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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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And then our Challengers were given their Round 2 Challenge…

ROUND 2 CHALLENGE

Write a song that does not rhyme.

CLARIFICATION: Your song can be in any style, but must not contain any rhymes of 2 dissimilar words within a traditional verse structure. Exact repetition of a phrase or word is permitted. Your song must run no shorter than 1 minute 30 seconds..

If you want some inspiration, here’s a number song from The Muppets

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And then came the Round 3 Challenge…

ROUND 3 CHALLENGE

Write a song that involves a recipe for something.

This recipe can be for anything - not just food. Your song must run no shorter than 1 minute 30 seconds..

If you want some inspiration, here’s a recipe song by Queen Ida

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And then, the votes from all 3 Rounds were tabulated, and the TOP 2 VOTE-GETTERS went head-to-head in the Final Round Challenge. The winner of that battle will be declared this edition’s MASTER OF SONG FU. So what was that Final Challenge?

FINAL CHALLENGE

Let’s call this one Challenge & Victory

Your task is to write a single tune that is actually comprised of two individual songs - the first half details a problem to be conquered or a battle to be fought, and the second half is a victorious, triumphant resolution. Both of these halves must feel independent of the other, but may contain an element that bridges the two. Your song must run no shorter than 3 minutes..

If you want some inspiration, here’s Queen…

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Below, you’ll find the songs from our final two Challengers, plus the form for you to place your vote for your favorite. In addition, you’ll be able to listen to the out-of-competition Shadow Entries submitted for this Challenge. If you’d like to hear all of the Challenger songs from this edition of Song Fu, CLICK HERE.

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THE FINAL 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

ROUND 2 SONG:I Found You

ROUND 3 SONG:We Don’t Have Any Eggs (from Man In Kitchen - The Musical)

FINAL CHALLENGE SONG:This Song Is Meta (And So Is This Title)

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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.
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Official Website: www.cratchit.org/music
ROUND 1 SONG:Summer Rain

ROUND 2 SONG:We Do What We Do

ROUND 3 SONG:Primordial Soup (Traditional Recipe)

FINAL CHALLENGE SONG:Yesterday Hero - Someday

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To download a ZIP FILE containing all of the FINAL CHALLENGE songs, CLICK HERE.

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

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

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

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FINAL CHALLENGE VOTING

And now, it’s time for the voting. For this FINAL CHALLENGE round, you can CHOOSE ONE Challenger song. Be sure to choose carefully. VOTING CLOSES AT 11:59pm EST on SUNDAY, MARCH 28th.

THE FINAL CHALLENGE WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED VIA E-MAIL AFTER VOTING CLOSES

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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FINAL CHALLENGE VOTING

[poll id="27"]

View Results

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FINAL VOTE TALLY FOR ROUNDS 1-3

* Mike Lombardo - 444 Votes
* Leigh & Hoover - 301 Votes
* Denise Hudson - 276 Votes
* Edric Haleen - 228 Votes
* Gorbzilla - 223 Votes
* Godz Poodlz - 190 Votes
* Caleb Hines - 187 Votes
* Inverse T. Clown - 170 Votes
* Kylie Petto - 166 Votes
* Jeff MacDougall - 151 Votes
* Governing Dynamics - 135 Votes
* Buckethat Bobby Matheson - 132 Votes
* Glen Raphael - 131 Votes
* Ian “Two Shades” Johnson - 120 Votes
* Common Lisp - 103 Votes
* Zer0guy - 98 Votes
* Jutze Schult - 93 Votes
* Boffo Yux Dudes - 88 Votes
* Taryn Miller - 84 Votes
* Spencer Sokol - 76 Votes

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ROUND 3 VOTING RESULTS

[poll id="26"]

View Results

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ROUND 2 VOTING RESULTS

[poll id="25"]

View Results

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ROUND 1 VOTING RESULTS

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View Results

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

ROUND 2 SHADOW SONG:The “Jay Is Awesome” Polka

ROUND 3 SHADOW SONG:Devil’s Fu Cake

FINAL CHALLENGE SHADOW SONG:New Mombasa - Finish the Fight

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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

ROUND 2 SONG:Restrictions

ROUND 3 SONG:Broken Boy

FINAL CHALLENGE SHADOW SONG:Deconstructive Witticisms - Try

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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

