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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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So what was the first Challenge?

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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.

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You’ll find each Challenger’s songs below, with the voting form at the bottom. Shadow entries can be found beneath the voting form.

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
ROUND 1 SONG:Sit And Watch The Rain

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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

ROUND 1 SONG:In The Rain

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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

ROUND 1 SONG:Rain Is Pouring Down

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Reservations

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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

ROUND 1 SONG:Robby

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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

ROUND 1 SONG:Water Cycle

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Reign of the King

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Rain

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Forget About The Rain

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Downpour

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Freezing Rain

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Rain in Chicago

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Thundercade

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Kingdom Of Rain

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LEIGH & 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
ROUND 1 SONG:Summer Rain

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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
Twitter: twitter.com/paulrpotts
ROUND 1 SONG:Polly Loves the Rain

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Can’t See The Sky

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Sexy In The Rain

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Beautiful Day

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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
ROUND 1 SONG:Crowded And Clouded

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

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ROUND 1 VOTING

And now, it’s time for the 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 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13th, and THE NEXT CHALLENGE WILL BE REVEALED ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15th. If you are having trouble voting, CLEAR YOUR BROWSER’S CACHE and try again. PLEASE NOTE: This voting system bases voting eligibility on your IP Address. If there are other computers on a home or business network that share the same IP address through a router, it may say you’ve already voted. Unfortunately, there is no way around this, and still be able to prevent ballot stuffing. It’s just the nature of the online voting beast.

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ROUND 1 VOTING - THE CHALLENGERS

[poll id="24"]

View Results

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SHADOW ENTRIES

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.)

Official Website: joecovenant.bandcamp.com
Twitter: twitter.com/JoeCovenant

ROUND 1 SHADOW SONG:Rain

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:

43 Responses to “Masters Of Song Fu #6: Round 1 Voting Begins”

  1. sevinPackage Says:

    This is wonderful! Every contestant submitted a song!
    Happy voting!

  2. Gorbzilla Says:

    Freezing Rain- for Song Fu #6 Challenge 1

    I’m having a bad day again (and again and again and again yeah) / she left me for the weatherman
    Now I’m stuck in the freezing rain (again and again and again yeah) / Man I hate that weatherman
    Every day it’s still the same / Left standing in the freezing rain / she calls me up to start my pain
    Her name is Rita she works at WPBH in Pittsburgh / she went away to some small town
    I was gonna propose, but the weatherman Phil Connors wanted her / Now freezing rain is falling down
    I’m having a bad day again (and again and again and again yeah) / she left me for the weatherman
    Now I’m stuck in the freezing rain (again and again and again yeah) / Man I hate that weatherman
    Every day it’s still the same / Left standing in the freezing rain / she calls me up to start my pain (Every Day)
    Every day it’s still the same / I’m still here crying in the freezing rain / she calls me up to start my pain
    I should call my insurance man, ask Ned if he has seen or heard from her / He says he’ll call me back tomorrow
    But it’s still today, and tomorrow might as well be never / so I’m left with freezing rain and sorrow
    I’m having a bad day again (and again and again and again yeah) / she left me for the weatherman
    Now I’m stuck in the freezing rain (again and again and again yeah) / Man I hate that weatherman
    Every day it’s still the same Left standing in the freezing rain / she calls me up to start my pain (Every Day)
    Every day it’s still the same I’m still here crying in the freezing rain / she calls me up to start my pain
    I’m having a bad day again (and again and again and again yeah)
    Repeat (like, a lot of times)

  3. Taryn Miller Says:

    Lyrics friends! For Song Fu #6 Challenge 1: Crowded and Clouded

    My friend, the liquid
    Not hardened or an unbearable burden
    You might be acidic
    But only slightly so I can handle it
    You’re all different
    Ranging from
    Pancake to smallest of shapes
    You always, show up too early or late.

    As long as you don’t freeze,
    like the snow, hail, or sleet
    You’re ok with me.
    I understand that it’s crowded
    In your clouded atmosphere
    but if you stay
    contained I can make it through the day.

    The condensation
    leading to my personal irrigation
    The ones driving their stick shift
    In commercial traffic
    We’re all asking for it
    For additional showers and contact
    Just don’t bring your wind yet
    It’s too cold for that nonsense.

    Why don’t you make a visit.
    Quit cheating with your wetlands
    Their gages are overflowing
    Leaving deserts neglected
    Can’t you see
    We all need you
    But not everyone is willing to dance for their luck.

  4. Denise Hudson Says:

    I don’t usually post lyrics AT the site. But I will this time. This song is based on a couple poems I wrote real recently. I had under 3 hours till Fu so I took them and twisted them HARD into lyrics (adding the rain concept) so I could make the deadline. There you have it.

