Ever feel like your brain is so crammed with useless knowledge that sometimes you just wanna take an axe and kill somebody? Well! Now you know how music geeks feel! Therefore it is up to the Mercury to release just a bit of pressure from the brainpan of your average music know-it-all with our Music Trivia Challenge™!

As you assuredly recall from our last installment, Quasi's Sam Coomes mentally beat the stuffing out of Unwound's Sara Lund. It seemed like the only way to unseat this grand champion was to intimidate the shit out of him, and that's why the Mercury has chosen as his next competitor, the famous and world-wise Steve Albini. Well known for his stints in underground bands Big Black, Rapeman, and the incredible Shellac, Albini has also recorded such greats as Zeni Geva, Jesus Lizard, and Nirvana. This probably means he's smart, right?

Here's how it works! Each contestant will be given one minute to answer ten questions that cover the vast spectrum of musical trivialities. The winner of the match will be declared "Grand Champion Music Geek" and will then be forced to take on new challengers until they eventually are defeated, shamed, and perhaps even forced to produce an album for a major label. Answers can be found at the end, but first, we'll list the questions, followed by our contestant's responses.

The Mercury Music Trivia Challenge!
1) What does LL Cool J's name stand for?
2) After Bauhaus, Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins joined to form what band?
3) What was the '80s group formed by members of New Order and the Smiths?
4) What unsexy band had a '90s hit with "I'm Too Sexy"?
5) Yes, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" is one of the best rock anthems of our time. But who performed it?
6) What type of golf club is normally used to extricate a ball from a sand trap?
7) According to Mary Timony's solo album, how many bees have died today?
8) A photo of what person was featured on Julianne Shepherd's screen saver for at least two months?
9) John Casablancas, owner of New York's Elite Modeling Agency has a son who sings for what popular rock 'n' roll band?
10) Put the following Michael Jackson albums in order from earliest release to latest: Thriller, Off the Wall, Dangerous, Bad.

1) Ladies Love Cool James! CORRECT!
2) Umm Love and Rockets. WRONG!!
3) I think it was Electric. WRONG!!
4) Right Said Fred! CORRECT!
5) Poison. CORRECT!
6) A wedge? CORRECT!
7) Mmmm I know the song (sings) "Bees, bees, bees, bees, bees" 13 bees? CORRECT!
8) Alice Cooper? WRONG!!
9) Uggghh The Strokes. CORRECT!
10) Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous. CORRECT!

1) Hmmm Ladies Love Cool James? CORRECT!
2) I have the single Tones on Tail! CORRECT!
3) Umm is that Electronic? CORRECT!
4) That's "Right Said Fred." CORRECT!
5) Either Bon Jovi or Guns & Roses. One of those horrible fuckin' bands. WRONG!
6) That would be a "sand wedge." CORRECT!
7) I don't know. WRONG!
8) Mmm Red Skelton? WRONG!
9) Well, they're not popular, but it's The Strokes. CORRECT!
10) Bad, Thriller, Dangerous, Off the Wall? WRONG!


With a squeaker score of seven to six, SAM COOMES declares the narrowest of victories over the highly intelligent Steve Albini! How can this be?? How can Sam Coomes continue to defeat anyone that steps in his path?? I mean, sure, he's nice about it and all--but C'MON!! He must be destroyed!!

Are YOU a music trivia whiz and think you can do the impossible by dethroning the humble genius Sam Coomes? Send a letter of interest to julianne@portland mercury.com, and YOU may be chosen to participate in the next Mercury "Music Trivia Challenge!"

Answers! 1) Ladies Love Cool James, 2) Tones on Tail, 3) Electronic, 4) Right Said Fred, 5) Poison, 6) Sand Wedge, 7) 13, 8) Steve Albini, 9) The Strokes, 10) Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous