Whoever thinks baseball’s still the national pastime hasn’t set foot in Abilene, Texas–or seen a high school football stadium packed with 15,000 screaming fans. Or heard an entire town erupt after star running back Herschel Sims scored the game-winning touchdown. Yep, watching the “World of Jenks” season finale last night, all we could think was how much Herschel’s life reminded us of an episode of NBC’s “Friday Night Lights.” So what do the Abilene Eagles and the Dylan Panthers have in common? Well, those shiny state championship rings, of course–and the best football soundtracks since “Varsity Blues“.
Forget about Jock Jams. When you’ve got Herschel’s cool confidence (and steely determination), you don’t need “Pump Up The Jam”–or worse, your high school marching band’s rendition of “Four Minutes”–to get the adrenaline flowing. Instead, get into the right headspace by popping in something a little softer before kickoff. No, we’re not talking about swiping your girlfriend’s Regina Spektor CD–just download a few tracks from La La Land, the latest release from Canadian indie rock trio Plants and Animals.
“P&A, who?” you say? Well, just think of them as the Herschel Sims of Montreal’s underground music scene–you know, rising local stars with the potential to become The Next Big Thing. Hot off the success of their debut full album, Parc Avenue, Plants and Animals are all about remixing classic rock beats into something you might hear at a Brooklyn loft party. The result? Moody tracks like “Undone Melody” and “Fake It” (both featured on last night’s “WOJ”), which sound like they were written by Radiohead, produced by Bob Dylan and performed by The White Stripes.
So what’s our advice to all you wannabe playas? Get into a pre-kickoff groove (à la Herschel) with a cool but upbeat track like P&A’s “American Idol,” keep the momentum going by rockin’ out to “Tom Cruz” at halftime, then help console the other/losing team by playing “Bye Bye Bye” (off Plants’ debut LP) as they exit the field. Oh, and then put away those boring game reels and check out Plants and Animals’ latest music video, “The Mama Papa.” It’s our hands-down pick for Play of the Week.