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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 unique 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…

Like a songwriting version of Iron Chef, the competitors will be 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 audience.

Oh, and what do we call this competition?

MASTERS OF SONG FU

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Let us not forget the very special Masters of MASTERS OF SONG FU. Think of them as the iron chefs of Song Fu - one of which will be revealed as the ultimate challenger in THE FINAL CHALLENGE. Past Masters have included Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm, Neil Innes, The RiffTones, and Garfunkel & Oates. Any one of them could be the Master in the final Challenge - or perhaps it could be a brand new Master. Only the Challenger who garners the most cumulative votes in all 3 Challenges will move on to the Final and face that Master, mano a mano.

As with the last edition of Song Fu, 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

Write a song from the perspective of an inanimate object. This inanimate object must have no moving parts. Also no computers, no objects that look like living things, either human or animal (i.e. a statue, an action figure, etc.), and no celestial objects (i.e. the sun or the moon). Your song can be in any style you choose.

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

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You’ll find the Round 1 songs from each of our Challengers below, as well as the results of the Round 1 voting. More importantly, though, you’ll also discover what the Round 2 Challenge is!

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THE CHALLENGERS

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. Molly defeated Masters Paul & Storm in Masters of Song Fu #3.

Official Website: www.sweetafton23.com/primer/
Twitter: twitter.com/Molly23
ROUND 1 SONG: Unfortunately, Molly was cornered by retaliatory dingoes sent by Paul & Storm, and was unable to compete in this Challenge.

EDRIC HALEEN

songfu-edrichaleen.jpgEdric has been writing music (off and on) since the early nineties. He wrote and directed a musical, The Pushcart War, based on Jean Merrill’s wonderful novel. He has written and/or arranged a number of songs for various friends - some commissioned, some as surprises. He loves acting in community theatre, and is inspired by the music of Stephen Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, Adam Guettel, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. He is also happy to finally return his Happiness Board to the Internet. Check out the link on his web pages.

Official Website: happinessboard.com/Edric_Haleen.html
ROUND 1 SONG:All For This Moment

“BUCKETHAT” BOBBY MATHESON

songfu-buckethatbobby.jpgI’m “BucketHat” Bobby Matheson. I used to make cartoons for the internet, and sometimes still do, but mostly focus on my music right now. Lately, I’ve been getting more into recording other singer/songwriters in my little, make-shift studio than I have been recording myself. I want Masters Of Song Fu to change that. I don’t really know what genre my music would fall under. Influences range from Klezmer to folk, to punk and back, which ends up sounding more like Zydeco than anything else (who’d have guessed?). I’ve been thinking of dropping the “BucketHat” from my stagename, but fear change.

Official Website: www.buckethatbobby.randomsociety.com
Twitter: twitter.com/BucketHatBobby
ROUND 1 SONG:Noose

MIKE LOMBARDO

Mike Lombardo is a piano-playing pop-rock singer-songwriter who likes to use hyphens when describing his occupation. A recent graduate of Berklee College of Music, he spends most of his time banging on pianos, teaching children how to bang on pianos, or playing shows with his band, the Mike Lombardo Trio. Feel free to go to his website and send him lots of money. Or cookies.

Official Website: www.mikelombardomusic.com
Twitter: twitter.com/mikelombardo
ROUND 1 SONG:Rock Song

GöDZ PööDLZ

Legendz foretell of a mighty duo, born in the frozen North. Two neighborz and friendz will unite to form “Gödz Pöödlz” and battle the Mazterz or Song Fu for glory and bragging rightz! Gödz Pöödlz are Rüss Rögers and Röd Dürre. Rüss Rögers was once a member of “Kit and Kaboodle” (still available on iTunes) and currently performs in “Rusty’s Rocking Jamboree!” Röd Dürre wrote and performed with the Goth Rock Godz “Sear”, and last year Röd won the Coor’s Light “Take the 4:53 to Happy Hour” songwriting contest! Remember, the heaviest of metals are soft!

Official Website: www.rockingjamboree.com
ROUND 1 SONG:Bad Penny

STEVE CHATTERTON

songfu-stevechatterton.pngHi, my name is Steve Chatterton, the quintessential one-man-band singer/songwriter net-based recording project. Mom always said I marched to the sound of a different drummer, but she never mentioned which one. Dad had a fondness for bagpipes. Fortunately, neither of them have any direct influence on my music. Specializing in quirky little guitar-oriented pop songs about bugs, the Scooby gang, pirates, palindromes, superheroes, old movies, infectious diseases, imaginary friends and sideshow freaks, I guess you could say I pretty much write love songs. I’m a cheesy bastard at heart. I’m a stay-at-home dad who’s looking to find more time in the studio when my youngest starts school in September. I have an ever-expanding back catalog (at least 3 albums worth & counting) I’m dying to share with the world one download at a time.

Official Website: www.stevechatterton.com
Twitter: twitter.com/SteveChatterton
ROUND 1 SONG:I Will Always Look Up To You

JUTZE SCHULT

Johannes “Jutze” Schult (from Germany) likes to live in a dream world where there has been no Grunge and where he is a talented singer. Sometimes his little folky pop songs find their way into the real world. Here they suffer from his hoarse voice and the do-it-yourself home recording production, struggling to appeal off and on beaten musical paths.