    RAIN
    It’s pouring outside / I’ve got it bad as the weather
    It’s all damp inside my mind / I don’t have it together

    But some people like to live like this
    Because the rain makes all the waterfalls into rainbows around
    And I laugh and make appropriate sounds
    But you can’t hear what I’ve been dreaming about …

    I hold tight against myself / like a human umbrella
    Yes sir … the shoe fits, but I ain’t no … Cinderella
    I’m just filling up holes in the street with these pools overflowing
    I’m late to the dance / And my roots are showing

    There’s water everywhere
    Are you gonna drink it?
    Or will you just let it trickle down politely
    when we could just throw down in the rain
    -like we mean it

    The clouds move secretly, faster - I’m poised for disaster
    wondering illegal things
    I’m thinking about all the shining
    realities

    And the rain makes a pretty parade
    I see you, shove up my glasses / double-check the subtleties I made
    and they’re much too subtle … I’m afraid

    You know it’s not quite like all that
    But I could drink you down right now
    I guess this is kinda hard for you to understand
    I guess the weatherman could declare me legally mad

    There’s water everywhere
    Are we gonna drink it?
    Gulp it down like we mean it
    I don’t believe you can’t see it clearly!
    We’re steaming / and we could throw down like we mean it
    in the rain

    You can look for the root of my crimes / in my past life
    Put on galoshes, wade through my present time
    Trip right to the flip-side
    then slip down to your never-mind

    This is not about you
    It’s about what I go through
    when you and all the you&me too-s
    come marching through
    my stormy parade …

  5. Dave Leigh Says:

    Extended lyrics to “Summer Rain” are at http://tinyurl.com/yevldqv

    Good luck to everyone!

  6. Chas Lilly Says:

    Since I’m not in the competition, I guess I can share my vote recepients. MiLo (Not even fair), Spencer (I like the simplicity and think it was basic, but well done), Ian (catchy and relaxing), Common Lisp (I’m kind of excited about this newcomer), Jeff (quality as always).

    Great round! Looking forward to the next!

    -Chas

  7. Glen Raphael Says:

    Can I just say: you guys are all awesome! Nice work, everyone.

  8. Kylie Petto Says:

    Lyrics for “Robby” are here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMdvTcHDCiA in the side bar. Good luck everybody!

  9. Russ Rogers (of Godz Poodlz) Says:

    Lyrics for “Rain is Pouring Down”
    by Godz Poodlz. written by Rhod Durre and Russ Rogers

    Sunshine in the morning
    When the day began so perfectly
    There were no weather warnings
    They could not forecast catastrophe

    Lightning for a moment then the next one you were gone. . .

    So long since you’ve been around
    And Rain is Pouring Down
    So long, still you can’t be found
    And Rain is Pouring Down

    Water streams down the window
    Turns my living room into a cage
    Watching them as they all flow
    Like my tears of sorrow and of rage

    The Biblical disaster only lasted forty days. . .

    So long since you’ve been around
    And Rain is Pouring Down
    So long, still you can’t be found
    And Rain is Pouring Down

    If you are on facebook, there is a Masters of Song Fu Group you can join: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=99943309099

    There is also a Godz Poodlz facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Godz-Poodlz/151736822018

    MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/godzpoodlz

    twitter: http://twitter.com/GodzPoodlz

    And all Godz Poodlz songs can be listened to or downloaded at http://godzpoodlz.bandcamp.com/

  10. BoffoYux Says:

    Lyrics for ‘Reign of the King’

    Johny wanted something that he shouldn’t aughta want
    he was doin well and had a gal, but somethin did haunt
    his eyes started wanderin’, he was playin’ with fire
    On the night that he finally saw his heart’s desire.

    Chorus:
    Now his teardrops fall like rain
    But it don’t mean a thing
    ‘Cause it’s starting to come down
    The reign of the King.

    Her name was Rochalinda and she had ambitions
    and they started rubbin off on Johny’s antsy condition.
    He saw her in a nightclub where she liked to sing.
    The beginning of the downfall of the Reign of the king.

    Now his teardrops fall like rain
    But it don’t mean a thing
    ‘Cause it’s starting to come down
    The reign of the King.

    Johnny had to prove his love, and he knew what he would do
    He’d make a move on the big man, Mr. Hefty LaRue
    He thought he’d win his love by grabbin’ that brass ring
    But time was runnin’ out on the Reign of the new King

    He plugged big man LaRue like you’d plug up a drain
    but laRue’s jealous wife she started goin’ insane
    She put a slug in Johnny’s head like it didn’t mean a thing
    He died in RochaLinda’s arms…the end of the King

    Now her teardrops fall like rain
    But it don’t mean a thing
    ‘Cause it’s starting to come down
    The reign of the King.

    The reign of the King

  11. Travis Norris (of Governing Dynamics) Says:

    Some lyrics!

