A Soundtrack To Geology

A few weeks ago I offered up my first playlist. I chose the theme of geography because I’ve got a friend in classes right now and I thought that’s what he was taking. As it turns out he is taking geology. So I guess I’ll take a shot at making a geology-themed playlist.

I myself took geology just a year ago in the fall of 2020. It was honestly one of the most boring classes I ever took. It sounds interesting on the surface – rocks, tectonic plates, volcanoes and stuff. But nah, I was burned out on school and more as it was and I just did not connect with the subject.

But geology offers up an easy way to make a playlist. At its core, geology is about rocks. So, let’s rock.

Usually when I do these I won’t talk about every song on the playlist. But since this list is simple and, let’s face it, pretty dumb, I can go ahead and rip out a line or two about each one.

Kiss – Rock N Roll All Nite

Pretty easy choice for the opener here. It’s Kiss, it’s their signature song, it’s automatic.

I won’t say it’s my favorite Kiss tune – the heavier tunes like War Machine, God Of Thunder and Unholy really get me going. But it’s an all-time classic for a reason, no denying that.

Sammy Hagar – There’s Only One Way To Rock

Sammy posits that there is only one way to rock. Far be it from me to argue with one of rock’s most successful artists, but I’m not sure about that Sammy. I think there might be a few ways to rock.

Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock

I’m going with the live extended jam of this signature tune from Twisted Sister. They were a band known for their live prowess and the live version of this song is a lot of fun.

Joe Walsh – Rocky Mountain Way

Yeah, this song was on the last playlist and now it’s on this one. I doubt it makes the cut next time but maybe I can shoehorn it in somehow, I don’t know.

Spinal Tap – Rock N Roll Creation

It’s a bit amazing how many kick ass songs a “fake” band put out. This one is certainly about rock, or rocks. I’m sure it’ll help someone pass a geology class.

Motorhead – Doctor Rock

I’ve been at this blog for a bit now and I haven’t had a chance to even mention Motorhead yet. No time like the present. I also need to get to some writing about them, just a massive band.

Night Ranger – (You Can Still) Rock In America

As far as I know, you can, in fact, still rock in America. One of Night Ranger’s signature anthems stands the test of time here. Now, you might want to check your local laws before you do go on still rocking, but if you get busted you should tell the cops that Night Ranger said it was ok.

John Mellencamp – R.O.C.K. In the U.S.A.

Now we have a dilemma on our hands. We have confirmed you can still Rock in America, and now we have updated guidance that you may also R.O.C.K. In the U.S.A. But, can you R.O.C.K. In America, or perhaps Rock in the U.S.A.? This is the kind of stuff that keeps me and geology teachers up at night.

Neil Young – Rockin’ In The Free World

If you’ve still got a list of your freedoms out, here’s another to add to your list. And this isn’t just for America – it’s for the whole free world. Wherever that is…

AC/DC – Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution

Let’s scale down from country-wide freedoms to municipal ordinances for a moment. Let the masters of rock have their say here. The next time you get upset because your neighbor in the suburb or the trailer park is jamming out, you should cut them some slack. Crack open a cold Busch Light and rock out with them. That’s what it’s all about.

Dio – We Rock

Perhaps the most important lesson in geology is this – we do, in fact, rock. It’s confirmed by the master of rock and tectonics himself, our lord Ronnie James Dio.

Boston – Rock N Roll Band

What a debut record, one of the best ever done as far as my memory serves. And of course, Boston are indeed a rock and roll band. Just perfect for this dumb little exercise here.

Van Halen – And The Cradle Will Rock

We can’t talk about rock without bringing up one of the most important bands to the genre, even if David Crosby disagrees. And this is one of their sneakier good songs, sometimes left out of the overall conversation.

Corrosion Of Conformity – Stonebreaker

So stones and rocks maybe aren’t the same thing but I don’t know because I didn’t pay attention in geology class so here we are. COC are a great band.

