Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Announcements of changes or happenings in the Song Fight universe.
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Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Lunkhead »

Hey folks! Yesterday marked 20 years since the start date in the archive for the very first Song Fight! "Golfpunk Drives A Cadillac".

http://www.songfight.org/songpage.php?k ... a_cadillac

I've posted about it on the Song Fight! Twitter and Facebook accounts too. It'd be awesome if anybody wanted to share the news and say anything here and/or on social media about what effect Song Fight has had on your life.

I've been at it since late 2003. (Go class of 2003!) I had been just a listener and voter and lurker for a while. I was unemployed at the time so I decided that I would finally try to enter some songs. I had been playing music all my life before that and writing music a long time too but I'd never really sung or written lyrics much. And I'd done lots of 4-track cassette recording but not much computer multi-track recording. Also I'd done zero research about recording and mixing techniques, haha. I had a lot to learn!!! Folks at the time had lots of hurtful criticism helpful feedback so I learned a lot really quickly. Since then I've made dozens of amazing friends and met my amazing life partner and made 100s of songs, including a few good ones.

I'll be updating the homepage soon to start showing "20 Years Ago" fights.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Happy 20th anniversary to my on-again-off-again best friend of the internet!

I heard about this place back in 2005 or 2006 because of the KOMPRESSOR videos. I can't recall the exact series of clicks I took to get here, but I found the place and decided that it seemed like a great idea. My friend Loren and I did our first submissions as "The Kraziez" back in those days -- of which we had already made about an EP's worth of material screaming nonsense slogans over distorted breakbeats. I stuck around for a bit and entered several times through 2007-2008, after which I finished high school, moved out of my parents' house, and didn't have a proper recording set up again until last year, at which point I promptly came back. The forums were indeed a lot harsher in those days...but then again this place was also more happening then too so maybe there was just less patience for garbage entries. I know teenage me wasted enough people's time with some musical shitposts, heh.

This is the best site out there, let's hope for another 20 years! (also, is there anyone on here under 30? Seems like I'm still one of the youngest contributors after all these years).
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Spud »

Stubs found out about SongFight by sliding sideways on the boards from one of the other sites hosted at dumbrella, and suggested that we enter. We were all working together without a lot to do and in a space with too many offices. We turned one of them into a studio and recorded "Been to China" (or "Bean to China" as we interpreted it) the day of the deadline. Minutes before the song was due, Stubs told me we needed a band name. I suggested that we use a glyph of some kind, like the Artist, as he was know at the time. We Googled up several names to see if we could find any bands. Ampersand was taken. Asterisk was taken. We tried a dozen or more before we came upon "Octothorpe", for which no band came up. We went with that, and the rest is (SongFight) history. More to come.
"I only listen to good music. And Octothorpe." - Marcus Kellis
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Caravan Ray »

The year was 2004. The world was abuzz with talk of the Mars Spirit Rover and Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction. And Franz Ferdinand were the hottest new band on the "iPod". My wife had just popped out to have a baby - and I was wondering how I would get to keep writing and playing songs with the added burden of fatherhood. I think I googled "online songwriting" or something...

I had no band name. My email address at the time was cavanreagh@... - as that was the stud name of our alpaca farm. I changed a few letters around and thought, yeah - that sounds like Boxcar Willie or Buffalo Tom or something - a bit crap, but it will do for the first entry - Ill change it next week.

My daughter turned 16 last wednesday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Songfight!
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by iVeg »

I found SongFight in March 2001, following random bunny trails. I was using Acid on a borrowed computer. I did a few songs, but met a girl in May. She was much more interesting than writing songs my friends didn't like. I tried other songs over the next few years, but didn't submit them. The computer with Acid crashed and burned. For a while every computer I tried had terrible latency problems.

In 2013 I started again. I did shadows at Nur Ein after I was eliminated. Johnny Cashpoint was kind enough to listen to them and give me constructive criticism. I was quite active from 2014-6, and kept doing Nur Ein.

