Last Friday, another drunken indie rock tussle reminded the world that everyone can feud just as well as rappers. Sure, some do it without the gang affiliations, and a bit more drinking. Violence isn't the answer, it is the question? And the answer is because publicity. Right.
So we decided it would be fun to make up some feuds! Who knows, maybe some of them could be real in the future. Whether similarities or differences, the bands/people below seem somewhat destined to Hatfield-McCoy themselves into Page Six. Certainly their children will be star crossed lovers, or something. If nothing else, we'll have a few laughs about how weird some of our beloved music can be. Even Thom Yorke, resident genius-music-man of the decade has a lazy eye and is kind of a creep (his words).
Taking into consideration everything we know about their music and their lives, let us decide who would win.
Slaraffenland vs. Efterklang
THE FEUD? Ever since I saw these two "friends" and "collaborators" play together last year (and couldn't remember which one was the one who all wore shirts with tears on them), I knew they were destined for battle. Two Danish bands jump the pond, and achieve moderate and respectable success here in America. American dream. But only ONE can be "that Danish band we all like the best!" American reality. Efterklang seems to be the elder of the two (e.g. formed first, has a self-run label that has released Slaraffenland's music), but a rebellious child is just as dangerous as a controlling elder. It could be a Danish viking battle. That could mean viking axes!
WHO WINS? Slaraffenland means "land of milk and honey" in English, and Efterklang means "reverberation." Which one sounds more intimidating? (Hint: none of them). But Efterklang has more members including part-timers (strength in numbers), and a full-time member who actually looks like a tall-ish ancient Nordic warrior:
I think Efterklang would take this one. But then again, they are Danish, so they will probably never fight anyone, let alone each other. Moving on!
Japandroids vs. The Pains Of Being Pure at Heart
THE FEUD? Fuzz and buzz are two key words for both these bands, each of whom seem to shower their tunes with an amplifier or two full of noise-y ambiance. Japandroids take a punky, adrenaline infused angle on their angst-y tunes, while Pains seems glued to their shoes in passive-aggressive hand-holding. Japandroids doesn't seem to want to grow up or worry about dying, while Pains would prefer not to be checked out or touched by other adults (their words). While the noise is a common thread between the bands, their different philosophies and takes on their lyrical material seem to suggest that eventually the two will have to either play loudly at each other, or fisticuffs.
WHO WINS? The duo from Vancouver may be Canadian, but Japandroids are hardly the "Dudley Do-Rights" of rock music. Have you seen them play?. It is intense. In fact, I'm suggesting they'd instigate the whole thing. Remember the picture of them where they appear to be smoking dynamite?
Bad boys for life.
They are totally the Bad Boys II of indie rock (maybe only in Canada). Pains are totally the Degrassi Jr. High of indie rock. They are already keeping their heads down in their cute-sy tunes, and eating their lunches alone in the corner with long bangs and poetry class. So we suspect they would try to ignore, or curl up in a ball, as if a bear was attacking. And the Japandroids drummer could be a bear with that beard, am I right? (I am not right).
The Lonely Island vs. Flight Of The Conchords
THE FEUD? This one is obvious! The two kingpins of comedy-pop are destined to meet in an abandoned lot, Anchorman style, for a hilarious rumble. They both make music we laugh at initially, but then think "hey, this is kind of catchy! I want to show this to my friends! I've been on a boat before!"
But all joking aside (none of the joking will be put aside), these acts are too similar! It is like having two major brands of soda-pop! I'm kidding, of course we need two brands of soda-pop. This is America. But fame is hard, and so is comedy. We only need one kind-of-fake-but-also-real-and-funny band. Pro-Flight people might argue: Island has SNL as their humorous video distribution outlet, and that isn't really worth nearly as much as a show on HBO. Then again, "I'm On A Boat" and "J*** In My Pants" were two of the biggest mock songs of the year, and the same can't be said for Flight's recent material. Although there is this:
It is going to be a tough battle! Both these acts frequently pretend to be tough and from the streets!
WHO WINS? Um, duh. The Lonely Island. They have T-Pain. And Natalie Portman (who is the best at pretending she is tough and from the streets). Flight Of The Conchords doesn't even have their own embassy. And remember what happened when they formed a gang? We know who is like a boss here. Not these guys:
Animal Collective vs. Dirty Projectors
This is the ultimate indie showdown (but really). Two bands, both buzzed about non-stop by every (respectable) media outlet. Both residing on the Domino label. And both with albums in the running (perhaps against each other?) for album of the year. 2009 will be the year of one of these bands, and a lot suggests that neither would go down without a fight. And their music suggests that the fight would be nuts!
This probably would turn into a game of 'who is crazier,' so let's line up the evidence. Animal Collective all have fake names. The Geologist? The often spelled differently Deacon/Deaken/Deakon? Panda Bear? These are some crazy names. But the Dirty Projectors album title (in German) literally means Please Whale. Talking to animals/talking in German, neither a good sign of not being crazy. Animal Collective are known for their off-the-wall experimental noise rock, but it is sometimes easier to listen to than the strange (yet intoxicating) twitch-rock produced on Bitte Orca. Animal Collective is by definition a large group with plenty of resources, but The Dirty Projectors have actual animals:
Running with the wolves! Anyway, they are both nuts, that is the point.
WHO WINS? Both of them. They are almost too crazy to hate anything. Also aren't they dating each other? They'd probably wind up collaborating on something instead of fighting (wouldn't that be cool). I mean, if you can collaborate with Bjork, then you can do anything.
Or, Animal Collective might use their giant stash of electronic-music gear to trap The Projectors. I mean, they have a lot of that stuff, and they are good at it! I bet they could make funny things happen to people with synthesizers.
Tag team: She & Him vs. Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson
WHY FEUD? Both of these pairs embody (or try to embody) the singer-songwriter-duo aesthetic, and pair a long-haired musician with a beautiful female actress.
As formulaic as they both seem, She & Him have produced a respectable body of work (even lauded by Brian Jones!). In the other corner, not so much. Here is the best idea we've got, via MTV: "The idea [of Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson] apparently came about when Pete texted her suggesting they work on an album—this was before he actually knew whether or not she could sing." Not exactly the surest footing there, Petey.
Then again, it is pretty solid logic that nothing Scarlett Johansson ever does could be the worst. That honor is reserved for this. Anyway.
WHO WINS? Isn't it obvious? Someone needs to teach Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johnasson a lesson about making albums that no mom-and-pop record store would be embarrassed to hand sell. Everyone else on this list would at least win that battle. -joe puglisi