Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dragon*Con Week 2012: Phantom Troublemaker’s Playlist

I can’t remember if I’ve done this before or not and I’m at work right now so I can’t check.
Every year before Dragon*Con I put together a playlist of dorky music to accompany me on my drive downtown. And back home on Monday, I guess, but the whole point is to start immersing myself in the dorkery as soon as possible. I do the same sort of thing with Halloween and Christmas, except those last an entire month and require a lot more time to put together.
            The Dragon*Con playlist is no pushover, either. It’s easy enough to find themes from TV and movies or whatever, but I have to throw in a certain amount of regular music as well. This would be a problem for your average fan of, say, Nickelback. It is not an issue for me. Here is my own personal Venn diagram of perfect Dragon*Con music:
It’s also important to have the right flow. In my head, this collection represents Saturday at Dragon*Con, from when you wake up in the morning until you pass out the next morning.
Star Trek Movie Theme – Jerry Goldsmith – This is a fantastic morning theme. It fills me with hope and joy and is just a great thing to wake up to. I have a very soft spot for the motion pictures featuring the original crew, as they have basically accompanied me everywhere throughout my life. I saw each of them in the theater as I grew up and have owned a collection of them for as long as I can remember – the first VHS box set I owned was I – V. It didn’t even have The Undiscovered Country. I had to buy a new, Special Edition set when that came out. Then I moved to DVD, and now I have them on Blu-Ray. I have watched all six movies in their entirety more times than I could tell you. To a certain extent, this variation of the Star Trek theme is even more significant to me than the Star Wars theme.
Fett’s Vette – mc chris – Yeah, I know this is the most overplayed of mc chris’ songs, but it’s also one of his best. There’s a reason this one gets so much play. While the narrative inaccuracies detract somewhat from the track, the beat and tone are too perfect. This is good for while you’re heading to the Parade.
March of the Raiders/Imperial March/Olympic Theme – Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines – Awesome, great, amazing parade music. This is an incredible, inspiring mix of John Williams’ marches performed in possibly the greatest way ever. The first two are gimmies anyways, as they both come from hugs nerd franchises. The Olympic theme may not be quite as fitting, but it is a sweeping, majestic piece that would match any portion of the Dragon*Con Parade perfectly.
 
Ghostbusters – Ray Parker, Jr. – It just wouldn’t be a D*C Parade without a few Ecto-1’s (plus other models) and a ton of Ghostbusters cosplayers dancing to this tune.
GI Joe "Revenge of Cobra" Closing Credits - ? – While the opening from the 80’s cartoon is one of the best theme songs ever and the Movie theme is just badass, the music from the closing credits of the cartoon is a true march and would be perfect accompaniment for the Joe cosplayers in the Parade.
Justice League Unlimited Theme - ? – Of course we have to have representation for the DC Superheroes. Yeah – the Batman ’89 and John Williams Superman themes are great, but the JLU theme represents everybody. And believe me – you’re going to see everybody in the Dragon*Con Parade. What? Would you rather they be moping around to some Hans Zimmer?
Shoot To Thrill – AC/DC – What? Well, nailing down a song to represent the Marvel Universe is a whole lot trickier. The closest thing there is the theme from the new Avengers cartoon – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – and while the cartoon is excellent, that song is fucking terrible. Sure, “Shoot To Thrill” has been established across two different movies as Iron Man’s entrance music, but can’t you just picture all of Marvel’s heroes and villains marching down Peachtree Street to this one? No? Well then how about
Captain America song - Glan Yarbrough – Maybe this one works better for you.
Where There’s A Whip, There’s A Way - ? – And of course we have to represent the Tolkien Track. I don’t know if the folks who are bigger fans of Tolkien’s work than I am find this corny or anything, but I would love to see all of the hobbits, Orcs, and dwarves marching down the street to this one. Also doubles as the Dragon After Dark theme.
Danse Macabre - Camille Saint-Saëns – This accompanies all the creeps, zombies, ghouls, and the Netherworld contingent. Such a great piece of music.
Ghost of Stephen Foster – Squirrel Nut Zippers – Okay, I admit I mainly threw this one out as bait. Are the Steampunkers into Squirrel Nut Zippers? It seems to fit with me, though the eras don’t match up. I’ve just been very curious about this one. I could have listed any of the many artists that seem to cater to the Alternate History genre like The Extraordinary Contraptions or Frenchy and the Punk (who I actually want to check out this year after seeing some videos on DC*TV); but I was curious about the whole squirrel Nut Zippers thing. Also, this is just a great song.
Marriot Cock Squat – Le Sexoflex – How could I possibly not include the best song ever written about Dragon*Con? No other track so perfectly captures the essence of the weekend-long free-for-all. Also, Le Sexoflex is one of the greatest bands on the planet.
 
