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Congratulations to our winning Challenger, JASON MORRIS, and our winning Masters, THE RIFFTONES. The FINAL CHALLENGE will be announced on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14th.

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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Your votes were tallied, and the top two Challengers from Round 2 moved on to battle head-to-head in ROUND 3…

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ROUND 3 CHALLENGE

For this Challenge, not only are we going to provide you with a theme and style, but we’re also going to give you the title. Your task is to write a song that utilizes all of the provided elements.

For this Round, we’re paying homage to the country balladeer greats – people like Jerry Reed, Waylon Jennings, and Roger Miller. Your task is to write a country ballad - using a backstory of your own creation – called “The Ballad of Rufus Amos Adams”.

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

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The winner of this mano-a-mano Challenger showdown will be the one who moves forward to the FINAL ROUND, where they’ll face off against the Master who’s accumulated the most votes over the course of the 3 Challenges. You’ll find the Round 3 Masters and Challengers songs below, followed by the voting form for you to choose your favorite Challenger and Master for this round, and determine who does battle in THE FINAL ROUND.

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MASTERS OF SONG FU

For this edition of Song Fu, we’re bringing in two (well, 5, 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:

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 3 SONG:The Ballad Of Rufus Amos Adams
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 3 SONG:(The Ballad Of) Rufus Amos Adams
ROUND 2 SONG:Do The Ballpoint!
ROUND 1 SONG:Moon Shine

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THE CHALLENGERS

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 3 SONG:The Ballad Of Rufus Amos Adams
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 3 SONG:The Ballad Of Rufus Amos Adams
ROUND 2 SONG:The O’Sullivan Stomp
ROUND 1 SONG:The Universe Outsourced The Moon

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ROUND 3 VOTING

And now, it’s time for that all important voting, where you’ll decide which Challenger get to move on to THE FINAL ROUND and go face to face with 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, OCTOBER 1st.

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ROUND 3 VOTING - THE CHALLENGERS

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ROUND 3 VOTING - THE MASTERS

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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:

36 Responses to “Masters Of Song Fu #2: Round 3 Challenge Voting Begins!”

  1. Leo Says:

    First!

  2. Enron Hubbard Says:

    “His DVDs are organized by year”

    It’s a bona fide fact that RiffTones Rule!

  3. justhesh Says:

    Loving the twang of that slide and banjo on Jason Morris’ tune.

  4. Steve Chatterton Says:

    Challengers: Jason - very true to form for the confines of the challenge, very authentic sounding. Longer than I would’ve liked, but didn’t talk about the Buddha either (just a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?).

    Masters: Paul & Storm - no cheap laughs, well executed a capella work. You get my vote simply for writing a ballad about someone wholly unremarkable in any way whatsoever. It’s almost like you’re singing his resume, or doing prep-work for his obituary.

  5. Jennalyn78 Says:

    Run at the dog makes me like country music

  6. Edgewriter Says:

    The rifftones Kicked anus in this one. Paul and Storm’s song this round was below their regular quality.

    I also gave the edge to Run at the dog. Even though the idea of an Indian Prince named Rufus Amos Adams becoming the Buddah was bizarre, the music was fun and catchy.

    Jason - Althogh I liked the melody, for some reason the story felt flat to me.

  7. Carolyn Says:

    The yodeling in R@TD’s song is brilliant!

  8. Thom Says:

    t was a tough choice between Paul & Storm and The Rifftones this time…usually P&S have the btter song hands down, but while there was some nice Da Vinci’s Notebook stuff happening here, the Rifftones won on laughs…though both songs were funny in their own right.

    Honestly, I’m surprised as to how many “serious” songs this competition had in the first couple of rounds.

    As for the challengers…no question, Jason Morris gets the vote easily again. Not sure what everyone loves so much about R@TD…instrumentation is great, but lyrically, they’re the equivalent of a Van Damme movie…all flash, no substance.

  9. Mick Bordet Says:

    Need ANOTHER version of ‘The Ballad of Rufus Amos Adams’?

    Click on my name above to hear my take on the subject.

