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We here at FRED 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.

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 FRED to be voted on by you, the audience.

At the end of the 3rd Challenge, the two Challengers with the most votes will face off, mano a mano for the title of…

MASTER OF SONG FU

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However, there may yet be one final challenge for this newly crowned Master - for they very well might (if the stars align and schedules permit) face off against one of the LEGENDARY MASTERS - artists like Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm, Neil Innes, Doc Hammer, & The RiffTones. Think of them as the iron chefs of Song Fu - one of which may or may not be revealed as your ultimate challenge. Only the wheel of uncertainty can predict (and even then, not).

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In a moment, you’ll discover the details of the first challenge. First, though, here’s the list of challengers:

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THE CHALLENGERS

MIKE LOMBARDO

Mike Lombardo is a piano-playing geek-pop-rock singer-songwriter who likes to use hyphens when describing his occupation. He has been known to write songs about just about anything, including rocks and SAW 4. When not banging on a piano, Mike spends most of his time playing way too many video games or teaching small children how to bang on pianos. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Mike is currently finishing up his second album with his piano rock band, the Mike Lombardo Trio.
Official Website: www.mikelombardomusic.com
Twitter: twitter.com/mikelombardo

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EDRIC HALEEN

songfu-edrichaleen.jpgEdric 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

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GODZ POODLZ

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: godzpoodlz.bandcamp.com

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SPENCER SOKOL

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.
Official Website: www.spencersokol.com
Twitter: twitter.com/spencersokol

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KYLIE PETTO

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. Now I thankfully have a violin to add to my arsenal, and I’m armed and ready for my second go at song fu!

Official Website: NONE
Twitter: twitter.com/KyliePetto

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CALEB HINES

Caleb is a software engineer who pretends to be a musician on the internet. Self-taught in music theory, he is more comfortable writing a four-part instrumental fugue than he is writing a verse-chorus-bridge song. His favorite style of music went out of style at the end of the 18th century, but after discovering the likes of Weird Al, Dr. Horrible, and especially Jonathan Coulton, he realized that “omodern 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 guitar, and most recently, bass. He also uses virtual instruments because a real orchestra costs too much.

Official Website: refactoringmybrain.blogspot.com
Twitter: twitter.com/calebhines

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BOFFO YUX DUDES

The Boffo Yux Dudes began in the 80’s and 90’s doing radio comedy, and promptly fell asleep for the next 15 years. Tom Giarrosso and Allan Morgan (Pop Machine) continue the tradition of trying to recreate their lost youth with exceedingly torturous music, instead of spending the money on therapy like normal people having a midlife crisis. Tom blames Mike Lombardo for showing him the Fu way of doing things, and now he has to listen to the voices and write songs instead of doing his actual day job.
Official Website: www.boffoyux.com
Twitter: twitter.com/boffoyuxdudes

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DENISE HUDSON

Denise Hudson is a musician of non-determined hair-color from Austin, Texas who is married to an musicaphile Australian. She hopes that she typed up her bio correctly (alas, she cannot spell!); and additionally hopes she amuses you, but she is done apologizing now. :) If she happens to make you slightly uncomfortable, she supposes there’s nothing to be done for it…
Official Website: denisehudson.bandcamp.com

Twitter: twitter.com/RangerDenni

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“BUCKETHAT” BOBBY MATHESON

songfu-buckethatbobby.jpgI’m “BucketHat” Bobby Matheson. I used to make cartoons for the internet, and sometimes still do, but mostly focus on my music right now. 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.
Official Website: www.buckethatbobby.randomsociety.com
Twitter: twitter.com/BucketHatBobby

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IAN “TWO SHADES” JOHNSON

Ian is a guitarist/singer/pianist/other-stuff-ist. He was a participant of Song-Fu #5, and is a member of Too Much Awesome. His songs have been described (by himself) as “probably not as funny as I think they are.”
Official Website: ianjohnson.bandcamp.com

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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

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GOVERNING DYNAMICS

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”.
Official Website: governingdynamics.bandcamp.com
Twitter: twitter.com/travisnorris

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ZER0GUY

Two brothers from the midwest return to Song Fu with their brand of eclectic musical ideas. They don’t like to stick to a genre, and sometimes they suffer from swarms of bees.
Official Website: www.myspace.com/zer0guyband

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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

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DAVE LEIGH & WILLIAM HOOVER

Dave & William have been writing songs together for decades, yet have still managed to avoid finding a clever name for themselves. William writes the words; Dave the music… which is good because it doesn’t really work the other way ’round.
Official Website: www.cratchit.org/music