    RAIN IN CHICAGO

    you got us tickets to a show on the Loop
    you dyed your hair pink, I wore a new leather jacket
    wasn’t weather-proofed

    you’d think I know better…

    showed up an hour early to try to catch a glimpse of the band
    some guy tried to pick you up, I kissed your cheek
    I took your hand

    it was a pretty good scam…

    and the band played indie rock to the strains
    of an infant thunder storm
    for a couple of sets, we could both forget
    how the city was ragged and worn
    when lightning fell from the skies
    it made your eyes the brightest blue
    do you remember the rain in Chicago like I do?
    do you remember the rain in Chicago like I do?

    around 1:30 the last of us got pushed out the door
    Downed the last of my drink, ventured out
    into the torrential downpour

    you couldn’t see to hail a cab…

    you said “I think you’re asleep on your feet
    and my apartment’s not far away.
    if you think you can keep from keeping me awake
    I guess you could stay”

    and the planes got grounded at O’Hare
    Some people could not fly home
    it was dark and quiet on your couch
    but I didn’t feel alone
    (my) ruined jacket was my only blanket
    I left the rest for you
    do you remember the rain in Chicago like I do?
    do you remember the rain in Chicago like I do?

  12. Caleb Hines Says:

    [Verse 1]
    Sometimes you feel like you are just a tiny droplet in the sea,
    And no one sees the “you” you try to be.
    You’re insignificant, and tossed around by every changing wave,
    You’re certain that you’ll meet an early grave.
    But then the sun breaks out across the skies,
    And soon you feel yourself begin to rise,
    And life keeps going on…

    [Chorus]
    (Water cycle) You have your ups and downs,
    (Water cycle) From sea, to sky, to ground,
    (Water cycle) And you keep going ’round and ’round.

    [Verse2]
    Sometimes you feel like you’re a wisp of vapor floating in the sky,
    And no one else has ever reached so high.
    You are euphoric, and you’re floating in the clouds and in the sun,
    You’re proud of all the things that you have done.
    But then it seems you’re up against a wall,
    And soon you feel yourself begin to fall,
    And life keeps going on…

    [Chorus]

    [Verse3]
    And then you are a drop of rain descending on a barren land,
    And you can show someone a helping hand;
    ‘Cause there are others you are thirsty for the things that you could share,
    You only need to let them know you care.
    But then you find it’s time for you to go,
    And soon you feel yourself begin to flow,
    And life keeps going on…

    [Chorus]

    [Coda]
    Sometimes you feel like you are just a tiny droplet in the sea,
    And no one sees the “you” you try to be.

    ————-
    Apologies for the muffled lead vocal on this one. I was using a different microphone setup, and apparently I haven’t worked the kinks out of it yet. My first take sounded better, except it had an unacceptable buzz. Getting rid of that, I think I inadvertently introduced a “proximity effect” or something. I think I’ve got it figured out now, so hopefully my next entry will sound better. I may redo these vocals, too, if I get a chance.

  13. Paul R. Potts Says:

    Lyrics for “Polly Loves the Rain”

    Now Polly is a positive proton, she was born a long time ago; a ten billionth of a second after the big bang created in that great inferno. She survived the mass annihilation | when the universe was one second old; only one in a billion baryons made it and went on to become everything we can hold. Almost four hundred thousand years later, the first atoms became stable; little Polly acquired an electron and they’re nearly inseparable. After the first supernova, there was oxygen floating around, created by the alpha process, and little Polly was chemically bound. She was part of a molecule of water at the time of the solar system’s birth; she became part of the accretion disc that eventually formed our Earth.

    Yeah… the one we live on.

    Now Polly experienced gravitation; Polly joined up with a comet’s core. She was getting ready to change the clmate — so suck on that, Al Gore. The comet crashed into the young planet Earth; Polly melted into the sea. They say a lot of the water we have now arrived very suddenly. Polly was part of the primeval ocean when the earth was still young and hot; there was no atmosphere; there was no life; but Polly was not distraught. In the blazing sun she steamed away and floated in the sky so black; she condensed on some dust and put her trust in gravity, and rode on back.

    It wouldn’t be the last time.

    Polly the proton’s been here before; she was once part of King Tut’s sweat. Way back in ancient Egyptian times, she made his royal forehead wet A breeze blew up across the Nile, and Polly was vaporized. The invisible vapor cooled and then Polly was not surprised to meet up with a speck of dust and more water molecules; they formed a droplet and then a cloud made up of tiny globules. Now when you’re feeling jerked around, and when you’re feeling blue, or when you think no one could run in circles half as much as you do — take a moment to think of Polly. She’s gone ’round again and again; she still hasn’t gotten tired of the ride but I’ve got no more rhymes for our friend.

    She just keeps on riding that waterslide.

