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Here are the last four artists who didn’t make it out of 2007:
81. T. Rex (19)
80. The Doors (17)
79. John Lennon (15)
78. Joni Mitchell (12)
Barely made it into 2008: Buddy Holly (12), Steely Dan (10), Pulp (10), New Order (10), Ramones (10).
As you can see, two artists (one from either end of the Great Plains) tied with 12 points each, but Joni appeared on 5 ballots, Buddy on only 3.
(Damn shame about Joni, btw.)
77 artists remain (wow, we’ve eliminated almost a quarter of the field):
The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Beck, Chuck Berry, Björk, Blondie, Blur, David Bowie, James Brown, The Byrds, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, Ray Charles, The Clash, Leonard Cohen, John Coltrane, Elvis Costello, The Cure, Miles Davis, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, The Flaming Lips, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, PJ Harvey, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Joy Division, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Massive Attack, Curtis Mayfield, Van Morrison, New Order, Nirvana, OutKast, Parliament/Funkadelic, Pavement, Pink Floyd, Pixies, The Police, Elvis Presley, Prince, Public Enemy, Pulp, Radiohead, Ramones, Otis Redding, Lou Reed, R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, Roxy Music, Sex Pistols, Paul Simon, Simon and Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Sly and the Family Stone, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Bruce Springsteen, Steely Dan, The Stooges, Talking Heads, U2, The Velvet Underground, Tom Waits, The White Stripes, The Who, Wilco, Hank Williams, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young.
Week 7 starts now.
Important reminder for any new voters coming on board: the first time you put an artist on your ballot, you have to explain why you’re doing it. OK? OK.
3) Public Enemy
5) 4 artists I don't really care about left the island last week, and we're getting fairly close to actually having to vote off artists I want to keep. Still a few left, and one of them only have a few songs I care about. Race For the Prize is nice, but it pretty much stops there. I know there's a lot of love for these guys on the forums, but I just don't think they're very special. The Flaming Lips, if anyone hadn't figured that out yet.
Before voting goes much further this week, I’d like to propose a slight emendation to the rules.
Most of the really obvious candidates for kicking off are gone now (as well as some not-so-obvious ones), and there seems to be a little bit less agreement every week. So I propose that no artist can be kicked off the island unless he/she/they appears on at least three ballots (as, indeed, have all of the artists kicked off so far). There’s a saying in sports: once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, three times is a trend.
This rule may never be needed, but I thought it would be a good idea to have it in place (and no, I’m not trying to protect any personal favorites).
Happy New Year to all, except the following five artists, who should be forgot and never brought to mind:
1. The Cure
2. Roxy Music
3. Joy Division
Ringing in 2008 with a swift kick in the pants:
4. Van Morrison -- I imagine I might get a fair amount of crap for this, as he has received very little votes so far (just one last week). Van the Man is an above-average, if over-rated, songwriter. But I find his voice to be very irritating. Well suited to the garage rock of "Gloria," but Van's nasal, top of the throat delivery grates on his jazz-pop compositions. And when his voice doesn't grate, I find the songs to just lie there, without too many thrills along the way.
5. The Flaming Lips -- I've been saving up this discussion for a while, and am glad that the Lips made it this far if only so I could try and express my feelings about them. Amused by their early-90's novelty hit, I was shocked to begin reading wonderful things about their output later in the decade. From what I heard of them, they seemed right up my alley: experimentative but poppy; orchestrated but with solid songcraft; whimsical and tuneful. So I went in really wanting to like them. But they never took. I spent a long time trying to figure out why, and I realized what was missing when I discovered the Super Furry Animals.
It may be unfair to compare two bands so starkly (but this is Survivor after all), and I recognize that they are not trying for exactly the same things. However, they both fall under the rubric of neo-psychedelia, so there are some similarities in what they are trying to acheive. SFA (my favorite rock artist outside the AM top-200) succeeds incredibly well on those accounts, the Flaming Lips do not. Unlike my Joy Division vote (which was largely on the basis that they did what they do well but I'm not such a huge fan of what they do), the Flaming Lips do stuff I really appreciate, but not as well as I would like.
Part of my problem, but only a minor part, is Wayne Coyne's voice. I don't mind the high tenor, but he doesn't do much with it, particularly dynamically. A greater part is the songs. They simply don't measure up to their ambition. My third problem I hesitate to mention, since I understand that over the course of their career they have ranged stylistically. But on their most acclaimed albums there is a distinct lack of stylistic diversity. It all sounds the same, and grows tiresome too quickly. If someone has a recommendation other than The Soft Bulletin or Yoshimi that I should check out, I will, because I gave up after those albums.
