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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 - Masters of Song Fu.

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…

We invited 28 challengers to pick up the thrown-down gauntlet (You know, some spares as well). 26 Responded in time.

Like a songwriting version of Iron Chef, these 26 competitors are presented with a very specific songwriting challenge. They’ll be given one week to complete their songs - however they see fit, within the parameters set forth - after which time the entries will be uploaded to Quick Stop to be voted on by you, the readers.

In past editions of Song Fu, we’ve used these votes to eliminate Challengers as we’ve progressed from Challenge to Challenge. For this cycle, however, we’ve decided that all of the Challengers will be able to compete in every Challenge, and the Challenger with the most cumulative votes after the 3 Challenges will be the one that takes on the Master in the Final Round. So what was the first Challenge?

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ROUND 1 CHALLENGE

In light of all the doom and gloom of recent months, as financial markets crashed and winter closed in, we’re going to kick things off with a rather straightforward challenge. You can interpret this challenge however you’d like - how you do so will give people a sense of just what your songwriting personality and style is…

Your first challenge is to WRITE A HAPPY SONG.

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 voting on Round 1, our masters and Challengers were then given their second Challenge…

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ROUND 2 CHALLENGE

Write a song containing *exactly* 10 unique words (this includes words such as a, and, the, etc.). You can repeat the words you choose as few or as many times as you want, but the sum total of the unique words can not be less than or more than 10.. You can write on any topic and in any style. Your song must run no shorter than 1 minute 15 seconds.

Here’s a word cloud look at what everyone chose:

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After voting on Round 2, our masters and Challengers were then given their third Challenge…

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ROUND 3 CHALLENGE

For your third challenge, you have to write a song with the title “It All Makes Sense At The End”. You can interpret what song would be given that title in any way you see fit. Your song must run no shorter than 1 minute 45 seconds.

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Well, you voted on the Round 3 Challenge HERE. Your votes determined the one Master and the one Challenger who would battle head-to-head  - Paul & Storm vs Molly Lewis - in the final challenge…

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FINAL CHALLENGE

I call this one FRANKENSONG. For this fourth and final challenge, you must craft a composition that contains AT LEAST THREE (3) distinctly different songs within your final song, but which fit together into a cohesive whole. By distinct, I mean both tempo and style. Your song must run no shorter than 1 minute 45 seconds. For examples of Frankensong, think of tunes like The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” and Paul McCartney’s “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”, or have a listen to the track below:

Harry Chapin - “There Only Was One Choice”

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Below, you’ll find the Final Challenge songs from both Paul & Storm and Molly Lewis, followed by the all-important voting form. Beneath that, we’ve also included a pair of out-of-competition “Shadow Entries” done by Challengers just for fun (be sure to give ‘em a spin, too). For all of the previous songs from all of our Masters and Challengers, you can find the archive of this edition of Masters Of Song Fu HERE. But for now, let’s get this show on the road - Paul & Storm vs Molly Lewis…

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PAUL & STORM vs MOLLY LEWIS

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
Twitter: twitter.com/paulandstorm
FINAL CHALLENGE SONG:Frogger! The Frogger Musical
ROUND 1 SONG:Hippie with a Djembe
ROUND 2 SONG:Boolean Love Song” (WORDS USED: Amy, Bobby, Mary, if, then, equals, and, not, loves, happy)
ROUND 3 SONG: Sadly, Paul & Storm were eaten by dingoes in the night. They got all better for the Final.

MOLLY LEWIS

When she’s not bluffing her way through college courses or looking passably attractive from a distance, Molly Lewis enjoys playing ukulele, microwaving marshmallow Peeps, talking to cats, and Twittering. Early last year, she wrote two original songs, “MyHope” and “Road Trip”. “MyHope” is about the inevitable day when our children will learn how to navigate the interweb and how they will LOL at our old internet presences, namely MySpace; of “Road Trip”, Molly says it’s about “that astronaut lady who went crazy and wore the diapers, you remember that?”  She has not written any songs since.  Hopefully this competition will remedy that. When Molly was in middle school, she took up the guitar. That sank into the swamp. So she took up the mandolin. That sank into the swamp. So she took up the banjo. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the ukulele has stayed. And that’s what you’re going to get, Quick Stop Entertainment: the strongest ukulele in all of Tacoma, Washington.