    [Prechorus]

    Yeah, Polly the Proton’s been everywhere
    All around this old galaxy
    Polly’s been part of a glacier
    And Polly’s been lost in the sea
    Polly the Proton’s been down your throat
    And passed through your left kidney
    Yeah, she’s been drunk, she’s been pissed
    Been frozen; she’s been dissed
    And what she loves the most is being rain

    [The original plan was for the song to run verse -- prechorus -- chorus 3 times with a longer ad lib and fade, but the song was going to run well over 5 minutes that way. I rearranged it to put the first two verses back to back, leave out chorus 2, and remove the longer ad lib vocal fade out.]

    [Chorus 1]

    Polly loves the rain
    Coming down as rain
    Since long before the plain was formed
    Since long before Spain was named
    Polly’s loved the rain

    [Chorus 2]

    Polly loves the rain
    Coming down as rain
    Splashing on the Spanish plain
    Spaniards fine it quite mundane
    But Polly loves the rain

    [Chorus 3]

    Polly loves the rain
    Onto fields of grain
    Over Alba’s* great floodplains
    Failing** up the river Tay***
    Polly loves the rain

    [Ad lib and fade-out]

    Polly rides the rain
    Polly’s in the rain
    Polly is the rain
    Polly has no brain
    But Polly loves the rain

    *Joe sang this Scottish word for Scotland
    **Joe’s Scottish pronunciation of “filling”
    ***I suggested “a river or Loch that fits the rhyming scheme” and Joe picked the one that runs by his home city of Dundee

    Technical notes:

    The bass is a Steinberger Synapse 5-string fretless. The fretless model was discontinued; it is impossible to find strings for it, and the original strings really tear up my fingers (they literally get burned when I play a lot of slides). But it has an unusual piece of ebony wood in the bridge, with a piezo pickup, that gives it an acoustic-like tone that I just love, so I can’t give it up.

    The guitar is a Squier Super-Sonic. The backing part is just G7 and C7 chords, if I recall correctly. The “rain” part uses harmonics. These can’t be played in standard tuning. I tuned to an open E7, then used a capo at the 3rd fret to give me a G7 chord in harmonics at the 15th fret. Note that this requires careful tweaking of the tuning after the capo is applied, since the capo will tend to push it out of tune. All the processing is Logic’s amp and effects modeling, which in Logic 9 is really amazing.

    Both the bass and guitar are direct into an Apogee Ensemble.

    I recorded the spoken vocal with my Oktava (Electro-Harmonix branded) ribbon mic. I like how it sounds for my spoken vocal, and it also sounds great on ukulele, but not so great for my sung part. It didn’t help that I had a sore throat the whole week. You can hear the rawness of my throat in my chorus harmony part. It was a toss up at the last minute as to whether I was going to use it or not. In retrospect, I would have liked to have had more time to experiment with vocal takes, but then again, I’m guessing most of us would have liked more time.

    For the next round, I will have a pair of Oktava condenser mics to try out, in the hopes that they will sound a little bit better with my singing voice.

  14. Caleb Hines Says:

    ***Correction to verse 3 line 3:
    ‘Cause there are others *who* are thirsty for the things that you could share,

  15. Front Porch Music Says:

    To Edric and Caleb: are you kidding me?? Edric, I would have to say that was one of the worst attempts at operatic music I’ve heard in a long time. Caleb, um . . . what?

    My favorite would have to be either Spencer or Buckethat, good work fellas!

    Zer0Guy and Inverse T. Clown, good shit as well. I’d say you guys could definitely have a future in electronic music. Keep at it!

    Ian; Poodlz; and Leigh & Hoover, you guys are good but could use a little more work. Ian I’m not a fan of the voice-over-voice thing you git going on but good other than that. Poodlz, funny shit guys. I dig it.

  16. Jutze Schult Says:

    Feedback! Comments! Insults! Praise! Cookies!

