Rock battle tournament, explained more betterer

“So,” you are doubtless saying to yourself, “what exactly is a Rock and/or Roll Battle of the Bands All-Star Tournament?”

Well, your inner monologue, I’m glad you asked that question. The tournament is primarily a great way to waste time, have fun arguments and watch old concert footage. Secondarily, it is about forcing pieces of art to compete with one another.

“Got it,” your inner voice continues, “But what is your criteria for putting this bracket together?”

First, may I just say that you ask yourself very sharp questions. Second, the bracket was constructed in a painstaking and exhausting process of brainstorming, Google searches, and chatting with other people. In order to have a wide variety of competitors, the decision was made early on to have a narrow definition of rock in order to get more contemporary artists. That means leaving out many acts before Elvis and a lot of soul and pop music. Also, in order to have a more varied field, certain eras and sounds are represented by only one or two artists. For example, Pink Floyd, Rush, and Yes are representing prog rock, so Genesis, King Crimson and other influential bands are not on the list. Artists are only represented once in the tournament. So The Beatles are in, but McCartney, Lennon, and Harrison are not in as solo artists. Ringo was going to miss the cut either way. It also meant cutting out personal favorites in favor of acts with more critical acclaim and historic importance (The Police, I’m looking at you). Artists were then ranked from 1 to 128, and placed on a bracket, which is being finalized now.

Selections and ranks were based on historic importance, legacy, longevity, image, classic albums, and, of course, opinion. Additionally, artists received points for marrying underage girls, drug overdoses, one-armed drummers, fan deaths at concerts, attacking fans, attacking photographers, beating record execs with bottles of Moet, having a 747 with your band’s name emblazoned on the side, 666 tattoos, early deaths, good hair, choking on puke, choking on someone else’s puke, spontaneous combustion, multi-necked guitars, political or censorship battles, and other legend-building behavior.

And with all that being said, a look at the 28 seed


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  1. #1 by Ian on February 25, 2011 - 8:46 pm

    Will you be creating a post for all 64 first round match ups?

    I will be pissed if there is even a hint of glossing over. Full write ups. All match ups. Each round. Or I burn this place to the ground.

    Thank you.

    • #2 by tournamental on February 26, 2011 - 11:06 am

      I absolutely will be posting all the match ups. There will be write ups, but I haven’t figured out what form they will take. The first 8 match ups will be up within two weeks.

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