Four months after kicking off Montauk Madness (with a Billy Joel song, appropriately), we have arrived at the Final Four. Lots of close calls and blowouts, laughers and hair-pullers, and a lot of entertaining debate culminate in three more votes to decide — well, I’m not sure what we’re deciding. The consensus best artist according to readers of this blog as chosen from a group of 64 bands and soloists I rather haphazardly pulled together?
My initial intention for this series of blogs was just to run through the brackets myself and use the format to conclusively come up with my own favorite artist. I quickly realized that such an approach would be incredibly boring for my readers, who would certainly want a chance to chime in with their own votes.
Our next Montauk Madness Round Four matchup is a bit unexpected. It’s not a big surprise to see Bob Dylan here, but this is rare air for Counting Crows, who happen to enjoy quite a bit of popularity among my meager readership.
Dylan made it here by dispatching Miranda Lambert, Eminem and R.E.M. Even though I voted for him all three times, the losses of Lambert and R.E.M. hurt me. I wish they’d had an easier path. Counting Crows took out Morrissey, David Bowie and Ben Folds Five. I picked them in the first two rounds before siding with Ben Folds Five, but even that was a close call.
Ah, here we have my first truly difficult Round Three pick in Montauk Madness. R.E.M. vs. Bob Dylan. Two acts I’ve loved and obsessed over since the tenth grade.
R.E.M. got here by unanimously defeating Stew in Round One then winning a surprisingly tight contest against Rihanna with just 55% of the vote. Bob Dylan had an easier path, besting Miranda Lambert with 78% then Eminem with 89%. I’m still pissed the random sorting put Lambert in that position. Continue reading
1997’s Time Out of Mind was Bob Dylan’s first album of original material in seven years, and the first album of good original material in eight.
This return to form was celebrated both critically and commercially and went on to win several Grammys, including Album of the Year. It’s been 20 years since that career renaissance, two decades that have seen Dylan release his most consistent streak of quality work since the 60s. Continue reading
Back in 2010, I blogged about nearly a year’s worth of Bob Dylan Weekends, moving chrononologically through each of the legend’s albums.
The exercise gave me the opportunity to buy several records I’d never heard, including one that became a new favorite, 1978’s Street Legal. Today’s random SOTD is the penultimate track on that short but sweet album.
Here’s an interesting Montauk Madness Round Two matchup, a battle between two provacateurs from very different generations. Eminem isn’t exactly the Bob Dylan of his day, but he certainly stirred up as much controversy and conversation. Can he stir up enough votes to topple a giant?
Dylan got here by defeating my beloved Miranda Lambert in Round One. Lambert managed to pick up 22% of the vote (and she didn’t get mine), hinting at a potential crack in Dylan’s armor. Eminem had an even tougher battle, besting Dave Matthews Band 60% to 40% after some last-minute votes broke a late tie. Continue reading
This is the Montauk madness first round matchup I’ve been dreading since I first peeked ahead at the random seedings.
It’s not that the decision between Miranda Lambert and Bob Dylan is ultimately all that difficult (Dylan gets my vote). I just hate to see Lambert exit so early. I adore this woman so much that she should be an Elite Eight or even Final Four contender, but the hand of fate will have her on the sidelines before the games have even begun.