Archive for the ‘Cryptid Playlist’ Category

The Five Best Songs About Diseases & Infections Ever

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

With flu season mounting, handshakes get risky, hugs spell out trouble and kisses become spit-smeared invitations to 103-degree, snot-slathered winter formals hosted by your lungs. Every person you love is looking more and more like a walking biological weapon. Weird Things invites you to take a few minutes to turn up your speakers, sneeze directly into a loved one’s mouth and get down with the sickness…

The Dead Kennedys“Government Flu”

Known as much for their rabid, conspiracy theory-tinged liberalism as for their surf-infused hardcore punk sound, San Francisco’s Dead Kennedys always managed to stay true to early punk’s affinity for political hyperbole while still remaining witty and fun. Featured on their 1982 album “Plastic Surgery Disasters,” this song is the perfect gift for the H1N1 conspiracy nut in your life.


Whether you think Radiohead is overhyped or just-the-right-amount hyped, it’s hard to deny the substantial impact that these dour, tree-hugging Brits have had on the contemporary music scene. “Myxomatosis,” from 2003’s barely “OOOH SNAP!”-worthy-titled “Hail to the Thief,” infuses a deep synth groove with lyrics about the titular rabbit-killing infection. Ten bucks says the rabbit represents Mother Earth.

Ween“Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)”

This bizarre and chilling track from 1994’s “Chocolate and Cheese” proves that the worst lullabies for children are also the best masturbatory aids for serial killers. And before you say it, I know I could’ve chosen the resplendent and beloved “The HIV Song.” Or the trippy instrumental “Pink Eye on my Knee.” Thank god this playlist’s theme wasn’t Recreational Pharmacology, or I’d be paring down Ween options for weeks.

Frank Zappa“Why Does it Hurt When I Pee?”

From experimental jazz to doo-wop to… this, Frank Zappa’s varied and prolific musical career left an indelible mark on American musical history. This mournful lament from his 1979 rock opera “Joe’s Garage: Acts I, II & III” teaches a hard lesson about the meat-grabbing properties of toilet seat-lurking venereal diseases. The more you know…

Jimmie Rodgers“T.B. Blues”

Consumption never sounded so soulful. Recorded in 1931 by ragtime guitarist and proto-country great Jimmie Rodgers, the “T.B. Blues” provides a melodic outlet for all the country singers who lost their woman, their dog and their truck, and then contracted tuberculosis.

Five Best Songs About Zombies, Ever

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Someday, all the deceased extras that played ooky revenants in “Night of the Living Dead” will ungrave for real and you’ll be subjected to blog post after blog post comparing pictures of the actors’ actual shambling undead remains to screenshots of them in zombie make-up. Until then, here’s something to fill the space. (Your hellish zombie apocalypse will be Weird Things’ tacky media renaissance.)

Be Your Own Pet“Zombie Graveyard Party!”

Known for referencing elementary school apocrypha like Creepy Crawlers and Super Soakers, defunct indie punk outfit Be Your Own Pet could always be counted on for catchy, energetic pop songs that successfully walked the line between twee irony and hyperactive sass. This song from 2008’s “Get Awkward” bemoans the lameness of love while endorsing two kid-tested, Fulci-approved alternatives – brain eating and graveyard partying.

Harry Belafonte“Zombie Jamboree (Back to Back)”

Written by the otherwise-unknown Conrad Eugene Mauge Jr., this modern calypso standard is the rum-drenched, Caribbean foil to “Zombie Graveyard Party!”’s undead suburban kegger. This version is notable for being the only recording of the song approved by the AMA for testing cadaver booty response.

Jonathan Coulton“Re: Your Brains”

With songs featured everywhere from Popular Science to John Hodgman audiobooks, Coulton is an unstoppable force of sheer melodic nerdiness. Presented as a memo and steeped in the buzz word-laden idiom of corporate bureaucracy, his tribute to the undead equates a mindless legion of walking corpses to impotent capitalist drones and their empty, abbreviated business vernacular. But, like, in a funny way.

Sufjan Stevens“They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!”

The music on Stevens’ undeniably wonderful, but relentlessly hyped, album “Illinois” ranges from cartoonish to macabre. This spookier, word-count-devastating track is less concerned with actual zombies than with the stumbling, ghoulish remains of a once-vital American landscape and its assimilation into modern homogeneity. It’s also still fairly concerned with actual zombies.

Fela Kuti & Africa ‘70“Zombie”

Political activist and pioneer of the afrobeat movement, Fela Kuti often used the latter descriptor to fill the responsibilities of the former. His two-song album “Zombie” employed the image of easily manipulated voodoo zombies to deliver a scathing, uncompromisingly funky critique of the Nigerian army. Interestingly, the album’s unofficial sequel, “Mothman,” offered a rump-jiggling screed against voodoo.