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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Battle of California arena playlist #1


Nothing draws the ire of hockey fans more than the topic of music played at the arena. HP Pavilion has recently emerged from a haze of classic rock to adopt a pretty progressive playlist, but gone are the halcyon days of San Jose Arena/NHL 94 organist Dieter Ruehle, and whoever the organist was playing obscure 80's songs at the Cow Palace during the first 2 years in San Francisco.

It may be shocking to hear Motorhead's Ace Of Spades played during the pre-game warmup in San Jose (in a good way), but Philadelphia has made it a staple across the NHL. Metallica's Fuel is a regular. Nothing is going to top last year's entrance song, The Pretender by the Foo Fighters, used to great effect in the playoffs.

A quick perusal of my current mp3 playlist comes up with almost nothing suitable to accompany NHL hockey. The queue contains too many singer/songwriters, ambient or industrial track after track, and music more appropriate for an art exhibit or a coffee house insead of a hockey game. After a little searching, here are six songs that might work well while watching Marty Turco make a late third period turnover. Please suggest songs you think would work best in the comments, and I am sure audiophile Mike Chen will chime in as well.

Imperial Hip Hop - There are few songs if any that might intimidate an opposing team as they step on to the ice at HP Pavilion, but this is one of them. With the refurbished sound system at HP Pavilion that can handle heavy bass, this would be the perfect entrance song for a hockey game. Or in the case of a Sharks-Ducks matchup, a rugby match or an MMA fight. Add in the fan noise the reverberates off the ceiling and it would be impressive.

Chevelle's The Red - Simple, heavy rock that has worked well for hockey over the ages. There is a reason so many classic hockey highlight clips use the Offspring or Mettalica. It fits.

The Whip's Trash - Why is Thrashers center Jason Williams playing Basshunter's Russian Private Jet? Garbage. The Whip is a new-ish band from Manchester, UK that rips off the 80's well enough that you do not mind. Divebomb should be included on this playlist, Sister Siam is solid too. Before you bash The Whip, visit Silicon Valley and sample your target audience.

Folk Implosion's Natural One - An older song with a mesmerizing bass line. The type of song you will be asking a friend for the title after the game.

Damian Marley's Welcome to Jamrock - I first heard this song at an ABA basketball game in San Jose. Walking up to the court a handful of players were throwing down punishing dunk after punishing dunk in the pregame warmup while this was thumping in the background. I sat under the basket to take photos and it felt like they were literally trying to rip the rim off the backboard. This song is hard and it has an edge to it, even if it was performed by a Marley.

Booker T. & the M.G.'s Hip Hugger - This may only be a short sample clip of the full song, but the lack of hockey organists at several venues across the league is a crime. This is the type of obscure soul track that a hockey organist could use to put his stamp on the experience instead of piping in fake crowd noise and asking fans to raise the noise meter, and when you think of a hockey organ you have to think of Booker T and the M.G.'s.

Longtime Chicago Blackhawks organist Frank Pellico talks with the Chicago Tribune about playing at the Chicago Stadium and the United Center for almost 20 years.

[Update] This song has to be added to the NY Islanders playlist.

[Update2] Mike Chen posted another in his "Puck Rock" series with goaltender Sean Burke here. A previous post featured ESPN's John Buccigross here.


Anonymous said...

This year at the Hawks' convention, Frank Pellico played the organ in the room they had set aside for food. Pretty cool having lunch with Frank playing.
Last season, the Hawks shot a video with Frank and James Wisniewski re-enacting the "Lady of Spain" scene from "Slap Shot".

Earl Sleek said...

What? No Whiskey Avengers? C'mon, that song will be playable for two more seasons, I think.

But yeah, not for these purposes.

This is the most futuristic post BoC has ever seen, btw. Great embed.

Mike said...

I think Queens of the Stone Age would be a pretty good candidate for some break music- "Go With the Flow" is fairly well known.

And I always thought it'd be a good idea to play "Truth Hits Everybody" by the Police when the Sharks' opponent takes a penalty.

