J. Elvis Weinstein just sat down for a chat with friend to all MSTies Ken Plume for what Josh describes as “a long, long time.” I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’m going to go ahead and say that it is probably “entertaining,” possibly “incredible,” and most likely not “ghetto fly.” Give a listen here.
In what some would probably say was an inevitable outcome, the über-group consisting of Bill Corbett, Mike Nelson, and Kevin Murphy — aka The RiffTones — has been crowned the champion of Quick Stop’s “Masters of Song Fu” tournament. Despite a vocal minority who will undoubtedly continue to cry foul, The RiffTones defeated talented challenger Jason Morris, 222 votes to 135.
Some might say this was a little unfair, pitting a relatively unknown amateur songwriter up against a mighty triumvirate of geek gods — and they’d be right to say so. But ultimately, Jason’s the one coming out on top, with the nice juicy prize of exposure. Still, the boys at Rifftrax do manage to take home a trophy that is surely made from the finest plastic unicorn-horn ivory. So congrats, everyone.
As usual, hit Quick Stop to download all The Rifftones’ songs.
You might recall that Bill, Mike, and Kevin are participating in the “Masters of Song Fu” challenge, at Quick Stop Entertainment. In the contest, a number of challengers and “masters” are charged with writing and recording a song about a specific subject each week. The “RiffTones” have managed to survive the voting process, beating out the other masters, and now they’re up against the last remaining challenger.
This week’s challenge was to write a ’70s pop song for the soundtrack of a 1970s Lucas/Spielberg film. The RiffTones chose Jaws, while their challenger, the talented Mr. Jason Morris, chose Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Both songs are good but, really, it’s quite unfair to pit Jason against three gods of geekdom. Still, you can vote here, and while you’re at it, you can download The Rifftones’ previous songs, too.
And as Bill notes on the Rifftrax blog, some of the Song Fu voters have found something to complain about. Namely, a few of them are upset that Mike, Bill, and Kevin didn’t take the song seriously, and it just doesn’t sound like it could really be “The Love Theme From Jaws.” Imagine that. The stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000, not being totally serious. Shocking. Comic Book Guy would be proud, folks.
A couple of weeks ago, Bill announced that he, Mike, and Kevin would be participating in Quick Stop Entertainment’s annual “Masters of Song Fu” challenge. In the game, a bunch of challengers and a handful of “masters” are given a very specific songwriting challenge each round, and they must write and record a song within the parameters of that challenge.
Calling themselves “The Rifftones,” a name which undoubtedly has a ska band somewhere flipping through the Yellow Pages for a lawyer, their first challenge was to write a song about the moon. And they did. As with all Song Fu songs, the mp3s can be easily downloaded from the site. Here’s their first song, “Moon Shine”:
Good to hear Kevin crooning again. And as you can see above, Len Peralta of Jawbone Radio decided to make the guys some “Moon Shine”-inspired artwork. After the first week, the Rifftones came in second only to comedy duo Paul & Storm, and beat the absolutely amazing Jonathan Coulton by only one vote. (The fourth “master,” Venture Bros. maestro Doc Hammer, was unable to participate, this round.) I’m not sure whether or not they can be eliminated, but hopefully we’ll get at least a few more songs from the guys, before this is through.
Since 2000, I’ve been a tremendous fan of the rock band Weezer. In fact, they’ve probably been one of the most influential artists in my life. And now it looks like, once again, two of my greatest loves — MST3K and Weezer — have crossed paths… unfortunately. Weezer’s new album, a self-titled LP nicknamed “The Red Album,” is apparently so bad, it’s MST3K-worthy.
The reviews have been below-average to downright scathing. Now, a review from Beacon News has likened it to watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 — so bad, it’s almost kinda good. Has lead singer Rivers Cuomo become the Ed Wood of music; 100% enthusiasm and sincerity, but 110% suck? The band’s last two albums were mostly shmaltz, silliness, and lyrics at a junior high reading level. I mean, I still love the band, but yeah… they’ve gotten pretty bad.
This actually isn’t the first time MST3K and Weezer have crossed paths. The CD booklet of their 2001 self-titled release, aka “The Green Album,” contained an image of the band on-stage, in-concert — with the infamous silhouette of Mike and the robots hidden in the lower right-hand corner, pointing at them in mockery.
Bill Corbett recently attended a Jonathan Coulton concert and, being the big-league celebrity that Bill is, Mr. Coulton did not let his presence go unnoticed. Jonathan brought Bill up on-stage to assist him with a performance of the ever-popular “Chiron Beta Prime”. Apart from serving as eye candy for the audience, Bill was given the appropriate role of one of the song’s robot overlords. Appropriate because Bill is, in fact, a robot overlord.
Now, you might be ready to fall to your knees and thank me for sharing that information, but stop. There’s more. Conor Lastowka was benevolent enough to share a video of Bill’s performance here. Via the magic of the Internet, I’ve also embedded it after the cut. Bill is only in the first third of the clip, but you should watch the whole thing. No arguing. (Video auto-plays, so be prepared.)
If you’ve ever spent any length of time conversing with me about Mystery Science Theater episodes, you probably know that I’m a little bit harsh on the final three seasons of the series. Your mileage may vary, but I just don’t consider them to be nearly as sharp or entertaining or, well, good as the rest of the series, generally speaking. So, it might surprise you to know that one of my favorite moments in the entire series occurred during season eight.
Episode 807, Terror From The Year 5000, took place during the “Observer homeworld” storyline, where we’re first introduced to Bill Corbett’s “Brain Guy” and his bodyless kin. After getting into an argument with Mike and the robots over yodelling and the Observers’ knowledge of music, the three blue brains of blood demonstrated their musical mettle by crooning this old-timey ballad, putting the SOLers in their place.
Now, it isn’t just that the song is funny — which it is — but it’s also really darn well-written. Take a look at the lyrics, penned by Mike and Kevin. “Your adrenaline was like wine / Sweet perfume was your endochrine”? It’s such a delightfully morbid love song. It’s also sung by Kevin (Mike lip-syncs), and we all know what amazing pipes that bear’s got on him. I love it, even if the Suddenly Susan reference dates it quite badly. (Who knew it wouldn’t be the Seinfeld of its time?)
Click below to listen to the song and/or download the mp3 for your listening purposes. If you dig it, you can still pick up Clowns In The Sky II from MST3K.com. Also, the clip after the break handily contains the skit at the beginning, for those of you who need visual aids.
When I Held Your Brain In My Arms (click “Download Original” to save)