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Monday, October 17, 2016

The Clash

Earlier this month, Clash of the Corps debuted on Fuse. Produced by The Rock's Seven Bucks Productions, Clash of the Corps follows the 2016 drum corps season through the eyes of two corps: The Blue Devils and The Cadets. The Rock previewed the first episode the day before it aired on his Facebook page, and since then, three episodes have aired, treating us thus far to both corps' training camps, Blue Devils' first performance and Cadets' preview show. We've gotten to know quite a few of the members, both corps directors, and several other members of the staff.

The show leaps right into the action without a bunch of exposition or explanation as to what exactly drum corps is. It's a little surprising, since I think corps fans often feel the need to explain first, but they're either counting on the likely audience already being familiar (I'm sure most of us are) or the story carrying well enough without the audience knowing a mellophone from a baritone (and so far, it does). It focuses on the two most decorated corps in the activity, though knowing how last season went, I'm certain the Bluecoats are watching like:
Despite the false dichotomy, I've really enjoyed the show so far. I'm interested to see if we see much of the other corps as the season wears on. They seem to be playing the show to sports crowds as well, giving us easy-to-recognize venues like the Rose Bowl and Lucas Oil Stadium, where Blue Devils and Cadets began their respective seasons. One thing I hope to see and hear more of as the show continues are the actual corps. There has been a lot of scoring thus far, even as the corps are playing; I don't know if that's a stylistic choice, or done in part to avoid copyright issues.

If you're not already watching, Clash of the Corps airs at 11pm ET on Fuse, and can be found afterwards on Hulu and the Fuse app and website.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

All Hail

It's been a rough two week stretch for the State University of New Jersey. Last weekend, Ohio State blanked Rutgers to the tune of 58-0 in the Horseshoe. In round two of a rousing game of Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better between the archrivals, Michigan headed to Piscataway and handed the Scarlet Knights at 78-0 loss last night. In the second half, the Rutgers Band, perhaps weary from a dearth of their own fight song, did something few would have have anticipated:

They serenaded the visiting Michigan fans with their own fight song, The Victors.

Odd though it may seem, the individual pieces, if not the combination, are consistent. Rutgers' band knows The Victors because they've fallen in step with a tradition in their new conference: Playing their opponent's fight song as part of the pregame. And while this use seems unorthodox, I'm told that the home band playing for opposing fans isn't unheard of. Still, in the seventh and eighth scoreless quarters against division rivals, I'm sure it was salt in the wound of the home fans, and a plume in the shako of Michigan fans who witnessed the thorough demoralization of the Scarlet Knights, who earned their first first down in the fourth quarter. Still, given the lyrics to the Michigan Fight song, there may have been no more fitting of a tribute:

Hail! to the victors valiant 
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes 
Hail! Hail! to Michigan the leaders and best

Conqu'ring heroes, indeed.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

BOTR Game of the Week, 2016 Week 5

I could wave to the traveling band in Week 5's Game of the Week as the pass me on the highway. Today, in Tobacco Road's longest stretch, Wake Forest's Spirit of the Old Gold and Black travels east to Raleigh to take on NC State's Power Sound of the South.

Wake Forest
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NC State
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There are no confirmed full band on the road games on the SEC Network today, so for What to Watch For, I'll point you to Baton Rouge where the Golden Band from Tigerland will perform right around the time the sun finds its home in the western sky. After the dismissal of Les Miles, interim head coach Ed Orgeron will start his tenure in a famed LSU night game against Mizzou.
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