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******DUE TO THE HOLIDAY, ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FINAL CHALLENGE WILL BE MADE DURING THE WEEK OF JULY 6th. IN THE MEANTIME, CONGRATULATIONS TO BERG & JERRY FOR MOVING ON TO THE FINAL ROUND******

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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 (for those Challengers that did not progress to Round 2, you’ll find those songs HERE), as well as the results of the Round 1 voting. The Challengers were then issued their Round 2 Challenge…

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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.

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You’ll find the Round 2 songs from each of our Challengers below (for those Challengers that did not progress to Round 3, you’ll find those songs HERE), as well as the results of the Round 2 voting. The Challengers were then issued their Round 3 Challenge…

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ROUND 3 CHALLENGE

For your third challenge, you are to write a standard song. I am defining a “standard song” as one with a definite melody and a chorus that repeats at least once (to clarify: the chorus should appear at least twice in the song). However, your song must run EXACTLY 1 minute in length - no shorter, and no longer. You can write on any topic.

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You’ll find the Round 3 songs from each of our Challengers below, followed by the voting form…

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THE CHALLENGERS

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 3 SONG:Acceptance
ROUND 2 SONG:Whispered In Your Ear
ROUND 1 SONG:All For This Moment

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 3 SONG:Bomb Squad Girl
ROUND 2 SONG:Godz Poodlz On Parade
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 3 SONG:You Chose To Be A Dick
ROUND 2 SONG:The Only Way I Know
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 3 SONG:Joey Dumps Pacey
ROUND 2 SONG:March 2003
ROUND 1 SONG:Natalie Portman’s Doormat

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 3 SONG:Wish You Were Here (Falling)
ROUND 2 SONG:La Marcha de Oppurtunidades
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 3 SONG:We Miss You Yeti
ROUND 2 SONG:The Student’s Revenge
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 3 SONG:Minuteman
ROUND 2 SONG:March Of The Geeks (Semi-Autobiographical)
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 3 SONG:Song
ROUND 2 SONG:Football Is Good (The Football Song)
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 3 SONG:Inside Jokes
ROUND 2 SONG:This Day Shall Be Mine
ROUND 1 SONG:The Green Potato Chip Song

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 3 SONG:O Queen
ROUND 2 SONG:Anna’s Gerbil & The Singularity
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 3 SONG:Keen Dreams
ROUND 2 SONG:Doomsday March
ROUND 1 SONG:Just A Rock

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: refactoringmybrain.blogspot.com
Twitter: twitter.com/calebhines
ROUND 3 SONG:A Standard Song
ROUND 2 SONG:Marching To Selador (Traditional Dwarven March)
ROUND 1 SONG:Ancient Wonder

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 3 SONG:Warp Speed
ROUND 2 SONG:A Soldier Forever
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 3 SONG:I Can’t Sleep (Manatee Dreams)
ROUND 2 SONG:Let’s Have An Awkward March
ROUND 1 SONG:Throw Me Away

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 3 SONG:Quickie
ROUND 2 SONG:Song FUneral March
ROUND 1 SONG:I Remember

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 3 SONG:wtfpeople20 (Three Short Stories)
ROUND 2 SONG:March Of The Clandestine Ninjas
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 3 SONG:Swan Song
ROUND 2 SONG:The Ocoee Shopper
ROUND 1 SONG:One Of The Team

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 3 SONG:Don’t Sing Along
ROUND 1 SONG:How Man Years Bad Luck If You Break A Mirror’s Heart

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 3 SONG:Typo In The Lyric Sheet
ROUND 1 SONG:A Record Of Your Life

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 3 SONG:Fu In The Key Of C
ROUND 1 SONG:O’Riely’s Underpants

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 3 SONG:Finite
ROUND 2 SONG:Deserter’s March
ROUND 1 SONG:Enertronic Bow

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To download a ZIP FILE containing all of the ROUND 3 songs, CLICK HERE.

To download a ZIP FILE containing all of the ROUND 2 songs, CLICK HERE.
To download a ZIP FILE containing all of the ROUND 1 songs, CLICK HERE.

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ROUND 3 VOTING

And now, it’s time for that all important voting. For this round, you can choose your TOP 5 FAVORITE Challenger songs. Be sure to choose carefully. VOTING CLOSES AT 11:59pm EST on SUNDAY, JUNE 28th. If you are having trouble voting, CLEAR YOUR BROWSER’S CACHE and try again. THE FINAL CHALLENGE WILL BE REVEALED ON MONDAY, JUNE 29th.

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ROUND 3 VOTING - THE CHALLENGERS

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View Results

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ROUND 2 VOTING RESULTS - THE CHALLENGERS

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ROUND 1 VOTING RESULTS - THE CHALLENGERS

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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:

90 Responses to “Masters Of Song Fu #4: Round 3 Challenge Voting Begins!”

  1. Jutze Schult Says:

    Remarks, opinions, insults, 2 cents etc.:

    Ian & Melissa: What I wrote about their song in Round 1. Good one.
    Caleb Hines: Very good idea, solid execution, sounds a bit like played at the other end of a long room.
    Derrek J. Thompson: Another self-referential song, might have worked better if recorded extremely drunk. It’s nice that there’s still something different/surprising in the last third.
    Edric Haleen: I wasn’t convinced the first time I heard it, but in between all the other songs this one stands out. The vocal performance is awesome. There could have been something at the very end to indicate that the microphone has been switched off or so.
    Berg & Jerry: Clever, really clever, musically solid,
    The Scribbles: Oh, ukes and glockenspiel. Similar to Ian & Melissa’s material. Until the yeti starts to sing.
    The Perfect Place: Very good lyrical approach, good song, cute chorus melody.
    Caleb Lee: Infectious chorus, it’s getting harder to not sing along every time I hear it.
    Sara Parsons: Good approach, like the sleepy noises.
    Richard Clayton Spring: Good song, but the remind me of someone else but I don’t know who, so until I figure that out, I hate this one.
    Lex Vader: Fishing for Sci-Fi voters. Like the synth melody in the second chorus.
    Darrell Maclaine: A slow ballad is counterintuitive, nice harmonies, but a bit “colourless” in terms of content/story.
    Gorbzilla: This is what I’d call a typical Song Fu song. Melodic, not too professionial, different from mainstream lyrics.
    Jalapeno Habaneros: Solid song, but way too timid. Liked the ending/impact, though.
    Godz Poodlz: Glad someone took the countdown approach, yet not in a boring, counting way.
    Steve Chatterton: Catchier than expected. A polka might have been more appropriate.
    Denise Hudson: Has a nice, royal feeling to it, again nice dynamic vocals. The dramatic harmonies suit it for the intro of a TV series.
    Austin & The Pudaks: The lack of dynamics in the songwriting and recording makes it hard for me to even remember it. I’m sorry.
    His Name Is Legs: Solid.
    Travis Norris: The crash cymbal attacked my ear drum. The drums are way too loud, the vocals a bit to low in the mix. Good song, anyway.

    I miss Jarrett Heather’s entry (Drifting)…

    PS: Lyrics to my song can be found on my homepage (click on my name above) along with a making of video.

  2. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    i look forward to hearing all of these soon. ;-D it’s far too late right now.

    our song needs a bit of explanation. the name is a screen name of an anonymous unwashed moron that sent my friend a diatribe about how he doesn’t understand punk rock. i promised the friend that i would name the song that.

    the ‘go’ in the beginning, for those who don’t know, is for a wildly addicting facebook game called bejeweled blitz. my wife plays it all the time and has the volume up, and every time the round starts, it says ‘ONE MINUTE. GOOOO.’ so when i heard this challenge was a one minute song, i knew i had to use that sample. unfortunately, i played the song just a little too slow and only had room for the ‘go’ part. ;-P

    lyrics? i do think so:

    Once upon a time
    There was a rugged mister sundale
    And he traveled ‘cross the prairie
    On that old oregon trail
    But then his family all got typhoid, now they’re dead
    The end

    So on and on we go
    Tellin’ stories of the people
    In this mixed-up crazy world in which we live
    And we’ve got two more stories left to give

    Once upon a time
    There was a disgruntled producer
    And he snuck right into t-pain’s house
    And broke his auto-tuner
    Now we never have to hear from him again
    The end

    So on and on we go
    Tellin’ stories of the people
    In this mixed-up crazy world in which we live
    And we’ve got one last story left to give

    Once upon a time
    There was a pop-song making sick soul
    And he shook his booty, crooned his best
    Now all he does is rick-roll
    Oh, rick astley, thanks for something fun to send
    The end

  3. sevinPackage Says:

    Strange…
    All 3 rounds of voting results appear on my page, and only 1 group is in bold (even though I never vote for one), and I haven’t even voted yet this round!
    It’s Ian and Melissa in bold, BTW.

    It’s a good thing everybody wins…

  4. Edric Haleen Says:

    As always, you can go to http://happinessboard.com/Edric_Haleen.html to find lyrics and other goodies. Best of luck to everyone!

    :-)

    (Jim! Jim! Jim! Jim! Jim!)

  5. Russ Rogers (of GöDZ PööDLZ) Says:

    GöDZ PööDLZ: Bomb Squad Girl
    written by Russ Rogers and Rod Durre

    Bomb Squad Girl,
    We have less than a minute to fall in…(love)
    Bomb Squad Girl, my hands are sweaty, yours are so ready
    Maybe we should both go…(steady)
    Bomb Squad Girl, my secret desire will never expire
    Don’t cut the red wire, don’t cut the red wire!

    Why do I have to wait for a bomb scare to be near you?
    The only time you leave the station is when there’s a crisis
    It would be nice if I saw you twice
    Without any explosive devices
    When I’m standing this close, I don’t think you notice
    My heart is about to explode
    When you’re so disarming, how can I be charming?
    So maybe you’ll never know

    You’re da bomb, Bomb Squad…
    You’re da bomb, Bomb Squad…
    You’re da bomb…

    Bomb Squad Girl,
    We have less than a minute to fall in…(love)
    Bomb Squad Girl, my hands are sweaty, yours are so ready
    Maybe we should both go…(steady)
    Bomb Squad Girl, my secret desire will never expire
    Don’t cut the red wire, don’t cut the red wire!

