Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock: Black Mountain vs. Bon Iver

UPDATE: As of Tuesday afternoon Black Mountain is in front comfortably – call it a 2-to-1 margin. Still, there’s time for Bon Iver fans to make a late push if they can get their acts together. Polls close Thursday night.


Last week’s match provided the Tournament of Rock with its first ever blowout, as Gogol Bordello simply nard-stomped Epsilon-Zero 90%-10%. Personally, I’m a little bummed, as I was one of the rare E0 votes. But the tribe has spoken. Gogol Bordello moves on to round two where they’ll face Paul Steel.

In match #5 we have an all-indie affair. First, from America’s Dairyland, the tuneful, low-fi folk of Bon Iver.

MySpace / Last.FM / Lala

Their opponents, hailing from British Columbia, are Black Mountain – a band that wields a considerably harder neo-’70s metal sound.

MySpace / Last.FM / Lala

<br /> <a href=”” mce_href=””>Who do you think is the best band in this round of the Tournament of Rock?</a><span style=”font-size:9px;” mce_style=”font-size:9px;”>(<a href=”” mce_href=””>answers</a>)</span><br />

The current, updated bracket looks like this:

16 replies »

  1. I must have been the only other vote for Epsilon-Zero… I’m at 50% in this tournament. I’m actually amazed I pick any that win. 🙂

    Off to listen to these choices. Thanks for organizing this giant event.

  2. I’ll go with Black Mountain…dug it. They would have won in the event of a tie by virtue of the cat with the beard.

    I hear a fair amount of Sabbath in BM, but in a good way not in a trying to be Sabbath way.

  3. To this point I have only been able to vote for bands that I tolerated better than their competition. Finally I got to listen to something I not only could tolerate but I actually liked. Here’s to Black Mountain advancing to the next level and if the rest of the bands are like the ones preceding here’s to them winning it all.

  4. You’re such a clever man… 🙂

    Very, very hard. I loved almost hearing Neil Young in Black Mountain.

    If I could vote for both I would. Mr ivor got it in the end because he took me back to my folksy roots. In all honesty though I want two votes!!

    …but my favourite song is:

    followed by:

    I have absolutely no idea who is going to win this overall.

    • Me, either, Elaine. I know who I think OUGHT to win it, but I’ll be surprised if it happens. But that’s actually part of the fun for me. Some of these bands I know, some I know and love, some I know and don’t really care for, and some I just don’t know. I’m having fun seeing our readership’s reactions.

  5. …this one being my favourite Black Mountain track.

    and this one from Bon Iver:

  6. BM barely listenable, BI un-. I voted BM. Sorry, don’t mean to be so negative. But they’re blocking more worthy musicians from bracket spaces. (I guess — I’m not up to speed on pop and rock and have no suggestions.)

    • Russ: I tried to go out of my way to offer up a bit of variety, knowing full well that some brackets would present some listeners with a tough choice and others, by their standards, no choice at all. We’ll see how you like next week’s match….

  7. Okay, Dr. S. I promise to stop being a nabob of negativism. All things considered, I love the tournament!

  8. Black Mountain all the way. The lo-fi BI put me to sleep. ‘Course, I’m biased. I already have a Black Mountain album. (after hearing Robbin Williams little story about a mystical BM, I just can’t bring myself to use that acronym. hahaha)

  9. Ubertramp,

    I thought long and hard before finally typing “BM”. In the end i decided it was worth it because of the double entendre.

  10. This was tough, I liked and disliked certain things about both. Part of me liked Bon becasue it was sort of Elliot Smith-ish, but then part of me hated it becasue it was Elliot Smith-ish. On the other hand Black Mountain had songs that started out good, but lost me after a while. I was also kinda distracted by Bon’s sloppy guitar, but he made up for it with his falsetto and that’s why I voted for him.

  11. D: I didn’t really make an Elliot Smith connection. If I had I’d have voted against him on that alone, I think. A lot of people I respect loved Smith, but I just never got it.

    I agree with you on Black Mountain’s tendency to sort of lose focus – their songs do wander off the path from time to time, something that wasn’t really true of their idols. Well, except maybe live…

  12. Sam: I think I should have clarified. The Smith comparison was aimed at the acoustic guitar and doubling of vocals. Elliot Smith really indulged in that in his recordings.