Round of 256: Division P, Left Side

Votes due Friday, July 8th at 8 PM EST: This is my first post-Turkey post, and let me tell you, it’s going to be good to hear some quality music again.  Turkey is a lovely country, but you can only hear Akon and “My Heart Will Go On” so many times.  Sometimes when I travel I can’t tell whether the locals like certain American trash pop, or they are just playing it because they think tourists will like it.

Anyway, we have a nice selection below.  Listen here (except for Uncle Tupelo), and vote by commenting below before Friday at 8pm (EST).

In 1974, Nick Drake, one of the most heralded young songwriters of his generation, died of a antidepressant overdose at the age of 26.  Two years later, Josh Ritter was born.  Now the pair go to battle.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) vs.  Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire)  is a throwback to two classics from the 1960s.  The former is an unbridled ode to the optimism of love, the latter a cold shower about simmering hate.   Both are true, of course.

  Parliament looks go to 2-0 in the first round with their sizzler “Flash Light” against Nine Inch Nails, who fire back with “Something I Can Never Have”.  Random fact: Trent Reznor’s makeup artist/hairdresser was a longtime member of our family’s Thanksgiving dinner table.

In her very first music tournament related comment back in December of last year, Natalie said she would give the tournament a shot, even though her style of music was “more like Uncle Tupelo.”  Well, here we are, Ms. Babij!  Meanwhile, Pulp is back in the fray after a tough first-round loss for “Common People” last tournament.

#1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) vs. #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter)

#8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) vs. #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire)

#4 Flash Light (Parliament) vs. #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails).

#5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) vs. #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp)

Questions about how the music tournament works? Check the rules here or e-mail LTDdotorg@gmail.com.

About Janos Marton

Janos Marton is a lawyer, advocate and writer.
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24 Responses to Round of 256: Division P, Left Side

  1. chris roomba says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) vs. #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter): 4/6.67

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) vs. #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire): 10/9

    Really, we have to choose between these great songs, yet the last post offered us a matchup where nobody deserved to continue (#3 Family Affair (Sly and the Family Stone) vs. #14 Pata Pata (Miriam Makeba))? I’m not sure the seeding played out well. Did the NCAA selection committee get involved?

    Really, since Remember the Titans, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough has made me smile. But it also immediately puts me into a Wonder Years/American Dreams thought process…and I can’t think of any specific episode. Eve of Destruction reminds of Wonder Years, too…and this project we did in 7th or 8th grade, analyzing songs from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

    Sad that one of these has to go.

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) vs. #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails): 6.75/4.5
    Flashlight reminds me of PCU, which is one of two movies that Parliament reminds me of…the other movie, well it’s Good Burger, specifically the asylum scene. ‘Nuff said! (really wish I knew how to embed this video…it’s a must watch!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lowiNyZxFXA&feature=related [I’m a dude, you’re a dude, he’s a dude, she’s a dude]

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) vs. #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp): 7/6.5

  2. aiko says:

    Holy crap it feels good to be voting from an actual computer! This is so much easier.

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) vs. #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) 4/7
    Ritter kept getting better, what a joyful song. I like a song that talks to birds.

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) vs. #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) 6/6.5

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) vs. #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) 3/2

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) vs. #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) 8/8.1
    Man I love Pulp. Common People was eliminated from the LTD Tournament before I even started voting. That’s a shames; it’s one of my favorite. Nothing beats Pulp’s cheerful class warfare. Except apparently this pleasant Uncle Tupelo tune, by .1

  3. adam says:

    Northern Sky (Nick Drake) vs. Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) = 8.5 to 6
    Never heard that Nick Drake tune before. Not sure how I feel about Josh Ritter, but it’s earnest.

    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) vs. Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) = 8.5 to 4

    Flash Light (Parliament) vs. Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) = 2.5 to 5
    I respect Trent Reznor but I’m just never on the same vibe.

    Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) vs. Mis-Shapes (Pulp) = 5.5 to 9
    Brothers & sisters, can’t you see?: We’re all sorted for E’s and wizz

  4. #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) 7.2
    #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) 5.7

    Nicky Nicky Nicky….

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) 8.2
    #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) 7.6

    Duets tend to win.

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) 6.8
    #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) 4

    NIN doesn’t go anywhere. I would love to know what Trent Reznor and George Clinton would discuss if they had the chance.

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) 8.65
    #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) 7.1

    I like this kind of music, but can already tell this match-up is going to be divisive

  5. natalie says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) – 7
    this man makes some beautiful music. i only recently learned how young he was, how long ago he was making music, and how dead he is… sad
    #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) – 7.5
    oh, this is pretty great too, and slightly more my style… or too poppy, hmmm.

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) – 7
    hard not to love
    #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) – 6
    kept going back & forth on this one, the vocals wore on me

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) – 8.5
    funky sweet yeah
    #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) – 6
    i liked this too, though it’s deifnitely lacking something, and it’s tough to be up against parliament. sounds like it belongs on the “lost highway” soundtrack.

