Monday, August 29, 2011

Craig's MGoMix 2011

[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. As I noted last year, it should be noted that this is not a hype mix, 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.]

Also new this year...a Spotify link!

1). "Flash's Theme" by Queen (from the soundtrack to the 1980 film Flash Gordon)

This is a slight hold over from last year, but I thought that Denard Robinson had earned the right to the ultraheroic and over the top theme from Flash Gordon (remember, in the film, Flash is a New York Jets quarterback with awesome hair.)  Consider if you will the adjectives used to describe Flash:

"He's a miracle"
"King of the impossible."
"He'll save everyone of us."
"Just a man, with a man's courage, you know he's nothing but a man and he can never fail."

Yeah, no pressure Shoelace.

(Also, in the song itself, there are snippets from the movie which calmly say "There is seemingly no explanation for these extraordinary intergalactic upsets" and "This morning's unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm." which kind of sums up the last four years.)

2). "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by The Rolling Stones (from the 1968 single "Jumpin' Jack Flash")

It's for this lyrical section:

I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead.
I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled.
I frowned at the crumbs of a crust of bread.
Yeah, yeah, yeah
I was crowned with a spike right thru my head.
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas!
But it's all right, I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash,
It's a Gas!  Gas!  Gas!

Sound familiar?

3). "Out of Control" by U2 (from the band's 1980 debut album Boy)

Kind of an easy pick, since ESPN made great use of it in their promo about strikers and the Power of 10 for the 2010 World Cup*, but is there any better summation of something the Michigan fanbase can agree on coming in to the 2011 season than this lyrical refrain:

"I had a feeling it was out of control
I had the opinion it was out of control

I had a feeling it was out of control
I had the opinion it was out of control."

*-No pressure Jeremy Gallon, no pressure.

4). "Gray Cell Green" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin (from the band's 1991 album God Fodder)

Or welcome back power running game...and play action passing.

You're telling me it's in the trees, in the trees
It's not it's inside me now

You're telling me it's on the ground, it's all around It's not it's inside me
You're telling me it's in disguise well use your eyes It's not it's inside me

You're telling me it's mother earth some sign of birth
It's not it's inside me

Plus, I think this will appease the football gods by having Green and Gray mentioned.

5). "Having an Average Weekend" by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet (from the band's 1990 album Savvy Showstoppers)

You probably know this track better as the theme to The Kids in the Hall, and the nice duality exists here.  One the one hand, "Having an Average Weekend" is kind of the theme from last season.  Some good, some bad, but mostly average.  On the other hand, I get to make Kids in the Hall references, which include mentioning the Daves I know, I know, Terriers, Business Meeting, Career Ending Moments in Show Business, The Pit of Ultimate Darkness, and Daddy Drank.  Really, I could do this all day.  All you have to be is quiet and willing to do it.*  But we have a mix tape to get back to...

(*--And, I've got quiet shoes...)

6). "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence + the Machine (from the band's 2009 album Lungs)

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we start looking forward.  Perhaps a little too hopeful, but the mood of "the Summer of Hoke" certainly had this vibe:

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
Because here they come

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your loving, your loving behind
You can't carry it with you if you want to survive.

Run fast Denard, run fast.

7). "Superunknown" by Soundgarden (from the band's 1994 album of the same name.)

Let's face it, for all of our hope, for all of our belief, for all of our "The worst is over" moments, the reality is that, well, I'll let Mr. Cornell handle it:

Alive in the superunknown
First it steals your mind
And then it steals your soul

We don't know, and that's why they play the games.

8). "The Fixer" by Pearl Jam (from the band's 2009 album Backspacer.)

In the categories of "Things we remember being pretty awesome in the 1990s", Greg Mattison, this one is for you:

When something's broke I wanna put a bit of fixin on it
When something's bored I wanna put a little excited on it
If something's low I wanna put a little high on it
When something's lost I wanna fight to get it back again
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
Fight to get it back again
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Fight to get it back again.

9). "Everlong" by Foo Fighters (from the band's 1997 album The Color and the Shape)

The last three years are like a weird fever dream in some ways.  I don't know if they qualify as a mistake, but they definitely are a learning experience.

And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again
The only thing I'll ever ask of you
Got to promise not to stop when I say when

Worth noting, it is David Letterman's favorite song.  You know where David Letterman went to college?  Ball State.  You know who else went to Ball State?  Brady Hoke.

