Many people claim to be the "Brainiest Music Geek in the World," but who actually deserves the title? That's what the Mercury will eventually discover with our monthly "Music Trivia Challenge!" As you no doubt recall, last month, Arts Editrix Julianne Shepherd beat the pants off a pot-addled Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse. This month she will defend her title against a staunch contender, Sam Coomes, the illustrious singer/guitarist from Quasi (pick up their newest album, The Sword of God, coming in August from Touch & Go Records) who is known city-wide for being a bad muthafucka when it comes to music trivia.

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 then forced to take on a new challenger every month until they eventually have their ass beat like the pot-addled Isaac Brock.

As always, you are invited to play along at home and compare your brainpan's size with those of Sam and Julianne. Answers can be found at the conclusion of this article, but first, we'll list the questions, followed by our contestant's responses. GOOD LUCK!

The Mercury Music Trivia Challenge!

1) What group sang the 1993 hit "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"?
2) What Rush album title reads the same backwards as forwards?
3) What song was sampled in PM Dawn's "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss"?
4) What's the rock 'n' roll stage name for Gordon Sumner?
5) On what TV variety show did Jennifer Lopez get her start as a dancer?
6) On the album Exile in Guyville, Liz Phair boasts she feels "six-foot-one" instead of her normal height, which is what?
7) What's the name of Keanu Reeves' band?
8) Who composed the classical work, The Four Seasons?
9) Tupac Shakur was a member of what popular hiphop group before going solo?
10) According to rocker Tommy Tutone, what number would you dial to call Jenny?


1) The Proclaimers? CORRECT!
2) That would be 2112. CORRECT!
3) Thank god I don't know that one. WRONG!
4) Sting. CORRECT!
5) In Living Color CORRECT!
6) Ummm Five-foot-one? WRONG! Ouch. Sorry.
7) Dogstar? CORRECT!
8) Antonio Vivaldi. CORRECT!
9) Digital Underground? CORRECT!
10) 867530ni-iii-ne? CORRECT!


1) Proclaimers! CORRECT!
2) 2112! CORRECT!
3) "If You Wanna Be My Lover!" WRONG!
4) Gordon Sumner is Sting! CORRECT!
5) OH!! In Living Color!! CORRECT!
6) Mmmfivefootthree. WRONG! Arggghhh!!
7) Dogstar! CORRECT!
8) UhVivaldi. CORRECT!
9) 2pacalypse Now? NO!! YES!! Yeah. WRONG!
10) 867-5309! CORRECT!


Congratulations to Sam Coomes for humbling former champion Julianne Shepherd with a squeaker score of eight to seven! To her credit, Julianne graciously accepted her defeat, saying, "I'd like to apologize. I've learned from my mistakes and I'm no longer haughty." And as for Sam? Before leaving, he muttered a cryptic warning to next month's challenger: "It's not personal--strictly business."

Are YOU currently in a band and think you can de-throne the evil genius Sam Coomes? Send a letter of interest to and YOU may be chosen to participate in the next Mercury "Music Trivia Challenge!" Thank you, and good night!

Answers! 1) The Proclaimers 2) 2112 3) "True" by Spandau Ballet 4) Sting 5) In Living Color 6) "5 foot 2" 7) Dogstar 8) Antonio Vivaldi 9) Digital Underground 10) "867-5309"