It’s Musical March Madness! The sprawling bracket — both a parody and a tribute to the NCAA basketball tournament, masterminded by MTV News’ James Montgomery — takes the 65 biggest names in rock, splits them up into four regions, assigns them seeds and puts them up against one another in a single-elimination series of match-ups in a winner-take-all contest. We’re leaving it to you to decide an actual champ in this field of 65. Over the next few weeks, we will present a series of polls that will allow you to vote for the match-ups presented in MTV News’ Band Bracketology. You vote for the winners, we’ll keep advancing the seeds and, in the end, we’ll have some sort of champion. What will the winner receive? Little more than our esteem (as well as that of the fans) and some Internet bragging rights.
Before we get into this batch of match-ups, it should be noted that the opening round battle between Green Day and Panic at the Disco is currently completely even. Voting will be open until tomorrow morning for that particular pairing, so it will probably take a buzzer-beating shot to win it for either side. In the meantime, here are two more games to weigh in on.
(4) The White Stripes vs. (13) Rise Against
Here’s the problem with the White Stripes: They sort of don’t exist at the moment. Still, their new documentary “Under Great White Northern Lights” is tremendous, and a great reminder that Jack White is a guitar-slinging monster no matter what the context is. Rise Against have spent a decade knocking out staggeringly great aggro punk tunes, and their last album (2008′s Appeal to Reason) is one of the most underrated masterpieces of the last 10 years. Can they upset the Jack White juggernaut?
(5) Slipknot vs. (12) OK Go
A deep contrast of styles here. OK Go are riding high on the strength of their “This Too Shall Pass” video (over nine million views on YouTube) and their excellent new album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. Meanwhile, Slipknot have channeled their scary masks and end-of-days rhythmic metal into platinum sales and worldwide success. Are they loud enough to blow OK Go off the board?