/9pQPzD“. But here in lies the problem, people did not listen to the songs and then picked their favourite. Maybe some did, but a good majority (I am willing to go all-in on this) voted for Mike because they are a fan. And for those few who did listen to both, I want to believe that some did think Mike’s song superior. Just because I do not think it is, doesn’t mean everyone is going to be of the same opinion. Everyone has different tastes. But I’ve been in this business long enough to know that not all votes were cast after people listened. I’ve also been in this business long enough to know, that regardless of genre preference, people would recognize Leigh and Hoover’s song is better.
And Mike’s song isn’t bad. My number 1 criticism of Mike during this incarnation of Fu is all of his songs were about the same thing: a song about a song he had to write for Song Fu. Sure the music may have been a little bit different each round, however regardless of the topic given for each round, they all ended up being about the same thing if you boil it down. I do not know if it is because he has some huge pieces of awesome going on in his life right now that have him not fully in the game, but bottom line is I do not feel he put his best effort into it. Well maybe he put the best effort into considering his circumstances and he needed to prioritize. But that being said, other people who participated have other lives as well and they put in a far greater effort. Circular thinking Jules is thinking circular again.
Leigh and Hoover on the hand set clear challenges for themselves. And it showed in each round. They went into Fu with a purpose and they met their goals. Their songs were unique and not about a gimmick. And it is not that I am against gimmicks, especially when you consider that a good majority of the songs that got my vote were because they were of a geek nature and because of this, pleased me. Leigh and Hoover pushed their boundaries. And their final song really illustrates this. They did not really on any tricks. They did not really on any pre-existing fan base. They did not really on anything beyond their ability to fulfill a personal goal. Doing so, they consistently spit out some amazing songs. And this paid off by landing them in the final round. They are what Song Fu is about. Well one of the many things that Song Fu is about. In the end though, regardless of how someone tackles it, I think all of the contributors do it to achieve a personal goal. I know that quite a few of them, the goal is to spit something out in a week within a specific framework that they do not get to lay out. It challenges them creatively. I wish more people were aware of Song Fu because it really is quite amazing.
Where on earth was I going with all this? BLARGH! What do I do?!? Do I present the songs and not say a thing or do I say who I’ve voted for? I don’t want to sway votes because it isn’t about what I like and that is fair. But I do want to sway the votes because there is, in my mind, a duo that deserve it more. A duo who do not have a pre-existing fan base and deserve all the attention they can get and this is fair too. If Mike can use his fan base for votes (whether intentionally or not, that is the final result) then why can’t the people who believe Hoover and Leigh should win this, speak up as well? People rally for what they believe in yes? But is that being fair and unbiased? I have reached my decision in an unbiased fashion. I looked at the submissions from both parties and weighed them. I know all the parties involved. I talk with them or interact with them somehow on a daily basis. I did not reach my decision lightly in the least. I know I am unbiased in reaching my decision. But will others see this? Will others understand this is not a news event where you just spit out facts and let people decide but it is entertainment and people give opinions on it. And my opinions are based on weighed evidence (as much as you can weigh a subjective art form) not because I like or dislike someone or something.
And yes I know what others think really doesn’t matter. I have to live with my own decisions and screw what others think. But this becomes more difficult when I am told people respect my judgment and my opinions. And even if it is just one person who looks towards me for any type of guidance, that matters. There is a certain obligation that goes with that. To quote Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility.” When you have an audience that listens to what you have to say, regardless of size, there is power in that. And even in the smallest magnitude, that power is great. And thus comes the responsibility, as trite as that may sound. But it is simply the truth of the situation.
BLARGHITY BLARGH BLARGH BLARGH!! I really am not liking this. And some may think I am being tarded over this. Who cares, right? It is just a silly little song writing competition, right? Well it isn’t silly and I care and that matters even if it doesn’t matter to you.
It is over an hour later and maybe I am closer to reaching a decision. Some may say I’ve already made it by typing this all out on my personal blog. But I haven’t. Strangely, or not, only a handful of people ever read this side of my blog. And due to the hour of the day, I am thinking it will mostly go unnoticed. If I am wrong (which is possible) hopefully regardless of how I approach the final post on this tomorrow, everyone involved understands. I hope everyone understands that I want this to be fair. Part of this being fair has to do with merit. Part of this being fair is I’ve never suppressed my opinions on such things before, so why should I know? I’ve set certain standards and I’d be failing both my readers and myself if I did not live up to them.
I just want to be fair.