The Spartones CD

Discuss our reviews or just talk about any old album.

subject at hand

Postby that guy » Mon Sep 20, 2004 8:37 pm

This will be my final post on this forsaken forum because it seems that I've hit a soft spot among some people, lately (fancy that). I do what I do for a reason, and not otherwise. Nothing can change what I've done, and no one person can stand in my way. I don't do it purposely to piss people off, or to break the bonds of once found friendships, but I only speak how I feel, and thats how I feel. There's always going to be someone that disagrees with something that I do or say, but I can't make everyone happy. I've learned that these days. With that aside, one reason why I leave this forum is because its best to leave all of this emotion aside. One thing you get with every good a capella group is always drama, and that I just don't have time for in my daily life. Nonetheless, it doesnt matter what I think....I cant change anything. People are going to continue to be the way they are, and Im just one person. Only I can be happy with myself, and I am. I've said what I wanted to say about the cd and how I'm unhappy with it. Those who are unhappy about it, just cry me a river, and have a nice life.
that guy
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:01 pm

Postby that guy » Mon Sep 20, 2004 8:40 pm

p.s.-that guy......otherwise known as John Davis
that guy
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:01 pm

Re: subject at hand

Postby carlyonders » Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:57 am

that guy wrote:<snip>

Hey ClicheMaN (tm),

Thanks for your wonderful words of wistful wisdom. Now if you'd be so kind, there's a cakehole that needs cauterization - the breeze is getting murderous.

Theeeeerrrrrrre we go. Thanks!

PS - Ribbed, for your pleasure
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:45 pm


Postby jonathansears » Tue Sep 21, 2004 6:33 am

WareHauser wrote:I will say that I'm glad they didn't comment on the album art!!!! Hahaha.

LOL -- I hope I'm not the only one who loves cross-thread humor. :)

Anyway .. I do have one comment to address the perception that small (or unknown) groups can't compete on the same scale with the more established recording groups.

In a few simple words: If you believe you can do it, you can. All it takes is one or two dedicated people who live and breathe a cappella. One or two leaders who can inspire others to buy into the idea, motivate them to work hard, and prepare them for the new level of a cappella that they must reach to accomplish their goals. It takes time, and it often requires failure (trial and error) ... but you CAN get there.

I know that sounds cliche, but I'm living proof of that belief. If I may, a short story ...

When I started singing with the Elizabethtown Phalanx in 1996, we were a young group with no direction and worse-than-crappy recordings. They elected me director my sophomore year and I spent the whole summer before that year listening to every BOCA or collegiate album that I could get my hands on. Over the next three years: my GPA fell, my arrangements improved, and Phalanx started to believe.

I got EXTREMELY lucky when John Bilich came to Elizabethtown and began to carry the torch with me in 1998. He understood, and most importantly ... he believed. We recorded an album called "Goodphellas" in 2000 and were particularly impacted by Geraldine Chung's RARB Review which stated:

"Bravo to Phalanx for pushing themselves to excel; now there's proof that where there's a will, there's a way. If only other college a cappella groups believed in themselves the way that Phalanx did while making this album."

We still hadn't achieved what we had set out for (BOCA and CARA nominations), but we were getting closer.

I graduated in 2000 (okay, okay .. January 2001) and John Bilich kept the dream alive by pushing even harder. Finally, in 2002, after six years ... everyone believed and Phalanx found a way to accomplish their goals. With the 2003 release of "Home-Grown", Phalanx finally made BOCA and not only got three CARA nominations, but actually WON an award!

(segue to college a cappella fan opening BOCA 2004 for the first time ...)
"Where the HELL is Elizabethtown!?!"

It's in Pennsylvania, and we're glad you asked. :)

The point to this story is that it CAN happen. Even at a school like Elizabethtown with only 500 men (1500 women .. woo hoo!) where you get 10 guys PER YEAR to audition. It CAN happen. Maybe not during your four years, but if you lay the right ground work and get people to believe ... who knows? The possibilities are endless ...

Best of luck to the Spartones! Don't stop believin' .... (damn you Steve Perry)
Jonathan Sears
RARB Reviewer (2000-2004)
Certified ICCA Adjudicator
NCHSA Adjudicator
Lunatic Groove (2002 - 2005)
Elizabethtown Phalanx (1996-2000)
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: ...

Postby jonathansears » Tue Sep 21, 2004 7:38 am

rico wrote:...why did I just read that?

Well, Josh -- for two main reasons.

1.) With comments like these:
ricohitman wrote:I imagine that most groups spend a lot more time in the studio recording. We only had enough money for a little time.

ricohitman wrote:When I look at the recent acapella CD world I notice that every damn CD has overproduced hip hop songs where I can't even tell what are voices because there is so much fakeness.

ricohitman wrote:To address variety on a CD: a lot of acapella groups out there nowadays sing to the masses, i.e. the hip hop genre.