  6. riddle Says:

    1st post!
    funny coincidence that the 2 Calebs both wrote almost identical meta-songs. i prefer Mr. Hines’ version.

  7. Sara Parsons Says:

    I am so, so, SO crazy about the GöDZ PööDLZ entry. You guys got my vote.

  8. Caleb Hines Says:

    @riddle: Thanks!

    @Jutze: Not quite sure what you mean… All instrumental parts were sequenced rather than played, so maybe I went overboard with the reverb? If you mean the vocals, then maybe I went overboard with the delay effect (I was standing a foot or so from the mic). Or maybe the instruments are just mixed too low, making the them sound far away?

    A lot of excellent songs this round! Overall, the vocals are lot more audible. It’s going to be tough picking five. I think Berg and Jerry’s may be my favorite this time.

  9. Richard (Dick) Clayton Spring Says:

    lyrics in link.

    Steve Chatterton’s song makes me giggle.
    were you inspired by seeing my name?
    i like it but… Dick Spring?
    That’s why I go by Richard.

    I’m really impressed with everyone’s themes.
    and everyone who squeezed in 3 choruses.
    Detailed reviews I will write for this round.

  10. Travis Norris Says:

    @Jutze (and everybody else, haha): Sorry about that crash (well, the two of them)! It is indeed pretty darn loud. Not sure how that escaped me in the mixing process.. I think it could be fixed by just EQ’ing out some highs and dropping the overall level.

    Lyrics in next post… critiques coming this evening.

  11. Caleb Lee Says:

    @Jutze Schult: Thanks! Don’t do it!

    @Riddle: Whoa, you’re right. Great minds connected at the name. Yea, he did better though, 3 verses is crazy for 60 secs.

    Hello everyone. Good luck!

    Caleb

  12. Travis Norris Says:

    Finite
    ——–

    (a) life without… examination
    a crooked smile, inebriation
    some foolish words, a longing glance
    did you ever feel so unenhanced?

    it doesn’t look quite as good
    as it should have
    and it doesn’t sound as good as it would
    if I had more time

    hurry up and wait, stop and go
    love and hate, Lexapro
    ashamed to feel such flat elation
    A Better You, disassociation

    it doesn’t look quite as good
    as it should have
    and it doesn’t sound as good as it would
    if I had more time

    ————

    In a way, this is a deeply personal song, it just happens to be so abstract that it could mean anything. ;)

    I thought about fixing the conflicting tenses in the chorus but I decided to sacrifice grammar for flow (also sounding a little confused fits the content of the song, haha). May the English majors in the room have mercy.

  13. Berg Says:

    @Jutze: thanks a bunch

    @CalebH: Yay!

  14. Richie Says:

    I like Steve….I always did…he looks like a young john cleese…plus he’s really peaceful and all around cool…He’s a nice man.

  15. Ian & Melissa (Ian) Says:

    @Scribbles: Right now I have the yeti song in my head. This is definitely my favorite scribbles entry and one of my favorites this round. I’m not exactly sure what the growling at the end signifies, but I take it either to be a translation of “we miss you yeti” into yetiese or signifying that the yeti misses us as well. Or maybe that the people hunting for the yeti are about to be eaten by said yeti.

    @Steve Chatterton: You chose to be a dick is pretty hilarious. What more can I say? You’ve been underrepresented in the votes every round imo. Time to hit your friends harder with the vote stick.

    @ Caleb H: My favorite entry from you. There were a couple of songs in this form, but this one stood out for me. Of all the songs, this one did the best of actually fitting a standard song in one minute, in my opinion.

    @Lex: Ok, I never played Commander Keen, but if he really has a bean and bacon powered rocket that’s pretty awesome or maybe disturbing. (Or is the rocket made of beans and bacon?) As always, one of my favorites. Also, as always, very high production values.

    @Godz Poodlz: Really great sound and a brilliant idea for a one minute song. Are we to assume that the red wire is cut at the end? Bomb squad girl will clearly be on NBC thursdays next fall with this as its theme song. Nice video also.

    @Berg and Jerry: Personally, I think you should have given the rest of us more of chance by submitting a really crappy song this round. But, you had to disappoint…

    @The Perfect Place: Great lyrics. I especially like the Oregon trail references. Brought me back to the elementary school days. That game was hard. Stupid snake bites.

    @Caleb Lee: Great song. Of all the songs, yours is always the one I can actually imagine hearing on the radio.

    Anyhow….
    Lyrics to our song are on our webpage (click our name) as is our “video”.

  16. Steve Chatterton Says:

    @Jutze: I try to keep the polkas to a minimum. It’s like hip-hop or Tuvan throat singing; if it’s not in your bones, just leave it alone.

    @Richard (Dick) Clayton Spring: Nothing personal, but it’s nothing personal. It started off as a chuckle about a somewhat distant relative who still insists on going by Dick. His wife even holds on to her pet name for him (”My Dick,” as in “Has anybody seen where my Dick has gotten to?” - so hard to keep a straight face). And, if you’ll pardon the expression, it just grew from there.

    It’s been a joke that’s been kicking around around in my mind for years but was always too trivial to make a whole song out of until the 1-minute challenge came along.

    @everyone: There’s a video for this song that I’ll be posting to YouTube likely later today. Some of you might like it. I’ll share a link.

  17. Denise Hudson Says:

    I’m really glad that I got mine in by the skin of my butt. Whew. Good grief. THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU! What a week.

    My plan is to post round two and round three reviews in one fell swoop on my blog, so as not to clutter up the comments page. For now, here are the lyrics and a tiny explanation of the one minute.

    http://philosophywithfries.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/o-queen/

  18. Wilson Fowlie Says:

    @Steve Chatterton: What’s the line before “You’re giving me a facial tic”, please?

  19. riddle Says:

    this round surprised me in that i voted for 3 folks who i not only hadn’t voted for previously but also never expected too.
    Darrel M: i thought your previous efforts too precious and derivative, and though your entry this week sounds like a lost Beatles track, it is perfect for what it is and a genuine work of art. thank you.
    Scribbles: i thought your previous efforts seemed forced, trying to be hip, and thus somewhat immature (all the same, i kinda liked them). but “we miss you yeti” is altogether too adorable to stop me mentally hugging it(there’s that word!).
    and, Perfect Place: i though your previous efforts just kinda unsuccessful. i liked where they were going but didn’t feel like they made it all the way there. but “3 stories” is really rather brilliant and wholly successful. makes my playlist. congrats.
    my other 2 votes went to Caleb H. for his Daniel Johnston-esque meta-ditty, and Godz Poodlz for another song from their forthcoming album “Bite the Hand.” GP, you guys got “it.” i really hope the project stays together.
    honorable mention this week to: B&J (first song of theirs i really liked, but i figured they’d have enough votes without mine), Sara Parsons (i like how the dream keeps drifting into her consciousness, but i would have liked you slowing the song and slurring your singing a bit more as you finally fall completely asleep at the end) and Gorbzilla (the self-deprecation at the end of the song really didn’t fit the rest of the upbeat confident groove and took away from its power).

  20. Hazen of His Name is Legs Says:

    @Jutze: Thanks for the compliment.

    Anywho, lyrics time:

    “Swan Song”

    Goodbye, everybody
    We had some fun, but now it’s time to go
    Goodbye, everybody
    We’d like to stick around, but don’t you know

    We did our very best
    To write some clever songs
    Now the only thing that we can do
    Is say to you all, “So long”

    Goodbye, everybody
    Not a snowball’s chance in Hell of moving on
    Goodbye, everybody
    Wonder if someone will miss us when we’re gone

    We did our very best
    To write some clever songs
    Now the only thing that we can do
    Is say to you all, “So long”

  21. Steve Chatterton Says:

    @Ian & Melissa (Ian): I work like a dog to get the vote out. Seriously. I guess I’m just not that popular.

  22. Steve Chatterton Says:

    @Wilson Fowlie: “Hop away lickety-split”

    I hope to post lyrics on my website soon (bat-shit crazy day today)

  23. Ian & Melissa (Ian) Says:

    @Steve Chatterton: Well you have at least one vote from me. I guess I should not try to understand the mysteries of Song Fu voting :P De gustibus non est disputandum.

  24. Wilson Fowlie Says:

    Thanks, Steve!

    (Also, thanks Darrell, for the Football Song lyrics last round!)

  25. Travis Norris Says:

    Time for me to chuck in my two bad pennies…

    Lex Vader: Ahh, the Apogee years. This one makes me want to fire up some of the illegal P2P software that I don’t actually have and go grab the trilogy that I never could afford at the time. Production is excellent as usual. Voted.

    Perfect Place: The consistent complaint I have with your tracks across the competition is that the guitar sounds sort of tinny. That’s really all I’ve got. Clever lyrics, good harmony. The group definitely has a “sound” and that’s a good thing. +1 for Oregon Trail references. Unfortunately I’ve had it up to wherever with Rickrolling.

    Richard (Dick) Clayton Spring: Neat piano riff. Reminds me of a shoegazer band except you put all the effects on the vocals instead of the (non existent) guitar. Seems like this would be a good dance track if not for the length, but that of course isn’t exactly your fault.

    Parsons: The “33 seconds” line makes me smile everytime. The background harmonies in the.. prechorus, maybe? really make the song. The sleepy voice is pretty adorable. Near miss for vote.

    The Scribbles: My favorite track from you this Fu. Best production/instrumentation/vocals of your three tracks. Another near miss for a vote (yeah I say that a lot). Maybe I’ll make it out to one of your shoes sometime. :D

    Steve Chatterton: probably the most laughs per minute (see what I did there?) of the round. Simple and effective production. Nicknaming yourself “Dick” on purpose has always seemed a weird choice to me, also.