Official Website: www.sweetafton23.com/primer/
Twitter: twitter.com/Molly23
FINAL CHALLENGE SONG:Our American Cousin
ROUND 1 SONG:I Pity The (Song) Fu
ROUND 2 SONG:Peep Fight” (WORDS USED: marshmallow, Peeps, toothpicks, microwave, sword, fight, stomach, put, in, the)
ROUND 3 SONG:It All Makes Sense At The End

[display_podcast]

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FINAL CHALLENGE VOTING

Voting ends at 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009.

[poll id="17"]

View Results

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THE SHADOW ENTRIES

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MICK BORDET

songfu-mickbordet.jpgMick Bordet steadfastly insists on bouncing between and across genres at every opportunity like a hummingbird with ADD, using an eclectic collection of instruments for his sonic palette, from guitar and ukulele to theremin, yobstick and electric harmonium. Mick is a founder member of “The Lunacy Board”, Scotland’s premier progressive avant-garde skiffle duo, and cites influences as diverse as Edgard Varèse, Ivor Cutler, Conlon Nancarrow, and Roy Harper, to name but four. The duo have recently released three debut albums, including one written, recorded, and mixed within a single day. Mick’s latest project is a year-long weekly podcast set in an alternative universe as it diverges from our reality.

Official Website: mickbordet.blogspot.com
SHADOW ENTRY - FINAL CHALLENGE:#onedayintwitter
ROUND 1 SONG:Happy People
ROUND 2 SONG:What Is Wrong” (WORDS USED: doctor, what, is, wrong, with, me, you, need, some, methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamylseryl-
leucylphenylalanylalanylglutaminylleucyllysylglutamylarginyl- lysylglutamylglycylalanylphenylalanylvalylprolylphenylalanyl- valylthreonylleucylglycylaspartylprolylglycylisoleucylglutamyl- glutaminylserylleucyllysylisoleucylaspartylthreonylleucyl- isoleucylglutamylalanylglycylalanylaspartylalanylleucylglutamyl- leucylglycylisoleucylprolylphenylalanylserylaspartylprolyl- leucylalanylaspartylglycylprolylthreonylisoleucylglutaminyl- asparaginylalanylthreonylleucylarginylalanylphenylalanyl- alanylalanylglycylvalylthreonylprolylalanylglutaminylcysteinyl- phenylalanylglutamylmethionylleucylalanylleucylisoleucylarginyl- glutaminyllysylhistidylprolylthreonylisoleucylprolylisoleucyl- glycylleucylleucylmethionyltyrosylalanylasparaginylleucylvalyl- phenylalanylasparaginyllysylglycylisoleucylaspartylglutamyl- phenylalanyltyrosylalanylglutaminylcysteinylglutamyllysylvalyl- glycylvalylaspartylserylvalylleucylvalylalanylaspartylvalyl- prolylvalylglutaminylglutamylserylalanylprolylphenylalanyl- arginylglutaminylalanylalanylleucylarginylhistidylasparaginyl- valylalanylprolylisoleucylphenylalanylisoleucylcysteinylprolyl- prolylaspartylalanylaspartylaspartylaspartylleucylleucylarginyl- glutaminylisoleucylalanylseryltyrosylglycylarginylglycyltyrosyl- threonyltyrosylleucylleucylserylarginylalanylglycylvalylthreonyl- glycylalanylglutamylasparaginylarginylalanylalanylleucylprolyl- leucylasparaginylhistidylleucylvalylalanyllysylleucyllysyl- glutamyltyrosylasparaginylalanylalanylprolylprolylleucyl- glutaminylglycylphenylalanylglycylisoleucylserylalanylprolyl- aspartylglutaminylvalyllysylalanylalanylisoleucylaspartylalanyl- glycylalanylalanylglycylalanylisoleucylserylglycylserylalanyl- isoleucylvalyllysylisoleucylisoleucylglutamylglutaminylhistidyl- asparaginylisoleucylglutamylprolylglutamyllysylmethionylleucyl- alanylalanylleucyllysylvalylphenylalanylvalylglutaminylprolyl- methionyllysylalanylalanylthreonylarginylserine)
ROUND 3 SONG:It All Makes Sense At The End

JUTZE SCHULT

songfu-jutzeschult.jpgJohannes “Jutze” Schult (from Germany) likes to make songs about weird stories and situations. It’s all about creating a musical scenario that is somewhat original, yet believable by some stretch of imagination. Jutze used to play drums in a heavy metal band, and then founded his own pop band where he played guitar. These days he’s mainly doing solo work for the fun of it.

