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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 kicking off Monday. (The schedule and results so far are here; the full, updated bracket is here.) This time out, we head to the Brooklyn division for a face-off between folk icon Pete Seeger and spiritual dance-punks The Rapture. 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.
Though Pete Seeger, traveling companion of Woody Guthrie and the Johnny Appleseed of American folk music, is most associated with his log cabin up the Hudson in Beacon, it was his years using Manhattan as a homebase on which he was able to build a life as one of the most important musicians of the century’s first half. Born in Manhattan, he lived with Guthrie and others at the communal Almanac House on W. 10th Street, and—as a footsoldier in the Mimeograph Revolution—help seed the West Village folk circuit with his zine, People’s Songs. When the blacklist struck, New York clubs and theaters like Town Hall remained Seeger’s pulpit, a ceaseless educator and genial badass.
There was a time when people considered New York crowds to be a little… stiff. A bit harder to imagine now (a little bit), and even harder to imagine just how stone-faced they might appear today had it not been for “House of Jealous Lovers,” The Rapture’s breakthrough 2003 single. Luke Jenner and Co. have kept their promise to continue shaking down audiences ever since, blending punk, house and pop over three solid full-lengths with almost alarming consistency. Echoes remains a classic pretty much any way you slice it, and with last year’s In the Grace of Your Love, they proved that taking on divinity could yield similarly divine results.