    Travis Norris: CAN’T REALLY TALK OVER THESE DRUMS! DID NOT VOTE

    Austin & The Pudaks: Like your other song I dig the indie vibe of this tune and the lyrics are pretty good (special award for first F-bomb of the competition). Nice guitar riffs throughout. I think it deserves to be extended for non-Fu purposes.

    Berg&Jerry: Laughed my head off. Better sound quality then your previous songs (although the march was close). The only downside is of course people who didn’t follow this competition won’t get it. Seems like that was probably intentional. Voted.

    CalebH: Well, I very narrowly missed voting on both of your previous songs but this one was pretty much a sure thing. Still can’t figure out how you fit in 3 verses, 4 chorii, a bridge to nowhere and a key change without the song seeming rushed. Well done. Like Jutze said there’s maybe a touch too much reverb(?), but meh, doesn’t really distract from the song. Voted.

    CalebLee: Very nice. Makes me want to hear your first round song with the full band and whatever else you’re doing different production wise. Play it twice and it’s radio ready!

    Darrel Maclaine: Beautiful, Beatlesque again, and yes, as far from Football is Good as possible (although I still sing along to that one in my best Ninth Doctor voice when it comes on). More like a verse/chorus/tag than a repeating chorus but.. screw the rules. Voted.

    Tori Am–errr Denise Hudson: Very nice instrumentation and good, borderline-theatrical-but-not-so-much-to-wander-in-to-cheese-territory vocals. The lyrics which I once again wish I would have waited to hear before I voted are great. Just to reiterate what I said before I feel like you’ve probably covered the most musical territory of all of us for MoSF4. Nearest miss for vote.

    Derrek Thompson: Can understand vocals this time! This is a good thing because they’re quite amusing. I’m always down with self depreciating humor. And ending is nice and almost anachronistically musical.

    Edric: Fantastic idea for a one minute song but kind of didn’t meet the challenge, in my opinion, which is the only reason I didn’t vote for it (when I got to the point that I was eliminating songs for borderline silly things that I didn’t necessarily care about since There Can Be Only Five). The orchestral swell at the end was nice and probably the best solution to figuring out the “how do I end the song at 1:00 exactly and still sound musical” sub-challenge of the round.

    GoDz PooDLz: Voted the hell out of it. Needs an Adult Swim cartoon, I think, where everybody dies every episode (humorously!). Yeah, I have no actual criticism to offer, sorry. Love it. Here’s to hoping Rhod is back in time for a shadow entry, if the Poodlz are indeed breaking up after MoSF.

    Gorbzilla: Catchy and goofy in an appropriate Song Fu way. Solid, but not much else to add. Production isn’t quite as good as the previous songs I didn’t feel. Was this done more or less in a take? It has a “in room” mic sound.

    HisNameIsLegs: More meta self referential humor! Does this mean you guys aren’t going to shadow round 4? Awww. I’ll miss you when you’re gone. My only really complaint is sounding so comically defeated made it easy not to vote for you. Which was probably the opposite of what you were going for.

    Ian&Melissa: Pretty, good harmonies (nice to hear the mysterious Ian finally). Would stand perfectly well on it’s own outside of the competition, which is a good thing. Looking forward to future entries, if you decide to stay in.

    Jalapeno Haberneros: We can hear the vocals! And aww, someone wrote Molly a suicide poem/accidental death.. sonnet…? Seriously though capitalizing on the “where’s molly?” mini-meme was a pretty classy move, I feel. Seems like the guitar has a bit too much (guessing at the effect) chorus. Sounds okay on the octave/dyad runs during the chorus but a little mushy during the verses. Easily my favorite tune from you guys this round. Stick to this recording setup if you can.

    Jutze: I really envy your ability to write a memorable hook (in a non-native language no less) as it’s a trait I apparently lack (didn’t realize how much until this competition, so thank you Song Fu for pointing out my shortcomings!!! just kidding). Musically solid and well mixed. I had dreams similar to this before Katie married that guy who has his own brand of Crazy.

    ——

    And that’s all she wrote. See you at the aftermath. Peace…. well.. not literally…

  26. Travis Norris Says:

    The solution is obvious. Find better and/or more tech savvy friends! Just kidding.

    I would insert a complaint about how some of my friends reported inability to vote for me wherever they tried to log on last round, but it’s a problem being experienced by everybody so I don’t worry too much about it. That and, ya know, I have like 5 fans (mom, dad, sister, girlfriend, actual fan in traditional sense).

  27. Pat Misterovich Says:

    Riddle: as a father of one of The Scribbles I want to say thanks for your kind words. But I also want to point out that they are 12 years old and somewhat immature kinda comes with the territory.

  28. Austin of The Pudaks Says:

    @Travis: An extended version is already in the works. Jeremy had the guitar part written and made up a couple verses in just a few minutes. We had to cut a bit of guitar out to trim the time down, but I think we’ll be adding that back in and possibly add another verse.

  29. Gorbzilla Says:

    @Travis: I tried to put more effects on the old computer I use for recording(I think it’s a commodore 64 or something)none of which worked, but they did make any effects I did have not work. I love technology.
    My Dad complained about my not posting the lyrics this time. I shall be the dutiful son.
    BTW, @Riddle, I agree. Not the best last line. I was feeling a little negative at that point.

    MINUTEMAN
    I know a man who is just 60 seconds long
    He takes one minute with everything he does
    He takes a minute to sleep, a minute to eat, and a minute to sing a song
    A minute to do whatever just because

    He’s a minuteman (minuteman, minuteman) He’s just a minuteman
    Takes 60 seconds to do most anything
    Yeah he’s a minuteman (minuteman, minuteman) he’s just a minuteman
    This song about him takes just a minute to sing

    Took him a minute to get married, a minute to make amends
    A minute to drink, and a minute to drink again
    A minute to embarrass every one of his friends
    And in a minute he’d do it all over again

    He’s a minuteman (minuteman, minuteman) He’s just a minuteman
    He took 60 seconds to become a Dad
    Yeah he’s a minuteman (minuteman, minuteman) he’s just a minuteman
    This song is over, I’m sure for that you’re glad

  30. Steve Chatterton Says:

    Here’s that video I mentioned earlier: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bTsOQ-6BxM

    Hope you enjoy.

  31. Hazen of His Name is Legs Says:

    @Travis: Well, when you’re so far behind like we are, it doesn’t matter how many votes you get, you won’t advance. That was the impetus behind the song. We may shadow, we may not. We haven’t decided.

  32. Steve Chatterton Says:

    Lyrics are here: http://www.stevechatterton.com/20090623-you-chose-to-be-a-dick.html

    Absolute nutty day all ’round. Haven’t even had a chance to give any of these tracks a proper listen to. Must take care of that tomorrow so I can vote and see just how poorly I really am doing.

  33. Darrell Maclaine Says:

    Thanks to people who’ve been nice. Amusing that two different people have said it was Beatley - was a million miles away from the intention having already done it in round 1. I was determined to work out what was Beatley about this one, and indeed on relistening with detached ears (sounds painful) there’s a run of notes and change over “beginnings follow endings” which are the same as I Will (though within legal limits thankfully). And I guess it’s a bit Goodnight-y. But neither intended at any point!

    @Travis: The third/fourth and fifth/sixth lines are supposed to be the repeating chorus, though I am aware of how elastically the chapters of a song can be divided and your reading is probably more accurate.

    I was going to post what it was specifically written about but I think it’s actually better to let people see their own intention/subject matter of it.

    Oh, and a technical note - the vocals were recorded at 5am near a lot of sleeping people, so I had to download and fathom out Autotune to fine-tune about a third of the notes and make the results usable on deadline. There’s one really heinous pitch-bend flub in the middle which I couldn’t seem to get rid of, and I apologise for any fellow home-studio-ers whose ears it grated on. Next time I will just sing it over til I get it right.

    Right, talked about myself too much now. Move along!

  34. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    first of all, thanks to everyone who liked our song.

    @travis norris, you’re right about the guitar sounding tinny. it’s just the guitar itself really, ibanez is not exactly a high quality acoustic guitar manufacturer. that aside, our equipment has been sub-par the whole way through. the first song was recorded on a digital camera, this last one was recorded in the bathroom directly into my computer using the mic array [which didn't matter so much because it was meant to be distorted in post] and the second song is the only one where we used a legit microphone.

    the rickroll verse was the last addition. the best rejected idea i had was about l. ron hubbard and scientology, but i couldn’t make it work.

