Ooooooooh, isn’t it?
Can you smell that? It smells well good, doesn’t it? Like fancy white chocolate with lemons in it or something like that. Do you know what it is? It’s the magic of the cup. What a smell. What a fragrance. What a glorious pong. Thirty two of you have made it through to this point, but there are only sixteen places in the semi-finals…
LET GLADIATORIAL BATTLE COMMENCE MOTHER HUBBARDS!!!!!!!!!!!
Not the easiest battle to call. Those Lorde songs don’t quite cancel each other out, and while 2 Hearts isn’t the most obvious Kylie choice there was a certain something to David’s choices that William didn’t quite match. Am I saying the league leader is out of the cup? Do we have our first giant killing of the round? You know what, I think I am and we do. Dare I say that both of them probably played it a little too safe? Yes, yes, I’m saying that too. Congratulations to David Coates though, who goes through to the semi finals.
- BATTLE TWO
There are a couple of stinkers here (purely imo of course). James Beck managed to find a Flight of the Conchords song I don’t like, and as for that Rings of Saturn song? No thank you. However, John managed to hide his turd behind a pair of opals so shiny (are opals shiny? I have no idea what they look like. I have a vague idea they are Australian though. Doesn’t matter. Ignore me. Where were we. Ah yes, so shiny…) that they disguise its stink (mixed metaphor, sorry, moving on…). James picked wisely on his other two songs as well, but not quite as wisely. It was a close thing, but John Power Jr moves on to the semi finals.
First off, can I just say, AC/DC, nice. Go big or go home, yes? I think so at least, and I’m the one judging this thing, so, you know… Secondly, congratulations on finding the only AC/DC song that doesn’t suck by the way. Thirdly, the Bee Gees? Really?OK, so, this was really difficult to one to decide. Em’s three solid picks or the, let’s be honest, madness of picking a Bee Gees song but backing it up with AC/DC and Lorde? I have to go with the madness, don’t I? Do I? Don’t I? Errrrrr… no, yes, no, no I’m doing it… congratulations Rachel Bentley. See you in the semi finals. Sorry, Em. All your songs were (obviously) better than the Bee Gees, but I have to reward audacity when I see it.
And if you thought AC/DC was a bold statement of intent, how about Penny kicking off with nearly eleven minutes worth of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard progging it up to the max? Or how about Psycho Kylie, taking it old school with bands from the 60s, 70s and 80s? How to choose between them? By the quality of the music, as defined by my own taste, as in how I do this every week I suppose. Seems legit. OK then (and by the very narrowest of margins) the winner is Penny!
Is it just me, or were INXS a bit rubbish? Didn’t they exist somewhere between Simple Minds and the more turgid side of U2 in the musical spectrum of whenever they were a thing? Am I being unfair? I don’t think I am. And as for Crowded House? Well. They are a bunch of- (Wait. Wait. No. I actually like Crowded House, don’t I? Oh yeah, I do.) Good choice, Boon!
That INXS though. Bit of an open goal for Graeme that one. A shame then that he kicked off with what might be Kylie’s worst single. I’ve never really ‘got’ The Triffids either, which just leaves Future Me Hates Me by The Beths, which is actually pretty great, just not Royals great. Which means (despite her best efforts) Georgia Boon progresses to the semi finals.
These head-to-heads have all come down to painfully fine margins. Nick Portnell’s choices were sensible enough to be overturned by something outlandish, and when I saw Sia was on Nicola Mostyn’s list I thought an upset was on the cards. Unfortunately for Nicola though, Breathe Me is no Puppies Are Forever (which isn’t to say it isn’t great btw, just that a full-on sugary pop masterpiece might have swayed the scales another way) and the league high-flyer Nick Portnell moves on to the semi-finals.
OK, let’s say for arguments sake that the two Tame Impala tracks cancel each other out. What are we left with. We are left with a situation where I just can’t look past the brilliance of Little Death by The Beths. I’m actually (a little) cross that I have to do another nine of these battles before I can start finding out a bit more about The Beths. I proper love doing this competition, you know, what with the finding new music to listen to and everything. So, sorry Scout (and Carol Brown was an excellent choice btw) but it is Jummo70 who has made it to the next round.
