Ok, so you wake up one morning and find that the first wave of the zombie apocalypse is about to turn your world into a blasted hellscape. What should be your #1 priority? Thematically appropriate music! Of Course!
Here are my picks for ten songs that will play you into the apocalypse in style.
Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult - If my reading of this song is correct it's about death generally, but for me it's the sound of it that really evokes the end. It's that guitar mostly, how those repetitive notes sound like they're just flying out into nothingness. It all sounds sad and resigned but still incredibly romantic.
It's the End of the World as We Know It - REM - A fairly joyous look at the end of the world. Yes, the world is random and confusing and overstuffed, but isn't it all just a glorious mess?
London Calling - The Clash - Spare and dark and paranoid. A classic. Is that a laugh you're hearing or a scream? Is it both?
1999 - Prince - Ah Prince, god bless your freakiness. You are a national treasure. If this is the apocalypse--lingerie and overcoat clad multiracial polymorphous perversity--I'll take it.
Anarchy in The UK - Sex Pistols - Johnny Rotten is like some kind of feral post-apocalyptic child. Man, this dude is so nuts he sings behind the drumkit. Once the government collapses you'll be seeing alot of people like him so get used to it!
Burn Up - Siouxsie and the Banshees - Listen to how this song just slides completely out of control at the end. That's the sound of a very sexy end of the world.
Nothing But Flowers - Talking Heads - Sonically it's a nice break from the gloom, but i's still pretty dark in it's way. One man's utopia is another man's dystopia. "If this is paradise, I wish I had a lawnmower!"
Earth Died Screaming - Tom Waits - I could have made this entire list comprised of nothing but Tom Waits songs, but this one is probably the most apt. This guy is a huge hero of mine.
God's Gonna Cut you Down - Johnny Cash - Those who know me know I get a little emotional when it comes to The Man in Black. There's something about his approach to religion that just moves me. Yes, there's something dark and old testament about it, but you don't feel like Johnny would ever use religion to control anyone or judge anyone. He stumbled alot but he seems genuinely full of mercy and love and hope. I don't know that I consider myself a Christian exactly but when I think of who really walked the Christian walk I think of Johnny Cash.
Under The Milky Way - The Church - This makes a nice bookend with Don't Fear the Reaper. Like that song, it's the sound of this one that evokes the end of the world more than the lyrics. Again, it's that guitar, so surrounded by emptiness and how the singer seems exhausted and sorrowful as he looks back over something that's gone.
I know. I know. I missed like a million good end of the world songs. There isn't even any Metallica on this list! Feel free to set me straight.
How about you all? How would you like to go bopping into the apocalypse?