5 pts. Steely Dan
4 pts. Roxy Music
3 pts. New Order - Reason? Not a huge fan. Plus, I'm trying to be a bit strategic. This is a game. My man Buddy has been sweating bullets for three weeks now. He'll probably be gone this week no matter what. Before you pull the trigger, think about him as a songwriter. And think what he would have accomplished if not for the tragic accident. Speech over.
2 pts. The Cure - meh, as they say.
1 pts. The Police - Yes, I'm penalizing them for Sting.
Good ole numbers 3 and 4 were gone this time, so I have more work to do.
1. Paul Simon
2. The Byrds
3. Hank Williams
4. Al Green – I have to start eliminating the classic soul singers, and this is one whose material I’m least familiar with. I’ve heard probably Let’s Stay Together and that is it, and while that could fit in with a shortlist of any classic soul sounds, I’m not sure if his sound is as expansive as I’d like.
5. Van Morrison – This is one of those artist that I believe is heavily canonized beyond it's musical relevance to listeners of today. No, I haven’t listened to Astral Weeks (and probably should) but every time one of his songs bubbles up on my radar, is sounds dated and I just can’t connect to it.
For some reason, the Lips early to mid-nineties output is not mentioned in the same breath as Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi, and I would strongly recommend you give a listen to their output during that time. I wouldn’t recommend any complete Lips album from 1990-1995 as definitive, since they all have their monotonous, dragging moments. But liberally sampled, they are very inspired. Even though I really like Bulletin, what was missing from that album was a harder grating edge. Sure the heavy drums were there, but earlier lips featured guitarist Ronald Jones (I think that was his name) and his contribution defined their sound at the time and made them one of the most essential early alternative bands that rode the crest of the Nirvana wave.
1990’s In a Priest Driven Ambulance and 1992’s Hit to Death in the Future Head have incredible tracks, but you should try 1993’s Transmissions of the Satellite Heart (featuring novelty hit She Don’t Use Jelly) and the less-appreciated 1995 follow-up Clouds Taste Metallic. Absent of a lot of the keyboard sounds of later Lips, these records almost sound like a different band. Points to the lips for being versatile and long-lasting. Between 1990-1995 Lips and Bulletin Lips, I really can’t decide which I prefer.
There’s also an eighties version of the Lips that I am totally not familiar with, but I hope to listen to that stuff eventually.
Still on the shelf:
1. PAUL SIMON
2. STEELY DAN
3. MASSIVE ATTACK
New in stock:
4. BRIAN ENO. My list of potential victims includes both Eno and Roxy Music. I decided to boot Brian Eno first, continuing my tradition of voting out solo artists who are also represented by an earlier band they were in (Paul Simon, John Lennon—it’ll be a while before I get to Lou Reed, though). This vote, by the way, is based on his career as a songwriter/performer, not as a producer, since he’s obviously one of the finest producers of all time (Remain in Light, Achtung Baby…). I did finally listen to Another Green World, and liked it a bit more than I expected to…but within this genre (there’s that word again), give me Laurie Anderson any day.
5. FRANK SINATRA. I put Ol’ Blue Eyes on my list with some pain. In the last year, I’ve been getting into American standards (Porter, Gershwin, etc.), and Sinatra and Nelson Riddle were among the masters of interpreting that music…I even have a Sinatra album in my top 100 (although it’s arranged by Billy May rather than Riddle). Also, I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I like that whole New Frontier/lounge aesthetic in music, architecture and design (which, btw, is why I like The Nightfly better than anything Steely Dan did). But my fondness for the Sands Hotel Sign is no reason to keep Frankie on the island. He’s really out of place here…one wonders who he finds on the island to talk to (Bono, probably).
Also: last week I said that John Lennon was a louse. Some of that can be chalked up to hard drugs, under whose influence he could become borderline-sociopathic. But John counts as a prince compared to Sinatra, who consistently associated with the Mafia. Much of his career was underwritten by brutal thugs who would make most gangsta rappers wet their pants and flee in terror. Like I said last week, I don’t take an artist's bad behavior into account when I vote, but there is a cult of personality around Sinatra, as there is with Lennon, and I think it ought to be punctured whenever possible.
The Band? Joni Mitchell? Neil you better run for cover!
Don't you guys realize Bryan Ferry's still running free!
1. Buddy Holly & the Crickets
2. Roxy Music
4. Brian Eno
5. Leonard Cohen
1. The White Stripes
2. John Coltrane
5. Elton John
He had a solid streak of albums in the early '70s, Honky Chateau and Yellow Brick Road being the standouts, but it's all very samey and sometimes annoyingly conceptual. I don't care that Taupin wrote his lyrics for him - except that I think Taupin is very often (there are exceptions) a pretentious hack of a lyricist. I think Robert Hunter, who served a similar function for The Dead, is a much better example of an "official band lyricist."
Hold me closer, Tony Danza!!
