Now that there is going to be a break between the end of the previous round and this one, I thought I’d take stock of the whole journey, and present to you my six favourite rounds so far, as well as my six favourite discoveries.
So here, in chronological order, are my six favourite rounds so far.
- First League- Round 10 from DiS League One- A Song which needs to be played LOUD!
My pick- Pink by Boris- 19 points.
BORIS "PINK"(official video) - YouTube
This was my first ever music league round, and I loved it. So many bangers rattling around my ears for days, including the legendary Dopesmoker. Despite having a lot of confusion over how it worked (even putting my name in the comment of the song in case people didn’t know it was mine), I thought I had to pick Boris because this song is both relatively obscure but bracing. Also, when I think of stuff that sounds better LOUD, it must be this song. The reaction to the tune vindicated my choice, and I was hooked to the music league. I also once played this impossibly loud to a group of drunken mates (I think @Yesiamaduck was there) and it was euphoric.
- DiS League Two- The Yeoman’s Revenge- 1997
My choice- Be Quiet and Drive by Deftones- 25 points (1st place)
Deftones - Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away) (Official Music Video) | Warner Vault - YouTube
I loved this round because 1997 was a year of change. On the one hand, Britpop seemed to be winding down, but some of the absolute best Britpop albums were released, and lots of great new bands were breaking through and trying new things. I considered lots of choices for this one. Sleater-Kinney was on the shortlist, as was Supergrass, but after checking Rateyourmusic.com, I realised Deftone’s absolute classic- surely one of the best songs of the 90s- was released in 1997. I picked it and didn’t expect much love- it’s too heavy for you guys, I thought- so when I voted, I was utterly shocked (but really happy) that so many people loved it. Also, SO glad it beat the Mighty Mighty Bosstones…
- An 80s rap track
My choice- Ain’t No Half-Steppin’ by Big Daddy Kane- 17 points.
Big Daddy Kane - Aint No Half Steppin (Official Music Video) - YouTube
After suddenly finding myself towards the top of the podium for League 2, I chose a few other songs which I really liked but didn’t get many points, although they were, as always, well received by a handful of wonderful people. Being near the top of the league is weird but fun- I felt I had to solidify my position but wasn’t even sure how I’d got there in the first place! This was also a great round because, on paper, it seemed to be so limited and the complete opposite of my musical taste, but the playlist- and research- was so much fun. I was scouring lots of “best of 80s rap” lists paid off when I heard Big Daddy Kane’s amazing flow- smooth, cool, full of great internal rhymes- I thought, so few people have heard of this, and this is going to blow people away, and it did! No podium position, but still really chuffed at the great reaction from people.
- League 3- With a Vengeance, 3 mins or less
My pick- Wave Goodnight to Me by Jeff Rosenstock- 12 points
Jeff Rosenstock - Wave Goodnight To Me (Official Video) - YouTube
After getting 2nd place in my first ever full league (well, it was really 3rd, but MrM stepped down from the top position), I got to choose the theme for two rounds. The first one was obvious. I’ve always had the habit of listening to all the songs on a playlist before making a vote, but I’ve not always managed to do so. However, picking a song which was three minutes or less would guarantee a playlist of less than three hours. Problem solved. I also think setting a reasonable limit can be very inspiring creatively, and so it proved. The song selections for this were so much fun and once again, so varied. Also got a chance to break out a Jeff Rosenstock tune, and based off the comments, so glad that loads of people were discovering him and falling in love with his sound. Great round.
- Great drums- League 3- With a Vengeance
My choice- Lawman by Girl Band- 5 points.
