Battle of the Bands Tournament: Round 1 – General & Alternative Rock Region (Part 1)

Battle of the Bands Tournament, Music
The Match: #1-The Cure (11) VS #16-Coldplay (2)
The Cure sample song: “Burn”
Coldplay sample song: “A Rush of Blood to the Head”
The Winner: The Cure
Postgame: Well, obviously any #16 seed with only 2 great albums under its belt is not going to fare well against an 11-album-win juggernaut like The Cure. Coldplay’s best LP is their first, Parachutes, which is acoustic-electric gold. I got it on speculation back in 2000 when it came out and loved it immediately. Unfortunately, their first shot was their best shot and it’s too bad they haven’t made more albums as great as Parachutes. Sophomore album A Rush of Blood to the Head, while not worthy of its predecessor, is solid, however.  By my count, Coldplay has about 12 great songs, including: “Don’t Panic”, “Spies”, Sparks”, “Trouble”, “In My Place”, “The Scientist”, and “A Rush of Blood to the Head”.  The Cure has literally dozens of great songs. This match was a blow out.
The Match: #2-Radiohead (7) VS #15-Counting Crows (2)
Radiohead sample song: “Pyramid Song”
Counting Crows sample song: “A Long December”
The Winner: Radiohead
Postgame: Another David versus Goliath situation, Radiohead wins this in a blow out backed by 7 great albums and dozens of really great songs, of which examples will be heard in the forthcoming matchups.  But Counting Crows puts up a spirited fight with an excellent debut album, August & Everything After. The follow up, Recovering the Satellites, is like Coldplay’s second album, solid, but inferior to its predecessor. Still, C. Crows should be very proud of great songs like “Round Here”, “Anna Begins” (!!!), “Time and Time Again”, “Raining in Baltimore” and “Perfect Blue Buildings”.
The Match: #3-Red Hot Chili Peppers (6) VS #14-Jane’s Addiction (2)
Red Hot Chili Peppers sample: “Snow (Hey oh)”
Jane’s Addiction sample song: “Ted, Just Admit It…”
The Winner: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Postgame: The irony of this match-up is the mixed history when you consider that Jane’s Addiction’s guitarist Dave Navarro and a brief stint (one album, one tour) in Red Hot Chili Peppers before eventually going back JA. Again, though, no real contest as Jane’s recording making is spotty at best. Their second album, Nothing’s Shocking had a few great songs (the one above plus “Ocean Size”, “Jane Says” & “Mountain Song”), but their one and only masterpiece album is Ritual de lo Habitual with alt-rock gems like “Three Days”, “Stop”, and “Then She Did…”  RHCP with 6 great albums has them beat with a few dozen great songs. No contest, really.
The Match: #4-The Smashing Pumpkins (6) VS #13-Linkin Park (3)
The Smashing Pumpkins sample song: “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”
Linkin Park sample song: “The Catalyst”
The Winner: The Smashing Pumpkins
Postgame: Hands down, the toughest match-up in this region. Linkin Park has two masterpiece albums, Hybrid Theory and Meteora, and then an excellent hybrid remix/reimagining studio album, Reanimation.  On accessibility alone and catchiness, Linkin Park could win this. Songs like “With You”, “In the End”, “Pushing Me Away”, “Somewhere I Belong”, “Lying from You”, and “Numb” can hold their own against an even amount of opposing songs. However, The Smashing Pumpkins simply have too many songs to contend with. Had Linkin Park’s 4th & 5th albums been as great as the first 3, maybe the outcome here would be different.
No seeding upsets so far this round. All four tops seeds will advance to the Second Round.

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