Official Website: www.jutze.com
Twitter: twitter.com/schult
ROUND 1 SONG:Natalie Portman’s Doormat

JARRETT HEATHER

Although he has no formal training, Jarrett is an accomplished pianist who has been composing music for nearly twenty years. A relative newcomer to the world of online amateur competitive songwriting, he burst onto the scene earlier this year when he filled out an entry form just before the deadline. While earning his living as a graphic artist and website developer, Jarrett secretly dreams of leaving behind the glamor and prestige of internet publishing so he can focus on composing music for songwriting contests full-time. With no fanbase, loyal followers, obedient minions or friends, Jarrett will rely on his music-crafting skills alone to win over converts and earn votes.

Official Website: www.spaceparanoids.net
Twitter: twitter.com/SpaceParanoids
ROUND 1 SONG:Trapped Inside Your Sofa

AUDIOMOHEL

Forged in the furnace of irony, molded with the hammer of satire, flattened on the anvil of righteousness, and cooled in the water of awesomeness, AudioMohel was thrust upon the world. Named from the lost audio transcripts of ‘09, AudioMohel serves as a public-service backlash against the anti-circumcision trend sweeping the so-called “enlightened parents” crowd, AudioMohel urges their more devoted and impressionable fans to undergo the snip two or even three times. AudioMohel enjoys experimenting with new breakthrough genres like speed blues and death classical even though most of AudioMohel’s tunes reside firmly in the ethereal realm of vapor-ware. Some of AudioMohel’s members admitted to being a bit intimidated by the professed experience and actual musical talent apparently possessed by the Song Fu Masters, but finally it was decided that if the need arose, sabotage would not be out of the question. To be used as a last resort, naturally, but not out of the question.

Official Website: www.AudioMohel.com
Twitter: twitter.com/AudioMohel
ROUND 1 SONG:Hubcap Without A Home

JALEPENO HABANEROS

In the far off land of Chandler, Arizona, where the rivers flow with sand and cacti, our leader and master, the Lord of Our Lady Gwynyth, guitar and microphone in hand, called for the greatest musicians in the land to assemble a rock and roll group like none other. Unfortunately, they were cut off on the road, and the Jalapeño Habañeros made it there first. With The Rogue Bohemian on saxophone and The Boxcar Bassist on bass and keyboards, the Lord was pleased. Now, they roam the streets of Chandler, playing epic songs and rocking faces, much like Bon Jovi. Unfortunately they are paid in change, and often get thrown into the street, also like Bon Jovi. Their lives have intertwined, and the era of the Jalapeño Habañeros has begun. Be prepared.

Official Website: None
ROUND 1 SONG:Aquaman’s Trident’s Lament

THE SCRIBBLES

The Scribbles are one of the most popular ukulele-based trios in their entire 6th grade class. Oh sure, there is the rumor that Peter Choi hates them. Meh. He’s a hater. Ha ha. The Scribbles formed last November when they all agreed on the name. After that they bought some instruments and started writing songs and stuff. So far, they’ve played a handful of shows around their hometown of Springfield, MO. Everyone’s favorite song seems to be “The Robot Song”. Maybe it’s because robots really are taking over the world, or maybe because Connor wears the robot suit during that song and that’s pretty funny. Thanks to MySpace, they are now friends with really cool people like The Beatles and Weezer and Tom. They’ve said some really nice things like “iloveyouguys:D” and “thanx for the add:).” Oh, and by the way, Peter Choi, The Scribbles still luv u.

Official Website: www.myspace.com/thescribbles1
ROUND 1 SONG:Snuggie Like Me

GORBZILLA

songfu-gorbzilla.pngGorbzilla is a musician/band teacher in Mid-Michigan. He has been in a few bands over the years, most notably as the bass player/vocalist for the band “Satin Jones” and the guitarist/vocalist for the band “Jimmy Likes Pie”. The proud father of two future rock maniacs, Gorbzilla has been writing music for the past twenty years, and is currently working on his first musical Beer – Finally a Musical for Men based on the Haiku by Patrick “Horkmeister” Sweet entitled, “I Think I Threw Up”. He has been happily married for eight years, and is looking forward to this competition.

Official Website: gorbzilla.blogspot.com
ROUND 1 SONG:I Am Your Pants

DARRELL MacLAINE

Darrell Maclaine has been devouring comedy songs and interesting music ever since he was old enough to know better, and is taking part in this competition essentially as penance for the amount of free music he has obtained via the previous rounds. He plays piano and keyboard bass as one fifth of oddball UK pop group The Directors (another fifth of the group, Mathew Cornah, possesses both more instrumental expertise and a much better home studio than him and will inevitably be press-ganged into contributing to his entries), and has decided to exercise his rusty songwriting muscles in the most embarrassingly public way possible.

Official Website: directors.mashedbins.com
ROUND 1 SONG:Strawberry Fool

BERG AND JERRY

Berg and Jerry are a small suburban acoustic group comprised of Andrew Berg (Lead Vocals, Melodica and, maybe, eventually the Ukulele) and Jerry Geleff (Guitar and Backup Vocals). Mid-summer ‘08, Berg and Jerry began writing songs together and since then… well, basically nothing. As rookies to this competition, these guys hope to at least make one good song, and entertain at least one person (*fingers crossed*). Berg and Jerry have a fun ska/indie/punk acoustic sound and often try to write clever witty lyrics. So listen, laugh, and something else that starts with an “L”, because Berg and Jerry are ready to slightly attempt to be THE MASTERS OF SONG FU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Official Website: www.myspace.com/bergandjerry
ROUND 1 SONG:The Green Potato Chip Song

DERREK J. THOMPSON

Derrek J. Thompson is an irresponsible and unimportant song-writer and all-around creative type that lives in the middle of nowhere. His hobbies include sleeping and performing Bach at old-folks homes. He plays keyboards in a band called Anthropophobia but they don’t seem to be going anywhere. He hopes to become more disciplined with his creative endeavors as a result of Song Fu.

