Rawk the Puck: Conference Finals results

21May07

Life imitates art, and Rawk the Puck has gone through the law of diminishing voters just as the NHL’s TV ratings have dropped. Still, we soldier on because it’s not about number of votes or ratings — it’s about the championship! Who will rise to the occasion and battle for the JABS Memorial Cup? The quest continues…

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #5 San Jose Sharks
Representing Vancouver
New Pornographers, Use It (Vancouver‘s favorite hometown band)

Representing San Jose
PJ Harvey, Down By The Water (water, sharks, get it?)

Mike (PJ Harvey): I like the New Pornographers but a part of me thinks that they’re essentially trying to be Belle & Sebastian. On the other hand, PJ Harvey sounds like no one else, and she gives a bitchin’ live show–even when she’s stuck opening for U2 in front of a bunch of apathetic Bono-heads. Down By The Water for me. Maybe the Sharks wouldn’t have blown their leads if they had PJ Harvey as their captain.

Sherry (PJ Harvey): The fact that PJ Harvey uses pizzicato is enough for me to throw my vote behind “By the Water”. I hear The New Pornographers riff every night on The Hour with George Stroumbolopoulos and as nice as it is to see Tobias Funke getting some work, my vote has to go to PJ Harvey.

Carla (New Pornographers): Okay, granted that PJ Harvey song is pretty dang cool, but she’s up against one of my favourite bands who are doing a song from one of my favourite records from last year. So she doesn’t have a chance with me. Despite the fact that the video is goofy (Nardwuar is still around?!), the NPs put the bite on PJ. Sweep.

Greg (PJ Harvey): How did the West end up with all the cool music here? I can’t really hate on any of this. New Pornographers are cool and catchy and jangly and fun, but they can’t beat PJ’s voice.

Acid Queen (PJ Harvey): Hmmm…. The Internet is for porn, but “Down By The Water” reminds me of one of my favorite Men At Work songs (Down By The Sea)–gotta go with PJ Harvey on this one.

Chris (New Pornographers): Everything I love about the NP’s –– the absolutely perfect tunesmanship, the unity and collective quality (if this was Broken Social Scene, sort of the anti-NP’s, somebody’s girlfriend would be on the stage shaking a tambourine. Badly), the wit, the martinis – is on display here. PJ’s an acquired taste and sadly, i don’t have that kinda tongue. Against the Pornos, steak knives and eyeliner don’t quite cut it. Pornos, in a sweep.

Vancouver total: 5 + 2 = 7
San Jose total: 8 + 4 = 12

Winner: PJ Harvey relives the glory of her U2 opening gig at HP Pavilion and leads the San Jose Sharks to their first ever Rawk the Puck final.

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #3 Atlanta Thrashers
Representing New Jersey
Van Halen, Running With The Devil

Representing Atlanta
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Free Bird (bird, since a Thrasher is Georgia’s state bird)

Mike (Van Halen): I pretend to be Mr. Indie Rock, but Van Halen is one of my really guilty pleasures–and the first concert I ever went to (Right Here Right Now tour at Shoreline Amphitheater in 1991). You can’t stop David Lee Roth at his split-kickin’, scarf-wearin’ best. Plus, I can’t stand Free Bird.

Sherry (Lynyrd Skynyrd): Only in a make believe match would these two meet in the conference final. I feel like I already used my hair metal vote when I voted for Skid Row last week and since I cannot in good conscience ever vote for Van Halen for ANYTHING, it’s Lynyrd Skynyrd for me. Besides, have you ever played “Free Bird” on Guitar Hero 2? You will have a new appreciation for this song after you do.

Carla (Van Halen): If you seriously think I’m gonna listen to ten tedious minutes of Lynyrd Freakin’ Skynyrd, yer outta yer mind. How hard could it be to find something for the Thrashers? Couldn’t you have just picked something– anything!–by The Byrds? Anyhow, I don’t like ’em either but Van Halen gets the nod from me if only for their comparative brevity. This series goes to seven games and each one is triple-OT. At least, that’s how long that damned Skynyrd song seems to me.

Greg (Lynyrd Skynyrd): And meanwhile here it’s all cheese. I could happily grow old never hearing “Freebird” again (except for Coffin Break’s cover), but I think Van Halen is one of the most overrated bands ever, and “Runnin’ With the Devil” perhaps their most egregious crime against music. Atlanta wins, but by default. At least I can sing along to “Freebird.”

Acid Queen (Lynyrd Skynyrd): Man, how’s a half-neck like me to choose? Pre-Hagar Van Halen or Skynyrd?! *looks at the mullet she had in seventh grade* Skynyrd for the win, I suppose.

Chris (Lynyrd Skynyrd): In which VH do everything the Pornos so gleefully lampoon. A primer in rawk clichés! Synchro gee-tars, waving mullets – and a hairy chest to boot! (the pearls are a nice touch) The horror, the horror. And as soon as Bird tunes up, I reach for my lighter and wave it high. Not even close. It’s the ’77 Habs against Ballard”s worst Leafs team, which like VH, were mostly about bad hair and pale imitation. Free Bird wins the best of 173 series, 87 to 0.

New Jersey total: 8 + 2 = 10
Atlanta total: 4 + 4 = 8

Winner: New Jersey repeats as a Rawk the Puck finalist, probably because there are so many songs that have the word “devil” in it.

The matchup for the JABS Memorial Cup: San Jose Sharks vs. New Jersey Devils. I’ll get the actual songs posted soon.

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