ROUND 2 SONG:Something Very Horrible (Bluebeard’s Lament)

ROUND 3 SONG:Duality Cupcake (’Why’)

FINAL CHALLENGE SHADOW SONG:Keys and Lies (feat. Joe “Covenant” Lamb)

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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

ROUND 2 SONG:Song That Doesn’t Rhyme

ROUND 3 SONG:Big In Japan

FINAL CHALLENGE SHADOW SONG:When The Prozac Kicks In

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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

ROUND 2 SONG:An Angry Rant

ROUND 3 SONG:Devastator

FINAL CHALLENGE SHADOW SONG:Manic Depressive

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GINYU


From TV to the internet and more, I first got into music back in 1998 doing my own music show. It was around that time that I became a DJ at WRTC 89.3 FM. Music has been in my family for many years. My father is a singer. I, on the other hand, do a little bit of everything, from YouTube to my travels around the US and the UK, entertainment is in my blood. Making a song for Song Fu has been fun. I hope to do it again.
Official Website: www.youtube.com/user/Ginyu2007
FINAL CHALLENGE SHADOW SONG:Quest For The Fu

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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:

8 Responses to “Masters Of Song Fu #6: Final Round Voting Begins”

  1. Dave Leigh Says:

    We had intended ‘Yesterday Hero’ to be about American soldiers killed overseas. But as it evolved, we decided to represent all of these heroes with the metaphor of a solitary super-hero, killed by the people he saved. As such, our conflict actually ends in defeat.

    The second portion, ‘Someday’, deals with the day after his death — when the people of the world are forced to deal with their own problems. It expresses hope for the future and the ultimate triumph of peace over war and petty conflict.
    lyrics
    LYRICS
    ======
    YESTERDAY HERO
    ==============

    These dusty old comic books
    Reflect bitter faces and disgusted looks
    But they’re stacked away now
    Forgotten along with a hero of yesterday now.

    A red, white and blue suit
    No longer flies the skies of America
    To rescue the day when we need him most
    Oh, when we need him most!
    Oh, when we need him most!

    An American hero-yeah
    Fighting for the American way
    A true patriot died just yesterday
    Killed by a people he saved just yesterday!
    Killed by a people he saved just yesterday!

    Who needs him now?
    [news reports.]
    Who needs him now?
    [more news reports]
    Who needs him now?
    [more news reports]

    With just a single hand
    He’d make this place a safer land
    The world could use a super man!
    Oh, my Yesterday Hero….!
    Help us if you can!

    An American hero-yeah
    Fighting for the American way
    A true patriot died just yesterday
    Killed by a people he saved –
    Killed by a people he saved –
    Killed by a people he saved just yesterday!

    SOMEDAY
    =======

    There’s a new day dawning
    There’s a light now shining through
    Where last night’s discarded shadows
    Have all but vanished in the Blue

    It’s high time we made a fresh start
    We’ve spent too long, feelin’ our way around in the dark
    Heroes gotta get reborn some how….
    Some way… Some day…

    [instrumental]

    Someday we will wake - to find that life is breezy
    Someday we will learn - that harmony is easy
    Someday we’ll beat our swords back into ploughs
    Someday could be then…
    Someday could be now…

    Someday… we will learn that we’re all brothers!
    Someday… we will learn to love each other!
    Someday we will find - Peace of mind!

    Someday (Someday!)
    Someday (Someday!)
    Someday (Someday!)
    Someday (Why not now?)
    Someday (Someday!)
    Someday (Someday!)
    Someday (Someday!)
    Someday (Why not now?)
    Someday (Someday!)
    Someday (Why not now?)
    Someday (Someday!)
    Someday (Why not now?)
    Someday (Why not now?)
    Someday (Why not now?)
    Someday (Why not now?)
    Why not now?! (Why not now?!)

    [sung under the rest]
    We will sing a song of inspiration
    We will sing together as one nation

  2. Governing Dynamics Says:

    Title of my entry should actually be “Deconstructive Witticisms / Try” (ie. “Try” is the second part starting around 2:45 in to the track). But you can’t put forward slashes in file names, so, yeah.

    I’ll spare everybody the full lyrics since it’s a shadow entry. I might actually get around to starting that blog I’ve been threatening everyone with for the past several weeks. If I do, lyrics will be there. The phrase “Deconstructive Witticism” is a sort of dark mirror of “Constructive Criticism”. You can probably figure out the basic thrust of the song from there.

