VOTE NOW: Does John Coltrane Or The Velvet Underground Deserve The Title Of "Quintessential New York Musician"?

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March! The old saying is that it goes in like a lion and out like a lamb. But in tournament terms, it's more like it goes in like a crowded party where lots of people are invited and out like the very end of that long night, when the two people who know how to navigate the socializing ups and downs are sitting on the couch, calmly, cracking sly jokes. Which is to say that we've nearly reached the end of our search for the quintessential New York City musician—that one music-maker who embodies this city's spirit better than the tens of thousands of their peers—and we have one last match to go before a winner is crowned. The final two candidates? The pioneering saxophonist John Coltrane and the art-rock heroes the Velvet Underground. Vote below, and feel free to electioneer in the comments.

Check out the whole bracket here.

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7 comments
exileinphilly
exileinphilly

I get it, March Madness. What a tired, silly concept. It works in a real-word competition such as basketball, but in the arts? Ridiculous.

Comparing musicians is a nonsensical exercise. To begin with, they're not all playing the same game, so there's no remotely objective way to keep score (to mix metaphors). And what value is there in a random collection of votes? Why not be  honest and simply ask voters "whom do you like better?"

Coltrane's art was of the world, and drew from his roots in North Carolina, his time in Philly, and his flowering in NY -- and his extensive time on the road. Does that make him more or less of a "quintessential" NY musician than the NY born-and-bred Velvets? A vote one way or the other proves nothing.

Lieber and Stoller, to pick a random entry from the earlier rounds, were from Baltimore and LI, and got their start in LA well before they made it to NY and the Brill Building. Was their R&B-based sound quintessentially New York? One could easily say no. So what?

I could go on, but really, what's the point? I've already wasted too long commenting on this time-wasting jive. How about running something worthwhile?

maura
maura

Isn't New York a city of transplants? And feel free to peruse the 20 or so non-tournament-related pieces we've run this week before making grand statements about "worthwhile" things. 

Brad Nelson
Brad Nelson

"Comparing musicians is a nonsensical exercise."

Think you're in the wrong place dude

Michael Daddino
Michael Daddino

That's a whole lot of hand-wringing for what's no more and no less a parlor game.

madeline
madeline

The "quientessential New York musician" does not need to be born and raised in New York? Their lives and music need no organic ties to the city? If that was was the case, you could have anyone on the ballot. Why not Elvis? Why not the Beatles? Springsteen ????

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