Janos jumped the gun on announcing the start of the Round of 128: we still have to narrow down 10 more songs to 5 in order to have our initial set. The Grooveshark link is here, except the Adele song and the Leslie King song. Since I’m getting this up kind of late and there are an extra 2 songs, I’m extending the voting time: submit votes in the comments by 8:00pm Pacific Time (that’s 11:00pm Eastern) on Tuesday, October 4.
Guillermo gave me the go-ahead to pair these up however I saw fit, which was surprisingly difficult. I tried for match-ups that made sense genre or artist-wise, while also trying not to choose too many songs that represent a given nominator’s solo pick. With that being said, I favored genre-matching, since everyone had a fair shot at getting 3 songs into the tournament.
It’s perhaps not surprising that more than a few covers of Bruce Springsteen songs were submitted, so our first match up features Rodney Parker & the 50 Peso Reward‘s version of “Atlantic City” facing off against John Mayer‘s version of “I’m on Fire” in a Boss-off.
Next up, voters are forced to consider the question, “Just who is Eddie Veddar without Pearl Jam?” Pearl Jam, in a rendition that no joke made me weepy in high school despite really not caring for Pearl Jam, covers “Last Kiss,” Wayne Cochran’s tale of teenage car-crash woe. Eddie Vedder on his own covers the Beatles’ “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away.” Clearly, Eddie has a type, but which one will the voters prefer?
Our next pairing features songs by two pop megastars from the top of their game. People love to cover these ladies, and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” performed here by folk singer Lissie, is a hot choice right now–I’ve seen performers as diverse as the high school marching band in the Lander, Wyoming 4th of July Parade to the violinist busking at my local farmer’s market play it. Ten years ago, one could say something similiar for Brittany Spear’s “Hit Me Baby (One More Time),” covered here by 90s rock band Fountains of Wayne. I know I was particularly fond of the Scottish outfit Travis’s version when I was in high school.
In a match-up between two songs that always sound to me like they belong in commercials for women’s razor blades, we’ve got Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does it Better” covered by Radiohead, before everything became Extremely Serious Business with those guys. Like, lighten up a little, Thom Yorke. You are way too gloomy for a guy whose first album cover looks like an Anne Geddes photoshoot gone even more horribly wrong. But can Thom out feminine Adele, performing Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman”? Only our voters can decide.
And finally, in this extra-special 10-song set, I simply could not resist pitting female-fronted acousticy performances of Def Leopard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (as covered by Emm Gryner) and “You Shook Me All Night Long” (done by Leslie King) against each other. Re-appropriated cock rock is always good for a lark.
For your convenience and so you can find out who the match-ups are without wading through all my witty banter, here is your pastable:
Rodney Parker & the 50 Peso Reward, “Atlantic City” vs. John Mayer, “I’m on Fire”
Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” vs. Eddie Vedder, “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”
Lissie, “Bad Romance” vs. Fountains of Wayne “Hit Me Baby (One More Time)”
Radiohead, “Nobody Does it Better” vs. Adele, “Natural Woman”
Emm Gryner, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” vs. Leslie King, “You Shook Me All Night Long”