Wednesday, July 16, 2008

FA Cup of British Rock/Round of 16 - Match #6

These are the ground rules: 16 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 for the Round of 16 will close on Sunday, July 20.

Ahh... today is a fun battle thanks to the natural rivalry involved between Bigus and I.

Liverpool and Norwich.

Two cities with a lot of history and a lot of past success. Of course, one's a lot better for music than the other, but we're looking at musical fans of the modern day, and it's an intriguing matchup:

In the LFC corner: the nerdy New Wave hero, Declan Patrick MacManus (aka Elvis Costello)


And for Norrich City: the cocksure, high-pitched, high-strung British scream-rock of The Darkness?

Who will prevail? Let's analyze the combatants after the jump.

Elvis Costello is a great musician. Hate on him all you want; maybe you don't like his unique inflection, his obtuse lyrics, his quirky pop/punk compositions and general eccentricity. Perhaps it's his odd instrumentation, or his eclectic taste in collaborations (Honestly, I don't know what there is to dislike about any of this, but music is perhaps the most fiercely subjective and fickle of all the arts).

Seriously though, he's a treat for the ears and tbe brain. Capable of being cerebral and catchy all in the same concise three minute chunk of time, Costello is a legend. For me, it starts and ends with "Oliver's Army", the first EC track I ever heard and the one that's still fondest in my heart. And no, you eager sons of bitches, it's not my favourite because of THAT line where he says the n-word. Nope. It's just a well-constructed song. The doo-wop feel, the organ backing, the chorus and the playful, twee sound... can't beat it in the heat, for my money.

"Pump It Up" was fantastic, and that duo is just the tip of the iceberg. What about "(I Don't Want to Go To) Chelsea," complete with its darker, funkier ska-infused melody?

Come on people, this man is an institution, and he hates Chelsea!

I also love Costello for his fervent use of the Fender Jazzmaster, the red-headed stepchild of the Fender family. It was the first guitar I ever owned, a sweet Japanese reproduction of the '58 classic set in pearl white with a cherry red pickboard and retro machine head.

It's also a great fucking guitar, but only the weirdos use 'em. It was that connection for me that cemented Costello's legend in my mind.


The Darkness. Where do we begin? The quintet of cider-drinking pub rockers from Lowestoft hit the scene in 2003 with their single "Get Your Hands Off My Woman", a track that sent grown men rushing to the karaoke nights in a desperate attempt to hit frontman Justin Hawkins' high notes.

The album, Permission to Land, went to #2 in the UK charts, eventually selling 1.5 million copies in my homeland. They won a slew of rock magazine awards for their throwback metal sound, and then came the video and the next big hit single, "I Believe in a Thing Called Love".

Seriously, this song is beyond insane. Go watch the video, listen to the song, and then return.

A lazy, breezy rock n' roll hook gives way to a song sung almost entirely in howling falsetto, and a chorus that will drill into your brain, never to escape.

It's a tough one today, people, I cannot lie. In the end, it'll come down to the simple matter of taste. Do you prefer intelligent New Wave with mild casual racism, or are you more of a beer-and-brute pub rock type?

Are you someone who values longevity and constant creative evolution in your music, or do you have a fondness for short-lived, sensational novelty acts?

Your choice, interwebs. Do what you must. Liverpool, or Norwich. (I am scared at what the outcome will be, but confidence still reigns)


Lingering Bursitis said...

I will say this: I know Norwich will win thanks to Bigus' dogged use of his NCFC message board army, but let us not ignore the fact that the Darkness are absolute shit, while Costello is a legend.

Kopper said...

Our message board army may possibly push us over, even though there were people who thought Norwich should have been represented by The Singing Postman.

Andrew said...

I'll vote for mild casual racism any day...

"N-word?" Nuts?

Andrew said...

This page will keep me busy for a long time.

Wikipedia's List of Ethnic Slurs


Bigus Dickus said...

Not just the singing postman,,,Cathy Dennis.

Mike Georger said...

im taking this to the LFC message boards tomorrow. elvis aint goin out like a punk bitch.

Bigus Dickus said...

Once they get out and steal the computers the vote will be over.

Keith said...

Depsite the newly formed (or at least UF-formed) Villa/Pool rivalry, I've gotta go Elvis here.

Also as a Fender man (though I prefer the Tele- a safe choice, I know, but the JM is a close second [Squier has a brilliant new guitar based on the JM called the Jagmaster- tone's absolutely brilliant]), I present this:

Lingering Bursitis said...

Holy shit, Keith!

Our rivalry is temporarily on hold as I thank you greatly for that link. We should get tickets. Love the sound of a Jazzmaster

Precious Roy said...

Holy shit, why don't I live in NYC. Nels is a freaking God.