Song Countdowns for the End-of-the-World Countdown

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As we all know, the Second Coming foretold in the Book of Revelations is due to arrive September 15, 1829 October 22, 1844 September 11–13, 1988 this Saturday, May 21, 2011, so it’s time to prepare for the Rapture. (No, not that one.) So, unless you get Left Behind, Kirk Cameron style, you have a limited time to listen to music! Which is why we have saved you some time by preparing playlists:

THE LAST FIVE SONGS FOR TRUE BELIEVERS by Nick Minichino
5) “The Man Comes Around” by Johnny Cash: In case you forgot what’s about to happen, this song is a handy primer.
4) “The Four Horsemen” by Metallica: The Rapture is going to be rough, so this track from Metallica’s 1983 debut Kill ‘Em All will get you in the right mental state for what’s ahead.
3) “B.I.B.L.E.” by GZA featuring Killah Priest: It’s an acronym for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”. Plus, it samples the Ohio Players! Nuff said.
2) “Sinnerman” by Nina Simone: It’s important to feel true remorse for those who will not be saved, and this powerful song will do the trick. Warning: if you feel any schadenfreude, that’s pride—a mortal sin—so be careful before you condemn anybody who won’t be coming with you.
1) “Jesus Is Waiting” by Al Green: Call Me, Green’s sexiest album, ends with this gospel precursor to R. Kelly‘s “Trapped in the Closet,” with the soul star and future reverend performing religious call-and-response with himself, and quipping “Save my soul, and I’ll save some for you.”

FIVE SONGS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO GO OUT WITH A BANG by Lacey Seidman
We’re animals, so once you’re done calling your friends and giving grandma a big goodbye hug, you might as well admit that there’s only one thing left to do: hump. Whether you’re sensuous or sassy, raunchy or reserved, these songs will inspire you to do what’s most natural to us all and take care of business- one, final, time.
1) “Rush Rush” by Paula Abdul: Time is of the essence, and this lusty 1991 Billboard hit reminds you that the clock is ticking while also setting the mood. Seemingly romantic but actually quite dirty, the lyrics in Paula’s ballad nod at intimacy’s urgency, and with the end of the world around the corner, every minute counts, so make it snappy!
2) “Tell Me What U Want” by Terror Squad: Brought to us by Fat Joe and deceased rapper Big Pun’s Bronx-repping hip hop group, this hyper-naughty ode to wild sexytime is one we’ve always loved. I mean… “aerial tactics that’ll have you yellin’ ‘that’s it!”‘? There’s certainly room for coital creativity. It’s the last hurrah, for Christ’s sake. Bonus points for a group member’s name being Armageddon.
3) “Electric Feel” by MGMT: Leave it to psychedelic hipster rock to get your blood pumping (while also making you feel cool) during your last moments. Outside of the lewd analogy, getting shocked “like an electric eel” is probably what the rapture’s global earthquake will feel like, so this song fits. If you want to kick it up a notch, also check out Frank Ocean’s sex-in-the-Garden-of-Eden song, “Nature Feels,” set over the same beat.
4) “Submerge: Til We Become The Sun” by Maxwell: For those of you who prefer a less raunchy and more tender approach to knocking boots, this sensuous slice of audio heaven succeeds in opening our souls while simultaneously tingling our spines. In true form, Maxwell delivers an intense partner worship anthem, culminating when its two participants transform into steaming hot plasma and journey deep into the solar system.
5) “Howl” by Florence + The Machine: There is much to be learned from the passionate, aggressive she wolf described in Florence Welch’s song, so do yourself a favor and take heed! Perhaps a more subtle version of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” “Howl” brings us full circle in this end-of-days conversation, and will hopefully allow you to fully accept of your primal instincts and boldly seize the moment. Get busy living, or get busy dying; either way, just make sure you get busy.

