Oops, I'm Doing It Again: The 2009 Tournament of Tunes (Round 1 - 64)


20. Feb. 2009, 15:07

Greetings and welcome to my second annual March Madness (started in February to get it all in) Tournament of Tunes. Last year, the Annie Lennox track Cold defeated 63 others to become my first tournament winner. Who will it be this year?

Last year the iTunes randomizer completely skipped my most listened to artist, Joe Jackson. He's here this year, making up for lost time with four tracks. The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band may be a bit over-represented with three, along with various band incarnations of both Kevin Ayers and Pat Metheny. XTC returns with two, down one track from last year. And the Musical Appreciation Society has one of their own in the running this year!

So whose cuisine will reign supreme when the smoke clears from the heat of battle? Let's get started and find out...

Episode D'Azur - Pat Metheny Group
I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango) - Grace Jones
Difficulty: *
Commentary: Starting off with a battle of mid-listers: a midlist artist (Jones) and a midlist song from a favored artist (Metheny).
Winner: I'll give this to PatMeth even though I think he's got other, better songs in the running.

March from A Clockwork Orange - Wendy Carlos
This Is Hell - Elvis Costello
Difficulty: ****
Commentary: Here's an interesting pair of songs, seemingly joined at the thematic hip.
Winner: Wendy. No matter what you name it, it's still Beethoven's Glorious Ninth.

The Call Up - The Clash
Gangster of Love - Talking Heads
Difficulty: *
Commentary: A not-so-lovable Heads outtake versus one of my favorite Clash songs.
Winner: Heed the call up.

Old Days - Chicago
МакондоБи-2 - Moloko
Difficulty: **
Commentary: And speaking of "A Clockwork Orange", here we have the revolutionaries versus the survivors of a different revolution. Strange that by the mid-Seventies Chicago should be singing about nostalgia for a time that represented everything they were against in the Sixties. I don't have that problem with Moloko because it's in Russian, which I can't understand.
Winner: Drink your Milk. It's the better song.

Landing On Earth - Petra Haden and Woody Jackson
A Question Of Temperature - The Balloon Farm
Difficulty: ***
Commentary: Semi-ambient jazz vs. psychedelia.
Winner: I'm in love with Petra's voice, even when it isn't saying anything.

The Fish and the Bird - Mark Knopfler
Sasquatch - Camel
Difficulty: ***
Commentary: Celtic flavored Knopfler versus a rollicking Camel tune.
Winner: The progsters. But the MK tune is still growing on me, and may have one if given another couple months of listening.

I'm the Man Who Murdered Love - XTC
Crazy - Icehouse
Difficulty: *
Commentary: Not-one-of-my-favorite XTC tunes (Andy trying too hard) against not-one-of-my-favorite Icehouse tunes (Iva trying to be commercial).
Winner: I'd have to be crazy, baby.

Paint It Black - The Feelies
The Fool - Neutral Milk Hotel
Difficulty: **
Commentary: This could be the oddest matchup here.
Winner: The cover version.

Noodling - Dan Sonnier
Nothin' Wrong - Jim Bauer
Difficulty: ****
Commentary: One of the MAS's own versus one of the most interesting undiscovered songwriters out there.
Winner: Dan, Dan, Dan, I love your song but it's just too short! I want the painting, not the sketch! At least you lost to someone who may be a genius.

Disneyland is Burning - a3
Only the Future - Joe Jackson
Difficulty: *
Commentary: Country acid house vs. post-pop synths, strings, and sequencing. Who'd have thought?
Winner: It's only the future!

Snow and Lights - Explosions in the Sky
Now I 'm here - Queen
Difficulty: **
Commentary: Post-rock versus arena rock. I keep Explosions in the Sky around because they make great proggish sounding background music. But the Queen song demands to be heard.
Winner: Now I'm there.

Take My Will - Jandek
Walk Away - The English Beat
Difficulty: *
Commentary: It's always good to see a Jandek song in the competition, even if I know that he's going to get blown out during the first round. Some year one of his true classics will get included. Watch out when that happens.
Winner: But it won't happen this year.

Serious - Duran Duran
Wouldn't It Be Good '95 - Nik Kershaw
Difficulty: **
Commentary: It's the battle of nineties pop, sort of: The returns and the rehash.
Winner: The rehash, although the original is much better.

Thought I'd Never See You Again - Working Week
Hunting Tigers Out In 'Indiah' - Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Difficulty: ****
Commentary: I'm starting to decide that some mismatches make the toughest calls. A passionate song from Working Week versus a goofy classic from the Bonzos. It's like choosing between apples and oranges.
Winner: Orange you glad I chose the Bonzos?

Are We Ourselves - The Fixx
Wild Strawberries - Jandek
Difficulty: *
Commentary: See previous Jandek comment.
Winner: The Fixx is in.

The Sweetest Taboo - Sade
Whatevershebringswesing - Kevin Ayers
Commentary: More passion versus goofiness, by way of psychedelia.
Winner: This time, the goofiness.

