I’ve followed the San Francisco Giants for almost five years, and, in the three of those five years that they won a World Series, I had a knack for falling back on music that was more than just “game-day songs.” They were part of a soundtrack that seemed like game-day songs in the beginning, but wound up as winning tracks that may or may not have contributed to a team winning the title. Scoff all you want about “good luck music”, the songs I listened to during the Giants’ runs in 2010, 2012, and 2014 had something special. And memorable. It’s natural that listening to certain songs take you back to good times. When I listen to Nice & Smooth’s 1990 hip-hop tune “Down The Line”, I’m taken back to October 2010, during the Giants’ first title run. The entire album of KRS-One’s “Return of the Boom Bap” from 1993 was a lucky charm of sorts to the 2012 run. Lest one would think that old-school rap worked best on the orange-and-black, wait till you see what I played during that nail-biting but thrilling Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.
In honor of the start of baseball season, let’s dance, shall we?
Nice & Smooth – “Down The Line”
Adeva – “Respect”
Public Enemy – “Shut ‘Em Down” (Pete Rock remix)
Puff Daddy – “All About The Benjamins” & “Been Around The World” (LOL)
Dr. Dre & Ice Cube – “Natural Born Killers”
Sam Sneed – “U Better Recognize”
Charles Wright – “Express Yourself”
Parliament – “Dr. Funkenstein”
There are other songs that are part of the 2010 soundtrack, but, dammit, it’s been nearly five years, and I forgot some of them. 2010 was quite the special year for my sports favorites; among the many shining moments, the Lakers won their 16th title. With them, Motorhead music seemed to be their lucky charm; I played that shit during that killer Game 7 of the NBA Finals against their rival Celtics, and it worked! Thrash metal music from the 80s didn’t seem to work for the Giants, however (it would years later–more on this). But, towards the latter part of the 2010 baseball season, whenever I played some 90s hip-hop songs during game-day, they would almost always win. I added some 70s funk and soul to balance things out. Adeva’s “Respect” song cannot be forgotten here. Outside of the Bay Area sports ‘scribes, no one gave these guys a chance to advance. They were underdogs in the NLDS, the NLCS, and, despite their home-field advantage in the World Series, were favored to lose to the Rangers in that round. (This is a trend that would continue in the next postseason runs they would make. Heinous it seemed at first, something about them being looked as the underdogs every time proved to be a bit of a lucky charm for them. That’s how I like to see it.) I felt that, for all they did, even going up the World Series, the Giants were not being the respect they deserve, with most of the national media seeing their team as a bunch of kooky “misfits” that couldn’t stack up to the game’s best. Those kooky misfits (with their long, hippie hair, bushy beards, rally thongs, and panda hats) eventually became the game’s best on November 1st, 2010.
After their 1st World Series win (in over 200 years), I chilled out with new beau, Tim Lincecum, with some jams from the “Love Jones” soundtrack.
KRS-One – “Return of the Boom Bap” album
“Thinking XXX” soundtrack
in fact, LOTS of KRS-One songs
DMX – “Party Up In Here”
Daniel Rene – “I Take It Back”
the “Gap Grooves” album
Something about this 2012 run had me mixed in emotions. On the one hand, I was glad that the Giants won another title. But I was also reeling from a messy breakup with Timmy earlier in the season. (And I know what you’re thinking. Hahahaha, you have NO life, Miss Dee, hahahahaha. But let’s refer it as “this” for now and you can rag on me the rest of the time, OK?) The mixed emotions showed in this year’s soundtrack. Some were happy songs, as evident by the DMX song–which I actually played the day Matt Cain threw his perfect game that year. And why the hell is the “Thinking XXX” soundtrack there? Hey, it worked in Game 5 of the NLDS. And Game 7 of the NLCS. A soundtrack that spotlighted porn stars also worked for winner-take-all games for the orange-and-black.