Official Website: www.jutze.com
Twitter: twitter.com/schult
SHADOW ENTRY - FINAL CHALLENGE:Reunion Street
ROUND 1 SONG:A Mallful Of Brains
ROUND 2 SONG:God Of Bingo” (WORDS USED: bingo, Jimmi, Simpson, is, awesome, rocks, the, god, of, he)
ROUND 3 SONG:It All Makes Sense At The End

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Whoever triumphs will not only win remarkable (and potentially off-putting) bragging rights and a clutch of fantastic mystery prizes, they will also become the proud owner of the magnificent, one-of-a-kind MASTER OF SONG FU TROPHY.

Good luck, and bring on the Fu.

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Comments:

43 Responses to “Masters Of Song Fu #3: Final Challenge Voting Begins!”

  1. Thomas Says:

    Dear Lord, but this is difficult.

  2. MitchO Says:

    Yay, first vote! The scary part is I saw P&S’s Tweet maybe 30 minutes ago, and the song is ALREADY referenced on the Frogger entry of Wikipedia.

    I loves me some Molly, but there is no way I can vote against Frogger. Anytime someone actually outdoes Buckner and Garcia, they deserve a trophy.

  3. The Masked Stranger Says:

    I have not been the biggest fan of Molly’s during this competition, but, her song this round has truly shone for me. Although there are some obvious recording difficulties, the song itself is pure. Sporting not only three movements as the challenge asked, but also three different viewpoints. The lyrics also show evidence of historical knowledge perhaps beyond the average American citizen. It takes a certain kind of person to see all sides, and it takes a certain kind of song to give them the life they deserve. You’ve got my vote Molly, for the first time in this competition.

  4. Mark Gordon Says:

    It’s interesting to me that both the official entries showed heavy influence of musical theater and are within four seconds of each other in length.

  5. Justin Dearing Says:

    Molly,

    Sorry, but this was not your best work.

    Paul and Storm, you two proved that older more experienced can really “get ‘ir done.” The fact that Molly has to study for classes and being musicians is you day job has nothing to do with your superior song.

  6. Mick Bordet Says:

    Well, it’s been fun - well done to Molly for not only standing up to the mighty Hank, but bringing her horde of followers with her to make the voting more interesting.

    The lyrics to my shadow song can be found at http://mickbordet.blogspot.com/2009/04/masters-of-song-fu-onedayintwitter.html

  7. photosinensis Says:

    As much of an old school gamer as I am, I have to emit strange squealing sounds at the very idea of a musical about Frogger.

    However, I’m also a history buff, and while I think that Lincoln is somewhat overrated as a president, I’m going to have to say that Molly’s entry was the more brilliant of the two. Thus, she gets my vote. Sorry, Paul and Storm. We’ll always have Victorian-era piracy and Randy Newman.

  8. Jamesha Says:

    As much as I do enjoy musicals…wrapping it up into one song really didn’t tickle my fancy. However, I really did enjoy Molly’s song, as it puts a very creative perspective a time in history(that, and I’m a bit of a History Buff too).

    Molly has got My Vote, though I still enjoyed P&S!

  9. R. Z. Rogers Says:

    I’m a huge fan, Molly, and your song was really great. However, I like P&S’s just as well, on a content level. And finally, though it’s not everything, I think there is something inherently laudable about the amount of effort put into a piece. Thus Paul & Storm get my vote.

  10. Aimdizzle Says:

    Best of luck, Turkey Anne!

  11. Alex Says:

    This is easily the hardest decision this round of Song Fu has given me. As different as the two songs are, they’re both equally fantastic. It was a tough choice, but I gave the vote to Molly.

