Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cream of the crap (about judging band contests)

Several times I've been invited to judge in band competitions.  Personally, and I must say that this is the least of the things I enjoy doing.

First off, who on earth could master the patience to spend time watching a pool of reckless unmindful bands?  I thought to myself ,"not me."  Second is that band competitions do not really validate how good the band is.  Because there are so many genres to consider.  And then there's the cranky sound system.  Not to mention members that keep on turning their backs from the audience.  You're not playing for yourselves, guys.

And if the judges don't like you or your music, no matter how technically good your band is, you lose.

Judging a band competition to me is like watching the cream of the crap.  But then again maybe I'm wrong.

Last Friday, I was again invited as one of the judges in Republika ng TM/Globe Astigfest's band competition.  There were 5 rock bands vying for the P50,000 grand prize.  Now that's a lot of money for a start up group.

I rated the first finalist, D.O.F. perfect for cohesiveness and timing.  But because they sound and look just like all other bands I've seen (wearing shirts like the stage is home), I have to drop them off from originality and band image.

Black Thumb, a female fronted "experimental" band got my two naturally-colored thumbs up.  I'm particular about packaging.  While their music is niche, their cohesiveness was good.  Presentation was good too.  If only the vocalist did something with her hair to catch everybody's fancy, I could've rated them more.  And oh (this goes to the band), please don't claim you're experimental... because every band is.

Green Berries, the third finalist was an all female rock group.  There's not many around here.  They're not cohesive at all.  They sound messy - either the speakers are uncooperative or they just didn't care.  No bass in the spectrum and the guitars don't blend.  But one very important thing I like about this group was their level of confidence in interacting with the audience.  They did this very well.  I had fun... GB made me laugh so I gave them a total score of 83% (I think).

The 4th band, M.R.P.D. had the right blend of confidence, timing, sonic chemistry, and stage presentation. I'm all for original songs.  Okay they're initially impressive in that respect.  But I've seen and heard this type of act before.  There are just too many of them.  So I dropped their originality off the scale.

And then there's Dance With Me Kris.  The 5th in the crop.

Dance With Me Kris
They're good.  No they're really good that it makes me wonder why they're still joining contests up to this time when they should be recording in the studio already.  So I wrote on my score sheet - "too good too join a band contest."  Of course, they bagged the prize.

I woke up the next day realizing that selecting the best from the cream of the crap saves me time in looking for for new bands in the net too.


PALOT said...

i hope these five bands have read this blog entry. ;)

onlyvic said...

i guess they just need the money that bad. =) but yeah, bands who are too good to join shouldnt be allowed to join especially if they already have much exposure before the said contest.

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