A month before the postseason, I went to a KRS-One show in the city. And, for a while, I became stuck on his songs, some of which I played during the postseason. At first, some of them didn’t work–particularly his stuff from the late 80s when he was with Boogie Down Productions. But when I got ahold of his “Return of the Boom Bap” album, sometime around Game 5 of the NLCS, looked what happened. The Giants would win the next seven games, en route to their 2nd WS title in three years. Again, it’s all coincidence, but still. This song, in particular, is not only one of my faves from “Tha Teacha'”, but takes me back to that blazing run they made, after so many people counted them out when they were down 1-3 in the series vs. the Cardinals.
The “Gap Grooves” album was a cheap pick-up from a thrift store. I bought it hours before Game 1 of the World Series. After facing series deficits in the first two series, the Giants never lost a game in the World Series. I like to run footage from that Game 1 to the uplifting dance number “Itchycoo Park” by M People; they go together like foolish underestimation and national sports “experts” when they, once again, counted out the Giants in this round. Oooh, the Tigers’ pitching staff! Verlander’s a beast! And then his ass faced Sandoval, and the rest was history. It’s all too beautiful, indeed.
And then I had to be a part of the worst parade I ever saw after it all. Why the worst? Besides the crappy weather that day? Timmy. That is all.
Thanks, drag queen babe.
Sister Sledge – “We Are Family”
Guns & Roses – “Paradise City”
Patrice Rushen – “Settle For My Love”
some dance songs from the early 90s
various rock songs from the 70s to the 90s
various disco/soul songs from the 70s
To be honest, I didn’t have a set soundtrack to the Giants’ 2014 run up until the World Series. In between the pennant-clincher and Game 1 of the WS, I found myself listening to more 70s soul and funk songs. I’m not sure where the hell I got this kind of verve, but it reached its apex when the World Series went to a Game 7.
I heard every single damn thing going into that Game 7. Giants won’t win! Home teams have the advantage! 35 years since a road team won a Game 7 in the World Series! The Royals got this in the bag!
The same day of Game 7, I was making my long drive to LA for my birthday trip. I could not stay back home to watch the game; the day after was my birthday, and I needed to be at my rental home in LA right away. Knowing that the last time a road team won a Game 7 WS was in 1979, I took a chance with some disco/soul stuff from that year. The last time I played Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” was in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS. That worked, but that song seemed more suitable to this season’s soundtrack than of 2012’s. It was that, along with Chic’s “Good Times” and Donna Summers’ “Last Dance.” And almost all of the songs on the soundtracks to “Jackie Brown” and “Coffy”. I even threw in Madonna’s “Vogue” and George Michael’s “Too Funky”, because if you’re expected to lose, lose in style. And during my drive down Highway 99 (like I was gonna take that Hwy 5 and the cow death camp that’s on it), it was nothing but rock music. AC/DC, Beastie Boys, Motorhead, Bikini Kill…and when I checked the score on my phone (since I couldn’t get good reception on the radio), sometime around 7:35PM, I was perplexed. Those bitches had a lead. 3-2 Giants was all I saw. I kept the riot grrl rock on, while periodically stopping to check the score. Still 3-2. All the while Kathleen Hanna wailing in angst to suck her left one.
And at around 8:21PM, while still playing Bikini Kill, and a few miles away from Bakersfield, I was able to get OK reception on my radio. Just in time for this:
All together now:
And that’s where “Paradise City” comes in. And Poison’s “Nothing But A Good Time.” And a bunch of disco songs, since it became 1979 all over again in baseball.
If I attended that parade (which I wouldn’t have, since they had to hold the parade on a day when it fucking rained–probably the only mistake the Giants made during the postseason), this would have been the song.
So there you have it. My soundtracks to the three World-Series winning runs of the SF Giants. I had this on my iPod for Opening Day earlier today.
And then I played a bunch of songs from the “Showgirls” soundtrack, because I watched that movie a couple days ago, and, among other things, the music, oh my gosh, the music. Will Dr. Dre and songs from one of the best damn movies you’ll ever watch fuel another successful postseason run this year? (That is, if the orange-and-black crew make it to the postseason again in an odd year.) I shall wait and see.