We here at Quick Stop Entertainment are true lovers of music, in all its forms. We’re also quite keen on the spirit of competition, and of spurring creativity through said competition.
To that end, we’ve launched a brand new form of creative combat here at the Stop.
In this age of manufactured and painfully earnest talent contests, we’ve decided to instead shine a light on the quirky, quixotic underworld of musicians that don’t get nearly the attention they deserve.
Ah, but I did mention that there was a competition involved…
A few weeks back, we sent out the call for challengers. Hundreds of you heard the call and fought for a chance to be in the initial group. 20 were selected. Only 19 responded in time.
Like a songwriting version of Iron Chef, the challengers were presented with a very specific songwriting challenge. They were given one week to complete their songs - however they saw fit, within the parameters set forth below…
ROUND 1 CHALLENGE
You must do a song in the style of a classic television show. Not only that, but this song is the theme for a fictional television show about yourself (or your band). By “classic television show” theme song, we mean the type of themes found in shows from the 1960’s - 1980’s (ie Gilligan’s Island, Cheers, The Fall Guy, Diff’rent Strokes, Welcome Back Kotter, Greatest American Hero, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, The Facts Of Life, Green Acres, Gimme A Break, The Monkees, etc.). Your theme song must include both lyrics and music. It must run no shorter than 30 seconds, and no longer than one (1) minute.
When all was said and done, only 16 of the 19 Challengers were able to send in the songs in time. You voted HERE. The TOP 7 vote getters then moved on to Round 2. Here’s the challenge given to our 7 Semi-Finalists…
ROUND 2 CHALLENGE
Here’s where we step things up a notch. Your challenge is to write a song that utilizes a repeating syllable (ex: la, na, doo, etc.). The syllable must repeat at least 5 times in a row (ex: la la la la la). The resulting “repeated syllable” phrase can appear anywhere in your song, but must be repeated in full at least 3 times within the song. Also, this challenge includes a thematic element. Your song must feature a conflict between two (2) elements, provided below. You must choose one (1) element from COLUMN A and one (1) element from COLUMN B.
A Beach Towel
High School Physics
The Color Orange
A Toothpick Factory
Your Kindergarten Teacher (must be named)
Your song must be at least 1m45s in length. Finally, your song must be an ORIGINAL CREATION, both music and lyrics, and can not utilize or sample a preexisting work.
You also voted on the contributions of our three Masters, eliminating one. Two Masters remained, and they were presented a special challenge of their own. Their entries will also be voted on by you, the readers. The winner of the Masters Challenge will be the one who duels with the winning Challenger.
ROUND 2 MASTERS CHALLENGE
The following challenge applies to our Masters of Song Fu only. As Masters, it is expected that they have achieved a musical voice all their own - but does their mastery extend to assuming the voice of another artist? With that in mind, Each Master is tasked with writing a song in the style of their opponent. The Masters will be judged on how accurately they write a song in their opponent’s style without it becoming a simple parody. When listening to their entries, you must genuinely believe that they were written by the original Master. Got that? The Master’s songs must also be no shorter than 1m45s.
As we mentioned, the winner of the Round 2 Challenge will move on to a head-to-head battle with one of our Masters Of Song Fu, whose fate will also be determined by you.
But right now, let’s check out the Round 2 songs from each of our Masters and the 6 challengers that made the deadline. At the bottom of the page, you’ll then be able to place your votes, and decide who brings their Fu to the head-to-head battle…
MASTERS OF SONG FU
Jonathan Coulton on Jonathan Coulton: “In 2005 I left my day job writing software to pursue music full time. To keep myself busy I released a new song on this website every week for a year in a project called Thing a Week. A few of those songs became big internet hits (my folky cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”, a funny video called “Flickr”, a song called “Code Monkey”), and I am now fortunate enough to make my living as a musician.
I write about a lot of geeky stuff because I am a geek. Some of it’s funny, but a lot of it’s not so funny, and even more of it is somewhere in between. I’ve been compared to They Might Be Giants, Barenaked Ladies, Loudon Wainwright III, and other musicians you REALLY LOVE.
I give lots of music away because I believe it helps my cause, and I love it when people use my music to create other stuff - music videos, pictures, remixes, etc. At the moment I’m unsigned, and I’m proud to say I’ve created this whole thing mostly on my own (with plenty of help from an amazingly supportive bunch of fans). But it certainly is getting busy… I will probably sell out and go Hollywood any day now…”
Official Website: www.jonathancoulton.com
ROUND 2 SONG: “Big Dick Farts A Polka (in the style of Paul & Storm)”
ROUND 1 SONG: “Monkey Shines“
PAUL & STORM
Paul and Storm are a comedy music duo, and they have been performing as a duo since 2004. Before that, they were one half of a cappella band Da Vinci’s Notebook for about 12 years. A Paul and Storm show is part music concert and part standup/improv comedy–just enough of both to fit neatly in neither category. They like to engage the audience, and are known to award snack cakes and/or other prizes for good (and sometimes bad) behavior. Their show would be PERFECT as a cable special, and would make lots of money for whichever brave channel decides to air them first.
