Final Four Rankings According to Music
If your bracket is as busted as mine is (thanks, Oklahoma State), you're spending these last few days looking for any way to make this year's Final Four interesting. Thankfully, the on-court product should provide us with plenty of entertainment as Florida, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Kentucky, four blue bloods of college basketball, will descend on North Texas to decide the national champion.
Here at Relix, we're all about the music, so let's rank these four schools (and cities) based on the bands that either call themselves alumni of these fine institutions or call the city home. For our lovely readers in Gainesville, Storrs, Madison and Lexington, if you happen to know any other bands you believe should be in consideration (hold off on your favorite Leftover Salmon cover/bar band, please), leave them in the comments!
4. Storrs, CT
Best Known: Rivers Cuomo, Moby
Others: Judy Collins
Verdict: Not enough depth as the other three cities, as you'll see, but certainly some quality name-recognition in these three selections. Rivers Cuomo didn't attend UConn (Moby did) but did grow up in the greater Storrs area. He moved to California shortly after finishing up high school in Storrs, where he met the other guys from Weezer and went on to rock immortality. Collins' husband taught at UConn, where her music became quite popular in the '60s, prompting her move to New York City. Either way, listen to Moby's "Porcelain" because you probably haven't in 15 years.
3. Lexington, KY
Best Known: Vince Gill
Others: Glenn Kotche, Robert Schneider
Verdict: Lexington is home to so many wonderful local bluegrass acts. Oh, and two Backstreet Boys. No one can explain that, really. Vince Gill is probably the biggest name from the Bluegrass State, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche is a proud alum of UK and will surely be cheering on Big Blue wherever he is this weekend. Robert Schneider of Apples in Stereo spent a good portion of his life in Lexington, forming a band Ulysses there in 2004. Much to all UK fans' dismay, rival Louisville boasts My Morning Jacket, Joan Osborne and many more. However, I think Big Blue Nation will take the Final Four bid.
2. Madison, WI
Best Known: Steve Miller
Others: Boz Scaggs, Garbage
Verdict: Garbage, one of the most influential rock bands of the early 90s, formed in Madison and featured Butch Vig on drums. Vig would go on to produce a little record called Nevermind by a band called Nirvana. Butch Vig is therefore the man. Watch him slay the drums on SNL.
1. Gainesville, FL
Best Known: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bo Diddley, Stephen Stills
Others: Against Me!, Sister Hazel, Less Than Jake
Verdict: The clear cut winner both off and (probably) on the court. Petty ranks as the biggest name on this page, only to be complemented by the depth of Bo Diddley and Stephen Stills, among others. Even the bands that didn't particularly flourish still managed to squeeze in a hit. I mean, when you heard this song from Sister Hazel for the first time, it was engrained in your head forever.
If we head to a Florida/Wisconsin final, I will wait by the mailbox for your thank you cards. The Final Four kicks off from beautiful Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night, with the championship game taking place on Monday from the same venue.