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) – 10
    i’m a bit confused about this comment that janos claims i made… though it wouldn’t be the first time that i’ve said something that doesn’t entirely make sense & then forgotten about it. anyway, i did try to nominate this song for the play-in round of the LTD tournament. it is one of my all-time favorite songs, and it gets the one 10 i’m throwing out in the round of 256. for those that don’t know, uncle tupelo was the band of jeff tweedy & jay farrar & some others before tweedy went off to wilco and farrar went off to son volt (and various solo projects/colaborations… and as much as i love his music, i do not recommend seeing him perform solo.)
    #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) – 8
    damn, i like this one too, damn.

  6. Mark O says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) [6]
    #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) [7]

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) [8.25]
    #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) [7.25]

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) [6]
    #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) [3]

    Nine Inch Nails, definitely not good office-listening.

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) [6.5]
    #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) [7.25]

  7. colincolinhunt says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) 5.5
    #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) 7

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) 5.5
    #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) 6.5

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) 7
    #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) 4

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) 6
    #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) 7.5

  8. Carrie says:

    Northern Sky (Nick Drake): 5.5
    Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter): 6.5

    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell): 6
    Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire): 4.5

    Flash Light (Parliament): 3.5
    Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails): 4

    Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo): 6.5
    Mis-Shapes (Pulp): 6

  9. Danno says:

    Northern Sky (Nick Drake): 5
    Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter): 6.8

    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell): 5.5
    Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire): 5.5

    Flash Light (Parliament): 3
    Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails): 4

    Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo): 6
    Mis-Shapes (Pulp): 4.5

  10. Mark B says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake): 6
    #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter): 4
    Northern Sky is nice but not especially memorable I don’t think. No thanks, Josh.

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell): 7
    #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire): 3
    You can’t say that Ain’t No… isn’t a good song, surely? Goodbye Barry, whoever you are.

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament): 3
    #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails): 4.5
    Flash Light, Smash Schmite – horrible ‘song’, on a par with Barry. I want this NIN to be as good as it’s trying to be but it doesn’t quite get there…I ultimately found it pretty flat.

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo): 6.5
    #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp): 8
    Aaaah, Pulp. One of my first loves in my Britpoppy youth. This song sounds like my teens. Very happy someone nominated it (and that other people actually know Pulp at all). I heard this song in a store recently which seemed completely random but it made me love it again. I’ve never heard Uncle Tupelo before but it’s a good song (which is unfortunate news for my beloved Pulp).

  11. Meghan says:

    Northern Sky (Nick Drake) 4
    Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) 5

    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) 9
    Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) 6

    Flash Light (Parliament) 6
    Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails).5

    Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) 6.5
    Mis-Shapes (Pulp) 5

  12. lolly says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) = 7
    vs. #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) = 8

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) = 9
    vs. #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) = 5

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) = 4.5
    vs. #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) = 2

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) = 6.5
    vs. #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) = 6

  13. Eileen says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) vs. #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) 7.0 to 6.5

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) vs. #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) 8.0 to 9.0

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) vs. #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails). 2.0 to 3.0

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) vs. #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) 6.0 to 4.0

  14. The Progenitor says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) vs. #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) 7.5 to 6.0 It’s a Northern Sky kind of night. Snow was OK but one listen was enough.

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) vs. #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) 6.0 to 9.0 Mountain was a good song…………….in its day. Barry still has a potent message; on many levels. Great!!

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) vs. #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails). 2.5 to 4.0 Parliament started out funky then went just plain stupid. The Nails started out surprisingly well but like many other entrants in this tournament, the vocalist opened his mouth.

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) vs. #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) 6.0 to 5.0 Kind of liked Uncle T but I liked the video/photos better. Pulp was just nothing much. At the end, not a real pleasant listen.

  15. Maureen says:

    Definitely in a mood to like everything this morning (a sitting on my balcony-drinking coffee-eating farmers market berries-beautiful weather-not going to work kind of morning).

    Northern Sky (Nick Drake): 7.5
    Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter): 8
    Both of these songs were just lovely. Slight edge to Josh though for being more my speed today.

    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell): 8.5
    Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire): 5
    Barry is a little dark for me this morning – and his voice just felt off to me. Plus I don’t go for pessimism.

    Flash Light (Parliament): 6
    Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails): 4
    Funk is never going to be my bestie, but I still like Flash Light. NIN started off okay, but … well… I kind of felt like this song was a jack-in-a-box – I felt like I was waiting for something that never actually came.but I just can’t like this.

    Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo): 7.5
    Mis-Shapes (Pulp): 7.5
    Ooooh. Tough one. I really liked both of these – I will have to just see what the People like.

  16. m-dub says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) 8
    #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) 7

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) 8.5
    #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) 4
    (Probably all true, then and now, but too angry)

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) 6.5
    (the funk could have gone for a little less time)
    #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) 4
    (not feeling particularly dark today)

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) 6.5
    #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) 5

  17. MetricTrout says:

    Northern Sky – 7

    This one is, well, extremely pleasant-sounding. A pastoral folk ballad augmented by solid acoustic guitar work and piano licks, this song is soothing and hypnotic. I suppose the lack of a memorable melody is an issue, but Nick Drake songs are not about the melody, they are about the atmosphere and the introspective lyrics. And in that, Northern Sky succeeds.

