Mocker Music Bracket | Round One, Part Four

Happy Friday Loyal Mockers and welcome to another edition of the 1st Annual Mocker Music Bracket! If you are a bit late to the party you can catch up with the previous editions here, here, here and here. Let’s try to get through two more match-ups before I leave for my bowling league.

MADEA BRACKET | FIRST ROUND | Black Star Riders, “Heavy Fire” (11 songs) vs. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, “The Tourist” (10 songs)

PREVIEW: Meat and potatoes classic rock vs. a solid comeback season/album from the veteran NYC-indie-ans…it should be a solid battle, as always stage possession will be key.

30 Minutes Left | Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Better Off) | I think singer Alec Ounsworth is the only original band member left in this long running outfit and he kicks off the contest with a pulsating blast of guitar spunk…the nasally high pitched vocals will surely turn some people off but I’ve always liked them…nice pull up jumper for two points and an early lead.

27 Minutes Left | Black Star Riders (Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed) | This band is actually the remaining members of Thin Lizzy but I guess they only want to use that name when they really need the money…rock solid rock’n’roll that sounds like the Drive-By Truckers if they took some of that serum that turned Norman Osborne into the Green Goblin…easy lay-up evens the score at two…

21 Minutes Left | Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (The Vanity of Trying) | I had a decent week bowling last Friday and plan on knocking even more wood down this week…hopefully the scorekeeper mechanism doesn’t break down like last week when we actually had to keep score by hand for the last two games…a long possession and it wasn’t smooth but the solid jammy jam at the end is enough to merit two more points

16 Minutes Left | Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Fireproof) | This band peaked with their ramshackle and delirious debut but this record is quite solid (this song notwithstanding)…zoned out during the long jammy jam at the end and this was only worth a point…

12 Minutes Left | Black Star Riders (Who Rides The Tiger) | This song is about Tiger Woods as told by the perspective of the Denny’s waitress he was banging…two more points, this band is really consistent…Clap 5 Black Star 4

8 Minutes Left | Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (The Pilot) | Critical stage possession for Clap as Black Star just can’t get that critical turnover with under ten minutes to play…very clutch to bust out the chorus with the “mother fucker” in it, almost worth a bonus point…this one was a bit softer but still very good and worth two more…

5 Minutes Left | Black Star Riders (Cold War Love) | “Where is the woman that I love?” lead singer Ricky Warwick asks…it seems he is disappointed that his old lady left him and asks her to “come back to the war”–don’t know if that is the best way to get her back Ricky-boy…two more points and just enough time for one more possession…

1 Minute Left | Black Star Riders (Letting Go of Me) | And boom goes the dynamite! The Black Stars consistent offense sees them steal this win at the buzzer…with Stephen Pearcy’s victory in the top-half of the Madea Bracket, this is fast becoming Eric’s favorite portion of the tournament…doesn’t look like I will have time for the Jens Lekman/Cloud Nothings battle until after bowling…

MADEA BRACKET | FIRST ROUND | Cloud Nothings, “Life Without Sound” (9 songs) vs. Jens Lekman, “Life Will See You Now” (10 songs)

PREVIEW: Cloud Nothings is another recommendation from good friend and Masshole Funzie McNutts, but will it perform as well as the Ron Gallo? Jens Lekman is like a mid-major college basketball team that plays a unique style what with his melancholic singer/songwriter ruminations…

30 MINUTES LEFT | Jens Lekman (To Know Your Mission) | Belle and Sebastian but a little more flowery would be an apt comparison for this Icelandic fellow…foul shot

26 MINUTES LEFT | Cloud Nothings (Strange Year) | Lotta great sporting action tonight with Kentucky/UCLA in the NCAA Tourney and an important USA World Cup Qualifier against Honduras…slightly aggressive guitar rock with emo-esque whiny vocal delivery…gotta say, this one didn’t do anything for me and it gets the rare goose egg…

