Category: music

World Cup of National Anthems, Group B

A tough group. This could be the “Group of Death” this year.

World Cup of National Anthems, Group A

Post your choices in comments — remember, the top two go through. Results later this week.

Update: Results!

Well, it’s clear that Germany goes through on top, handily. With the near-unbeatable combination of lyrical bombast (Deutschland, Deutschland über alles!), geographical aggression (the rivers name-checked in the first stanza are all in neighboring countries — watch out Lithuania!), and a nod to the finer things in life (German wine, German women, and German song in the little-used second stanza), Das Lied der Deutschen just rolls over the competition. A national anthem designed as a drinking song: true German craftsmanship.

The second slot was a tougher battle. Two Latin American nations versus Poland (which, according to Das Deutschenleid, is actually part of Germany). Poland’s anthem was actually written during a time when Poland didn’t really exist as a state, so that’s a plus. Lyrics about overcoming the enemy and reuniting the nation are pretty awesome, though they lose a few points for name-checking Napoleon. Still, enough to go through against Ecuador and Costa Rica. Those two anthems are really nothing special.

Winner: Germany. Runner-Up: Poland.

battle of national anthems, part 1(b): USSR

So the anthem of the USSR was pretty awesome, right? I know it makes me want to punch a Nazi in the face, or maybe work really hard in a tractor factory. I especially love the hammer/anvil sounds in the background of the Red Army Chorus version. Man, how awesome would it have been to party with the Red Army Chorus? I bet those guys really threw down, back in the day.

Anyway, the anthem contains a few lyrical gems which seem quaint today, but on the whole I still think it’s really great. I guess Russia’s using a watered-down version of the same song to this day, but instead of awesome lyrics about Lenin and Stalin, and fluttering scarlet banners, they’re singing now about how big their country is, and how it has both costal and arctic regions. They’ve traded in one of the great inspiring national anthems for a cheap knockoff of ‘America, the Beautiful’. Shape up, Russia.

Coming soon: the World Cup of National Anthems!

ok, hipsters

Here are some things that are not just okay, but great, transgressive, brilliant, amazing, and should be entirely legal:

And, here is something that is awful, horrible, embarassing, exploitative, and should be illegal:

Anyone want to step up and explain the difference to me?

rss feeds for chicago venues

I’ve made available RSS feeds for both the Empty Bottle and the Bottom Lounge on my calendar page. Those of you who live in Chicago and regularly use a syndicated feed aggregator will find this interesting. The rest of you Luddites can just move along.

Thanks to Andy Baio of for some technical advice. In the future, I hope to inject these events right into, or (in a more perfect world), I expect the venues themselves (or their webmasters) to do the injecting.

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