Bracket Tweeter Trolls Wall Street Stock Tracker
Author Conflates Conceits, Or Maybe Not, Impossible to Say
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
By Matthew Kauffman Smith
e have a scrolling, LED-light board in the Propeller offices, much like a Wall Street stock tracker. [Ed. note: This sentence is a perfect example of why Album Bracketology is uneditable. Every aspect of the sentence is incorrect. There is no “we” the author is a part of, there is no “LED-light board” (one presumes the author means an “LED lightboard,” though who is to say) in the Propeller offices, and an “LED-light board” doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with a “stock tracker” (one presumes the author means “ticker,” though again, this is unclear.)]
In the parlance of the author, this is maybe a “Wall Street stock tracker.”
It counts, in real time, the amount of hits that our magazine receives. [Ed note: One would normally write “number of hits” here, unless the author perhaps imagines that website hits are weighed on a scale or flow into a bin or glass jar.] Betty in accounting named it the “Clicker Ticker,” a name that has stuck. As you can imagine, Album Bracketology has a readership into the thousands, and just like the top albums of the year, the hits keep coming. The loyal readership sends in a lot of letters to the editor, though they often follow the same formula, which goes something like this:
Dear Bracket ________ (Monkey, Dork, Embarrassment, etc.) I read your first installment. It __________ (doesn’t make sense, isn’t coherent, sucks, etc.). I don’t understand ___________ (the methodology, anything, you, etc.).
_________________ (Angry in Amsterdam, Betty in Accounting, Mom, etc.)
Look, I get it. The sophisticated nature of a double-elimination tournament to decide the album of the year for last year isn’t for everybody. With new readers daily, Album Bracketology is harder to understand when readers start in the middle, or as we used to say in Latin growing up in Indiana: in medias res. We at Propeller encourage our thousands—perhaps millions—of readers to go back to the beginning of the series from three years ago to better understand. [Ed note: We have declined to put a link here, on the grounds that the link would send already-confused readers to articles no less confusing, but with the additional quality of being obsolete.]
WE ARE BRACKILEAKS:
[Ed note: Genuine bafflement here. The author appears to have conflated what previously appeared to be two separate conceits. In the first, there is a twitter account called “Donnie Brackets” (@realbracketrump) that directs tweets critical of Album Bracketology to the magazine. In the second, there is an organization called “Brackileaks” that leaks results of the Bracketology tournament. In the above instance, however, the Brackileaks organization has apparently broken into this article in order to...introduce tweets from Donnie Brackets? Tweets would not, by definition, need to be “leaked.” Again, however, the problems here are essentially uneditable, in the same way a child’s beliefs about how or why the Easter Bunny hides eggs cannot be “corrected.”]
It appears our Propeller firewall is failing again. [Ed. note: The previous sentence is more accurate if one deletes “our” and “firewall.” It appears videos will soon be included in this article. Because the author always chooses distressing videos, this editor is signing off. Proceed at your own risk.] While I can prove our readership is larger than Brackileaks is reporting—and I will reveal this documentation in the future—let’s get back to finding out the album of the year, and unveiling the bracket. This year, the bracket can be found at Album Bracketology 2016 for real-time results.
This year’s tournament is the most eclectic yet, featuring a mix of established artists (David Bowie, the Pretenders, the Monkees), Album Bracketology legends (Skinny Lister, Dr. Dog, Kishi Bashi), fake bands (Body by Deluise, Manic Impressive, Radio Free Andorra) and newcomers (KAYTRANADA, Noname, Pinegrove). Speaking of newcomers, we present Avers, who finish No. 84 this year with their album Omega / Whatever and continue Propeller’s long-standing tradition of playing dance-heavy videos:
As explained in the last installment, this year’s magic number of top albums of the year is 90, and we revealed numbers 90-85 already. Any album that reaches the winner’s bracket round four or the loser’s bracket round five reaches the top 64 and are automatically included. Then, the Album Bracketology staff picks the 26 most deserving losers from the early rounds to round out the top 90.
84. Avers, Omega / Whatever
83. The Pretenders, Alone
82. Laura Mvula, The Dreaming Room
81. Blink-182, California
80. The Record Company, Give it Back to You
79. The Monkees, Good Times
We break into the action to salute The Monkees—yes, those The Monkees—who came out of retirement last year to release an album and retire again. From being accused of not playing their own instruments in the 60s to finally reaching Album Bracketology, 2016 was the TV band’s breakout year:
78. Heron Oblivion, Heron Oblivion
77. Shovels and Rope, Little Seeds
76. Nada Surf, You Know Who You Are
75. Margo Price, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
74. Damien Jurado, Visions of Us on the Land
73. Skepta, Konnichiwa
72. Big Thief, Masterpiece
71. Kungs, Layers
70. Of Montreal, Innocence Reaches
69. Skinny Lister, The Devil, the Heart & the Fight
68. White Lung, Paradise
67. The Gotobeds, Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic
66. Beach Slang, A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings
65. Kevin Morby, Singing Saw
While normally we would show a Kevin Morby video as a reward for being the best of the losers, we instead present you with No. 71 band Kungs, who have the official Propeller pop single of the year:
In the remaining bracket, Dr. Dog’s quest to become the first Album Bracketology repeat champion took a double hit with its two album releases in 2016. First, the Philadelphia band beat itself (and lost to itself) before losing to the Drive-By Truckers. Dr. Dog is still alive, however, with its two albums moving through the losers’ bracket.
Speaking of successful losers, Aesop Rock, the Hotelier, Lake Street Dive, and Ryley Walker all lost in the first round, only to win four straight rounds in the losers’ bracket and reach the prestigious top 64.
That’s all we want to present for now, though next time we will get down to the top 32 as we reveal numbers 33-64.
WE ARE BRACKILEAKS: Beyoncé defeats the Avett Brothers in Round five.
Sigh. We will take a needed break from Album Bracketology to fix the Propeller firewall and block Brackileaks while our thousands of readers digest the brackets.
Matthew Kauffman Smith has written Album Bracketology before.