As has been noted elsewhere, Carolina Hurricanes hockey games have quirky traditions unique to the Triangle. And yet the team is missing an opportunity to connect with its home town on an even deeper level, with the music played at the games. Most of what you hear during timeouts at the RBC Center is played-out wallpaper -- which is frustrating because there's so much fantastic indigenous music to work with. For example, isn't it a cool piece of local color that the Durham Bulls play Deep Gap native Doc Watson's version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch at their games?
So now that the Hurricanes are on the ropes in their Eastern Conference finals series, down 2-0 with games three and four happening in Raleigh tonight and Tuesday, I think it's time to freshen up and localize the playlist. And you know me, I've got suggestions. Here's a few songs to start with. Feel free to suggest more in the comments.
Flat Duo Jets, "Sing Sing Sing" (1989) -- When the Hurricanes score, the celebratory music is Blur's "Song 2" (plus a video of Ric "Nature Boy" Flair hollering, "It's a Carolina Hurricanes goal! Woo!"). Frankly, after three years, it's kind of stale. One potential replacement might be the 1936 Louis Prima standard, as rendered by Chapel Hill's late great Flat Duo Jets. A killer instrumental version that comes on like a runaway train, it would be just the thing to incite riotous celebrations (and I sure do wish I could find a version of it online; but check out "Pink Gardenia" here to get an idea).
Superchunk, "Hyper Enough" (1995) -- Superchunk songs have occasionally graced the RBC Center's Hurricanes playlist, but it's time the group graduated to regular rotation. And here's something to prime Hurricanes power plays, an anthemic fist-waver that stacks Mac McCaughan's yelp over crushing waves of guitars and a chorus perfect for mobs to yell along with: I think I'm hyper enough as it is!
Megafaun, "Lazy Suicide" (2008) -- You know those interludes between periods, when everyone is staring the Zamboni driving in circles to clean up the ice? This is what I want to hear then.
Petey Pablo, "Raise Up" (2001) -- By now, this one is pretty corny; and you sure couldn't play the whole thing without some serious editing, given the plethora of four-letter words in the lyrics. But looping the chorus over and over to turn it into a chant could be fun: North Carolina/C'mon and raise up/Take your shirt off/Twist it 'round yo' hand/Spin it like a helicopter!
Connells, "Stone Cold Yesterday" (1990) -- For the past 12 years, the Hurricanes have taken the ice to Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane" (a song with some truly unpleasant lyrics, but that's another story). I'd like to hear them give the anthemic "Stone Cold Yesterday" a try -- a song that should've been a gigantic hit back when it was current.
The Old Ceremony, "Papers in Order" (2007) -- Picture-perfect pop, with a jaunty piano hook that practically dares you to sit still. A delight.
Squirrel Nut Zippers, "Put a Lid On It" (1996) -- Hurricanes netminder Cam Ward is one of the best goalies in the NHL, and what he needs is a signature song that plays after an amazing save. So skip that funereal organ riff they play now and try the sassy hook from this song.
Rosebuds, "Get Up Get Out" (2007) -- A game played on ice calls for chilly music, and it don't get a whole lot chillier (or catchier) than this.
ADDENDUM: Here also is Mac McCaughan's arena playlist; plus a bit more on that.