Official Website: www.derrekswords.com/
ROUND 1 SONG:O’Riely’s Underpants

JEREMY PIERSON

Jeremy’s turn-ons include big eyes, belly laughter, and long walks on the beach. Turn-offs include bad breath, knobby knees, and fungal growth. Huh? This isn’t my post for eHarmony.com? Oh. It’s for what? “Song Fu”? What’s that? I voluntarily submitted to participate? I’ve participated before? Oh. That. I didn’t get any votes last time? Oh, only a few? How many is “a few”? Eight? Why am I participating again? The challenge of it all and the friendly competition? Just to be considered, however briefly, a peer of Jonathan Coulton? Sweet.

Official Website: www.jeremypierson.com
ROUND 1 SONG:Your Welcome Mat

DENISE HUDSON

Denise lived in a grey house in the city of Austin. Her favorite pastimes were playing piano, polishing her guitar, and tormenting the geeky programmer boy who lived there. His name was Michael, but she never called him that… Isn’t that a wonderful bio???

Official Website: www.myspace.com/denisehudson
ROUND 1 SONG:Leave The Stone Alone, Yep

LEX VADER

Lex Vader was born to a single mother who worked as silicon tycoon’s personal assistant. When she died of poor hygiene, Lex was sent to an orphanage where he showed interest in organizing races and laser fencing. After being recruited into a religious order, he spent the next few years between several of their private schools. In his final year, Lex lost his hand in an argument with a professor over Kryptochlorians. Despite this, Lex was able to achieve a successful business career and even a knighthood. Tragedy struck, however, when a former classmate’s arctic home caught fire during a business lunch, scarring half of Lex’s face. At this point, Lex’s behavior became erratic. When he managed to buy SithCo, the cult that schooled him, he was shunned by the corporate world. No longer taken seriously, Lex started an evil empire and now moonlights with his evil emotronic alternapop band.

Official Website: lexvaderssecretjournal.wordpress.com
ROUND 1 SONG:Just A Rock

TOM MILSOM

Tom Milsom is a musician, writer, artist and videomaker who has had nearly 2,000,000 views of his YouTube videos and has released an album, Awkward Ballads for the Easily Pleased, to murmurs of critical success. Faced with this onslaught of vague acceptance, he plans to release his second album, Painfully Mainstream, later this year, and is thrilled to be a part of this frankly charming and delightful competition.

Official Website: www.tommilsom.com
ROUND 1 SONG:The Raincoat’s Lament

CALEB HINES

Caleb became a software engineer instead of a musician because the type of music he likes best went out of style at the end of the 18th century. Self-taught in music theory, he is more comfortable writing a four-part instrumental fugue than he is writing a verse-chorus-bridge song. After discovering the likes of Weird Al, Dr. Horrible, and especially Jonathan Coulton, he realized that “modern music” can be fun too. Now he is on a quest to update, expand, and diversify his musical knowledge and experience. In addition to singing, he plays a whole family of recorders (not usually all at once) and baroque flute, pretends to play keyboard, and most recently, ukulele. He also uses virtual MIDI instruments because a real orchestra costs too much.

Official Website: NONE
ROUND 1 SONG:Ancient Wonder

MILES FROM NASHVILLE

Miles from Nashville was born in early 2009 when multi-instrumentalist Charlie Wolf and harmonica player Michael Ruhland ran into each-other one day at the Albertson’s supermarket in Hermosa Beach, CA. Miles from Nashville play an eclectic mix of country, folk, rock, blues, pop, indie rock, rap (just kidding), and polka that they like to call “guacamole rock”. They are currently working on their debut album, Songs about November, and have their very own website (though who doesn’t these days?). If you happen to have large sums of money and/or expensive guitars that you don’t need, they’ll be glad to put them to use for you. Miles from Nashville plays shows around Los Angeles, CA every so often, so be sure to check the website for gigs.

Official Website: www.milesfromnashville.com
ROUND 1 SONG:A Bridge To Nowhere

ANDREW THOMSON

Hello. I am singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, filmmaker, writer and activist Andrew Jon Thomson. I am honored to have played, collaborated, performed, and recorded with many outstanding musicians from many fantastic bands including the following current and past collaborators: The Memphis Horns, Dweezil Zappa, Anton Fig, Chuck Rainey, Tom Roady, Charlie Chalmers, Roades Chalmers Roades, Arthur Barrow, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Tommy Mars, Clayton Ivey, Charlie Morgan, Pablo Herrera (Cuba), Richard Nelson (Ireland), Mike Garson, Pat Mastellotto, Marc Muller, Rob Paporozzi, Sammy Merendino, Graham Maby, Paul Robinson (UK), Paul C. Robinson (US), Pete Lockett (UK),Victor Indrizzo, Fima Ephron, Dave “Fuze” Fiuczynski, Bassy B Brockman, David Gilmore, Victor Damiani, Todd Roper, Greg Brown, and DJ Qbert.

