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SONG FU! First songs are up.

August 21st, 2008 by Bill Corbett · 48 Comments

songfu 1

Our first single as the, um, RiffTones!

Ken Plume at Quick Stop Entertainment gave out the assignment, then we and our estimable opponents had one week to write and record a song. Our challenge, terrifying in both its specificity and lack thereof: write a song about the moon.

And bless us, for once we didn’t sing about people flashing heinies out car windows. Instead — a nice, dignified-but-uptempo number about severe alcoholism. Oh, and the moon. Give it a listen here:


A Trip to the Moon

Our challengers for this round, Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm both brought Fu of most excellent quality to this challenge. Lordy, they’re talented. All of the songs can be found here:

Masters of Song Fu

Vote for whoever you think deserves the prize this round, but please keep in mind that my dog needs a lot of dental work. Not saying it’s connected, but… it might be, who knows. You never know, you know?

Tags: RiffTrax

48 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ninjew on Aug 21, 2008 at 5:32 am

    Ahhh. Sweet harmonies.

    Oh. And you guys sounded good too.

    I’m gonna have to get one of those IP proxy changer thingies so I can vote a gazillion times for you and rig the contest.

    That *is* what you want us to do, right? Win at all costs regardless of the amount of human casualties?

    I believe they’re referred to as “acceptable losses”.

    But losing is not acceptable in this contest, so I must begin inundating their server with excessive hits to ensure your victory.

  • 2 Len on Aug 21, 2008 at 6:35 am

    It’s great to hear you guys record again. Kevin’s voice sounds incredible as usual and the lyrics are wonderful.

    Do you mind giving us some insight into the process? Was it really a group effort writing or did one of you come up with the music and another person work on lyrics while yet another person (Bill) pick up the Quizno’s?

  • 3 Jason on Aug 21, 2008 at 6:40 am

    Cute, guys. Nice work.

  • 4 Courtney on Aug 21, 2008 at 6:41 am

    “Our challengers for this round, Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm both brought Fu of most excellent quality to this challenge. Lordy, they’re talented. ”

    What kind of trash talk is this? If you don’t have the indecency to insult their mothers or tell them they dress funny, there best be a dance-off in the works. Someone needs to get served.

  • 5 Clint on Aug 21, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Wow! That’s a really wonderful tune. Tuneful harmony, catchiest type of melody because its really swingin’ and fun to sing/whistle/hum, great humor, excellent performances… sounds like a winner.

  • 6 Ninjew on Aug 21, 2008 at 6:55 am

    I hear that Paula loved it, but Simon thinks you all sound like pregnant water buffalo with a severe lower intestinal virus.

  • 7 Mystok on Aug 21, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Finally, someone has the gumption to sing it like it is… yeah, that evil parasite Moon has been plaguing mankind (and embarrassing womankind) for thousands of years.

    Good work and break a leg.

  • 8 MST3Kelly on Aug 21, 2008 at 7:26 am

    the cats, who always come and sit near the computer whenever I surf, were alternately soothed and terrified by your song. the soft strumming and the silky voices made them close their eyes and relax; the loons and the insane cackling made them pop their eyes open again in slight terror. but the wolf howl is what really perturbed ‘em. but I can tell they liked it a lot, and are now relaxed and snoozing away.
    me? I loved it- especially the sound effects. a little Martin Denny, unplugged. well done, all! encore!

  • 9 Conor Lastowka on Aug 21, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Did I detect a hint of nose flute in verse 3?

  • 10 Ninjew on Aug 21, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Seriously though, unless there’s some kind of contractual thing involved – you should offer these via iTunes.

  • 11 Kevin Murphy on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Sorry. Maybe next round.

  • 12 Bill Corbett on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Sir, you have insulted my honor. No answers for you!

    (Except: “25.”)

  • 13 Bill Corbett on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:22 am

    OK, OK!! Er…

    “Hey other guys: your mothers are really snappy dressers!”

    (Yeah, pathetic. I know.)

  • 14 Dan Coulter on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Awesome song guys! I wondered if your Fu might be rusty since it’s been so long since the heady days of writing songs for MST, but you really delivered.

    By the way, I don’t know who wrote it, but Bill, your performance on Loving Lovers Love was one of my favorite MST musical numbers.

  • 15 Danni on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Wow – excellent tunes from the masters but of course I voted for you guys. I want to hear more from Mike and Bill in the second round, though!


  • 16 Enron Hubbard on Aug 21, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Well, I listened to them all (except for the fellow who rhymed Moon, Spoon, and June. I cut his short. I figured he’d been smoking too much Luney and Cruney).
    Even had this been a Rifftatorship instead of the glorious Riffocracy it is, my vote would have been the same:
    “It’s a genuine fact that Rifftones rule!”

    (My other vote went to Jason Morris just for his Exquisite Corpse reference)

    81st chorus

  • 17 Gamera on Aug 21, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Terrific job guys! You be shining.

  • 18 Onil on Aug 21, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Bill played the werewolf. It was a crucial contribution.