THE LAST FIVE SONGS FOR YOUR END OF THE WORLD PARTY by Nick Minichino
5) “Blow” by Ke$ha: A bit of a pun, yes, but it works. Ke$ha is the prophet of the club at the end of the world, and she and her girls are taking over.
4) “Till the World Ends” by Britney Spears: A friendly reminder to stay on the dancefloor, and under the circumstances, a less unreasonable request than it first seemed. (N.B. This video suggests that the end of the world will not arrive until December 21, 2012)
3) “Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order: Imagine Bernard Sumner is singing to Jesus. It’s perfect for the Rapture, right?
2) “Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga: Mother Monster wrote this monster sax-house track in tribute to her late grandfather’s personal ascension, but there’s no reason not to adopt it as a paean to mass ascension, especially since it sounds so freaking great.
1) “Freedom ’90″ by George Michael: Because it may be the most joyous pure pop song of the last thirty years, and on what better note to go out?

FIVE BLACK SABBATH SONGS WHICH, IF NOT ACTUALLY ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD, MAY AT LEAST HELP YOU PREPARE FOR IT by Ben Smith
If Birmingham’s finest didn’t completely create Heavy Metal, they certainly created the entire sub-genre of Doom Metal with their lumbering tempos, thick miasmic guitar tones and lyrical preoccupation with all things bummer. See here are 5 Sabbath songs that evoke, address and conjure that blackest of black days.
1) “Black Sabbath”: Whatever might happen that might cause the end of the world, Rapture or otherwise, while the world was in fact in the process of ending, it would sound exactly like this song’s intro.
2) “War Pigs”: Besides containing the greatest cheap rhyme in metal, nay, music history (“Generals gather in their masses / just like witches in black masses” … that’s right, Ozzy rhymes masses with masses!), this song is all about some apocalypse, what with its fields of bodies burning and war machines turning on a perpetual spin cycle of death and all sorts of other terrible stuff.
3) “Hand of Doom”: Actually, it’s about heroin, not the end of the world, but is appropriately slow and creepy, has the word “doom” in the title, and I don’t know about you, but if the world was ending, I would want to get really, really, really, really high.
4) “Hole In The Sky”: Perhaps their most explicit homage to the end times contains such lines as “I’ve seen the stars disappear in the sun,” the prescient “I’ve seen the western world go down in the east,” the green-leaning “I don’t believe there’s any future in cars,” and the more confusing “I’m living easy where the sun doesn’t shine” (which is a reference to either living in a world with skies darkened by Nuclear fallout or anal sex).
5) “The Mob Rules”: If you’ve seen The Road or The Road Warrior or Damnation Alley, you know that after the apocalypse it’s going to be a real pain in the ass trying to get something to eat, filling your car with gas or trying not to get eaten by giant cockroaches. Fortunately, thanks to the educational prison drama Oz, everyone knows the key to success under difficult circumstances is always to “get with your peeps” (because you can’t get shanked when you roll with a large group of friends who always have your back). Actually, in typical contradictory Sabbathian fashion, the lyrics are anti-mob, but whatever, Dio (RIP), you never had to face down an army of mutant bugs.

FIVE SONGS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO GET THE MOST FOR THEIR MONEY ON THE LOCAL JUKEBOX BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS by Mark Graham
You know how they say “You can’t take it with you”? Well, that may be true, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to get my money’s worth for the very last playlist I ever create! I worked hard for those quarters, you know, so I’m gonna make my final jukebox selections count by choosing songs that are generally considered verboten because of their length.
5) “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem (Running Time: 7:37): Where are YOUR friends tonight?
4) “Gravity Grave” by the Verve (Running Time: 8:22): To me, you’re like a setting sun; you rise and you’re gone.
3) “Jungleland” by Bruce Springsteen (Running Time: 9:35): Outside the streets are on fire in a real death waltz, between flesh and what’s fantasy.
2) “Fascination Street (Extended Mix)” by The Cure (Running Time: 8:48): So just pull on your hair, just pull on your pout and let’s move to the beat, like we know that it’s over.
1) “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis (Running Time: 7:27): Where were you when we were getting high?

THE LAST FIVE SONGS FOR YOUR FRIENDS WITH VERY LITTLE IMAGINATION by Nick Minichino
5) “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” by R.E.M.
4) “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” by R.E.M.
3) “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” by R.E.M.
2) “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.
1) “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” by R.E.M.

If we don’t see you on Monday because the world did, in fact, end, it’s been a real treat! Thanks for reading and see you on the flipside.

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