  12. Jon Says:

    Wow, both songs were fantastic, but I will have to say that Molly, yours was by far the more creative of the two. I have loved your stuff throughout this competition, although the peeps one was a little crazy. This is yet another fine piece of musical awesome that you have created!

  13. Herbalamanda Says:

    Brilliant! You guys are all brilliant. How am I going to choose… it’s seems impossible.

  14. Sport Goggle Says:

    I am a smarter person for listening to Molly’s song. Paul and Storm are exceptional but it takes courage to sing about an assassination.
    I vote for Molly!

  15. Mardajam Says:

    Love Frogger the game. Really like Frogger the song. Started listening to Molly’s song and thought, hm, cute. Very Molly. But as the scenario built itself in my mind’s eye - wow, I love the Molly song. The girl brought the Fu. One more vote for SweetAfton23.

  16. Lerb Says:

    Having trouble deciding on this one.

    I enjoy the Frogger musical from a fun perspective, with all the necessary geeky references to win at Song Fu. Easy to listen to a number of times.

    That said, I find the Lincoln topic and execution more moving, and bringing a whole new kind of Fu.

    My first instinct was vote Molly, being the gushing fanboy I am, but with only one vote I had to actually consider this. That said, I’m still going with Molly, because I actually like the Fu she brought.

  17. Insane Ian Says:

    WOW…this round was EXCELLENT. Two worthy opponents. Molly, you have a new fan. P&S, I have a new favorite song by you.

    BUT WHICH DO I VOTE FOR??!?!?!?!

    Argh. Tough decision. Both are SO great.

  18. Thom Says:

    eek. that was tough. i love molly. i also love P&S. they were great supporting coulton on hallowe’en. but… molly it is. for sheer gumption.

  19. Chibigodzilla Says:

    I love me some Paul & Storm, and I feel that this is them at their best. However, Molly’s song id damn good and feels more cohesive; it better adheres to the parameters of the challenge so my vote goes to her.

  20. buckethatbobby Says:

    I don’t know what to say… or who to vote for.

  21. J Says:

    P&S spot-on, epic, and catchy as hell.

    Molly so refreshingly out-of-the-blue and circumspect.

    Gotta give P&S the tiebreaker for the word “amphibianic”.

  22. averageJon Says:

    I’m a little confused about the last two sections of the Frogger song. I wasted more than my share of quarters in my youth, but I don’t remember a purple princess in Frogger.

    Molly, I love your song. The only weakness is that the first section is my favorite (who would have guessed that Lincoln had groupies?), and I can’t help but feel like the song goes down hill in the last two sections.

  23. J Says:

    @averageJon:
    Crossing the river, another frog appears on the logs sometimes. Pick it up and it rides your back for bonus points. I always interpreted it as an offspring rather than mate, but “purple princess” is much more lyrical than “fuschia froglet”. :)

  24. PonderousMan Says:

    Talk about leaving us with a difficult choice!

    PnS keep putting out new classics, and I’m not sure which I like better, this or Boolean Love Song. Definitely seeing some new production tricks there, and they are kewl.

    Molly, while you may not have the “fawncee production” of PnS, I think the simple way you recorded this fits the song very well - I dunno, somehow it makes me think it really is 1865. And the song is remarkably strong - I know you can write good lyrics, but telling the story the way you have, from 3 sides, that’s just brilliant!

    I love PnS and will always support them, but this one needs to go to Molly. (I take some consolation in knowing PnS themselves will be voting for her…)

  25. Tim Says:

    Love you Molly, but clearly Paul & Storm have the better song in this round. Who are all these Mollyheads voting for your song? Scary to see so many obedient legions at your beck and call, but no, I shall remain true to my convictions here. I won’t be intimidated. I won’t!

  26. Mr. Scholarly Guy Says:

    I really enjoyed the Frogger song and I’m exactly the right age to get a good nostalgia trip out of that. Molly’s songs have generally been a hoot, and they’ve been clever, but I was skeptical about her being up to this level of challenge. But…

    WOW. What a surprise — not only was it cute and clever, but it was also actually moving. This song was actually cutesy and serious and sad all at the same time. Three perspectives, three emotional states, three different songs in one. A holy trinity of song fu. Molly wins my vote for truly rising to this challenge and pushing her own abilities to a new level.

