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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 launched a brand new form of creative combat here at the Stop. You’ll find the very first of these competitions here.

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 week 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. Of those 20, only 13 responded in time (Them’s the breaks).

Like a songwriting version of Iron Chef, these challengers were presented with a very specific songwriting challenge, and given one week to complete their songs - however they saw fit, within the parameters set forth. Here’s the Round 1 Challenge…

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ROUND 1 CHALLENGE

This is going to seem to be a rather straightforward challenge to kick off our second Song Fu competition. In actuality, it’s a pretty darn interesting way to give people a sense of just what your songwriting personality and style is. We’re taking a cue from a fellow named Paul Simon

Your first challenge is to WRITE A SONG ABOUT THE MOON.

That’s it. The only other directive is that your song must run no shorter than 1 minute 45 seconds.

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After one week of intense campaigning and voting, we eliminated the bottom vote-getters - leaving only 6 competitors (5th place was a tie) to move on to… ROUND 2. The remaining Challengers and our Masters were then presented with their Round 2 Challenge…

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ROUND 2 CHALLENGE

Your challenge is to choose a famous inventor and craft a song proposing a “dance craze” based on either the inventor or one of his/her most well known inventions. For an idea of what we’re looking for, here’s a song proposing the ill-fated “Lurch”…

Your song must run no shorter than 1 minute 45 seconds.

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You’ll find the Round 2 Masters and Challengers songs below, followed by the voting form for you to choose your favorite Challenger and Master for this round.

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MASTERS OF SONG FU

For this edition of Song Fu, we’re bringing in three (well, 6, if you’re being technical) very special Masters who you’ll be going up against. Think of them as the iron chefs of Song Fu, and your ultimate challengers, as you’ll square off against one of them mano-a-mano in the Final Round:

JONATHAN COULTON

songfu-01.jpgJonathan 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…”

UNFORTUNATELY, JONATHAN HAD TO DROP OUT OF THIS ROUND OF SONG FU DUE TO THE IMPENDING ARRIVAL OF A NEW FAMILY MEMBER. CONGRATS!

Official Website: www.jonathancoulton.com

ROUND 1 SONG:Always The Moon

PAUL & STORM

songfu-02.jpgPaul 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

ROUND 2 SONG:Me Make Fire
ROUND 1 SONG:Cruel, Cruel Moon

THE RIFFTONES

songfu-rifftones.jpgYou know ‘em as the RiffTrax trio, but here at Song Fu they are the mighty RiffTones…

MICHAEL J. NELSON - Michael J. Nelson is the creator of Rifftrax.com, and is the former host and head writer of the Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award-winning Mystery Science Theater 3000. Since that time, he has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows, penned a regular column for TV Guide, and authored best-selling books for both HarperCollins and Abrams.

His first book, Mike Nelson’s Movie Megacheese, thrilled critics, including Richard Schickel of Time Magazine, who said of Mike, “He’s more fun than a barrel of Val Kilmers… Smarter than a roomful of Patrick Swayzes… and almost as hilarious as Keanu Reeves.” Mike’s laugh-out-loud follow-up, Mind Over Matters, prompted Kirkus Reviews to enthuse, “From someplace called Minnesota comes a Nelson funnier than Ozzie, Ricky, Lord or Half,” and even dared to compare him to another legendary writer, saying of his Serious Speech to Business People, “[It] could easily precede [Robert] Benchley’s immortal Treasurer’s Report.” And Kirkus Reviews loved his novel, Death Rat!, saying, “Fast-paced, outrageous and funny, first-novelist Nelson’s mockery of media mendacity is as biting as La Dolce Vita or Network - only funnier!”

Mike speaks all over the country, is a frequent guest on radio and television, and along with Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy sells out theaters with his RiffTrax Live events.

KEVIN MURPHY - “I’m probably best known for portraying that ol’ squat loveable bubble-headed robot Tom Servo on Mystery Science Theater 3000. In fact I’m the only member of the cast and crew to have worked on every single episode of the series, probably because I tend to like everybody. I also got to sing at the drop of a hat and collaborated with the lovely, leggy Mike Nelson on many of the show’s songs.

