While New Years Eve has never been one of my favorite holidays, Ancestors’ most recent effort, In Dreams And Time, was one of my top records of 2012. The previous sentence made more sense when the band was putting together a NYE playlist for us. Nevertheless, the Los Angeles quintet has assembled something even better and more topical with an end of the world playlist to help usher in tomorrow’s Mayan apocalypse. Rest assured that its twenty songs will make the end of life as we know it at least musically enjoyable. Below is the first half of guitarist/vocalist Justin Maranga and company’s picks, with the second half queued up and ready to run whether anyone will be around to read it or not. Listen and weep here.
Tom Waits’ “Earth Died Screaming” (from 1992’s Bone Machine)
Tom Waits has long been one of my favorite songwriters (and musicians in general). Bone Machine is a dark album and this song about the end of the world seemed like a good way to open this playlist. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Tom Waits live a couple of times and it’s been nothing less than incredible. I really like the image of thunder and lightning and then the stars going out.—Justin Maranga
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds’ “(I’ll Love You) Till The End Of The World” (from 1991’s Until The End Of The World OST)
This song plays on a similar theme as the Tom Waits tune that precedes it. For some reason I only really got into Nick Cave over the past few years. I’m not sure what took me so long, but I’ve been a big fan ever since I pulled my head out of my ass.—J.M.
Leonard Cohen’s “The Future” (from 1992’s The Future)
Leonard Cohen is another one of my favorite songwriters or, more specifically, one of my favorite lyricists. This song seems to be Leonard’s take on the end of things. I recently got to see him live and he played for almost four hours. The guy is 78 years old and he was skipping on and off stage. It was inspiring. I also recently read a biography on him called I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen. Highly recommended.—J.M.
Skeeter Davis’ “The End Of The World” (from 1963’s Skeeter Davis Sings The End Of The World)
While this song isn’t actually about the end of the world, but rather it feeling like the end of the world, it’s a beautiful song. Skeeter Davis was a real underrated country singer who doesn’t get talked about much, and that’s unfortunate. She made some really great music.—J.M.
Blondie’s “Rapture” (from 1980’s Autoamerican)
Okay, this song is even more not about the end of the world. But it’s called “Rapture”. She’s not even singing about that kind of rapture, but whatever. It’s a great song. And as cheesy as it is, I love the rap section.—J.M.
The Sisters Of Mercy’s “Black Planet” (from 1985’s First And Last And Always)
I’ve got a huge soft spot for goth rock and death rock. This Sisters of Mercy tune seemed close enough to fit the bill for this playlist. You can’t really go wrong with anything Sisters of Mercy released in the ’80s: two awesome albums and a bunch of EPs and singles.—J.M.
Nine Inch Nails’ “The Day The World Went Away” (from 1999’s The Fragile)
I’ve always been a big Nine Inch Nails fan since I first heard Pretty Hate Machine. I think Trent Reznor has an incredible approach to putting songs together and he gets so many amazing sounds. He also somehow managed to reinvent himself every album but always still sound like Nine Inch Nails. Really an accomplishment (not that he really needs me singing his praises). Why this song made the playlist should be obvious.—J.M.
The Doors’ “The End” (from 1967’s The Doors)
I’ve gone back and forth throughout my life trying to figure out whether or not I like The Doors or just like a handful of Doors songs. I’m pretty sure that I like them. But I’ve always had an unabashed love for this song. I generally gravitate toward The Doors’ darker songs, and it doesn’t get much darker than this. If this is truly the end, I wouldn’t mind going out with this song playing.—J.M.
King Crimson’s “Epitaph” (from 1969’s In The Court Of The Crimson King)
King Crimson has always been one of Ancestors’ collective favorite bands. It would be a lie to say that this love hasn’t seeped into our music a bit. The lyrics of this song really appear to be coming true, whether the end of the world is imminent or not.—J.M.
Aphrodite’s Child’s “End of the World” (from 1968’s End Of The World)
The idea of Demis Roussos luring a young girl to ditch her family to go with him to the end of the world is awesome.—Nick Long
*Order a copy of In Dreams And Time here.
**We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here. Past entries include:
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
All That Remains
A Life Once Lost
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)