I think the Spartones could learn a lot from the Phalanx model. As I read your thread, that was me six years ago ... saying the same thing after what I believe at the time was a poor RARB review.

2.) You're a gentleman that allowed me to waste 30 mins of my time (1.5 mins of yours) telling a story that invoked good memories and proud moments for me. So thank you for reading :)

Professional a cappella is great, but it never gets old to relive your college aca-days.
Jonathan Sears
RARB Reviewer (2000-2004)
Certified ICCA Adjudicator
NCHSA Adjudicator
Lunatic Groove (2002 - 2005)
Elizabethtown Phalanx (1996-2000)
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: ...

Postby singyourheart » Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:04 am

rico wrote:I'm not in the spartones anymore. And I don't give a crap about the review anymore. It's all in one sentence, Eric's last one. Tell me why that sentence has to be in a review and I will give you props.

Again....wasted my time.

damn are terrifically rude and obtuse. JSears takes the time and thought to say some really encouraging and helpful things to you (or your old group, as it were), after you've already proven to be the aforementioned rude and obtuse person I referenced above...doesn't do or say anything else to provoke you further, and you basically crap on him. if this is wasting so much of your precious time, then for the benefit of the reputation of the current Spartones, by all means get back to "not caring" and go away.
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 10:03 am

Postby sparkleytone » Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:22 am

I'll let the RARB'ers in on a little secret. If you don't like banging your head against a wall, just ignore him. As soon as you think you are doing something good, you'll be insulted. If you insult back...well...whats the point in that? Just please...please remember...he speaks only for himself.
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 12:41 pm
Location: Funkytown

Postby brianhaverkate » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:14 pm

Wow-- this was extremely spirited. It's nice to see we can all get along. :)

I read the last line of Eric's review and don't have a problem with it. I've seen much worse in previous reviews, so this is actually being relatively nice. Does it make it right? *shrugs* It's a line that could easily be inserted into a Rolling Stone magazine review, so that is why I don't have a problem with it.

I was part of a group that got a very average and honest review of our album. Yes, it's deflating but surely there are valid points in the review....somewhere, right? Some reviews are very hard to find those valid points.

I guess if you want a glowing review from RARB it comes down to the following questions you need to ask yourself:

1. Do you use autotune?
2. Do you use studio effects to your advantage?
3. Do you have kick-ass soloists
4. Do your arrangements sound like they're plucked from BOCA?
5. Do you utilize the "record the 4 measures that repeats a lot and then cut and paste ad nasuem"?
6. Is everyone on a solo mic so you can fade out voices when they sing wrong notes/rhythms?
7. Do you have enough money to be in the studio long enough to make it sound perfect?

If not........DON'T SUBMIT TO RARB!!! Collegiate groups are becoming more and more professionally-oriented and less about hanging out with a beer and singing together. Don't expect to hang with the big dawgs if you just want to ring a few chords, create some laughs, feel good about yourself, and down a few beers. Do you suck if you don't have muchO $$$$ and a dedication to perfection? Nope. But RARB might tell you that if you submit your amature album. Take it to someone you know and respect for quality, honest feedback that won't be publicly posted. RARB has shown time and again that it is NOT for amatures who want a good quote to throw on the website.

I'm really sad about it, but it is what it is. Start a new forum that bashes perfect, effect-laden recordings. To each his own! Everyone should be entitled to their opinion....just don't expect RARB to agree with you. They have their own opinions.
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Location: Detroit, Michigan

Postby jsdiamant » Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:25 pm

now wait a minute. it is absolutely false that you need autotune, effects, individual micing, or tons of money to release a high-quality album. IF ... you're incredibly well rehearsed. most groups aren't, and if you're not quite seamless, technology can certainly help you cheat a little bit. which I don't see as a bad thing at all. recording is a fundamentally different process from performance.

that said, I also disagree that you shouldn't submit to RARB if your album isn't brilliant. for example, if you don't have BOCA-caliber arrangements, often RARB can help you arrange better. whenever I can, I like to give specific critiques like "you might want to try voicing this chord like this instead." so do all the reviewers. and almost all albums have good points and bad points, so if you're looking for a quote to put on your website, unless your album is hopelessly awful, you can usually find one or two.

and no, it isn't necessary to be professionally oriented as opposed to just wanting to share a few beers and ring a few chords. there have been many "yearbook albums" that I've enjoyed greatly despite their imperfections and given generally favorable reviews. they won't get the top scores, but if the album won me over, I'll always say so.

Joshua S. Diamant RARB '02-'05

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