  10. FRM Says:

    Jason Morris’s song is great, and very authentic. But I had to vote R@TD because it’s even better, and something very original. Like all their stuff.

  11. Dusty Says:

    Yodeling FTW!!!

  12. FairWeatherFan Says:

    I came here as a diehard RiffTones fan, but I’m sorry to say Paul and Storm blew them away this round.

  13. Heath Says:

    Although I think that Run At The Dog’s music is very original and usually quite catchy…This one doesn’t actually sound like a country song to me.Especially an old type country song? I’m gonna have to go with Jason on this one.

  14. Ryan Rogers Says:

    Paul and Storm’s a capella roots show through here gorgeously in their Barry-tones 4-part barbershop style. Amazing vocal control.

    The Rifftones on the other hand didn’t pull through for me on the vocals, and, perhaps just personally, I didn’t particularly enjoy their narrative.

    So, that’s one more for Paul and Storm.

  15. Rosie Says:

    I’m glad I didn’t have to hear 4 over-countried songs! Thanks Paul and Storm and Run at the Dog- who were different enough from a typical country jig to be refreshing ballads!!

  16. Russ Rogers Says:

    In the Masters vote, I gave this one to the RiffTones. Paul and Storm’s song was a one note joke: Rufus Amos Adams is leading a life that is unexceptional and not noteworthy. His life doesn’t even rhyme. Once we get the joke in the first verse, it just sort of runs it’s course. The RiffTones song is surprisingly similar in that, for the most part, Their Rufus Amos is also just exceedingly dull. But the RiffTones score points for peppering their tune with more jokes.

    Both songs from the Challengers songs were better than the Masters. Run at the Dog’s song had a VERY funny punchline with “Rufus Amos Adams was the Buddha” I laughed out loud. But it stopped there. They ran out of ideas. There was no lyrical development after the big reveal and I was left thinking that they were Yodeling just to mark time and fill the required 1′45″. This was melodically the most original tune, I just wish the lyric had more substance.

    Jason Morris came up with the truest ballad of the bunch. It was a story song with a beginning, middle and end. I thought the tempo dragged a bit. I think this may have led to the effect that this was the least funny of the four songs. But I thought this song, in structure and execution was the closest to fulfilling the objective laid out in the challenge. It wasn’t the funniest, but it was objectively the best.

  17. Wendy Says:

    Apparently Run At The Dog lacks the basic understanding of musical genres that would distinguish a country song from a generic pop tune…

  18. Kouban Says:

    Personally, I found all these songs quite depressing, and continue to be completely baffled at Run at the Dog’s success, though that may simply be personal bias.

  19. Jim Says:

    Before anyone else offers an opinion regarding who toed what line and who didn’t, I recommend you actually re-read the rules and realize you have no idea who Jerry Reed or Roger Miller are.

    Wendy, I specifically suggest you listen to Reed’s “Amos Moses,” as I assume Reed’s recent passing may have inspired this particular contest. It may expand your basic understanding of the blurriness of genre distinction.

  20. WendySmellsLikeCheese Says:

    Run at the Dog is awesome. Just… not when it comes to country.

    Paul and Storm’s “Rufus Amos Adams” is the definitive one for me. I’ve listened to it about 30 times. 31 now. And it just… keeps.. getting… better!

  21. wobbal Says:

    jasons song was great!

  22. sevinPackage Says:

    I enjoyed the RiffTones’ song, but P&S was just a little bit better. The ending was golden.

    Even though it was too repetetive (and too long), Jason Morris got my vote for being the best country-style song out of the whole bunch.

    I don’t think this competition should be about who is the funniest. It’s a songwriting competition, nothing more. The people who bring the Fu should get the credit that’s Du!

    Good work, everyone!

  23. Wendy Says:

    The contest says to write a song “paying homage to the country balladeer greats – people like Jerry Reed, Waylon Jennings, and Roger Miller”… not to write a song demonstrating the wonders of genre blurriness.
    I appreciate blurry genres as much as the next person and particularly think that modern country music is only fun to listen to because it has blurred the genre lines - currently reflected in the success of Jon Bon Jovi and Jewel as they explore ‘crossover’ music.