I'm still using borrowed equipment.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by gizo »

I was wasting a LOT of time at exploding dog, and thinking about moving to Central Victoria. One day we popped into a wine-tasting picnic thing in Castlemaine, in the middle of nowhere, and there was a guy there who lost his shit because my partner was wearing an exploding dog tee-shirt.

Me and Toshiro had been posting recordings to mp3.com somewhere in this mix, but I don't know when this fits on the timeline.

Anywho - at some point there I clicked through the dumbrella links and landed on SongFight. I was hooked - bands like RxW, 15-16 Puzzle, JBB, Add, Frontalot, Kompressor, and the rest just wowed me. I remember LOVING Kompressor and Add's 'Don't Dance', and there was a whole string of amazing happening at that time.

I had a brief tilt at this back then - starting (appropriately) with the 1st April 2002 hit 'Bad Dreams' (as Melon Like Heads). Followed up on SongFight and Jeff's amazing SomeSongs.net with a few tracks after that as various iterations of gizo until 2003, when I joined The Steinbecks and really ran out of time to making more music. Then kids happened, and I stuck my head back in in 2011 for a golfing adventure with 'Isle Dauphine', but pretty quickly realised I had no capacity to achieve a sustained practice.

I kept on listening to the hits I had downloaded (notably Duboce Triangle's 'Stronger Than', all the RxW hits, and the triple Album Fight from JB, Jeff, and Frankie), and then when Crump moved to Ireland and asked if I wanted to start a remote band, I pointed her at the best source of songwriting prompts I knew, and we both started writing some hits. I had a brief interruption this year due to changing bosses and the COVIDs, but I'm (hopefully) back again.

And the rest is the future.

edit: oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to everyone, and a huge celebratory hug to everyone who has contributed to keeping the wheels running. Thank you, all
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by furrypedro »

Happy 20th Birthday Song Fight!

Story time!
I had just left university in the summer of 2005 and being back home with my folks meant I had much less time and motivation to write songs like I had been when I was a perma-stoned student. I had posted some weird electro stuff I had done to some random website (I think it was called Monstervox, almost certainly defunct now) and Egg of Phunt Your Friends fame heard me by chance and randomly emailed me to suggest I do Song Fight. I submitted a crappy mess as Those Meddling Kids to the weirdest title I have seen to date (Rockopolousaninjananaphone Eternal - The Vishnu Cycle. Not a classic fight). Over the years I learned a number of things, one of the most important being how to take criticism, but also what weaknesses I had to work on, the power of playing to your strengths, the joys of email collaborations, and how not to give criticism amongst other things. Had I not been made aware of SF I have no doubt that I would be poorer for not having made certain friendships, heard so many great tunes and written some cool tunes that I wouldn't have otherwise written.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Niveous »

Happy anniversary Songfight!!!!!

God, it has been so long, I don't recall how I happened to stumble upon Songfight but I thank the heavens that I did.
"I'd like to see 1984 redubbed with this in the soundtrack."- Furrypedro.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by fluffy »

I found Song Fight! in late 2000, when I was a grad student. I noticed that a bunch of things I followed (Diesel Sweeties, drew's pre-toothpaste Diary of an Internet Rock Star, explodingdog, etc.) were all part of the Dumbrella network, and I looked at what else was there, and saw this Song Fight! thing that looked pretty darn cool. The current fight was either A B C D Puppies or Zero to Phantom (I think Puppies had just finished voting and Zero to Phantom was in open submissions -- the process was pretty different back then!), and I was amazed at just HOW MUCH music there was here and how experimental and cool it was. I also had recently-ish released an album of shitty electronic music and I thought this would be a great avenue to get some attention for my music.

I vaguely knew how to play guitar from some noodling before but I didn't have one myself, so I bought the first cheap acoustic guitar I could find at a pawn shop (it had a cracked bridge and shitty strings), and I didn't have any picks so I cut my own out of some failed CD-Rs. I had no multitrack recording capability at the time so I decided to do what I knew best: I recorded a bunch of guitar strums, chopped it up into samples, and loaded them into Impulse Tracker. Then I did the same with my horrible vocals, recorded on a shitty Radio Shack microphone. (I still have the microphone.)