The reason I asked for three songs was that I had come up with a sophisticated scoring system which couldn’t end in a draw but, truthfully, I’ve judged most of these by ear. Life’s too short. Especially when you have to check the progress of the count in Pennsylvania every thirty eight seconds. For this battle though, I had to use ‘the system’ and it came out with a 11-10 victory for James Park (with the Jess Cornelius pick pushing him over that narrow margin between failure and victory.
Another interesting face off, simplified this time by my being the only person in the world who doesn’t really like Courtney Barnett’s music or anything Nick Cave has done since The Boatman’s Call. Oh, who are we kidding here, it’s The Beths versus Split Enz and, classic that I Got You is, I’m going with the music of the kids here and putting Sleepy into the semi finals, It has been quite the week for Sleepy, first Trump falls and then this. Nice work over there. Nice work.
I’m not saying it was over from the opening chord of Gacked on Anger, but by the time the first wooowowooo bit of Untouched a gauntlet had been laid. And as good as Renlau Outil’s picks were they couldn’t match the choices of Beth Woodward who marches victorious to the semi finals.
Oh, man. This one was close. Really close. There isn’t a dud here. All killer and no filler and all that. In the end I had to split by them by their different takes on blood. What’s best (I asked myself) out of Nick Cave’s rather awkward ‘a warm arterial spray’ line or The Naked and Famous’ incredible song Young Blood? Oh. I’ve rather answered my own question there haven’t I? Sorry, Nick. That one line cost you. What would have happened if you had picked Stranger Than Kindness? I guess we’ll never know. Congratulations, Graham. You’re in the semi finals.
Let’s all accept that Down Under and Beds are Burning are big, untouchable masterpieces of Australian culture and concentrate on what’s left. On one side, Cement River (which was recorded in Hobart, I think it’s important to mention that) which is a song that didn’t do a whole lot for me and Green Light which is, indisputably, a banger. On the other side we have Ocean, a song which didn’t do a whole lot for me and A Little Piece which is, indisputably, a banger. Oh, God. I’m going to have to pick between Men At Work and Midnight Oil, aren’t I? Fine. Mine’s a vegemite sandwich. Mat Pringle moves on to the semi finals.
After coming so close to victory in the league only to lose form in the last couple of weeks, then seeing the winner of the league crash out in BATTLE ONE, Picky Bastards must be hoping to make an impact on the cup. First they would have to beat Sam Whyte though, which is easier said than done. Except she only went and picked a Courtney Barnett song, innit? And I don’t really get Courtney Barnett songs. So that’s that. Picky Bastards roll on to the semi finals.
It’s weird, picking INXS should be a massive disadvantage, what with them sucking and all, but everybody who chooses them seems to waltz into the next round. It helped that they were backed up with a particularly good Kylie song, of course, but in the end it was my having to listen to that bloomin’ snow song again that did it.
It’s my own fault, I know. I should have expected a lot of Nick Cave. But where was The Carny? Whither Tupelo? Etc. Etc. Anyway, it’s Sarah-Clare Conlon who wins the round.
Look at it. Divinyls. Boom! AC/DC. Boom! 80’s Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Boom! And what does Plashing Vole offer as his first riposte? Bloody Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Talk about bringing a (that’s not a) knife to a gunfight, mate. Ridiculous. Especially as I know you’ve heard of Dave Graney & The Coral Snakes. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa indeed. You’ve turned a perfectly good round into a total shitshow with that one. Ruined the whole thing. Don’t even look at me. Just turn around and face the other way. Unbelievable.
Dan Carpenter, congratulations, and thank you for bringing the bangers, as one always should.
Right, sorry Fats, but GBI is a poor man’s Frank Sinatra by Miss Kitten and the Hacker. Fine, it was written four years earlier. Don’t care. (And actually, while we are on the subject of Sinatra – why did nobody pick Frankie Sinatra as their Avalanches pick? It has Danny Brown on it for flip’s sake. What more do you want). Your other two choices were good, Fats. I liked your other two choices.
And as for you, Rob. Where is the AC/DC song? I know you love them. Instead I get more fucking Nick fucking Cave and the fucking Bad fucking fuck fuck fucknut fucking Seeds. And INXS! And something else! And no AC/DC! You didn’t go with your heart, Rob. You didn’t go with your gut. And I’m going to have to punish you for that. I am. It’s just the way it is.
Fats takes the round.