FROM THE RR CONFESSIONAL
Everyone has their own way of looking for inspiration for songs to nominate for
a topic and moments of doubt about whether to post a song. From the mighty
Feeding Frenzy at the start of each new topic, to the crafting of a brilliant
justification or elegant essay (or not), from the frustrated rant, to the
good-natured chaffing by our (self-appointed) rubric enforcement officer, RRers
cough up the secrets of their success.
- “At the heart of the RR game are Four Noble Truths:
All participation is suffering;
Desire for success is suffering;
Nirvana is attained through the extinction of hope;
Following the Eightfold Path will extinguish
suffering. Unfortunately, no-one remembers what the
Eightfold Path is or what songs they recorded
-(With apologies to the Buddha.)”
- “Whatever shows up in my head. If it's a fertile topic, my head is flooded well
into Friday morning from Thursday night. If I'm having a more difficult time,
I'll start to mentally or go through songs / albums by my favourite artists. If
it gets even more difficult, I'll look at online discographies to jog my memory.
I do use Google to check (and paste) my lyrics, sometimes a song isn't about
what I think it is. Or if I have a line in my head but can't remember the song
or who the artist is.” “Another nomming technique for ultra-tight topics is to
abstain! I had to abstain for the most part on bicycles, Wales (except for
classical singers), and b-sides, to name just a few.”
- “I am too consumed by
I'm afraid I have been
guilty in the past (less
so now I'm less obsessed
with the game, but it
still happens) of
searching my iTunes for
relevant words. That
said, the listings I've
got have always been
more satisfying when
they've come a bit more
“I think searching your
own iTunes is fine,
because presumably it'll
bring up songs that you
like (since you already
- “I have a visceral
loathing of the whole
Midnight Feeding Frenzy
[now 10pm Feeding
Frenzy], dumping of long
titles thing; if a
consist of a 2,500-word
Nietzsche and Bourdieu
then I'm not interested,
even if it means that I
miss out on A-listers
because someone else has
nominated the song while
I'm still writing said
essay. Equally, I hate
themes where it's
possible simply to
search for key terms in
the title; I'd much
rather rely on random
inspiration, when a song
or a lyric suddenly pops
into my head, even if
it's after the
The patented Ubu nominating technique is as
Suggest anything I feel like suggesting.
Occasionally these have something vaguely to do with the topic. Mostly they
don't but are "good" tracks.
Sometimes I make things up, I'm terrible like that.
Songs concerning toilets WILL be nominated.
Songs with ludicrous titles/subject matter/words etc. will be nominated. The
Guardian is sour faced enough as it is, a little technicolour weirdness ( or
chocolate rainbow unicorn bunnies) is necessary to leaven the tide of grey
Take nothing seriously but try not to upset too many people each week.
Ignore the "list". They have been terrible of late, more suited to a 50th
anniversary wedding party or gathering of depressives ( is there a
collective term? A Misanthrope?).
Accept that the rest of the world is wrong. I find that helps.
Pretend to like Yui to keep in Sakura's good books ( only kidding....or am I
Don't use spell check.
Change group names or song names in "humorous" fashion.
Above all, have fun (by my standards which , I must admit, are set pretty
- "I'm searching iTunes straight off. I have lapses, but I try to manage the
number of songs I nom. I am a wanton shoehorner. I've been jailed, and twice
more threatened with the slammer for crimes against the rubric (HA!). I still
dond too much, but I'm in recovery. I do try to check shane and shoey's play
lists on The 'Spill.
- “Don’t worry too much about whether a song is 100% genuinely “about” something,
or if it only “mentions” it. You’ll only get cross when someone else nominates
it. If in doubt, nominate ! “
The saneshane method
Wait up until the new theme is released.
Nominate a couple you’d be really pissed if someone else got first.
Have a competition with shoey about the best Mountain Goats or the Wolfgang
Press tracks for this week.
Open iTunes folder RR 2012. create sub folder (insert new theme name)
Put as many tunes you can think of in said folder.
Songs you only have on record – download from e-music or other method.
Cut down folder to about 100 – expelling zedded songs – songs you no longer
like – too obvious songs – etc. etc. etc.
Put selection on iPod – place on car stereo for when out and about.
Listen carefully or haphazardly to each track while working or driving.
Killer tracks go to the head of the folder – delete shit.
Tracks that are brilliant but not quite on topic get moved up to second
section for in-depth listening and topic twisting purposes (use song
meanings to see if lyrics can really be fitted in)
Try and cut down to 13 tracks… (or boost up to 13 if topic is house numbers)
do some artwork to illustrate the topic.
Make a ‘spill post to share those tracks with 4 other people.
Write a few words with the least amount of spelling mistakes.
Post list to RR – lists are frowned about on RR – I don’t like rules so I
WILL post a list.
Wait for two people to like one song after all that effort –
Remember it’s not a popularity contest –
Thank the god of orange monsters for the ability to be unique.
Cry in your beer when the results are posted and (insert pet bands) perfect
track is once again overlooked for a goose shagging hippie from 1967 – 71.
Remember you have a great life and really like compiling mix-tapes –
Open another beer in celebration (then try not to accidentally wind someone
up on the blog when drunk).
- “The only personal guideline I go by is, I try to explain why I like the song.
