Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock I: IAMX vs. Animal Collective

UPDATE: As of this moment (Monday, 9am MDT), IAMX leads Animal Collective by a 69%-31% margin. If you haven’t already, give both artists a listen and register your opinion in the poll box below.


First, the results. In Match #1, S&R readers preferred The Well Wishers over Andrew Bird 52-48%. The contest was a neck-and-neck, see-saw affair from the opening bell, and our congrats to both artists. Jeff Shelton and Co. now advance to the second round where they await the winner of…

Match #2. Here we see our first true clash of styles, with Indie squaring off against … let’s call it darkpop, shall we?

In the red corner, hailing from the UK, the tuneful electronic cabaret stylings of IAMX.

Their opponent in the blue corner, from Baltimore, the critically acclaimed Animal Collective.

If you’d be so kind, please visit each artist’s MySpace page, then come back here and register your vote in this handy-dandy poll.

&lt;script type=”text/javascript” charset=”utf-8″ language=”javascript” src=””&gt;&lt;/script&gt;&lt;noscript&gt; &lt;a href =”; &gt;Who do you think is the best band in this round of the Tournament of Rock?&lt;/a&gt;  &lt;br/&gt; &lt;span style=”font-size:9px;”&gt; (&lt;a href =””&gt;  surveys&lt;/a&gt;)&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/noscript&gt;<br />

Touch gloves, and may the best band rock.

Here’s how the updated bracket looks:

16 replies »

  1. Hmmmm. This one is hard. One is pretty interesting, but also kinda annoying. And the other is not consistently interesting, but less annoying.

  2. I feel old. I never even tried molly, and now i wonder if that keeps me from understanding what’s cool nowadays…and more importantly, why it’s cool.

  3. Is there a S & R definition of “Indie” for this tournament BTW because I think of Indie as Independent music…

    …and most of the Indie music I like is thanks to Sam’s posts here and on Facebook. 😉

    • “Indie” is the current term for “not major label.” It’s the new “alternative.” You can probably make an argument that the term describes something like a unified style, but I see so many different things marching under that flag that I tend to see it as an economic and political statement as much as I do a stylistic one.

  4. Not too crazy about either of these, but IAMX is a pale imitation of the great Ultravox. Went with Animal Collective.

  5. Ultravox? I love Midge Ure, but I’m not sure I saw that link. I see him as more of a cross between Verve and NIN (with maybe a dash of KMFDM thrown in).

  6. Try as I might I can’t say that Ultravox springs to mind when listening to IAMX. But you reminded me to listen again to them.

    Now I am thinking I spent too much time on the dance floor in my younger…dance filled days. The 80s were pretty cool though for music – not that I wish to revisit my teenage years.

    The only song I liked was Bittersweet Symphony from The Verve. Nine Inch are too heavy for me…

    • Elaine – do you know Verve’s first CD, Storm in Heaven? Don’t know if you’d like it, but it’s one of the most important and influential CDs of the entire decade of the 1990s. Very noisy, but incredibly textured….

  7. Oh, I don’t know. The point isn’t for you (or anybody else) to adopt my point of view. Mainly I’m just hoping to introduce people to things they might not have listened to otherwise. If they don’t like it, that’s fine – they can vote for the other band… 🙂

  8. I do now. *thumbs up*

    Beautiful Mind is verrry nice! Not THAT noisy and quite instrumental.

    Thank you.

    P.S. Bittersweet is still up there for me…loved that when it came out. 🙂

  9. A fun idea, for sure – thanks for putting this up, Sam. Not to taint the sampling method after the tournament is already in progress, but I would direct interested readers towards, a site that allows you to stream entire albums (or listen to any song on an album) once for free. Sometimes bands — I’m looking at you, Animal Collective — don’t have a decent sampling of tracks on MySpace to properly judge them by.

    If Animal Collective interests you, be sure to check out “For Reverend Green” off of Strawberry Jam, or “Bluish” from Merriweather Post Pavillion.