Some of the best memories of my childhood involve lacing up skates on a cold Saturday morning and waddling out onto a frozen sheet of outdoor ice at Prosperity Playground on St. Paul's East Side. I started skating as soon as I could walk, and from the time I was 3 years old and all the way through high school, there was never a winter -- and a few summers -- that didn't revolved around a hockey schedule.
It's in my blood. It's part of who I am.
These days, my love for the game manifests itself at the Verizon Wireless Center and the Minnesota State University men's hockey team. I've been a fan since I was a student there (which took some doing, because I'd been kind of a die-hard Golden Gopher fan even since Neal Broten blew my mind with his impossibly cool goal to win a national title, and my time at the University of North Dakota made me a Fighting Sioux fan for a year.)
I'm at every game these days, and I love my mavericks. One of the things I sometimes don't like as much, however, is the state of music inside Verizon Wireless Center. And in this week's Playlist Playground installment, I bring to you a kindred spirit on the subject of Maverick hockey music.
Shane Frederick has been covering Maverick hockey for a long time, long enough to have heard every song they've ever spun between every stoppage of play there. And he's got a few suggestions for how they can freshen up the sound a little bit. His playlist is energetic, and I have to say I agree with his selections (I'd offer my own list, but hey, this isn't about me.)
So without further adieu, I give you Shanerator. (He wrote this prior to the opening weekend of hockey at VWC.)
Tonight is the Minnesota State men’s hockey team’s home opener, and as much as I enjoy my job covering the Mavericks and being at the rink on Friday and Saturday nights, I’ve become more and more numb to the music that’s played in the Verizon Wireless Center during games.
I could use a reprieve from Ozzy’s “Crazy Train,” Nugent’s “Stranglehold,” and pretty much the entire AC/DC and Journey catalogs.
Yes, after 13 years, my internal copy of Jock Rock has worn out. I no longer want to let the bodies hit the floor. I’m afraid I’ve stopped believin’.
So I challenge The Cell’s DJ to freshen things up a bit. Here are some songs/artists, I wouldn’t mind hearing added to the Maverick hockey playlist:
1. “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
Features a great guitar riff that’s perfect for a 15-second stoppage before a faceoff but the whole song has a hard groove that might get people moving in their seats a little bit before the game and between periods.
2. “Freedom at 21,” Jack White
Somehow, the VWC seemed to miss the fact that every other sports stadium in the country has been playing “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. It is this generation’s “We Will Rock You.” That’s OK, though. Grab Jack White’s latest for a couple of perfect stadium songs. “Sixteen Saltines” and “I’m Shakin’” work, too. But this has another guitar lick that can be put on repeat.
3. “Outtasite (Outta Mind),” Wilco
If you know me, you know I’m an unabashed Wilco fan. When I found out that Bemdji State was playing some Wilco on it’s pregame playlist, I was ready to trade jobs with Jack Hittinger at The Pioneer. OK, so that’s a bit of a stretch. Picking out the perfect Wilco song for a hockey game was no easy task. “I’m a Wheel” and “You Never Know” work, too.
4. “Somebody to Shove,” Soul Asylum
Whenever there’s a skirmish after a play, the DJ loves to play the theme from Rocky or one of the versions of Saturday’s “Alright for Fighting.” (Yes, kids, Elton John did that song long before Nickleback.). But I’d stay close to home and put up a little Minnesota music for those incidents.
5. “Someday I Suppose,” The Mighty Might Bosstones
This is just fun, rockin’ song, but I’d get this on the list sooner than later with Boston native and MSU captain Johnny McInnis on the roster for just one more year. The Bosstones’ version of Kiss’ “Detroit Rock City” is pretty solid, too.
6. “Here Comes Your Man,” The Pixies
This song just makes me smile. Every time. And I think it would sound fantastic cranked up on the VWC’s excellent sound system. Just do it!
7. "Shadrach," Beastie Boys
The Beasties get played plenty in hockey arenas. "Fight for Your Right," "Sabotage." I was going to put "So What Cha Want" here, but I popped in my green cassette version of Paul's Boutique in the car the other day, and this song sounded as fresh as it did in 1989.
8. “Winning,” Santana
I enjoy it when teams play a victory song after a win. The University of Minnesota pep band playing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the New York Yankees playing Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” the Dodgers playing “I Love L.A.” This song just sounds like something cool to crank to 11 as the Mavericks do a stick salute and the arena starts to empty.
9. “Where the Party at?” Chad Brownlee
Someone needs to explain to me why this guy’s music isn’t played constantly in this town. Radio? The VWC? Live summer show at the Vetter Stone Amphitheater? If a former Mavericks player is now a huge country-music artist in Canada, shouldn’t Mankato be the one American city that supports this guy? Anyway, this is his new song.