Official Website: www.helloandrew.com
ROUND 1 SONG:Someplace 2 Land: Bush’s Flight Suit’s Lament

CALEB LEE

To Whom It May Concern: Caleb didn’t want to write his own bio (musicians, eh?) so I will do the honours. After peddling his wares leading the criminally unnoticed Yay For Squares (www.myspace.com/yayforsquares) and playing an inadvisable amount of shows alongside good friends The Tastydactyls, Caleb decided to go solo in the early parts of 2008. Since then he’s enjoyed the success of dozens of fans and casual mentions on low-brow podcasts. With a flair for heartfelt song-writing and a wildly erotic combover, he’s hoping to win your love in this competition and will be wildly neurotic about it until he does so. - His bud, Aaron.

Official Website: www.myspace.com/caleblee
Twitter: twitter.com/thecaleblee
ROUND 1 SONG:How Man Years Bad Luck If You Break A Mirror’s Heart

RICHARD CLAYTON SPRING

Hailing from a small town in Southern Minnesota, Richard Clayton Spring has risen above the norm, blossoming into a beautiful butterfly of acoustic guitars, pianos, synths, electronic beats, and vocals ranging from the softest of whispers to the yelp of the Great Wolf. The only style of music Richard can’t write incredibly is generic pop music, or else he would be in a limousine drinking champagne with Lady GaGa. But he has acquired an auto-tuner, so he’s working his way there.

Official Website: www.myspace.com/richardclaytonspring
ROUND 1 SONG:Crazy Straw

SARA PARSONS

Parsons is a 20-year-old student from California. She can leap small buildings in a few bounds. She fears large fish, but for some reason not sharks or whales. Parsons always makes the same New Year’s resolution: to survive to see the next year. So far, this has worked well for her. Parsons comes from an impressive songwriting pedigree: her older brother wrote the song “Blue Moon” in 1934, managing to overcome his crippling dyslexia and the fact that the song was written 51 years before his birth. Parsons’s songwriting influences include Beethoven, The Beatles, and Weird Al. Her sense of humor comes from The Simpsons, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and her frequent injections of concentrated doses of Vitamin K. Parsons hopes to go far in this competition. If she doesn’t emerge victorious, she will be forced to turn to Operation Omega. Nobody wants that to happen.

Official Website: www.youtube.com/user/sargeantketchup
ROUND 1 SONG:Throw Me Away

AUSTIN & THE PUDAKS

With only two members, the name may be misleading, but that seems to be a theme here. Austin Morley and Jeremy Pudak have been playing music together for several years now, and have never really settled on a genre or a name. In their younger days they would draw on rock influences like Rancid or The Ramones. In recent years, they have settled into slightly quieter influences like She & Him and Bob Dylan. Jeremy has always had a talent for the guitar, but Austin was not so lucky and decided to stick with a bass guitar. Austin & The Pudaks will be rocking your face off, but may not actually be in a rock genre. Be careful, as exposure to this amount of awesome has unpredictable effects.

Official Website: www.myspace.com/nodirectionhome89
ROUND 1 SONG:A Record Of Your Life

IAN & MELISSA

Melissa and Ian are two amateur musicians with a longtime love of composing and performing classical music. Whether this is useful or relevant for a songwriting competition remains to be seen. They are eagerly awaiting the “Write a song in the style of an obscure Baroque composer” round, ’cause somebody totally told them there would be such a round and why would someone lie like that?

Official Website: www.ianandmelissa.com
ROUND 1 SONG:I Remember

TRAVIS NORRIS

Over the twelve years since young-ish midwesterner Travis Norris first picked up a guitar, he has played and written music in a wide variety of genres ranging from rock that a-billies, metal of a medium or heavier weight, “outlaw” country (aka “the good kind”) and “frosty” jazz (not a real subgenre). Left to his own devices, something like “U2 meets Jonny Lang meets various two-to-three-hit-wonder bands of the ’90s indie/alternative scene” is what you’ll usually get. Travis’s instrumental talents range from lead guitar, 2nd lead guitar, rhythm guitar, auxiliary guitar, and bass (sorta). He can also drag and drop drum loops like you wouldn’t believe. He comes to this competition armed with three electric guitars, a neglected bass, an Ebow, and absolutely no fan base or public recognition. So be nice, eh? I hear he’s real sensitive when people that aren’t him make fun of him.

Official Website: NONE
ROUND 1 SONG:Enertronic Bow

THE GREMLINS

When we’re not turning scrap metal into transportation and weaponry suited to post-apocalyptic life, studying the obsolete sociopolitical establishment of the twenty-first century under the guise of civil service, or scouting subterranean wilds for a suitable base of operations, The Gremlins are dedicated to sabotaging the destructive technological forces that have become your way of life through whatever mischief is at our disposal. Banjos are fun, too.

Official Website: NONE
ROUND 1 SONG:Neutron Star

THE PERFECT PLACE

When two musicians marry one another, it’s a wonderful thing. When a multi-instrumental songwriter marries an amazing vocalist, it’s even better. Bud (oldest of three, one insane sibling of each gender) was born and raised in sunny San Diego, CA – a drummer first, guitarist second, and just about everything you could imagine third through last. Christin Joy (youngest of four, with 3 older brothers) was born and raised in beautiful Annapolis, MD – with the voice of an angel and the compassion to match; she is quite a wonderful singer and writer. The Perfect Place is a Husband/Wife duo that enjoys writing and performing music in their spare time. While their main area of expertise is theologically minded, they have been known to get a little silly from time to time. Masters of Song Fu should prove to be an interesting challenge, one we await with eager anticipation. Woot!

