Life in the offseason can be dreary and depressing. But now that the Blazers are kicking ass to start the NBA season (they were 3-0 at press time), WW's basketball-obsessed music staff has a sense of purpose again. But what if we could merge our two civic loves, Blazers basketball and local music? What if we could persuade Paul Allen and company to blast Sleater-Kinney instead of Metallica; Strength instead of Katy Perry? We want local jock jams and stadium-rock anthems for our favorite local team, so we've compiled a list of suggestions.
Best played: During player introductions
Possible objections: Someone asked whether it might be "too gay," before I reminded him that "YMCA" is a Blazer staple. Also, the name "Starfucker," and no one has any idea what the lyrics are.
Why it works: A pulsing beat, infectious synth melodies, cosmic vibe? For all the same reasons MGMT has been adopted by sports video-game soundtracks and your frat-boy brother, Starfucker's "Julius" makes total sense. Bonus points for the epic intro, which is almost as energizing as the start of the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again."
Rose Bent, "Check"
Best played: During pre-game warm-ups
Possible objections: A little cursing, a little sex—nothing a little blurring couldn't sort out.
Why it works: The up-and-coming Portland hip-hop trio knows how to psych up a room—I've seen it in a very tough room—and "Check," a free-association battle track with a chorus of "Check/ Checkmate/ Check late/ Check, face bones break/ Jaw plate/ Hospital bed/ Bedpan/ I.V./ Ninja, just try me" is a balance of goofy and aggressive that Portland fans could get behind.
Cool Nutz, "Monster Up"
Best played: When the team comes out from the locker room
Possible objections: Lots of cursing, plus references to guns, coke dealing and the standoff in Waco, Texas. Radio edit time!
Why it works: Not only does the chorus of "Monster Up" reference the Rose City ("I push the main line/ I got Portland on my back"), the song has a fittingly oversized beat and delivers the exact message Portland's starting lineup—one with a tendency toward subtlety and finesse that occasionally needs to go from Bruce Banner to Incredible Hulk—needs to hear.
V!rtu, "Show Time"
Best played: Just after tipoff
Possible objections: Occasional cursing and the phrase "all up on my gonads"
Why it works: Because V!rtu is a local MC still making a name for himself, and thus he'd probably license the track for free. Also, it's a compelling entry to the rock-star-as-athlete-pump-up-song canon that is so big with the kids these days. Bonus points for the basketball-themed one-liner "You'll be eatin' like a luau, mang/ And don't be on that bullshit like Luol Deng."
Everclear, "Santa Monica"
Best played: Against teams from California
Possible objections: You heard a rumor that Art Alexakis is a douche
Why it works: Listen, Portland. It's time you get over your fame-bashing and accept this song for what it is: One of the raddest hits to ever make its way out of this city. There's a reason every kid learns this on guitar: because it's really easy to play. Another reason is because it is awesome. If this gets played during a Blazer timeout, the resulting fan fervor will push these 'Zers over the top.
Viva Voce, "Alive With Pleasure"
Best played: Any time you'd normally play Queen.
Possible objections: A midsong slowdown might start too slow to keep fan interest
Why it works: The real question is, why would it not work? And the answer to that question is that there is no reason it would not work. "Alive With Pleasure," a two-part guitar scorcher, was basically written to be played at Blazers games. It's a song about being patient and winning with teamwork, for chrissakes!
Rose Bent plays Ash St. Saloon on Thursday, Nov. 4. 9:30 pm. $7. 21+.