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Super Bowl showdown: Can Denver hold a candle to Seattle when it comes to music?

Forget Manning and Wilson, this Super Bowl showdown pits Kurt Cobain and John Denver.(AP images)

When it comes to the Super Bowl matchup between Seattle and Denver, it’s pretty even. But what happens when the cities two music scenes go head to head?

“Denver may have Peyton Manning but we have Nirvana,” laughs veteran Seattle radio programmer and DJ Shawn Stewart.

Stewart and her team at Microsoft’s Xbox Music have come up with a Super Bowl matchup of their own pitting Seattle and Denver in a song by song showdown on the music site. It’s an idea they started kicking around when the playoffs started.

“I have to say, I had a tiny bit of fear it was going to be San Diego and Carolina and that might be a little bit of a challenge. I don’t want to ‘diss’ those cities because I’m sure if we had done the research, we could have found some good music from there. But I am delighted that Seattle and Denver made it to the Super Bowl.”

Stewart faced a tough predicament. While she’s an avowed Seahawks fan, she didn’t want to seem too biased towards Seattle. So much like Russell Wilson, she’s avoiding any trash talk and is quick to point out there’s plenty of great music coming out of the Rocky Mountains as well as the Emerald City.

“They might not have quite the same history we have, certainly they didn’t revolutionize music with a scene like grunge but they have the Lumineers, they have a couple of really strong pop bands including the Fray and OneRepublic.”

The list spans a number of genres and features such Seattle standouts new and old as “Can’t Hold Us” from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Nirvana’s “Breed”, “Bold as Love” from Jimi Hendrix, The Head and The Heart’s “Shake” and Pearl Jam’s “Sirens” going up against the best Colorado has to offer including “Ho Hey” from the Lumineers, “Counting Stars” from OneRepublic and of course, John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High.”

Stewart says as an old mix-tape maker, the goal was to make a list that flows seamlessly from song to song while letting listeners decide which city wins.

But really, how can there be any comparison?

“I have written, in Bart Simpson fashion on my white board here at Microsoft, ‘I must not trash talk the Denver Broncos’ and I’m not going to trash talk Denver either. I think both cities fared very well,” she says diplomatically.

I guess that’s why the list doesn’t include Smells Like Teen Spirit?

“First of all, you put Smells Like Teen Spirit up against any other song and that song is going to lose. It’s hardly even fair. So we picked a few deeper tracks but we also picked a few big smashes.”

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