    @ian, the game is actually really easy if you’re always the banker and you never ever ever ever buy food because the hunting mini-game is ridiculously easy for anyone with basic motor skills. ;-D but there’s no surefire way to avoid clarence getting cholera, hence the tragedy of the song reference. /salute

    @riddle, i’m very pleased that you like our song. ;-D sorry you didn’t like the others [our first entry is still my favorite from a lyric/music/vocal standpoint, though i see its shortcomings in the area of concept]. this is not our usual fare, as our bio indicates. i’m actually a pastor [we have two], my wife and i do music at our church and we primarily write worship songs and hymns. when i’m not doing that, i’m typically writing raps along the same subject lines. comedic material has always been something i’ve done improv with a friend of mine on the side, though we’ve been doing that less lately. anyway, cheers. ;-D

    alright, here’s my first shot at a review thing:

    edric haleen - props for a very clever idea. i can’t stand acceptance speeches like this, but man does it work as a song. i want to see the musical that this song belongs to! arrange one immediately. production is pretty great, though i agree with the previous commenter that suggested a clearer sound effect that more effectively communicates the mic being cut off. i thought it was obvious enough without it, but it would complete the package.

    godz poodlz - i would like this song a lot more without the auto-tune. it’s not that it doesn’t fit the design, i’m just sick sick sick of hearing it everywhere. but aside from that personal bias, it’s a quite entertaining little song and i like it a lot. i still like bad penny better. the abrupt ending was great, but i definitely could’ve done with a canned explosion sound there… i suppose you were going for suspense and mystery! a strong entry.

    steve chatterton - very paul and storm, without the excessive harmonies of course. i don’t think you were trying to, but in the first part of your verse section, the melody is almost exactly the same as our march. ;-D the only complaint i have about this song is that it’s quite repeatitive, which is a nearly impossible feat to accomplish given that the song is only one minute long. the lyrics are kind of funny, though not really my kind of humor.

    jutze schult - i don’t know what’s worse: the fact that you wrote a song based on a reference to dawson’s creek or the fact that i recognized it as a reference to dawson’s creek without looking it up on the internet [though i'll confess that i looked it up afterward to confirm]. the music for this song is fun, vocals are stronger than your other entries. your entry is the only one that says it’s over a minute long… weird.

    jalapeno habaneros - for what sounds like you guys’ first attempt at not sounding like the jam-band that you are [a good move for a songwriting competition], this song was a pleasant surprise. your instruments are incredibly out of tune, which is incredibly distracting. the words are humorous and i’m surprised this is the first song to make reference to molly, as i think everyone was expecting her to sweep the contest. i like the splat at the end.

    the scribbles - so i don’t know what a skunkape is, but it sounds pretty awesome. the yeti singing is just about the funniest thing i’ve heard in this competition so far. the music is simple and pretty, the vocals are clean enough — so basically from a perfomance standpoint, it’s what i would expect from kids your age. you guys are surprisingly disturbing though. nothing can top the students’ revenge in terms of creepiness, but the idea of being so messed up that your only friend is a yeti [who apparantly left you] is definitely psych ward material. in the best way possible!

    gorbzilla - this song would be great if you didn’t reference the song challenge itself in the lyrics. it really cheapens the concept. i’m referring to the last line of the song, the rest is brilliant. i could see myself listening to this outside of the competition if the production were cleaned up a bit. well done.

    darrell maclaine - as much as i hate auto-tune lately, this song BEGS for a vocoder. this is probably my favorite song for this challenge, but a vocoder covering three-part harmonies on the vocals would make it even more amazing. also, i secretly enjoyed ‘football is good’ a lot. that’s all.

    berg & jerry - not your best songwise, definitely the strongest from a production standpoint. you guys still haven’t sold me on acoustic ska [i think it's annoying, mostly because i really like real ska] but the music for this song works. it’s always a challenge to write a song that would make no sense at all if taken out of the competition, but if you’re going to do it at all this is the best way to do it. i’ve no doubt that you guys will be winning the competition, so i’ll just take the time to wish you luck in the last round — though i don’t know how that’s going to work with no masters.

    denise hudson - there is such a thing as excessive dynamics. though they fit the song’s style and everything, it is very very hard to hear what you’re saying most of the time. it’s not that the faux harpsichord is too loud, you’re just too quiet. the idea is interesting [not familiar with queen christina] but it didn’t hold my interest.

    lex vader - hands down your best song. if you’re referencing something that already exists, it’s less awesome [it sounded like you were just making it up] but everything about this song is great. i hate hate hate fully sequenced music, but this song makes it tolerable with great production and a kickass synth line. the vocals are sweet, especially the ooh ooh’s in the chorus, which is catchy as always. three cheers!

    caleb hines - best song about a song by far, the chorus made me crack up the first time i heard it and it’s so sugary sweet. i don’t mean to offend, but i never noticed that you had a lisp until this song [it's very pronounced on this track] but i can hardly criticize someone based on their manner of speaking. anyway, i like the song a lot in terms of songwriting, but the performance wasn’t all it could be. i need to hear this song with a real band to really get into it. props for the bridge to nowhere reference!

    richard clayton spring - when did robert smith from the cure decide to croon a zany love song filled with space references to the tune of a horrendous midi file on crack? i tried to find something positive to comment on this song, but it really is just a train wreck. sorry man, stick to auto-tuned marches.

    sara parsons - great concept for a song, great lyrics, great vocals. the music was pretty good; the first guitar part transition was iffy, but you pulled it off the other two times. i like manatees. yep.

    ian & melissa - i listened to this song the night before voting started on your website. i like this song a lot, the vocals are particularly compelling, and the chord progression is natural and beautiful. props on playing a slow song with such a strict time constraint. the vocals sound auto-tuned, but my criticism would be that they would work better full-on. basically, either all or nothing for this one. if you cranked it up, it would almost sound like two robots harmonizing, which could be an interesting concept in itself, and if you took it down it would sound more authentic… unless there isn’t any auto-tuner and you guys just really sound like that. if so, you got skillz.

    his name is legs - the lyrics of this song match you guys all too well, and really sum up your participation in this edition of song-fu. your entries, including this one, didn’t stick out to me and weren’t particularly noteworthy overall. this song concept is a really good one. the music is okay, the lyrics are okay, the vocals are okay. i’d like to hear more from you two, maybe what you’d sound like if you weren’t just writing songs for a competition.

    caleb lee - being an artist who wears his influences on his sleeve is one thing, but this takes it to a whole new level. if i hadn’t heard your first song, i’d think you were doing it on purpose [you might have been anyway] but this song sounds like so many other bands that it doesn’t sound like you at all. your first song was good, in a ‘copeland without the falsetto before they tried to be the beatles’ sort of way, but this one just kind of bugged me. i like the moog and the bridge where you can’t understand anything, just not enough to make me say i like the song.

    austin & the pudaks - i swear i’ve heard this song before [the music]. you lost me on the lyrics/vocals. there’s not really much to say about this song. it’s alright.

    derrek j. thompson - this song made me giggle, especially the vocals. you sound like a black bob dylan [is that an offensive way to say it? i never liked the term 'african-american'] slash fats domino slash any other fat jazz singer. it’s classy. the chorus is pure genius — you’re not even trying at all and you LOVE it. the second verse is hilarious. you smoothed it out and kicked out the jams, sir. hats off!

    travis norris - first of all, if you’re actually on lexapro, i would recommend that you get off it as soon as possible. okay moving on to the song. ;-D i like the music, but the drum beat doesn’t fit at all. they’re a little loud too [did you notice?!?!?!] the vocals sound forced, like you’re trying too hard to be emotional. it’s a good song with good lyrics that are quite vague but relatable enough.

  35. Travis Norris Says:

    @Bud: Off the Lexapro for several years (even if my lyrics don’t always sound like it :-p) The drums are definitely too loud, I’m still not sure how I didn’t notice. I think that not fitting is mostly a function of too loud. Although, I’ve never been able to make sequenced drums sound not like crap and I can’t drum to save my (or anyone else’s) life so I tend to have to work with pre-recorded loops. They usually sound “good” but maybe not completely “right”. Just one more reason I need a full band (aside from my tendency to layer four guitars every song).

    Ahhh… Ibanez. Yes, that does explain it. My suggestion for a cheap solution (not that you asked or anything)? Nylon string classical. If you can get used to the bigger stretches (which by the way makes regular-scale guitar seem REALLY EASY when you play them afterward, which is a nice benefit), even the cheaper classicals I’ve played have sounded a lot warmer than cheap steel-strings.

  36. Michael McAllister Says:

    @The Perfect Place - “faux harpsichord”?

    I’ll have you know that it was a physically modelled virtual copy of a Grimaldi harpsichord (http://bit.ly/9KcFL)!

  37. Steve Chatterton Says:

    @The Perfect Place (Bud): “You can put it in the hands of your lawyer, but it’ll never stand up in court.”

    @everyone else: My votes went to Ian & Mellisa, The Scribbles, Lex, and Darrel. I wish I had at least 4 more to give out though. The enforced brevity brought out the best in many.

  38. Caleb Hines Says:

    @Bud: Thanks for the review. I actually had the idea for a metasong with a “bridge to nowhere” before the first challenge was announced. This was the first challenge where I had a chance to implement it. (But unlike Berg & Jerry, I didn’t write the song before the challenge! :-)

    Thank you for pointing out the lisp! And no offense taken at all. No one had ever told me that I had one, and I didn’t figure it out on my own until after I’d graduated college. As a result, I’m not usually terribly self-conscious about it (unless I’m singing or speaking publicly). As long as I’m thinking about it, I can sorta “turn it off”, which I did in my first two songs, but if I forget, I can slip back into it.

    The trickiest lines were in the first song: “Some Say I waS made by SlaveS… Some Say maybe Space invaderS came…”, which I think I nailed pretty solidly, and “Come explore my paSSageways”, which you can still hear a bit of an odd over-emphasis on. I must have started that particular line at least 20 times to get it where it is.

    In this round, I must have been feeling some mixture of apathy, exhaustion, and reluctance, because I didn’t generally bother with recording more than one or two vocal takes (or any live instruments). I think it’s a measure of my indifference that I didn’t even think about the lisp being there until you pointed it out just now. Also, since you hadn’t noticed, it confirms that when I do take the effort, I’m successful at hiding it!

  39. Caleb Hines Says:

    (Also, the words in my song were pretty fast, which makes it more difficult)

    Sadly, I will not be able to make the listening party tonight. Anyone that’s there, let me know how it goes.

    @Denise: I *really, really* wanted to vote for the song with a (physically modeled virtual copy of a) harpsichord, but like Bud, I found the lyrics hard to hear (one of the few songs that had that problem), and also hard to understand or care about. (I also didn’t have enough votes to vote for everyone that I wanted to.) I actually had been hoping to do something with a harpsichord myself, but the opportunity never presented itself to me. Maybe if I shadow the fourth round… Well done!

  40. Wilson Fowlie Says:

    I would love to hear an extended version of some of these songs, particularly “Quickie” by Ian & Melissa. Mostly, it just needs a bit of a break (instrumental) between the verses and choruses to let listeners (and singers-along) catch their - metaphorical, in the case of listeners - breath. But I wouldn’t mind another verse to this song, either.

