The Masters of Song Fu is series of songwriting constests run by Quick Stop Entertainment. For each contest the contestants must complete a series of songwriting challenges, each of which has specific requirements the songwriter must meet.

Molly Lewis was the winner of the recently completed Song Fu #3. This was her entry for the third challenge.

Maxime is my 3 year old nephew and he likes to watch music videos on my laptop. Here are his top 5 favorite videos. I've included links to each video in case the powers that be decide to disable embedded video.

5. Arturo Márquez, Danzón No. 2 - Gustavo Dudamel, Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra

In this video Gustavo Dudamel leads the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra (Venezuela's national high-school-age youth orchestra) in a performance for the February 2009 TED Conference. Dudamel and the Orchestra are a product of El Sistema.

I've included the whole video here as it's worth watching. However, for Maxime I only play the Orchestra's performance of Arturo Márquez' Danzón No. 2. Maxime seems to have a bit of a connection with Gustavo, perhaps it's the hair.

Gustavo Dudamel, Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra

4. Gnarls Barkley, Crazy

I love this song and for some reason my nephew does too. I wouldn't have expected him to like this song. Maybe it's the uniforms or maybe he just likes good music.

Gnarls Barkley, Crazy

3. Colbie Caillat, Bubbly

Maxime's brother and sister like this one too. I've embedded a live version of the song as the record company has disabled embedding the promotional video, which is the video I play for my nephew. You'll find a link to that video below.

Colbie Caillat, Bubbly

2. Coldplay, The Scientist

Not sure if it's the whole backward thing or the scene of kids playing basketball that does it for him.

Coldplay, The Scientist

1. Natalie Imbruglia, Torn

Great song, pretty girl, falling walls... what more could a 3 year old kid want?

Natalie Imbruglia, Torn

Sita Sings the Blues in an animated movie created by Nina Paley (wikipedia). Using 4 different animation styles, Paley weaves together the breakup of her marriage, the singing of Annette Hanshaw and the epic story of Ramayana.

The movie has been released under a CC-BY-SA license. You can find links to stream the movie or download it in various formats at SitaSites.

Read what Wired, the New York Times and Roger Ebert have to say about Sita Sings the Blues.

Watch Sita Sings the Blues on YouTube (presented in 10 parts).

Here is a link to the YouTube page for Sita Sings the Blues with larger picture and the playlist setup for all 10 parts.

Webdesigner Depot posted 100 (Really) Creative Business Cards today. A number of them caught my eye. I've highlighted the following two in preparation for tomorrow's post.

Some musicians have been using Live Looping techniques to produce some impressive cover versions familiar songs.

Dirk Quinn's cover of The Who's Baba O'Riley

Jacob Moon's cover of Rush's Subdivisions (recorded on a rooftop in Hamilton, Ontario).

neanderpaul's cover of U2's With or Without You

Edgar Mueller is an artist who creates 3D pavement art. This video shows the making of his work The Crevasse.

hat tip Guy Kawasaki

see also:

There is a ton of music and video that, for a variety of reasons, is being kept in the storage vaults. While there is good reason why much of this isn't commercially viable, some of it is culturally significant.

Nina Simone's performance at the Harlem Festival in 1969 is outstanding. Unfortunately, it is also not commercially available. However, it is available for viewing on YouTube. This video contains the first two songs from her set.

Watch the remainder of Nina's performance at Arthur Magazine.

hat tip Ray Beckerman

Improv Everywhere was founded by Charlie Todd and carries out missions (read pranks) in public places. Their Best Game Ever mission was to turn a little league game into... you guessed it, the best game ever for the participants. Great fun!

Read the Improv Everywhere report on the Best Game Ever.

I was reminded of this presentation the other day. I first saw this several years ago when Guy Kawasaki blogged about it.

Read Guy's analysis of her presentation in his As Good As Steve Jobs post and his response to those who questioned his sanity for making such a claim in his Majora II post.

A serious injury to my knees brought to an end my brief stint as a truck driver. While there are things I don't miss about the job, I regret missing out on the opportunity to travel the highways of this continent and see more of Canada and the U.S. Certainly, the job does not allow one to be a tourist and spend time seeing the sites. However, you aren't always travelling interstate highways and the businesses you load and unload the trailer aren't always located near major cities. Driving through small towns was a lot of fun. On one occasion I drove through a small lakeside town and while pulling a 53' trailer on a twisty, narrow road left me little time enjoy the sites what I did see was great.

It might be a while before my knees will be up to some long distance road trips (this summer I'll find out how they hold up on a 6 hour trip) and can go on some real road trips. When I do, they will hopefully trips where I can do some exploring rather than rushing by at 100kph in an 18 wheeler.

In the mean time I'll just have to road trip vicariously through Rives and Bar Refaeli (SI profile).

Watch the Ironic Iconic America promo video

Click the image to watch the show online.