Official Website: www.myspace.com/oneperfectplace
ROUND 1 SONG:If I’ve Learned Anything

HIS NAME IS LEGS

His Name Is Legs is a newly-created rock band comprised of guitarist/vocalist/Song Fu veteran Hazen Nester and bassist Cameron Accola, who collaborated with Nester on two of his previous entries. Born out of a mutual love of Rush and talented musicians in general, His Name Is Legs pledges to provide listeners with an eclectic array of sounds designed to stimulate and elevate. What makes this band unique is that neither Accola nor Nester have ever met each other in person.

Official Website: www.myspace.com/hisnameislegs
ROUND 1 SONG:One Of The Team

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To download a ZIP FILE containing all of the ROUND 1 songs, CLICK HERE.

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ROUND 2 CHALLENGE

Write a march.

A march is “a piece of music with a strong regular rhythm which in origin was expressly written for marching to” - and that is your challenge. You can write on any topic. Your song must run no shorter than 1 minute 15 seconds.

Your song must be submitted in mp3 form (128-192kbps) either via e-mail (to songfu @ asitecalledfred.com - remember to remove the spaces) or a file upload service (like RapidShare or YouSendIt). Deadline for submission is 11:59pm EST on Monday, June 8th, 2009.

Voting on Round 2 submissions will commence on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009.

If you want some inspiration, here’s a march from Harry Nilsson…
[display_podcast]

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ROUND 1 VOTING RESULTS - THE CHALLENGERS

[poll id="18"]

View Results

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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.

Good luck, and bring on the Fu.

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Comments:

71 Responses to “Masters Of Song Fu #4: Round 2 Challenge Revealed!”

  1. Caleb H Says:

    Well… here we go… I predict a massive influx of brass oom-pa-oom-pah’s coming to a quickstop near you.

    Lot’s of room for interpretation.

  2. Berg Says:

    …hmmm well it looks like this duet is gonna need to convert to full band.

  3. Parsons Says:

    Holy crap, this is going to be… interesting.

  4. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    as a san marcos marching knights alumnus, this is right up my alley, and i’m super stoked to do this one. ;-D

    however, my only gripe is… 1:15 is pushing it for a march. most marches are not that long, they are meant to be short and repeat several times to cover a parade route.

    so meeting the time could be interesting. i suppose we can loop the music and write several verses… but i don’t imagine that would be terribly interesting to listen to.

  5. Travis Norris Says:

    Not that I’m actually brave enough to write an instrumental… but are lyrics actually required?

  6. Rod Durre Says:

    Now, don’t even try to submit your “pre-existing” marches, people ; )

  7. Steve Chatterton Says:

    I was just saying the other day I’ve been dying to bust loose on my Sousaphone.

  8. Russ Rogers Says:

    In the last round of Song Fu, there were many songs with very similar themes. There were at least three songs about rocks or stones. Two songs about loose change. Three “Laments.” Two doormat songs and a rug song. One song about pants and another about underpants.

    With that in mind, I wanted to announce what GöDZ PööDLZ plans to write our song about. GöDZ PööDLZ is planning to write a march about…”GöDZ PööDLZ!” But we are actually encouraging all our Song Fu competitors to write songs about GöDZ PööDLZ too! Good luck. Rock on!

  9. Caleb H Says:

    @Travis: I was wondering exactly the same thing. Tons of marches don’t have lyrics (or if they do, they are rarely sung). The rules don’t technically specify, but since this is a *songwriting* contest, not a *composing* contest, (and given the example provided) I’m going to assume that we need them.

    But if someone wants to try an instrumental, I’d look forward to hearing it. :-)

  10. Ian & Melissa (Ian) Says:

    I think every song needs to include a guy shouting “GUAM!!!!!”.

  11. Michelle Says:

    Wow.

    But at least it’s not country.

  12. Dom Says:

    Marches. Thank you Ken.

  13. Caleb H Says:

    >> “Now, don’t even try to submit your “pre-existing” marches, people”

    Looking forward to Lex’s. Just because another Vader has a certain march that we all know and love… :-)

    Actually, everybody’s entry should be really fun to listen to this time around. Marches seem the natural cure for all the ukuleles around here. ;-)

  14. Caleb H Says:

    Also: I can whistle the piccolo solo to Stars & Stripes Forever… sorta. Maybe that will help.

  15. Hazen of His Name Is Legs Says:

    @Perfect Place(Bud): I just looked at my Sousa collection. They clear 1:15 with some room to spare.

  16. Rod Durre Says:

    >>Marches seem the natural cure for all the ukuleles around here.<<

    Don’t speak too soon ; )

  17. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    @hazen: i stand corrected then! the fact that you have a sousa collection is quite impressive. ;-D

    our entry for this round will be wikitastic. that’s all i can say.

  18. Lex Vader Says:

    “Just because another Vader has a certain march that we all know and love”

    Guess you haven’t watched my latest video. :P

  19. Johanne Says:

    The match-ups are interesting.

  20. Caleb H Says:

    @Lex, Actually, I had, but only in the background while working on something else, and I had completely forgotten the opening theme. Very well, I am not looking forward to yours, then. :-p

  21. Caleb Lee Says:

    Has anyone heard Eisley - Tree Tops … I feel like that’s a march, and a fairly good song… now if only I had written it 2 days ago. Ha.

    Honestly I’m screwed.. well done Ken… a march…. *pulls out hair*

  22. Travis Norris Says:

    Well, if we’re taking a broad enough definition of “march” thatthe example song (side note: GUAAAM!) counts I think I’m okay… I have several ideas, none of which are particularly cheery. Oh yeah. Let’s get depressing.