10). "Rifles"by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (from the band's 2001 album B.R.M.C.)

There is no really good reason for this to be on here other than I like the sort of chill dark intensity it brings to the table.

11). "I'm Not Over" by Carolina Liar (from the band's 2008 album Coming to Terms)

I'm not saying this is how I feel about November 2010-early January 2011, but...

What a waste of time
The thought crossed my mind
But I never missed a beat
Can't explain the who or what I was
Trying to believe
What would you do
What would you do
Do you know
I once had a grip on everything
It feels better to let go

I'm not over
I'm not over you just yet
Cannot hide it
You're not that easy to forget
I'm not over

12). "Three Strange Days" by School of Fish (from the band's 1991 self-titled album)

Days...years...  And yes, in my world, "Johnny Clueless" is in fact a fantastic nickname for a former defensive coordinator.  The drinking by yourself is personal perference.

"But I've got to make it through, no matter what it takes.  I've got to make it through...three strange days."

13). "Saving Grace" by Buffalo Tom (from the band's 1992 album Let Me Come Over.)

In addition to loving the word of Buffalo Tom, well...

It's been so long since I've been home
Since I've had fun
I'm coming home
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon

Let's hope it's sooner rather than later.

14). "Back in the High Life Again" by Warren Zevon (a cover from his 2000 album Life'll Kill Ya)

Firstly, Warren Zevon is awesome.  Secondly, come on, it's right here:

I'll be back in the high life again
All the doors I closed one time will open up again
I'll be back in the high life again
All the eyes that watched me once will smile and take me in

Call it an ode to bandwagoning.

15). "Untitled" by Interpol (from the band's 2002 album Turn on the Bright Lights)

There are only five lines in this song, but I think it kind of hits the nail on the head:

Surprise, sometimes, will come around
Surprise, sometimes, will come around
I will surprise you sometime, I'll come around
Oh, I will surprise you sometime, I'll come around
when you're down.

I can handle surprise.

16). "Three is a Magic Number" by Blind Melon (from the 1996 tribute album Schoolhouse Rock Rocks!)

Yes, this is here for two reasons:
1). I miss the kicking game.  "And it's a magic number!"
2). "Man and a woman had a little baby, there were three in the family...and that's a magic number."  Welcoming my son to his first Michigan football season.

17). "Rise" by Eddie Vedder (from the soundtrack album for the 2007 film Into the Wild.)

Such is the way of the world
You can never know
Just where to put all your faith
And how will it grow

Gonna rise up
Burning back holes in dark memories
Gonna rise up
Turning mistakes into gold

Such is the passage of time
Too fast to fold
And suddenly swallowed by signs
Low and behold

Gonna rise up
Find my direction magnetically
Gonna rise up
Throw down my ace in the hole

Any form of fandom is about faith, about belief in things that cannot be seen.  It's not religious, though it has overtones which give rise to paralells, but it is built on the fact that we are left to believe in something we cannot prove until the game is over.  We're going to find our direction magnetically, and hopefully not have the tragic ending of Into the Wild.

18). "Clubbed to Death" by Rob Dougan (from his 1998 album Furious Angels)

This is here to remind me that Denard may have actually originally come from the Matrix.

19). "The Wanting Comes in Waves" by The Decemberists (from the band's 2009 album Hazards of Love)

It's morning again in Ann Arbor...with a full pirate hat tip to our aspirational peers at The House that Rock Built

The mix then finishes with the Michigan songs run:

20). "M Fanfare" by the Michigan Marching Band (2009 edition)

21). "The Victors" by the Michigan Marching Band (2009 edition)
(the standard full version of the Victors.)

22). "Temptation" by the Michigan Marching Band (2009 edition)
(I still 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.  Also, Muppets!)

23). "Hawaiian War Chant" by the Michigan Marching Band (2009 edition)
(because you can't have one without the other.)

24). "The Yellow and Blue" by the Michigan Marching Band (2009 edition)
Closing with the alma mater.  Hoorah for the yellow and blue.  Hail! [small fist raise])

So that's it, that's the list, 79 1/2 minutes of mix.  Still probably a bit too depressed for it's own good, but who knows?  Comments, concerns, questions, you know where to find me.  Go Blue!

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