JesseSeg said...

So What - Ministry

March of the Pigs - Nine Inch Nails

Wish (with Pinion intro) - Nine Inch Nails

John the Fisherman - Primus

Ride the Lightning - Metallica

Anonymous said...

Tool - 46 & 2
Queens Of the Stone Age - Go with the Flow
Metallica - The Small Hours
Muse - Map of the Problematique
Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye

RudyKelly said...

Baseball is country, basketball is hip hop, football is whatever they want because they're football. Hockey is rock. John Buccigross' last article proposed that AC/DC be named hockey's official band, and that seems about right to me. Both kick ass all the time and never slow down. Hockey music should always be uptempo, loud, and abrasive. Airbourne is a new band that is awesomely retarded and perfect for hockey.

Anonymous said...

Last year, Ministry dod "Keys To The City" for the Blackhawks. Which they never use.

I do think the Rangers' goal song is pretty cool, even if I have no idea what it is, other than some people singing OOOO-OOOO-OOOOOOOOOO.

PJ Swenson said...

Forgot Queens of the Stone Age, another perfect band. My goal is to get a video of Cheechoo/Tameu live on video, I will see if I can make it happen.

I think the world is waiting to see what Earl and Mike Chen would put on their playlist, and kind of afraid of what Rudy would come up with.

Earl Sleek said...

And in case anybody's confused by what we mean by "Cheechoo/Tameu", you can find the awesomeness on this Sharkspage link.

Chee Choo! Choo! Choo!
Tee Moo! Moo! Moo!
Lord Stanley, we're comin' after you!

I love it!

Mike Chen said...

Well, most of the stuff I listen to would be considered wussy by puck standards. But I do have a few favorites that could stand up to any check against the boards:

Muse - Hysteria
Muse - Knights of Cydonia
Pixies - Gouge Away
Pixies - Debaser
KMFDM - Juke Joint Jezebel
Jesus & Mary Chain - Head On

RudyKelly said...

I'll make mine and post it tomorrow. You asked.

Earl Sleek said...

I think the world is waiting to see what Earl and Mike Chen would put on their playlist

You have to understand, when it comes to music I am a dunce; probably a third of the music on my ipod would be classified as "classical" or "choral".

In fact, I've meant to write an analogy post comparing four forward lines to four sections of a choir -- sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses, but never knew how to embed a particular piece. Maybe I'll have to look into that.

Ironically, the one band I do have a pretty full collection of is Cake, but I'm not sure how crowd-pumping that ever gets.

So yeah, I'm pretty lame.

Anonymous said...

All I wanna do is fight
Sometimes I win them
Sometimes I lose them
All I wanna do is fight

Lars Fredrickson and the Bastards

cristobal said...

For years I've been wishing I could choose the music in the arena.

I'd have a heavy dose of

White Stripes - Seven Nation Army. This song was used during the Euro 2008 Uefa tournament and is hands down the best atmospheric sound for competition.


Bad Brains - The Big Takeover.

The Standells - Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq3q84PLP_s&feature=related

Black Flag - Rise Above - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdaTZFpZRNA

Neil Young - Hey Hey My My (into the black) - somehow I think this could be good in an arena. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCKlr5qeiQY

Maybe this one wouldn't fit in exactly, but it's one of the best live musical performances ever, in my opinion.
The Who - A quick one while he's away. -

Finally, in some disturbed alternate universe, it would be funny to see the mob rock to this one by Throbbing Gristle at the arena. If it ever happens, prepare for Armaggeddon. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8klW9trVTQ

Where's my straightjacket?

cristobal said...

chris in torrance: That one's new to me. Not bad.

How about Sham 69 - Borstal Breakout, when someone goes to the sin bin?



If the Kids Are United: The title fits the Kings right now, for sure.

cristobal said...

As a Kings fan, is The Sex Pistol's "God Save the Queen" too obvious?

PJ Swenson said...

Cristobal, I am going to post your songs as a playlist after the other guys get a crack at theirs.

cristobal said...

Cheers to that...