To celebrate the Mayan apocalypse, last week Ancestors shared the first half of its end of the world playlist. Doomsday or not, we automatically scheduled the second half of the Los Angeles quintet’s picks to run this morning to help satiate this guy‘s voracious appetite for the written word. But, in the off-chance we manage to survive, you can not only read about the band’s picks, but can also listen along here.
The Turtles’ “Eve Of Destruction” (from 1965’s It Ain’t Me Babe)
Flo and Eddie had a knack for taking serious subjects and making them fun and/or funny. Probably why they ended up collaborating with Frank Zappa later on. Although I don’t think they wrote this song, they picked a good one. This is a great and catchy song from a great band.—Justin Maranga
R.E.M.’s “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” (from 1987’s Document)
Obviously this song was going to be here. And you might be saying, “R.E.M. sucks.” Well keep it to yourself, because they’re one of my favorite bands of all time. They were incredibly influential and I can’t think of one band that was more adept at writing pop hooks while always managing to be artistic and creative. While this is far from my favorite R.E.M. song, it was the one that I obviously had to throw on here.—J.M.
Armageddon’s “Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun” (from 1975’s Armageddon)
Keith Relf was badass, and not just because he electrocuted himself on his guitar. This song has an end of days vibe to me. Also, the drummer from Captain Beyond (Bobby Caldwell) played on this record.—Nick Long
The Clash’s “London Calling” (from 1979’s London Calling)
Another obvious one, but it’s such a great song. And such a great album. This record has had enough said about it that I could never say anything new, so I’ll just shut up. The ice age is coming.—J.M.
U2’s “New Years Day” (from 1983’s War)
I only recently swallowed my hatred of Bono (and The Edge for that matter) in favor of ignoring their existence and listening to U2 anyway. And I’m glad I did, because their output up through The Joshua Tree is really incredible. This playlist was originally going to be a New Years playlist, but then we realized that clearly there won’t be a New Years this year. But this song still seemed to work.—J.M.
Neurosis’s “Through Silver In Blood” (from 1996’s Through Silver In Blood)
To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what this song is about. But I’ve always felt that Through Silver In Blood (the entire album) sounded like the perfect soundtrack to the apocalypse. So I’m throwing it on this playlist. I’m sure you already know how untouchable this band and record are.—J.M.
Blind Willie Johnson’s “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground” (from 1993’s The Complete Blind Willy Johnson)
Not much to say here. It’s an instrumental. Incredibly contemplative and dark. I felt like it worked in this playlist.—J.M.
Charley Patton’s “You’re Gonna Need Somebody When You Die” (from 2007’s The Very Best Of Charley Patton)
Charley Patton was the father of the delta blues and I firmly believe that without him music today would be very different. That earns him a place in most playlists in my book.—J.M.
Andrew Bird’s “Yawny At The Apocalypse” (from 2007’s Armchair Apocrypha)
Another instrumental. Beautiful. Andrew Bird is one of the most talented musicians out there right now. The song title is obviously a play on Yanni at the Acropolis but whatever.—J.M.
Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” (from 1992’s The Future)
Yes, another Leonard Cohen song. I wanted to end the playlist with something hopeful. This song has some of my favorite lyrics of all time. There’s a lesson to be learned here. “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”—J.M.
*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)