The Republican and Democratic conventions are still more than a month away, but that doesn’t mean the summer has been an electoral wasteland. In fact, the Phoenix presided over three peaceably held elections this month — contests that were remarkable for their lack of mudslinging, stump slips, and negative ads. And we didn’t even need Jimmy Carter to step in and monitor this shit.
The run-offs were a part of our first-annual “50 States, 50 Bands” July 4th music-tacular, in which we picked 150 fights by picking the all-time best band, all-time best solo artist, and best new band for each state (to see all the results, go to thePhoenix.com/50states). We saved three of the most contentious slots —Minnesota solo artist (Bob Dylan vs. Prince), New Hampshire solo artist (Ronnie James Dio vs. Jon Spencer), and New Jersey band (Misfits vs. Four Seasons) — for you, our readers, to determine the winners, both by text and online voting.
Leading off with the North Star State, Dylan cruised to a surprisingly easy victory. The Hibbing troubadour carried the day with 65 percent of the vote. His Gibberish-Talk Express was consistent in various battlegrounds, winning 65 percent of the Web vote and 64 percent of the text vote.
In the Granite State, Ronnie James Dio rode the Devil Horns platform to victory over the Pussy Pulpit proffered by Jon Spencer, capturing 56 percent of the overall vote. Dio took 55 percent of the Web ballots, and an astounding 79 percent of the texts. Jon Spencer, sir, apparently your fans need a new friends-and-family texting plan.
And in the Garden State, Glenn Danzig’s Misfits notched a “W” over Frankie Valli’s Four Seasons, taking 54 percent of the overall vote. Online, Danzig’s horror-punk crew out-slugged Valli’s well-coiffed Jersey Boys 54 percent to 46 percent, while further demolishing them 68 percent to 32 percent in the text arena.
Exit polls were scarce, but here are eight reasons why Dylan so handily won:
1) Dylan probably never wrote a single song that used “U” for “you,” “R” for “are,” “2” for “two,” “too,” or “to,” or “4” for “for.”
2) David Bowie never wrote a song about Prince.
3) When Prince went electric, no maniacs screamed “Judas!” at his concerts.
4) Dylan never recorded with Wendy or Lisa, Appolonia or Vanity, or the New Power Generation. His band was simply called The Band.
5) Dylan (thankfully) never wore a purple jumpsuit with his ass cheeks exposed.
6) Dylan’s keyboardist was Richard Manuel. Prince’s keyboardist was a guy who looked like Weird Al Yankovic wearing surgery scrubs.
7) Dylan’s politically charged lyrics — from “The Times They Are a Changin’,” to “With God on Our Side,” to “Hurricane,” among tons of others — led a generation to question authority. Prince’s politically charged lyrics? (from “Annie Christian”): “Somebody say ABSCAM!”
8) Look at the cover of Dylan’s Desire album (pictured): Dylan was pimped out before Prince was out of high school!