Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hilltop Hoods (feat. Pharaoh Monch) – "Classic Example" (2009)

My final four defeats sweet sixteens
Like March Madness

Last week, Matt Norlander of CBS Sports asked all the coaches whose teams qualified for this year’s NCAA basketball tournament to name their favorite musical performers.  

I would have never guessed that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s favorite recording artist is . . . Beyoncé?

Beyoncé with Coach K
That’s right.  Coach K picked none other than Mrs. Jay-Z as his #1 musical seed. 

I was just as surprised to learn that the favorite performer of another grizzled veteran, Tom Izzo of Michigan State,  was Michael Jackson.  

(In my bracket, I had Izzo’s Michigan State squad hoisting the championship trophy.  In case you didn’t notice, Michigan State lost in the first round to Middle Tennessee State – a #15 seed – in what was probably the biggest upset in the history of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.  Good work, Tom.)

Not this year, Tom
I have to say that a lot of basketball coaches have horrible taste in music.  

Sean Miller, the University of Arizona’s head coach, said John Mayer was his favorite musician.

Boston was the top choice of Scott Nagy of South Dakota State.

Nick McDevitt of U. of North Carolina–Asheville picked the Dave Matthews Band as his numero uno.

And Link Darner, U. of Wisconsin–Green Bay chose Meat Loaf as his favorite.  

Link Darner's favorite recording artist
It is incomprehensible to me that someone could choose Meat Loaf as his favorite recording artist.  Hey, I like “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” as much as the next guy, but the rest of Meat Loaf’s oeuvre isn’t really up to snuff. 

Classic rock was the most popular genre of music among this year’s coaches – the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Chicago, the Cars, Tom Petty, and the Eagles were among the classic rock groups picked by one or more coaches.  

R&B and funk/soul performers on the favorites list included Earth, Wind & Fire (named by three different coaches), the Isley Brothers, and Luther Vandross.

Vandross is the singer of “One Shining Moment,” the song that CBS plays when it rolls a montage of tournament highlights just after the championship game ends.  I doubt that Bill Self of Kansas really is a fan of Vandross’s music generally – he’s just letting the world know he plans to win this year.

Here's the 2015 "One Shining Moment" montage:

Basketball is more of an urban sport than baseball and football, so it’s not surprising that only eight of the 68 coaches picked country artists as their favorites.  Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, and Keith Urban were among the country performers on the favorites list.  Old-school country legend Merle Haggard was the pick of U. of Arkansas–Little Rock’s Chris Beard.  (Good for you, Coach Beard!)

The most obscure group named by a coach was clearly the Front Fenders, a North Dakota band that apparently plays most of its gigs at the Fargo VFW hall.

Here's a picture of the Front Fenders playing at a Fargo wedding.  (Don’t quit your day jobs, guys.)

The Front Fenders performing
at a wedding in Fargo
U. of Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson, who named the Front Fenders as his favorite band, attended the U. of North Dakota.  I’m guessing he got lucky one night after the Front Fenders played at a frat party.)

The most interesting choice from the entire group belonged to College of Holy Cross coach Bill Carmody, who gave the nod to none other than . . .  Johann Sebastian Bach?

Carmody coached at Princeton and Northwestern before taking the Holy Cross job, which may explain why his musical tastes are a little more elevated than those of his fellow coaches.  Or maybe he thought it wasn’t a good idea for the coach of the oldest Catholic university in New England to choose a rapper who’s known for his violent and misogynistic lyrics or a drug-addled hard rock group as his favorite.

Holy Cross coach Bill Carmody
Holy Cross’s record this year was 10-19 going into the Patriot League tournament, where they were seeded ninth out of ten teams.  (The 10th seed, Lafayette, was a truly woeful6-24.)

But the Crusaders proceed to beat the #8 seed, the #1 seed, the #4 seed, and the #2 seed in succession, winning their conference championship and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.  They will likely be back in Worcester in plenty of time to watch the second-round games and study for next week’s classes.

The Hilltop Hoods
The Hilltop Hoods formed in Adelaide, Australia in 1994.  Five of their albums have reached #1 on the Australian albums chart.  “Classic Example” – which features Queens rapper Pharoahe Monch – was released on their 2009 album, State of the Art.  (When Pharoahe raps about “sweet sixteens,” I don’t think he’s talking about college basketball.)

Here’s “Classic Example," which is good . . . really good, in fact:

Click below to buy that song from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment