The Tournament of Tunes 2010 - Chapter 3 (The Sweet Sixteen)

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5. Mär. 2010, 14:13

As we make our way into what is actually March, the competition gets fiercer and the descriptions get verboser. There's still a little dross that needs to be burned away, but more than that will be gone by the end of the day - especially when you consider that 75% of the songs in the running have been eliminated by now. An impressive statistic, no? I'm sure my math teacher friends could come up with better ones, but this was the best a right brained dreamer could cook up on short notice. And now, on with the countdown.

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Frosted Flake Wood - Hooverphonic ***
All the Way Up to Heaven - Guster ***

Difficulty: ++
Comments: The Guster is a nice, poppy song, but it's not one of the best tracks on the album and I'm beginning to wonder if Lost and Gone Forever is one of those records where the songs are all better in context with each other. I could almost say the same about the Hooverphonic song, except it's so strange and quirkly that it's actually started to endear itself to me. Whereas, the Guster is becoming more like fingernails on a chalkboard when I hear it.
The Winner: Praise the Hoove!

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Got To Get You In My Life - The Beatles ***
Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick - Ian Dury & The Blockheads ****

Difficulty: +++
Comments: On one hand you have classic Beatles - but not Classic Beatles. At least in my book. On the other hand you've got one of the most feared bands of the New Wave period - feared because their live act was so infectiously fun that other bands hated having them as an opening act because they were almost impossible to follow. Only bands like The Who and Lou Reed (on a good night) could stand up to them. Am I saying that the Beatles can't stand up to the Blockheads? Well, not with this song.
The Winner: Stick figures.

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Pretzel Logic - Steely Dan ****
The Storm - Big Country ****

Difficulty: ++
Comments: Both of these songs evoke specific moods. There's the nostalgia of the Dan song, combined with the typical Fagin/Becker character studies (dare I say "unreliable narrator" now that it has become a literary fad?), and the desperate feeling of the Big Country entry. I like them both a lot for this reason, but I think that Pretzel Logic is the one with legs.
The Winner: Where did you get those shoes?

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Hold On - Yes ***
Rain On Down - Drywall ***

Difficulty: +++
Comments: Stan's my favorite, and this song has been growing on me since the smackdown started (I even upgraded its star rating), but the Yes song is still going strong.
The Winner: On hold.

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Halley's Waitress - Fountains of Wayne ****
Tom's Diner (12" Version) - DNA featuring Suzanne Vega ****

Difficulty: +++
Comments: Hmmm, not as hard as I thought. As I said last week, Vega's song paints pictures in your head, but they fade next to the beauty of the Fountains, who have crafted one great pop song here.
The Winner: The Waitress

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No Rain - Blind Melon ****
I've Heard That Song Before - Harry James & His Orchestra ****

Difficulty: +++++
Comments: Tough. I expected Harry to walk off with this one. It's from my childhood and is the opening song of one of my favorite Woody Allen movies. But the Blind Melon has some miles on it, too. It's one of the staples we play at the currently-on-hiatus-until-Todd-gets-his-new-guitar Friday Lunch Hour Jam session that we have at work. This is like a three or four chorder, and I can capo until it's in my vocal range, even if I'd rather not be the bandleader and lead singer (but another friend who was a professional musician for decades says that's the way it always happens), especially since the harmonies are so cool on this one. Anyway, it's an upset.
The Winner: With a melon?

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If You Want Me - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova ***
Upon the Grandeur - Jandek ***

Difficulty: +++++
Comments: Surprisingly tough. I thought the Representative of C*O*R*W*O*O*D would have been blown out by now, but this is one of his more beautiful, ear-appealing songs ("beautiful" and "ear-appealing" being relative terms when you enter the world of Jandek). The song from Once is one of the best on the soundtrack, being from a music movie that is really about music. I solved this poser in an interesting way. I imagined what my wife would say when I told her I chose Jandek over the Swell Season. Conflict Avoidance. Yessir, that's my other middle name. I just hope this decision doesn't keep me awake at night, filling my head with what-ifs.
The Winner: Once upon a time

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Boarded Up - XTC ****
The Moon Has Lost the Sun - a3 ***

Difficulty: ++
Comments: This is one of those odd things. Alabama 3 is one of those groups I don't like unless I happen to be listening to them. It doesn't make sense, I know, but that's how it is. And then there's XTC's entry, the song that was almost the swan song for Colin Moulding's career - and would have been a fitting one. XTC wins because I'm not listening to A3 at the moment.
The Winner: Alabama 3

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Check out the next episode here.

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For The Record (Previous Episodes)

Chapter One
Chapter Two


For The Record (Previous Tournaments)

2008 begins here.
2009 begins here.
Akzeptierte Übermittlungen
Dog Icons, Musical Appreciation Society

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