    @Steve Chatterton: I love the tags you used at YouTube.

    (Except that ‘tic’, as in muscle spasm, has no ‘k’ in it.)

  41. Berg Says:

    @Bud: thanks for the comments.Sorry your not a fan of the ska actoustic style.. I myself am also a huge ska fan (Ive got the rudeboy tattoo to prove it) and I love all forms of it.

    @Caleb: Lolz at your last mention.

  42. Caleb Lee Says:

    Urgh! No time anymore. Work from 4p - 12:45a with a 25min commute each way. No party tonight for me, have fun errey body.

  43. Steve Chatterton Says:

    @Wilson Fowlie: I’ll make a point to update that where & when possible. Unfortunately it’s burned there forever in the video.

  44. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    @travis, good to hear that you’re off that stuff. an old friend of mine was having a bad bout with it, worse than before he went on it. basically it made him not care about anything, totally apathetic. as a drummer, i wouldn’t play that drum beat over the guitar lines you were playing, it’s too aggressive for the song’s feel. i don’t really think the levels are that bad, but in the beginning it’s really noticeable.

    re: guitar, i didn’t buy this one [my church did] and i don’t think i’d actually buy a different one unless i were going to put some serious effort into learning to be a better guitarist. as stated before, i can play the guitar but i am certainly not a guitarist — i’m definitely a drummer. ;-D

    @michael, that’s funny dude. i didn’t mean to insult the lovely instrument!

    @steve, hahaha! you’re right about that one. definitely not accusing you of plaigarism… that melody is as old as dirt anyway, it’s just a typical march melody for the chords i was using. ;-P

    @caleb, glad you didn’t take offense! some people are really touchy about speech impediments, so i try my best to be sensitive to that. as an esl teacher [and speech therapist, which comes with the territory when you are teaching rich chinese kids to say 'yes and no' not 'yes and lo'] i notice stuff like that pretty often and it distracts me because i want to come to your house and help you correct it.

    i was pleased that i didn’t notice it before, and actually i think it fits the song so well that i thought it was a joke. then i went back and listened to the other two songs and heard the slight lisp upon closer examination. the best antidote for a lisp, from my experience, is smiling. if you force a smile when you sing, it should help eliminate the lazy tongue/cheeks that cause the slurring sound. ;-D

  45. Steve Chatterton Says:

    If anyone’s interested, here’s my official call for a zen-like attitude when it comes to voting issues: http://www.stevechatterton.com/20090624-much-ado-about-song-fu.html

  46. Russ Rogers (of GöDZ PööDLZ) Says:

    @Jutze, We really wanted to do a song that incorporated the theme of a specific time limit. Rod and I had to work quickly to write and record the song. He left on vacation last Thursday. He added the bass part and finished mixing the song with his laptop on the road. I spent a lot of last week worried about how many other songs were going to be about ticking time bombs. We lucked out this time.

    @Parsons, having even one person go nuts for our song is worth more than a hundred votes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    @Ian and Mellisa, we intentionally left the ending of “Bomb Squad Girl” ambiguous. We thought about having the big bomb blast. And I originally wrote the song so the last line was, “Don’t cut the RED–!” But I like the tension of not knowing whether Bomb Squad Girls saves the day or not. I also like the tension of not knowing whether she and the singer fall in love. But that’s more likely NOT. It’s funny that you mention that “Bomb Squad Girl” sounds like a TV theme song. My original intent was to have it sound a bit like a TV Theme. Like “Batman” meets “Secret Agent Man.” I’m pleased that a hint of that still comes through. Thanks for mentioning the video! It’s on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMXk4iwydHg

    @riddle, Rod and I aren’t sure how the rumors of Godz Poodlz break up got started. But Rod has considered starting rumors of our deaths. Hey, it worked for Sir Paul! It’s true that Godz Poodlz began when I realized (during MOSF#3) that I just don’t have the chops to produce a well written and recorded song in just a week by myself. I knew my neighbor, Rod and I shared very similar musical tastes. And I had some evidence of his skills as a songwriter. But we had never even jammed together, let alone collaborated on writing or recording a song. I guess this is nothing compared to the courage of “His Name is Legs,” forming a band without ever meeting! Anyway, Rod is a lot of fun to work with. He’s very generous as a co-writer, musician and producer. We came up with the name, GöDZ PööDLZ, as a lark. It’s a goofy, ironic spin on a Heavy Metal band name. Excessive umlauts and ludicrous Zees meant that nobody would have any expectations of us coming in. We certainly didn’t. But it’s nice to know that we’ve made a few fans with our songs. “Bite the Hand” is a great album title. I hope the project continues too. You’ve made us feel like a cool band with cool fans, riddle. Thanks. I’m hoping that hundreds of votes stream in over the next few days so we can take on the Masters in a Battle for Fu! But, if not, we might shadow the final challenge and/or be back for MOSF#5 or do something else! We’re open to suggestions, invitations or paid commissions!

    @Travis, Our YouTube video isn’t quite worthy of being an Adult Swim cartoon. It’s more like a Pure Pop Power Point Presentation. I was going to do some lip-syncing to the song, and then spice it up with a few graphics, but I can’t find my video camera! I was left with playing with Titles and a few images. But I wanted to get some kind of video done to meet a challenge Lex Vader set out on twitter! Thanks, Lex! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMXk4iwydHg

    @The Perfect Place (Bud), it’s funny that you mention the Auto-Tuner. Like you, I LOATHE the Auto-Tuner. I can’t stand that Akon and T-pain and Kanye and Cher all sound alike. We slathered the Auto-Tuner on my voice in the rap section of “Poodlz on Parade” last challenge as a joke. But that turned out to be my daughter’s FAVORITE part. She said, “Oh Dad, you’ve got to use the Robot Voice again. That’s what makes it sound like a hit!” And I have to confess, it’s easier to not worry about the vocals when they don’t sound much like yourself anymore! It’s a cop out. I know. But now I realize why T-Pain and Akon like it SO much! I think your song, “wtfpeople20,” is hilarious. I especially like the T-Pain broken Auto-Tuner verse, very funny. But I would actually like to hear some ironic Auto-Tuner on your voice in the second verse right up to the moment that the disgruntled producer sneaks into the house and breaks it! I may have to wait for the dance-club remix for that. BTW, I just read your comment to my daughter. Her reaction, “I’m sorry, Dad! But I told you, Told You, TOLD YOU that you needed an explosion sound at the end!” Oh well.

    @Berg and Jerry, for the second straight challenge one of the top ranked challengers has made a direct reference to Godz Poodlz! That’s incredibly flattering. Thanks for putting us on the inside of “Inside Jokes.”

    Thanks to everyone who is talking about Godz Poodlz and/or voting for “Bomb Squad Girl.” We really appreciate the show of support.

  47. Travis Norris Says:

    @Russ: Nice use of HeroMaker! :D Sounds like that daughter of yours has a future as a producer. Good to hear you guys are thinking about keeping the band together, or at least starting an elaborate death hoax.

  48. Travis Norris Says:

    @Bud: Yeah, I wish I did have a live drummer. Basically I decided to go with something with a bit more drive after my last two entries being a bit more on the mellow side. re: forced vocals.. that’s pretty much how I always sing. Or I intentionally restrain and sound just slightly more emotional than a robot. re: Lexapro; I would say the feeling isn’t so much apathy as -detachment-. It’s the difference between not caring what’s going on and not actually perceiving/understanding what’s going on. Subtle, and looks the same to the outside observer but pretty different for the person experiencing it. My biggest worry was that I couldn’t seem to worry about anything. Anyway, this is getting too personal for a dumb comment thread :-p Thanks for your comments.

    (Makeyourchurchtradeupthatguitar /subliminal message)

  49. Lex Vader Says:

    @perfectplace What part of the loud guitars made you think of fully sequenced music? Were they so loud that they became subliminal?

  50. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    @russ, sorry but in my world only t-pain is allowed to use auto-tuner. actually, there are a few artists that do it well [kanye west is NOT one of them, but i happen to think that he doesn't do anything well aside from coming off as a totally egomaniacal psychopathic reverse-racist]. i think jamie foxx hits it right on the head on his latest single, and chris brown makes excellent tasteful use of it as well. the secret behind it is that the people that use it well can actually SING, whereas the people that can’t [kanye, the jackass that wrote the 'pop champagne' song] have bad voices and make it sound terrible.

    i think the technique has its place in music, used as a tasteful addition to the hook on songs [i.e. lil' wayne's 'got money'] and that’s about as far as i typically go. the full auto-tuned songs, i usually find quite annoying, with a few exceptions from master t-pain himself.

    side note: it is quite sad that the new generation has so caught on to the auto-tune trend that they now associate it with ‘a hit’. ;-P it’s sad but true. if your song [or whole album] sucks, throw some auto-tuner on it and you’ve got yourself a club banger. actually, i think that will be the name of our next song. i like the sound of it.

    @lex, sorry but they sound kind of fake. i think it’s the drums and looped-sounding bassline that gave me that impression. this isn’t meant as an insult, just an observation. i really do like the song, though. a lot.

  51. Caleb Hines Says:

    Bud’s Hobby: Insisting That Real-Life Instruments are Sequenced
    http://xkcd.com/331/
    :-)

    My song, OTOH, was totally fake.

    Thanks for the advice on smiling. I’d found biting helps, or, to really be sure, deliberately under-biting.

  52. wannabe voter Says:

    how do i vote? it doesnt show any option…

  53. Michael McAllister Says:

    @Caleb Hines - nice xkcd reference! :-) Oh, and I can’t resist it … the harpsichord Denise used was modelled, not sampled {grin}

    @The Perfect Place (Bud) - my previous comment had an expression in
    it indicating that my horror was really mock horror. Unfortunately that part was stripped off because it was in angled brackets, probably because the comment engine doesn’t allow embedded HTML.

