The AV Club had a Q&A last week asking “What would be your entrance music?” As a music fan and a sports junkie this is, of course, a nearly irresistable question, though a lot of other things got in the way before I could get around to typing up an answer.
I’ve always kind of thought that Superchunk’s “Hyper Enough” would be fantastic entrance music for somebody:
Of course, that somebody wouldn’t really be me, as I’m not especially hyper. If I were going to be running out onto a stadium floor for some sporting purpose, I would need something more in line with my actual speed. Maybe a little Sugar:
That’s a pace I could actually maintain. Of course, it’s also twenty-odd years old, so perhaps something more contemporary in a similar tempo, off the new Afghan Whigs record:
Then again, that one sounds maybe a little too much like stripper music, which is not an image anyone needs. So we could go to my current favorite band in the world, the Hold Steady, whose latest album makes a big entrance:
Though again, maybe a little more uptempo than my size and footspeed can justify. And, of course, the subject matter maybe isn’t the most family-sporting-event-friendly…
But then, really, it’s kind of an act of colossal vanity to imagine myself needing entrance music in a sporting context. Which then leads to idly pondering entrance music in an academic context, and what might work for that.
Academic entrance music, of course, would probably demand a greater lyrical density, so something like the Weakerthans, maybe:
A little mellower, but a catchy song, and sort of thematically appropriate, given the way a lot of intro physics involves rethinking ordinary situations.
But then, this term, I’m teaching a Gen Ed class on relativity, so perhaps this might be more appropriate, as a realistic analogy for what the class will accomplish:
It sounds awfully cool, but when you really try to follow what’s going on, it ends up as gibberish.
But, really, I’m not a tenth cool enough to pull that off, even ironically. Anyway, as an academic currently serving as department chair, there’s really only one choice: song number three from John’s last CD:
That’s one of those songs that’s absurdly personal and specific, and on paper seems like it shouldn’t work at all. But it’s brilliant, and works in almost any circumstances where you need a kick to keep going. I listened to that one a bunch when I was up for tenure, too.
At any rate, while it’s not really a definitive answer to the original question, that’s at least a bunch of excellent music to get you through your Monday morning. Feel free to suggest others in the comments; I don’t know if embed code will work there, and links may get held for moderation, but I’ll clear comments when I get the chance.