, Newburyport, MA


December 20, 2012

The final playlist

Dec. 21 marks end of the world, according to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar. Doomsday preppers may be stockpiling gas masks and Velveeta, but what about some tunes to go along with that paranoia? A playlist for the End Times from the music writers of the Los Angeles Times:

Skeeter Davis,

“The End of the World”

Yes, we know it’s technically a song about how the world is actually not ending, despite the doom feelings after a breakup. A Mayan apocalypse might finally make us feel justified for acting as if it’s all going to hell every time we’re dumped. So if we’re all going down in flames, at least we’ll have some sweet and funny classic country to see us through to the end. (August Brown)

Rage Against the Machine, “People of the Sun”

What better comeuppance could there be for an ancient civilization than if the Maya were right all along about Earth exploding in a sulfurous inferno? Granted, everyone else is going down with it, but we’d put this funk-metal classic one on to remind ourselves that the Maya saw this coming (or at least ran out of calendar space in a way that coincided with the end of days). (AB)

The Dirty Three,

“Great Waves”

When the apocalypse comes, just how long will it take? For Australian violin-gloom trio the Dirty Three and guest vocalist Chan Marshall, just over three minutes. Delivering a harrowing account of gas hurricanes, exploding bodies and gravity’s release over a spiraling melody, Marshall sounds achingly calm, even soothing. “The world is gone, did you know it would last this long?” she asks, somehow capturing that while the end is tragic, it’s also a poetic release. (Chris Barton)

Britney Spears,

“Till the World Ends”

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