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COMMON LISP

Common Lisp is the name for the music projects of yours truly, Paul R. Potts, and any collaborators I may be able to drag into participating. I am a middle-aged software engineer with four children, some home recording gear, and too many guitars. I have never written an original song. It’s about time, don’t you think?
Official Website: commonlisp.bandcamp.com

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GLEN RAPHAEL

Glen Raphael is a Manhattan-based software geek, circus performer, and guitarist/singer/songwriter who counts Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm as influences. He has recently written songs that featured killer robots, exploding pants, and the Statue of Liberty having a mid-life crisis. Though not all at once. Yet.
Official Website: youtube.com/glenra

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INVERSE T. CLOWN

Inverse T. Clown is a jack of many entertainment trades, songwriting being one of his favorites. He has an album half-ready to be recorded, and is looking forward to garnering the patience to sit down and do it. Even more so, he’s looking forward to Song Fu 6. There is an ongoing series of internet covers of Inverse’s song “Today’s The Day” - and he loves them all - but it would nice to get some steam behind the endless REST of his genius, and Song Fu seems just the place to start it up. He’s funny, he’s clever, his music is synthetic, and he’s champing at the bit to throw everything he’s got to his clamoring fans. Stick around, and see why Salemites everywhere call this musical genius “The Future of Greatness”.
Official Website: toomuchawesome.ning.com/profile/InverseTClown

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JEFF MacDOUGALL

Coming in at twice Mike Lombardo’s age, Jeff MacDougall is back and ready to throw some Fu! When asked about the competition, he had this to say: “Yeah. That’s right. I’m back. *coughs* *mumbles*” This will be a Song Fu for the ages!
Official Website: www.jeffmacdougall.com
Twitter: twitter.com/jeffmacdougall

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TARYN MILLER

Taryn Miller is an 18-year-old, gluten-intolerant, crazy-hat-wearing guitarist (and other stuff too, but she’s played guitar longest). She hails from Winfield, Kansas - Home of Bluegrass.
Official Website: myspace.com/chellenesuperstar

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ROUND 1 CHALLENGE

Write a song that is about (or at least has key to the central narrative) RAIN (the meteorological phenomena). At some point (or throughout) the song, you must utilize an instrument (or vocals) that represent the rain. 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 30 seconds. Your song must be submitted in mp3 form (128-192kbps) either via e-mail (to mail @ 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, February 7th, 2010.

Voting on Round 1 submissions will commence on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010.

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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:

28 Responses to “Masters Of Song Fu #6: Round 1 Challengers and Challenge Revealed”

  1. Joe Covenant Says:

    Well!
    THIS looks like it will be a VERY interesting contest!
    At LEAST 14 members of TMA in this one maybe as many as 16-17?

    All the best to everyone!

    Get Yer Fu Going!

  2. Alyssa Day Says:

    I took that picture of Ian and I made the cookie he’s eating! :-D

  3. Dave Leigh Says:

    Alyssa, I hope you made enough for everybody! This is a great list of challengers! The best of luck to everybody. And should any of you get very hoarse and wish to drop out, we’ll understand completely ;)

    Seriously, best of luck to you all!

  4. Denise Hudson Says:

    I guess the “write your bio in the entry form thingy” didn’t work. Because my old bio that left three essential words of it out from last time and makes me sound pretentious is back again. Oh well. Most importantly, be proud, because:

    denisehudson.bandcamp.com

    -that was the main message of the intended new bio. Sorry folks, I tried to write it in. At least I’m in the contest with my new hair :) :)

    ps. I also have a Twitter, which I legitimately forgot in the entry form thingy - it’ RangerDenni. Go forth folks. ;)

  5. Glen Raphael Says:

    I pity the Fu!

    Fu…..are you? Fu-Fu! Fu-Fu!

    I knooow a Fu you see. For. That. Fu is me. Tell me why!

  6. Denise Hudson Says:

    Thanks for fixin me up! Whoever it was- you’re a STAR!!!!! :) :) :)

  7. Hazen of Quiet Desperation Says:

    Holy Hell, that’s a lot of Fu-ers. Good luck everybody.

  8. Chas Lilly Says:

    SUPER disappointed that I was not aware of the SF6 application. Good luck to all Fuers! Not to be confused with Fuhrers.

    -Chas

  9. Travis Norris Says:

    Hey, Taryn Miller? If you put Tornado Season up on bandcamp, I will buy it. I’m just sayin’.

  10. Ploogle Says:

    Jeff MacDougall’s back! YAY!

  11. Joe Covenant Says:

    I just received my, “hand-crafted, one of a kind”, ‘Master of Song Fu 5′ trophy.