1. New Order
4. Massive Attack
5. Sex Pistols
1. Sonic Youth
2. Steely Dan
3. Paul Simon
4. Bruce Springsteen
I'm tired of voting for the same artists. Here's some more I don't like listening to.
1. (5p) Steely Dan - This is just unbearable. I haven't voted for them earlier because I hadn't really listened to them, but now I have, and it's horrible. Expect 5 points from me until they're off!
2. (4p) Brian Eno - It'll be sayonara soon for Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, and nobody will cry their eyes out, I'm sure.
3. (3p) Marvin Gaye - It would be just plain wrong not to vote for him.
4. (2p) Roxy Music - Moronic snobs. I can't stand people like that. Oh, and the music is shit too.
5. (1p) James Brown - He sings like he's being burned with a cigarette, but I've taken him away from the top spot this week. There's some nobodies we'll have to kick out first.
Still on the lot… and priced to sell!
2. FRANK SINATRA
3. ELTON JOHN
Rolling off the production line…
4. JOY DIVISION
Ok, Joy Division. This vote feels like a betrayal of sorts, since I’d bet the farm that a significant percentage of my favorite bands have, at one point or another, cited the Manchester quartet as an influence. It’s hard to lead them to the gallows when bands like U2, Radiohead, Interpol and the Pumpkins might’ve not existed (or existed in a different form) if it wasn’t for JD. However, that doesn’t detract from the larger picture; that being, Joy Division is a band that I have tried time and time again to get into, but to no avail. Like I mentioned in Bracketology, the band seems to have an impenetrable air of reverence, which it seems has made people forget that the quality of their meager output just wasn’t that high – their music might’ve been gloomy and mysterious, but it was downright dull. Again, I don’t understand their importance for fans and musicians.
Pulp’s a bit easier. If Oasis had to leave the island early (and probably pulled a Peter Buck on the boat), then Pulp shouldn’t be here either. Cocker’s just as much of a wanker as Gallagher, but Gallagher’s b-sides were miles above anything Pulp ever released.
"pulled a Peter Buck" made my day.
1. Tom Waits- I can't believe there haven't been more votes for Waits. He's most definitely a love him or hate him musician.
2. Blur- Blur didn't get a whole lot of love in the top 100 of the 90's after the prelims so I'm also surprised that they haven't been getting votes as well.
3. White Stripes
4. Steely Dan
5. Nick Cave
Schleuse, I really don't think the rule will ever be needed. But, it's your call. I just don't want people to have to change their votes to get the ball rolling again.
One of my five is gone, so I'm replacing The Doors with someone else.
1. Bob Dylan.
2. Van Morrison.
3. Bruce Springsteen.
4. The Smiths.
I never understood why people loved the Pixies so much. They had a couple of good songs, sure - but so did most other bands from that time. They're certainly not one of the best bands of all time, and they should be off the island. Really.
If you are voting Bob Dylan off the island already, my pro-Pixies arguments aren't going to work on you...
Same list for third week in a row.
2. Buddy Holly/The Crickets
3. John Coltrane
5. The Byrds
I've seen this kind of thing done before. Last time I noticed that the ones that survived weren't the most liked, so much as the ones the fewest people had strong opinions about.
I don't have to bang my war gong against T. Rex anymore, so now we have a new number one and a new entry.
1) The Cure - It looks like their time might be up, what took so long?
2) Nick Drake - I know some people swoon all over this guy, but those are usually the type of people I like to avoid.
3) Nick Cave - Solid enough, and inspired at times, but you've got to be more than that in the top 77. P.S. I don't have anything against people named Nick, honestly.
4) Ray Charles - He kind of bores me to be honest.
5) Leonard Cohen - I quite like some of his stuff, and that can be said of about 20 artists still left in this game. So now I'm starting to vote off acts I'm largely indifferent to.
I propose that no artist can be kicked off the island unless he/she/they appears on at least three ballots [...] Any objections?
Well, it's your game so it's up to you, of course - but seeing as you're asking, it doesn't sound like much of an idea to me. Kinda seems to make a mockery of the whole process. I mean: in theory someone with three 5th place nominations (3 points) could leave before someone with two 1st place noms (10 points)? I just don't see anything wrong with the rules all ready in place, these things sort themselves.
My two cents, anyhow.
And then to nominate my same ol' choices:
2. Michael Jackson
4. Hank Williams
5. Chuck Berry
John, twister, thanks for the feedback. I've been thinking about it, and I'm no longer sure a three-ballot minimum for ejection is a good idea...the more I reflect, the more arbitrary that policy seems. So, I'll abandon that idea.
Shouldn't be a problem, as long as participation in Survivor remains where it has been--about 18 ballots per week (and we're at 15 for Week 7 right now).
I think I missed this last week sorry:
1)White Stripes:Like someone else had one week,I've sort of overlooked them here and now,when I think about it,they definitely shouldn't be there. Sure,they've done some good material but nothing highly original or innovative I don't believe.