Turns out I didn't know what the hell I was doing, but neither did anyone else, but lots of people thought they did and the forums at the time were incredibly combative and, well, mean. I had a very on-and-off relationship with this place, and also wasn't in a particularly good mental health spot myself due to a whole bunch of things. Some time after Husky Youth I ended up getting in a pretty bad argument about something stupid and trivial and I wondered what the hell I was even doing here, and took a break, hoping to try to run my own thing. Which turns out to be really hard, when it's hard to get anyone interested in participating.

I'd peek in on the forums from time to time to see what was going on, and it turned out that Narbotic had disappeared and the community had taken over running things on a new site called MeanWhile which seemed to be going okay. And then mc3p0 (Swedish Masturbation Unit) reached out to me and wanted me to know that things were pretty different now, and after a couple of live fights people were clearly having much more camaraderie, and the site had moved over to songfight.org from .com (which had been abandoned but was finally redirecting to .org), and the title "Fool in the Middle" seemed like a great opportunity for me to apologize and self-reflect on my behavior. And I was welcomed back with open arms. (I still remember Frankie’s response: “magenta! Welcome back you crazy broad!”)

And at some point I got to chatting with Spud because we both had the same smartphone (the Danger Hiptop/T-Mobile Sidekick) and this led to a pretty good friendship that continues to this day. That friendship was a big part of why I was so eager to move to Seattle (after having visited here for Song Fight! Wet and Wild in 2003) and I have made so many friends through this website, and it's been so great for my own creative processes. Plus, a bunch of you feel like family at this point. I'm the weird distant cousin who everyone kinda half-remembers at reunions.

I don't participate nearly as much as I'd like to these days (mostly due to my lingering chronic pain issues, which have always been a thing but are even moreso now), but I still love doing my part to keep the website and forums going (thankfully they're mostly stable nowadays!), and I really need to toss my hat back in the ring. Someday I'll be able to do this again.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by crumpart »

gizo wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:47 pm
I kept on listening to the hits I had downloaded (notably Duboce Triangle's 'Stronger Than', all the RxW hits, and the triple Album Fight from JB, Jeff, and Frankie), and then when Crump moved to Ireland and asked if I wanted to start a remote band, I pointed her at the best source of songwriting prompts I knew, and we both started writing some hits.
“But how did Crump ask?”, I hear you ask?

I asked via Instagram story. I’d been practicing guitar for a couple of months for the first time in years. I’d not really ever sung in front of anyone, except for the choir I joined at uni that first time around for class credits. I figured no one really looked at Instagram stories. Turned out I was wrong.

On July 23 2019 we’d been to see Ezra Furman and The Visions play at Cyprus Avenue in Cork. I chose a gin from the bar at random because I liked the picture of the cow on it. Best gin I’ve ever had, turns out. Three days later I was still buzzing from that show and I figured out some chords to one of the new songs, uploaded a verse to the insta story, Giz said yes and then we had two days to make a song. I ended up doing the song part pretty much, but I ran with his idea.

This is a Evening Prayer Aka Justice, the song I covered in that insta story, except done properly:



In the two seconds I had to come up with a band name, I looked at this picture of Ezra I’d drawn in my sketchbook and it seemed perfect. I was going to go with “Opera Rose”, which is the colour name for that particular watercolour, but it didn’t seem quite right, and I landed on Hot Pink Halo.

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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by vowlvom »

I haven't really been around long enough to have much of a story, but:

I stumbled upon February Album Writing Month in 2007, failed to do anything that first year but threw myself in the following year. Sometime in the first couple of years I found and liked the music of Balance Lost, and after commenting on each other's songs for a while Pete suggested I try Song Fight. I had a look at the forums... and decided it wasn't for me.

But then, a considerable number of years later, Pete enlisted my bandmate for a guest vocal, and owl followed that up by suggesting we try submitting some Vowl Sounds songs. The rest is history! Thanks for encouraging us to write some great songs, Song Fight (and a couple of the ones I've submitted on my own have been alright too I guess).
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by j$ »

Happy birthday, Song Fight!

