A couple weeks ago, Ace posted the stuff he'd play if he woke up tomorrow morning looking like Seth Greene in Can't Hardly Wait…
…and found out he was the man with the power to play the piped-in music at the stadium. This got me to thinking what I'd play—mostly White Stripes—until I had a thought: what if I could discredit the very idea of piped-in music so badly that they'd burn the speakers after the game? What if I could sit upon my be-goggled perch laughing maniacally with tented fingers as an enraged mob did my secret bidding? Yes. Yes, this is what I must do. I must destroy the institution from the inside.
Ground rule: no working blue. Anything played must be a radio edit, or a hypothetical radio edit of a song that excises naughty words that cause mothers to clap their hands over baby's ears. Otherwise this would just be Peaches songs.
Presenting the diabolical master plan to win hearts and minds by destroying them…
Joanna Newsom, "Monkey and Bear"
Joanna Newsom is a deranged elven harpist who put out an hour-long album with five songs on it. This is one of them. It's also a story of a manipulative monkey that convinces a sweet-hearted bear to flee its home, then exploits her for financial gain until she decides to drown itself. Possibly because she has brain damage. Awkward…
Sigur Ros, "Með blóðnasir"
This could be anything in their discography, really. Sigur Ros is an Icelandic band who invented their own language because all the existing ones were insufficient to express their meandering longing for… Icelandic stuff. Especially good for fourth-quarter defensive stands, as there is a strong chance opposing quarterback will lapse into a coma.
Seth says the title means "I have a nosebleed."
Cibo Matto, "Birthday Cake"
Jarring, high-pitched, probably-intentionally-annoying Japanese-expatriate food-punk containing the line "are you made or broken by the birthday cake" and the chorus
SHUT UP AND EAT TOO BAD NO BON APPETIT SHUT UP AND EAT YOU KNOW MY LOVE IS SWEET
Involuntarily listening to this over and over will drive you insane. People would start eating each other, screaming "TOO BAD NO BON APPETIT."'
[IT GETS EVEN WORSE AFTER THE JUMP]
Nelly Furtado ft Timbaland, "Promiscuous"
Many, many sex-related songs fell to the no-working-blue rule and the assumption that "ass" would not be broadcast in the stadium. Shake Ya Ass, Back That Ass Up, Rumpshaker… all fallen. Why I've decided to hew to this rule in a list of songs that would never, ever be played anyway is unknown, but I have.
"Promiscuous" would slip by any and all word-based nanny censors no problem. In this it is rare. Meanwhile, the chorus of this song invites a conversation like this:
ADORABLE CHILD: Daddy, what does "promiscuous" mean? FATHER: It's third and one. Ask your mother. ADORABLE CHILD: Mommy, what does "promiscuous" mean? MOTHER: Uh… it's not good. ADORABLE CHILD: It sounds fun! Boys AND girls can be promiscuous! MOTHER: SPECIAL K, YOU BASTARD! /shakes fist at sky, watches third and one, pines for commercial break
Mike and the Mechanics, "The Living Years"
JUST LOOK AT THE STAGE THING HERE AND THIS DUDE'S SQUINT
Possibly the worst song ever written, which recommends it greatly here. Also about your father dying in a very, very, very, very, very obvious way. Since many will be there with their actual fathers, entire stadium ends up torn between loathing for the song, preemptive regret at the lack of connection with the person literally sitting next to them, and maudlin breakdowns the sixteenth time this is played before a third and five.
This Thing From Majora's Mask
It's a Legend of Zelda game. Like listening to the Cibo Matto above, this will drive you insane, especially because its recurrence will make you believe you've just died for the 40th straight time trying to kill this one particular boss.
This is the grimmest, darkest Smiths song of them all. This is saying something. "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" is the Nyan Cat theme compared to "Asleep." The guy who posted it on youtube described it as "as beautiful as it is ghastly; a song of assiduous despair, it is the harsh and authentic clamour of the human soul at its most nihilistic," which he no doubt stole from a guy in an ascot but still. Yeah. That's what we're dealing with here.
Perfect for punting. This song is punting your soul.
Gary Jules, "Mad World" (cover)
You may recognize this from Donnie Darko. If there's one thing Michigan football needs it's a creepy one-eyed hell-bunny mascot.
Kate Bush, "This Woman's Work"
Via Orson, a tale of a woman losing her husband. Orson describes it as "This song is like 'haha, how adolescent and overblown and WHY TEARS OH GOD WHY—"
Ghostface Killah, "All That I Got Is You"
Also via Orson. May cause various players and fans from rough backgrounds to weep openly instead of blocking on field goals. DAMN YOU GHOSTFACE KILLAH AND YOUR EFFECT ON SHAWN CRABLE.