  54. Russ Rogers (of GöDZ PööDLZ) Says:

    Hey gang! A very cool Superhero/Pop Culture site, luckylegendary.com has featured the video for “Bomb Squad Girl!”

    http://www.luckylegendary.com/ItemViewer.aspx?itemID=500

    LuckyLegendary features a group of superheroes, “The Legends” led by Captain Lucky! The fun part of the site is that the Legends actually produce most of the content themselves. It’s Homespun Superhero Fun! It’s a blend of fiction and reality that’s just a loopy good time. Like CosPlay with original characters!

  55. Wilson Fowlie Says:

    @Steve Chatterton: Don’t worry about fixing ‘tic’; that was more of a ‘for future reference’ point, and only in case you didn’t already know it.

    I really like your Zen of Voting post.

  56. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    @travis, if that’s the way you always sing, i can’t fault you for it. ;-D my friend said it was actually apathy though. maybe he just didn’t explain it right, but it sounds like you experienced similar things.

    my church is mad poor, yo.

    @caleb, hahahaha i love xkcd. but seriously though, modeled or sampled or however you put it, faux is faux. it wasn’t a real, legit harpsichord, was it? ;-P

    you’re right about your song being totally fake and all, i should probably be less of a hypocrite. i rescind the comment on lex’s song [even though i mentioned that the song was still one of my favorites and one i would've voted for if this website didn't hate my ip connection] but retain my disdain for sequenced drums in anything but hip-hop, non-rock pop and dancehall music.

    @michael, i picked that up without the fancy emoticon. <3 my reply was intended to be somewhat sarcastic. hehe.

  57. Lex Vader Says:

    PerfectPlace, let me know when Walmart starts their drummer-in-a-box sale.

  58. MiceElf Says:

    I know several people who have tried to come vote for round 3 songs and have either been unable to find the check-boxes to vote or have tried to vote only to be told they’ve already voted. This is really frustrating. And clearing cache has no affect.
    It’s the IP number or something.

  59. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    just my preference, lex. it’s also why i don’t write songs with drums in mind if i know i won’t have the time or resources to record them.

    you take the electronic route, and that’s just fine. it simply doesn’t appeal to my musical tastes. ;-P no need to be catty, my good man.

  60. The Perfect Place (Bud) Says:

    ditto, miceelf. everyone i’ve told says they can’t vote.

  61. Lex Vader Says:

    Well if you’re saying you don’t like They Might Be Giants, then GOOD DAY TO YOU, SIR! I SAID GOOD DAY!

  62. Steve Chatterton Says:

    Just mowed the lawn, couldn’t get Bomb Squad Girl out of my head. At all.

  63. Ian & Melissa Says:

    Wait, how did the scribbles double their vote count in one night? Do 12-year olds have LAN parties?

  64. The Scribbles Says:

    We are not 100% sure where our sudden votes came from. We heard that Carter Hulsey, who is a local artist with a big teen girl following mentioned us at a show last night. Turns out he is a fan of ours. Go figure. Maybe the votes came from his fans? We are not ruling out shenanigans but they aren’t our shenanigans.

  65. Michelle Says:

    Well, shenanigans are unlikely now because there’s only one vote per IP address.
    Gotta hand it to the 12 year olds for making a cute song though. Not sure if it’s winning material, but it is cute.

  66. Ian & Melissa (Ian) Says:

    @Scribbles: Grats on the promo! Good luck keeping ahead of B&J ;)

  67. Lex Vader Says:

    “Networking: The Internet Game.” Whaddya think, Ken? New title for the next edition?

  68. Cyphreinc Says:

    Cheers

    ~ Later ~

  69. riddle Says:

    @Lex: this is exactly why i suggested that more than 1 artist go to the finals against the Master. because there’s always going to be at least 1 Networking Superstar. as good as Molly is, she was definitely floated by her online following, (just past Hank Greens online following, that is ;).
    if 2 or 3 finalists went up against the Master, we’d have a better chance of Actual Talent determining the end result of this competition (which is NOT to say the current vote leaders are lacking talent).

  70. Lex Vader Says:

    you’re such an enigma, riddle.

  71. Berg Says:

    @Riddle: How is that not saying we lack talent exactly?

  72. Cobra Says:

    Congrats to Berg and Jerry!! Job well done! You deserve to be one of the top contestants. Your songs were fun, creative and had great vocals. Good luck, if you are chosen for the Final Round.

  73. Travis Norris Says:

    @Gorbzilla (missed your reply at the beginning of the lyrics post): Ahh, yes. Say no more. If my effects stopped working I would probably have to drop out completely (I use Guitar Rig, without it my guitars would be just dry signal…. truly a feast for the ears). Trying to be the “artist” and also the “recording engineer/tech guy” at the same time has always been my least favorite part of the recording process. I like wearing either of those hats but not both at the same time–that is just one goofy looking, frustrating hat.

    @Scribbles: Word of mouth is truly a force to be reckoned with when the mouth is talking to impressionable teenagers. Well done!

    @Berg: I thought he specifically said that you -don’t- lack talent? Easy reading mistake to make though. Dumb comment threads…

  74. Russ Rogers Says:

    My quick impressions of this round:.

    Edric Haleen, a great idea for a ONE minute song! This seems as obvious as a ticking time bomb, but I hadn’t thought of it, and nobody else did either. That’s when cleverness is at it’s best, when it seems obvious in hindsight. I like how all your songs are distinctly different from each other, but are also all so distinctly YOU. You have a unique vision and style. I envy that.

    Godz Poodlz, this is my favorite of our songs. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times. It’s not perfect, but Rod’s ideas of having a rhythm track of a ticking clock, a heartbeat and the drone of an alarm are so simple and very effective.

    Steve Chatterton, the video for this is better than the song. The joke is very similar to the one at the beginning of Coulton’s “Big Dick Farts the Polka,” from MOSF#2. This is pleasant and moderately funny. But I didn’t have the emotional connection with this like I did with “The Only Way I Know” (one of my absolute favorites from MOSF#4).

    Jutze Schult, without you telling me this had some connection to Dawson’s Creek, I never would have guessed. You have a great pop sensibility and I find your vocals and accent engaging and endearing. But the words came so fast, I had trouble following the thread of the lyric. The idea of a song about a dream that ends abruptly with an alarm is clever for a song with a definite time limit.

    Jalapeno Habaneros, this is my favorite tune that I’ve heard of yours. I could understand the vocals without reading the lyrics sheet. It seemed like you put some effort into getting a better sound this time. I liked the Song Fu (inside joke) of missing Molly and Mike. There was genuine emotion in the song. And the sound effect at the end gave me a grin.

    The Scribbles, I could hear a lot of development in the arrangement of this song. A strange song, but with honest emotional tones. Those are cool. This is also my favorite Scribbles Song Fu song. This is as good as “Robots.” This is one of the few ONE minute songs that I think would sound really good in an extended re-mix. For one, I want more Yeti vocal solo. Another verse might be nice. I’ve heard rumors of a possible Scribbles Yeti musical concept album! I’m all for it! I VOTED for this one.

    Gorbzilla, “Minuteman” is like reverse of the classic “60 Minute Man.” The last line doesn’t quite scan right and so you stumble on it.

    Darrell Macclaine, this is truly lovely. I like how you chose to slow down things down instead of speed them up for a challenge with a short time limit. I’d like to hear this song in a medley with “Golden Slumbers.” Maybe it’s because I want to hear MORE of this song, have it move to a chorus or separate instrumental part before coming back to this. Anyway, very pretty song. It got my vote.

    Berg and Jerry, “Inside Jokes” is funny. But I can’t imagine that the song will have legs beyond this round of Song Fu. This seemed like it was knocked off pretty quickly. I’m very flattered that the Poodlz got a mention.

    Denise Hudson, some interesting lyrics mixing images. From the lyric I had assumed that Queen Christina had died violently, like Anne Boleyn. Some of the lyrics are muddled. This is partly due to the recording and to the fact that they don’t quite fit, flow and scan. I like the harpsichord and really appreciate how varied all three of your songs are. This one just didn’t click as much for me as “Leave the Stone Alone” or “Anna’s Gerbil.”

    Lex Vader, your sound (especially with this song) reminds me of Har Mar Superstar. Funky Pop. “Keen Dreams” reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes and his daydreams of Spaceman Spiff. I was surprised to learn that there is a whole series of Commander Keen games and that “Keen Dreams” is one of them. Clever song. The music fits the happy fun images really well. Well done.

    Caleb Hines, “A Standard Song,” is entirely pleasant. It bounces along. I thought the lisp was a happy character voice. It works. It fits the loopy tone of the song perfectly. Just enough to give a light, silly tone to the song but not too much to be mocking. It makes sense that you didn’t overdo it, because it’s not an affectation.

    Richard Clayton Spring, “Warp Speed” is a trippy Space Opera fantasy. I like the strange Jonathan Richman meets the Violent Femmes quality of your songs. You are unlucky that “Keen Dreams” is in the same round, because it has a similar theme and Lex Vader built a stronger spaceship.

    Sara Parsons, the non sequitur of the Manatee looking like your 8th grade gym teacher is very funny. It’s interesting how certain themes are popular from round to round. This round it was dreams and Meta-songs about the songs. This song pairs up against another dream song, “Joey Dumps Pacey” by Jutze. I felt more emotionally connected to the lyrics and story of this song. But I like Jutze’s production and catchy punch. If I could, I would blend your two dreams together. Maybe the two of you could virtually collaborate sometime in a “His Name is Legs” kind of way. Ah, I’m just dreamin’ now. But like Blondie says, “Dreamin’ is free.”

