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Kevin Guilfoile's Match Preview

June 19th Match Two

These ain't no pork chops. These are U.S. Prime!

There are few things that pair in the mind more easily than music and motorcycles. I suppose the person we have to thank for that is Dennis Hopper, who created some of the most thrilling and iconic images in American cinema when he married choppers to Steppenwolf tunes in Easy Rider. We also have Hopper to thank for forever pairing smoking dope with getting shot unexpectedly, and nitrous oxide with Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Ironically listening to music cannot be an easy thing to do while actually riding a motorcycle. Actually as I write that I realize I don't know if it's true. I've never ridden a real motorcycle so I have no idea. For all I know those helmets are perfect and portable soundproof listening rooms and the leather-clad bikers who pass through my town en masse each summer on their way up to the rally in Sturgis are grooving on Fresh Air podcasts, which means their deafening aftermarket exhausts are there for my benefit. It's certainly possible.

This afternoon, however, these usually harmonious elements find themselves in opposition as New York's Jason Koxvold, a former semi-pro motorcycle racer, faces off against San Francisco's Scott Hansen, a musician whose lush and layered compositions I began streaming yesterday morning. I assimilated them so easily that four working hours later I had completely ceased to realize they were still on. I mean that as a real compliment.

Scott who goes by the name "ISO50" as a designer and "Tycho" as a musician (just an aside: Matt Johnson has said he now wishes he had never called his band "The The" and instead had called it "Matt Johnson") won his match earlier this year with sometimes subtle but always very clever variations on the previous layer. We haven't had the coin flip as I write this but one of Scott's keys to victory today, according to me, might be going second.

Jason is one of last year's LYT co-champions (the other, Shaun Inman, will play in today's first match). He rode to victory with a series of witty animations (which carry a high difficulty level considering the 15-minute LYT time limit on all volleys but the first) and a fair amount of attitude. A key to victory for Jason might be preparation as well as setting the tone early, which probably means he'd prefer to go, um, first. Yeah. I just realized that my "keys to victory" pretty much cancel each other out, which makes them pretty poor keys indeed. Unless you're Billy Packer.

Ooh, look at that. The coin has been flipped. Jason Koxvold wins the toss and just as I predicted (you'll have to trust me) elects to go first. Imagine now Scott marching in from the west with fife and drum (and guitar and laptop) carrying a banner with a "profile silhouette of the studio dog bruce, with the ISO50 logo knocked out of his body," and Jason, in red and black leathers, roaring in from the east on a two-wheeled death machine, flying a battle flag with the phrase "A risucchiare è umano," which I think means, based on the fact that I once had an Italian-American roommate, either "To suck is human," or "I swallow people."

Now let's see who can make the most noise.

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