    Boffo Yux Dudes: Trans-Siberian Orchestra? I don’t really get the king-nightclub connection as I have a very Renaissance-Middle-Ages-understand of monarchy - no nightclubs back then. This torpedos an otherwise enjoyable number.
    Bobby Buckethat Matheson: A bit more of a plot would have propelled this one into very good territory. The “I find it soothing…”-part suits the story, though. Solid song, the vocals are good enough to carry the melody, but ordinary enough to make it easy to relate.
    Caleb Hines: I get the feeling you’re still in Christmas mode. The rain instrumentation is not as clear as in the previous two entries and the vocals reach their limits here and there. Still, the harmonies are infectious and the chorus takes the song to the next level at the right moment. Good one.
    Common Lisp: The rain is very light on this one. Kudoos for re-tuned harmonics, though. The chorus has a Beatles-vibe and makes me shudder with the thought of what would have been if they had known rap back in the 60s. Anyway, There’s too much of the verse and when the melodies finally come around they feel more attached to the song than built upon or into it. Then again, I also don’t like audio books.
    Denise Hudson: Directely from a French musical / Broadway comes this rainy one. More prominent rain imitation would have gained additional Fu points, but it’s already a proper number. Loved the Cinderella-lines and the ‘you&me too’. Good one.
    Edric Haleen: I’m always glad and relieved when you sing whole heartedly and have somewhat elaborate piano parts (opposed to speech vocals and monotony).
    Glen Raphael: A promising new voice. Very nice harmony vocals, too. The stereo mix leaves me confuses at times. More mono (see Beatles), please. The guitars could use a bit more structures, possibly a drum/bass backing track as a solid base. The higher the strumming goes (mandolin?), the better it sounds. The lyrics don’t convince me at the first listen. Rain per se is a bit, well, harmless…
    Godz Poodlz: I already told you that I like the interaction of (your) voices, so this one scores high immediately. At first, I found this song a bit too slow, a bit too restrained. But now, one work day later it makes more sense in its present form. NB: It’s dry here right now; I can imagine this song to become even better during rainy weather. It’s a change compared to your Christmas commercial/song; a successful one, imho. Vote for you.
    Gorbzilla: What happened to Nick Nolte? The dominant drum machine is a bit annoying at times. The songs grows on me, though. The production could be improved; the song still works and
    Governing Dynamics: Speaking of too prominent drums. With regard to the song writing, this might actually be my favourite of this round. The whole thing has feeling. Convincing guitar sound; too bad the playing is out of rhythm at times. Also, a bigger finale would have been ace. An eruption of emotions. Ehm, anyway, vote.
    Ian Two Shades Johnson: The song loses momentum in the verses. So I like the last third best. The harmony vocals are nice. Maybe get to the ‘point’ sooner, next time around.
    Inverse T. Clown: I’m a sucker for 80s keyboard sounds. I’m also a sucker for 80s catchiness - which I find lacking here. Maybe get Bonnie Tyler next round to enlarge the dynamics and improve the vocals. There’s a lot of potential in this song, but not all of it came to fruition.
    Jeff MacDougall: My first impression is ‘happy’; ‘happy despite the rain would have been better. Maybe it’s the Jackie/Happy-parallels. Bonus points for oolalala backing vocals. I kind of miss the part where you go up with the vocal line. Solid song, quite enjoyable to listen to.
    Me: A fairytale! King with three sons! Heir fight! Crappy singing! I’m surprised (and glad) I could fit the whole story into less than three minutes. I wish I could have written an elaborate folk song to the lyrics, but time and ability constraints prevailed.
    Kylie Petto: I don’t know if the distant sound of the distorted distorted guitars is intended, but I love it! Jeff, Inverse T. Clown - please listen to the soaring vocal lines of this one. Also: minor key! I also like how the guitar deviates from the prevailing key every now and then, adding friction. Maybe a little bit more structure for the vocals to rely on, perhaps a subtle upbeat synthdrum or just a pause every now and then to indicate a new stage/part. Anyway, vote.
    Leigh and Hoover: Savatage used this song title for a better song than yours! (NB: I wrote this before I first heard your song, because, well, Savatage rock.) I do like U.S. metal better than U.S. piano pop. This is a bit like the song during the opening credits of a family drama movie; just the atmosphere. It’s not that your song is in any way bad - it’s more mainstream appeal than most, maybe all entries - I just don’t connect on an emotional level, sorry.
    Mike Lombardo: Did I just diss piano pop? Oops. This piece of piano rock has a lot of pop in it, I think. It’s a bit too laid back for my taste; also, not written in a minor key. But enough complaining. This is probably the entry with the most mainstream appeal without being shallow/derivative.
    Joe ‘Covenant’ Lamb: Not in a minor key, either. Wait, there’s the middle-eight. At least something. Seriously, the song is a bit too much rain, rain, rain, eh, rain; nothing to go from there in my mind. It’s too nice, for my taste. You probably hid something nasty in the lyrics, but for now I won’t for you. But you get a smiley ;-)
    Spencer Sokol: This starts out very promising, but retreats for too long.
    Taryn Miller: This kind of pop is too postmodern or something for me. Severe sound issues with the vocals in the beginning. I have a hard time to make immediate sense of the lyrics, i.e., miss a proper story like A goes to B in the Rain, Aliens invade, Robots fight them - where’s Lex Vader, anyway? Back to Taryn: I know there’s a fans and with them a market for this type of songs out there.
    Zer0guy: Saint Etienne? I wish the track wouldn’t collapse at 1:24 but continue to build in a musical highway construction catterpillarhelicopterelevatorlaserbeam.

