Mar 052012

The Final Four in Rock’s Greatest Back Band Tournament poses the question, “Is it time to jump to the Finals?”

Consider the remaining matches:

  • The Crickets vs The JBs
  • Crazy Horse vs The Attractions

Is there any doubt that The JBs and The Attractions will face off to determine—once and for all—rock’s greatest backing band? Is there any point in holding this round of play?

The JBs think there is, if only to prove their dominance. They have thrown down the following challenge: If fan voting for The Crickets and Crazy Horse combined beats the total votes received for The JBs, The JBs will concede defeat. In a show of solidarity The Attractions have announced that they will do likewise.

So there you have it. Cast your votes for the Clear Favorites (The JBs and The Attractions), The Underdogs (The Crickets and Crazy Horse), or any combination thereof. Let the games begin! (Voting runs through March 8th at 11:59 pm.)

The Final Four: The Crickets vs The JBs and Crazy Horse vs The Attractions

  • The Clear Favorites (The JBs and The Attractions) (62%, 21 Votes)
  • The Underdogs (The Crickets and Crazy Horse) (18%, 6 Votes)
  • The JBs and Crazy Horse (18%, 6 Votes)
  • The Crickets and The Attractions (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

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Feb 242012

The Wailers vs The Attractions!

As we progress through the Semifinals round of our tournament to determine—once and for all—rock’s greatest backing band ever, the Rebel Conference promises possibly the most hotly contested match in Rock Town Hall tournament play, as The Wailers face off against The Attractions. The winner of this match will tell a lot about the make-up of our Townspeople. The winner of this match will likely blow away tournament overachievers Crazy Horse and move onto the Finals!

Through the long, painstaking course of this tournament adequate arguments have been made on behalf of all the semifinalists. That doesn’t mean you’re not encouraged to continue arguing for your selection in this round, but you are welcome to cast your vote now. Voting in this match will run through 11:59 pm on Tuesday, February February 28, 2012.

Semifinals, Rebel Conference: The Wailers vs The Attractions.

  • The Attractions (79%, 37 Votes)
  • The Wailers (21%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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Dec 222011

I felt a pang of sadness on hearing of the death of Ross MacManus, who left us on either the 24th or 25th November (depending on which obituary you’re looking at). He started out as a jazz trumpeter, sang with the Joe Loss Orchestra in the 1950s and ’60s, was father to Declan, and became something of an institution in the UK thanks to an advertisement for R Whites Lemonade, which ran on British telly for 11 years.

The ad features Ross on vocals and acting, while Declan sings backing vocals, three years before he re-named himself Elvis (along with the surname of one of Ross’ pseudonyms – Day Costello). He repaid the favour by playing trumpet on “Out of Our Idiot” and “Mighty Like a Rose,” while an LP he made in 1972, Elvis Presley’s Golden Hits Sung By Big Ross and the Memphis Sound, was re-released in 2008 under the title of Elvis’s Dad Sings Elvis.

And so, by way of tribute, here is his greatest hit.

Nov 092011

The recent rifts over Billy Joel had me yearning for something that we all could agree on. I stumbled across this series of videos from an episode of Eight Days A Week, a British music talk show. Not only did it offer a well-spoken and coifed Green Gartside, a grey but tactful Nick Lowe, and rock critic/pseudo groupie Janice Long, but the discussion covered such a wide assortment of musicians circa 1984 that it seemed that we all could find something to love.

In part 1, we have the conundrum of a whether a member of Culture Club‘s solo attempt is any good. We move along to some footage of The Clash at Shea Stadium and discussion of the jettison of Mick Jones.

In part 2, we have fun the Liverpudlian way, with Echo and the Bunnymen.

And in part 3, we hear about Pogue Mahone and other pub bands of the time.

Along the way, we are also treated to references to Neil Diamond, Elvis Costello, The Moody Blues, and the latest band to jump the pond, REM.


Parts 2 and 3 follow after the jump!

Continue reading »

Oct 072011

For someone who was sooo in love with everything Elvis Costello & The Attractions, it’s amazing I never picked up the solo effort (can it be “solo” with three guys?) by the greatest backup band in the world. A high school buddy of mine had it and we derided it—probably without really listening to it with an open mind.

So, besides The Band, is there a backup outfit that has had any success on their own. Would you buy The Rumour without Graham Parker? The News without Huey? The Heartbreakers without Tom Petty?

And should I give The Attractions’ “solo” album another chance?


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