Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Final four yo

Alright, we are down to it folks. Four remaining albums. We've got The Band vs. Sticky Fingers and Mule Variations vs. Ladies and Gents. The winners will then face off.

Here's what we're going to do. Everyone has thought about or listened to each of these records recently, so we're gonna do both match-ups at once. Give me a vote between The Band and The Stones, and give me a vote between Mr. Waits and Mr. Spaceman. I'm just gonna wait until everyone gets a vote in because I have faith y'all will do it sooner than later. I mean, it's not that hard, right?

Again, feel free to try and sway others before they vote if you like.


  1. Short and sweet: The Stones and Mr. Waits. (I'm pretty sure if you went back and checked my numbers/ratings on these albums, they'd support this decision.)

  2. always with the fking numbers, you...

  3. Actually Eric, You gave Ladies and Gents a 4.1 and you gave Mule Variations a 4.1. What do you have to say for yourself now?

  4. I'm picking Spiritualized over Tom Waits. As should all of you. The other pick may take slightly longer.

  5. Ladies and Gents and Sticky Fingers

  6. Thanks for keeping me honest, zwartitude. Given this new infrmation, I will have to pick Tom Waits.

  7. i'm picking sticky fingers...the stones are just a better band...SFs just sounds like a better album...i gotta say that i totally love whispering pines and also the drums on the night they drove old dixie down...the drums on wild horse at 2:12 totally kill too...two great drummers on these albums...

    i'm picking ladies and gents...both of these albums are contrived and "schticky"...i agree with zwartitude about this getting in the way of the songs with tom waits...i agree with karl that sometime ladies and gents combo of religion can seem a bit hinky...however, i think i get ladies and gents it fits my personality...tom waits is more for theatre types and carnies...

  8. should be combo of religion and drugs...

  9. i agree, andy. a well-rounded life should involve a combo of religion and drugs. but what do i know...i sure as heck ain't no theatre type...i guess i'm a carnie...i just feel like tom waits deserves to go to the finals more...maybe i'm not thinking album-specific enough...but "come on up to the house" is a of the finest examples of the rowboat school of theology out there, which i ultimately like better than the junkie school of theology...

  10. Well, I didn't think I would have to, but I guess I should defend The Band. I mean, c'mon folks...listen, it should come down to the tunes, and there is no way the songs on Sticky Fingers even come close. The song-writing is simple when it needs to be, complex when it needs to be, it's surprisingly catchy, it's got groove--seriously, it's got it all. As for the playing, I'm a little surprised Andy would say the Stones are the better band. I think of The Band as about as the most musically gifted group to ever play together at one time. Karl said something about old music, and I say if you have to choose between two albums from a similar era, choose the one that sounds timeless (I know this is an overused word, but I really think it applies here) as opposed to the one that sounds like it came right out of 1971. And finally, if I haven't convinced you yet, please look compare their back covers.

    Andy, I'm giving you a chance to do the right thing here and recast your vote (I feel like your my best shot).

    Also, I'm going with Spiritualized. I can imagine talking to someone about this Deathmatch and I would feel fine, even proud, if either Ladies and Gents or The Band wins, but I would feel slightly embarrassed to admit that out of all the amazing albums out there, the best we could do was Mule Variations or Sticky Fingers. If Exile fails and Sticky wins it, I will have lost all faith in you people...

    p.s. I realize this email sounds snobby and will probably lose me more votes than gain any, but isn't that what this deathmatch is all about?

  11. Awww crap, I used the wrong "your". Obviously I'm not worth listening to.

  12. now i'm so confused - in a show of how much i respect zwartitude and as a way to make this even MORE interesting, i will withdraw my vote for sticky fingers and i will do further soul searching...stayed tuned for my final answer...

  13. you're such a drama queen, wilson...a real theatre type...acting is in your've always yearned to for tom...

    and, inspired by zwartitude's generosity, i give everyone permission to withdraw their votes and re-vote for any kinks' album that came out before 1970...let's wrap this DM2010 up properly, shan't we?