I found Song Fight in 2003 through a link on 365days (which was a weird music archive). I'd been recording stuff, on and off, before that but I was looking for somewhere I called home. Found it, and forever grateful. It gave me the drive that was lacking to make music. Also made and met at least three of my closest friends via here.


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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Sober »

There's something strange about 2003, for sure. So many of us found our way here around that time.

For me, it was Penny Arcade -> MC Frontalot -> Songfight. Fall of '03, I was at my first failed attempt at college at the University of North Texas. Started listening around Gonna Be Your Man (still love Ken's entry). I actually wrote a Bullseye Girl, but my radioshack mic died. Still remember the chorus. It was dumb.

Finally got everything working for Stand in the Circle. A new $5 radioshack mic, pointed in the worst ways at my $100 Yamaha acoustic and a cheap celtic harp, all running directly into the onboard SB16 or whatever on my cheap Dell. No click track, no EQ or compression. Just an arrhythmic, overly reverbed mess. Classic Songfight.

What a journey. I think I've been to four live events now. I think my first one was the main event in Austin in '04 or so. Hoblit flew into Dallas, and then we drove down together. I don't know why we did that. Sang with Brother Machine. Also did the Hollywood show (I think that was the one where I roomed with Fluffy?). Then Boston (I smashed someone's keyboard, oops), and I guess Austin again just after I got out of the military in '13.

It's been great collaborating with you all over the years. I recall meeting Glenn Case, and him saying something like "it's so cool to meet you all - I'm a big fan of all of your music." There were jokes, and perhaps miming of dropping of pants. But really, what a cool community. I get to interact with people I draw musical inspiration from. They listen to my songs and help me get better. Thanks for the years of critiques, of good and terrible music, and jokes. Love y'all.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by gizo »

Sober wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:28 pm
I actually wrote a Bullseye Girl, but my radioshack mic died. Still remember the chorus. It was dumb.
I did a Bullseye Girl entry too - mine was terrible! "Her name was Heidi but they called her low-di"

I don't have the sustained presence that many of you do, and I don't have the opportunity to fly across the globe to embarrass myself in a live environment, but I have felt incredibly welcomed since coming back with Crump - thanks all of you amazing people!
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by jack »

May 2003. Eric and I (brody) entered our first Song Fight! (Shreds). Lots of great songs. We told all our friends about it. We won. I guess that's kind of a rite of passage.

I think I found out about Song Fight! from Blue Lang. I think he posted on craigslist under the local musicians area and I was looking for gear and saw it. Been to lots of local "presents" shows, a bunch of Song Fight Live shows, and hosted arguably the best, funnest Song Fight Live! in 2006. I know a lot of the old timers and almost nobody who came along in the past 10 years (but I'd love to meet you someday!)

I got a lot more I could say but I'll start there. Viva la Song Fight!
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by owl »

Happy birthday, Song Fight!

VV more or less summed it up already for me as well... I knew Balance Lost/furrypedro from FAWM and he enlisted me for guest vocals on “Regime Change” (Nur Ein XII, Round 3, I think also featuring his wife and glennny as guests?)

I kept checking back in to see how he was doing, and I saw the prompt “Cassini” during that time that inspired me to write something, which I sent over to Vom as a Vowl Sounds demo idea and, because I liked the song, I proposed entering it even though I was kind of scared of everyone being an asshole. (It’s a very different culture from FAWM.)

We entered and I got gradually more used to the types of rude comments that are par for the course but apparently very mild compared to Song Fights of yore, and we had a good run of wins before Mandibles messed up our hitherto perfect record. We started submitting separately too, which has been really good for giving me practice and motivation for learning about mixing and recording. I really like having a continual community and external motivation to write/record/most importantly, FINISH songs outside of FAWM or 50/90, which previously basically accounted for my entire songwriting output for the year in one big intense batch, followed by inevitably writing nothing else for the rest of the year.

Last year Ken suggested Madison as a location for Song Fight Live, the local contingent took him up on that idea, and as one of the hosts I got to meet a bunch of cool people in person and see everyone perform, which was awesome and fun and I had every intention of coming to SFL this year in Berkeley until 2020 hit us all like a ton of bricks. But maybe next year?