  27. Alison Blanchard Says:

    Ack! I can’t make the voting work! I would vote for Molly, but am unable to make the voting button go. I blame myself, but I’m usually smart enough to push a button… Help?

  28. Alison Blanchard Says:

    Oh…comment first, THEN vote. Ok, if that’s how to do it, I done it!

  29. Encubed Says:

    I couldn’t really get into Molly’s song, I don’t understand all the raving. I’m even a fan of some of Molly’s other stuff. The Frogger musical, however, is a fantastic idea and was executed superbly. How are Paul & Storm not winning?

  30. Riddle Says:

    wow. you guys really brought it. i was so ready to vote for P&S just to buck the inevitable tide of “sweetafton23″ votes and after hearing the fabulous “Frogger” i was sure Molly couldn’t match the production value…
    but after hearing her song, i’m stunned. it may not have production value but it has a power that “Frogger” does not. it starts off silly and then uses Boothe’s perspective to bridge with a somber note to Lincoln’s charming melancholy. i’m transported. absolutely lovely piece, Molly. thank your for it and good luck, for this competition and for your burgeoning career…

  31. Larry Mondello Says:

    I don’t think this has been said yet but the gunshot as transition and coda in Molly’s song is absolutely brilliant. It ties all of the stories together very simply and in the end extremely poignantly. I cast my vote for Molly.

  32. Well Says:

    Go paul and storm

  33. Kevin Says:

    Man, why don’t we get five votes like in the other rounds? I wouldn’t feel right voting for just one of the competitors this round. Two votes to each, I say. And the fifth goes to Masked Stranger.

  34. Mardajam Says:

    And another thing . . I was so swept into the three stories that we were given a peek at, it was only upon several listenings that I even stopped to appreciate the amazing rhyme pairings Molly has devised. She’s a wordsmith, that’s been obvious. But it’s an amazing bit of work here, to give each of these characters their own voice, presenting the details of their stories, and all the while the meter and rhyme serve without distracting. And she’s just a kid. Her creativity is just budding. It’s staggering to think of it in full bloom.

  35. Jiminy Says:

    Is the voting rigged or something? I haven’t been able to vote since round 2! While I enjoyed both songs, my vote goes (or would go) to Paul and Storm. I enjoyed both songs, but Frogger the musical is just too powerful an idea to resist!

  36. Veon Says:

    Molly: You R Genius!
    You win - even though a musical about Frogger is very hard to beat!

  37. Teacher Dave Says:

    This was a very fun musical challenge—kudos to the Song Fu framers. The Frogger Musical was a great piece of work, impressively true to the complexity of the Beatles suggestion. It was musically sharp and creative. Unfortunately, like the occasionally (overly) obscure Dennis Miller reference, I was sadly left knowing that I missed the beauty of the wit.

    Molly’s work although seemingly simple, was light-hearted, yet deep. Who links a presidential assassination, a ukulele and character development from a juxtaposed three character view point? I give her a ten on the level of difficulty/Fu and my vote–thanks!

  38. Ben Hamilton Says:

    Great work Molly! My vote is with you - if I could just actually vote…. the site doesn’t seem to let me (note: tried with both Google Chrome & Firefox)

    hmm…

    PS, Paul&Strom, love frogger, but Molly kicked your butt on this one.

  39. Russ Rogers Says:

    I was very impressed with all the examples of the Frankensong presented. I have to say that Jutze Shult pulled off a really good song too!

  40. Babins Says:

    As much as I love Paul and Storm, I have to say that Molly won hands down.

  41. Caroline Says:

    Congrats Molly!! You are my ukulele idol!!!

  42. Nick Says:

    I thought Molly’s song had some good lyrics and is performed well, but Paul & Storm presented a more ambitious idea and I think they delivered. They get my vote.

  43. Donnie the the ninja Says:

    jesus christ, that what is wrong with me song made me loose my mind for 45 seconds. what is wrong with that guy and his made up word?

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