Girl Band - Lawman [offical video] - YouTube
This was my second choice of round, and I chose this theme because the one thing which unites most of my favourite music, from hardcore to Aphex Twin, is great use of drums. People went wild with this as usual, and it was great to see so many creative choices which used the drums so well in new and interesting ways (although my definitely highlight was head banging to Angel of Death). Secondly though, this round taught me a valuable lesson- don’t just go with what you think DiS will like! I love this Girl Band track, but not really because of the drums. The drums in this are tight and controlled, but don’t necessarily stick out. I think I should have used this opportunity to showcase some amazing heavy drumming, such as Billy Rymer (from Dillinger Escape Plan and Glassjaw’s latest album), Nick Yacyshyn (whose snare drum alone sounds like a freight train) or Ben Koller, but I wussed out. Let that be a lesson to all the point seekers!
Here’s Nick Yacyshyn in action…
SUMAC - Thorn In The Lion's Paw // LIVE in Vancouver, BC - March 11, 2015 - YouTube
- A Song with a Season in its Name
My choice- Winter Linn by Clark- 21 points (1st place)
Clark - Winter Linn - YouTube
I picked this round because I was also very surprised to get such a good score for such a low-key track. I was also going through a bit of a tough time at work and seeing my song do well against my expectations did cheer me up a bit as well. If I’ve learned anything about gaining points (and I’m not sure I do), it’s that if you chose something from the heart which you genuinely think SOME people will really dig, rather than a blanket choice that everyone will love, more people will enjoy it. It paid off. This was also like the 80s rap track round in that whilst on paper, it seemed really limiting, there was a ridiculous amount of variation on this list. Great fun!
There was so much amazing music throughout these three league that I can’t possibly name all the new tracks I liked. However, to all the people who’ve contributed to these rounds, thank you so much! One thing that has always surprised me is the amazing variety on every single list. I’m not sure if it’s said enough, but everyone here has great taste! If I had twenty points to distribute per round I still would have struggled to pick. However, here are six of my absolute favourite discoveries. I’ve picked these because there was just something special about them which stood out and really stopped me in my tracks. I’ve put them in order of preference.
- Of This Ilk by Big Brave (submitted by @hesastopsiiiiign in the “Track from 2021” round)
WOW. Not since hearing the opening seconds of So Did We by Isis, or Concubine by Converge, have I heard such utterly devastating, crushing beauty. The combination of that simple, insistent but ridiculously heavy riff, with the soaring vocals, punctuated by near-silence, was awesome.
- Sinking Belle by Boris/Sunn 0))) (submitted by @Steved in the “Collabs/Duets” round)
Sunn O))) & Boris - The Sinking Belle Blue Sheep - YouTube
I had not heard this song before this round, but had known that Boris and Sunn 0))) had collaborated previously. I checked this out before the round and quite liked it, but it was only when the round came out that I was able to enjoy its languid, haunting vibe fully.
- Rainforest by Noname (submitted by @Octobadger in the “Geographical features” round)
Rainforest - YouTube
The lyrics in this were just absolutely wonderful. Noname is just a perfect poet, one who’s able to survey lots of elements and just pull them together to make sense in a perfect, soulful flow, like they’ve always belonged together. Totally flawed me.
- Valmasque by Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard (submitted by @Avery in the Wales round)
Valmasque - YouTube
One other treat from the music league has been the chance to check out artists I’d always heard of but haven’t had the chance to investigate. This is a prime example- ethereal vocals mixed with stoner metal? Why not? Again, another sign that metal will continue evolving into new, beautiful shapes.
- Freefall by Camel (submitted by @midnightpunk in the “Best Album Openers” round)
Camel - Freefall - YouTube
Again, this is another artist I’d been meaning to check out but hadn’t. This was a wonderful journey and prog at its finest. I also love the freedom of this league that this choice represents- the fact that midnightpunk picked a cut from possibly the most unfashionable genre ever (well, apart from ska punk) because they loved the track is exactly what this league is about.
- Long-legged Larry by Aesop Rock (submitted by @Kovacs77 in the “Songs which tell a story” round)
Aesop Rock - Long Legged Larry (Official Video) - YouTube
This stood out like a multicolour mural in the middle of some black and white photographs. It was so much fun and I’ve been rinsing it ever since. Never fails to make me smile, even after all this time.
That concludes this incredibly long post. Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. See you in some other round!