Peace In The Valley - a3
Steam - Fay Lovsky
Difficulty: **
Commentary: More country acid house versus a pop artist that's hard to pin down. I'm starting to wonder where all the really strong tracks are in the contest. Did I go through this last year?
Winner: Steam is one of Fay's slightest tracks, but still more interesting than A3's.

The Creeps - Social Distortion
Sunday - David Bowie
Difficulty: **
Commentary: Social D versus David B. Could be a close one with the right tracks. But this one wasn't.
Winner: Bowie.

Bury the Hatchet - Fay Lovsky
Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me) - XTC
Difficulty: ***
Commentary: Finally, a stronger track from Holland's Fay Lovsky.
Winner: Unfortunately, it was up against a really strong XTC track.

The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us - Sufjan Stevens
It Begins with a Blessing, Once I Awakened, But It Ends with a Curse - Kevin Ayers
Difficulty: **
Commentary: In a way, aren't Kevin Ayers and Sufjan Stevens the same person?
Winner: Sufjan's derivitaive minimalism trumps Ayer's derivative psychedelia. This time.

Run On - Moby
Terraplane Blues - Robert Johnson
Difficulty: ***
Commentary: This wins the prize for most ironic matchup. The sampler versus the sampled.
Winner: Hmmm, the sampler wins this one. Even more irony.

Love Vigilantes - New Order
Desert Wash - Dan Tharp
Difficulty: **
Commentary: I like New Order, but actually I think this song is kind of annoying. Or maybe I'm finally outgrowing them. Dan Tharp is a solo acoustic guitarist I found on garageband.com
Winner: Danny boy.

Annie's Bittersweet Cake - Pat Metheny
Persephone - Kula Shaker
Difficulty: **
Commentary: Another battle of second tiers.
Winner: The Beatlesque Kula Shaker tune.

Your Wildlife - Propaganda
Jolie Madame - Kevin Ayers and the Whole World
Difficulty: ***
Commentary: Past-prime Propaganda (with rapping!) versus more indulgent Ayers trippiness. An Ayers/Propaganda should be a battle to be feared, but not with these two tracks.
Winner: Oh, heck... Ayers, I guess.

Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
Cause a Rockslide - Badly Drawn Boy
Difficulty: **
Commentary: This could have been a better fight, but Damon's contribution is a bit of a mess.
Winner: Torn apart.

Meeting (Garden of Geda) / Sound Out the Galleon - Jon Anderson
Like an Outlaw (For You) - Social Distortion
Difficulty: ****
Commentary: At finally, another battle to sink my teeth into - or that sinks it teeth in to me. Jon Anderson's one burst of proggy goodness outside of Yes, versus Social D's lovestruck take on Ghost Riders In The Sky.
Winner: Call me an outlaw.

Laughing Blues - Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Wind - Godley & Creme
Difficulty: *
Commentary: The battle of the novelty tracks.
Winner: G & C

Sand in Your Shoes - Al Stewart
Goin' Southbound - Stan Ridgway
Difficulty: *
Commentary: The historian v. the storyteller. You decide which is which.
Winner: This isn't the Al track to take on this Stan track.

Don't Wanna Be Like That - Joe Jackson
Cowboy Star - Ambrosia
Difficulty: **
Commentary: Punk v. Prog. It's the late seventies all over again!
Winner: The punk. A stronger Ambrosia track would've spelled trouble.

We Can't Live Together - Joe Jackson
Can Blue Men Sing The Whites? - Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Difficulty: **
Commentary: More Bonzos, more Jackson. With those odds, one of the two is bound to go all the way, don'cha think?
Winner: Headin' for JJ v. JJ next round!

Back in Time - Pat Metheny
I Am the Mercury - Jimmie Spheeris
Difficulty: **
Commentary: I have as many Pat Metheny albums as probably any other artist except Jandek (don't ask). And I only have this one Jimmie Spheeris song. There's a good reason I spent so much time hunting the latter.
Winner: Mercury rising

Mental - Eels
Happy Ending - Joe Jackson
Difficulty: *
Commentary: E emotes. Joe gets happy.
Winner: Stay happy.

There you have the first round. What will happen in the next? Will Joe Jackson triumph and face off against himself in the finals? Or will some other screwy thing happen instead? Tune in next Friday as the drama unfolds...
Akzeptierte Übermittlungen
Dog Icons, Musical Appreciation Society


  • rtreynor

    Keep me posted. Did the 72-81 smackdown ever get decided? *sigh* And after watching "Curb Your Enthusiasm" I now hear the lyrics "everybody wants a happy ending" in a totally new way.

    20. Feb. 2009, 16:54
  • PMaz

    Hey, this might be some relief to the incomplete 72-81 smackdown. I might just have to give it a shot. Thanks!

    20. Feb. 2009, 20:55
  • dmaxRadio

    What the? I did something called Noodling? I absolutely don't remember that....

    22. Feb. 2009, 5:49
  • dmaxRadio

    Ah. I sent you that? A little trifle from me playing around with GarageBand. I think that the ease of using GarageBand takes away the joy of creation. It sits there beckoning to me with "look, a whole song in a few seconds" but it's not CREATIVE at all. I despise it, and yet I love it.

    22. Feb. 2009, 6:10
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