  14. the kinks are dead, long live the kinks...anybody gonna go see the a-team movie tomorrow?

  15. I agree with Andrew...please don't let Mule variations win. How did it even get into the semifinals?

  16. I was on the fence, but you won me over. I'll vote for The Band based on the back cover.

  17. Ladies and Gents once again.

    The Band v Sticky Fingers is tougher.. Method of choosing: What I would rather play right now.... The Band gets my vote.

  18. All of these performers have their weak points. But I think Tom Waits's strong points outweigh his weak ones.

    Sure, he's the consummate performer. He's always putting on a show. But I really don't think that gets in the way of his sincerity.

    He channels and sympathizes with the oddballs, the misfits, the desperate, and the grotesque. The carnie thing comes with the grotesque, but it's not all "Eyeball Kid" -- it's also small-town, every-day kind of grotesque, the Grotesque That's In Each And Every One Of Us, as in "What's He Building In There." And there's plenty to focus on other than the carnie stuff; take, for example, "Jesus Gonna Be There."

    Lemme just say this again. He's not an ambulance chaser; not someone pointing to perversions to sell albums. He's not saying "look at them." He's saying, "look at us."

    He's not about the flash or the stardom. He's about entertaining people and creating a lifetime of groundbreaking and inspirational art.

    When I hear him in interviews he sounds sincere, self-aware, hard-working, and flawed. He does not seem: Annoying, pretentious, self-important, cocaine-addicted, pussy-chasing.

    Ah! Which reminds of our other three bands in the quarter-finals.

    Inspired by the MDM2010, I finally rented The Last Waltz. I haven't been able to finish it yet (because of Miss Short Attention Span), but. Let's just say: Hippies + Cocaine + Monetary Success + Long Span of Being Worshipped = people whose music I still like but who are kind of hard to listen to in interviews.

  19. oh, also, what eric said: "one of the finest examples of the rowboat school of theology out there, which i ultimately like better than the junkie school of theology"

    although i admit this is a really tough choice for me. i might even end up voting for spiritualized, i just don't want tom waits to get swept under the rug. i think he really does deserve to be in the final four, and yes, even the winner of the whole thing. brian you wound him. you

  20. zwartitude: "I think of The Band as about as the most musically gifted group to ever play together at one time."

    Really? I think they're really good, but I'm not sure I see the genius.

  21. The Band
    1. Across the Great Divide – 6.6
    2. Rag Mama Rag – 6.3
    3. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down – 9.2
    4. When You Awake – 7.9
    5. Up on Cripple Creek – 8.4
    6. Whispering Pines – 9.6
    7. Jemima Surrender - 6.7
    8. Rockin' Chair – 8.6
    9. Look Out Cleveland – 6.8
    10. Jawbone - 7.5
    11. The Unfaithful Servant – 8.9
    12. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) 9.0

    Average : 7.96

    Sticky Fingers:
    1. Brown Sugar – 7.0
    2. Sway – 7.3
    3. Wild Horses – 9.3
    4. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking – 7.3
    5. You Gotta Move – 7.4
    6. Bitch – 6.9
    7. I Got the Blues – 8.2
    8. Sister Morphine – 8.6
    9. Dead Flowers – 8.5
    10. Moonlight Mile – 9.0

    Average: 7.95

    RIP: Richard Manuel and Rick Danko

    Someone check my math...I'm tired...

