Saturday, February 14, 2009

Battle o' the Songz

Alright, in the midst of a company-wide working weekend, a coworker (Dan) and I were having a “Battle o’ the Songz”.

Basically, we traded song volleys back and forth, and they had to be linked by artist, lyrics, themes, or other meta-context. The greater the link, the more “points”.

We set up speakers, blasted songs at each other, and gave rough weightings to each volley.

If it feels a bit like an ad hoc game from Where I Met Your Mother .. I'm honored.

Anyway, below is the summary. It's arguably a bit of a aural Rorschach (or MMPI) test, so let me know what you think it says about me.

I counter the opening volley of Dana Dane ("Rollin’ wit’ Dane") with The Soup Dragons ("I'm Free"). Granted, it's a bit of a tenuous comeback, but I linked it by (A) “Free” and the “whatever I want” message in Dana Dane, and (B) DD says “lyrics” like 13 times, and The Soup Dragons song, uh, has lyrics.

Piggy backing off of "Freedom" (and partying), my office mate lobs back DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince ("Parents Just Don't Understand"), with gives me an easy way to answer with Roxette ("Joyride"), because DJ and the Fresh Prince go on a joyride in their parents’ Porsche. He takes the driving theme to Sammy Hagar ("I Can't Drive 55")
I blast back with the Rolling Stones version of "Route 66", one of the most covered driving songs ever (it was that or Depeche Mode's cover), and thereby chain the 3 previous car and joyride themes (you get points for continued chaining), "Route 66" also winds up in Cali, and I get the additional double digits link ("55" / "66"). Dan answers with Chicago "Saturday in the Park"), because the Hagar and Stones entries start in Chicago, and he wanted to break from the driving theme.

I counter with Soundgarden's "4th of July", with a lyrical link from Chicago's "You'd think it was the Fourth of July" to Soundgarden's "I thought it was the 4th of July".
Heating things up (sorry), Dan volley's back wtih DJ AL-B's mashup of Audioslave Vs. Busta Rhymes ("Woo Haa I Got The Gasoline"), with Chris Cornell (in both Audioslave and Soundgarden) as the link.

Temple of the Dog seemed like an obvious retort, but I responded instead with my college thesis theme song from Mc 900 Ft. Jesus: "The City Sleeps", and definitely felt like I was winning the Battle (“Gasoline” in the title of theprevious song dovetail with the lyrics in the pyro song: “clutching the tools of my trade in my hand / an old box of matches and a gasoline can”).
In response, I get Guster ("Jesus on the Radio"),which links “Jesus” and has the nice meta link of Mc 900 Ft. Jesus (kind of) playing on my "radio" (it was an MP3, but whatever; he gets style points).
In a bit of a lackluster return, I spin up eighties darling Dead or Alive's "Spin Me Round", since the Guster tune says “go around” several times.

Honestly, Dan's response metaphorically jump-kicks me (Kosheen / "Damage" -- from the Dead or Alive video f****** movie!). It's brilliant, becasue “Dead or Alive” the band links to “Dead or Alive” the movie, which is a VIDEO GAME movie, and Dan's real (and my toy) job is in video games.
Gathering myself, I see an opportunity (and a willingness to stay stuck in the 80s) and lash back with Culture Club's "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"
Link #1: DOA (The Movie) → "Damage" / Kosheen (lyrics “I know I hurt you" / I didn't mean to”) → "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" (title from Culture Club).

Link #2: DOA (The Game) → Crying Game (The movie) → Boy George (the artist, who was in ...) → Culture Club, the band, who sung) / Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?

(There's seriously still a flow chart in my office.)
(We ended the day calling it a draw. Grudgingly, but a draw.)

(Starting Sunday.)

My opening volley was Johnny Cash's cover of "Personal Jesus" from Depeche Mode (Since it was Sunday.), and Dan followed up with exactly what I would have -- Nine Inch Nails "Hurt" (which Johnny Cash also later covered).

I follow up with the band - unknown - to - Dan - but - blasted - on -a - regular - basis - at - several - guys - I - accused - of - stealing - my - girls tune, "Under" from Filter, because it was another drug song, and from a band made up of sometime NIN touring and album members (oh, and the song I usually blasted was "Hey Man Nice Shot").
He was less impressed that I was with my response, and volleyed with Huey Lewis and the News ("I Want a New Drug"), which both maintained the chain, and lifted us (a bit) out of the somber.

I had been waiting for two days to aurally assault Dan with some NKotB, and Huey let me leverage New Kids on the Block ("I Wanna Be Loved By You") via “New(s)” / “New”, the same insecure love vibe, and I’m sure Jordan did drugs.
Not missing a beat, Dan spun out Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations" for the Wahlberg-to-Wahlberg equal assault. At least he's a good actor. (Really good, IMHO.)

I bounced back with Bob Marley ("Positive Vibration"). Duh -- “positive”; “vibration”; dancing; drugs; and I loves me some Marley. This also felt like the first legitimate volley return of the day.

Sliding deeper into the drugs connection, Dan sends over Sublime's "Smoke Two Joints" (Marley / Rastafari / Marijuana).
This let me fire back another entry I wasn't sure I was going to get to leverage -- the odd LazyBoy "Underwear Goes Inside The Pants", partly because I wanted to see if I could get a quirky response into our battle, and partly to softball 6-8 launching points so we could get away from drugs.
I'm sure just to screw with me, Dan hits me with Electric Six (which I like) and "Down at McDonaldz" (which I don't, but at least it links LazyBoy's “I’m pretty sure even McDonalds has a ‘underwear goes inside the pants’ policy”).
I end the day with Phantom Planet's "Leader", linking the two songs via cult leadership vibe (dude in “Down at McDonaldz” sounds like a cultee). I almost went with a song about Marilyn Manson, or from the Marilyn Manson Band, which would have been creepy clever. And cults are better than drugs (??).

We kind of fizzled at this point (late on a Sunday night on a working weekend), and Dan said he didn't buy the cult angle, but if he did, he would have responded with Guster's "Red Oyster Cult".
(So ends the day. And the initial battle.)
And now we've turned this "Battle o' the Songz" into an ongoing thing. As part of keeping our heads clear (and improving company morale and culture by creating a lighthearted betting pool rivalry), once or twice a day (we figure we couldn't keep up the previous pace and still justify our paychecks) we crank the speakers and fire off tunes at each other.
Where are we now? Obcure 80s cartoon themes (Vince DiCola and Frank Kinder, you are masterful).
Rock on.