News broke on Independence day that NASA’s Jupiter space probe, Juno had begun orbiting Jupiter. Well we here at B.G.M. are generally pretty obsessed with all things space and alien like so we had been following the probe’s space mission with mild amusement. Then we discovered something very disappointing, we learned that NASA had endorsed a couple of pretty terrible songs to celebrate Juno’s mission.
Apparently, Weezer has penned some garbage pop song about loving the U.S. (um… pretty sure space exploration has more to do with more than one country, it is kind of a planetary thing) and another song by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that sounds like some throw away track from one of their soundtracks (we don’t want Jupiterians to think we are boring do we?!).
Letting the possible extraterrestrial creatures on Jupiter only be exposed to a weak-hyper-patriotic Weezer song and a boring-drone of a NIN song is unacceptable. There is no way the staff at B.G.M. would sit ideally by and let Earth and the human race be so blatantly and wildly misrepresented. There are so many dope Earth jams that we need to share.
So here’s the real Jupiter playlist.
These are songs that remind us of outer space and songs we want aliens to make their first impressions of Earth with. Or just straight fire jams that aliens need to hear cause Earth music rules!
Shiner – The Egg
I know I can’t put an entire album here. That would just mess the playlist up too much, but this album is probably one of the best albums of all time and is still relatively unknown which is travesty of epic proportions. I mean The Egg is basically a concept album about aliens coming down and abducting all the cows and some other alien stuff happens and then there’s an egg and some other E.T. stuff happens. Research this album out yourself and figure it out. Kansas City’s Shiner are one of the best bands of all time in my mind and the projects that the each individual band member has moved onto are also worth checking out.
So for the sake of playing along with the playlist format. I will pick the opening song from The Egg, “The Truth About Cows.” Now go do yourself a favor and abduct this album into your ears and brains Jupitarians. – Jon
Doves – “There Goes The Fear”
I caught the Doves (on 4th of July – where the STROKES were supposed to open – but got held up by customs. they performed in a basement of St. Andrews Hall later in the evening) – in Detroit. They had a projector that had a number of images. For some reason – they showed clips of Space Shuttle fuselage falling back to earth. The ones everyone has seen a million times – where the rings of iron fall back to earth and kinda flame out. – Rollie Agado
Cannonball Adderley – “ Autumn Leaves”
If aliens happened across my front door. I would put on “Autumn Leaves” and leave the room. The notes that ring out of Miles’s horn. I just can’t….
I trust the aliens would spare us after listening – Rollie Agado
The Mars Volta – “Drunkship Of Lanterns”
Why would I treat the aliens any different than my human friends? Space equality! In that case I need to include a song from Mars Volta’s best album (IMO) De-loused In The Comatorium. Many a nights have been spent watching the iTunes visualizer while playing this song. So much that when I close my eyes when it is on I feel like I am Star Fox’s co-pilot barreling through an asteroid field. This needs to be blasted into actual space. Rock out with me aliens! – Matt Jamison
Harry Nilsson – “Think About Your Troubles”
I would like the aliens from another world to have a good first impression of the human race. There isn’t a song that makes me feel more human and connected to the Earth as this song. My favorite classic rock artist explaining the cycle of life and how all things are connected while at the same time trying to drive home that your troubles are really minute internalized problems. A dose of earthling education alongside that beautiful voice. With his otherworldly melodies maybe this won’t be so foreign to our alien friends afterall. – Matt Jamison
Failure – “Another Space Song”
I mean, it’s got the word ‘space’ in the god damn title. The whole album (Fantastic Planet) is about space, and heroin, mostly. But this is probably the spaciest song. Opening with a sound effect listed from the animated French film, also called Fantastic Planet, the song spirals into the atmosphere thanks to Kellii Scott’s innovative percussion sequencing, Ken Andrew’s fuzzed out bass strums and Greg Edwards’ distended guitar work. What are the lyrics about? Space? Maybe. But probably heroin. Either way, it’s brilliant and melancholic. – Kevin Krein
Gary Numan & Tubeway Army – “Praying to the Aliens”
If anyone on this planet deserves to have their prayers answered it would be Gary Numan and this is his chance. So please, aliens of Jupiter, grant little Gary, (who is probably an alien such as yourselves), anything he wants. This song probably isn’t far off from whatever extraterrestrial version of pop you alls are listening to so you may be able to relate to a time here on earth when pop music was actually good, in fact if this is what your music sounds like I’m okay with you coming to take me away. – Brandon Perras
Hum – “Afternoon With The Axolotls”
You could basically include any Hum song on a space travel playlist and it would fit perfectly. I had a hard time picking just one, but I decided to go with “Afternoon With The Axolotls” off of Hum’s second album and absolute masterpiece, Downward is Heavenward. I chose this track over the others because I think it embodies all the feelings that one would encounter during space travel: sadness, loneliness, terror, joy, shock, and awe. Also, pretty sure there are some secret math encoded messages to Jupiter that are hidden in all the bleeps and boops contained in the breakdown of this song.