    You guys should STRIVE to gain this!
    It is a thing of beauty!

    ;’ )

  12. Autumnraina Says:

    SO excited to see lots of familiar names/faces!

    @Chas - please consider doing shadow entries

  13. Wilson Says:

    Is rain > 1 phenomenon?

    Still missing Darrell MacLaine from SongFu4. :(

  14. sevinPackage Says:

    This challenge offers lots of creative opportunities, although the rain thing has been done quite a lot before (much like the moon).

    When I think of the subject, I think of CCR (Have You Ever Seen the Rain? and Who’ll Stop the Rain?), Blind Melon (No Rain), Eurythmics (Here Comes the Rain Again) The Judds (Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain), The Cascades/Dan Fogelberg (Rhythm Of The Rain), Eddie Rabbitt (I Love a Rainy Night), and of course, Guns ‘N Roses (November Rain).

    Lots and lots of variety. If artists are stuck, these could inspire… probably not as much as Harry Nilsson, but hey, not everybody can be Harry.

    Good luck, everyone!

  15. sevinPackage Says:

    Oh, and Purple Rain. Can’t forget that.

  16. sevinPackage Says:

    Holy Crap.

    Harry Nilsson made a song about rain.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HERocgNz_g4

  17. Caleb Hines Says:

    Me, I’m thinkin of Vivaldi’s Winter (2nd mvmt, Largo) and Beethoven’s 6th (Pastoral) Symphony

  18. Inverse T. Clown Says:

    All that, Sevin, and no mention of Ernest P. Worrell? For shame.

  19. sevinPackage Says:

    I apologize for my ignorance, Inverse. I was never taught about Ernest’s musical endeavors. Care to point me in the right direction?

  20. BucketHatBobby Says:

    @SevinPackage During “Ernest goes to Camp”. The song is “Gee I’m Glad It’s Raining”. Absolutely touching.

  21. Darrell Maclaine Says:

    There’s a Song Fu 6? Completely passed me by. Ah, nuts.

  22. Taryn Miller Says:

    Travis Norris! Thank you but that’s an old version! The rap beat was kind of a joke! But I will give you it for free when we record the updated version!

  23. sevinPackage Says:

    Hmmm… I saw the movie when I was young… I guess I just blocked it out of my memory. It’s a song about rain, all right. I forgot Jim Varney could sing, and he’s the best part of that song. It’s composed well, but it’s just too sappy for me.

    It could also be said that I ‘forgot’ Gary Allan (Songs About Rain) and BJ Thomas (Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head), but I don’t like them enough to put in a quick list.

    Okay, that makes 16 different song references (17 different performances) in this one thread! Anyone care to throw in a couple more?

  24. Boffoyux Says:

    Riders on the Storm by the Doors
    Rain by the Beatles
    and of course Smokey Robinson singing ‘The Tracks of my Tears’

  25. Paul R. Potts Says:

    Well, I sent Ken a song! My first original song, unless you could improvised instrumentals. Joe was kind enough to record me a vocal track.

    Just for fun, I also pieced together a little video with some webcam footage of my recording sessions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_oReeYmyqE

  26. Travis Norris Says:

    Sevin - ah, why not…

    Feels like Rain - Dimestore Prophets. I’d be lying if I said this band wasn’t one of my bigger influences…

    Raining in Baltimore - Counting Crows. Also one of my bigger influences. Hmm. My song is called “Rain in Chicago”… Hmmmm.

    Why Does it Always Rain on Me? - Travis. …Oddly not one of my bigger influences. In fact, I only knew the title of the song until just now.

    Dry the Rain - The Beta Band, used to great effect in the film High Fidelity.

  27. sevinPackage Says:

    Alright, we got some more great rain references! Here are a few more:
    Peter Gabriel (Red Rain)
    Brook Benton/Ray Charles/Conway Twitty (Rainy Night in Georgia)
    The Temptations/Marvin Gaye(I Wish It Would Rain)
    Phil Collins[w/Clapton] (I Wish It Would Rain Down)
    Willie Nelson/Elvis Presley (Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain)
    …and of course, Tay Zonday (Chocolate Rain)

    So, that makes 29 songs / 34 versions of rain songs in this thread (excluding MoSF songs). Looks like an excellent/awfully depressing playlist. Any more we’re forgetting?

    BTW, I can see the irony in how Travis is not an influence on Travis. I suggest listening to their cover of “Hit Me Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears. They make her song listenable.

  28. Gorbzilla Says:

    Another Song About the Rain - Cracker

    One of my favorites

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