  23. Caleb H Says:

    Depressing? Like a funeral march?

    Nah. Mine is gonna be a cheery, rousing war march. (GUAM!!!)

  24. riddle Says:

    this is the song (fu) that never ends…

  25. Darrell Maclaine Says:

    I think I’m going to politely drop out of this contest, but good luck to everybody who enters.

  26. Caleb H Says:

    yes it goes on and on my friend…

  27. Russ Rogers Says:

    @Darrell, you will be missed. I hope you come by and check out the triumph and tragedy of our Marches.

  28. Travis Norris Says:

    some people
    (beat)
    started singin’ it not knowing what it was–*hackcoughhackcough*

    Uh, right, anyway. Sorry to see you go, Darrell. Best of luck in the future. Come on back for the theoretical MoSF 5 if you miss us. :)

    In the spirit of Gdz Pdlz proposed disclosure policy… the song I’m writing is called “Deserter’s March” unless I change my mind/can’t finish suitable lyrics or music at the last minute (in which case I’ll either write a song about my pet rats or more likely won’t complete the challenge at all). You can probably guess the general theme by the title.

  29. Steve Chatterton Says:

    @Russ Rogers: I just want to go on record saying that despite their similarities rugs and doormats serve completely different functions and are therefore decidedly not interchangeable.

    If you try wiping your boots on my rug, we’re going to have issues.

    Good luck to everyone in this round.

    Darrell, don’t give up, though I guess it’s a little late in the game now. Marches are everywhere in pop music & you just don’t know it. It’s all about tempo & pulse. If you’ve got steady quarter notes around 120 BPM, it’s a march for damn sure. Ben Folds does them once in a while if that helps. I’d even argue that the Beatles did them too. “Yellow Submarine” had a good step to it, especially in the middle with the brass band samples, but I’d also argue that tunes like “Good Day Sunshine” & “Ob-La-Di” had their own march elements too. You might even have something already written that fits the bill without even knowing it.

    Shame. You’re good, and I really enjoyed your tune last round.

  30. Travis Norris Says:

    *after one of the most frustrating “recording” sessions in his amateur career* Never in my life have I more fervently wished to know a percussionist or two who lives nearby…

  31. Jutze Schult Says:

    Re: Gödz Pöödlz disclosure policy - I recorded my march today. It’s called “March 2003″. So if you plan on using the name of the homonymous month, please resort to another year, for example March 2004 or March 1812. Thank you.

    PS: Although I tried, I couldn’t fit a Gödz Pöödlz-reference into my lyrics. I’m very sorry and hope that I can make up for it in round 3.

  32. BucketHatBobby Says:

    prom, exams and graduation, final projects and work are actually preventing me from completing this challenge.
    I suck.

  33. Darrell Maclaine Says:

    I am being swayed. I’m still not in perfect health at the moment (hence the original withdrawal), but if it was allowed I could enter a previously recorded song that fits the challenge, as I’ll probably be better again by the time Round 3 rolls around. It’s never been finished before, so I could assemble and mix it and enter that? Or would that be in breach of the game? It is a march, at least.

    If people rather I wouldn’t I’ll stay on the sidelines as a happy spectator. But if it’s really okay to do so just this once, it would be in my ability to finish and submit this one then carry on as normal from there. As long as I don’t have to get up and start plink-plonking things or running around with microphones I’m okay for a bit of multitrack tinkering.

    It’s not a noble injury, by the way. I’ll be honest and confess, minus the polite “personal reasons” pride-covering - a few days ago I walked into a door and forgot I was 6′7″ tall. You wouldn’t believe how disproportionately unwell that has made me. It’s not even the first head injury of the competition!

  34. Travis Norris Says:

    Darrell - I vote you do it! Although you better hurry, I think we’ve got about 3 hours left. OR if Ken would give you a “bye” and let you stay in for round 3 that would be excellent also. Of course, the spam filter blocks everything I submit so this message may not show up until it’s too late either way.

    ——

    I personally don’t see what difference it makes if someone sits out a round. After all, it just means they won’t get any votes that round. Hurts their chance of winning obviously. But I think I’ve made my feelings on the whole “winning” thing pretty well known.

    ——

    Finished and submitted my song. I’ve been plagued with some sort of respiratory… THING… the last few days so the vocals could definitely be better, but other than that I’m pleased with the results.

  35. Russ Rogers Says:

    @Darrell. first off, you are 6′7! Yowza! I never would have guessed from your picture, especially since you’re looking UP at the camera in it.

    I think if you are finishing an unfinished tune, and it’s a march, that falls within the Spirit of the Fu. Bucket Hat Bobby may deduct Fu points from you, but I don’t think very many, and you are well above the threshold where you might get the dingos set upon you.

    Seriously, we all need to take the competition part of this competition a little less seriously. (I know I need to! Man, I was checking vote totals every fifteen minutes there for a while.) For me Song Fu is more about the camaraderie of meeting a similar challenge and what we can learn from each other, than making sure everybody sticks to nonexistent “rules.” Anyway, being declared the winner is mostly just about bragging rights. Darrell, I would much rather have you stick around with a partially pre-written and prerecorded (yet unreleased) song and come back full steam next challenge, than have your drop out all together. I hope you can get your march mixed in time. And I hope you feel better soon, that’s the important thing.