  24. Jim Says:

    So, um… Did you listen to ‘Amos Moses?’

  25. Ann Says:

    Hey Jay–great song——-I think I dated that guy…..huh, I can’t recall.

  26. Jen Says:

    Run at the dog kicks everyone’s asses. So there.

  27. Jason Morris Says:

    Can’t we all just get along?
    Who needs a hug?

  28. Run At the Dog Says:

    We second that, Jason. Come ‘ere!

  29. Nate Shivers Says:

    I’m Goin with Jason, as well as Paul and Storm. Sorry Rifftones and Run at the Dog, They Just brought more fu.

    -Nate

  30. Jon Bon Says:

    Great work Jason!

  31. Maureen Says:

    It seems we challengers have polarized the audience to a comical
    extent. What a great way to celebrate the Song Fu credo of “[shining]
    a light on the quirky, quixotic underworld of musicians” by pitting
    polar opposites against each other in the first head-to-head
    challenger competition. Bravo to a mix of musical palettes!

    I hope Jason is having just as much fun as we are introducing others
    to the underbelly of popular music. For this round, we took our inspiration straight from Roger Miller and Jerry Reed. Here are two of their great tunes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7GyLr7Cz2g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbJs_VAt-4Q

    It just goes to show that if an array of musical artists is asked to interpret these country oddballs, there’s a 25% chance you’ll get a song about the
    Buddha.

    –Maureen of Run At the Dog

  32. Russ Rogers Says:

    I don’t think that the criticisms of Run At the Dog’s “Rufus Amos Adams was the Buddha” for not being musically “County” enough are fair. One of the three examples of country balladeers held up was Roger Miller. Roger Miller was a Master Fu songwriter of the bizarre non sequitur. Right up there with John Lennon. And many of his songs were not traditionally “Country.”

    Listen to “Do-Wacka-Do,” “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd” or “My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died.” Roger Miller was not just a Master of humor and nonsense, but he was also an innovator musically. He wrote many straight, very traditional Country tunes, sure. But he wasn’t afraid of breaking the mold, poking his fingers through the frame and climbing out of the box.

    Jerry Reed’s song “Amos Moses” is just as much Funk as it is Country. “Amos Moses” sounds more like CCR or Parliament than the Carter Family.

    The thing about Jerry Reed and Roger Miller is that their songs are lyrically DENSE. There are huge convoys of ideas that go whizzing by in every verse. This is where Run At the Dog stumbled. Their song is hilarious. Funnier than Jason’s or even Paul and Storm’s. But “Rufus the Buddha” was a verse and a chorus line and some yodeling. This story song had the least amount of story. I wish there had been more beef.

    That said, all four songs are really good this round. It would not be a travesty of injustitude if any of them won this round and went on to win the title of “Master of Song Fu #2!” All four competitors have brought MASSIVE FU. I don’t need a blood sample to know that they are all filled with midichlorians! The Fu is strong within them all.

    Each of these Ballads of Rufus is a much better song than I could write. And I hope to prove that in Masters of Fu #3!

    Song Sung Fu, everybody knows one.

    Remember, there are only a few more hours left to campaign for the Fu Masters of your choice on your blog and in bulk e-mailings! Good luck.

  33. PHX Says:

    Blech. The more and more RATDog and Jason post here, the more I dislike them for interacting with each other and listeners rather than being irritable narcissistic artistes who find their fanbases insufferable yet become upset at every minor slight or criticism of their work.

    Honestly guys, it’s like none of you even wear berets.

  34. Jason Morris Says:

    I actually have a beret, but it’s from that time I tried getting a job as an Iraqi dictator.
    Some guy named Saddam beat me out for the gig.

  35. BucketHatBobby Says:

    I was pulling for RATD, because I’m impressed with how well they changed their style completely to accomodate this competition. They still retained some of their original style, but they did so well at changing to country. I’m thoroughly impressed.

  36. PHX Says:

    Oh, and I forgot to congratulate Jason. What’s wrong with me?

    Grats, sir.

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