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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Aquaman Playlist: Guest Post by Jonathan Thayer


Paddling around in Spotify the other evening, Aquaman on my mind, I idly typed Track: Aquaman into its search field and was surprised when my net hauled in seventy-six songs with "Aquaman" in their titles.

Wading through them this past week, I distilled them down to a fun eleven-track playlist for music-loving Aquafans like me. A Spotify widget for playing them is embedded down below. Even better, I found that every single track is downloadable for about a dollar each at us.7digital.com and/or Amazon.com. Here they are in a sequence I think works pretty well. It's called...
  • "Aquaman" by Craig Marshall
  • "Surfer's Punk's (Aquaman)" by Dos Minutos
  • "Aquaman" by The Kunks
  • "Aquaman" by Kitty Terry
  • "Aquaman" by Joshua Scott
  • "Aquaman" by Nakova
  • "Aquaman's Lament" by Mark Aaron James
  • "Aquaman" by The Amazing Kill-O-Watts
  • "Aquaman" by The Black Albinos
  • "Aquaman" by Cory Hite
  • "Aquaman" by Lars Gruber
A bulk of the original seventy-six did not bear a strong relation to the Sea Sleuth: After filtering out insufficiently marine-sounding instrumentals, tracks merely featuring a performer called Aquaman, rappers' lewd boasts, and other tangential candidates, as well as passages directly from DC animations, there were a couple dozen left to inspect more closely.

While the final ten come with their share of tongue-in-cheek, there were others in the original pool that were amusing listens but downright dismissive of our Aquatic Ace, in the hopefully now-outmoded vogue of Aquaman-disparagement. Those were enisled entirely from consideration. And so, I found I was left with a solid album's worth of ten entries to organize.

The styles range from punk to indie to folk to novelty; the Nakova is an electronic instrumental with enough of an aquatic squelch to warrant including here as an interlude. (Special mention goes to a track that didn't fit in aurally, but effectively uses Aquaman as a metaphor for the rapper's existential feelings: "Abyss (Aquaman)" by Mr. Awkward)

The playlist title is lifted from Craig Marshall's lovestruck opener, which would make a fine theme song for anyone's Aqua-wedding, as would Joshua Scott's. Cory Hite's works in the same vein, from more of a "Mera" perspective. The relationship outlined in the Black Albinos song is more fraught. Aquaman is mentioned only a couple of times there, but I especially like how his name is sung at the end. Dos Minutos (out of Argentina) and The Amazing Kill-O-Watts provide the punk quotient. I have pasted down below lyrics I found for the Spanish song. If any reader can provide a better translation (or original) than Google does, it would be nice to read. The Kunks are a Kinks parody band, refashioning the Ray Davies' radio hit "(Wish I could fly like) Superman" in a similarly lamentful tone to the original. Kitty Terry carries the lamentfulness along, with more mystical trappings. Lars Gruber closes the set with a healthy splash of manic Saturday-morning noise.

Along with these, I Could Be Aquaman includes a song called "Aquaman's lament", by Mark Aaron James. Rob posted previously about another song with that very same title, by F.O.A.M. member Mike Epstein and his band, The Motion Sick. While fun listening, theirs tacks more to the dismissive side; it's Mark Aaron James's entry where Aquaman gets to state his own case and is the one included here. (A live performance of this song is available to be heard and downloaded as well.)

I hope you'll get a kick out of playing these songs. They give me a smile every time I listen. It's fun singing Aquaman's name out loud along to the music.

"Surfer's punk's (Aquaman)" by Dos Minutos

Quiero volar y estrellarme, en el fondo del mar
Mis amigos surfers punks del salvador, me ayudaran

Porque hay una sirena que esta muriendo de pena,
porque hay una sirena que esta muriendo de pena

Cruzaremos los mares, y montañas de agua,
con mis amigos surfers punk del salvador, trataremos de salvarla

Porque hay una sirena, que esta muriendo de pena,
porque hay una sirena que esta muriendo de pena

Aquaman, donde estaras?

Google Translate:
I want to fly and crashing at the bottom of the sea
My friends surfers punks savior, help me

Because there is a mermaid who is dying of grief
Because there is a mermaid who is dying of grief

We cross the seas, and mountains of water,
my savior surfers punk friends, try to save

Because there is a mermaid who is dying of grief
Because there is a mermaid who is dying of grief

Aquaman, where will you be?


Darrin said...

This is a great post Jonathan. Thanks for sharing the results of your work. I'll be listening to this playlist today!

Jonathan said...

Thanks, Darrin! It was fun discovering the songs and putting the set together. I hope you enjoy it!

Darrin said...

Downloaded all of the songs from Amazon while at work today so I'm ready to listen on the drive home :-)

Jonathan said...

Cool! I was pleasantly surprised when I found they were all available to buy. Hope you got a kick out of the purchases.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

That was fun. Thanks for doing the work. "Aquaman's Lament" is the winner here in my book, with the Kitty Terry song coming in 2nd.

Jonathan said...

Well, that's the gamut right there! From the jokey to the earnest. I hope you'll keep enjoying from time to time. I think they will sound especially good as beach weather rolls in.