Most of us were more than eager to turn the calendar page to January, and bid farewell to a tumultuous 2016. But the past year had its share of high points worthy of celebration, and we still have some accolades to bestow. Idle Time closed out the year with our second annual Tune Tournament, this time bracketing songs in regions honoring four of the many musical icons who passed away over the last twelve months.
Idlers nominated sixty-four favorite songs from recent years, and after six rounds of competition involving sixty-three total matchups and over 10,000 individual votes, we have a winner. Congratulations to Chicago’s Ed Harris, aka Edamame, and Idle Time’s Tune of the Year, “Tree Shadows”!
Edamame may have entered the tourney as a sixteen-seed, but he quickly established that he was not to be taken lightly, besting Chicago’s top seed, Wilco, with a 57% share of the matchup vote. He followed up that victory with solid beatdowns over Jim O’Rourke in round 2, and Whitney in the Sweet 16 round.
“Tree Shadows” was quietly, stealthily, establishing itself as a major competitor not just in the Chicago region, but as a legitimate contender for the Tune Tournament crown. History wasn’t on his side; none of the three instrumental tracks in last year’s tournament even made it past the first round. Then again, none of those songs had a dope ass video like this guy.
In order to claim the Windy City, and enter the Final Four round to faceoff against London, Edamame needed to take down veteran Chicago post-rockers Tortoise. Despite playing it close in the first half, “Tree Shadows” was unstoppable down the stretch, cutting the nets down after a 67% victory. They then faced another sixteen-seed from the London region, Kero Kero Bonito’s confoundingly unkillable “Graduation.” I’m probably supposed to remain objective here, but THANK CHRIST Edamame put an end to KKB’s tournament hopes. Enough of that song already. And he destroyed it by the way – 84%
Then, The Finals.
Edamame against the defending champions. After taking home the trophy in 2015 with “Neon Street,” The Y Axes tore through the San Francisco region with “Monsters” like they were the only band in the mix, and then polished off Minneapolis’s Morly for a shot at defending the title. I do a pretty good job of monitoring the voting, but I completely lost track of how many lead changes took place in the 72 hours of Finals voting. Back and forth back and forth, seemingly perpetually separated by just a few votes. In the last minutes before noon PST on December 29, Edamame pulled ahead for the final time, and we had a new champion. As the man himself declared, it was a real nail biter.
— ｅｄａｍａｍｅ✌ (@Tweetamame) December 31, 2016
Don’t miss a chance at celebrating with Edamame! Hit up the Loci Records Showcase during one of the last two dates on the tour. If you’re in the Bay Area and you can score a ticket, he’s playing with Emancipator and friends at the Independent tomorrow night. If you’re really lucky, maybe he’ll share one of his championship cupcakes with you.
Tyrannoflores has a new ringtone for 2017! IP has already added “Tree Shadows” to his DJ sets this month; indeed, New Year’s Eve was afire with Edamame and Earth, Wind & Fire (more love for the victorious Chicago region). hltchk is hard at work on a lovely handwritten essay on Edamame (which, apparently, has devolved into an anecdotal narration of the time JDG insisted that he could eat 1,000 shelled edamame in one sitting). And MeanOldPig is steeling up his courage to emblazon his back with that sweet – albeit extremely intricate and complicated – Edamame logo. “Tree Shadows,” you’re our song of the year.