The Round of 64 for Sound of the City’s own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—finishes this weekend, with the Round of 32 hicking off Monday. (The schedule and results so far are here; the full, updated bracket is here.) We’ve already had a couple of upsets so far, and in this Queens Division matchup, No. 2 seed Miles Davis takes on No. 15 seed Cyndi Lauper. Is it time for another shocker? Check out the arguments in favor of each below, and vote at Facebook for the musician that you think should move on to the next round.
Miles Davis’ contributions to American music are far beyond the scope of a short blurb, much less a multi-part biography. So let’s just go with this: ever since 1959 those insecure about their music taste or intellectual acumen need only mention their love for Davis’s iconic Kind Of Blue. This might sound like I’m reducing a genius’s contributions to American culture and not paying enough credence to how he changed the way musicians thought about chord structure and musical runs, the use of silence as a shading device, and the need to always be open to new influences (even when they dress like Jimi Hendrix). But becoming the ultimate shorthand for being smart and “with it” is no small feat. Let’s just hope those insecure kids actually listen to Blue, and then go on to have their ideas of “good taste” trampled on by On The Corner.
Cyndi Lauper is perfect. She writes perfect pop songs like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Time After Time. (“She Bop,” too, is no slouch.) She is a perfect New Yorker, a brash powderkeg of fun with impeccable taste and an unplaceably ethnic accent. And she is a perfect public figure, a straight champion of gay rights and unapologetic feminist unafraid to make fun of herself and prone to showing up at cultural events around the city seemingly for the sole purpose of reminding us how awesome New York is. (How awesome? Cyndi Lauper lives here!) Post-grads in Brooklyn spent much of the ’00s trying to recreate her and failing. You can’t copy someone that original.