Oasis – Rock N Roll Star

I gotta shoehorn an Oasis song onto as many playlists as possible. Easy pick here. This is one I like to play for people who say they don’t like Oasis. They still don’t after I play it but hey, I got to jam out for a bit.

Montrose – Rock Candy

I don’t guess candy is very geologically themed but there is no discussion of rock music without including this Montrose classic. Also I’ll keep cramming Sammy Hagar stuff on here as much as I can. Van Hagar didn’t have a rock-titled song, but Sammy solo had more than one.

Sammy Hagar – Rock Is In My Blood

In the “I’m too lazy to sequence this dumb playlist with any thought to listening quality” department, I’ll just cram the other Hagar song here. It’s two-for-Tuesday with one of rock’s most enduring artists, and a Hagar hat trick.

Huey Lewis And The News – The Heart Of Rock N Roll

I almost didn’t put this on here but I always liked Huey’s stuff so here we go. The song is fine, maybe not his best, but Huey is a cool dude so I’ll jam out for a bit.

Scorpions – Rock You Like A Hurricane

There is no discussion of rock music without Germany’s greatest export. Hell, if you’re taking a geology class and they don’t talk about the Scorpions, you should ask for a refund. I didn’t get through my own geology class without a healthy dose of Love At First Sting.

Ok, so our favorite Teutonic rockers are probably more owing to biology than geology. But if you’re gifted enough in the physical arts, maybe they’ll do your geology homework for you. I don’t know.

Great White – Rock Me

An absolutely fantastic track from a band that maybe doesn’t get their due. They had an awful tragedy and later some lineup drama but they still put out some bona fide classics. I need to get around to picking up their stuff on wax. And we all need to get around to rocking out to this classic cut.

The Rolling Stones – It’s Only Rock N Roll (But I Like It)

I figured I’d let the Stones bring this playlist home. I’m not like a super massive fan of theirs but I do very much like and respect their place in rock and their body of work. This is a really cool song and a nice way to wind things down before we go take our geology finals. Or crack open another cold one and rock out.

Here’s the list. I’ll try to do something with a grain of thought to it next time but hey, this was fun.

A Soundtrack To Geography

Something I want to start doing more of around here is making playlists. It’s the modern version of the old mix tape, mixed CD, you name it. I find it fun to pick a theme or concept then find songs that fit that theme. I’ve just been a bit hung up on where to begin with that.

So a buddy of mine is taking some college classes and geography is one of those. I thought I’d try to help him out some by making a playlist that incorporated the theme of places. I took geography in high school. I did really well on the final, where we had to identify each US state and its capital, each Canadian province and its capital, and each other country in the world and its capital city. This was just after the fall of Communism too so I didn’t get it easy like all the really old people who were in school before me.

So anyway, I spent a lot of time working on this playlist about geography and then found out my buddy is taking geology. Dammnit. Anyway, here’s a playlist about places or whatever. I’ll highlight some of my choices below but the playlist itself has a lot more on it.

They Might Be Giants – Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

I can’t see any other way to kick this playlist off than with this tune. One of the most iconic songs involving a place that there is. It’s also an important lesson – if you’re from, say, the 1200’s and you’re used to calling the city Constantinople, then you need to update your terms, dude.

I have been to Istanbul, back in the late ’90’s while in the military I got there a few times. It was a really nice city, not sure what’s up in Turkey these days.

Joe Walsh – Rocky Mountain Way

One of Joe’s best songs, quite possibly the absolute best, and honestly a song I might have to consider as a future S-Tier entry.

We can pretend this song is about the majesty and awe of the Rocky Mountains all we want – we all know it’s about getting high. There’s no way it isn’t. And it’s fitting, as Colorado would later become the nation’s capital of blazing up. I personally don’t partake but I’m pretty sure glaucoma or arthritis or some such shit is coming around the bend. Maybe I’ll do what the rest of the US is doing and move to Colorado and get my Rocky Mountain Way.

Emma Ruth Rundle – Apathy on the Indiana Border

As a bit of trivia, ERR appears on three songs of this list. This is obviously one of them. I’m not doing write-ups on the other two but they’re on the list.

