A Modest Proposal

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Rayge
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A Modest Proposal

Postby Rayge » 03 Mar 2014, 12:34

My first BCB cup – and the extraordinary levels of whingeing and dissatisfaction about the format, factionalism in the voting, genre hostility, the difficulty of giving every list the time it deserves, especially in round one, the fact that the competition is anout pleasing a varied crowd, rather than picking a list to flow / tell a story / decorate a theme and so on – combined with a long nerdy history of creating games, puzzles and quizzes, leads me to make a few suggestions.
1) fewer songs in each list, I'm thinking about six.
2) every song to be changed every round, and none coming back at any point
3) formal limitations on content: say, at least five decades to be represented (in six songs); at least one UK, one US, one any other country: at least one blues, jazz or other roots; at least one prog/post-rock/modern classical; at least one beat/rock/metal; at least one instrumental; and so on. Otherwise, song titles to include a particular word, lyrics based around a theme (death, break-up, celebration, travel, etc.), female voices only, etc


While this may not suit the Cup diehards, some or all of these suggestions might make possible more restricted competitions within genres or time frames.

Any thoughts?
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Minnie Cheddars » 03 Mar 2014, 14:31

It's not very modest. It's asking for a lot. How can you have a list you love that asks for instrumentals or a song from every decade? What if you don't like any instrumentals or songs from every decade?
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Samoan » 03 Mar 2014, 14:44

Rayge wrote:Any thoughts?

This'll never make 80 pages...... :?
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby The Modernist » 03 Mar 2014, 14:44

The factionalism, the arguing and so on have always been part of it and always will be, the best response to it is to join in and not take it too seriously.

I'm up for making changes and adapting things to keep it fresh. However your last point is way too didactic, it amounts to telling people what their list should contain -which for me defeats the purpose of the competition.

I thought MM's changes worked quite well and kept things interesting. However I would suggest one change for next year and that's a stipulation that people should change at least five tracks from round to round. Too often this year it felt we were voting on pretty much the same list from round to round and that made it rather monotonous

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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby GoogaMooga » 03 Mar 2014, 14:47

I wouldn't know what to submit as "prog/post-rock/modern classical". In fact, other than a greater timespan, stipulating genres is not a good idea IMO.
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby der nister » 03 Mar 2014, 16:01

I like all three of Rayge's suggestions
with the third one being thrown in randomly
to make long contests interesting
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby echolalia » 03 Mar 2014, 16:20

Rayge wrote:3) formal limitations on content: say, at least five decades to be represented (in six songs); at least one UK, one US, one any other country: at least one blues, jazz or other roots; at least one prog/post-rock/modern classical; at least one beat/rock/metal; at least one instrumental; and so on. Otherwise, song titles to include a particular word, lyrics based around a theme (death, break-up, celebration, travel, etc.), female voices only, etc

It would be impossible to make the stipulations on musical genre work. There would be disagreements as to whether a particular track is or isn't jazz, and so on. And heated arguments and mud-slinging and flouncing. Like a cup-within-a-cup, in fact.

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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Rayge » 03 Mar 2014, 18:10

echolalia wrote:It would be impossible to make the stipulations on musical genre work. There would be disagreements as to whether a particular track is or isn't jazz, and so on. And heated arguments and mud-slinging and flouncing. Like a cup-within-a-cup, in fact.


I thought that was what everybody liked. :)
And if people flouted the rules, then you could vote them down.

As it is, people are trying to please various factions in their choice of tracks. Formalizing this sort of thing frees people up.
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Rayge » 03 Mar 2014, 18:14

Minnie the Minx wrote:It's not very modest. It's asking for a lot.

It's my manner that's modest, Min :)


Minnie the Minx wrote:How can you have a list you love that asks for instrumentals or a song from every decade? What if you don't like any instrumentals or songs from every decade?


First of all, they were only suggestions as to possible limits. Without limits, everyone who takes it seriously as a competition tends to flounder about trying to please everyone.
And I wasn't asking for a song from every decade, just from five different ones. And I can't imagine anyone on a music website not liking any sort of instrumental track ever. And what's wrong with stretching people out of their comfort zone anyway?
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Rayge » 03 Mar 2014, 18:18

The Modernist wrote:I thought MM's changes worked quite well and kept things interesting. However I would suggest one change for next year and that's a stipulation that people should change at least five tracks from round to round. Too often this year it felt we were voting on pretty much the same list from round to round and that made it rather monotonous


In my case, and reading between the lines, that of other posters, in subsequent rounds I just listened to the new stuff, so didn't judge the list on the basis of flow and connectivity, just on favourite tracks. Changing at least five tracks out of ten isn't much different from having six tracks and changing them all, is it – except that it's easier to listen to and judge a short list – well, 127 short lists over the course of a cup; that's 30 hours listening at least.
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Samoan » 03 Mar 2014, 18:41

As the Cup is still running and the Final approaches, perhaps it's a little premature to kick off a thread discussing major changes ?

Personally, I feel it's rather disrespectful to A, tmm, who has taken on the onerous task of organising and running the competition for yet another year on the run.
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Loki » 03 Mar 2014, 18:45

Rayge wrote:3) formal limitations on content

Any thoughts?

Go back to Russia!



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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Rayge » 03 Mar 2014, 18:52

Samoan wrote:As the Cup is still running and the Final approaches, perhaps it's a little premature to kick off a thread discussing major changes?


Well, I don't think so; anyway, it's not just about The Cup, just general thoughts about a different kind of trophy that might suit people who have been bitching before and during the current one


Samoan wrote:Personally, I feel it's rather disrespectful to A, tmm, who has taken on the onerous task of organising and running the competition for yet another year on the run.