  • 19 seanf on Aug 21, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Your song fu is weak, old man. My song fu is much stronger and I will beat you with my song fu which is stronger than your weak song fu.*

    *translated from English, into Chinese, then back into English again.

  • 20 Invisible Cracker Mom on Aug 21, 2008 at 10:12 am

    The Fu is strong with them…

  • 21 Doug on Aug 21, 2008 at 10:55 am

    A wer-wilf?

  • 22 Casey on Aug 21, 2008 at 11:01 am


  • 23 AWD! on Aug 21, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Haha! good work guys. I love the little extra sound effects during the song.
    I got the Fu… but where was the Kung?

  • 24 R.A. Roth on Aug 21, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Nice site. It said I had voted for someone I didn’t vote for. Is this what we can expect in November?


  • 25 Spookette on Aug 21, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Now that’s a song I’d be happy to have stuck in my head.

  • 26 Darth Chimay on Aug 21, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Why, that’s the kickiest little tune I’ve heard since Spats McGee played at the Ol’ Rusted Shed in Waterin-hole, Tennessee. Next stop, the Ed Sullivan Show!

  • 27 OmegaRowsdower on Aug 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Got my vote,
    now its going in my itunes folder with the 7 DisemAudio songs

  • 28 OmegaRowsdower on Aug 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm


    many apologizes…..

  • 29 Kzinistzerg on Aug 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Loved this song! I want the lyrics by themselves, too, though. And, more Mike and Bill, too? Kevin’s voice is fantastic, but more is better.

    Also, loons? Awesome animal.

  • 30 justhesh on Aug 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    That was awesome!

  • 31 Kyle from Maine on Aug 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    You guys are losing a vote! For some reason it only shows the results, so I can’t vote. After reading some of the comments on that site, I can see that I’m not the only one with this problem.

  • 32 Charlie W on Aug 21, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Not only did the Rifftones bring the Fu but they most certainly brought the Song. Amazing track which I am putting on my mp3player as we speak.

  • 33 Tom on Aug 21, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Great job guys! I like how the easy rolling happy tune masks psychotic lyrics. Another awesome job!
    The only problem is this silly “level playing field” nonsense. The Song-Fu people won’t let me vote more than once! Bastards!

  • 34 Elvee Kaye on Aug 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Great song, guys! You harmonize so well, and I love how happy and carefree and lovingly psychotic this song is! I will be singing it all the time now. Moooooonshiiiiiiine…..

  • 35 Russ Rogers on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Did you see the image created for the last Song Fu winning song, “Space Doggity” by Jonathan Coulton?

    It’s a nod to MST3K!

  • 36 Ryan on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    He was absolutely fascinating.

  • 37 Ryan on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Ha Ha. No. THey are the original. Their Fu is strongest of all. Ha Ha.

  • 38 Len on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:16 pm


    Glad you know what the baby is using.

  • 39 Suzanne on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I believe this Facebook group sums it up.

    (Last post, I swear to God.)

  • 40 Suzanne on Aug 21, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Remember when I said it was the last post?

    I lied.

    You have to be signed into Facebook to view the link.

    I will commence with the going-away now.

    OK, now.

    Wait for it…

  • 41 Laughing Sal on Aug 22, 2008 at 4:35 am

    Atta boy, Bill! Way to ring their doorbell and run!!

  • 42 Smuttynose on Aug 22, 2008 at 6:38 am

    Cool. Barfing, defecation and driving under the influence. Thank you for puking on, dumping on and running over Political Correctness!

  • 43 Scooter on Aug 22, 2008 at 7:47 am

    you now have two members

  • 44 Smuttynose on Aug 22, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Oh wait, “stomp” on his face. That works too.

  • 45 Kyle from Maine on Aug 22, 2008 at 7:59 am

    The site was finally fixed. You guys were getting closer!

  • 46 AndrooGee on Aug 23, 2008 at 2:09 am

    I feel it very important to note that a certain underdog may yet take us all by surprise and win the Most Bad-Ass Name Competition.

  • 47 Kevin Murphy on Aug 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Indeed, like the song he wrote, it’s sweet and sad. We have some tough competition.


  • 48 Russ Rogers on Aug 26, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Jonathan Coulton is my new idol! A great songwriter, carving a niche out for himself without being signed to a big, corporate deal. “Code Monkey,” “IKEA,” “Still Alive,” and “The Future Soon,” have all become favorite iTunes downloads. “Space Doggity” deserves it’s place as the winning song of the last Song Fu competition and Coulton is a confirmed Master of Fu.

    That said, I voted for “Moon Shine,” by the RiffTones over Coulton’s “Always the Moon.” Both are fine songs, the two best from this weeks collection of Fu. But “Moonshine” conveys a unique and powerful lunar loathing that too rarely gets expressed in song. Well done! Plus, “Always the Moon” is really a song about unrequited love. “Moon Shine” is maniacal in it’s singular focus as a song about the moon.

    “Song sung Fu, everybody knows one!”

    I also recommend Run At the Dog’s “Noon Moon” in the Challengers category. There is a distinct, angular melody that reminds me of The Shags. Very original.