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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Bromwich ‘bowls’ over expectations

Let’s face it, I hit the jackpot. For the past week, I’ve been brainstorming ideas that might make for a noteworthy first column. A soundtrack to match the frostbite-inducing cold of the past few days? It’s been done. Summery girl-group pop-punk to distract from the depressing realization that summer is still so far away? Impossible to distract people from temperatures that are consistently below 10 degrees. Puffy jacket gangster rap from guys who know what it’s like to stand on freezing corners all day long? Well, maybe another time.

Luckily for me, the Packers came along and delivered an NFC championship as well as (much less importantly) a welcome chance to write the inevitable sports-oriented column. So, the following is a playlist of songs to deservedly get hyped up for Super Bowl XLV.

Now, clearly there are staples that need to be played. Some Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Eminem or House of Pain – all of it works equally well when getting ready to watch Clay Matthews sack the hell out of Ben Roethlisberger. However, if you’re looking for a collection of songs to round out your pre-game playlist, these will do nicely. They’re the kind of songs you can get rowdy to, that will clear your head and amp your heart rate up to where it should be by the time the first ball gets kicked off in Dallas.


“Chelsea Dagger” – The Fratellis

You’ve heard this one. I promise you have, even if you don’t recognize the name. It gets played in plenty of stadiums, and has been featured in a bunch of commercials. There’s a better reason you’ve heard it, too: The Fratellis make some of the most rousing rock songs around, complete with boozy sing-along choruses and lyrics that don’t sound right unless they’re being shouted. This is a song to drink to, to fight to and, without a doubt, to watch football to.

“Every Time” – Girl Unit

Girl Unit’s single “Wut” got a lot of (deserved) attention in 2010, which meant that people tended to ignore the two B-sides that seemed like the perfunctory shwag often accompanying such lauded singles. “Showstoppa” and “Every Time” are both great in their own right – “Every Time” works especially well as a musical adrenaline shot, a blistering piece of electronic excitement that occupies the common ground between dubstep, juke and Southern rap.

The song is deliciously complicated for a piece that arguably only contains two words (it depends whether you count “heyyyyey” as a word.) The “time” in “Every Time” shoots up like a roller coaster before slowly crashing down amid a small symphony of drums, synths and God knows what else. The sound is warlike and ungodly with an attitude that suggests a fourth championship is a forgone conclusion.

“Pop the Trunk” – Yelawolf

Imagine you’re the Steelers’ kicker Shaun Suisham. After an inglorious run with the Washington Redskins, you’ve joined the ranks of the black and yellow and things seem to be going well. You’ve had a pretty good season; you’re in the Super Bowl. You’re chilling fearlessly on the sideline when you suddenly notice that Charles Woodson is eyeing you from the other side of the field.

At first, you try to avoid his gaze. But, when you decide there’s no way he’s still looking at you, you look up – and get that Woodson mean mug full in the face. You cease to be the intrepid Canadian you once were and commence to shivering, sniveling and blowing every kick for the rest of the game – and quite possibly your life.

Yelawolf’s “Pop the Trunk” is the musical equivalent of this look from Woodson to Suisham, a song that’s bursting at the seams with intimidation and the threat of violence. It’s enough to give any Steelers fan chills.

“Turn It On” – Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand, the Scottish band of “Take Me Out” fame, hasn’t stopped churning out upbeat, energetic rock songs since its eponymous debut. “Turn It On,” from its third album Tonight, is one of the best of these; a rollicking stomper of a song in which lead singer Alex Kapranos croons vampy come-ons before the verses burst into a funky, frenetic hook.

The lyrics are genuinely funny, as Kapranos demonstrates that he’ll say anything just to get some attention. Play this at high volume during halftime; it’s guaranteed to give you the energy you need to sit on the edge of the couch for the rest of the game.

“Circuit Breaker” – Mark Ronson and the Business

Imagine the song to which the Chicago Bulls team introduces its players, “The Final Countdown” by Europe, combined with the music you hear when you face the elite four in Pok?mon. Meld these together and you’ve got some idea of what “Circuit Breaker” by Mark Ronson and the Business sounds like. The genius producer behind the success of such British chanteuses as Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen has incredibly eclectic taste, and on his 2010 album Record Collection he mixes and matches varied sounds with an astonishingly deft touch. “Circuit Breaker” is one of many standouts, a song that sounds epic and modest at the same time. Kind of like a certain Green Bay quarterback.

“Ain’t Nothing To F**K With” – Wu-Tang Clan

You remember those staples that I mentioned toward the beginning of this column? Well, I sincerely hope this was already one of them. Because nothing says, “I am ready to win a championship with grace, ease and aplomb” like the entirety of the Wu-Tang Killer Bees chanting expletives and threatening you with bloody murder, Shaolin style.

The Wu-Tang Clan can be said to be co-founders (along with NWA) of the menacing rapping style that eventually came to be called gangster rap. Most members of the Wu are still making music today, but this song is one of their classics and one of the best hype rap songs of all time.

Jonah Bromwich is a senior majoring in English and an enthusiastic fan of rap, pop and electronic music. E-mail him column suggestions, questions or criticism at [email protected].

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