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
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 your 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 your final Challenge - or perhaps it could be a brand new Master. Only the Challenger who garners the most cumulative votes in all of the Challenges will move on to the Final and face that Master, mano a mano.
In a moment, you’ll discover the details of the first challenge. First, though, here’s the list of challengers:
Governing Dynamics is the name of Travis Norris’s eternal sideproject, where all the stuff written by him goes when his current band (whatever it may be) refuses to play it. The music has been favorably compared to such bands as Eels, Radiohead, The White Stripes, and other bands that cool people like. It has been unfavorably compared to the tactics used by the FBI against the Branch Dividians at Waco. If he has to describe his music by genre (and refer to himself in third person) Travis calls it “alternative/shoegazer with a liberal dose of Midwestern rock”.
I suppose I am what you could call a “Multi-Instrumentalist”. That is a nice way of saying “Jack-of-all-trades, Master-of-none”. I began playing drums as a teenager and spent a great deal of energy during my 20’s trying to “make it” in the music biz. As a drummer, I have had the opportunity to play with some pretty incredible musicians, garnering literally DOZENS of fans over the years. In 2004 I joined the band Celestial Static, and spent several years melting some face with good friends Jeremy and Julie Elzerman. Once that ran its course, I decided to spend more time locked away in my studio, writing my own songs and learning to play guitar, bass and sing. It doesn’t pay the bills, but I have a good time doing it.
Edric is a returning veteran of the Masters of Song Fu competition. He 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. Also - feel free to check out (and add to!) the “Happiness Board” on his web pages!
Official Website: happinessboard.com/Edric_Haleen.html
“BUCKETHAT” BOBBY MATHESON
I’m “BucketHat” Bobby Matheson. I used to make cartoons for the internet, and sometimes still do, but mostly focus on my music right now. I write and record my songs solo, in my little make-shift studio, and when I play live, I often get some help from friends. Some of my music is funny, and some isn’t. More often than not, the humour is unintentional. My Influences range from Klezmer to folk, to punk and back again, which ends up sounding more like Zydeco than anything else (who’d have guessed?). I’ve been described as a “Cajun Buddy Holly” and an “Optimistic Elvis Costello”. It’s been said that I sound like “That guy from the Barenaked Ladies” and a “Nasaly Bob Dylan”. One of these days, I hope to have a description that is accurate.
Tyler Massey is an uncomplicated person. He likes to sip Cristal and polish his yacht collection. He enjoys the simple things in life, like stepping on snails barefoot and nude origami. He wishes that he had a proper Hobo Name, and is open to suggestions.
Legends foretell of a mighty duo, born in the frozen North. Two neighbors and friends will unite to form “Godz Poodlz” and battle the Mazters or Song Fu for glory and bragging rights! Godz Poodlz are Rüss Rogers and Rod Durre. Russ Rogers was once a member of “Kit and Kaboodle” (still available on iTunes) and currently performs in “Rusty’s Rocking Jamboree!” Rhod Durre was in the Goth Rock Band, “Sear!” Beware the Godz Poodlz Ear Worm! Godz Poodlz songs are bright, funny and tenaciously catchy. Come join Godz Poodlz Legionz of Fanz!
Official Website: www.myspace.com/godzpoodlz
Bram Tant is a Belgian coputer science student with a distinct love for music. Ever since going to music school as a kid, he’s enjoyed singing and playing the guitar, and has been writing songs for some years now. While he’s still learning to play the guitar, sing and write songs better, he improves with each attempt, and he makes up for it (and the lack of proper recording equipment) with his passion and enthusiasm. He would like to become a professional musician someday, but for now he’s satisfied with writing and performing for friends, family, and strangers on the internet.
Hi, 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.
Manitcess are Susanne Wolff (Lupa) on vocals and Johannes Schult (Jutze) on guitar. The duo plays melodic song somewhere between pop, folk and rock. Melodies are more important than trends. The band has already played various gigs in Germany and Switzerland and is eager to entertain - or better to enchant their audience with their musical tales.
Although he has no formal training, Jarrett is an accomplished pianist who has been composing music for nearly twenty years. A relative newcomer to the world of online amateur competitive songwriting, he burst onto the scene earlier this year when he filled out an entry form just before the deadline. While earning his living as a graphic artist and website developer, Jarrett secretly dreams of leaving behind the glamor and prestige of internet publishing so he can focus on composing music for songwriting contests full-time.
Forged in the furnace of irony, molded with the hammer of satire, flattened on the anvil of righteousness, and cooled in the water of awesomeness, AudioMohel was thrust upon the world. Named from the lost audio transcripts of ‘09, AudioMohel serves as a public-service backlash against the anti-circumcision trend sweeping the so-called “enlightened parents” crowd, AudioMohel urges their more devoted and impressionable fans to undergo the snip two or even three times. AudioMohel enjoys experimenting with new breakthrough genres like speed blues and death classical even though most of AudioMohel’s tunes reside firmly in the ethereal realm of vapor-ware.
