Monday, August 30, 2010

Craig's MGoMix 2010

[Author's note: Today, I'll be breaking down the songs that I put on this year’s MGoMix, the "mix tape" that I make for driving to Michigan football games. It should be noted that this is not a hype mix, it’s more in line with Will Ferrell's character in The Other Guys having Little River Band on as they drive to the call, these are songs which reflect where I am right now as a Michigan football fan. As is the rule, until Michigan wins a Big Ten title, no repeat non-Michigan songs from the previous year’s MGoMix. Also, this entire endeavor owes a debt of gratitude to Geoff for giving me the idea to do it in the first place.]

1). "L'estasi dell'oro (The Ecstasy of Gold)" by Ennio Morricone (from the soundtrack to the 1966 film The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.)

Metallica has used this as their introductory music for every concert since 1983, and it is a perfect mood setter for wanting to get something done.  The Red Wings also used it as part of their pre-game video this past season.
In the film, this track plays while Tuco is frantically searching a graveyard for the grave that holds $200,000 in gold coins.  Which is sort of an apt parallel for Michigan fans the last two seasons when you think about it.  Searching through a graveyard, looking for something shiny and beautiful.

2). "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips (from his 2005 album Winter Pays for Summer)

I've always been a huge Toad the Wet Sprocket fan since I was in high school, and so when this track from Glen's solo album came up on Pandora, I was immediately drawn to it.  The lyrics are simply amazing and speak deeply to the Michigan fan experience of the last couple of seasons.  To wit:
Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work
Or...
Cause one way or another
One way or another
You won't get what you wanted
You'll get enough, for sure
One way or another
Winter pays for the summer
Won't get what you wanted
What you got'll be good
It is my hope that this is pretty much what will happen this season.  You won't get what you wanted, but what you got will be good.

3). "19th Nervous Breakdown" by the Rolling Stones (from the 1966 single "As Tears Go By/19th Nervous Breakdown")

When I was making the mix this year, I had it down to this track or "The Last Time" and I took it to Dave, my college roommate and longtime Michigan football partner in crime to make the decision.  He chose "19th Nervous Breakdown", not simply because it represented how we both feel about the Michigan secondary this season, but also because of the line "Well, nothing I do don't seem to work / It only seems to make the matters worse."  That's the last two seasons in a nutshell.

4). "Don't Let Me Down" by the Beatles (from the 1969 single "Get Back/Don't Let Me Down")

What is an anguished love song/plea from John Lennon to Yoko doing on a college football mix?  Because as a Michigan football fan, you're not rooting for victories, you're rooting not to be disappointed, or to have your heart ripped out in memorable fashion.  "Don't let me down" is the perfect sentiment for this.  It's trust, but verify, at its finest.

5). "Don't Let Go" by Weezer (from the band's 2001 album Weezer (Green Album)

This is the flip side of the "Don't Let Me Down" coin, not letting go.  It would be so easy to give up right now, wait for another losing season, and a new head coach and say "I never liked him, he didn't feel right."  It would be easy, but it doesn't make you a good fan.  Anyone can do that.  You picked the team for a reason, you don't just get up and leave in the middle of it because it's not going the way it had for so long.  Loyalty is a two-way street.  "Confrontations in my mind / Got me running out of time."

6). "Crossfire" by Brandon Flowers (from his forthcoming 2010 debut solo album Flamingo)
As many of you know, I am a huge fan of the Killers.  So when this rotated in on my Pandora in May 2010, I knew this was going to end up being in this year's MGoMix.  Why?
"And we're caught up in the crossfire / of heaven and hell / And were searching for shelter."  Yep, Michigan football for the last two years.

7). "Radiation Vibe" by Fountains of Wayne (from the band's 1996 self-titled album)

I was going to try and connect this to the "I went to Pittsburgh / and joined a pro team / What a bad dream / I broke a knee." but the reality is, I just really like this song and wanted to include it in the mix.  It's that simple.

8). "Reptilia" by The Strokes (from the band's 2003 album Room on Fire.)

This is where we enter the "need to get pumped" section of the MGoMix.  It's upbeat, it's guitar driven, and "I said please don't slow me down / If I'm going too fast / You're in a strange part of our town...", well, that's the Rodriguez offense for you...

9). "Let's Go Blue" by the Michigan Marching Band (from the 1993 album A Saturday Tradition)

Think of it as an interlude, a little intermission before moving on to other things.  Worth noting, "Joe Carl, a tuba player from 1973 to 1976, and Albert Ahronheim, a drum major from 1972 to 1974. It originated as a cheer at Michigan hockey games before moving to the Big House."  I can't verify this with a second source, but it sounds reasonable to me.

10). "Not Afraid" by Eminem (from his 2010 album Recovery)

I am fully and wholly expecting this will show up in a Michigan hype video for 2010, official or otherwise.  Let's run down why:

Chorus that is essentially defiant and calls for a return to previous glory?  Check.
Michigan born and raised product?  Check.
#1 song at some point during 2010? Check.

