1 Radiohead vs. 2 The Raconteurs
“Steady As She Goes” was the motto for The Raconteurs going into the Regional Semifinals against Radiohead. Besides playing their consistent brand of blues rock, they were hoping that Radiohead, one of the most gifted musical acts of the last 15 years, would veer off their game plan and do something completely out of left field (which the band has been known to do). The Raconteurs stuck with material from their first two albums, Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers of the Lonely, while Radiohead shelved their well-known hits and decided to play Hail To The Thief, in its entirety, completely underwater (which appeared to be an odd homage to either Yorke’s “Harrowdown Hill” video or the band’s “No Surprises” clip). The Raconteurs advance to the Final Four.
(above: In one of the most bizarre moments of this year’s Indie Ear Madness tournament, Radiohead decided to play an entire set underwater).
1 Vampire Weekend vs. 11 Tim Fite
Tim Fite has captured the hearts of Indie Nation with his superb play in this year’s tournament–upsetting higher seeds MSTRKRFT, Moby, and Gnarls Barkley. No one expected Fite to reach the Great-8 of Indie Ear Madness. Sadly, Fite’s run came to an end today. Early in the set his video projector went out, which is a big part of his live show. Later on in the contest, he broke a string on his guitar, and since he can’t afford to bring a guitar tech out on the road, he played without an E string for the remainder of the show. Vampire Weekend played an impressive set, but many people left wondering what could have been if things had actually gone in Tim Fite’s favor.
1 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks vs.
2 Band of Horses
No tricks up anyone’s sleeve in this one. Both bands decided to go mano y mano–a backyard, free-for-all, indie rock brawl. The crowd was almost brought to tears as Stephen Malkmus and Ben Bridwell exchanged beautifully crafted inide-pop songs. In the end thugh, Band of Horses’ set was a little more cohesive, helping them advance to next week’s Final Four.
4 Justice vs. 7 The Black Keys
What an intriguing match-up this was–on one hand you have Justice, a French duo, who are one of the hottest groups going in dance music today. Then you have The Black Keys, a duo from Ohio, who have wowed audiences with their grimey, gritty, and powerful brand of blues rock. Since both groups determined that it would be nearly impossible for the judges to gauge between their different genres of music, they decided to settle this contest like men–engage in a game of Laser Tag. Apparently, Justice saw a clip of The Black Keys’ latest music video on youtube, and thought they could take out the almighty Dan Auerbach and Patrick Kearney in Laser Tag. Three minutes later, Justice realized they were wrong.