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: jalapenojabaneros.blogspot.com
Hi, my name is Timothy. I like me. I like my school, I like my friends. I like to play the music. I very much enjoy the peoples. Thank you.
They are not some traveling country hillbilly act. They are celebrating the year of Jubilee in the form of ukulele based indie pop. They are Akiva Misto and Eliana Bartimeus and they are prepared to rock your yarmulkes!
Official Website: NONE
Gorbzilla 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
Peter is a person of sorts. Since his birth he has consistently occupied himself with a variety of time consuming and completely un-noteworthy activities. Despite this breadth of experience he remains untalented in the ways of writing all encompassing 600 word essays. He does, however, greatly enjoy the rare treat that is writing about oneself in the third person, especially when such a gift should be presented to him at the wonderful time of 4AM. Peter now supposes that since this a musical competition he is entering, he might want to include something about that in his bio. At the way too old age of 18, Peter first attempted to play music. His guitar teacher warned him that he was much to old to begin training, and that he would probably be an emotionally unstable musician that would eventually turn to the dark side. Peter took no heed to this warning, and indeed dropped out of guitar lessons fairly quickly, realizing that he enjoyed learning much more when done alone. In the year and a half since then, Peter has been on a steady rise and will no doubt be taking the musical world by storm in the coming year. Perhaps his greatest musical moment came in December of 2008, when his Christmas caroling band, The Sizzle, took his small hick town by storm with a door to door tour through the suburbs, melting the figurative face of listeners with a funk/rap cover of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. In 2009 Peter has become active in the youtube community, known not for his music but for his notorious use of stop-motion eating scenes and a DIY laugh track. Hoping to hone his barely existing musical skills through the pressure of competition, Peter joins Round 5 of Song Fu. He sincerely hopes that rewriting this bio at a later date will be an option. The Peter Is Competing.
At the ripe age of 19, this strapping young lad has been song writing for two years now. With his mates Meredith and Cornelius (guitar and ukulele, respectively), Craig Richie is prepared to join the ranks of the Song Fu warriors. Finding strong influences from former masters JoCo and Molly Lewis, as well as pinches of Kimya Dawson and Elvis Costello, this boy’s got a perspective on the world to share.
Official Website: www.youtube.com/user/craigtotherichie
Josh was born in Canada, which probably explains more about him than anything else he could put in a bio. He plays the accordion, is self-taught on the piano, and highly enjoys playing and writing for both - though he rarely finishes anything without a deadline. With this grueling contest, he hopes to push himself to unleash the best Fu he possibly can… and hell, maybe even some he impossibly can. YARRR!
Official Website: www.youtube.com/user/PossessedRaccoon
Many folks say that Aaron Z is a pretty cool guy. He plays too many instruments, but mostly piano & guitar. He wastes too much of his free time writing and performing music, which has been known to make people laugh, tough men cry, and ladies melt in his arms. His current projects include Orange Box: The Musical! and A Tribute to the Letter E. He likes food cooked with mushrooms and his favorite ice-creams are vanilla-based, not chocolate-based. Check out his music, including his previously-weekly but now faux-weekly music project on his website, plus his other cool music.
Official Website: aaronz.bandcamp.com
Spencer is trying to do things. Music is one of those things. It is painfully obvious to him, if not others, that he has absolutely no idea what he’s doing. In the past he has been musically inclined with a guitar and occasionally with a piano. He is trying to be musically active once again, but this time he is attempting to do so while on the Internets. Creating music is a large part of his 40×40 list and he thinks this competition seems like “a Super Mega Happy Fun way” to rekindle his musical desires.
Denise Hudson is doing Song Fu again because last time the contest gave her a rush that she’d never had before. She is thinking this contest will help her further her career in the frightening world, the scary internet (ack!), and in Austin - a city in which there are many Live Music Capitalists of the World. She’s hoping to avoid mixdown mixups, to master her mastering, and hopefully… not become a twittasaurus rex. She’d like to thank her friends - local, national, international, intergalactic, and those from the beyond. Peace, Love, and Grapenuts.
Official Website: www.myspace.com/denisehudson
JOE “COVENANT” LAMB
I’m Joe Covenant. I’m Scottish. And never have enough time to do everything I wanna! Been singing and perfoming for over 40 years… (yes, I am 46.)… and I’ve nearly learned a 6th chord! Everything I do. I do for Song Fu. (If not for this ‘contest’ I would have never met and collaborated with so many talented people.)
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.
Bob Westfall (guitar, mandolin, vocals, songwriting) has studied and worked with some of the top acoustic players in the country - Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, John Hartford, and Alex DeGrassi. But, while these influences are certainly evident, Westfall’s songwriting and lyrics are uniquely his own. An award-winning mandolinist, Bob grew up in Texas and Minnesota, and his style incorporates the best elements of composing with a hybrid jazz/pop/worldbeat/bluegrass feel.
Official Website: www.sonicbids.com/thebobwestfallband
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, baroque flute, ukulele, melodica, pretends to play keyboard, and most recently, guitar. He also uses virtual MIDI instruments because a real orchestra costs too much.
