Tournament of Rock: The 5280 – congratulations to Space Team Electra

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And the results are in. The vote was very tight – 52% to 48% – and the victor in the finals of the Tournament of Rock: The 5280 is the late great Space Team Electra. Congrats to Myshel, Bill, Greg and Kit, who are without questions one of the best bands I have ever heard. Many of you might not have heard of them, sadly, and if that’s the case you owe it to yourself to get your hands on a copy of The Vortex Flower or The Intergalactic Torch Song.

Major props are also due to runner-ups Fiction 8 – Mardi, Heather and our good friend Michael. Continue reading

Tournament of Rock

Tournament of Rock: The 5280 FINALS – Space Team Electra vs Fiction 8

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In our second semifinal Space Team Electra thumped Snake Rattle Rattle Snake to advance to the grand final.

Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know what to tell you – these are my two favorite Colorado bands ever, I’m friends with both bands, and have even co-written some songs with one of them. There are no bad votes here.

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Music and Popular Culture

The great gig in the sky: relistening to Dark Side of the Moon

Dark Side of the Moon. Image courtesy of WikiMedia.

A friend told me last week that she had spent one night doing nothing but playing her guitar, working out the intro to Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.”

I don’t have much Pink Floyd in my musical library, and what I have is predictable: “Wish You Were Here,” “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” “Comfortably Numb” and the entirety of Dark Side of the Moon. Until last week, I hadn’t listened to Dark Side for years—decades, even—probably because I bought it when it came out in 1973 and had grown tired of it.

My friend’s work on “Wish You Were Here,” though, prompted me to listen to Dark Side again—with headphones, of course. It has held up well. A little too well. The song “Time” brought back a series of memories, none of them pleasant. Continue reading

Tournament of Rock: The 5280 – Space Team Electra vs Snake Rattle Rattle Snake

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In our first semifinal match Fiction 8 nipped Big Head Todd & the Monsters to advance to the finals.

Our second semi showdown features a band I have argued is the greatest in Colorado history vs a band that may well be the greatest of the present day (although that’s up to the voters to decide, init?). The bands have a lot in common. Both are fronted by riveting, enigmatic women. Both thrive on atmosphere and texture. And neither is afraid of the dark. Continue reading

S&R Honors: the Blues Boy, BB King

“Muddy Waters was born near Rolling Fork, Mississippi. And to me he’s a Mississippi person that went to Chicago and play[ed]. John Lee Hooker was born in Mississippi and went to Detroit. B.B. King was born in Mississippi and went to Memphis.” – B. B. King

B.B. King and Lucille (image courtesy Wikimedia)

The news announced on B.B. King’s web site that the great guitarist and singer is in home hospice care means that soon another of the great blues musicians produced by the Mississippi Delta will soon no longer whinny with us, as Dylan Thomas would say. The loss of a figure like King is greater than the loss of a brilliant musician; with his passing another link to the long, storied history of one of America’s great original musical forms will be lost. In our current cultural malaise, with musicians unable to get paid for their creative efforts, King is also one of the last reminders that talent and perseverance could once lead to musical success, cultural respect, and recognized influence. Continue reading

bernie

Bernie Sanders is running! Now, let’s get him a theme song

Paging Matthew Grimm.

Bernie is in. And I’m in for Bernie.

One of the first things I thought was that the campaign needs a song. Maybe two. It needs an artist, one of us. There are many candidates. Jason Isbell comes to mind. So does Jeffrey Dean Foster. And maybe Paul Lewis. Or The Lost Patrol or The Blueflowers. Or Don Dixon. You know, non-corporate artists.

I don’t know. But off the top of my head, I have a few ideas for the kind of thing we’re looking for. Like “Real Americans” by Matt Grimm.

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J-Pop just breaking new gate: Saturday Video Roundup with BabyMetal, Band-Maid and Dir En Grey

It was a big week for Japanese Pop. Turns out SONY has signed Metal/GirlPop fusioneers BabyMetal, with designs on taking over America. And earlier in the week I discovered Band-Maid. It only seemed right that I’d share all this, plus a little bonus, with our readers.

Let’s start here.

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Tournament of Rock: Big Head Todd & the Monsters vs Munly

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In the final match of round #3, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake thrashed Tennis and advances to the next round.

Here are the randomly drawn pairings for the quarterfinals, courtesy of Random.org.

Big Head Todd and the Monsters
Munly

The Samples
Space Team Electra

The Lumineers
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake

Firefall
Fiction 8

 And away we go.

Our first Great Eight match features one of Colorado’s most enduringly popular bands vs one of its most aggressively unconventional. Continue reading

Fascinating

Leonard Nimoy is dead but Spock will endure, even in the constant fetid flow of forgettable celebrities and tabloid American pop-culture bullshit…

(Picture taken in Midtown Market, Brisbane, California on March 22nd, 2015. Live long and prosper.)

Tournament of Rock: The 5280 – The Lumineers vs. The Denver Gentlemen

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In Match #6, Munly nipped Wovenhand and advances to the next round.

Our seventh second-r0und pairing presents us with two bands working in the Folk mine. They’re on opposite ends of the mine, to be sure, and our readers are sure to find interesting points of contrast as they consider the dark genesis of the Denver Sound and the wildly popular darlings of the neo-Folk scene. Continue reading