Right now I’m back with Mike and Bill for www.rifftrax.com , where once again we sit in close proximity to each other and make fun of movies; unfortunately we don’t write a lot of songs… yet. To exercise my musical jollies I occasionally write and record solo and with family members, under the name The Revolutionary Communist Mountain Boys. Oh, and I’m also writing my first comic book series, symptomatic of my terminal case of Adult-onset Geekdom.

BILL CORBETT - Beloved by literally billions of people, Bill Corbett is a former writer for Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the Sci-Fi Channel, and previously on Comedy Central. He was also a performer on the show, providing the second incarnation of the robot Crow and embarrassing himself in grand fashion as other strange characters - including the all-powerful but clueless alien The Observer, a.k.a. “Brain Guy.” Bill has always been an amateur musician (cough cough HACK cough cough), performing with garage-less garage bands, and writing / performing songs for MST3K - including the beloved-by-literally-trillions CANADA SONG. He now works with former MST3K colleagues Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy at Rifftrax.com.

Corbett is also a screenwriter and playwright. His plays have been produced at numerous theaters across the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and (seriously) Japan. He wasn’t able to attend the latter, but assumes it was a live-manga concept.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Corbett currently spends a lot of time in Los Angeles partying into the wee hours with stars like Skeet Ulrich, Harry Hamlin, and the late Red Buttons. But he actually lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife Virginia, their two young children, and a small Jack Russell Terrier who really runs the house.

He hopes someday to raise alpacas.

Official Website: www.rifftrax.com

ROUND 2 SONG:Do The Ballpoint!
ROUND 1 SONG:Moon Shine

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THE CHALLENGERS

JEFF MacDOUGALL

songfu-jeffmacdougall.jpgThe 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).

UNFORTUNATELY, JEFF HAD TO ALSO DROP OUT OF THIS ROUND OF SONG FU DUE TO THE ARRIVAL OF A NEW FAMILY MEMBER. CONGRATS, AS WELL!

Official Website: www.jeffmacdougall.com

ROUND 1 SONG:At The Moon

RUN AT THE DOG

songfu-runatthedog.jpgRun 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 SONG:Do The APGAR Score
ROUND 1 SONG:Noon Moon

JASON MORRIS

songfu-jasonmorris.jpgI suppose I am what you could call a “Multi-Instrumentalist”. That is a nice way of saying “Jack-of-all-trades, Master-of-none”. I began playing drums as a teenager and spent a great deal of energy during my 20’s trying to “make it” in the music biz. As a drummer, I have had the opportunity to play with some pretty incredible musicians, garnering literally DOZENS of fans over the years. In 2004 I joined the band Celestial Static, and spent several years melting some face with good friends Jeremy and Julie Elzerman. Once that ran its course, I decided to spend more time locked away in my studio, writing my own songs and learning to play guitar, bass and sing. It doesn’t pay the bills, but I have a good time doing it.

Official Website: www.jason-morris.com

ROUND 2 SONG:The O’Sullivan Stomp
ROUND 1 SONG:The Universe Outsourced The Moon

“BUCKETHAT” BOBBY MATHESON

songfu-buckethatbobby.jpg“BucketHat” Bobby Matheson is an awkward teenage accordionist and multi-instrumentalist who specializes in superhero-themed and “Comedy” music, and who works for minimum wage in the fast food industry. With his style varying from polka to folk, punk to pop, and then again from rock to bluegrass, we’re left unsure what to expect. One thing for certain is that Bobby doesn’t like talking about himself in the third person, and therefore will stop this silliness right now.

Official Website: www.myspace.com/buckethatbobby

ROUND 2 SONG:Do The Marconi
ROUND 1 SONG:I Hate The Moon

STEVE CHATTERTON

songfu-stevechatterton.jpgSteve Chatterton is an independent musician living in the suburbs of Toronto. Known primarily for his jingle work on local television and his electronic project 11t1, he’s now putting all of his musical efforts into the ever-elusive self-titled singer-songwriter recording project he’s been wanting to get around to since he was 10-years-old and had just discovered The Beatles. Steve is an honors graduate of the jazz guitar program at Mohawk College, and has since performed in a wide array of bands that nobody has ever heard of. After retiring from performing to concentrate on raising his kids, he’s recently put together his own basement studio and has set a personal goal of producing at least one song a month.

