Other MOUTH MADNESS [not a thing anymore]



March is a time when brackets suddenly become very, very important. Obsessed with brackets in ways usually reserved for obsessions fueled by substances now legal in Oregon, people sweat and cheer and live and hopefully don’t actually die by which sportsball team can sportsball better than that other team. Other people prefer to be the tournament, perfecting their skills at “pwning” in relaxing habits such as robot cage fighting (it’s making a comeback!) or operating pixelated violence machines, which is somehow different from piloting cage fighting robots.

A recent March bracket trend is for people who don’t like sportsball or pixelated violence machines to use music in a bracket. Like this:


As advances in bracket technology continue to proceed, newer and better bands with newer and better brackets are produced, creating the most enjoyable of vicious cycles. But we still have yet to reach peak music bracket.

Until now.

Despite being an objectively terrible year (really, just the worst), 2020 has produced an advancement that will lead to perfect peak bracket: Niel Cicierega’s album Mouth Dreams. Thus Neil’s mind has created the ever-important fourth quadrant required to produce the ultimate bracket:

MOUTH MADNESS

There are now four quadrants and numerous songs available to use in a 64 entry Mouth Madness bracket, all of them displayed right below this paragraph in fancy bbcode trappings and finery.

  • Promenade (Satellite Pictures At An Exhibition)
  • Modest Mouth
  • D'oh
  • Vivid Memories Turn To Fantasies
  • Bills Like Jean Spirit
  • Full Mouth
  • Alanis
  • Imagine All Star People
  • Imma Let It Be
  • Daft Mouth
  • Like Tears In Chocolate Rain
  • No Credit Card
  • Bega Interlude
  • Melt Everyone
  • The Sharpest Tool
  • Mullet With Butterfly Wings
  • Smooth Flow
  • Goodbye
  • Rollercloser
  • Furries
  • Friends
  • Best
  • Pokémon
  • Sexual Lion King
  • Crocodile Chop
  • Transmission
  • Love Psych
  • Orgonon Gurlz
  • Born To Cat
  • What Is It
  • It's
  • Close To The Sun
  • Numbers
  • Space Monkey Mafia
  • Wndrwll
  • Piss
  • The Starting Line
  • Floor Corn
  • AC/VC
  • 300MB
  • Revolution #5
  • Dear Dinosaur
  • Annoyed Grunt
  • Bustin
  • Blockbuster
  • Busta
  • Tiger
  • The End
  • Shady Interlude
  • T.I.M.E.
  • Smooth
  • Stand By Meme
  • Wallspin
  • Wow Wow
  • Mouth Pressure
  • Shit
  • Yahoo
  • Mouth Dreams (Intro)
  • Spongerock
  • Just a Baby
  • Superkiller
  • Get Happy
  • Ribs
  • My Mouth
  • Aerolong
  • Sleepin
  • Aammoorree
  • Where Is My Mom
  • Fredhammer
  • Limp Wicket
  • Cannibals
  • The Outsiders
  • Johnny
  • Closerflies
  • Nightmovin
  • Whitehouse
  • Wah
  • Pee Wee Inc
  • 10,000 Spoons
  • Mouth Dreams (Extro)
  • Brithoven
  • Ain't

“But Panic!” you cry. “There are WAY more than 64 bangers in these combined fancy lists!” Yes, unfortunately there are more than 16 songs in each of the Mouth albums, which is why we’re starting this event long before March begins. The two months before March are the qualifier rounds. During each qualifier round, you the Neil Cicierega fans and/or bracket obsessionists will get to commit heresy by arguing which songs are just not good enough to make the cut. Because time is an illusion and these are important decisions, the qualifier rounds may extend into or beyond March.

Once we have established all four quadrants’ songs, the bracket will officially be made* and people will be able to vote via Google Forms on which songs defeat other songs in combat and advance to the finals. Anyone can participate at any phase in this event without the need to sign up. Conquer choice paralysis to root for your favorite!

*Seeding will be based on the number of YouTube views for each song, as recorded in November 2020. Due to the newness of Mouth Dreams, seed metrics from the fourth quadrant were weighted by multiplying each song’s views by 5. All seed metrics and almost all song links obtained from the YouTube channels NeilCicieregaMusic and SoundClown 2, with links to copyright struck songs obtained from miscellaneous channels. Outtake songs are not included in this event. A special thank you to Marcher Jovian for providing instructions on how to seed a bracket.
 
Qualifier Round 1: Mouth Sounds

The spoilered list below contains the 17 songs in the album Mouth Sounds, complete with YouTube links to each song to help you make your arguments.


