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Friday
May202011

The Snob's Soundtrack to the End of the World

So, world's ending on Saturday. What? You didn't know? A Facebook fan page for "looting" and some billboards told me so. Also, this guy. "Apocalypse expert" and radio minister Harold Camping has a messed up record at predicting exactly when the Rapture is going down. He said back in 1992 that it would happen in 1994 but all that happened in 1994 was me rocking out to "90s Girl" in my pajamas in my bedroom while doing math homework.

Camping then decided "Well, oopsy. 2011 then. Rapture is totally happening in 2011." And so here we are, with the world ending tomorrow. But I have no real fear because I'm almost positive all my credit card debt and problems will still be here come Sunday because Bank of America cares not about the Rapture. They aren't going to let something like a pesky little "end-of-the-world" keep them from collecting.

Personally, I thought the world was ending in 2012 (the movies and the Mayans allegedly said so!), but in the spirit of how I plan to spend my last day on Earth (going to brunch with a colleague then heading to a friend's going away party), here's a soundtrack to the not-apocalypse.

More after the jump.

Prince "1999"

Prince still hates YouTube, as he hates all of the Internet, so it's near impossible to find a video embed of the actual video for his end-of-the-world hit "1999." While he famously said the song was too dated to ever play live again post-2000, I still love to rock out to it because who doesn't love the sound of Prince trading off singing duties with Dez DickersonLisa Coleman and Jill Jones? Plus, rather than focusing on the Rapture, the song is clearly about us all going out in nuclear annihilation. A popular Cold War theme. Although, I think the now Jehovah's Witness Prince could stand to pin a post-apocalyptic jam called "144,000."

The Temptations "Ball of Confusion"

It's really depressing to me that more than half the things mentioned in this song -- which are all references to 1960s violence and social upheaval -- are still pretty much relevant today.

R.E.M. "It's The End of the World As We Know It And I Feel Fine"

Obvious apocalypse song is obvious. 

Method Man "Judgment Day"

Since I almost exclusively have dated black men of a certain age, I've dated my fair share of hardcore Wu-Tang aficionados, some more insane about than others. The worst thought this song was prophetic and would break out the "deeper" meaning of Meth's lyrics over and over for me. See? I just thought Method Man was having a little fun with his post-apocalyptic, sci-fi fantasies, but nooooo. Meth was trying to tell me something because Meth, being a member of Wu, was much more deeply in tuned with what was going on with our Earth. Somehow, this was his way of communicating with me that the world would be ending soon and I should be learning Muy Thai and hoarding cans of food to prepare. He strongly suggested that I get in shape and us start moving to the wilderness to raise our future children there separate from the rest of the world. And .... yeah. That didn't last.

Wyclef Jean "Apocalypse"

"The Carnival," upon which this track appears, was such an instant classic that whenever I play it I almost want to forgive Wyclef for turning out to be such a fame-hustling, carpet-bagging weirdo. But since no member of the Fugees left that group sane, I have to judge Clef by his present mistress-laden, Yele Haiti charity controversies, horribly cheesy TV commercials, and that bizarre run for president of earthquake-stricken Haiti. Still, "Apocalypse" is such a vivid lyrical and aural fantasy, even re-listening to it just makes me mad all over again at what once was and what it all turned into. 

Gil Scott Heron "We Almost Lost Detroit"

Just an ode to the time a nuclear plant almost blew up Michigan.

My Chemical Romance "Famous Last Words"

Technically this song is about dying, but the whole album is a theme rock opera album about dying so it does have a slight touch of the emo apocalypse for disaffected teenagers going on about it. And stop looking at me that way for knowing a My Chemical Romance song. You're so judgmental. 

So what are your end-of-the-world favs? I have a ton more, but then it turns into bizarro crate digging. (Anyone want to listen to some Bowie? Phantom Planet, maybe? Hmmm.) List them in the comments below!

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Reader Comments (7)

Ani DiFranco "What if no one's watching?"

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdindc

You rock Danielle! Ball of Confusion is the jam...and I agree with ya. It is really sad that the themes discussed in that song mankind still wstruggle with. But, you know in the 60's we won the battle but not the war on civil rights and again the time is here again..holy war, social injustice...as always you keep the humor despite the craziness in the world. Bod Bless you, sista. You are the God's muse the same as the Prince, R.E.M, etc

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZakia Divers

Here's a few that I've thought of, some serious, some a bit more tongue-in-cheek:

"Earth Crisis" - Steel Pulse

"Gimme Shelter" - Rolling Stones

"The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades" - Timbuktu

"Dance like there's no tomorrow" - Paula Abdul

"I will survive" - Gloria Gaynor

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterViv

Oh come on Danielle, no Jimi Hendrix on the list, particularly 'Hear My Train a Comin'. Ya gotta get my man Jimi in there.

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlaq Mind

Take Me With You & I Wish You Heaven - Prince.

Y'all took the good ones. Dang.

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterQueen36

I thought i was only one who dated WU Tang aficionados...they are indeed one of a kind. lol

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjamie

Rapture-Anita Baker.

:)

May 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWenzel Dashington

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