2)Blondie:Have I voted for them before? I don't know but they definitely shouldn't be in the top 77 with a handful of good songs and mostly criminally bland pap
4)John Coltrane:Well I've never really been a huge jazz fan and I could never really get into any Coltrane stuff too much
5)Public Enemy:They may be original but Fight The Power may be the only song I really enjoy of theirs...
New Order 5 pts
Blondie 4 pts
Smiths 3 pts
as last week
2 new entries ? No really, I have mentionned them in previous Survivor weeks
Pavement, 2 pts : Not a big fan, but I don't know their work very well. I like the guitars, the VU influence, but it doesn't make me jump off my seat
Ramones, 1 pt : Kinda like their energy and a handful of songs (including Bltzkrieg pop), but this hard punk rock is not my cup of tea. Singing out of tune and forcing an ugly or dumb voice is not what I prefer in music
1 The Police
2 Elton John:like many, I spent the late 90s with Candle In The Wind plaguing me like a recurring genital wart.
3 The Clash
4 New Order:the calm after the storm of Joy Division, I've always found NO a terminally drab proposition. I suppose they typify a sort of adapt or die approach to music, but this reminds me of the notion that cockroaches would outlive humans in the event of a nuclear winter. As natural survivors go, I prefer New Order to cockroaches- but I'd struggle to muster any higher praise than that for them.
5 Michael Jackson:I'm getting too old to really feel Michael Jackson. I mean I'm past the age when he could touch me. You know, I think you have to a teenage boy to get close to his output, to really look forward to getting your hands on his next release.etc.etc.etc.....
By the way Schwah, as a big fan of Super Furry Animals and early '90s Flaming Lips, I recommend Transmissions From The Sattelite Heart unreservedly. It's a psyche-pop masterpiece and an absolute joy from start to finish. Mind you, it's still got Wayne Coyne singing on it-for me that's part of the charm, for you maybe not so much. Even so, as a fan of Fuzzy Logic and Radiator I'm sure you'll find much to cherish on this one.
Ed Ames -
Thanks for the suggestion. I will try to check it out.
From my last vote:
1) Paul Simon
2) Steely Dan
3) Al Green
4) Curtis Mayfield. Well, I'm largely unfamiliar with the large bulk of his output to be honest, but what I know is good without being spectacular, and that is exactly what it is that makes you a contender for castaway on this island.
5) Buddy Holly. Again, we're into the stage where I'm voting for artists who I have a lot of respect for, but who just about fail to hold up in the consistency stakes. When he was good he was great, and who knows what he would have gone on to do, but that's irrelevant to this game, and his catalogue is one of the weakest remaining, imo.
Quite surprised I had not voted for Lennon past week.
I will only change the bottom of my list
5 points)The Flaming Lips
2) The Smiths
1 point )The Ramones
Given that Pavement is beginning to receive votes and that I still haven't listened to CRCR.
Why the Ramones ? Well, I wanna be sedated or Blitzkrieg Pop are lot of fun, but I can not make any differences between almost all of their other songs... just seems that they have made more than 10 times the same album.
First of all (it's still not too late): Best wishes to you all for 2008!
5 pts - Frank Sinatra
4 pts - Nick Cave
3 pts - Buddy Holly
2 pts - John Coltrane
New kid on the block:
1 pt - Leonard Cohen - Survivor island will surely have some birds living there, but no wires to sit on. His music is okay to listen to, but it does not really bring me in a better mood or does something else to me.
I guess I might have to prep my in defense of New Order essay for Henrik's thread. Ray Charles and Blondie are still getting a bye because I haven't heard enough of their stuff, which leaves us with this:
5 points: Chuck Berry - "Johnny B Goode" done over and over and over to a lesser effect. I have a feeling Chuck is gonna have the top spot here for a long, long time.
4 points: Ramones - With three of my votes leaving last week, I can now jump on the Ramones bandwagon. I just think that they're way too redundant to be in the top 100 (or 77 for that matter). Influential, yeah and a lot of fun in doses, but not a personal favorite.
3 points: Buddy Holly and the Crickets - I had been giving them a bye because I hadn't heard a lot of their stuff, but I have had their greatest hits for over two years now and I'm pretty sure I usually just skip songs that aren't "That'll Be The Day" and "Not Fade Away." I like most of the rest of the stuff on that album, but there are really only two I consciously revisit.
2 points: Parliament/Funkadelic - I picked up Mothership Connection at the beginning of Survivor and quite like it, but it's a little too "jammy" for me. No doubt though, this is a fun band.
1 point: Leonard Cohen - A great songwriter whose music just doesn't do much for me. He's only getting one point because I haven't heard as much of his early stuff as his somewhat cheesy sounding 80s stuff and I respect the hell out of the guy so it's hard for me to start voting for him.