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Inappropriate Walk Up Music: 03.27.09

santo-shea.jpgFor previous Inappropriate Walk Up Music posts, click here.

Every day until Opening Day, Scratchbomb presents three tunes that are completely, unequivocally inappropriate for use as major league walk-up

These are not necessarily bad songs–although that
certainly helps. They are merely songs that don’t evoke the fear and dread one traditionally associates with the walk-up song. In fact, they evoke the exact opposite.

Imagine yourself in the on-deck circle. Bottom of the 9th. Down by one. Man on second, two out. You hear the PA system blare, The centerfielder, number 20… The crowd roars at the sound of your name. And as you stroll to the batter’s box, you are greeted with the strains of one of these songs:

* “The Battle of Evermore”, Led Zeppelin
I deem this song inappropriate because it does not rock, and because it’s full of ridiculous medieval imagery and pseudo-mystical nonsense. And because it inspired a generation of dumb stoner metalheads to try to pick up 12-string guitars and write songs about hobbits.

Side note: There are many rock bands with have a charismatic frontman who is the strongest element from an image standpoint, but the absolute weakest musical link. Led Zeppelin is a prime example. See also: The Doors.

* The song from the tunnel scene in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”
Imagine you’re at a game, and as someone comes to bat, the Jumbotron shows this scene. I mean, just picture this horror broadcast to a crowd of 50,000. By the time Gene Wilder sang “is it raining, is it snowing, is a hurricane a-blowing…” everyone in the stands would have soiled themselves.

* “Prayer to God”, Shellac
Possibly the angriest song ever. Especially if you’ve ever seen them do it live. I saw Shellac twice, they did this song both times, and I swear my sternum was vibrating by the end as Steve Albini screamed KILL HIM! FUCKING KILL HIM! KILL HIM ALREADY! KILL HIM!

Also, never heckle Steve Albini unless you’re prepared to get totally owned. (I absolutely hate the Show Heckling trend; every show I go to now, some hipster douche has a whole routine worked up in his head to yell at quiet parts of the show. But that’s a whole other post.) One time I saw Shellac, some girl kept screaming at the top of her lungs, in a seemingly pseudo-ironic way. Albini finally couldn’t take it anymore and yelled back, “Jesus, woman, what is your day job–siren?!”


Three years ago, I used this space to rail against “The Little Drummer Boy.” It still ranks as my all-time most hated Christmas song, because it is an enormous steaming log of bullshit drenched in sticky-sweet sentimental syrup. It’s a holiday song for the same kind of people who believe in angels: they want something quasi-religious that doesn’t ask you to actually believe in anything (except kindly, poor drum-playing shepherds).

Two years ago, I took “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to task for being misguided, self-congratulatory, and ultimately mean spirited. “Thank god it’s them instead of you”?! Go fuck yourselves, British do-gooders.

Last year, I was too busy changing diapers to get too upset about Xmas music. This year, I don’t have any specific song to lambaste (although if you’re in that kinda mood, I recommend Patton Oswalt’s takedown of “Christmas Shoes”). [New site update 12.21.08: There used to be a video of this on YouTube, but it has sadly passed into the Intertubes Graveyard.] But there is a genre of Christmas songs I despise, one whose ranks have been swelling in recent years. If I could somehow give these songs to life, I would, just so I could give each of them a debilitating case of food poisoning.

I’m talking about the rocking and/or soulful Christmas song. I suppose there is no reason why a Christmas song can’t rock or have soul, although scientists have yet to confirm his hypothesis.

Continue reading Bah Humbug ’07! AND THERE WERE SQUIRRELS