SCORES & UPCOMING GAMES



CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL SCORE: (2) JEFF BUCKLEY 168, (7) Tracy Chapman 159 .......... FINAL FOUR FINAL SCORES: (7) TRACY CHAPMAN 154, (1) Joy Division 90 ..... (2) JEFF BUCKLEY 137, (1) The Cure 89 .......... ELITE EIGHT FINAL SCORES: (1) JOY DIVISION 74, (14) Low 60 ..... (7) TRACY CHAPMAN 85, (1) Elliott Smith 69 ..... THE CURE 65, (2) Radiohead 58 ..... (2) JEFF BUCKLEY 74, (1) Neutral Milk Hotel 44 ..... FINAL SWEET SIXTEEN SCORES: (1) JOY DIVISION 75, (5) PJ Harvey & Nick Cave 24 ..... (14) LOW 73, (2) Concrete Blonde (64) ..... (1) ELLIOTT SMITH 78, (4) Gary Jules 44 ..... (7) TRACY CHAPMAN 74, (6) Kate Bush 53 ..... (1) NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL 54, (13) The Church 49 ..... (2) JEFF BUCKLEY 73, (3) Sinead O’Connor 35 ..... (1) THE CURE 109, (3) Tori Amos 86 ..... (2) RADIOHEAD 76, (6) This Mortal Coil 50 ..... (1) JOY DIVISION 96, (9) Mazzy Star 91 ..... (2) CONCRETE BLONDE 76, (7) Bob Mould 28 ..... (14) LOW 60, (6) Crowded House 51 ..... (5) PJ HARVEY & NICK CAVE 65, (4) Alphaville 38 ..... (1) ELLIOTT SMITH 113, (8) Replacements 88 ..... (6) KATE BUSH 87, (3) Nirvana 64 ..... (7) TRACY CHAPMAN 99, (2) The Eels 62 ..... (3) GARY JULES 103, (12) Morrissey 63 ..... (6) Kate Bush 72, (3) Nirvana 53 ..... (3) SINEAD O'CONNOR 66, (11) Ride 27 ..... (13) THE CHURCH 106, (5) James 44 ..... (2) JEFF BUCKLEY 95, (10) Smashing Pumpkins 40 ..... (1) NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL 80, (9) New Order 56 ..... (2) RADIOHEAD 102, (7) Nine Inch Nails 99 ..... (6) THIS MORTAL COIL 61, (3) Indigo Girls 60 ..... (4) TORI AMOS 89, (5) Swans 40 ..... (1) CURE 82, (8) Tom Waits 68 ............... FINAL 1ST ROUND SCORES: (5) PJ HARVEY & NICK CAVE 93, (12) Midnight Oil 38 ..... (7) BOB MOULD 63, (10) Peter Murphy 47 ..... (1) JOY DIVISION 117, (16) Erasure 19 ..... (6) CROWDED HOUSE 98, (11) Leonard Cohen 54 ..... (7) TRACY CHAPMAN 199, (10) The Smiths 162 ..... (5) MORRISSEY 115, (12) Morphine 83 ..... (3) NIRVANA 137, (14) Slowdive 102 ..... (8) THE REPLACEMENTS 128, (9) Dream Academy 82 ..... (13) THE CHURCH 262, (4) Magnetic Fields 193 ..... (10) SMASHING PUMPKINS 165, (7) Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 155 ..... (9) NEW ORDER 160, (8) Sarah McLachlan 78 ..... (1) JEFF BUCKLEY 204, (16) Bjork 92 ..... (4) TORI AMOS 78, (13) Echo & the Bunnymen 22 ..... (8) TOM WAITS 72, (9) The Pretenders 22 ..... (6) THIS MORTAL COIL 51, (11) Yaz 31 ..... (3) INDIGO GIRLS 71, (14) Pavement 26 ..... (9) MAZZY STAR 132, (8) REM 46 ..... (2) CONCRETE BLONDE 88, (15) Psychedelic Furs 34 ..... (4) ALPHAVILLE 71, (13) Dead Can Dance 36 ..... (14) LOW 120, (3) U2 65 ..... (1) ELLIOTT SMITH 63, (16) 10,000 Maniacs 24 ..... (2) EELS 50, (15) Counting Crows 46 ..... (4) GARY JULES 62, (13) Depeche Mode 19 ..... (6) KATE BUSH 59, (11) Sisters of Mercy 20 ..... (1) NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL 42, (16) Violent Femmes 12 ..... (11) RIDE 25 (6) Peter Gabriel 24 ..... (3) SINEAD O'CONNOR 37, (14) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 17, ..... (5) JAMES 24, (12) Red House Painters 23 ..... (7) NINE INCH NAILS 46, (10) Wilco 31, (5) SWANS 31, (12) Pet Shop Boys 18 ..... (1) THE CURE 50, (16) Gear Daddies 10 ..... (2) RADIOHEAD 40, (15) Liz Phair 35


