Sound Of The City March Madness: The Bracket Unveiled

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The top seeds: John Coltrane (uptown); Ramones (Queens); Bob Dylan (downtown); Jay-Z (Brooklyn).
Sound of the City's monthlong tournament to determine the quintessential New York City musician (since 1955, the year of the Village Voice's founding) has reached the bracketology stage, that moment where you, the viewer (and voter!) get to see just which musicians are up for consideration, and which of your favorites have the toughest opponents to get past. The 64 teams up for the honor are split into four divisions—Uptown, Queens, Downtown, and Brooklyn, named in honor of the way the N/R train, which is located right by the Voice offices, directs passengers. The top seeds are all formidable, too: John Coltrane is No. 1 uptown, the Ramones top the Queens contenders, Bob Dylan heads up downtown, and Jay-Z is the leader of the Brooklyn pack. But there are quite a few other worthy contenders who can upset any or all of these No. 1 seeds. (As is the case in the NCAA playoffs that this tournament is emulating, the participants aren't strictly beholden to playing in their home-borough division—otherwise, where would we put entrants from Staten Island or the Bronx?)

The bracket is below (click to enlarge).

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via BetterBracketMaker
The bracket. (Click to enlarge.)

For my money, the craziest first-round matchup comes in Queens, where No. 6 seed Billy Joel takes on No. 11 seed Nicki Minaj. (Before you ask: Yes, we allowed in a few stragglers from Long Island. It's a personal thing.) But there are lots of tight matchups all over the board! Tomorrow we'll have the first set of matchups, in which SOTC writers will make the cases for their favorite contenders in the Uptown division. For now, get arguing!

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15 comments
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Sirloe
Sirloe

Not including Richard Julian, Jim Campilongo, Tony Scherr, Tim Luntzel and many many others makes this contest the biggest waste of time since Sarah Palin. 

Atique Virani
Atique Virani

Ugh. I'm actually insulted Nicki Minaj and Black Star have the same seeds. Like, I feel as though you've insulted my family. I demand satisfaction.

Burning Ambulance
Burning Ambulance

Kinda shocking to see only one Latin music artist (as in, artist making "Latin music"; Lisa Lisa is a pop artist) in there. Tito Puente's great 'n' all, but what about Hector Lavoe and/or Willie Colon?

b
b

i love this... except the Strokes, who revitalized rock and roll in the early 2000s, should be higher than 13th seed. 

Drew Hunkins
Drew Hunkins

Beastie Boys deserve a much higher seed.  The selection committee erred in making them a 10 seed, come on!  Beasties are a definite lock for the Sweet 16, with the pounding beats, catchy lyrics, incredible point guard play and tough halfcourt defense there's no way they lose in the first two rounds. 

Drew Hunkins
Drew Hunkins

The Coltrane Paul Simon region looks to be the toughest.  Slick Rick could prove a tough first round matchup for Simon, but Paul's lyrical mastery and full court press should pull it out; he'll probably also get Slick Rick in foul trouble.  Rick's rhyming is almost on par with Simon so it should be tight through the first half. 

Another intriguing first round matchup is Alicia Keys vs Tito Puente.  Keys brings strong vocals along with a deadly three point game while Puente's soothing voice and strength in the front court should make for a game that could go OT! 

All in all, looks to be a remarkable tourney. 

Drew Hunkins
Drew Hunkins

Whoops, for Puente, I meant to write 'symphonic horns' instead of 'soothing voice,' the editor regrets the error.

Michael Daddino
Michael Daddino

To those Tumblr-people who're complaining that so-and-so doesn't belong in the bracket because they weren't born in New York, I offer: HI, YOU MAY WANT TO TENDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT YOU DO NOT QUITE UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPTUAL ENTITY THAT IS "NEW YORK."

Michael Daddino
Michael Daddino

No Dion? Phil Spector? La Monte Young? Stephen Sondheim? Barbara Streisand? Barry Manilow? Leonard Bernstein? (All of their careers veer more post-1955 than pre-, I'd say.)

Mad props for Lisa Lisa, though.

Josh
Josh

You guys have the 2 & 1 seed meeting in the second round. Makes for a pretty anti-climactic Elite 8, no?

NS
NS

Parts and Labor? Really?

Anon
Anon

My thought as well, re: Parts and Labor. Don't just put your friends' bands up there. Oneida is a good band, but also doesn't belong here. The Rapture is on here, but not Television?

Also, Anthrax is arguably a New Jersey band. 

maura
maura

We'll have justifications for all these bands' inclusion as the weeks go on.

rendit
rendit

Will always think of Coltrane as a Philly musician.

It's obviously Lars, by the transitive property of Lou. 

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