Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Should-Have-Been GTA Soundtrack

Sorry about the few posts. I'm lazy, and libertarianism and Buffalo Bills are the only two things I know anything about and neither Ron Paul nor Trent Edwards has done anything interesting lately so I've been quiet.

Aside: I'm lying of course. Trent Edwards went 9-11 with 2 TDS against the Steelers and looked awesome. I really believe he will be good, and you guys better get out of my way during the fantasy football draft. Lee Evans is set for a huge breakout.

Continuing then with my theme of writing about things that no one but me cares about, I'm going to write about Grand Theft Auto IV and heavy metal music. Specifically about my favorite songs for careening recklessly down a faux-Seventh Avenue in a stolen Lamborghini while being chased by a police helicopter and 30 FBI Hummers.

Another Aside: If you aren't playing GTA, you really ought to be. It's among the most highly reviewed games in history, and for good reason. It's quite fun, and very impressive as an achievement. Other things you probably aren't doing but should be doing include: Watching The Venture Brothers, buying an iPhone, and reading Watchmen.

I understand that the game comes with a built in soundtrack. It's extremely vast, with songs from all different genres. Not terrible, but certainly not appriciative of what goes on in this game. Sticking to the classic rock station as an example, we have songs like Q Lazzarus' "Goodbye Horses". A fine song, but conjuring up mellow-yet-creepy images of Ted Levine dancing around naked with his weiner tucked between his legs while I'm trying to jump the Hudson River on a motorcycle. . .well you can see where I have a problem. The jazz station is classy, but seriously. . .a jazz station? Do we really want to associate Charlie Parker's good name and smooth sax with firing a submachine gun through the window of an oncoming police cruiser?

I have here several bands that surely would not mind being associated with such imagery. They have often put worse on their album covers.

1. Black Sabbath - Die Young

You all know my affinity for Ronnie James Dio. If I ever fully embrace the image of a blogger (i.e. someone who acts like an expert but actually doesn't know a damn thing) I will write a post someday about how he is the greatest voice in rock and roll history.

Dio: Turning kids to Satanism decades before Marilyn Manson

In 1979 the non-Ozzy members of Black Sabbath decided to fire Ozzy Ozzborne for drinking too much--somewhat like being fired from Weezer for being too much of a hipster. So they turned to the greatest voice in rock music, who had been in such awesome bands as Elf, and Rainbow (both very gay sounding, both very awesome). Subsequently, they released my favorite Sabbath album.

The title track from this album, "Heaven and Hell", is actually already in the game. It just lacks the punch that Die Young does, having a very slow tempo for the first 5 minutes of the song (ala Stairway). Die Young, takes a break in the middle, but that's a perfect time to back up before you blast through that police barricade at the song's big crescendo. The guitar solo (which is approximately 30 minutes long) is so perfect for this game. The lyrics are helpful, as well.

Gather the wind
Though the wind won't help you fly at all
Your back's to the wall
Then chain the sun
And then it turns around and face you
As you run, you run, you run!

So live for today
Tomorrow never comes
Die young, young!

2. Helloween - Murderer (terrible quality, download it!)

I think most of you probably don't know Helloween because you don't follow German 80's Speed Metal. Consider this your introduction to the fastest and cheeziest band in history. They are hilarious, and awesome. This song may as well have been written for GTA. I would not recommend playing it while you are driving for real, because you will feel almost compelled to activate the acceleromatrix in your car (I don't drive myself; cars still have acceleromatrices, right?)


Look for a safe place where noone will find you
And try to escape from the law
Wherever you are there's a killer behind you
Wanting to get you for sure
To lose the fear that one day he will get you
Be faster and kill him and run
Now you don't have to fear him no more
But in his place another headhunter will come away!

3. Judas Priest - Breaking the Law

Come on. I don't really need to write anything here. The song maybe isn't fast enough for the car-chase-theme I have going on here, but it's pretty close. The lyrics and classic nature make up the difference.

4. Van Halen - Unchained

This comes off of Van Halen's best album, and their most under-played album, "Fair Warning". This album rocks. It's not conventional Van Halen. There's more interesting stuff going on than on albums like "1984" and Unchained displays some of that. The absolutely rocking chorus is great for flying around corners and weaving through traffic. Like some of the other songs on this list, there is a great slow interlude which then builds back into the driving force of the melody.


Change, nothin' stays the same
Unchained, and ya hit the ground runnin'
Change, ain't nothin' stays the same
Unchained, yeah ya hit the ground runnin'

5. Dead Kennedys - Police Truck

This song is one of my favorite Dead Kennedys songs. It's very funny, fast, and has a distinctive sound. The guitar impresses me, and I think it's a great fit on this list as well. The lyrics are wildly unsafe for work, so I won't post them. I love this song though.

Third aside: Did you know Jello Biafra, lead singer for the Dead Kennedys, ran for president? I love his voice, hate his politics, and love his name. In 2000 the Green Party of New York State nominated him, but he lost the primary to Ralph Nader. People make fun of the Libertarians, and rightfully so, but the Greens are just as nuts.

Actually, I'd vote for the guy.

Anyway, to be continued. Watch that Venture Brothers episode.


Mike LeGower said...

A few things...

A) Captain Stottlemeyer from Monk was also Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs? Who knew?

B) Weezer isn't so much hipster as nerd rock. It's too mainstream to be hipster. It would be like firing Rivers Cuomo for wearing horn-rimmed glasses. OR like firing Colin Meloy for being too well-versed in 19th century nautical terminology.

C) Did you also know that Wesley Willis wrote a song about Jello Biafra. It's pretty amazing.

Ryan Smith said...

Truly excellent, Wilson -- the part about Dio, in particular. I just dug up my copy of Live Evil, with its transcendent versions of NIB and Children of the Sea.

Jay Z said...

Haha, nice Wilson. No Highway Star?