The first RR comment I posted was back in December 2006 (old profile on
University email address). Really, in six years, I don’t think there is any
other approach I would take. Lists are dull for other people to read – but not
everybody is articulate, or able to explain why they like songs; and not
everyone does have an encyclopedic knowledge of bands. I don’t think it’s fair
to push people for explanations. “
The shoegazer method
Start vomiting suggestions & compose accompanying thought fart, or perhaps a
few supporting line of lyrics – the artist’s own words are often the best
Drink more beer
Read brief (optional)
Formatting? Linking? HAHAHAHA
Go to sleep
Read through the thread & listen to any intriguing suggestions (as time
Go to the tune vaults & trawl for any hidden gems that may fit & perhaps nom
a few more.
Put a ‘Spill play list together for 3 people to listen to.
Mixed feelings on donds, which I won’t go into here. The “thank you for my
donds” posts really get on my tits more than they should.
What you get out of RR is likely to be in proportion to the amount of
listening you are able to do
Erm …that’s it.
- “Ooh. How do I approach RR? It varies. I can’t RR at work any more (that was how
I started, waaaay back in 2005 or so, purely with the
songs-that-popped-into-my-head). Of course, for a rather long while, I couldn’t
RR at work because I had no job. Now I have a different job, but Internet access
is restricted there. So Sheddi and I just stay up later than we should do on
Thursday evenings. Yeah, we sometimes do keyword searches on our collective
mp3s, but let’s face it – the most satisfying noms (zedded or otherwise) are the
ones you think of before you resort to the searching… I usually leave any Iron
Maiden / Weird Al search hits for Sheddi to nominate (or I’ll nominate on his
behalf). They’re his. ‘Cos he bought the CDs and ‘cos I don’t really get either
- I like to justify, but there’s not much time between topic announcement and
bedtime on a Thursday, so I sometimes just knock ‘em out and come back
(hopefully) to the ones I believe in later. But, some weekends, we’re just too
busy. And others… well, sometimes I run out of inspiration. But it’s nice to
have a topic pootling along in the background, just in case inspiration or
This is how I nominate . . .
- Of course, I only nominate Japanese and Asian music and I try to nominate Asian
women if I can, because I want to show that Asian women are not stereotype
submissive that often people in the west think they are, but are really creative
and active making their own music. So I think of a song that fits the task for
the week. I try and find a video for every song as most people will not know them.
- Then I write a little about the artist as most people will not know much about
them. Then I write a little about why it fits.
- Then I translate the words first to Japanese romanji (Japanese written with
western letters) so people can recognise the words if they read them.
- Then I translate the words to English which can be difficult because to make it
sound good but still be true to the meaning. Sometimes there are translations on
fan sites which I use but I always check to make sure they are correct (but if I
can find a translation on a fan site it saves me a lot of time even if it is not
so good and I need to correct it)
- And then I hope people will like it ! ! ! Each post is maybe 30 – 45 minutes to make but I really have a lot of fun doing
it ! ! !
- For donds I try to make a list on Sunday evening if I have time. I listen to as
many of the songs I do not know as I can and some of the ones I know and love.
Then I try to make a list of ten tracks and write a few words about why I liked
it. I make the ten tracks because with the words is usually just below the limit
of characters in the box for posting.
- Then I try not to sulk when I read the list on Thursday ! ! !
Special Wyngate rules for nominating
- 1. Hover at 10pm, speed read rubric, hurriedly try and get in first with an
obvious favourite that someone else is also likely to get – beating Shoey to
early Killing Joke classics is always at the back of my mind. Not that it’s a
competition of course…
- 2. Re-read the rubric , note that JD is looking for street names AND house
numbers and calm down a bit. Chuck in a few that spring to mind that are big
favourites or happen to fit the topic exactly.
- 3. Get the grey matter in motion on one of the key tasks – nominating a Test
Tube Babies track. If it takes a huge shoehorn so be it, RR regulars now expect
me to do this.
- 4. Use my most powerful secret weapon in RR, the internal i-tunes that I have
located in my subconscious. This will already be sending nagging feelings to my
conscious mind that somewhere in my rarely listened to collection of Apostles
albums is a song that has a specific address in it’s title. My subconscious
iTunes selector will usually continue to bombard my conscious mind with
suggestions throughout the weekend, unless like this weekend it’s all gone very
quiet in which case it probably means there really are no more songs on the
- 5. In which case I either a) take it easy, after all it’s not like I haven’t got
other stuff to be doing b) get out the shoehorn, start twisting the topic, have
fun baiting the local law enforcement officer. Unless the rubric proves so rigid
as to be untwistable (specific addresses for example).
- [Donding] For me it's a scatter gun thing depending on
how much time I have - I like weeks where I'm engaged in
a tedious manual task like painting as I can just work
through the Spotify List or Dropbox and just run through
tons of often great stuff - I like that as I've not got
any preconceptions of what is coming up. Some weeks I'll
just click around on things that catch my interest and
dond songs that I know I already love.
- Some weeks, like this week, it's
somewhere between the two...
- Could you include the Recommending option [for donding]. I used to keep a
running list, whittle it down after second listens, etc. and post my donds of
the week after the weekend. But it all got to be too pressurized, and weeks when
I didn't have time to listen to everything I felt guilty. So I switched to
clicking recommend, and then I don't have to risk hurting feelings explaining
that I liked a song but thought it was off topic or that I simply hadn't had a
chance to listen thoroughly and on and on. I think whatever works for a person
is THE right way to do it, and that should be stressed .. even if the right way
for someone is not to dond or recommend or to simply do it as the mood strikes
from one week to the next.