    Did I promise cookies? I meant lyrics; lyrics to my entry in particular:

    KINGDOM OF RAIN

    There was an island at the border of your childhood imagination
    The people living there formed a poor and primitive nation
    Trying hard to grow some food on the bleak windy plains
    They struggled to store the seeds cos every spring came the rains
    Cos every spring came the rains

    The land was ruled by a king who was old and getting weaker
    He never was a clever man, but a powerfully eloquent speaker
    And so he called for his sons, and his daughter came along
    He gave a small patch of forest to each son
    And the one to make most of it should inherit the crown of the kingdom of rain

    The first son cut down the trees and built shelters made of wood
    He gave them to the poor cos he believed in the greater public good
    The second son erected a stage secured by heavy rods
    And then he performed a rain dance to appease the almighty gods
    To appease the almighty gods

    The third son took his hammer, a chissel and a heavy rock
    And he carved the image of his father’s face into the marble block
    The king was very pleased with what his sons had done
    He was proud of them all, but still could choose but one
    And so he decided who should inherit the crown of the kingdom

    And just as he was about to announce the heir to the throne
    There came a cry from the coast: the princess had left on her own
    In a boat she had built from leftovers she was sailing away
    Heading for unknown horizons to have a better life someday
    To risk her life in search of a world beyond the rain
    There had to be more to life than famine, superstition and strain
    The king was cursing while the queen shed tears of shame
    Their daughter laughed and sang for she finally got away from the kingdom of rain
    From the kingdom of rain
    From the kingdom of rain

  17. Spencer Says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I knew it was kind of empty in places and wanted to go back and add some clean electric runs to link the vocal passages, but yeah, I get what you’re saying.

    Here’s an approximation of the lyrics:

    another dark and cliché scene
    the downpour creates a blackened shade of green

    if I just let her drive on through
    I know we’d end up on some highway to
    a backwater, beat down, podunk town in Mississippi

    and it’s so damn cold
    and we’re too damn old
    but I still just can’t quite say
    “I’m ready to go.”

    when the time comes and I gotta cross
    please bear with me, I’m not the only loss
    if I laugh, don’t cry, just paint a picture

    of that night we drove through the rain
    and started over again

    It’s just so damn cold
    and I’m just too damn old,
    but I still won’t say
    “I’m ready to go”

    there are things to be done
    and songs to be sung
    words to be stated
    and things created

  18. jim Says:

    summer rain by Leigh & Hoover is a Cool Mellow tune

  19. BoffoYux Says:

    Jutze -

    The King is in relation to American mobsters/nightclub activity. It’s also sung in a faux Elvis who ‘was’ the King. So it’s moralistic fable of a man who choses wrong because of his heart.

    And if that doesn’t sound pretentious… The Reign/rain connection probably put it over the top as far as cheesiness. But it was fun to write and cut.

    We were hoping that Pat would be available to do his award winning Elvis impression, but time wasn’t on our side. He said today he’s game to try a version tho, which will be a few weeks out.

    Thanks for taking the time to add some constructive thoughts.

    Tommy G

  20. Ian "Two Shades" Johnson Says:

    HEY LOOK ITS MY LYRICS IF ANYBODY CARES.

    Its hard to hide my anticipation
    For the oncoming precipitation
    Cuz the storms don’t bother me at all

    I don’t need an umbrella or some fancy waterproof coat
    I don’t mind the moisture or when I get soaked
    Cuz I just can’t wait for the rain to fall

    Cuz when the water from the sky is coming down
    I find it awfully hard to wear a frown
    And when I see the stormclouds drawing near
    I never feel a sense of fear

    Because when I feel those droplets on my skin
    They wash away all my mistakes and my sins
    And when I’m cold and soaked to the bone
    I’ve never felt more at home

    So come down, come down
    Please god don’t let this downpour end
    So come down, come down
    And remind me how things were back then

    The dirt has turned to mud and the air’s so fresh and clean
    And the rainbow in the sky is the most perfect thing I’ve seen
    It makes me think of days when everything was ok

    My socks are cold and damp, but the grass is green and bright
    The sun is breaking through the clouds and it’s a beautiful sight
    Cuz I know the rain will come again another day

    When everything is dirty and dry
    Then relief will rain down from the sky
    And no bath or shower can ever compare
    And if it’s raining then I want to be there

    So come down, come down
    Please god don’t let this downpour end
    So come down, come down
    And remind me how things were back then

    The clouds are gathering
    And the droplets start to fall
    The lighting strikes the earth
    And you hear the thunder clap

    So come down, come down
    Please god don’t let this downpour end
    So come down, come down
    And remind me how things were back then

    So come down, come down
    Please god don’t let this downpour end
    So come down, come down
    And remind me how things were back then

    Rain down, on me
    Wash me clean
    Rain down, on me
    And wash away my apathy

  21. Inverse T. Clown Says:

    Jutze: Spaces are your friend.