The funny thing is that I used to read all those dumbrella webcomics back in the day but never made it over here at the time. And I discovered, much later, MC Frontalot’s importance in this site, but I’m pretty sure I met him back in like 1998 or thereabouts because we were in overlapping social circles because of a guy I was sort of seeing, and mo and I might also have potentially briefly crossed paths back in the late 90s/early 2000s through that same friend.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by crumpart »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:13 pm
I had no band name. My email address at the time was cavanreagh@... - as that was the stud name of our alpaca farm. I changed a few letters around and thought, yeah - that sounds like Boxcar Willie or Buffalo Tom or something - a bit crap, but it will do for the first entry - Ill change it next week.

My daughter turned 16 last wednesday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Songfight!
I can’t believe Caravan isn’t your real name.

Happy birthday to your daughter Songfight though!
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Caravan Ray »

crumpart wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:51 am
Caravan Ray wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:13 pm
I had no band name. My email address at the time was cavanreagh@... - as that was the stud name of our alpaca farm. I changed a few letters around and thought, yeah - that sounds like Boxcar Willie or Buffalo Tom or something - a bit crap, but it will do for the first entry - Ill change it next week.

My daughter turned 16 last wednesday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Songfight!
I can’t believe Caravan isn’t your real name.

Happy birthday to your daughter Songfight though!
A few years ago at an open mic in Toowoomba that I had been to once. And it was a bit crap. But I returned to a few month later - the bloke running it asked me “ so, do you live in a caravan and travel around and go to open mics?” “Yes. That is exactly what I do”.

I saw no need to tell him that I was a public servant who lived in the block of flats across the road.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Happy birthday, plus a few days, Song Fight!

Here's my incredible story. I began recording on 4-track cassette in late '88. In 1994-95, I took a music class while living in Albuquerque. We all had to compose something and present it to the class. I was the only one who titled theirs. (Hounded By A Duck in C#m) Later that night, as i recalled the other peoples songs, i started assigning titles to them. I cracked myself up so much, i wrote down all the titles, and then wrote and recorded songs to the titles. I then began writing songs this way for many years: title first, in list form, songs after.

I transitioned to a Roland digital 8-track in late '99, 24-track around 2005-06. I still use the old Roland 24, say what you will. Somehow I found the AAD site, which had a link to SF!. Imagine that! People were using MY idea of writing songs to titles! Wow! This was early 2006.

I wrote and recorded three or four songs to titles before finally submitting to Covered In Bugs. Histrionics came up in the reviews, but that didn't bother me. ( At one point I had more reviews than entries, but those days are long gone. Ahem. Talk about it later)

Anyway, even after two years off from here, I have a shit ton of songs. Emphasis on shit, perhaps. I am constantly knocked out by the talent here and always encourage those learning and struggling to keep at it. It's always good to create. You all have been good to me and I appreciate it, and hope i can occasionally pay back. I may be heading towards a reduced schedule here, but probably can't make it last.

ANYWAY, keep it up, everbody, this is a unique and beautiful thing. Long live SongFight!

P.S. If interested for some reason, the Paco name came about after me and couple of buddies each took a challenge to create albums. I wanted a pretentious, pompousy sounding name as producer in the credits, like Ricardo Montobaln selling a Cordoba and somehow came up with del Stinko. Bill Heuristics corrected me on the boards here that the d in del is not capitalized. I had been thinking it was more akin to Del Shannon, or something. Big dope. Anyway, that's why it's still capital d inmy user name.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by fluffy »

Paco Del Stinko wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:36 am
In 1994-95, I took a music class while living in Albuquerque.
Huh, we both lived in Albuquerque at the same time! Neat.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

I remember that you are a NM native, Fluffy. Perhaps we unknowingly stood in line together at the Frontier one day. :)
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by lichenthroat »

fluffy wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:00 am
Paco Del Stinko wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:36 am
In 1994-95, I took a music class while living in Albuquerque.
Huh, we both lived in Albuquerque at the same time! Neat.
Hey, me too! At least part of the that time: I lived in Albuquerque from 1990 to 1994 and then again since 2000.
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