  22. Andy: The math is right. You are now my hero.

    Karl: You raise many good points. First of all, it's not that I am against Waits--you know I really appreciate him. It's just that I don't think Mule Variations is his strongest material. It seems to be to have quite a bit of filler. And I think it's the filler stuff that especially relies on his personal mythology to carry it. The Band, on the other hand, is kind of the opposite--maybe the less you know about them, the more you can enjoy the music (at least that's what your comments suggest). Since you brought up The Last Waltz, I will say a few more things: I appreciate it's honestly. It doesn't try to sugarcoat who these people have become through living the rock n'roll lifestyle. I love at the end where Robertson talks about how the road will kill you. The whole film works on this interesting tension between a frankly amazing performance and the behind the scenes stuff that suggests how hard a toll it all has taken. And speaking of performance, who else could back up the long list of performers including Dylan, Muddy Waters, Mitchell, Young, Clapton, Dr. John, Van Morrison (the list goes on and on--they don't even include the Cajun style song in the film) with two days of practice? The Stones? I don't think so. Seriously, they are so tight and so versatile. Oh, and pay attention to when Robertson kicks Clapton's ass when they trade solos. He does it not by being all showy like Clapton (although he could) but through really interesting lines and rhythms.

    I know I'm going on here, but one more thing. Since you're doing your homework, you should check out the Stone's live film Gimme Shelter. I think it's really good, but it would highlight for you what a different band they are than _The_ Band.

    That's all for now.

    Bruce, Sarah, are you out there?

  23. I do love that Clapton part in Last Waltz. Clapton's strap comes off and Robbie steps in and blows him. I think in comparing specifically "The Band" and "Sticky Fingers" it comes thru that the Stones are a band that feed off the rNr lifestyle and use it to build up their mythology. Hence, the risque cover, songs like Bitch and Sister Morphine. I mean no one ever talks about Keith Richards without at least mentioning how fucked up he is. The Band, on the other hand, choose to come off as homebodies. Photographer Elliot Landy took some great shots of them doing things like unloading groceries, sitting around the kitchen, hanging out in the Catskillsetc. They have a great image during this era.

    When I said the Stones were a better band, I wasn't talking about their musicianship or even their cohesiveness. I just think they are better overall, you know historically. Sticky Fingers might sound dated but it does sound awesome.

    Still, I'm am going with The Band. A slightly stronger album and truly original one at that...

  24. This might change if I had the time to read everything written thus far, so if you want to hold it until Tuesday for whatever reason, I would consider reconsidering. But for now:
    Stones and Tom Waits

    Now off to see Jimmy Cliff, John Prine, Stevie Wonder, and Jay Z (!)

  25. Same Deal for Me.

    Sticky Fingers
    Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

  26. Holy cow, you guys can talk some shit. And Wilson, you're math is even more ridonculous than my own.

    And what is with all this considering/ re-considering? Good Lord. You all sound like a knitting circle in the church basement deciding which color yarn to use on your next shawl. Rock and roll is about taking a stand, people. Quit dilly-dallying and hemming and hawing and being all rational and shit and pick the goddam album you like better. Do you seriously think at this point in the game one more listen through any of these albums is going to change your mind??? "Hmmm. I hadn't noticed that Mick's a little pitchy near the end of "I Got the Blues" before...That changes everything. Fuck it, I'll go with The Band." Jeeeeeeeeezus, people. You're not Randy fucking Jackson, dawgs.

    (I apologize for the above rant. I am writing from the midst of a 3-week old baby sleep deprivation induced delirium. I flipped a lady off in the car today, which I hardly ever do. Had my whole arm right out the window and everything. Grrrrrrrr...zzzzzzzz...)

  27. Wow! Nice work, Newdad Smith!

    Tom Waits and The Band.

    Once all the votes are in, can we line them up? Even though there's only four possible permutations possible, I feel like everyone has voted a different combo. Apparently I'm opposite of Sarah.

  28. Sorry to be derelict of duty folks. Here it is: Spiritualized and the Band.

  29. Karl: Awesome defense of Waits. He's a good man, CB.
    Also, Eric: You rule.

  30. One quick little note about Gimme Shelter vs. The Last Waltz, since there's some movie talk flying around: I think more important than the difference between the bands in these movies is the difference between directors. Maybe a bit simplistic, but Martin Scorsese (Last Waltz) makes/made bad stuff look cool, while the Maysles Brothers (Gimme Shelter) were more about pointing out contradictions and making good stuff look bad.