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

    5 Mar 2010, 14:13 by JoeIsListening

    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.


    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. …
  • The Tournament of Tunes 2010 - Chapter 2 (32)

    26 Feb 2010, 15:16 by JoeIsListening

    Okay, last week half of the entries disappeared. This week, another half will disappear. And the next week, and the next...

    But according to Zeno's Paradox, I will never get to the end.

    Okay, maybe that's a little obscure for a Friday morning, but it's the best I could do because I've had a long week, too. And now, on with the show...


    Frosted Flake Wood - Hooverphonic ***
    Perspective - Peter Gabriel ***

    Difficulty: ++
    Comments: I've been a long-time fan of Peter Gabriel, but there's something about the Hooverphonic song that's evocative, even if it is a little weird. And there's that Mellotron, too.
    The Winner: Frosted Flake Wood.


    All the Way Up to Heaven - Guster ***
    Sam Hall - Johnny Cash **

    Difficulty: ++
    Comments: Both of these songs wearing a little thin during round 2. Perhaps I need to reassess the rating of the Guster song.
    The Winner: Guster


    Got To Get You In My Life - The Beatles ***
  • The Tournament of Tunes 2010 - Chapter 1 (64)

    19 Feb 2010, 13:37 by JoeIsListening

    Masochist that I am, here I go for the third year in a row with my answer to March Madness - namely Music Madness. Sixty-four songs randomly chosen by my iTunes, the only stipulation being that participants from previous years have been excluded.

    This year's crop is interesting. There are no less than three long medleys here. There's not as much over-representation of artists this year; Ben Folds gets three - one with and two without the Five; and Sufjan Stevens and Smashing Pumpkins each score two entries (which is strange because I only have two Pumpkins albums). As in years previous, there's a great spread of material, from pop to prog to jazz to novelty. Jandek even rears his head once more. Seems like he's had an entry every year.

    One changeup from last year. My difficulty rating symbol has been changed from the reliable asterisk to the plus sign - the scale being one plus (I could judge this one without listening to either song but I did anyway just to be fair) to five pluses (why…
  • Oops, I'm Doing It Again: The 2009 Tournament of Tunes (Round 1 - 64)

    20 Feb 2009, 15:07 by JoeIsListening

    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).