Official Website: music.stevechatterton.com

ROUND 2 SONG:Do The Reichelt
ROUND 1 SONG:Someday (You’ll See)

NATE SHIVERS

songfu-nateshivers.jpgFun, Zesty, Acoustic, Energetic, Crunchy. Some of these words describe the Baritone-Ukulele-wielding N8 Shivers (the others describe Taco Bell’s newest food-like invention). He began writing songs at the age of two, and taught himself to play the uke a mere 17 years later. N8’s Family members claim he’s the best uke-playing song writer they’re related to. He enjoys Stand-up Comedy, Coen Brothers movies, Chilly sandwiches, and Canadian sitcoms. His Turn-offs include Banana Flavored Things, Republicans, and Mountain Dew. N8 is currently employed as a Wizard in southern Ohio.

Official Website: www.myspace.com/ncomma8

ROUND 2 SONG:Doomsday Shuffle
ROUND 1 SONG:Hide

[display_podcast]

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ROUND 2 VOTING

And now, it’s time for that all important voting, where you’ll decide which 2 Challengers get to move on to Round 3 - the winner of which will move on to face the Master who has accumulated the most votes in All 3 Challenges. 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 - Paul & Storm or The RiffTones. You may only vote once, so make it count. VOTING CLOSES AT 11:59pm EST on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th.

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ROUND 2 VOTING - THE CHALLENGERS

[poll id="7"]

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ROUND 2 VOTING - THE MASTERS

[poll id="8"]

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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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Comments:

38 Responses to “Masters Of Song Fu #2: Round 2 Challenge Voting Begins!”

  1. Jim Says:

    Holy Crap! Again, R@TD are following the rules, yet participating in a completely different contest than everyone else.

    I like the RiffTones for the Masters, only because I use that GarageBand drum beat that P & S use, but I use it way too often…

    R@TD wins the left hand, but the right hand takes Jason Morris over Nate Shivers because I’ve worked a lot of standing jobs and Futurama samples, well-timed though they may be, will only get you so far.

    Bobby’s got a little zydeco goodness going for him.

    Chatterton plays the Kannberg card. Nice melody, awesome woo-hoo-hoos, but overmatched by a room full of Malkmuses.

    Anybody else gonna drop out because of kids?

  2. Mick Bordet Says:

    Here’s my non-official entry…

    Dedicated to Sir Clive Sinclair and his wacky little electric car:
    http://mickbordet.blogspot.com/2008/09/masters-of-song-fu-update-5-c5-shuffle.html

  3. Brad Says:

    Go N8, Gr8 song!

  4. Brad Says:

    Hey “Buckethat” Marconi did NOT invent the radio, do some research, it was Tesla.

  5. BucketHatBobby Says:

    Brad, there are about 50 different people who all claimed to have invented the radio.
    I know where you’re coming from, but Marconi had taken out his patent a year before Tesla. Marconi was also the first to transmit wireless signals across the ocean.
    This is why I had 3 names mentioned in my song. E.H. Armstrong, Guglielmo Marconi, AND Lee DeForest. Maybe I should have mentioned Tesla, but I didn’t find it neccesary.

    Don’t tell me to research, bud. I know what I’m talking about. Haha.

  6. The Masked Stranger Says:

    I have hidden in the shades… For a while. I watched this competition with interest and guarded admiration. But now I find myself with a mandate of sorts. I will comment here two more times, each of these times I will say something that may or may not affect one of the competitors deeply. May fortune lick your lucky stones and spit on your mishaps, thus banishing your possible failure and leaving you all at odds with one-another in lovely musical combat.
    -With love from The Masked Stranger

  7. John Says:

    Wow -

    listening to these songs was practically a life changing experience; especially Jason’s entry the Sullivan Stump.

    Thanks for the opportunity to open and cleanse my mind.