Tori Amos, "Me And A Gun"
Slipping just past the radio edit boundary is Tori Amos deciding not to kill herself in pretty much the saddest thing for anyone with testosterone to perceive!
Yes I wore a slinky red thing Does that mean I should spread For you, your friends your father, Mr. Ed
I feel bad for including this. Also for having testicles.
Johnny Cash, "Hurt" (cover)
Guh. This would be bad enough if football didn't accelerate this process considerably. This is getting dark. Like, I was having fun when this post started and now I'm just feeling morbid. A PALE HORSE RIDES FOR US ALL.
The cause is just. We must continue.
Pop Evil, "In The Big House"
[EMBED REMOVED TO PRESERVE THE SANITY OF THE AUTHOR]
You would honestly play the song from Donnie Darko and Tori Amos in the big house? Jebus, you are hilariously out of touch. I listen to a lot of the same music, but to play that for 100K people and want more then 10 of them to get excited is bonkers.
Are you a park ranger at Yellowstone? Say hi to Yogi Bear for me. - the_big_house 500th
It's also a story of a manipulative monkey that convinces a sweet-hearted bear to flee its home, then exploits her for financial gain until she decides to drown itself. Possibly because she has brain damage.
EDIT: I can say this now that I've listened to the song: It is a recording of the mad ramblings of one of the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz, possibly designed to spread the insanity of the singer to her listeners. It should be quarantined for the safety of the public.
"All of the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes."
"Mad World" and "Hurt" are about as depressing as it gets, but you missed out on also including Elliot Smith (Anything by him really), Neil Young "Hey Hey, My My" (or the like), Nirvana, and "Kurt Kobain" by the rapper Proof.
Perhaps reading the whole post would be of benefit . . . " what if I could discredit the very idea of piped-in music so badly that they'd burn the speakers after the game?" "Hurt," in and of itself, is a brilliant song whether by NIN or Cash. Of course, there is that whole misery thing. "Mad World" (TFF's original) is also brilliant. Of course, it has the whole miserable kid in school thingy. Smiths? "you go home and you cry and you want to die" would fit the bill, if not as overwhelmingly morbid as "Asleep."
I got a letter from the government the other day . . .
I've got a great idea. Let's take Lou Reed, but make him 35 years older, and have him voice over crappy faux pop-metal by a band that hasn't put out anything even remotely listenable since 1991. I'm sure the fans will LOVE that!
"The straightest line from A to B is straight: From A to B"
"When you have Denard Robinson, you can have everything"
The Chuck Klosterman column about that album at Grantland was great.
Yet there's still something vital about Lulu that needs to be remembered, even as you rip it off MediaFire and immediately forget the name of every single track: This was the dream. If considered in a vacuum, this absurd collaboration that no one wants to take seriously (or even play more than once) is the ultimate manifestation of what was once viewed as the idealized, unattainable goal of mainstream art. Just by existing, Lulu represents at least four things:
1. Two historically significant artists merging unrelated genres for no defined reason.
2. Adult, self-aware musicians following their own creative vision, devoid of commercial pressure or responsibility.
3. An attempt to produce something authentically different from anything we've ever heard before, motivated only by a desire to see what would happen.
4. A confident, unvarnished attempt at taking arcane high art (Lulu is based on theatrical German expressionism from the early 20th century) and repackaging it for denim-clad teenagers huffing gas in Arizona parking lots.
If you think about Lulu within those specific parameters, it seems admirable. It almost feels important. But those thoughts are annihilated by the inevitable experience of actually hearing it....If the Red Hot Chili Peppers acoustically covered the 12 worst Primus songs for Starbucks, it would still be (slightly) better than this. "Loutallica" makes SuperHeavy seem like Big Star. But this is what happens in a free society. Enjoy your freedom, slaves.
I think you are on the right track. You've got sad well covered although I'd add at least one Joy Division song, and maybe a Nick Drake or Red House Painters song (both have the added benefit of plodding pace perfect to make people say WTF).
I'd add some more noise. Nothing drives people (especially Blue Hair Donors) crazy faster than atonal shrieks. Metal Machine Music maybe? Glenn Branca or Sonic Youth? Or God help them Merzbow.
Devastating indeed but not "a tale of a woman losing her husband". Song about a woman going through hard baby labor as seen from the father's point of view. Made famous from the film She's Having A Baby.