This is our easiest qualifier round, requiring us to cut only a single song. As such, arguments for or against songs in this round shall only last 4 days, at which point I will declare the cut song and move on to the next qualifier round.
 
Here's my own opinion on which song should be cut:

I understand that The Sharpest Tool is a song that I previously mislabeled and lowscored in PS2020. I would still include it in the bracket over Bega Interlude because The Sharpest Tool is an actual song and Bega Interlude pretty much isn't.
 

Pidge

('◇')
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
I'm a big Mouth albums fan.

For the topic at hand, Bega Interlude is not a bad one to cut, but at least it isn't flat out repulsive. I think "Imma Let It Be" is much worse, and a rare miss by Neil. In fact, it might be Neil's worst mash up ever. Every part of the seems unharmonius, and not even in a funny way.
 
Attention: Qualifier Round 1 will end tomorrow at 11pm CST.

I've gotten very little feedback on Mouth Sounds, to the point where if there isn't any further discussion, I'll just end up flipping a coin between my suggestion of Bega Interlude and Pidge's suggestion of Imma Let It Be.
 
With further discussion more or less equally against both Bega Interlude and Imma Let It Be, I decided to go for a different tiebreaker approach than just flipping a coin.

I listened to each song repeatedly, imagined it had been vote brigaded into the finals, and focused on which song in such a scenario made me feel the same low simmering rage as a 90 year old Episcopalian woman who just found out her favorite granddaughter is dating a man with 3 inch ear gauges.

As such, I have chosen to cut Imma Let It Be from the bracket. Unsurprisingly enough, this was also the lowest seed among all Mouth songs.

Qualifier Round 2 will be going up shortly.
 
Qualifier Round 2: Mouth Silence

The second quadrant of our bracket is up for debate! The spoilered list below contains the 19 songs in the album Mouth Silence, complete with YouTube links to each song to help you make your arguments.


We have three songs to leave on the cutting floor this time. The floor will be open until 11pm CST on the 14th to argue which of those songs should and shouldn’t be left out of the bracket.
 
Here's my initial take on Mouth Silence qualifiers:

Though it seems like an easy answer, I would be loathe to cut Friends because it's one of the most memorable of Cicierega's interlude/filler tracks.
 
Sexual Lion King is boring and puts me to sleep in a bad way
It's also rather uncomfortable how it actively tries to destroy my childhood. I wouldn't mind seeing it gone.

A couple others I wouldn't mind axing are Orgonon Gurlz and Transmission. Transmission is kinda clever in concept, but it's just a lot of awkward noise if you don't know what the concept is. The other interlude/short tracks are far better. And Orgonon Gurlz fails the Episcopalian Test that I used as a tiebreaker in the last qualifier round.
 
Attention: this is your 48 hour warning. Two days remain before the end of this qualifier round.

I have no qualms about cutting the three songs that have been mentioned this round. Particularly Transmission, since songs in the same category such as Born to Cat and It's easily outshine it. I'd even go so far as to say Close To The Sun deserves to be fleshed out into a full song.

Despite my satisfaction with the current slate, I hope we can have far more discussion than this when we get to the Mouths Dream qualifiers round. That round isn't going to be so much of a "why don't we cut this" as it will be "which songs deserve to be in the bracket" due to the sheer volume of that particular album.
 
And I'm calling deadline a bit early. Transmission, Sexual Lion King, and Orgonon Gurlz have been cut from the 2nd quadrant.

Next round going up shortly. Tell your friends. No, really, please tell your friends. I'm lowkey dying over here.
 
Qualifier Round 3: Mouth Moods

Time to move on to the other half of the bracket! The spoilered list below contains the 20 songs in the album Mouth Moods, complete with YouTube links to each song to help you make your arguments.


Four songs may not seem like much more than Mouth Silence’s three, but we’re going to take a little more time than last round to argue for who will and won’t end up on the bracket. Discussion for this qualifier round will last until the end of the month.
 
Get rid of it: Blockbuster
Could take or leave it: Revolution #5, Busta
Will fight you to keep it in the bracket: Shady Interlude

Shady Interlude may invoke recollection of Bega Interlude, but the two are nothing alike. Bega Interlude is muzak. Shady Interlude takes one of Eminem's most famous songs and does something creative and thought provoking with it.
 