23 MINUTES LEFT | Cloud Nothings (Realize My Fate) | US with a quick goal in Bruce Arena’s return to the national team as he is trying to rectify the damage that Klinsman wrought to the squad over the last year…wow, awesome strike by longtime servant Michael Bradley finds the back of the net and the US is up 2-nil…this tune had some solid guitar histrionics but not a fan of the screamy vocals at this point…one point and we are tied up in this defensive battle

16 MINUTES LEFT | Cloud Nothings (Sight Unseen) | Best performance of this match-up in a song that brings to mind the Mountain Goats…wow, awesome goal by longtime USA superstar Clint Dempsey (who is making his return to the line-up after being out with an irregular heartbeat) and this is the emphatic performance the US needed…two points for this one…

11 MINUTES LEFT | Cloud Nothings (Internal World) | It took a little bit for the Clouds to feel comfortable but they are trotting out some solid power/pop offerings now…two more points…

8 MINUTES LEFT | Cloud Nothings (Modern Act) | It seems as if Jens just isn’t cut out for this competition as the Clouds have set up base camp on stage…you can add another two points as the chorus ear wormed nicely on this one…

4 MINUTES LEFT | Jens Lekman (Dandelion Seed) | Well, I came back from a solid night on the lanes (507 series) and was hoping for a great battle to cap the evening…and instead I get this turd of a match-up but at least Jens has the gumption to take the stage one more time…this is putting me to sleep and is only good for a point…

FINAL SCORE | Cloud Nothings 7 Jens Lekman 2 | Don’t want to talk about this one anymore, let’s move on…

SATURDAY MORNING | So I end up passing out on the couch last night and miss the most exciting game of the NCAA Tournament as Florida knocks out Wisconsin thanks to a full court dash and running three pointer by heavily tattooed guard Chris Chiozza at the overtime buzzer…this after the Badgers tied the game with a last second three pointer in regulation. Just returned from a dog walk and the pretty lady is still asleep so let’s continue to slog through this first round (note to self: maybe 16 albums is all I need for future editions)…

PITT BRACKET | FIRST ROUND | Julie Byrne, “Not Even Happiness” (9 songs) vs. The Courtneys, “II” (10 songs)

PREVIEW: Julie Byrne has made such and impression with her timid acoustic folk tunes that I initially typed in Julia Byrne while The Courtneys have impressed with their guitar based power punk that is indebted to The Ramones…

30 MINUTES LEFT | The Courtneys (Frankie) | Could this be a song about podcast friend Frank Wolfgang? Probably not, but the time Frankie had to pick up his golf ball on the ninth hole at Chenango Valley State Park because he had to take a shit and couldn’t hold it in is a story that deserves a song…wow, no Wiki page for The Courtneys…Courtneys drive it right through Byrne’s defense for a¬† quick 2-0 lead…

25 MINUTES LEFT | Julie Byrne (Melting Grid) | I can’t quite tell what is making that lilting sound (maybe a flute?) but it is quite bewitching…shadowy and highly affecting vocals…this album is getting an upgrade thanks to the headphones listening, able to fully appreciate the delicate orchestration…Byrne pulls up for a 17 foot jumper and we have ourselves a ballgame…

21 MINUTES LEFT | Julie Byrne (Interlude) | Rookie mistake to call this play! Ninety seconds of dissonant keyboards and worth absolutely nothing…

19 MINUTES LEFT | Julie Byrne (I Live Now As A Singer) | Solid stage possession and you wonder if The Courtneys are a bit over confidant after their strong start…this would be an absolute blast at any house party as long as it’s a heroin house…this music is very peaceful as this tune is carried by dreamlike synths–just not quite enough melody to warrant anything more than a foul shot…Byrne 3 Courtneys 2

15 MINUTES LEFT | The Courtneys (Minnesota) | An ode to Richard Pitino’s Golden Gophers and their short lived stay in the NCAA Tournament? Not likely but the guitars are buzzing to my delight…sounds like someone has to move to the winter snow of Minnesota, maybe to study lakes…really solid jammy-jam ends this song and it’s another easy two points…

11 MINUTES LEFT | The Courtneys (Lost Boys) | Wow, great clock management here as they call up a six minute performance…definitely some references to the classic 80’s vampire movie which will only garner more potential points, as will the churning, chugging guitars which are melting my mind right now…this band has some solid live show potential as the dueling guitars remind me a bit of MMJ…I’m going to say a three pointer for this one, the six minutes went by fast…Courtneys 7 Byrne 3

4 MINUTES LEFT | The Courtneys (Tour) | The challenge has been answered by The Courtneys in emphatic fashion as they launch another power pop confection that immediately earworms…only quibble is that they have left enough time for one more possession, might burn them down the road…a breakaway slam dunk punctuates an impressive performance…

1 MINUTE LEFT | Julie Byrne (Follow My Voice) | Quite the contrast in styles as Byrne takes the stage and my eyelids immediately droop just a little bit…I don’t foresee me putting the time necessary for this album to completely reveal itself…strong finish will net her another foul shot and this match-up is officially over!

FINAL SCORE | The Courtneys 9 Julie Byrne 4 | Not much of a contest once Byrne decided to play that damn interlude…

PITT BRACKET | FIRST ROUND | AFI, “The Blood Album” (14 songs) vs. Los Campesinos! “Sick Scenes” (11 songs)

PREVIEW: Emo kings AFI enter the bracket courtesy of a Jamie HS Mockumendation (in which they were victorious if I remember correctly) against longtime ramshackle indie-ans Los Campesinos! Who obviously love exclamation points…stage possession could be key as AFI packs a heavy playbook…

30 MINUTES LEFT | Los Campesinos! (Hung Empty) | This is the sixth studio effort from these Wales natives…I don’t think I ever knew these dudes were from across the pond, the accent isn’t that noticable on lead singer Gareth Campesinos! (yes, every band member’s last name is Campesinos!)…solid kitchen sink indie rock start and an early 2-0 lead…

25 MINUTES LEFT | Los Campesinos! (Here’s To The Fourth Time!) | Yet another example of this band’s love of exclamation points…you rarely go wrong with hand claps…very loud end to this song that would surely annoy some Loyal Mockers out there but I am digging it and we have two more points!

21 MINUTES LEFT | AFI (So Beneath You) | This album definitely has some repeated listen advantage but this bruising tune reminds me a bit too much of early 2000’s nu-metal to warrant anything more than a foul shot…

18 MINUTES LEFT | AFI (Dumb Kids) | This one is much better with a strong chorus that my head swaying a bit…this must be a song about millenials and AFI are back in the game…Campesinos! 4 AFI 3

15 MINUTES LEFT | Los Campesinos! (A Slow, Slow Death) | Whoa, this smacks you right in the face from the start and a great play call by Gareth to regain control…horn-age peaks in during the refrain and this one is good from way downtown! Campesinos! 7 AFI 3

11 MINUTES LEFT | AFI (Pink Eyes) | Song is pretty much worthless until the chorus just walks right in without even knocking…chorus is just good enough to warrant¬† two points and Gareth can’t reserve his ticket to the second round quite yet…

8 MINUTES LEFT | AFI (Feed From The Floor) | AFI’s large playbook is slowly starting to take over this contest and a tiring Gareth sends AFI to the foul line where they pick up another point…Campesinos! 7 AFI 6

4 MINUTES LEFT | Los Campesinos! (Got Stendhal’s) | Critical stage possession for Gareth and this five minute play with see the clock out and win the match up for Los Campesinos!!

FINAL SCORE | Los Campesinos! 9 AFI 6 | Cracking good match-up ends this portion of the Pitt Bracket and Courtneys vs. Campesinos is a tasty Second Round offering.

Ok, thanks so much for reading…we only have two more first round match-ups left including the highly anticipated Ryan Adams vs. Old 97’s battle. Let us know what you think by sending us your opinion @MockersPodcast!

 

 

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