Well, obviously I don't think it's disrespectful, or I wouldn't have made the post :) . I know you think I'm a bit of a hooligan, Samoan, but I'm not really. Andrew took on a big task, and, like everyone else, I thank him for it.

And while I would never presume to do so with this time-honoured trophy, I would certainly be up for organizing something else – I've probably got more free time than anyone else on the board, after all.
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Samoan » 03 Mar 2014, 18:57

Rayge wrote:
Samoan wrote:As the Cup is still running and the Final approaches, perhaps it's a little premature to kick off a thread discussing major changes?


Well, I don't think so; anyway, it's not just about The Cup, just general thoughts about a different kind of trophy that might suit people who have been bitching before and during the current one


Samoan wrote:Personally, I feel it's rather disrespectful to A, tmm, who has taken on the onerous task of organising and running the competition for yet another year on the run.


Well, obviously I don't think it's disrespectful, or I wouldn't have made the post :) . I know you think I'm a bit of a hooligan, Samoan, but I'm not really. Andrew took on a big task, and, like everyone else, I thank him for it.

And while I would never presume to do so with this time-honoured trophy, I would certainly be up for organizing something else – I've probably got more free time than anyone else on the board, after all.

I don't think you're a bit of a hooligan. You don't know what I think or don't think about you. :)
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Rayge » 03 Mar 2014, 19:07

Samoan wrote:
Rayge wrote:
Samoan wrote:As the Cup is still running and the Final approaches, perhaps it's a little premature to kick off a thread discussing major changes?


Well, I don't think so; anyway, it's not just about The Cup, just general thoughts about a different kind of trophy that might suit people who have been bitching before and during the current one


Samoan wrote:Personally, I feel it's rather disrespectful to A, tmm, who has taken on the onerous task of organising and running the competition for yet another year on the run.


Well, obviously I don't think it's disrespectful, or I wouldn't have made the post :) . I know you think I'm a bit of a hooligan, Samoan, but I'm not really. Andrew took on a big task, and, like everyone else, I thank him for it.

And while I would never presume to do so with this time-honoured trophy, I would certainly be up for organizing something else – I've probably got more free time than anyone else on the board, after all.

I don't think you're a bit of a hooligan. You don't know what I think or don't think about you .


I apologize for my light-hearted remark. Of course I don't know what you think, only what you write in your posts, and I was referring to the fact that you have chosen to (or happened to, if you prefer) upbraid me on our occasional meetings on these boards, usually for being presumptuous, disrespectful, or whatever, ever since you apparently objected to my posts in the Druggy fools thread. No one else has done this, even though many have disagreed with my opinions and conclusions. I don't like to offend people, and never set out to do so. I certainly don't deliberately disrespect people (unless of course we have a prior established 'banter' type arrangement of course), and if Andrew feels disrespected I am truly sorry.
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Loki » 03 Mar 2014, 19:12

The Modernist wrote:I would suggest one change for next year and that's a stipulation that people should change at least five tracks from round to round.

I meant to mention on the thread where I posted my lists that I changed 5 songs in every round. In my last round, I really wanted to change more than 5, and laboured over that....in the end I think I made the wrong changes (and of course, dubious substitutions). But as I've said a few times, I really enjoyed that challenge.
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby the masked man » 03 Mar 2014, 19:17

Don't worry, I don't feel disrespected. I'm happy to listen to any positive suggestions, even if I don't particularly agree with the idea of genre limitations. However, I would echo Moddie's earlier comments that the back-biting and general moaning is all part of the fun. The time-honoured Bitter Recriminations thread even encourages this. Basically, you need to be comfortable with the idea that your list might get robust criticism; I chose Opeth this year knowing that my taste in Scandinavian prog-metal would rub some people up the wrong way, after all!

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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby Samoan » 03 Mar 2014, 19:20

the masked man wrote:Don't worry, I don't feel disrespected. I'm happy to listen to any positive suggestions, even if I don't particularly agree with the idea of genre limitations. However, I would echo Moddie's earlier comments that the back-biting and general moaning is all part of the fun. The time-honoured Bitter Recriminations thread even encourages this. Basically, you need to be comfortable with the idea that your list might get robust criticism; I chose Opeth this year knowing that my taste in Scandinavian prog-metal would rub some people up the wrong way, after all!

I'm glad about that.
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby never/ever » 03 Mar 2014, 19:40

The biggest problem I have is that all lists, outwardly, would look the same. My preference in voting is always for the lists that buck the trends a bit. I enjoyed the heck out of Nick's list this year because it made monkeys out the standard entries this year. It may never win but more lists like that and we finally see a breakthrough in the same-old same-old mouldy foundation of the 'tasteful lists'.
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Re: A Modest Proposal

Postby the masked man » 03 Mar 2014, 20:03

never/ever wrote:The biggest problem I have is that all lists, outwardly, would look the same. My preference in voting is always for the lists that buck the trends a bit. I enjoyed the heck out of Nick's list this year because it made monkeys out the standard entries this year. It may never win but more lists like that and we finally see a breakthrough in the same-old same-old mouldy foundation of the 'tasteful lists'.
Go the iconoclasts of BCB!


I hear you. The problem is that these lists tend to get as far as Round Three before suffering a loss to a standard list of BCB-approved 60s/70s songs. The best cup I've curated was when the final ended up with Moddie and Bleep faced each other with highly idiosyncratic lists, but that was a real exception.