    John

  8. sevinPackage Says:

    There are some decent songs in this round - better than round 1, actually. The difference between Rounds 1 and 2 is that there aren’t any songs this time that I would listen to on a regular basis.

    Paul & Storm get my vote on the Masters’ side because their song is the only one that actually made me laugh. Buckethat gets my vote on the Challengers’ side (but Jason Morris was very close behind!)

    Good Fu, everyone!

  9. Queen Shadowrama Says:

    I’m doing the Ballpoint Pen, then I’m gonna do it again…Well, I would anyway, if we were allowed to vote more than once. :-P

    Went with Jason on the Challenger side.

  10. PHX Says:

    So close between RATDog and Jason Morris. Yikes. I still haven’t voted, and I heard them both this morning -_- Tough times.

  11. Fearful Ferret Says:

    Well, my votes go to The Rifftones for awesome music (though neither of the masters put forth as good an effort as I’ve typically seen in the past) and RATD for an awesome subject and inventive music.

    And hey, let’s face it; doing the APGAR test is amazingly ironic, considering the reasons two challengers had for dropping out…

  12. Heidi H. Says:

    I vote Run At The Dog! They’re awesome. :)

  13. Carolyn Says:

    R@TD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Brad Says:

    No need to get defensive Buckethat, I’ts just it’s seems rude to leave Tesla out of something like that, considering Marconi’s original patent was rejected until lawyers got involved, and that the Supreme court ruled that nothing in Marconi’s Nov 1900 Patent wasn’t in Tesla’s Sept 1897 ruling that patent invalid. I’m not trying to take anything away from marconi, He was an excelent scientist. But, even though a lot of people worked toward inventing the radio, the man who most experts agree deserves the most credit is Nickola Tesla, and you didn’t mention him in your dance song. :(

  15. Maureen Says:

    Again. Can’t vote. Hrmph.

  16. Jennalyn78 Says:

    RATD’s tune is friggin’ amazing. Wow.

  17. BucketHatBobby Says:

    Sorry if I seemed defensive, Brad. Haha. I had hoped the laugh at the end of the post would secure my humor on the topic.

    You have a great point, too!
    I wasn’t expecting such an educated response.
    I’m in a Radio and Television Broadcasting course, and this is why I picked the subject that I did. Part of the course last year was history of radio, and the class focused more on Marconi than it did Tesla.
    To be completely honest, until you had mentioned it, I didn’t even consider Tesla. Even still, I like the way the song worked out, and don’t have any feelings of regret towards not putting him in. Call me inconsiderate, but this is the way I feel (plus I’m stubborn).
    Tesla is the “Father of Wireless Telegraphy”
    Marconi is the “Father Of Radio” (despite the fact they mean the same thing)
    DeForrest’s book is also “The Father Of Radio”, but he was always kind of full of himself. XD
    Marconi kind of “Commercialized” it more than Tesla, what with putting his systems on boats and whatnot.
    If I do ever revise the song (which I’ve been known to do), and put Tesla in it, it is only because you made such a valid argument, and I really rather enjoyed debating this. Haha.

    Anyways, I’m rambling. back to the competition:
    I LOVE Paul and Storm’s song. Really fun, catchy, and interesting.
    For challengers, I once again seem to take a bit of favour over Nate’s song. He reminds me of a sillier version of Old Man Luedecke (Very good thing. I LOVE Luedecke).
    Trade in the uke for a banjo, and I might have trouble distinguishing the two. Haha.
    It is a tough decision for me between Nate and Jason, though. Amazing work, fellas. Luckily, I don’t have to make that decision. Haha.

    Odd that 2 of my favorites are not about real people. Farnsworth and “Ugh”. Can’t help it, they’re catchy.

  18. Scott Wells Says:

    Wow. I never expected a Peter Murphy/Bauhaus reference in this contest. That alone wouldn’t have gotten my vote, but I liked that song the best.

  19. Scott Wells Says:

    And yes, the above vote was for the round two song, “o’Sullivan Stomp,” while the comment was for the round one song, which I neglected to make a comment about. So it was two comments in one, but this is another comment, so I really didn’t save a comment.

  20. Jake Says:

    I was able to vote, but I can’t see the results.