Official Website: refactoringmybrain.blogspot.com
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to mix Ravishing Rick Rude and the Beatles together? Me too. Man that would be awesome. Justin Vega is a songwriter/sort of singer from Las Vegas, NV. Justin Vega thinks writing in third person is awesome.
Official Website: NONE
Ian Johnson was born atop Mount Everest, was attacked by a troop of ninjas on his way out of the womb, then rode a grizzly bear down the mountain and punched Hitler’s ghost on the way down. Then he ate some mashed peas. Seriously though. Ian played piano for about six years before taking a break in music. Then he decided to play guitar, because as we all know, piano don’t get chicks. He started playing guitar about a year and a half ago. His music has been described (by himself) as garage-punk ska-esque acoustic altern-rock with just a little ukulele thrown in for good measure.
Official Website: ianjohnson.bandcamp.com
Sometimes two people get together who are destined to make history. Sometimes they are born into the same family. zer0guy is the musical/life-partnership of Jon and Dan Kelly, long time musicians looking forward to placing notes in your head.
Official Website: www.myspace.com/zer0guyband
My current project is writing A Song a Day (Rock Cookie Bottom), and my former projects include The Last Nympho Leprechaun, a rock opera, The Mario Opera, a rock opera, GameJew, a web show, and The Mushroom Singdom, singing old school video game reviews.
Official Website: www.rockcookiebottom.com
Sara Parsons is a twenty-year-old music composition student from northern California. She participated in Masters of Song Fu #4 and had a blast and met a ton of great people. She hopes she’s better at writing songs than she is at writing her own biography.
Official Website: www.youtube.com/user/sargeantketchup
Simmbiosis - three part band. Defies the usual type or brand. A combo bred, in this strange head. The obscene voice the unseen hand. Terpsichore and muse imbued. Perverse perhaps a little rude. Music composed, a life exposed. Giving you all I can exude. Studio C where I compose. Club Bed where I take my repose. Iniquity, safe haven for me. The rest you’ll just have to suppose. To be among this crowd, auspicious. An honor bordering on delicious. Thanks to View Askew, I’ll whip out my Song Fu. And work not to be repetitious, repetitious, repetitious.
Official Website: www.myspace.com/simmbiosis
Chas Lilly is a man that needs introduction. He is geeky but hopefully without being boring. He has been known to write songs about Pluto, Tim Allen, funerals, and everything in between. People often describe his music as “music”.
My name is Kylie, and I’m your everyday 17-year-old girl with a passion for music. I’ve been writing my own songs since I was ten years old, and nothing is more fun for me than to sit down with my guitar and unwind. I’d like to use Masters of Song Fu to really challenge myself, and hopefully grow as a musical artist.
Official Website: NONE
Jeff began playing guitar in 2003. He wrote his first comedy song in early 2004, and later that year, he wrote a song that was actually funny and in key, unlike his earlier works. He began playing shows after accidentally opening for a local band while passing through a bar. He continues to play because nobody has told him to stop.
Official Website: www.JeffFardink.com
I am a young musician who plays trombone, guitar, ukulele, piano, melodica, and a little bit of harmonica. I play everything from rock songs with distortion pedals on ukulele, to rap medleys on piano, to sappy love songs and songs about the internet crashing on guitar. This is my first time in Song Fu.
Official Website: NONE
Bryce Jensen has been writing songs off and on for well over twenty years, but he has rarely shared any of them beyond his friends and family. His styles range from a capella to heavy metal with a lot of wimpy finger picking stuff in between. Bryce took part in the recent Holiday Special edition of the Song Fu and found the constraints and deadline to be quite a rush. He also learned that sharing his work with the world can be very rewarding. Back for this competition because he is hooked and needs another fix, Bryce is looking forward to whatever crazy challenges lie ahead.
THE MATT LEES BAND
An independent rock/blues band from Ontario, Canada. Currently in studio recording a debut album to be released soon. They have been described as Hall and Oats meets Guns N Roses or John Mayer Vs Jeff Healey Vs Dave Matthews - Now that’s a triple threat match! The MLB looks forward to welcoming you to their world.
Official Website: legendinmysparetimepodcast.podbean.com
I’m just a kid with a guitar. Sometimes I even play it.
Official Website: NONE
ROUND 1 CHALLENGE
This is a bit of a fun one. Your first task is based upon the work of Friend-of-the-Stop John Hodgman - specifically, the “700 MOLE MEN” listed in his second book, More Information Than You Require. You’ll find the full list of “700 Mole Men” - and their descriptions - HERE. Your task is to choose one (1) and write a song about that Mole Man, based on the description provided by Hodgman. The title of your song will be the name of the Mole Man you’ve chosen, and its corresponding number on the list. You are free to write your song in any style that you choose.
That’s it. The only other directive is that your song must run no shorter than 1 minute. Your song must be submitted in mp3 form (128-192kbps) either via e-mail (to songfu @ asitecalledfred.com - remember to remove the spaces) or a file upload service (like RapidShare or YouSendIt). Deadline for submission is 11:59pm EST on Sunday, November 15th, 2009.
Voting on Round 1 submissions will commence on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009.
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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