The Sweet 16 lived up to its billing, with four high-octane matches, solid voter turnout, and the emergence of an unheralded championship contender.
First, #1 Little Lion Man (Mumford & Sons) couldn’t put away pesky #16 Sprawl II (Arcade Fire) for a day and a half. After closing within one point, however, an avalanche of voters weighed in for Mumford, who pulled away, 234.2-200.25.
In the second match, #8 Higher and Higher (Jackie Wilson) built an early lead it never relinquished against #9 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell), winning 215.04-209.95. Despite a couple thoughtful shout-outs to the song’s composer, Nick Ashford, who passed away yesterday, Ain’t No Mountain could not summon the 10s it had commanded in earlier rounds.
Meanwhile, Jackie Wilson, whose nicknames in his prime included “Mr. Excitement” and “Black Elvis”, put up the second highest average of the day, only to Little Lion Man, which it will face next. Random fact: When Michael Jackson won the Grammy for Thriller, he dedicated the award to Jackie Wilson, who had passed away a year earlier. The bottom two matches were much closer, trading leads throughout the two days. #5 Dog Days Are Over (Florence and the Machines) eventually went on a serious run, and #12 Ooh La La (The Faces) could not respond, with Flo carrying the Day, 221.95-197.36. Last night I was at a political fundraiser with Dem Adam, (one of four Adam S.’s voting in this tournament, by the way). He nominated Ooh La La as “a sneaky song that could potentially go on a deep run.”
It’s shaping up to be, as Colin pointed out in his vote, “Last summer’s playlist on repeat.” Home vs. Someday was a true nail-biter; I hesitated even prepping this part of the post with several votes still lurking. I liked that this match-up split at least two families (the Earls were unanimous).
Look, it’s clear that Home is slipping- its scores have declined, and frustrations are growing with the cutesy love story spoken verse. In the end, however, it just packed too hard a punch for the Strokes, who exit the tournament with head held high on the 10th year anniversary of their masterpiece album, 208.1 – 200.3
If memory serves me correctly, in 2001 the Strokes were definitely second-fiddle to the White Stripes in the whole garage-rock sound scene. Is no White Blood Cells tribute album forthcoming? Sounds like someone’s gotta new project…