It Is Time To Usher In A New Era Of Jock Jams

May 28th, 2009 // 12 Comments

Now that the Carolina Hurricanes have been eliminated from the NHL playoffs, Merge Records impresario Mac McCaughan has moved on from chronicling the ‘Canes’ efforts to talking about the music that arenas employ to get fans in prime freak-out mode. In 2006, he brought some albums put out by his label down to the Hurricane home base, RBC Center, in hopes of breaking through what he called its “particularly stultifying mix of Top 40 / Classic rock / Emo (? i don’t know what to call some of the songs on there) / Sports Disco,” and it worked, at least a bit; “Punch Me Harder” got played during the 2006 NHL Finals, which–coincidence?–the Hurricanes won. Anyway, McCaughan has provided his own suggested playlist for hockey arenas to the local paper, and man, is it so much better than the nu-metal and snipped bits of Eurodance that I’m used to at my sporting events. A few selections:

Mastodon, “Crusher Destroyer”



AC/DC, “If You Want Blood”

Public Enemy, “Welcome To The Terrordome”

Rolling Stones, “Rip This Joint”



And, of course, “I Wanna Destroy You” by the Soft Boys. The whole list is certainly worth looking over, and perhaps adding to; McCaughan was too modest to include any Superchunk songs on his list, but hey, “Punch Me Harder” worked in the past. I’m just saying!

One thing’s for certain: “Yakety Sax” also needs to be handy at arenas. Why, just look at what it adds to Carlos Zambrano’s Gatorade-machine-killing rampage from yesterday!

Arena music: One man’s opinion [Talking Points]

  1. Welcome to the Terrordome…SO OBVIOUS! WHY isn’t it being played everywhere all the damn time?

  2. My Washington Capitals used to always skate out to Marilyn Manson’s The Beautiful People. It was incredibly effective.

  3. “Search and Destroy” should be blasting at EVERY sporting event. Also, let’s not get ahead of ourselves — questionable songwriter aside, “Rock and Roll, P2″ is the best arena song of all time.

  4. @brasstax: let’s take a look at the lyrics:

    Jesus, Satan, Malcolm X, Huey Newton, and the n-word all get dropped once, as well as a reference to the “so-called chosen frozen” (Jews?). there’s a racial incident in Virginia Beach, as well as mentions of Bensonhurst and Vietnam – not the type of thing to inspire patriotism and camaraderie amongst middle Americans.

    there’d have to be some serious editing done to the song for it to pass muster with the easily offended types who’d insist on not getting a history lesson when at the local convocation center.

  5. @baconfat: Yeah, I see your point. Maybe Jus†ice could remix the shit out of it and make it suitable?

  6. I want to know why every Cleveland sporting event I go to has fucking “In The Air Tonight” playing before the game. Because nothing pumps me up like a quiet ballad about a failed marriage.

  7. PS, I own Jock Jams Vol 1-3. Holler.

  8. I’ve heard Mastodon played on either NBA or NFL broadcasts…can’t remember which, but it was going to/coming back from commercials.

    I’ve said for the past few years that The Hives’ “Walk, Idiot Walk” would be a badass song to play at a baseball game. You could just loop the main riff and I think it’d get the crowd pumped and clapping. Or you could play it when the visiting team’s pitcher is being pulled out of the game.

  9. @LostTurntable: Absolutely nothing is worse than “Ladies and Gentlemen” before Eagles games. Makes me want my money back just thinking about it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IvaQO7wK8A

  10. I wonder how bands feel when their songs get co-opted as sporting event themes? Do you think it amuses Pat Benetar that the Washington Nationals play “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” ad nauseum at their park? How do Green Day feel about ESPN using “Do You Know Your Enemy” to score clips of the Rangers and Yankees hitting?

  11. How about Mooney Suzuki’s “Alive and Amplified” or Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll”? Yeah!

    p.s. @whoneedslight: I’m a fan of the Caps but good lord it always bugs me when that song is played. But significantly worse is “Who Let The Dogs Out” and, yes, I have heard it at sporting events – and recently. Shudder.

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