(A Random Post)

When I found out that the top ten winners of Mix’s Songwriting Contest aired last night, I knew I had to tune in. I was expecting budding young artists with twangy guitars and out of tune pianos singing into cheap handheld tape recorders in their parent’s garages, but instead all the winners sounded just like the professional studio-generated gunk that Mix, CHUM, CHFI and such are so fond of. I honestly think that the contest was judged not on how musical or creative or meaningful the song was, but rather how easily that song could be blend into their rotation without anybody noticing. But there were some good things… without further ado, here’s my brief synopsis of their top ten.

#10) “Dixie” – Tarey Stone: I thought this should’ve placed higher than the next three — although it was very repetitive (imagine playing 5432 repeatedly on the piano while the melody goes 5432) … it was kinda catchy.

#9,#8,#7) “Free” – Julie Kim; “I Can Fly” – Dee Brown; “Dream Sequence” – Dana Edmonds: If it weren’t for the commercial breaks in between, I would have thought these were all one song. There’s something about the themes of freedom/dreams/flight that makes me want to take a bird and step on it.

#6) “Sundown” – Kristine Martin: Most likely the best song on the countdown; she had a sort of Jewelesque voice and although it couldn’t have been that catchy since I can’t remember anything about it except that I liked it a lot, I’m pretty sure it was very good.

#5) “If I Was A Rich Man” – Rusty Sugar Bush: A great song about not needing love if you have money. The first guy on the countdown yet. Although the guy couldn’t really sing, he had heart.

#4) “The Universe Cries For You” – Cadence Grace: The first song on the countdown to have an acoustic guitar in it. Unfortunately, it was the worst song I have ever heard in my life… with lyrics along the lines of “Whenever you cry the universe cries for you; whenever you laugh the universe is better; whenever you smiles… ..” okay I can’t remember, but you get the picture.

#3) “Seven Deadly Sins” – Miranda Stone: This song sounded different from the rest finally, and I’m pretty sure it had meaningful lyrics … it was one of those nostalgia songs that make me feel like a little girl again. (And the minute of lyricless wailing at the end was NOT impressive. Maybe I don’t know what improvisation is supposed to sound like, but it’s not that of a dying whale.)

#2) “Radio On” – Wainright: This was cool because it faded in like a radio and had radio warp tuning stuff as fills between the sections. The “bridge” in fact was basically a guy dialing through different radio stations. I’m not sure if the incessant static throughout the song was intended or just my crappy radio though. This song (sadly) takes the cake as likely having the most insightful lyric of the whole night, with the thoughtful commentary: “You’ve got the radio on!”

#1) “Tennessee” – Alison Maclean: Gross. There’s nothing BAD about this song, except that its really … flat. A+ for sticking to the formula, I suppose.

So much for the budding young artists idea, by the way… many of those winners are already artists with independent CDs out there … the second place guy has been performing for 10 years. And what’s up with “Tennessee” … are there really no places in Canada worth singing about? Ah well. There’s always next year.

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Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.

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