CURRENT GAMES BELOW — PAST GAMES ARCHIVED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Second Round: THE CURE vs TOM WAITS

Only four years separate the release of these two songs, The Cure's "Pictures of You" and Tom Waits' "Downtown Train," but they feel a long ways apart. Whether you prefer the strange and often garbled old school songcraft and near-performance art of Tom Waits or the flamboyant goth of The Cure is a matter surely of taste, but there's no doubt both bands had probably a dozen songs each that could have made the tournament.

For more discussion of the song selection, you may want to read our previous coverage of "Pictures of You" and of "Downtown Train," particularly regarding cover versions of the latter.

Please direct all complaints about either of these song selections to the comments below. Direct your pointless displeasure at the fact that these defeated their first-round opponents to dev/null.

As to these two songs in front of us, which is what this is about, after all, both are songs of romantic longing: in the case of "Pictures of You," it's a song of love lost; with "Downtown Train" it's a song of impossibility and desire. Both are first-person, apparently autobiographical songs, with the more obvious claim on autobiography/confessionalism going to The Cure. Though The Cure have their share of songs that border or press on into creepy ("Lullaby," anyone? that video still freaks me the fuck out), if what you prefer is the kind of unhinged homeless dude quality of desire for what he can't have, then Downtown Train's your jam. Both are romantic, though The Cure's bigger in that department than Waits. Both feature highly distinct vocals. Each video has the singer hugging themselves ("Pictures of You" at 2:04 and "Downtown Train" around the 0:30 mark). Both videos also make good use of inclement weather (at least plenty of steam in Waits), and are to say the least pretty idiosyncratic. Waits is the more unhinged of the two. If you prefer the luxuries of color, you may want "Pictures of You." "Downtown Train" features actors who aren't band members (and includes more women). It's also the more stylized of the two by a mile. Do you prefer the filmic gestures of Waits or the sort of unimaginative video of The Cure?

We think "Downtown Train" tries to play down its obvious beauty, and delivers more in terms of lyrical wit. The Cure make no such attempt toward either wit or camouflage. I think it's fair to say the production on "Pictures of You" is the better of the two by a mile. Hard to measure which of the two vocal performances conveys more distress: both singers are distinctive and unforgettable.
We're going with The Cure by 20 on this one, since we think they have the hotter hand going into today's game.

*

(1) The Cure, "Pictures of You"



vs

(8) Tom Waits, "Downtown Train"






Which song's sadder, better? Vote by 9am 3/14

Pictures of You
Downtown Train
Poll Maker

2 comments:

  1. I'm not surprised this is close. I think "Pictures of You" is less sad as a single (particularly without the extended intro) than it is as a second track that follows the sweeping, majestic "Plainsong" and comes before the nine piles of bleak that come next. As a preamble to "leaving you with babies and everything" in the album's title track, the song is really sad without being to deeply imbedded in its own sadness. It's still the favorite to win this thing, I think, but I'm not surprised that it would struggle to beat a song that's a really compelling narrative in its own right. Downtown Train, as eight seeds often do, proved that the field was really luck that it ended up against this particular goliath as I am just not sure how many songs would have been able to take it out once people really, really listened to it. There's great song craft in "I'm shining like a new dime."

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