Spring is here. The birds are back, the snow is melting, and, in gymnasiums from Greensboro to Anaheim, college basketball teams are fulfilling their destinies. It's NCAA tournament time again, the most wonderful time of the year for fans of basketball and bracket-based competition alike. Here at CHIRP, we fall into both categories, which got us thinking: what would a tournament of current Chicago bands look like? After a little thinking, we came up with this:
We used three selection criteria. Each artist chosen had to:
* Be currently performing, either solo as a band
* Be born, based, or, in the case of bands, founded in Chicago, the suburbs, or at least Illinois.
* Get a significant amount of airplay on CHIRP
Filling up the bracket was easy. Deciding the winners? Not at all. That's where you come in. Below, you'll find part one of our Round One match-ups, along with places to vote on your favorites. Part two is right here. Voting for Round One closes at 6pm on Tuesday, March 17. Can Kanye take it all? Will Braid be this year's Cinderella? The answers to those questions, and more, await your input.
The Wilco Regional
#1 Seed: Wilco First Round Song: "Wilco (The Song)" Why They Should Win: Probably the one band on this list enjoyed equally by your college-aged sister and your hip uncle. Why They Might Lose: Jay Bennett fans still bummed about I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.
#8 Seed:Show You Suck First Round Song: "'80s Boobs" Why He Should Win: Manages to call out Teen Wolf, Howard the Duck, and the criminally underrated Just One of the Guys in one song. Why He Might Lose: Some people just hate having fun.
#5 Seed:Tortoise First Round Song: "TNT" Why They Should Win: Enjoys strong support from 4 out of 5 Chicagoland Guitar Center employees. Why They Might Lose: Six years since their last record; like an actual tortoise, it's hard to tell if they're dead or just sleeping.
#6 Seed:Braid First Round Song: "East End Hollows" Why They Should Win: Quietly released one of the best Chicago records of 1998 and 2014. Why They Might Lose: America's patience with emo revival has to end somewhere.
#2 Seed: White Mystery First Round Song: "Dubble Dragon" Why They Should Win: Equipped with experimental Levi's containing the trapped souls of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.
Why They Might Lose: The brother-sister act could develop a rare case of adult-onset sibling rivalry.
#7 Seed: Serengeti First Round Song: "Dennehy" Why He Should Win: Everybody knows, loves a dude like Kenny Dennis. Why He Might Lose: Mustache game may actually be too powerful.
The Kanye Regional
#1 Seed:Kanye West First Round Song: "Touch the Sky" Why He Should Win: He might sue us if he doesn't. Why He Might Lose: Probably a whole lotta Beck fans around here.
#8 Seed:Modern Vices First Round Song: "Cheap Style" Why They Should Win: Melodic garage sound fills a Smith Western-shape hole in our hearts. Why They Might Lose: They're going up against the guy who wrote "Power," and "Stronger," and "Gold Digger," and...
#4 Seed:Califone First Round Song: "Funeral Singers" Why They Should Win: Named for a defunct brand of record player, which probably appeals to you nerds. Why They Might Lose: Tim Rutili lives in California now, which means he's been warm and snowless this whole time.
#5 Seed:Robbie Fulks First Round Song: "Let's Kill Saturday Night" Why He Should Win: Not just anyone can earn a standing show at the Hideout. Why He Might Lose: Underneath that sad country persona, Fulks is rumored to be both happy and well-adjusted.
#3 Seed:Andrew Bird First Round Song: "Pulaski at Night" Why He Should Win: Made the violin cool, which is pretty huge.
Why He Might Lose: You've probably walked past his house in Logan Square a hundred times, and not once has he invited you in.
#2 Seed: Common First Round Song: "No Fear" Why He Should Win: Was the only reason to watch this year's Oscars. Why He Might Lose: Music career on the backburner for new project: becoming a crime-fighting superhero with John Legend.
#7 Seed: The Lemons First Round Song: "Best Day" Why They Should Win: Put out one of the best cassettes of 2014. Why They Might Lose: Music drowned out by the collective sigh of old hipsters who remember when tapes sucked.