Midnight Spookshow – Calabrese – Just a great, great opener to represent the start of the Dragon*Con concerts. And no – not all of these bands have played at Con, but I doubt you could argue the selections.
My TIE – Grand Moff Tarkin – The album from the Atlanta-based Star Wars tribute band is some of the best nerd rock you’ll ever hear in your life. I don’t know if you can track it down online or not, but I might be able to get you a copy if you’re interested. One thing about this song does bug me, though - TIE fighters don't have shields.
 
American Psycho – Misfits – This one isn’t necessarily all that Dragon*Con-oriented as far as content, but to me it is very Dragon*Con. The first time I ever saw the Misfits was in 1997 or ’98. The lineup was Dr. Chud, Jerry, Doyle, and Michale Graves. I’m not actually sure they opened with this song, but it is the one that really stuck in my head. It’s also significant because it is a Graves song and very much attached to this era of the Misfits.
I Am The Law – Anthrax – Possibly the first nerd song I ever heard. This thrash metal tribute to Judge Dredd is my favorite Anthrax song and one of my favorite songs, period. I threw it in because the movie is coming out soon. It doesn’t actually use this song, but it should.
Frankenstein – Edgar Winter Group – Because as They Might Be Giants taught me years ago, no live rock and roll performance is complete without this song.
Party Party Party – Andrew WK – Yeah, he’s never played Dragon*Con, but you cannot have a massive party like this without some Andrew WK. Plus, this song was featured in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie, so it is tangentially connected.
Doctorin’ the TARDIS – The KLF (or Time Lords, whatever) – C’mon. C’mon. I had to put this in. You know you’re gonna geek out if this plays.
Old School – DANGERDOOM (w/ Talib Kweli) – Ooh, son. This is a nerd-hop standard. Everybody should recognize it.
 
MAL – Adam WarRock – It took me a minute to get where the MC was coming from. Actually, it took a minute and for Warrock himself to personally step in on a Twitter feud between me and this guy that totally misunderstood one of my posts and got all bitchy. But I would have come around. All it would have taken was a couple more listens to The Browncoats Mixtape.
 
Alcohol - The Millionaires – This song is probably old news to lots of people, but I have only recently discovered it. It's utterly stupid, but it’s another that represents Dragon*Con nightlife fairly well.
Gett Off – Prince and the New Power Generation – As morning draws nigh, it’s time to find somebody or somebodies or just any convenient hole and do what we nasty, fleshy humans do.
Juke Joint Jezebel – KMFDM – I just love this song and no late night techno jam is complete without KMFDM. This is not the version I would use. I just thought the Mortal Kombat stuff was rad.
We Want Some Pussy - Jason Nevins vs. 2 Live Crew – Perhaps a counterpoint to “Alcohol”. No, wait – not a counterpoint. A… what? Companion piece? Piece.. huh, huh.
Rough Sex – Lords of Acid – Fairly self-explanatory, I think.
Midnight Cowboy – Faith No More – Not so Dragon*Connish, but this cover is the song that plays in my head every single morning as I walk back to the hotel after partying all night. Just is.

I know that’s a fairly narrow sampling of music. I’m sure there’s tons of stuff that could go on there. Clue me in! Let me know in the Comments what I missed or maybe have never even heard of. I’ll use it next year, because believe me – I’ll be doing this again.
Come back to Needless Things a little bit later today for 13 Questions with somebody who actually knows her way around Dragon*Con music and playlists – DJ Spider. She’ll be spinning in the wee hours on Saturday morning, but will make it through 13 Questions first!

-Phantom

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