Song Fu Round 2

By JoCo June 17, 2008

The Song Fu challenge has bid adieu to Doc Hammer and several non-master contestants, and the rest of us are moving on to round 2. And I quote:

The following challenge applies to our Masters of Song Fu only. As Masters, it is expected that they have achieved a musical voice all their own – but does their mastery extend to assuming the voice of another artist? With that in mind, Each Master is tasked with writing a song in the style of their opponent. The Masters will be judged on how accurately they write a song in their opponent’s style without it becoming a simple parody. When listening to their entries, you must genuinely believe that they were written by the original Master. Got that? The Master’s songs must also be no shorter than 1m45s, and are due at 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, July 1st.

Paul and Storm have the obvious advantage here, which is that at the end of the day they will have a Jonathan Coulton song, and I will be stuck with a Paul and Storm song. Zing. Do you see what I did there? I am trash talking!

I already know exactly how my P+S song is going to end, even though I know nothing else about it…


Demetrius says

But, JoCo and P&S play so well together! This will be like separating the chocolate and the peanut butter - making the peanut butter taste like chocolate, and the chocolate taste like peanut butter - and judging which is better. It's delicious. But, WRONG!

Sappho says

Oh, burn! On P&S, of course, not on you, JoCo. You're fireproof.

Anyhow, those guys don't have a chance. You are the master of all genres. You're our songwriting hero! You won't disappoint us.


barefootorbust says

OOO, the gauntlet has been thrown! Ching!

AJS says

This is a heavyweight bout worthy of a Michael Buffer intro, or at least a boxing nuns parody of Michael Buffer....

"In this corner, weighing in at 160 lbs, from Colchester CT, the Geek mythologist, the shaggy but not yet craggy, the one and only hero of the lonely, Jon-a-than COUL-tonnnn.....

And in this corner, weighing in at a combined weight of well over 350 lbs, owing much to the greatly disparaged cheese fry, from various points in the mid-Atlantic region, the former masters of stella' a capella, those pirate-ical radicals, the poop and booger joke blokes, Paaauull and STORMmmmmmm..."

Alright now, shake hands and come out writing....

Frederick Heath-Renn says

The only flaw in your plan, JoCo, is that there's only one of you. However, I am confident you will be able to get around this minor inconvenience.

AJS says

For those of you not familiar with Boxing Nuns....

Cliff says

The key to any creative endavor, art, music, or literature, is knowing where and how your piece will end. The rest is simply writing towards that final goal. Looking at it that way, you're halfway there. Well, maybe not halfway, but you've got a lead.

And you know P&S will simply write a song about a robot monkey who is in a tragic love affair with a giant squid while being attacked by zombies... shit, I'm doing their work for them...

And if you need a second voice to be the Storm to your Paul (or vice versa) I'd be more than happy...

Daniel says

This should be interesting. Paul and Storm have a demonstrated talent for artist mimicry. Their rendition of They Might Be Giants as ice cream men, though satirical, is uncannily accurate in style and form.

Roman V says

"Last week I left a note on Laura's Desk... I love her."

Tindómiel says

So you know how it ends, and you know you have to throw in a dick joke. See? It's practically writing itself!

AverageJon says


If he was going on end with a dick joke he can't just throw in another dick joke.

Oh wait he's trying to write like P+S. Never mind.

whall says

What do they mean "simple parody". Does noone respect the art form anymore?

Ann says

This challenge would have been made infinitely more difficult if it had the stipulation of "No monkeys, giant sea creatures, nuns or pirates."

I can't wait for shall be epic.

Ferenc says

This shall be a legendary battle of epicness.

Gina says


Wesley says

Some twisted part of my brain wishes this happened more often, and with pre-existing songs.

JoCo: "I am the opening baaand..."

P+S: "Last week we left a note on Laura's desk..."


Ha... funny sketch that the amazing Len has quickly produced of the face-off!

randal says

What you clearly need is some morning radio disc jockeys to talk and laugh over your song. It's the little touches.

Demetrius says

My beautiful family got me Portal for Father's Day. I just completed it minutes ago! Then, I turned up the volume, leaned back in my chair and enjoyed "Still Alive" like I've never enjoyed it before... 'cause I EARNED it!

Glenn Peters says

We all know this is going to end with both you and P+S submitting "Sweet Caroline".

And then Neil Diamond wins.

Jack F says

Song Fu Challenge is the name of my other emo band.

Len says

Funny. Song Fu Challenge was my wrestling name in High School.

Zac says

I'm sure people have mentioned it on the forum, but I just noticed your appearance on The Daily Show last Wednesday. Very nice, even if it was just to be Hodgman's troubadour once more.

LoonieBin says

I assume the ending you're so sure of is one of their acapella endings with a ridiculously held-out note?

Because you should definitely do a Randy Newman theme. Maybe "Randy Newman's Theme from "Monkey Shines?"

LoonieBin says

Also, post that Daily Show footage, I haven't seen it.

Bry says

LoonieBin: JoCo's Daily Show appearance comes near the end of this segment ("Holistay", from June 11, 2008, about the 4:52 mark).

NMcCoy says

"I already know the ending, it's the part that makes your face implode"?

CoderBlues says

This is gonna be good

Anne-Marie says

Dejected arrrrr....

AverageJon says

If I was in the competition my entries would be:

"Randy Newman’s Theme from `Good Luck Chuck`" -- a convergence of RNTf_ and dick jokes.

"Cyber-Brine Shrimp in Love" -- a convergence of metaphore, robots, sea life, monkeys, and the human experience

Gle3nn says

"What if Randy Newman covered a They Might Be Giants song while on fire in a well."


I would love to witness P & S brainstorm session and then development of the song.

LoonieBin says

@Gle3nn: An barbershop quartet-style cover?

Rich says

I could see P&S doing a song that would win both parts of round two (even though they don't need to do the challengers' part). They just do a folksy take on Stephen Hawking vs. scabies, with a robotic voice repeating "f**k f**k f**k f**k f**k" as both punch line and chorus. Instahit!

I think JoCo should write a song about Fredric J. Baur, the dude who invented the Pringles can. He died recently and was buried in a Pringles can. Some of his ashes, anyway. That sounds too much like "Nugget Man" not to take advantage of.

Brett says

I think this guy should be asked to be a judge, since the contest is named after him:

Stephanie Clarkson says

You know, as I read this, I remember that they wrote 'Your Love' *entirely* so they could end the song with 'Your love is Christopher Walken.'

So it occurs to me that if you came up with the end of the song first, in addition to writing a song like theirs, you're also using their song-writing method, so you should get extra plus points for that.

randal says

Having listened to both songs, all I can say is it's gonna be a tough, tough call.