I was inspired by my favorite podcast, Filmspotting, which (inspired by March Madness) has run a Filmspotting Madness competition each year to determine the best [fill in the blank].
The first year they had actors face off in a bracketed competition, with Michael Fassbender taking the crown. Last year it was directors, and the Coen Brothers emerged victorious. This year they had 64 films battle it out, with The Godfather emerging as the one to rule them all.
I plan to do the same with musical artists. Specifically, 64 artists who mean something to me. Welcome to Montauk Madness!
I don’t have the audience of Filmspotting, so I can’t expect thousands of people to vote on my matchups. But I will provide polls so readers can chime in and I hope I get enough votes to make the results meaningful. If not, they’ll just reflect my own opinions and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I started with a list of 85 artists I enjoy more than a little bit, avoiding anybody with just an album or two under their belt. I narrowed that down to the 64 you’ll read about over the next several weeks. They have been paired off randomly to come up with the head-to-head matchups.
The first matchup in Round One is Michael Penn vs. Billy Joel. An easy one. While I’m a big fan of Penn’s first two albums, and found a lot to like in his next three, he certainly can’t stack up against the piano man.
Register your vote in this round below, and I’ll reveal the winner at the end of Round One.
She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child but she’s always a woman to me
She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth but she’ll never believe you
And she’ll take what you give her as long as it’s free
Yeah she steals like a thief but she’s always a woman to me
Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants
She’s ahead of her time
Oh, and she never gives out and she never gives in
She just changes her mind
And she’ll promise you more than the Garden of Eden
Then she’ll carelessly cut you and laugh while you’re bleeding
But she brings out the best and the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself cause she’s always a woman to me
She is frequently kind and she’s suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases, she’s nobody’s fool
But she can’t be convicted, she’s earned her degree
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
But she’s always a woman to me