Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Song Fight! is an online songwriting competition that has run, with brief interruptions, from 2000 to the present. Every week or so, new titles are selected and posted on the songfight website, along with a deadline for song entries. Musicians from all over the Internet have until then to submit an original composition with that title, created for the fight. After the deadline, the songs are made available to the Internet for downloading and listening, and people can vote for their favorite. The entry with the most votes is declared the winner, and a new contest starts with new titles.
Song Fight! was created by Collin Cunningham, who participated regularly under the name of "Narbotic" and acted as the first "Fightmaster" (the person responsible for getting new titles, setting deadlines, and posting the songs that get submitted). Originally, it began as a small contest, with only five or six bands per "fight," and fights occurring only every two to four weeks. The site grew as word of mouth spread and as a few regular fighters like Nil, Kompressor, and especially MC Frontalot, became popular in their own right. (Nil and MC Frontalot are to this day the only participants that have submitted songs for many fights and never lost.) The titles at songfight run the gamut from the commonplace and accessible ("I LOVE YOU," "Black Hole," "Stuck Down a Mineshaft," "Postcard,") to the bizarre and abstruse ("ABCD Puppies," "Zero to Phantom," "Rot to Fill," "Happy Machine Ankle"). Regardless of what titles were chosen, the fights became more populated, and the community of musicians became thicker.
On May 2, 2002, the new title was announced, "Postcard". The deadline came, and then passed. Narbotic, the acting Fightmaster, went months without updating the site. One particularly restless songfighter took it upon himself to create 'Meanwhile', a similarly-themed songwriting competition site created to sate the songfighting needs of current participants. When Narbotic finally updated the site, he put the record-breaking 22 new songs up, and announced a new title, "The Return". That was the last time that songfight.com was ever updated. Two regulars, adopting the names "Fightmaster Senior" and "Fightmaster Junior," decided to use the domain http://songfight.org to create an eerily identical website to the one that had been at songfight.com, and convinced Narbotic to autodirect from songfight.com to songfight.org.
There is a large, passionate community surrounding Song Fight. Graphic artists are encouraged to submit an artistic interpretation of each title so that every fight would have an accompanying piece of "cover art". There is a very active message board, a chat room, a blog, yearly live "official" gatherings, and numerous unofficial "Songfight.org Presents" gatherings/concerts spread throughout the year. To date, songfight has played a part in creating (and maintains an archive of) well over 3,000 songs created by hundreds and hundreds of musicians.
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