If the Olympics teach us anything, it’s that people care a lot more about sports during the summer than they do during the winter (unless you are Soviet or Canadian). Summer is upon us, and the hot, frothy atmosphere feels like the exhaust from the Blues Traveler’s harmonica. This, naturally, makes us want to do physical activities that will raise our body temperatures even higher. If you’re like me, you see yourself as the heroic protagonist of your very own sports movie, powering through a quick-cut montage, growing as both an athlete and a human being. And if you’re like me, your sports movie needs a soundtrack, because what, you’re going to montage to whatever ambient sounds are just being "ambient" around you? No way. You need to set the mood to do sports, but you’re tired of the old montage standards from Karate Kid and Bloodsport and Rocky. To defeat your own personal Ivan Drago, you’ll need the sound of a New Era of montage. Here’s what’s been helping me punch my goals in the face.
Play Badminton to Torche
You’ll probably be attending plenty of backyard barbecues this summer, and it’s nearly certain that, sooner or later, someone will force you to play the inbred scion of tennis and ping-pong. Nobody really wants to play badminton, because it’s, like, dumb. And since lawn darts—the radly hardcore game of making daggers rain from the sky—are illegal now, you’ll have to take the lemons life has handed you and make hand grenades by making badminton hardcore...with metal. First, put on "Harmonicraft" by Torche as loud as your host’s portable iPod speakers will allow. Then, strip naked and let out a guttural cry in a dead language (I find Crimean Gothic works best). Then serve. Once you’ve destroyed your opponents (as well as social norms), tear down the net and eat it as Torche’s guitars turn the backyard grass to ash. Hopefully, by then, the hamburgers will also be ready.
Play Softball to Kishi Bashi
Hey did you notice how I got through that whole badminton bit without any jokes about shuttlecocks? Anyway, softball doesn’t really matter, per se. It doesn’t. But if you’re on an intramural or corporate team, there might be one or two people who actually “Came to PLAY,” as opposed to “Came to drink canned beer and spank the palm of my ball glove while shouting nonsense at the batter.” The playful, bouncing arrangements of Kishi Bashi will remind the more serious players that everyone else is just there to have fun. Just let them play whatever position that they insist on playing, and if they brought their own aluminum bat, don’t try to use it. Because that’s THEIR bat.
Play Basketball to Sigur Rós
Ride Bikes to Dan Sartain
Skateboard to Poliça
Jog to OFF! and the Prometheus Soundtrack.
(Author’s Note: I am not very good at doing sports.)
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