The Greatest American Rock Band Bracket!
Sweet Sixteen, Indie/Grunge/New Wave Division
Velvet Underground (2) vs. the Talking Heads (3)
The original underground sensation versus New Wave funkmeisters
The Velvet Underground:
"The Velvet Underground were largely ignored during heir original run from the mid-'60s into the early '70s, but few bands would cast as long a shadow in terms of innovation and influence. Playing music that was boldly uncompromising both sonically and lyrically, the Velvet Underground infused rock & roll with the daring of the avant-garde and the poetic realism of post-beat literature. Too far ahead of their time for pop music's mainstream, the VU made a profound impression on thoughtful listeners, many of whom would go on to make groundbreaking music of their own, and they would belatedly be acknowledged as one of rock's most important groups [and] for their incalculable influence upon the punk and new wave of subsequent years."
The Talking Heads:
"One of the most critically acclaimed bands of the '80s, [Talking Heads] helped to pioneer new wave music by integrating elements of punk, art rock, funk, and world music with an anxious, clean-cut image. They collaborated with the British producer Brian Eno on a trio of critically acclaimed releases [that] blended their art school sensibilities with influence from artists such as Parliament-Funkadelic and Fela Kuti. Talking Heads' art pop innovations have had a long-lasting impact… Along with other groups such as Devo, Ramones, and Blondie, they helped define the new wave genre in the United States [and] helped bring African rock to the western world. Their 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, directed by Jonathan Demme, is considered one of the best concert films ever released."