Wednesday, July 23, 2008

FA Cup of British Rock - Quarterfinals - Match #1

These are the ground rules: 16 8 teams, each represented by a musician or band who happens to be a supporter. You, our fair reader, vote on who advances. Use whatever criteria you wish: favorite team, favorite band, prettiest uniforms (looking at you Elton), etc. Ballot stuffing is not encouraged, but will be tolerated, because we’re just as corrupt as the real FA. Voting closes this Sunday, July 27.

Round 2 of the FA Cup of Rock kicks off with a bit of a different look. In one match we're going to the bench, and in the other, well, simply using history as our guide will give the opponent a bit of a new threat up top. Who will prevail? That's for you to decide and for us to overturn if you decide incorrectly. Hey, we're trying to get into an African spirit here at UF in preparation for the next World Cup.

The Clash and Queens Park Rangers


Black Sabbath and Aston Villa

With apologies to Pete Doherty, were going to use our managerial powers for this match. And why not? The whole point of making a sub is to try to gain an advantage in a match where the outcome is still in question. But as we look down the QPR bench, we'll take a pass on Robert Smith and Andrew Ridgely and instead start warming up Mick Jones. And when your choice is between an increasingly pudgy gother and the other gay guy in Wham! it's not even a tough decision. Strummer is gone. Topper is now like a chiropractor or something. But Jones is still making music. Okay, nothing Carbon/Silicon does will ever touch what Mick Jones accomplished with The Clash, but lightning never strikes twice. Just be thankful that lightning made five albums (sorry, not going to count Cut the Crap, especially here considering that it didn't even include Jones). Where punk was always a self-defeating proposition—eventually, you're going to become somewhat skilled with your instruments—the Clash moved beyond both being angry simply for the sake of being angry and being shitty simply for the sake of being shitty. And they made London Calling.

There is no such relief coming from the bench for Black Sabbath and Aston Villa. And why would they need it? They are working on 40 years of ear-bleddingly big, if gloriously dumb, riffage. So what's a couple of more rounds in a made up tournament (hey, at least we're not asking you which band is more "Now")? But should progression through the FA Cup of Rock rounds mirror progressions through the band's career? If so, then we're into Sabbath's Dio years. And before you slam the Man on the Silver Mountain, remember it was Heaven and Hell, Dio's debut album with Black Sabbath, that helped bring the band back from increasing irrelevance. Don't believe it? Everyone with a copy of Never Say Die! raise your hand. Thought so. Sure, Dio's maybe 5'1" (5'6" with the hair) and also American (shhh... don't tell the people in charge), but, like the cosmic white dwarf material itself, there's a lot of heavy rock crammed into that small package.

So does Sabbath see the next round and a chance to return to the glory of their latter Ozzfest years? Or does sanity, reason, and taste prevail so that Clash City is rocking a semi-final?