Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Pixies and the War on Drugs

I have a soft spot for the late 80s. And in saying that, I actually mean that I have a soft spot for the pop culture of the 80s and not my existence during that time, which was largely marred by being underweight and consistently wearing a lot of Gecko Hawaiian clothes. Whatever. Mixed feelings be damned, here’s a nifty follow-up to my post yesterday about Owen Pallett paying tribute to an obscure Super Mario ditty in one of his feats of indie rock artsiness. The Pixies did the same, it turns out.

Here is NARC, an arcade game I remember being frustrated by back in a hometown pizza parlor:

There was also a port to the Nintendo console that I fared better at, but it was a game my brother took to more than I did. Aside from standing out for being more violent than most games I played back in the day — I’m guessing it was around 1989 or so that I actually laid hands on it — I remember the game’s theme song sounding a lot more like actual rock music than most video game soundtracks ever did. It turns out Black Francis felt the same way. His band, The Pixies, covered the NARC theme as a B-side to the 1991 single “Planet of Sound.”

Here are the two tracks, side by side:

If I ever heard this Pixies track before, I didn’t note the similarity. It’s not in my MP3 collection and I assume I’ve just gone this far in life without having heard it, because if I saw the name I probably would have wanted to listen to it. In fact, I only found about this odd little exchange between video games and music because I blog I follow, VGJunk, happened to have posted about this very subject, and I stumbled onto the post more or less randomly a few hours after I put up the Owen Pallett-Super Mario Land weirdness. Funny how that happens.

Video games and pop music, previously:

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