    @Steve Chatterton, “Yellow Submarine” is definitely a march, one of the Marchiest Pop Marches ever Marched! I think “The Monkee’s Theme Song” (Hey, Hey we’re the Monkees!) is also a march. Like you say, there are plenty of Marches around and they don’t all have Tuba and Piccolo.

    @Jutze, thanks for trying to wedge “Gödz Pöödlz” into your song. We did it and came out with something between John Philip Sousa and Tupac Shakur. We call it “SousPac.” I’m sure it’ll be the next big thing in music. Just for Lex, we tried to include ukulele and a chorus of children. But I don’t think we’ll be able to come through with a Ben Folds Piano part. And we can’t help but sound a little like Weird Al, we’re fairly white and nerdy.

    @BHBobby, you don’t SUCK. We won’t even sick the dingos on you. I’m sorry you can’t finish this challenge. I look forward to reading your comments anyway. And congratulations on your graduation!

  36. Russ Rogers Says:

    @Travis, you scared the crap out of me. We’ve actually got a little over a DAY to get in our songs. Tomorrow at 11:59 EST. Whew. We’re still mixing!

  37. Travis Norris Says:

    Whoops. So we do. Apologies for any panic I might have caused. I could have swore it said 11:59 on Sunday earlier this week? Huh. Well, in that case, I might take another shot at the vocals tomorrow after work.

    Again, sorry to Russ and anybody else I who might have experienced any negative emotion. :-/

  38. Caleb H Says:

    Scared me a bit too, till I double checked. Nevertheless, I just applied some final mastering EQ and submitted it a few minutes ago. Since we’re sharing titles, it’s entitled:

    Marching To Selador (Traditional Dwarven March)

    It’s been painstakingly translated and reconstructed from the remails of the original dwarvish runes.

  39. Caleb H Says:

    *remains*

  40. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    gonna be a last-minute deal, unfortunately, so the music will be quite basic. we had a wedding to go to this weekend up in lake tahoe [10 hours away] so that took up a lot of precious recording time. we’ve got to bang it all out tomorrow in a couple of hours, so sadly this won’t be the production it deserves to be. ;-/

    in the spirit of title sharing, our song is entitled ‘march of the clandestine ninjas’.

    yeah, i know. ‘clandestine ninjas’ sounds redundant, but in this case it really isn’t. you’ll see when you hear the song. ;-D cheers all.

  41. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    p.s. we’ve managed to fit in a reference to guam as well as a certain band consisting of two people with unnecessary penstrokes in their names that will not be mentioned. ;-D

  42. riddle Says:

    @Darrell: i hate to be the spoiler here, but i feel submitting a previously constructed song goes against the spirit of this competition. Song Fu is about creating NEW work inspired by odd challenges.

  43. Caleb H Says:

    Against the spirit, maybe, and yet there’s no rule against it. Precomposed songs *are* accepted, and they *do* get votes, so I’d say go for it. Especially in the case where there was a health-related problem preventing him from creating a new song, and when said song hasn’t been finished before. At least it gives him a way to still enter a song.

    I like Ken’s policy of letting the voters decide. You can submit a previously-composed song, but you risk disinfranchising the voters.

    He’d better hurry though.

  44. Darrell Maclaine Says:

    Have submitted my entry. Feel free to not vote for it!

  45. The Scribbles Says:

    We just submitted our march. It is called The Student’s Revenge. It is a bit on the dark and violent side.

  46. Lex Vader Says:

    Oh boy, PerfectPlace if only you’d waited, you could have could have cashed in on lyrics about the secret ninja plot to kill David Carradine. (He was such a threat to the Great Ninja Order, after all. What with his Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique that one movie revealed. And his even more deadly Punch You Once Every Few Minutes For A Couple Years Until You Get Fed Up And Die technique.)

  47. Lex Vader Says:

    So anyway, I decided my song is called “Doomsday March.” You will either cry, pee, or laugh innappropriately.

  48. Steve Chatterton Says:

    In the spirit of sharing, me tune is called “The Only Way I Know.”

    Mixed, submitted. All will be revealed soon.

  49. Edric Says:

    “Whispered In Your Ear”

    No Guam. No Pöödles. No piano. Sorry, guys!

    :-)

    (Wait… What?!?)

  50. Berg Says:

    Well….im just about to send in my entry….could be better…could be a lot worse….. definitely the first/last march i will ever make.

    The title of mine is “This Day Shall Be Mine”

  51. Steve Chatterton Says:

    Damn, Edric’s theatrical background may give him an advantage in this round. I did the Music Man back in high school, dude, so I hope you don’t try to repackage “76 Trombones” on us.

  52. Caleb H Says:

    I’ve heard Edric’s entry. Without spoiling it, I’ll just say that 76 trombones is the least of your worries… :-)

  53. Derrek J. Thompson Says:

    I atempted to record and submit my entry called “March of the Farys (Oh Such A Joyous occasion)” Apparently the mic jack gods decided to protect your ears this time arround. Never fear, I will be back with another uber-lo-fi recording next round.

  54. Hazen of His Name Is Legs Says:

    Hey all,

    We just finished and submitted our entry. It’s called “The Ocoee Shopper” after a non-existant, small-town newspaper deep in the heart of Florida. Break a leg, all!

  55. Richard Clayton Spring Says:

    WHOA!! Glad that’s over. Thinking about marches put me in war/soldier mode, so that’s what I wrote about. Turned out cyberpunk/depressing/space-opera.