Might be pointless to include Hum on this playlist though. Because I am sure Hum is like the fuckin’ Beatles of Jupiter. It would make total sense. – Jon
The Tornados – “Telstar”
I can’t think of any other song that reminds more of space travel than this one. Named after the Telstar Communications Satellite, this 1962 instrumental was the first British pop song to reach number one in the US. With it’s pre-psychedelic intro and reverb soaked surf vibe, it perfectly captures the innocence and wonder of the world during the ‘Space Race’. Despite having no lyrics, I’ve always picked up on a certain sadness or longing within the melody as if it’s the soundtrack to a world that knows it’s about to change, hoping for the best but expecting the worse. Isn’t that what exploration is about? – Aaron Cooper
Death In Vegas – “Song For Penny”
When I was a kid, I always thought of space travel as an adventure. Flying around checking out strange new worlds and the lifeforms that inhabit them. When I got older I realized space exploration, much like adult life, would probably be a dark and scary journey that ends with you suffocating in your ship or being exterminated by an alien race. “Song For Penny” plays upon both elements. It features samples from Robbie The Robot any sci-fi loving kid would recognize from the Lost In Space TV show, but instead of cute catch phrases, he’s chanting commands of destruction and death. It’s an ominous jam of hip-hop drum loops, droning bass, guitar feedback, and a synth riff that sounds like your eardrums are going to burst due to cabin pressure. It’s cold, bleak, and empty with an overwhelming sense of dread because space exploration probably isn’t as fun as your naivety suggests. – Aaron Cooper
David Bowie – “Space Oddity”
Can there be a space themed playlist that doesn’t feature a Bowie song? From a literal standpoint, “Space Oddity” tells the story of an astronaut getting lost forever while on a doomed mission, but there’s a bigger picture that some might over look. It’s a song about distancing yourself to the point of alienation. Seeing the world as such a sad place for so long you’re no longer able to communicate with it. Being stuck in your own head is much like being lost in outer space and the more time you spend there dwelling on things, the more your perception changes. Even though the stars might look different after a while, the cold hard reality is planet earth is still a depressing place and there’s nothing you can do about it. – Aaron Cooper
Peter Schilling – “Major Tom”
Because people have little to no memory of Schilling or his ‘sequel’ to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” The German singer hit the Billboard charts with this song back in the early 1980s, and the beat is pure Eurotrash syntho-pop bliss, like a gender-reversed version of Nina’s “99 Red Balloons.” Not nearly as iconic as “Space Oddity” mind you, but it’s eclectic and infectious enough to burn in your memory like respectable ear worm should. – Javier E. David
Kanye West – “Flashing Lights”
Kanye’s an egomaniacal abomination and a canker sore on the face of humanity, but he deserves credit for making addictive hip hop beats with catchy lyrics. “Flashing Lights” is one of his more ethereal and atmospheric songs, one that gives the listener (at least this listener) a sense of weightlessness and dancing alone at the center of the universe-even if sound doesn’t travel in space. – Javier E. David
Will Smith – “Getting Jiggy Wit It”
Remember aliens, the same guy who sent the last batch of aliens packing in 1996 also wrote this song merely an Earth year later. Let this serve as a warning to you Jupiterians… We mean you no harm, but if you so much as threaten our existence by blocking our Wifi or using “Lit” wrong, we’ll set the Fresh Prince on you. His cardio is infinite, Big Willie Style’s all in it. Welcome to Earth. – Cody Davis