I guess she lived in Louisville when she recorded this album, hence the “…on the Indiana border” part of the title. Maybe also the Apathy, I don’t know. I’ve heard nice things about Louisville but I’ve never been myself.

Spinal Tap – Hellhole

As far as I know there isn’t an actual location called “Hellhole,” but there are some odd city names out there. There’s a Hell, but no Hellhole.

But I feel the lads in Spinal Tap spelled it all out with this, one of their stronger tracks. That hellhole can be anywhere and is often where we are. For all the good and bad of my current locale, there is no doubt it is a hellhole. But it’s my hellhole.

Amon Amarth – Guardians of Asgaard

We can debate whether or not Asgaard is real. My take is that it was until that third Thor Marvel movie, idk.

Can one be a viking in 2021? It’s made fun of a lot but I think one can. Have Norse or Danish ancestry (I do), listen to Amon Amarth (I do), drink mead (I have) and have one of those sweet Ragnar Lothbro hipster haircuts (I don’t yet but I will). You can be a viking in 2021 and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

This is a cool song from the band’s creative height and it also features a guest shot from LG Petrov of Entombed. RIP man.

Frank Black – Los Angeles

Solid tune from the Pixies frontman when he embarked on a solo career. It was a pretty popular jam back then.

I have been to the City of Angels. I’ll say that it’s interesting and, in parts, spectacular, but it’s also not really my speed. I did enjoy seeing the sights of Sunset Strip, where a lot of the music I got into came from. But yeah, I’ll probably leave Los Angeles to itself and sail for other waters.

Wayne Hancock – Tulsa

Yeah, some other country guy has a song about Tulsa time or whatever but Wayne Hancock is the man so I’m gonna roll with his tune instead.

I dig Tulsa. I’ve been there a handful of times over the years, always for concerts I think. I have quietly wondered about moving there more than once but I don’t figure I’m shoving off to there or anywhere else anytime soon.

Oasis – Columbia

Yeah I’m totally cheating here because the song isn’t really about a place. But, Columbia is a place. It’s a lot of places, in fact – it appears there are 30 Colubmias in the United States. I’m presuming that the ones in South Carolina and Missouri are the most well-known, but I’m not sure.

I do know that Oasis wasn’t talking about either of them in this song. The song is really about nothing, from the sound of it. A story I saw on the Oasis subreddit suggests that this tune was meant to be an instrumental intro song for the band but they chose to add words to it at the last minute. I have no way of sourcing any truth to the claim but it sounds plausible.

Hank III – Trashville

So the grandson of the legendary Hank Williams is obviously talking about Nashville, but he calls it Trashville because it’s funny and also because he was sick of the establishment country music industry. It’d be a recurring theme in his prime during the mid- and late-00’s.

I’ve never been to Nashville, probably a place I oughta visit someday. I guess they have a lot of stuff there.

Dropkick Murphys – I’m Shipping Up To Boston

I don’t really mess with these guys much but it seems like an auto-include song on a list of songs about places. I kinda figured this might be one of the top ones people scream at me for leaving off if I don’t include it. So here you go.

Belinda Carslile – Heaven Is A Place On Earth

I mean, the song literally has “place” in the title. Earth is a place I’m quite familiar with. I’ve been here awhile and reckon I will be a bit longer. I’m not a billionaire and can’t fly my own penis rocket off of this rock so Earth it is.

I’m probably also including it because Belinda was my first crush. This song hit MTV when I was like 10 or something and I was all about her. Sure, her turn in the Go-Go’s was far more relevant to my musical interests but that wasn’t really what my interest in her solo stuff was all about.

As for the Heaven part of it all? I’ll avoid any theological debates and just offer up one last tune that gets to the point.

AC/DC – Highway To Hell

Enough said, I think. I know where my road is paved and where it’s going. And I’ve got one hell of a soundtrack to get me there.

That does it for my first playlist. Let me know what I might have left out – there are literally tons of songs that talk about places. And I guess, to be fair to my buddy in geology class, I’ll throw together something later on about rocks.