  56. Ian & Melissa (Ian) Says:

    Well, we wrote a march called “March of the magical hobos to magic hobo land”. It had everything you would ever want in a song. Sadly, it was hit by a bus.

    In its memory we wrote our “Song FUneral march”.

    I know a lot of people complained that the vocals were too soft in our last song, but unfortunately something horrible happened this time and they’re completely inaudible. Well, maybe if you turn up the volume really loud. Um. yeah. :)

    Truth is we had a miserable time writing words to a march so went for something instrumental. If you really want words, feel free to scream “put the peeps in the stomach” at any time throughout the piece.

    Also, any mistakes you hear are part of the avant-garde nature of our song, and are completely intentional.

    All of this assumes that our “song” is even accepted…

  57. Denise Hudson Says:

    I have finished my march, and there are less problems than last time.

    I’m fairly well pleased with it.

    It’s called ‘Anna’s Gerbil and the Singularity;’ and you’ll have to wait for tomorrow - at least on my end … because I’m going to have a cupcake and then going to bed.

    :)
    DH
    ps. (oh, there’s no lyrics. snick, snick, snick …)

  58. Hazen of His Name Is Legs Says:

    @Denise: So we have another instrumental on our hands, eh? Sounds interesting.

  59. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    @ian: we had some vocal volume issues as well. i got the song sent in before 9pm our time [the cutoff] and sent in a better mix after the deadline. we’ll see which one goes up there. looks like we’ll have to definitely put the lyrics up if it’s the one with softer vocals because it’s difficult to understand what we’re saying if you don’t have it in front of you.

    something i learned this time is that you definitely need an outside opinion to get a good vocal level. i always think the vocals are fine because i already know what we’re saying, so it seems perfectly clear to me. if the person listening can’t make out the lyrics without a lyric sheet in front of them, the vocals are too quiet. ;-P

  60. Caleb H Says:

    @Ian&Melissa - If it is a march over 1:15, I have a hard time believing it will not be accepted. But I probably won’t scream about peeps while listening, since my coworkers might look at me kinda funny.

    Also, wow… at least three lyric-less entries now that I’m aware of, and several possible mentions of non-entrants. I ended having to go fantasy-themed, and Richard above apparently went sci-fi…

    Is there nothing worth marching for these days? :-)

    The temptation to write something without lyrics was strong for me too, but I want as much practice writing lyrics as I can get (whether these are any better, I’ll let you judge). That was one of my whole reasons for entering these challenges. Another was getting practice in recording live instruments instead of just sequencing MIDI. Personally, I think I *could* have composed a really cool instrumental march for a full orchestra — using all sampled sounds — but it would have defeated my whole purpose for entering a *songwriting* competition.

    As it stands, the only sampled instruments I’m using this time is a tuba and the percussion (except the 2 triangles). The rest is played live.

  61. Caleb H Says:

    Clarification: By “sampled” parts I *actually* meant “sequenced” parts — i.e. the notes typed out into an editor instead of being played live. Though in my case, the two are the same.

  62. Tom M Says:

    In the spirit of the unofficial disclosure bandwagon, I have written a song from the point of view of somebody who has gone stark raving bonkers. It is called March As A Mad Hare.

    This is going to be SO FUN. Look forward to hearing you lot march your way to victory :D

  63. Lex Vader Says:

    I dreamed there were half as many entries as last time, and some were unplayable due to the filenames having weird characters in them. *coughgodzpoodlzcough*

    As long as we’re thumbtwiddling, my song is entirely sequenced. I apologize if anyone’s expecting me to sound the same twice. *coughjutzecough* I probably won’t. I have no “sound.”

  64. Lex Vader Says:

    BTW I don’t care what anyone says, that Harry Nilsson song is not a march. It’s ABOUT a march, and it’s a tip of the hat to a march, but it’s clearly a pop song written in SWING time. There’s no way you could march to that without breaking into a tap dance. And that always pisses off the drill sergeant.

  65. Hazen of His Name Is Legs Says:

    Have to agree with you, Lex. Marches are, not surprisingly, very regimented in their style.

  66. Travis Norris Says:

    @Lex: Yeah, I thought the example song (involuntary GUAM!! here) was more of a…. frolic than a march.

  67. Berg Says:

    not to start anything with any of the entrants, but i thought of the very few actually defined rules were, “Remember, you must be able to realize a song both lyrically and musically.”

  68. Hazen of His Name Is Legs Says:

    @Berg: Does that make “Jessica” by The Allman Brothers Band or “The Call of Ktulu” by Metallica or, to a lesser extent, “Wipe Out” by The Surfaris any less songs than their lyrical counterparts? I don’t think so. If anything defines a song, it is “Is it in a pop(ular) style?” The fact of the matter is most marches don’t have lyrics (if they do, odds are they were written far after the fact). To mind, the only notable exception is “Stars and Stripes Forever,” which Sousa himself penned the lyrics.

  69. Caleb H Says:

    Huh… How did I not know that S&SF actually had lyrics?

    I’ve mentioned elsewhere that for marches with lyrics, I went to the pre-Sousa marches of the American Civil War — Battle Hymn of the Republic, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, and Marching Through Georgia.

    But yes, I have plenty of Sousa in my march as well…

  70. Caleb H Says:

    I’ll probably get ninja’d by Edric, but the wait is over: http://www.quickstopentertainment.com/2009/06/09/song-fu-4-round-2-voting/

  71. Pat Misterovich Says:

    There are some notable, post-Sousa American Marches with lyrics

    Over There
    Anchor’s Away
    76 Trombones

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