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The Starting Line - Great album opener, prob not going too far but I certainly wouldn't cut it in prelims.
Floor Corn - Wonderfully jaunty, not up for prelim cutting.
AC/VC - Heavy hitter, not up for cut
300MB - Ehhh kinda one joke and it's an often repeated one. This is a cut candidate to me.
Revolution #5 - Fairly easy chop.
Dear Dinosaur (NOTE: The only available version of this song has pitch shifted audio.) - Could be cut, especially with that note holding it back on youtube. Not one of my favorites, kind of overstays its welcome to me.
Annoyed Grunt - One of the favorites for the entire bracket, no way this is cuttable.
Bustin - Even moreso than Annoyed Grunt. Probably #1 seed overall.
Blockbuster - As much as I love this it is a 14 second filler. Likely cut.
Busta - Amusing but cuttable.
Tiger - Another heavy hitter, no touchy the tiger.
The End - Kind of meh imo but prob not a cut, I can see people liking it more than I do.
Shady Interlude - This one I agree with Knights on, this is not a cut.
T.I.M.E. - Another heavy hitter, no way.
Smooth - No way. This album has so many greats.
Stand By Meme - This on the other hand... is really more of a 2 minute encore of Smooth than its own track. I could see a world where this is a cut.
Wallspin - Middle card to me but prob not a cut.
Wow Wow - Heavy hitter.
Mouth Pressure - Heavy hitter and the real album closer.
Shit - Kinda hate it. Does this really exist just to make "the last track is shit" jokes? I don't like it as a closer, I don't like it in general, the vulgarity stops me from recommending the album to older people, I'm down to cut Shit.

Potential cuts:
300 MB
Revolution #5
Dear Dinosaur
Blockbuster
Busta
Stand By Meme
Shit

Which three of these do I want to keep? ... Personally? I want to keep Blockbuster, Stand By Meme, Busta.

So my final votes are to cut:
300 MB
Revolution #5
Dear Dinosaur
Shit

Keep these:
AC/VC - I'd be lying if I said I liked the sound of the singer's voice, but still, this is a hilarious combination.
300MB - I'm a sucker for electronic stuff.
Dear Dinosaur - Gets better near the end imo.
Annoyed Grunt - Ohh wah ah ah ah to you too.
Bustin - Probably my favourite out of all of these.
Tiger - Just a man, just a tiger man.
Shady Interlude - I'm not fightin' ya.
TIME - Same comment as Dinosaur.
Smooth - The songs used for this one go so well together, wow.
Wow Wow - Buffalo buffalo buffalololololololo.

Middle tier:
Starting Line - First minute or so is a bit annoying, but the rest is fine.
Floor Corn - It's... decent. Not sure what else to say really.
Busta - A song that can't get no love from me. Okay, it's not the worst thing in the world, but I couldn't resist.
The End - Ehhhh. That's all I really wanna say.
Wallspin - This is just an inferior sequel to Wndrwll imo.
Shit - I'm aware that this one is meant to sound bad on purpose since it's essentially Piss 2, but it's just... okay?

Drop these:
Revolution #5 - This one just makes me feel dizzy.
Blockbuster - This is just filler imo. Not funny, didn't laugh.
Stand By Meme - This is like Smooth but nowhere near as good.
Mouth Pressure - I feel like the vocals in this one are a whole octave lower than they should be. As minor as that may sound, it kinda ruins the whole song for me.

I'm going to refresh my memory about the nonfiller songs tomorrow and give some additional input, but I just want to say that at this point I am perfectly fine with cutting both Blockbuster and Revolution #5. The bracket is about determining the best individual Mouth song, and Blockbuster exists purely as a segue between Bustin and Busta. It has no value when removed from the context of the album.

And while I'm finally getting around to posting now that Weebrus is over, here's a fun fact: since the seeds are assigned based on YouTube views, Bustin is actually the #9 seed. I was as surprised as you are now.
 
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Okay, here's my thoughts on cut candidates that have been suggested:

300MB: Bit of an eyeroll, but not utter trash like Orgonon Gurlz or Imma Let It Be. However, I probably wouldn't miss it if it wasn't in the bracket.

Dear Dinosaur: I don't think having altered audio due to copyright is grounds alone for cutting a song. Song quality matters more than "did someone have to jump through hoops to keep this on the internet". (And since this argument might come up again in the next round, I'm just going to mention that I like the audio effect on Sleepin'.) This one's middle tier imo.

Shit: An argument could be made for Shit staying in, partly due to its role as a counterpart to Piss and partly because it's not a total turd. It's obviously a shitpost, but I think this one doesn't need to be courtesy flushed.

Stand By Meme: Stand By Meme is... pretty much a continuation of Smooth. We've heard something like this before with the transition from Full Mouth to Alanis. We've also heard something like this before in that One Week is common Mouth mash material. We need to focus not on comparing it to other songs, but on whether or not it holds its own without those songs as reference points. I think it does.