Official Website: www.paulandstorm.com
PAUL FRUMPTON EXPERIENCE FEATURING LARRY
Born in the fall of 2006 in the center of the two-man acoustic comedy rock scene, Columbus, Ohio, the self proclaimed Turner and Hooch of Rock and Roll, The Paul Frumpton Experience Featuring Larry - known more colloquially as Jeff Stormer and Jeremy Hoover - are best described as what happens when comedy, music, caffeine, and improv collide in a chocolaty, peanut buttery explosion of good times. Stormer and Hoover met as students of Ohio State University and have been performing for scraps of food and hobo nickels ever since. Jeremy and Jeff’s major influences include Bacon, Booster Gold & Blue Beetle’s irreverent banter, David Bowie’s crotch in Labyrinth, and a deep-seated love of go karts. Finally, we feel obliged to mention all the things that are off limits to the comedy duo… This list includes NOTHING.
Official Website: myspace.com/thepaulfrumtonexperiencefeaturinglarry
ROUND 2 SONG: “Dracula’s Beach Towel”
ROUND 1 SONG: “The Paul Frumpton Experience (Feat. Larry) Comedy Hour Spectacular“
Lex Friedman’s musical influences include artists like They Might Be Giants, Moxy Fruvous, “Weird Al” Yankovic, CAKE, Barenaked Ladies, Tom Lehrer, Ben Folds, and Michael Jackson. Lex has left a smattering of bizarre music videos on YouTube, which have been slowly overtaken by videos of his 18-month-old daughter Anya. He occasionally shares new songs on his blog. He currently appears both weekly and weakly as the host of the “Week in Douchebaggery” on Cracked.com. Lex, his aforementioned daughter Anya, his lovely wife Lauren, and his diabetic maltese Charlie all live together in New Jersey, and sincerely hope that you don’t hold that against them. He gives one of them two injections if insulin each day - guess which! Lex also wrote this sentence. To avoid appearing like a suck-up, Lex has neglected to mention other musical influences of his who may or may not be the Iron Chefs of this Song Fu competition. Let’s just say he happens to also love the musical stylings of a guy whose name rhymes with Shmonathan Shmoulton.
Official Website: www.thefriedmans.net/blog
My Fu is stronger than you! I am Coleman Bear Saunders, or Cloakie to most. At the age of 25 I work with music everyday at my studio that I recently built. I produce, engineer and compose various genres of music with ninja like precision. I have been picking away at the guitar since the age of 7 after watching my Dad play Johnny Cash tunes in the wrong key while singing the wrong lyrics, although I do the same thing because that’s the way I was learnt, ya hear me boy? I live in Kentucky and the music scene isn’t the greatest, so I turn to the internet to pipeline my Fu to the masses for free. I’m getting tired of music these days, I want some more songs about Dragons and fucking! Songs that take you on a journey and let you experience a different world, like movies do. My dream is to compose and score music for video games, TV, and my ultimate goal, the big screen. This is why the Song Fu competition was made for me. All the challenges that the competition presents to me will be similar to the expectations of future employers. Good luck to all, and may the best Fu win.
Official Website: myspace.com/colemansaunders
ELAINE CHAO FINNELL
Elaine Chao Finnell is a singer/songwriter from the San Francisco Bay Area. In her checkered musical past, she has been a choral singer, a pit musician, an a cappella vocalist, a vocal percussionist, a hip hop beatboxer, contemporary Christian worship musician, and a musical librettist. After leaving the a cappella world in 2001, Elaine shifted into the world of hip hop theater, touring with spoken word artist Aya de León, then going solo and performing in such venues as the Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco and at the Apollo Theater in New York City. She began writing music at the tender age of 17, co-authoring her first musical with Brian Allan Hobbs. Since then, she has written two full length musicals and two plays. She currently plays regularly at her church as a lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist. While not in her musical pursuits, Elaine can be found in a cubicle at a major software company, at home with her engineer husband and their network of Macs, or studying martial arts at a local university.
Official Website: www.gotspit.com
The Deal: After 20+ years making music as a hobby, I recently wrote and recorded a song for my daughter. I got a little taste of mild success (hey, my mom liked it). So now I’m taking my music out of the closet, dusting it off, and seeing how it does in the sunshine. Who knew there was so much work in just attempting to do music for a living. I feel like I am opening a Subway franchise (Only opening a Subway franchise seems more fulfilling in a creative way).
Official Website: jeffmacdougall.com
RUN AT THE DOG
Run At The Dog are high energy, rock/pop, category-sluts with multi-gendered vocals and intricate arrangements. They are like Abba meets Faith No More meets Mos Def meets the Mormon Tabernacle Choir meets Steely Dan. The songs of this Minneapolis 5-piece are always written right away, with no respect for the calculating mind. Audience members are unsure whether to dance, laugh, or panic.
Official Website: myspace.com/runatthedog
ROUND 2 VOTING
And now, it’s time for that all important voting, where you’ll decide who the Challenger who will get to move on to The Final Round. Please remember, you can only vote FOR ONE song - so choose very carefully. Also, be sure to vote for your favorite song from our reigning Masters of Song Fu - either Jonathan Coulton or Paul & Storm. You may only vote once, so make it count. VOTING CLOSES AT 11:59pm EST on WEDNESDAY, JULY 9th.
ROUND 2 VOTING - THE CHALLENGERS
ROUND 2 VOTING - THE MASTERS
If you triumph, not only will you win remarkable (and potentially off-putting) bragging rights and a clutch of fantastic mystery prizes, you will also become the proud owner of the magnificent, one-of-a-kind MASTER OF SONG FU TROPHY, designed and handcrafted by [adult swim] superstar Dana Snyder. Yes. Dana Snyder.
Good luck, and bring on the Fu.
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