The Velvet Underground Win Sound Of The City's Quintessential New York Musician Tournament

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After weeks of voting, impassioned campaigns, comment-section arguments, and matchups that seemed nearly impossible to come down on one side of, Sound of the City's take on March Madness—in which we set out to crown the quintessential New York musician of the past 57 years, with a field that encompassed giants of genre from Lisa Lisa to the Ramones to Tito Puente—has a winner. And that winner is the still-influential Factory house band the Velvet Underground.

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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.

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VOTE NOW: Should The Velvet Underground Or The Wu-Tang Clan Advance To SOTC's March Madness Final?

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As March comes to a close, so does our month-ish-long battle royale between 64 New York musicians, all of whom were put in the mix to decide which one best embodied the spirit of the city. Each of the divisions—Uptown, Queens, Downtown, and Brooklyn—has now crowned a winner, and for our second semifinal matchup, we pit the rock and roll innovators the Velvet Underground (the No. 3 downtown seed) against the mighty Wu-Tang Clan (No. 4), who came all the way from Staten Island to rule the Brooklyn division. The ballot is below, as is a look at how both musicians arrived at this exalted point. Vote now; the polls close at midnight tonight!

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VOTE NOW For The Elite Eight: Coltrane vs. Keys; Blondie vs. Diamond; SY vs. VU; Wu-Tang vs. Rakim

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After three weeks of feverish clicking and arguing, the final eight contenders in our search for the quintessential New York musician have been finalized—you can peruse the bracket here—and it's time for you to vote. Representing the Uptown division are No. 1 seed John Coltrane and No. 14 seed Alicia Keys; No. 12 seed Blondie will have it out with No. 3 seed Neil Diamond in Queens; No. 5 seed Sonic Youth will match Downtown bona fides with Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground (No. 3); and No. 6 seed Rakim will take on No. 4 seed Wu-Tang Clan in Brooklyn.

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Presenting The Elite Eight: John Coltrane, Alicia Keys, Blondie, Neil Diamond, Sonic Youth, Velvet Underground, Wu-Tang Clan, And Rakim

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After three weeks of feverish clicking and arguing, the final eight contenders in our search for the quintessential New York musician have been finalized. Representing the Uptown division are No. 1 seed John Coltrane and No. 14 seed Alicia Keys; No. 12 seed Blondie will have it out with No. 3 seed Neil Diamond in Queens; No. 5 seed Sonic Youth will match Downtown bona fides with Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground (No. 3); and No. 6 seed Rakim will take on No. 4 seed Wu-Tang Clan in Brooklyn. The polls will roll out at noon and close at midnight.

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SOTC's March Madness: Sonic Youth, Miles Davis, Neil Diamond, And The Rest Of The Round Of 16

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Will the Beastie Boys prove to be triumphant?
​This week, our search for New York's quintessential post-1955 musician is about to get hectic, with the winner crowned as the calendar flips to April on Saturday night. (A rundown of all the matches so far is here.) So for the Round of 16 matchups--four of which kicked off yesterday, four of which begin right now--we're going to dispense with the punditry and get to the voting. The combatants, which hail from the Downtown and Queens quadrants: the still-kicking No. 16 seed Sick of it All and Sonic Youth; the Velvet Underground and the Beastie Boys; Carole King and Blondie; and Neil Diamond and Miles Davis. Ballot below. Please note that you have to vote in all four races in order for your vote to count.

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Lou Reed And The Velvet Underground (3) Match Wits With The Magnetic Fields (14) In SOTC's March Madness

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​The Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—is a little jam-packed today. (The schedule and results so far are here; the full, updated bracket is here.) Here, we return Downtown for a battle of the frontmen, as Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground match up against Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields. Check out the arguments in favor of each below, and vote at Facebook for your favorite.

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March Madness: Will LCD Soundsystem (9) Lose Their Edge Against The Talking Heads (8)?

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​The Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—is a little jam-packed today, with six matches on the docket. (The schedule and results so far are here; the full, updated bracket is here.) As the day continues, we return to the Downtown quadrant, where the LCD Soundsystem dances off against the Talking Heads. Check out the arguments in favor of each below, and vote at Facebook for your favorite.

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The Velvet Underground Reunion That Probably Won't Happen But Still (!)

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On December 8th, former Velvets Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker, and Doug Yule will find themselves sitting in the same room at the New York Public Library as part of an event promoting The Velvet Underground: New York Art, an omnibus VU retro out now on Rizzoli. David Fricke will be on hand to interview what are effectively three of four surviving members (John Cale, whom Yule eventually replaced, being the conspicuous absence; founding guitarist Sterling Morrison died in 1995). It's a conversation, not a reunion, which won't stop this room from being absolutely full a couple weeks from now. Anyone who's speculatively attended one of these things knows what a goofy proposition it is when most people are there for something that's almost definitely not going to happen--everyone in the audience craning their necks, looking for a cache of instruments hidden somewhere; middle-aged men shouting out requests during the Q&A session, etc. Again, this is not a reunion, musically-speaking. But it does seem like the NYPL wants to give that impression, doesn't it:

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