Win A Date With Renfield, Beta Version

A recent domestic rocky patch got me musing about what post-marital life might look like, should it happen. I’d like to think that I’m now sane enough to be just fine on my own. But should the desire for companionship once again override my better judgement, my premarital criteria of hotness and brains would need revising: at my age one can’t take hotness for granted, and brains in the wrong person can be dangerous. That leaves common interests, so please find below my solution for sifting through the applicants:

Submit a substantial response to at least two prompts. Cities refer to their music. There are no right or wrong answers except for #5. Choosing the incorrect answer for #5 will result in immediate disqualification regardless of the overall quality of the response. Some pairs may seem strange or are not true opposites. Deal with it.

1. Beatles or Stones?
2. Elvis or Chuck Berry?
3. Stax or Motown?
4. Nashville or Bakersfield?
5. LA or San Francisco (60’s)?
6. New York or London (‘76-‘77)?
7. Kinks or Who?
8. Ramones or Heartbreakers (Johnny Thunders)?
9. Clash or Sex Pistols?
10. Replacements or R.E.M.?
11. Strokes or Libertines?
12. Bach or Handel?
13. Mozart or Beethoven?
14. Mozart or Haydn?
15. Mahler or Brahms?
16. Radiohead or ____?

I call upon the Bastardate to complete #16. Such is Radiohead’s reputation (one criticizes them at one’s peril) that they must be included, yet I cannot think of a band of their era that inspires similar devotion. Maybe you Xers can. Feel free to add pairs as well.

I left out jazz because, although I can’t expect hotness, I certainly wouldn’t exclude it.

11 Replies to “Win A Date With Renfield, Beta Version”

  1. I’m taking the easy ones because they were immediately evident and did not evoke DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE YOU SICK BASTARD feelings.

    #9 Clash >> Sex Pistols
    #11 Libertines >> Strokes

    Again, how could these even be a question, I look forward to our date.

  2. Yes, no contest on Libertines vs. Strokes, but my favorite aughties garage pop band needed a foil. The Strokes were the highest- profile band in that genre at that time, at least in the US, so they seemed the obvious alternate. As for Clash vs. Pistols, that’s not so straightforward for me. In a way it’s not a fair comparison, as there’s one album versus several that show artistic growth. But what an album. Perhaps a fairer contest would be The Clash vs. Never Mind the Bollocks, but I’ll leave that for the ladies to figure out.

  3. Dang! Maybe Radiohead or Flaming Lips? That’s all I can come up with for that time period. The answer is obviously Radiohead, but FL had a hell of a run with The Soft Bulletin, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, and At War with the Mystics.

  4. Same, it seems like no contemporaries hit quite the same worship threshhold as The Radioheads.

    Also, can we confirm that the initial screener to weed out obvious non-candidates is:

    Letterman or Leno?

  5. I’ll go with
    3. Stax > Motown
    4. Nashville < Bakersfield and obviously, it's Radiohead > Coldplay.

    This also reminds me of the football test in Diner.

  6. Perfect. One forgets about Coldplay, because Coldplay was so forgettable. But they were huge. That’s a good immediate disqualifier.

    For me, a reasonable person could make a case for any choice except #5, which is there to weed out Deadheads. Of the many stupid situations I’ve put myself into, a fling with a neo-hippie chick was the stupidest, and I will not repeat it.

    Another pair might be Springsteen vs. Petty. I choose Petty, but I can respect the other side.

  7. Springsteen here, but enthusiastic acknowledgement of Team Petty.

    I too was once romantically entangled with a hippie-adjacent significant other. Records of this time have been expunged to protect my fragile mental health.

    As a former Northern California resident, I will engage in Renfield-baiting and choose 60’s SF for #5.
    You could make the case that Deadhead culture was more of a 70’s and 80’s phenomenon anyway. The SFO 60’s for me is Airplane, Sly & The Family Stone, CCR (East Bay) and Dave Brubeck if I’m being a pedant. (I’m being told I’m a pedant).
    Also weird proto-scene stuff like Charlatans and Chocolate Watchband, and let us not forget Blue Cheer.
    Admittedly it may not stack up to the entire 60’s LA output, but it’s more and better than whatever Garcia Weir et al were up to.

    THAT SAID, I feel very much in sync with George Harrison. Upon visiting Haight-Ashbury during the time in question, he remarked:

    “I expected them all to be nice and clean and friendly and happy. I went there expecting it to be a brilliant place, with groovy gypsy people making works of art and paintings and carvings in little workshops. But it was full of horrible spotty drop-out kids on drugs, and it turned me right off the whole scene.”

  8. Fortunately I acquired no records from that liaison, just a couple of mix-tapes that likely still exist in a landfill. Not reallly ever a significant other, just a misadventure based on lust, alcohol, and an agreeable personality. Soon realized I’d stepped into the twlight zone. Many misunderstandings and much awkwardness, but the gods gave me an easy out: she was still in college and before we met had arranged a transfer for the following semester. To San Francisco State.

    I love Sly and Brubeck. For some reason CCR never did it for me although I like them very much in theory (anyway, weren’t they mostly associated with the LA scene?). Can’t stand J. Airplane for many reasons, mostly becuase their rhythm section was incompetent. They could barely ever gel. I’d have to go back and listen to see who was at fault. I’m guessing that the drummer couldn’t lock in with an overly-busy bassist and a drug-addled rhythm guitarist, but that’s a guess based on memory.

    I’ve never been able to listen to Blue Cheer for very long, but they get points for being very un-Frisco, as do the Charlatans and Chocolate Watchband.

    SF just can’t compete with LA: Beach Boys, Love, Byrds, Turtles, Seeds, Standells, Doors, Flying Burrito Bros., the rest of the Laurel Canyon roster and the jillions of hits chuned out by various artists backed by the Wrecking Crew, ….there’s just no contest here. SF got the counter-cultural attention, but that was just the network news version. The real counter-cultural activity was the VU in NYC, and Love and the Mothers in LA. Some might say the Doors too, but I’m not so sure. Maybe Blue Cheer in SF, not so sure there either.

    Apparently George showed up in Golden Gate Park one day, was appalled by the state of the hippies, was recognized, handed a guitar and asked to play. The crowd became somewhat belligerent when he would not, but he managed a hasty retreat.

  9. Yeah, according to George’s account on the second page, the experience was bad enough to put him off hallucinogenics.

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