Mouth Pressure: I don't find the pitch shifting to be out of place or unpleasant here. My nitpick here was that not using any of the Queen vocals was a missed opportunity. Maybe it could be cut, but I'd nix 300MB over it.

And here's my thoughts about the other songs:

The Starting Line: Ngl, the first minute of this almost gives me sensory overload. Then Montell Jordan jumps in and it gets better.

Floor Corn: I like this song so much that I hosted multiple popcorn games because of it.

AC/VC: Egix hit the nail on the head when he called this a hilarious combination.

Annoyed Grunt: It's strangely catchy and well composed. A sleeper hit among Neil's more creative works.

Bustin: Not the #1 seed, but I think we can all agree it's #1 in our hearts.

Busta: I think it suffers from the same problem as Close To The Sun: dammit Neil, why didn't you make it a full song. I lowkey wanna see how it does in the bracket.

Tiger: Plugging in a word or phrase into as many spots as possible doesn't always work. Lyrically, it's a little clunky. It's the little flourishes, the growls and catchphrases, that make it passable.

The End: Definitely a middle tier song, but I'm leaning a little more towards keeping it than cutting it.

T.I.M.E.: Makes me feel just like I did that time I watched Ted Danson dropkick a dog into the sun. A vague sense of wrongness and slight depression. But would I cut that? No way in hell.

Smooth: It's no surprise that the Mouth Moods quadrant contains seven of the top ten seeds for the bracket. This is the #2 seed and I have no inclination to cut it in the slightest.

Wallspin: Not cutting it. Like it says in the video's comments, Neil told the same joke twice and it was funny both times.

Wow Wow: 8 million views. EIGHT MILLION VIEWS. Cutting the #1 seed would be sheer madness.
 
Attention: this is your 48 hour warning. Two days remain before the end of this qualifier round.

Right now, unless anyone has any objections and/or opinions, the cut slate is looking like Blockbuster, Revolution #5, 300MB, and Mouth Pressure.

Next round is going to have far more decisions to make, and harder ones as well. As such, I intend to start that round with a list of three songs I plan to automatically slate for the bracket.
 
And that's Mouth Moods in the bag. 300MB, Revolution #5, Blockbuster, and Mouth Pressure have been cut from the 3rd quadrant.

Up next is 2020's Concept Album of the Year, Mouth Dreams! Time to make a bunch of Sophie's Choices about surreal insomnia metaphors! HYPE!
 
Qualifier Round 4: Mouth Dreams

This is it, the big one! The spoilered list below contains the 26 songs in the album Mouth Dreams, complete with YouTube links to each song to help you make your arguments.


This qualifier round is a HUGE undertaking, with a whopping ten songs needing to get the chop. Because of this, the entire month of February will be used to argue for or against songs in this album.
 
Okay, here’s the big opening announcement you’ve been waiting for: I am automatically slating Superkiller, Aammoorree, and My Mouth to the bracket. While Neil has many creative “lyric screw” mashes in this album, these three are the ones I consider to be his most clever ones. Superkiller for its thoughtful subversion of David Byrne’s original lyrics, Aammoorree for its surreal hilarity (BELLS), and My Mouth for being the prime example of the album’s concept.

Also, I lied. It’s 4. 10,000 Spoons is also being automatically slated for the same reason. As I was listening to the album again, I realized it didn’t feel right to ignore the cigarette wife while slating the above three.

I’m not making any automatic cuts (despite The Outsiders falling under the same cut standards as other filler/segue tracks such as Blockbuster). This is a quadrant where it feels much easier to decide what shouldn’t be cut.

Speaking of fillers, I’d like to offer this question to kick off discussion:

Would Mouth Dreams (Intro) and Mouth Dreams (Extro) be easy cuts to make? Why or why not?
 
Unfortunately, Mouth Madness is cancelled.

Going into this, I had considered the possibility that this event wouldn't receive enough interest to garner a lot of voters in the bracket and give the event a solid progression and conclusion that'd come from having a large sample size. There is no vox populi, vox dei without the people. So I'm moving back into my lane and moving on to my next planned walrus. Expect it on Sunday and I hope you look four-ward to it.
 
Unfortunately, Mouth Madness is cancelled.

Going into this, I had considered the possibility that this event wouldn't receive enough interest to garner a lot of voters in the bracket and give the event a solid progression and conclusion that'd come from having a large sample size. There is no vox populi, vox dei without the people. So I'm moving back into my lane and moving on to my next planned walrus. Expect it on Sunday and I hope you look four-ward to it.
Or in other words
Imma let it be
 

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