29 June 2012

Young, Wild & Free

While driving around listening to "Winter in America" by the late great Gil Scott-Heron (shared over here by AMR at T.E.S.T.), I was struck by one of the lines: "And to the buffalo who once ruled the plains." I thought, man, this has to be the only song with "buffalo" in the lyrics.

Well, after some lyric searching, it turns out that there's a lot of songs about buffalo! Heck, there are a ton of bands with "buffalo" in their name. Buffalo Tom, New Buffalo, Young Buffalo, The White Buffalo, Buffalo Springfield, and my personal favorite: It's a Buffalo.

With all these buffalo things in mind, I thought it was my duty and obligation to create a themed playlist. Also, since the American buffalo is technically a bison, I included a few bison numbers in there too. Without further ado, the best buffalo mixtape you've ever heard, named for the best scene from Dances With Wolves.

Tatanka, Tatanka
Track list - Zip file
17 songs, 1 hr 6 mins, 93.1 MB
Out of this selection, there are quite a few gems. I'd sort them in iTunes from longest play time to shortest. That starts you off with "Winter in America" and ends with "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd." The latter you can really only put up with once but since it's so thematically on point, I couldn't leave it off.

I'm pleased that the mixtape spans a few genres, from rap to indie, to reggae, to house. There's a surprise around every corner. So far my favorite line from these songs is Phoenix Foundation's "I am the mammal you adore." A lot of the lyrics to these buffalo songs are outstandingly silly and that's pretty much as it should be. And if you're like me and wondering what Neneh Cherry was referring to as a "buffalo stance," here's the Urban Dictionary definitions. I'm still a little confused to be honest.

The Buffalo Tom track, "Late at Night," must be especially highlighted because as any fan of My So-Called Life knows, that song has special significance for Angela. In the unforgettable hallway scene, Jordan finally publicly acknowledges their relationship by grabbing her hand as they walk off. I know, you just want to faint, even almost two decades later. Sigh.