2016 Tune Tournament

Sixty-four songs across four regions. An excessive amount of polls. And, finally, one champion tune. We’re closing out 2016 with Idle Time’s 2nd annual Tune Tournament, and crowning an official theme song for the new year. We’re also hoping to give away cupcakes again.

2016 has been a helluva year. The Cubs actually won the World Series. More entertainment icons than I care to recount have passed away. This country held an election the likes of which we’ve never seen in our history. In the spirit of casting votes for something you can truly believe in, and revitalizing a small spark of that democratic enthusiasm, we’re proud to max out the space on our Polldaddy account and flood this site with little pick-’ems over the next three weeks. And in the spirit of those lovable losers from Chicago’s North Side, we’ve populated these brackets with more than a few underdogs. In the one-and-done format, anything can happen.


Most importantly, in order to celebrate the lives of a few of those aforementioned icons that left us too soon, we’re dedicating this year’s tournament to four musical artists to whom every one of us who has ever made a playlist, argued about best tracks, or stood in the rain waiting for the venue to open, owes an intense debt of thanks.

david-bowie-trib_o_tn-414x276The London Region is dedicated to David Bowie, who passed away in January.  Florence Welch, of Florence + The Machine, and our top seed in this region, cites Bowie’s tremendous influence on her career in this interview, singling out “Young Americans” as her favorite Bowie song. And check out this David Bowie Legacy site for a wonderful interactive timeline in which to explore five decades of the man’s amazing career, and understand just how much of an influence he continues to be on all of us, musician and fan alike.

Prince passed away in April, and the Minneapolis Region is assembled in his honor. Bob Mould, of the Twin Cities’ Hüsker Dü, and appearing in this region with a song off his recent solo album, wrote this stirring eulogy for Rolling Stone.

maurice-whiteThe Chicago Region memorializes Maurice White, most famous as the lead songwriter for the incomparable soul-funk group Earth, Wind & Fire. Although 74 at the time of his passing in February, the Hall of Famer hadn’t slowed down, performing live even months before he died. Check out this video of Chance the Rapper, seeded second in Chicago, along with Kendrick Lamar, performing “Gratitude” with EW&F at Bonnaroo in 2015.

paul-kantner-jefferson-starship-bw-billboard-650Everyone who lives and breathes music in San Francisco in some way can connect back to Jefferson Airplane and Paul Kantner, the band’s guitarist who died back in January. The venues he played, the community he fostered, and, most importantly, the musical revolution of which he was a part. Gary Kamiya, in a piece for San Francisco magazine, celebrates the one-two punch of Airplane’s second and third albums, and, especially, Kantner’s contribution. The Y Axes, back to defend their 2015 championship by representing SF in the top seed, bring their own brand of future-focused pop rock to the tournament. I’m sure they respect the Airplane, but no doubt they’re all about that Starship.

Polls open Monday, November 21 with first-round matchups in the San Francisco region. Listen to the tracks, cast your votes, and help one of these songs find its way to the top of the heap! In addition to the immortal distinction of winning the 2016 Tune Tourney, the champion song…

The Y Axes celebrate
Two members of The Y Axes celebrate “Neon Street”‘s dominance with cupcakes. They – and holybee – were happy.
  • will be adopted by tyrannoflores as his ringtone for an entire year;
  • will be incorporated into all of IP’s DJ sets next spring;
  • will be the subject of a handwritten essay by hltchk (copies of which will be hand copied on demand at his favorite coffee shop);
  • will be immortalized as a tattoo somewhere on holybeeofephesus’s person*;
  • and will greet me every time I unlock the door as my home becomes ever more smartish and technologically advanced with various apps and shit.

Oh, and we’re going to do our darndest to send pastries of some sort to the winning artist or band. That’s actually in lieu of *holybee’s body art. Nobody really wants that. So sometimes bands get cupcakes.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our winner!