Sunn O)))- “Aghartha”
I imagine throughout your travels across our galaxy that you as Jupiterians have yet to truly experience the crushing gravity to which us Earthlings are subjected to. I thought it would be best to prepare you all by giving the inhabitants of Jupiter the sonic equivalent of Earth’s gravity. Sunn O))) is the only entity of this rock that could accurately portray how large and monolithic the pull of that other sun is. Interestingly enough, in addition to the powerful drone that keeps us firmly on Earth’s surface, the lyrics to this song begin with the recitation of a poem about the creation of a new Earth. I suggest you wear earplugs for this one… If you have ears. – Cody Davis
The Antlers – “Shh”
The Antlers pre-Hospice, and its ensuing cult status as an indie staple was just a one man project, Peter Silberman. As it stood, In The Attic of the Universe likewise felt very sparse, dense, and yes even sad. However, amidst the short string of melancholy vibes exists an instrumental gem so airy and lush, it automatically calls to mind the essence of void nothingness.
Prefaced by bent guitar pluckings drenched in reverb, the track transitions ever peacefully into serene noodling and warped tones, a surefire way to instantly transition into one’s happy place. Sure, The Antlers discography can be “Dave locked out of the ship by Hal 9000” at times, but a whirlwind of conflicting emotions also carries a more “fetus floating in space while ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ plays in the background” peacefulness. (And no, the baby in that film isn’t creepy whatsoever!) – Daniel Carlson
Deep Purple – “Child in Time”
“You’d better close your eyes, Ooohhhh bow your head, Wait for the ricochet”
I confess I didn’t know much about Juno’s trip to Jupiter. I’m casually into space stuff, and a visit to Jupiter sounds cool, but aside from capturing some close up pics of that big cloud thing that travels around the planet, I had very little sense of what the heck the trip is all about.
So, with the intention of nourishing my science nerdiness, I headed over to the Denver Nature and Science Museum last Friday, where a team of Lockheed Martin engineers who actually designed the space craft were on hand to explain the purpose of the mission. After the presentation, I cozied up to one of the engineers (a nice young man named Jared) and politely asked him to give the presentation once more in dummy-speak. Jared obliged and explained that Jupiter presents the most chaotic and poisonous environment in the entire solar system, and sending Juno there is all about learning to take punishment amidst absolute interstellar toxicity (in addition to gathering data about the origins of the solar system). In order to hold itself together, Juno will periodically venture into Jupiter’s orbit and then escape, seeking refuge from the radiation and turbulence the planet offers. After several months of this punishment, Juno will finally just die and operatically crash into the planet.
Having thought a lot about the grueling process Juno is undertaking over the coming months, Deep Purple’s classic “Child in Time” emerged from my musical subconscious. The song’s overall ten-minute progression nicely mimics what Juno’s experience has been and will be through the voyages lifespan. Beginning with Jon Lord’s richly textured organ and Ian Pace’s cymbals followed up with Ian Gillan’s soft timbre building toward a state of chaos and then collapsing back into the calm tones of the song’s beginning. The tune ventures back into bedlam and the eventual violent crescendo of Gillan’s screams, messy beats, chaotic guitars, all of which reflects the gradual withdrawal from and aftermath of violence and destruction.
What better way to greet Jupiter than to hold up a mirror. – Nate Jones