  22. BucketHat Bobby Says:

    @jutze: Thanks for the constructive criticism! I do agree. I definitely should have expanded the plot. I kindof lost where I was going, and went with what I had.

    @Front Porch Music: Thanks for the support, man, but with regards to your comments on Edric: You CAN criticize and be honest without being mean.

  23. Joe Covenant Says:

    Hey all!
    Hope you enjoy my Shadow Master song.
    I won’t bother putting the lyric up cos this isn’t about me!
    (Yes… I said it!)

    A few words?
    RAIN was represented musically by shakey egg, conceptually by the crashing distorted acoustic at the end and lyrically by the repetition of ‘Rain’ (Cos rain never comes down in single droplets!… See Jultze!!) ;’ )

    ALSO:
    There are SEVEN references to previous Song Fu, (and this round challenger’s), songs!
    (Which includes THIS round.. cos I say RAIN a lot!)

    Find ‘em all for a shinyjoepoint!

    Edric, Caleb… take no notice of those too ignorant to get your style. I voted for you both.

    EXCELLENT stuff this round for all involved!
    I am SO glad I wasn’t up against you all this time !

  24. Caleb Hines Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Joe. I’ll take a stab at your references. In order of appearance (and all from the second verse)

    1. Rain (Fu 6, Round 1)
    2. I Know (Hank Green, Fu 3, Round 2)
    3. At The Moon (Jeff MacDougall, Fu 2, Round 1)
    4. Today’s The Day (Inverse T. Clown, Not a Fu song)
    5. Happiness (Edric Haleen, Fu 3, Round
    6. Throw Me Away (Sara Parsons, Fu 4, Round 1)
    7. Mistakes Were Made (Denise Hudson, Fu 5, Round 3)

  25. Caleb Hines Says:

    (except for Rain, which is throughout, obviously)

  26. Joe Covenant Says:

    Caleb!!
    You spotted one I didn’t intend! (”I Know”)

    MY intended one was “2″ !! ;’ )

    Groovy!
    I’m more Referencetastic than I *thought* ! ; ‘)

  27. Dave Leigh Says:

    @Jutze: Thanks for the constructive criticism. Good thing titles aren’t subject to copyright, or we’d both be in trouble, eh? http://tinyurl.com/yfk9yml

    BTW… I love minor chords as well, but not EVERY song needs them. ;)

  28. Spintown Says:

    I just posted my reviews over at my blog. Feel free to disagree or whatever by commenting on the blog.

    http://spintown79.blogspot.com/2010/02/song-fu-6-round-1-review.html

  29. Caleb Hines Says:

    Here’s something I find rather funny: when I was conceptualizing my song, I figured most entries would take a negative view of rain (like the Poodlz did), so I decided to take a positive approach. But it seems like lots of folks had the same idea: Jeff, Joe, Dave, Ian, Bobby, Paul… We all seem to absolutely love the rain!

  30. Darrell Maclaine Says:

    There are some brilliant entries here, I am jealous of not being involved - I’m really going to try my best to shadow the next round if I can. Not stressing over votes might make me feel more confident about my songs, too.

    Too many ones I’ve moved into my ‘keep’ folder to mention this time, but in terms of people I’ve not previously given shoutouts to - this one is definitely my favourite Godz Poodlz song so far, and Leigh & Hoover are a real find, straight out of nowhere. Edric and Denise and everyone else know I love them - take that as a given. You are my Fu brethren, and I grant you my undivided attention whenever you pop something new out.

    If anybody still cares about Song Fu 4 three million years ago, I’ve finally got around to remixing my songs and making them available as an EP on BandCamp at http://darrellmaclaine.bandcamp.com/ - I’ve been writing some new songs too so this is merely a start! You can pay for them if you wish but they’re free if you’d rather not.

    ~ Darrell

    P.S. To FrontPorchMusic - this is an amateur songwriting competition contributed to by people purely for the fun and love of music and as a learning exercise. It’s not the done thing to criticise people’s work here, especially not someone as brilliant and prolific as Edric. I don’t think anyone is submitting their work with any sort of ego, so please take these songs and this competition in the spirit in which it is intended.

    P.P.S. I do miss Jarrett Heather, and I would love to hear some more of his songs. ‘Trapped In Your Sofa’ comes second only to ‘Space Doggity’ as my all-time Song Fu favourite.

    P.P.P.S. An idea if there’s a Song Fu 7 (which I promise not to miss this time!) - how about the results and votes are not viewable on the page after voting, rather held back until they are formally revealed with the next challenge? It keeps the competitive element but takes a bit of the stress out for the entrants and makes it a bit less vicious.

  31. Denise Hudson Says:

    Darrell!