    Nice work from everyone, as usual. Here’s hoping we can keep this up for SF7, eh?

  3. Inverse T. Clown Says:

    MANIC DEPRESSIVE

    “Enough To Sleep”

    I’m a mess compared to you, sir
    I’m alone and I’m a loser
    I’d prob’ly feel much better
    As a jacked up drug abuser
    I’m broke with no employer
    It’s a self-esteem destroyer
    I’d benefit from Bankruptcy
    But I can’t afford the lawyer

    And I guess
    It’s too late
    I’ll know soon
    But while I wait

    I’ll grab a shotgun and a bottle of gin
    And watch The View (watch The View)
    As the darkness inside me
    Takes root, nice and deep
    Then a swig of some pills and snuggle up
    With the warmth of Fox News (Oh, Fox News)
    And half-heartedly, I pray
    I only took enough to sleep

    I need a pain embargo
    I’m crushed beneath my cargo
    It’s days like this I’m not convinced
    I want to see tomorrow
    It doesn’t get much sadder
    When nothing seems to matter
    I’ve thought of God and suicide
    And I’m leaning toward the latter

    And I guess
    It’s too late
    I’ll know soon
    But while I wait

    I’ll grab a shotgun and a bottle of gin
    And watch The View (watch The View)
    As the darkness inside me
    Takes root, nice and deep
    Then a swig of some pills and snuggle up
    With the warmth of Fox News (Oh, Fox News)
    And half-heartedly, I pray
    I only took enough to sleep

    And I guess
    It’s too late
    I’ll know soon
    But while I wait

    ******

    “Good Morning World”

    Hey, how are you today?
    I’m feelin’ A-O.k.
    All of my problems
    Dissipated over night
    Thank you for your concern
    But now the page has turned
    I’d hit the bottom
    But now everything’s alright
    (Don’t worry, I don’t even have that razor)

    Good morning, World
    It’s a a beautiful day out
    You can suck it
    I don’t care anymore
    I’ll take whatever befalls
    Hit me with whatever you’ve got
    ‘Cause I can take it
    I’ll grab life by the horns
    And kick it right in the balls

    Yes, granted, yesterday
    Well, I’ve had better days
    I can admit that it
    Was not my greatest show
    Screaming in my underwear
    Running down the thoroughfare
    Anyone could see
    That I was feeling pretty low
    (Oh, by the way, can I please have my gun back?)

    Good morning, World
    It’s a a beautiful day out
    You can suck it
    I don’t care anymore
    I’ll take whatever befalls
    Hit me with whatever you’ve got
    ‘Cause I can take it
    I’ll grab life by the horns
    And kick it right in the balls

    Trust me, I’m feeling great
    Watch me as I elate
    I’m loving life
    And all the crap that that includes
    My attempted suicide
    Let’s forget I even tried
    Hey, you know how sometimes
    I can have those crazy moods
    (really, though, I’d like to have my gun back, thank you)

    Good morning, World
    It’s a a beautiful day out
    You can suck it
    I don’t care anymore
    I’ll take whatever befalls
    Hit me with whatever you’ve got
    ‘Cause I can take it
    I’ll grab life by the horns
    And kick it right in the balls

  4. HelenMirrensMerkin Says:

    Thanks for the music! I enjoyed the challenger and ghost entries alike. Well done.
    I’m looking forward to a MoSF7 as well.
    Hopefully with both Inverse T Clown and Lex Vader in the lineup — it’d be interesting.

    Thanks Ken!

  5. Lisa D Says:

    how do i vote for mike lombardo for the final round? i want to place my vote if i can. thanks!

  6. Spintown Says:

    I posted my thoughts on the round on my blog. Big thank you to everyone who made a shadow entry.

    http://spintown79.blogspot.com/2010/03/song-fu-6-round-4-review.html

  7. Lil Says:

    I have just listened to the final song by Leigh & Hooper. What an amazing treat. A lot of effort and talent has gone into this and it shows. Well done guys, my vote is with you.

  8. Edric Haleen Says:

    So — congratulations to Mike!

    And thanks again to Ken!!

    And see you all in Seven!!!

    :-)

    Edric

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