So yeah, I'm totally going cliche here and I know it.
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just lettin you know that, you're not alone
Holla if you feel like you've been down the same road (same road)
11). “Time Won't Let Me Go" by The Bravery (from their 2007 album The Sun and the Moon)

"Whenever I look back / On the best days of my life / I think I saw them all on T.V."
If I had to figure out a way to describe so much of my early Michigan fandom, this would be it.  Desmond's catch against Notre Dame in 1991, "Hello Heisman", Biakabutuka's 313 yards against Ohio State, Woodson's interception against Michigan State, Navarre's rumble against Minnesota, the Trick Play in Champaign...all of them on TV.  (Yes, I realize that I have also been there for many great moments, Braylonfest, The comeback against Wisconsin, Forcier to Matthews, but it's just still what stuck with me.)

"I am so homesick now for / Someone that I never knew / I am so homesick now for / Someplace I will never be."
(aka The Carr Years)
12). “Show Me What I'm Looking For” by Carolina Liar (from the band’s 2008 album Coming to Terms)

Of any song on here, I think the lyrics for this track best represent Michigan football 2008-09:

Don't let go / I've wanted this far too long / Mistakes become regrets / I've learned to love abuse / Please show me what I'm looking for

Save me, I'm lost / Oh lord, I've been waiting for you / I'll pay any cost / Save me from being confused / Show me what I'm looking for / Show me what I'm looking for…oh lord.
13). “Twilight Zone” by CSS (from the 2009 Lincoln ad campaign.)

Somewhere in a lonely hotel room there's a guy starting to realize that eternal fate has turned its back on him. It's 2 AM.

And then discussing the Michigan fan civil war:

Help, I'm stepping into the Twilight Zone
The place is a mad-house, feels like being cloned
My beacon's been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go now that I've gone too far


Soon you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone
Soon you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone
14). “Singular Girl” by Old 97s (a bonus track from the band's 2001 album Satellite Rides)

You've got the teeth of the hyrda upon you.  I love the T.Rex reference.  Plus, Old 97s is one off from Old 98 and Old 97 is a pretty good year in Michigan football history.  Plus, I frequently used "Murder or a H(e)art Attack" to reference Mike Hart runs during his Michigan tenure.  Oh, also:

"I've been trying to find you / May I remind you, I'm under oath now / I've been trying to see you / 'cause I can see you, want the truth now."
15). “In Hiding” by Pearl Jam (from the band's 1998 album Yield)

It's been about three days now
Since I've been aground
No longer overwhelmed and it seems so simple now
It's funny when things change so much
It's all state of mind
It's all State of Mind.  If you believe that there's something good to be seen, we can find it.  Otherwise, we're just doing to keep seeing the bad things, finding fault, and hating life.

16). "A Better Son/Daughter" by Rilo Kiley (from the band's 2002 album The Execution of All Things)

It's highlights set to a waltz
!  It makes sense.  Because sometimes when you're on, you're really fucking on and your friends they sing along, and they love you!   But the lows are so extreme, that the good seems fucking cheap! And it teases you for weeks in its absence!
I know it didn't work out last year, but I still believe this to be true.

17). "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)" by Mike and the Mechanics (from the band's 1985 self-titled album.)

OK, so it's a song about a country being over run by a war, civil or otherwise.  Instructions are being giving to someone who is caught in the middle of it.  It's not hopeful, it's practical, and honest.  If I were making a Michigan hype video for this season, it would be to this song (save the fact that you would need to find six minutes of highlights from last season.  Perhaps it's best not to think about it too much...)

Swear allegiance to the flag
Whatever flag they offer
Never hint at what you really feel
Teach the children quietly
For some day sons and daughters
Will rise up and fight while we stood still
The mix then finishes with the Michigan songs run:

18). "Across 110th Street" by J.J. Johnson & His Orchestra
(aka the Michigan Replay theme.  Plus, a bonus Yaphet Kotto reset!)

19). "I Can't Turn You Loose" by the Michigan Marching Band (1993 edition)
(aka the Blues Brothers theme, but more importantly, sometimes there is cake.  You need to get a chance to hear master bluesmen practicing their craft.)

20). "The Hoover Street Rag" by the Michigan Marching Band (1993 edition)
(yeah, like I couldn't have the HSR on this.  The ragtime arraignment of "The Victors." Worth noting, the 1993 album A Saturday Tradition was picked this year in part because it is the album that my brother-in-law was a member of the band for.)

21). "Temptation" by the Michigan Marching Band (1993 edition)
(I have no idea how a standard, made popular by Perry Como, became one of the most beloved songs in the MMB arsenal, but there it is.)

22). "Hawaiian War Chant" by the Michigan Marching Band (1993 edition)
(because you can't have one without the other.)

23). "M Fanfare" by the Michigan Marching Band (1993 edition)

24). "The Victors" by the Michigan Marching Band (1993 edition)
(the standard full version of the Victors.)

25). "The Yellow and Blue" by the Michigan Marching Band (1993 edition)
Closing with the alma mater.  Hoorah for the yellow and blue.  Hail! [small fist raise])

So that's it, that's the list, 78 1/2 minutes of mix.  Probably a bit too depressed for it's own good, but who knows?  Comments, concerns, questions, you know where to find me.  Go Blue!

1 comment:

phillip said...

This mix is full of win. Love the Old 97's selection, and Reptilia is a favorite as well.

Thanks for putting it together. I'll take anything to get me through until gameday!