    Snow is Gone – 8

    Whoa, I really, really like this one; I wish both songs in this pairing can move on. Brilliant hooks throughout the song, especially the simple, yet irresistible acoustic guitar line and the catchy, anthemic refrain. This reminds of “Here Comes the Sun” in that it is one of the few songs that truly captures the spirit of sheer optimism. Never really heard of Josh Ritter before this; quite a pleasant surprise!

    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – 8

    I suppose everyone has heard this one. A classic, what else I say?

    Eve of Destruction – 7

    Another regrettable matchup in that one of these songs will have to go. Eve of Destruction is an anti-war protest song heavily reminiscent of Bob Dylan, right down to the harmonica. Hell, even the singer seems to have been influenced by Dylan’s vocal style. The lyrics are a bit too straightforward and seem dated today, but I have no doubt to their relevance at the time of recording.

    Flash Light – 5

    Another song that leaves a positive impression on first listen. I like the funky bassline and the overall groove of this song. Unfortunately, there are not enough good ideas on this song to really justify its 6-minute running time; it gets repetitive after a while. The scratching sounds, whatever they are, are rather irritating too.

    Something I Can Never Have – 3

    Finally, something truly mediocre. This is one of these songs that are easily datable back to the early 90s. I suppose it does effectively set up an ominous atmosphere with its minimalism and its swooshes of white noise, but the song simply does not go anywhere in its entirety. Unless the self-pitying lyrics resonate with you, this song is a real bore.

    Still Be Around – 6

    Quite a lot of acoustic guitar in this pack. This one is good, definitely, with a nice nostalgic feel. However, it really lacks anything really unforgettable to push it into greatness.

    Mis-Shapes – 6

    A decent piece of Britpop from Pulp, with lyrics touching upon their recurring theme of class stratification. I get the feeling that this one may grow on me later in the tournament; as it stands right now, it simply fails to stand out from other songs of its genre.

  18. Anne S. says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) 8
    #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) 6.5

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) 8
    #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) 6

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) 4.5
    #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) 4
    It pains me to not rate nine inch nails higher.

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) 7.7
    #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) 4.5

  19. G says:

    Northern Sky (Nick Drake): 8 [not the song I would have picked, but his sound is so unique and mellow it’s good to have any representation here.]
    Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter): 4 [I liked the beginning and then as it went on I disliked it because it sounded so generic and uninteresting. pretty dull]

    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell): 5.5 [great record.]
    Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire): 5 [preachy and maybe a bit obnoxious, although I like his voice.]

    Flash Light (Parliament): 3 (I used to love this song but it did nothing for me today and then went on for another 4 minutes.]
    Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails): 6

    Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo): 8.0
    Mis-Shapes (Pulp): 8.5 [either of these should go]

  20. Isabel says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) – 8
    #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) – 6
    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) – 7
    I really love soul/Motown/old r&b…but I feel like there are better reps than that which I’ve seen so far in the tourney. Of course I never got to vote for Sly and the Family Stone…how sad!
    #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) – 7
    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) – 7.5
    #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) – 8
    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) – 6.5
    #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) – 7.5

  21. asf says:

    Northern Sky – 8

    Snow is Gone – 5

    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – 7.3 – Love Marvin, this song is a little played out for me though, for some reason.

    Eve of Destruction – 6

    Flash Light – 7.7

    Something I Can Never Have – 5 – Good song and all, I am just not nearly in the mood for this kind of song with 3.5 hours left on a Friday.

    Still Be Around – 5.5 – Step in the right direction, but didn’t do much for me.

    Mis-Shapes – 7 – Fun song.

  22. zd says:

    Northern Sky (Nick Drake): 5.5
    Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter): 9
    Thanks to Danno for reminding me it was time to vote….
    Snow is gone belongs to me 🙂

    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: 7
    Eve of Destruction: 5.5

    Flash Light: 4
    Something I Can Never Have: 6

    Still Be Around: 6.5
    Mis-Shapes: 5.5

  23. janos marton says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) vs. #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter)
    7 : 9
    Wow, Snow is Gone is fantastic, especially for post-work Friday unwinding.

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) vs. #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire)
    7:9

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) vs. #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails).
    6: 2.5

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) vs. #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp)
    7:4.5

  24. Adrock says:

    #1 Northern Sky (Nick Drake) 5.3
    #16 Snow Is Gone (Josh Ritter) 7

    #8 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) 10
    #9 Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire) 10

    Ok this sucks. How does this matchup happen? First double 10 in a while i think…

    #4 Flash Light (Parliament) 8.5
    #13 Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails) 7.5

    #5 Still Be Around (Uncle Tupelo) 7.3
    #12 Mis-Shapes (Pulp) 4

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