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. Continue reading Edamame Makes Beats, Wins Tournaments→
We’re opening twenty-sixteen’s Tunes of the Month feature by keeping it local! Here are five recent tracks that we’ve been digging, all by Bay Area artists.
The Y Axes – “Meteorite”
San Francisco’s The Y Axes are following up 2014’s excellent Sunglasses & Solar Flares, as well as a victory in the first ever Idle Time Tune Tournament, with a new album later this year. “Meteorite” is the first single, and from the fiery opening drumbeat, these guys seem poised to stage a power-pop atmospheric reentry of epic proportions.
How refreshing that “space” can be a musical descriptor beyond references to jam-band synths, noodly electronics, or nebulous clouds of fuzz.* The Y Axes like to remind us that their brand of cosmic rock is from the future; thank goodness that time-and-spacefaring bands still like to dance. And rip out crazy guitar riffs. And belt out melodies that get stuck in your head for days. Check it out – you’ll see.
*just about everyone here would like it to be known that we enjoy synths, electronics, and walls of sound. we just don’t think those bands should have a monopoly on the term “spacey.” oh, but we still don’t like jam bands. Continue reading Tunes of the Month – January→
It’s finally here; the Championship round! In June we launched the very first Idle Time Tune Tournament, and I have to say, it’s been a rousing success, with plenty of drama and spectacle. We’ve had big upsets, come-from-behind victories, and some truly great match-ups.
There was one shut-out in the first round, and it happened in California. Top-seeded Chromatics lived up to the billing and “Cherry” took every single vote in its matchup against The Growlers. Maybe The Y Axes can prove to be tougher competition. “Neon Street” claimed a 94% blowout victory over Ariel Pink.
Finally, the 2015 Tune Tourney‘s California bracket gets rolling. West coast start-times are such hell for east coast gamblers, we know. Stay up late and watch the game you degenerates; morning SportsCenter highlights just don’t cut it.
After voting for your favorite tune in each of the following four matchups, do the same in the Scandinavia, Oceania, and Canadia regions as well. Polling on all first-round matchups closes next Thursday!
Italians Do It Better is one of the best things about LA, and last year’s Chromatics’ single “Cherry” from the After Dark 2 compilation further enhances the legend. Johnny, Ruth, et al, take on the title track from The Growlers’ 2014 LP, Chinese Fountain