  21. Enron Hubbard Says:

    @Scott Wells:

    That bit was was what put Jason Morris’ song over the top in round one for me as well!

    @Potential Voters:

    RiffTones!
    “Long lasting, but also disposable!”

  22. Jason Phelan Says:

    I love Steve’s stuff, sounds just like the beatles! Go bro!

  23. linda Says:

    I can,t stop doing the O’sullivan Stomp! Must be in my blood. Great job son. Love Mom

  24. PonderousMan Says:

    OK, once again I can vote for once category (the Masters), but not for the other. QSE, what is the deal with this? what do I need to do to make this work?

    Also, the feeds seem really spotty, though maybe that’s a local thing… but I wanted to note it in case others are having troubles.

  25. PHX Says:

    Well, I gave in and voted for RATDog. Sorry Jason. It really comes down to the progression of the music and the synthesizers sounding like a baby crying. Their lyrics were also more… I don’t know, tricky? But still, both songs were so good :/ It’d be nicer if you guys made it easier on me.

    Also, I can’t stop thinking of them as RATDog, even though that’s kind of a lame way to refer to the band. What have I done to myself?

  26. Jason Says:

    Hey no worries, PHX.
    No need to apologize. I like R@TD’s song too. :)

  27. Sara Says:

    So, it won’t let me vote for any of the challengers. It comes up that I already voted, but I haven’t.
    Can somebody fix this, please?

  28. Maureen Says:

    @PHX - I agree that Jason’s tune is delightful! It makes me want to visit the local pub and instigate the O’Sullivan Stomp after a few rounds. Great voice, too.

    As for RATDog or R@TD…eh. It’s like po”tay”toes or po”tah”toes. A variety of options is nice, although I’m curious what a ratdog looks like. Thanks for the vote!

    –Maureen of R@tD

  29. Jim Says:

    Evaluating the name “R@TD” in visual terms would be a good personality test., sort of a typographical Rorscach test…

    Do you see Ratdog (and all of its Grateful Dead implications),
    or do you see RATM (who played both national conventions)?

    Bob Weir vs. Zack de la Rocha in a blowout!

  30. PHX Says:

    Well, if neither singer band things can find fault with either my vote or my nomenclature, then I’m pretty content.

    Let’s see more votes people!

  31. BucketHatBobby Says:

    …says PHX, after the voting has closed. XD

    Good game, everyone. I hope to be in later versions of this game. I love it.

    Kinda weird that there weren’t more votes this time, eh? There were so many in round 1…
    Either way, the winners totally deserved the win that they received. The results were exactly what I had expected, actually. Congrats!

    Now I can do something I’ve always wanted to do:
    I’LL GET YOU YET! YOU HAVEN’T HEARD THE LAST OF ME, MASTERS OF SONG-FU!!!

  32. Bram Tant Says:

    BucketHatBobby: I’d say there were less votes because of the lack of JoConess and JeffMacDougallity in this round. ;)

  33. Russ Rogers Says:

    My computer crashed an I was unable to review or vote this round. Fortunately, the few who did get to vote got this right on the money. The O’Sullivan Stomp is easily the most catchy tune in the mix this time. RATDog’s APGAR was clever and had great production. The Masters both turned in good songs. I can see how the voting was nearly split there.

  34. Brad Says:

    I think Nate would have done better if southern ohio hadn’t been without power for the last few days. It’s hard to use the internet without electricity

  35. PHX Says:

    Haha, I just couldn’t believe that there were so few votes. Also, I skimmed the page hard looking for the songs, so I didn’t even know when the voting ended… well, congratulations to mister Morris! Can’t wait to see (hear?) the grand finale.

  36. rhuby Says:

    just checking in to see if voting is over, or if it’s a refresh problem with the link like it has been before…

  37. Scott Joseph, MD Says:

    The Riff-tones get my vote, if that is possible. Problem with the site.

  38. MoSF#2 Round 2: “Do the Reichelt” | Steve Chatterton Says:

    [...] the latest round of the Masters of Song Fu challenge, I had to write a tune suggesting a new dance craze for an inventor and/or an invention. [...]

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