A high-seed indie favorite falls, Kanye coasts, two AC’s do battle, and Karen O is performing like an MVP for the YYY’s:
1 Kanye West vs. 16 Say Hi
Kanye West says bye to Say Hi.
8 Bon Iver vs. 9 88-Keys
Rapper 88-Keys beat Bon Iver in overtime, setting up an intriguing second round match-up with Kanye West, the executive producer of his latest album.
5 Fleet Foxes vs. 12 Neko Case
There were no losers in this one, both acts played beautifully. Neko Case just wanted it more, and as you should know, Neko Case gets her way–advancing in the tournament.
(above: Kanye breezes past Say Hi in the first round.)
4 A.C. Newman vs. AC Slater
Not to be confused with AC Slater of Saved By The Bell fame, DJ/producer/remixer, AC Slater, gave it his all in the battle of the AC’s, but in the end, A.C. Newman’s indie credentials were just too much to handle.
6 Atmosphere vs. 11 Illinois
Minnesotan hip-hop group caused first-round catastrophe to Pennsylvanian band, Illinois. Did you get all that?
3 TV On The Radio vs. 14 Bishop Allen
TV On The Radio wins the battle of Brooklyn.
7 Antony and The Johnsons vs. 10 Matt and Kim
Matt and Kim’s bursting-at-the-seems-feel-good-energy outlasts the talent of Antony and The Johnsons.
2 Lil’ Wayne vs. 15 Beach House
Indie music’s favorite mainstream hip-hopper got confused on the way to the tourney. He thought he was going to be performing at a beach house–not competing against a band named Beach House. He pulled it together in the end and defeated the dreamy-sounding, indie-pop duo.
1 Bruce Springsteen vs. 16 Ty Segall
The Boss admired the stripped-down sound of Ty Segall, but had to dispose of him as any rock legend would.
8 Cold War Kids vs. 9 Mr. Lif
In the closing seconds a group named after the Cold War was no match for an MC who could spit 16 politically fueled bars about the Cold War.
5 The Decemberists vs. 12 The Bouncing Souls
Being a band for 20 years has its advantages. Performing an album just released this week has its disadvantages. The Bouncing Souls’ punk rock attack was more polished than the Decemberists’ sprawling, indie-folk sound, which added up to victory for the Jersey punks.
4 My Bloody Valentine vs. 13 Beirut
Despite reuniting last year, My Bloody Valentine still has some rust to shake off. Beirut took advantage, played a tight set–with horn section and all–and upset the legendary indie vets.
(right: Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Karen O, sending a message to the competition.)
6 Ladyhawke vs. 11 Bat For Lashes
Both females brought their unique brand of pop to their first round match-up, but Bat For Lashes’ brand wowed the indie crowd a little bit more.
3 Yeah Yeah Yeahs vs. 14 Vetiver
YYY’s breeze by Vetiver. Karen O could not stopped or contained.
7 Peter Bjorn & John vs. 10 Sam Roberts
Both acts put forth excellent sets, but Peter Bjorn & John advance behind the strength of their latest single, “Nothing To Worry About”–which they also used as their rallying cry.
2 Depeche Mode vs. 15 Faunts
Faunts promised to concede defeat if Depeche Mode played them an hour-long set of their favorite songs. Depeche Mode agreed, Faunts got an intimate performance, and everyone went home happy.