    Yay! Excited to hear about your bandcamp! Will totally go!

    Yes! Please shadow the next round. It will be SUCH fun to have you around. I’m SO stoked!

    :)

    Yeah, we should totally get Jarrett back in here as well. We should start bugging him to come shadow or come back into play or something … also, where are our snuggie-wearing friends (the only folks I’ll allow in snuggies in MY presence!) :)

  32. Vortex Vincent VanShamllhaussen (Shane) Says:

    Inverse T. Clown should receive a grammy, or something wayyyyy more epic! His song envoked a panoply of emotion in me, which made me want to change the world. My vote is for this song! It reminds me of Journey.

  33. Wilson Says:

    Yay, Darrell! Denise isn’t the only one pumped about the possibility of you shadowing the next round. And I agree with both of you about Jarrett.

    Darrell, I just listened to your remixes. Love them. “Football is Good (The Football Song)” had me grinning and chuckling all over again. Did you add the ‘chipmunk voices’ since the original, or had I just not remembered them in the (too long) time since I last listened to it?

    Further to Buckethat (if I can call you that) and Darrell’s comments to Front Porch Music: in addition to being mean, comments like “Um…what?” are just pointless. If you don’t like it, fine, you don’t have to; but if you’re going to say so, then have the class to say why.

    For instance, you might say, “I felt that the metaphor of the water cycle to the ups and downs of life was a little overstretched. The tuning was a bit off at times, which, I’m afraid, made me cringe a bit. I agree with Caleb that the fuzzy vocals detracted from the song, but I’m glad he recognized it and is planning to address it for next time.”

  34. BucketHat Bobby Says:

    Well put, Wilson, and you can call me whatever you want.

  35. Inverse T. Clown Says:

    I call him “Susan”. He loves it.

  36. Angelastic Says:

    Hmm… I could probably make a video for Polly Loves the Rain (which I love) using my waterproof camera case and various displays around CERN. I haven’t worked out any details yet, and I’m not sure how I’d fill the later parts of the song, but Paul, if you ever consider making a video for it, I could provide some interesting shots.

  37. Angelastic Says:

    Ah, I see you already have a video of you singing it… any chance I could download it and mix in some pictures?

  38. Sunday Says:

    I thought all the entries were fabulous! I had some definite favorites:
    *Common Lisp…that was hillarious and educational
    *Buckethat…sounds like my husband trying to placate me lol.
    *Glen Raphael…enjoyed the lyrics
    *Kylie Petto…loved the lyrics and the sound
    *Gorbzilla…very entertaining
    *Governing Dynamics…I related to those lyrics
    *Denise Hudson…I loved the punky feel

  39. Paul R. Potts Says:

    Well, it is not going to help get any more votes for this round, since what is done is done, but for anyone who is interested in the hard-core nerdery of the recording process, I have re-recorded my backing chorus vocals for “Polly” and changed up the mix very slightly. I got a new condenser mic in the mail — an Oktava MK-219 — and feel like I’ve finally found a condenser that I can work with. (I’ve tried several mics that just sound really unflattering on my voice, including a Neumann that was a big disappointment). I got two of them for only $90 each, and there are some interesting mods you can have done to these mics that increase the quality dramatically.

    I _still_ have a sore throat — another preschool kid virus — so my throat is still raw. I tried to mitigate this a little bit with EQ, and actually put a slight phaser on the backing parts to smooth out that raspy sore-throat sound a bit. I’m just hoping it clears up enough to record a reasonably clean vocal for round 2!

  40. Paul R. Potts Says:

    Angel, I’d be overjoyed if you wanted to work on a video. The video is all in iMovie. I can make you a movie file and upload it somewhere where you can download it — I don’t really want to give my e-mail on a public site, but send me a tweet or a note on Facebook or something. I’m not sure what kind of file you can work with.

    When you mix it please use the latest audio in the highest quality you can (for example, get it as FLAC from bandcamp, and turn it back into WAV). Otherwise you’ll get generations of MP3 compression artifacts, and YouTube’s compression sounds pretty bad already.

  41. Paul R. Potts Says:

    Angel, see:

    http://thepottshouse.org/pub/movies/Polly%20Loves%20the%20Rain%20(featuring%20Joe%20Covenant).m4v

    I think I’m also talking to you on YouTube… let me know when you’ve got it and whether you can work with that format, and I’ll take down the file.

  42. Caleb Hines Says:

    I know this is too late, but for anyone who’s interested, there is now a remixed version of “Water Cycle” with re-recorded lyrics on my new bandcamp page: http://calebhines.bandcamp.com/track/water-cycle.

    This is what I get for trying to use a $200 audio interface instead of my usual $20 USB mic.

  43. Denise Hudson Says:

    I love all the nerdy gear talk, Paul. :) keep it coming …

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