Battle of the Bands: Fictional Musicians vs. Their Real-Life Counterparts


We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz recently about Jesse Plemons (ahem, Landry Clarke from Friday Night Lights) and his real-life band, Cowboy and Indian. Some of our favorite Landry scenes in FNL were related to his Christian speed-metal band Crucifictorious, but Cowboy and Indian may be, if anything, its polar opposite. Watching Landry croon bluegrass melodies on guitar and sip whiskey under a warm light in his recently released vido got us thinking about all the characters with bands who actually have bands in real life — and which ones are better. Click through for our roundup of bands from TV and film whose members are — for better or worse — actually musicians, and tell us if you agree with our verdicts in the comments!

Crucifictorious (Landry Clarke), Friday Night Lights vs. Cowboy and Indian (Jesse Plemons)

Landry Clarke’s high school Christian metal trio Crucifictorious was notoriously bad. Plemons actually wrote the terrible-on-purpose songs for his fictional band, which didn’t necessarily bode well for any real-life effort, but we have to say, Cowboy and Indian (also a trio, mind you) makes lovely, bluesy stings music for sipping lemonade on the front porch.

Winner: Cowboy and Indian

Sex Bob-omb (Scott Pilgrim), Scott Pilgrim vs. The World vs. Mister Heavenly (Michael Cera)

Sex Bob-omb’s dirty, satisfying garage grunge was written, somewhat non-intuitively by Beck. As much as we love supergroups and every single member of Mister Heavenly (There may or may not be a large poster of Honus Honus in one staffer’s bedroom), their studied indie pop doesn’t quite beat the balls-to-the-wall, spitting joy of Sex Bob-omb. Now they just need to work on that name.

Winner: Sex Bob-omb

Sexual Chocolate (Randy Watson), Coming to America vs. Eddie Murphy

This is an 80s battle, for sure, though we think the winner is fairly obvious. Usually we’re suckers for matching powder blue suits, but even though Murphy is hilarious in Sexual Chocolate, we just never get tired of “Party All the Time.”

Winner: Eddie Murphy

Citizen Dick (Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Matt Dillon), Singles, vs. Pearl Jam

So Citizen Dick is basically Pearl Jam, except Matt Dillon is there. And he’s pretty much just a prop, so this fight is just Eddie Vedder on Eddie Vedder. Guess who wins?

Winner: Tie

Frozen Embryos (Jordan Catalano), My So-Called Life vs. 30 Seconds to Mars (Jared Leto)

We made this decision on sheer sex appeal and teenage angst alone. Give up the eyeliner, Jared. And the camo snuggie.

Winner: Frozen Embryos

Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana vs. Miley Cyrus

All our feelings about Miley Cyrus aside (and we don’t have as many as you might think), how meta is this whole story? Miley Cyrus plays Miley Stewart who is secretly also Hannah Montana who the real Miley Cyrus basically becomes in real life, before she becomes Britney Spears? This is not new territory of course, but it just re-blew our minds.

Winner: Miley Cyrus. Better production values.

Wyld Stallyns (Bill S. Preston Esq and Ted Logan), Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure vs. Dogstar (Keanu Reeves)

Sure, Bill and Ted are wholly terrible, and while nothing special, Dogstar is an okay band. But it’s just that Keanu sounds so serious, which is the worse of his two acting speeds. Plus, um, the music of Wyld Stallyns literally saved the universe and everything we know about history. Party on, dude.

Winner: Wyld Stallyns

Barry Jive and the Uptown Five (Barry), High Fidelity vs. Tenacious D (Jack Black)

Okay, so this isn’t really fair, since Barry Jive and the Uptown Five (slash Sonic Death Monkey slash Kathleen Turner Overdrive) cover Marvin Gaye, and are awesome at it. We imagine that this band is actually secretly better than Tenacious D, but since we don’t have the evidence to support it yet… sequel?

Winner: Tenacious D

Downtown Sasquatch (Craig Manning, Marco Del Rossi, Jimmy Brooks, Ellie Nash), Degrassi: The Next Generation vs. Drake

As hard as it is to believe, Downtown Sasquatch was the only was the only Degrassi band to feature the smooth stylings of Jimmy Brooks/Drake, on, um, lead guitar. Why was Craig the heartbreaker? The world will never know.

Winner: Drake

Steel Dragon (Ghode, Jörgen, A.C., Bobby Beers, Chris “Izzy” Cole, Kirk Cuddy), Rock Star vs. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (Mark Wahlberg)

We give Steel Dragon a lot of credit. A group made up of members from Dokken, Foreigner, Journey, and Ozzy Osbourne’s band (plus, you know, Marky Mark) has some serious faux-hardcore clout. But even all of those manly men combined can’t compete with the sideways hat.

Winner: Marky Mark