    Ian and Mellisa, “Quickie.” This song struck the deepest emotional chord with me. The line, “I know that you’d rather have fallen first. But you can remember it in reverse.” That’s such a clever turn of phrase, almost like a magic trick. Seriously, you’ve packed a lot of punch into just one minute. I’d like to hear more instruments, a fuller sound, even if it’s just an egg shaker and a tambourine. Also, the harmony vocals are lovely, but too much the same all the way through. You might want to have just a solo voice on the verse and the harmony on the chorus. Or shift the harmony farther away from the melody line in the verse or chorus. Or have three part harmony on the chorus, just something to mix up the sound and make a bigger structural shift from verse to chorus. And there’s a sameness to the harmonies, always tracking about a third away through the whole song. But this was still one of my favorites this round. Lyrically masterful. And it got my vote. Any chance of an animated version of this song too?

    The Perfect Place, “wtfpeople20.” Three distinct stories and two choruses in just a minute! Very funny and it didn’t seem all that rushed. The T-Pain verse is still my favorite here. Put some Auto Tuner on the first part of that, drive the joke home. In my head I hear a snare with brushes and a triangle sounding just after the words, “The End.” ding.

    His Name is Legs, “Swan Song.” Again it’s an inside joke, but one that I truly appreciate. Especially the line, “Not a snowballs chance in hell of moving on.” For the record. You’ve made an impression. I hope you shadow the Final Round. And if this is the last we hear of “His Name is Legs,” you will be missed. I’ve tried to become MySpace iPals with you, but I keep failing the “Guess their last name or e-mail” quiz!

    Caleb Lee, “Don’t Sing Along.” This melodic confection was the Meta-song (the song about the song) that I liked the most. I liked that the catchy melody made it almost impossible to NOT sing along. And after being initially annoyed with the one unintelligible verse, decided that was a sarcastic way to ensure that nobody COULD sing along with the song! This one got my vote.

    Austin and the Pudaks, “Typo in the Lyric Sheet.” Too bad the F-bomb will keep this away from my kids and off my iPod. The guitar part reminded me of “Murder Mystery” by the Velvet Underground. Lyrically, I was reminded of “Heaven,” by Talking Heads, for obvious reasons. I really enjoyed this. I think you could pop an ocarina or hammer dulcimer solo in there and expand this out to 2:15 with another verse and/or even a bridge section. Seriously, I don’t exactly know how you should fill out the sound. I just close my ears and try to “hear” what is missing. Sometimes strange sounds like sweet potato or church basement piano come to mind.

    Derek Thompson, “Fu in the Key of C.” This is annoying until you get to the part where you bring it down real slow and end real soft. That’s funny in an Adam Sandler kind of way. But I think just a tiny bit more spit and polish, just a little more effort in making the words flow or the “La,la,la” part melodic and you could have had a much funnier and catchier song. This was also a theme, the Meta-Song theme, “Gonna write a song about this song and the Contest,” that was explored several times this round.

    Travis Norris, “Finite.” The lyric is obscure. I think it has to do with depression and trying to make yourself a better you by chemical means, in the first verse with alcohol and in the second with Lexapro. For what it’s worth, this was my favorite song from you so far in MOSF#4. This was just a very near miss from getting my vote. Too many good songs this round. Maybe happier, lighter subject matter would have steered me toward a vote. I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to change this song except see it longer, explored and developed more. I liked the instrumentation and whatever weaknesses there are in your voice actually work well in the context of this song.

    None of the songs got the number of votes that they deserved. We can all be content in the knowledge that the number of votes we have only reflects a small percentage of the people who actually liked our songs and didn’t have enough votes to vote for every song they liked or weren’t able to vote because the system was locked up.

  75. Darrell Maclaine Says:

    I have to say, as much as I’ve appreciated partipating, and as proud as I am of my entries, I’m a little put off entering Song Fu #5 by the fact I have literally no chance of doing even slightly well in it. I don’t have 200 internet friends so as a consequence there’s documented evidence that my songs are no good. Maybe they are no good.

    This competition has served as one giant confidence knocker, and sort of made me not really want to carry on doing songs. If my best can leave eleven out of twelve people cold, considering everything, it’s maybe time for me to stop trying to be a songwriter. I shudder to think how badly I’d have done if people could only choose one song.

  76. Edric Says:

    Okay — weighing in again…

    First of all — I really enjoy this whole “Song Fu” thing. I definitely plan on being back for MoSF#5. I love the creative challenge; I love the sense of community; I love the feedback. The votes don’t matter much to me — the experience does.

    That said — I have some fears and some complaints. I think it’s time to give them voice.

    One — Ken? Really? There’s no voting engine out there that can handle what we’re trying to do here? The voting has been pissing people off since the outset, and it’s still not good. I know you said in one of the Q&As that you’ve gone through three different iterations. But come on! I’m starting to get the palpable sense that it’s turning people away in droves — in a way that I haven’t felt before.

    I truly believe that, if you were to go back and count — during this past round, the voting was out of commission more often than it was up and running. Not cool. I do believe that it’s still _fair_ — in that no one is more unduly advantaged or disadvantaged than anyone else. But I have baker’s dozens of people (like Felicia — they come in thirteens) who have shared with me their frustrations of not being able to vote. (And these are conscientious people who want to cast _five_ votes — not just one for me!)

    In Round 1, we had the whole voting scandal with votes being rescinded and I.P. addresses questioned. I believe that that abuse was made possible by the quest to solve the opposite problem of one person’s vote wiping out the possibility of a host of other people on the same network from being able to cast their own votes. But, like I said — really? We can’t get the voting ironed out?

    Two — Darrell? (And others who are thinking along similar lines?) Please don’t drop out of MoSF just because of a poor showing in the “voting.” If you’re proud of your entries, please keep sharing your music and your creativity. Do not consider what is, in fact, a _traffic_ contest (filtered through a horribly ineffective voting engine) to be any kind of “documented evidence” about the quality of your songs. The two have basically nothing to do with each other. The voting is primarily a measure of a competitor’s ability to bring in traffic. The numbers will always be skewed by the people who vote for just one song. Blessings upon those people who take the time to cast five informed votes — but they’re never going to be able to turn the overall voting picture into a true representation of relative merit or true reflection of how much the songs were enjoyed in relation to each other.

    As such, I can completely understand how this competition can serve as a “giant confidence knocker.” It takes thick skin to survive it. Just the act of _submitting_ a song to something like this takes a strong soul and a leap of faith. As I’ve written before, it is a “heart-in-the-throat” moment when you click the “Send” button and launch your very personal creation out into the ether — to be judged, to be critiqued, to possibly be misunderstood, misinterpreted, or even roundly panned. And it’s not like we’re professional musicians — doing this for money with buffers like agents and managers and publicists, and with special equipment and resources and mixing boards and editors… We’re students. We’re white-collar/blue-collar workers. We’re wannabe rockstars. (Or wannabe garage-banders.) We’re making music with whatever we have at our disposal. A lot of us are on the steep part of the learning curve. But we’re learning. And we’re doing it while we gamely attempt to rising to an artificial challenge imposed on us by someone _else_ — struggling to find and bring our own style, our own voice, our own sensibility to each successive task.

    It’s not easy. It takes courage in inner strength and no small amount of intestinal fortitude to continue in Song Fu. But the greatest joy (for me!) is in sharing what I’ve done, and in listening to what others have done. The great variety and diversity that springs from the same common starting point but branches out in so many unique directions. To lose people to a cockamamie voting engine is tragic, and erodes the strength of our Fu.

    Three — I’ve noticed a small decline in the sense of community on the comment boards (here, and in other forums as well). It used to feel very friendly and collegial. People would share praise and constructive feedback — people would learn and grow and ask for suggestions. Then, in MoSF#4, we first had the voting scandal. And people started pointing fingers and calling names. And then, after people took the time to patiently try to clarify the situation, other people _kept_ pointing fingers and calling names — obviously too wrapped up in taking offense to actually _read_ and _consider_ and _think_. (VERY discouraging and disheartening!) Then we had the political wars, which got a bit out of hand. We also had a noticeable decrease in traffic — which I think was probably equal parts frustration about the voting and the loss of a large number of competitors between Rounds 1 and 2.

    I hope that when MoSF#5 begins, we can get back some of what we’ve lost. I hope we can retain a lot of the challengers we already have, and that we can add in new, fresh faces. I hope QSE can stumble across some new voting code that will remove one big frustration from the overall equation. I hope that people will be able to appreciate that a “competition” of this format will _NEVER_ be a referendum on _talent_ — and that people who want feedback on the quality of their songs will always remember that validation, suggestions and feedback _are_ to be found here, but they’ll be found within the _comments_, not in the voting results.

    Personally, I’m having a great deal of fun with Song Fu, and I’m proud of the songs I’ve written. It is admittedly a tough pill to swallow that I’ll likely never be in the final round against a Master, no matter how good the songs are that I submit. But I do get to write and share three songs before being voted off the island, and that’s great. I get to rise to interesting, creative challenges every couple of weeks, and present them to a wider audience. And I get to interact with people like Joe and Russ and Mike and Jarrett and Jutze and Bram and Caleb and Hazen and Travis through this experience — (I vote for Joe!) — as well as people like JoAnn and Borba and Matthew, and even riddle! Next to that, the voting is interesting, but relatively unimportant…

    All the best! Long live Song Fu!

    :-)

    Edric

    (Jim! Jim! Jim! Jim! Jim! Jim!)

  77. Berg Says:

    …..sooooo are we still doing a Final Round?

  78. Travis Norris Says:

    @Darrell: Edric summed it up pretty nicely, but I just wanted to say, please don’t put too much stock in the voting. Between people who wish they had four or five more votes, system lockups, a probably pretty large number of people who just vote for one person without listening to the others… well, just doesn’t seem worth worrying about it that much.

    If MoSF is really damaging your confidence or worse, the enjoyment you get out of music than I can understand that you might want to quit (I for one would like to see you stay in), but please for the love of Aisha don’t let it stop you writing and recording songs.

    @Berg: I assume Ken is working on wrangling a master. I know that the original choice from a few days ago is (apparently) a friend/colleague of Neil Innes so I’d bet you guys have your work cut out for you. :D Best of luck, by the way. Unless my counting mechanism is broken looks like you’re the Challengers.

  79. Steve Chatterton Says:

    @richie - Kind words indeed. Where should I mail your cheque.

    Btw, that John Cleese thing has been dogging me for years (since high school), but you’re the first to bring it to the internet.

  80. Steve Chatterton Says:

    @Darrell Maclaine - the only way to get 200 internet friends is one friend at a time. Every great journey starts with a single step and all that.

    I think your tunes are good and have earned my vote at least a couple of times.

    All I gotta say is keep working it - if not here than somewhere else. The secret to every overnight success is 5-10 years of hard work, or one year if you’re insanely dedicated like JoCo.

    I have no idea how long you’ve really been working it, though. For me, I’ve been writing songs for about 25 years now, but I’ve only really been “working it” since April when I got my studio all ironed out & reworked my site & started recording again. And I only consider this a start. I’m not even going to turn on the juice until September, and even then it’s going to take a couple of years.

    Draw up a reasonable 5-yr-plan for yourself that involves time for writing, recording & networking. Check out mine on my site for an example: http://www.stevechatterton.com/20090624-the-dreaded-five-year-plan.html

    Also, do the math. Add up all the voters as well as all the votes that every person gets. I did this once when I felt down like you and I figured that every voter voted for an average of 1.25 songs, which means that the vast majority of voters are only ever hearing one song (if that).

    You’re not losing 11 out of every 12. I’m no mathematician, but there’s only a slim minority listening to all the tunes & voting for 5 tunes, and you’re getting a lot of them. And they’re the real music lovers anyway.

    That’s your niche. Concentrate on nurturing that.

    ‘Nuff said. I really like your stuff & want to hear more.

  81. Edric Says:

    Steve’s absolutely right. To delve a little deeper into the math — if the “average” voter votes for 1.25 songs, that means that for every person who votes for five songs, there are _FIFTEEN_ people who are just voting for the artist they know! (This is based on the assumption that everyone who voted cast either just one vote, or all five allowable votes. The math gets harder if you consider people casting two, three or four votes. But I think the simplification suffices for this particular purpose…)

    This is what I meant when I wrote, “The numbers will always be skewed by the people who vote for just one song.” No one should take the voting as indicative of which songs are objectively “better” or “worse” than any others. Like I’ve written before, even if “most of the judges award the Red Velvet” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwZg_f65yI0 or http://www.amazon.com/Nine-Peoples-Favorite-Thing/dp/B000TE2IL6 ), there’s still plenty of room in this competition for your Rice Krispie Treats — and we’d miss you if you were gone…

    :-)

    Edric

  82. Lex Vader Says:

    I am probably not going to do Song Fu 5. Not unless it’s a couple of months off (and fixing the voting machines you got from Palm Beach might help too). I may do this final challenge, but I have an album/EP I need to work on after that. As much as Song Fu forced me to finish three songs, I ended up taking a vacation every other week. I really need to focus on writing and recording more than one song start to finish. And I need time to make them sound good, not just passable. I have a song on a compilation coming out and I need something people can purchase or at least sample so any interest does not simply disappear after five minutes.

    Darrell, your maths are confusing. I’m not sure where you got 11 out of 12 people not liking your songs. You were in the middle of the votes with both of your original songs. That means with, what, 0 fans (?), you were still able to beat out half the competitors. You make it sound like you were in the bottom two. You don’t need to quit music. You just need to get heard. And this is one way of doing that. Plus, let’s face it, without Hank or Molly or Paul & Storm or JoCo or Gene Simmons, not a lot of new listeners dropped by for this edition. I only got so many YouTube views on my shadow entries last time because I made the videos replies to Hank and Molly’s videos. And it took a while.

    Russ, your comparison baffles the hell out of me. Har Mar does hip hop. I know you’re a little odd, but you’re comparing apples to marshmallow stars here. If I actually sound like a fat naked white guy doing hip hop when I put out a power pop song, I have completely failed in my musical intentions. And if so, I’m going to go eat stale peeps and see what happens.

    SEACREST OUT!

  83. Russ Rogers Says:

    Lex, when I compared you to Har Mar Superstar I wasn’t trying to imply that you are fat or naked. The Har Mar Superstar song I’m most familiar with is an achingly beautiful synth cover of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again, Naturally.” Not hip hop at all. Seriously, stunningly beautiful and highly recommended. Possibly better than the original. I don’t hear the fat and naked part in his music at all. Maybe I’m not familiar enough with his big hits.

    When I think of Har Mar Superstar I think of a smart, nerdy, white guy, single-handedly writing and recording immaculately produced songs in an eclectic variety of genres. I think of a guy who has not only taken on a stage name, but also a comic persona in order to promote music that swims upstream just outside of the mainstream. If those similarities to your music don’t make sense or if that comparison makes you think that you’ve completely failed, I’m sorry. I intended the comparison as a compliment.

    If you were to describe the “Lex Vader Sound,” how would you do it? Who would you compare yourself to? And just out of curiosity, how would you categorize the Muzik of Godz Poodlz?

  84. Lex Vader Says:

    I would say Lex Vader sounds like a less good Godz Poodlz. And vice versa.

  85. Denise Hudson Says:

    I have not wanted to say anyone to anything here on the comments board until I FINALLY posted my reviews to the last two rounds … all triumphantly up here for everyone to peruse and go ooh and ahh over! I have been very sick though. There has been much pestilence in my 107 degree, roachy, ex-boyfriend-riddled life. Drama. Heatwaves. Evil. ACK! But I did want to get on here and say really quick that:

    I AM a professional musician. I have a very expensive degree that has been lying in my house, in a frame, gathering dust as I housewife around my unkempt home NOT doing anything and just generally lying fallow. So therefore - I’m NOT really a professional musician. It’s kind of like an Epimenides paradox, this paragraph.

    What I expected out of songfu was something like Steve C’s five year plan. Something to get me off my duff, making deadlines. Something that if (heaven forbid!) I got bad reviews or no votes; I’d get over it and keep struggling along. Because bad things happen to us all, when we are professionals. Professionals don’t make money sometimes. Professionals just work. We get up in the morning, we flip on the equipment in our recording rooms (ending lastly with our studio monitors as I almost tragically learned), and then we work. It’s a learning process. I have professionals that are more professional than me helping me now. Many/most have more impressive resumes than me. They’re also still learning. Someone will always have a cooler resume than you. And there will always be someone with a littler resume waiting to take the next award.

    There’s room for all of us. I don’t really like contests. I like what Darrell said originally; when he said in his bio why he did this. To give payback for the amount of free music he recieved. I feel justified and happy - I’ve earned the right to have ‘Football is Good’ (which I thought was precious and hilarious, and reminded me of when I went to watch the cricket with my husband’s family in Australia - even though footbal isn’t cricket - although football is good). I get to keep it in my iTunes because he gets to keep my goofy-assed songs about gerbils and ancient royalty and magic rocks. Maybe next time I will learn to master better for him, others like him, and everyone else who has trouble hearing my singing because I have not yet learned the recording skills necessary to be heard even if my singing is very soulful.

    I certainly had something nice to say about most everyone. I know I voted for Darrell - and I don’t say that lightly, since I am not one to “vote and tell.” But I feel that he might need the reassurance. I know I was thankful for the reassurance I got, in agreement with many of the criticisms, and amused by the rest of them.

    I will hold my breath and kick if:

    People quit the contest for silly reasons
    Godz Poodlz break up
    Legs don’t give it another go, at least someday
    I don’t get my durned reviews done.

    And on that note, I suppose I have a 4-5 day 4th of July plan for that. But don’t hold me to it! :)

  86. Ian & Melissa (Ian) Says:

    Grats to Berg and Jerry! Well done!

    Best of luck against the master! (Could it be Molly????)

    Oh, and happy 4th to everyone! Cheers!

  87. Wilson Fowlie Says:

    @Darrell:

    Only one performer can ‘win’. With (I believe, an opening count of) 39 performers or even (a final count of) 21, your chances of ‘winning’ or even being in the top five, are extremely limited, especially if you don’t already have a following.

    (The scare quotes around the word ‘win’ are deliberate - as others have articulated before me, the nature of this ‘competition’ is such that applying the word ‘win’ to the person who gets the most votes is at least a touch laughable.)

    So, votes shouldn’t - in my opinion, of course - be the reason that you do this. What should? The chance to make mistakes, and thereby learn and improve.

    It costs nothing (well, time and effort, but no cash outlay unless I’m completely mistaken) to put your songs here and in return, you get free feedback! Free instruction from the School of Hard Knocks, which is the best (if most painful) teacher out there.

    Did you learn something with each song? If so, then they were worth doing, even if you’d gotten zero votes.

    Did you enjoy making each song? If so, then they were worth doing, even if you’d gotten zero votes.

    I liked all of your songs, and I REALLY hope you’ll be back if there’s a MoSF #5 (and beyond). I also hope you get a website. :)

    (I also hope that many others will be back: Edric, Ian & Melissa, Steve Chatterton, Crabbydad [from last MoSF], Jarrett Heather, just to name a few.)

    As to whether or not you sound ‘Beatle-y’, I concur with others who’ve said you do. I think there’s something about the quality of your voice, or maybe a nuance of your accent, even if it’s from nowhere near Liverpool, that says “Beatles”, particularly to us North Americans who aren’t as attuned to the differences in regional accent. It’s something, I suspect, that you’re going to have to struggle with (in terms of the way people perceive your songs).

  88. Wilson Fowlie Says:

    @Edric:

    Apropos of your round 3 song: http://mediumlarge.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/thursday-july-2-2009/

  89. Edric Says:

    Nice, Wilson! Thanks!!

    :-)

  90. Hazen of His Name Is Legs Says:

    @Denise: I think we might be taking a break from Song Fu for a bit, but I think odds are good for an eventual return. :)

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