Monday, December 18, 2006

A Peek Into the Islanders' iPod

I will preface this by admitting that I have unique (cough::terrible::cough) taste in music, and before you judge me, please know that I own not one, but three copies of the Neil Diamond box set, one for work, one for the car, and one in case of emergency. In fact, I got so amped up at his concert during "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" that I completely dislocated my knee and needed a whole new one installed. But I stayed until he was done. And it was worth it.
But I shoved aside my preference for Neil, Journey, Linda Ronstadt, and Erasure to produce a far more objective selection. My Isles playlist is based on the current campaign the boys are running the theme of which is "We're All Islanders." Yes that scent you are picking up is the distinct whiff of aged Long Island cheddar.

1. The Longest Time- Billy Joel
Hicksville's Billy Joel is the crown prince of Strong Island, so it's only appropriate that he get a nice position here. But this works on two levels, since both Alexei Yashin and Rick DiPietro are going to be here for...the longest time. See what I did there? Plus, this season has been "wonderful so far/ and it's more than I hoped for..."

2. MakeDamnSure- Taking Back Sunday
Long Island's own emo artists TBS get mean. It's a good song for D-men. "I'm gonna make damn sure that you can never leave/ No, you won't ever get too far from me..."

3. I Wanna Rock- Twisted Sister
Baldwin resident Dee Snider and his boys just wanna rock. I think that Shawn Bates listen to this on loop through a tiny earpiece in his helmet. That's why he plays with so much vigor.

4. Only in My Dreams- Debbie Gibson
Merrick's Debbie (not Deborah, sorry) Gibson's seminal classic reflects that high hopes for this season seemed like they were "only in my dreams..." Especially the recent play of Alexei Yashin. And the Gibson's words definitely illustrate the fans thoughts of Islanders' seasons past: "Now I see I'm up to no good (no, no, no)/And I wanna start again/Cant remember when I felt good (baby)/No I cant remember when..."

5. I'll Be Your Shelter-Taylor Dane
This song, by another Baldwin native, is one that I imagine Ted Nolan and Alexei Yashin sing to each other, cementing their newfound relationship. I can just see Yash humming it in the lockerrom while Brendan Witt looks on with pride. "Honey I'll be your shelter/I'll be the one to take you through the night/Whenever you need shelter/I'll make everything alright."

6. Don't Fear the Reaper- Blue Oyster Cult
From somewhere Out East on LI, the Cult's valentine to death also serves as a shout-out to Richard Park and Trent Hunter, who are less penalty killers and more penalty executioners. If an Isle commits a penalty at the Mausoleum, the reapers are heading over the boards to take the opposition's power play to the Great Beyond.

7. Bring the Noise- Public Enemy & Anthrax
Roosevelt's Chuck D and Freeport's William "Flavor Flav" Drayton joined up with Queens boys Anthrax for an excellent hard rawk version of of the Public Enemy anthem. This is a song both for Ricky DP, who according to all accounts is always yapping, and for Islanders fans who are not overwhleming in number, but are extremely loud and raucous.

8. Take Me Home Tonight- Eddie Money
I could have gone with "Two Tickets to Paradise," but I hate that song by South Shore swinger Eddie Money. The Islanders have a nearly perfect winning record when they are leading going into the third period. So this song just reminds them to take it home. Or it speaks to how bad Rick DiPietro wants to take me home. Whichever.

9. Rock This Town- The Stray Cats
This is a hot jam from Massapequa boy Brian Setzer (who once tried to copy a test off of my aunt in High School) and his rockabilly Stray Cats. I think this is how Brendan Witt and Arron Asham get psyched to scrap. "Well, he looked at me once, he looked at me twice/ Look at me again and there's gonna be fight..." And it reflects the style of a lot of the Isles fans: "Well, there's a real square cat, he looks a 1974..."

10. Mama Said Knock You Out- LL Cool J
Saint Jason Blake totally shadowboxes to this one, picturing Chris Neil as he listens to Queens native and Westbury resident LL Cool J. Saint Blake's always played really well so, "don't call it a comeback/I been here for years/rocking my peers and putting suckas in fear/ makin' the tears rain down like a monsoon..." I'm sure Ricky tags along sometimes and thinks of Henrik Lundqvist and his mom haircut. "Why do you riff with me, the maniac psycho?"

11. Party All the Time- Eddie Murphy
Roosevelt boy Eddie Murphy's slamming ode to a loose lady is for the Isles who find their way to the college bars across the street from the Mausoleum and get roofied by the Hofstra girls. And it's fun to picture Radek Martinek and Viktor Kozlov rocking out in the locckerrom to it.

12. Rumors- Lindsay Lohan
Cold Spring Harbor honey and tabloid tamale Lindsay Lohan's booty-shaker is for all the haters. With the summertime freakshow Islanders management put on, there sure were a lot. But the Isles have given everyone the finger with their standout play. I know this touches Yashin and DP especially. "Why can't they back up off me/Why can't they let me live/I'm gonna do it my way/Take this for just what it is..."

13. In the Air Tonight- Phil Collins
So, he's not from Long Island, but Phil Collins's long-standing dedication to keeping the bald guy mullet alive makes him an honorary Long Islander. Plus, I couldn't bring myself to fit Ashanti into this list. This song goes out to my favorite Islander Miroslav Satan. On those little time-out videos that run during the game, Miro emphatically declared that his favorite musician is Phil Collins. This is how I know that Miro and I are soul mates. But the song, while not quite the caliber of "Easy Lover," is an epic, and it sure would get me psyched to play some vicious, intense hockey. I bet when they play the Rangers the "if you told me you were drowning/ I would not lend a hand..." portion drives them to success.

13. Keeping the Faith- Billy Joel
We'll bookend the Islanders playlist with another hit from Long Island's own minstrel, Billy Joel. The team insists that "We're all Islanders." And no song truly illustrates what it's like to be an Islander fan the way this one does. The ups, the downs, the weight of an earlier legacy suffocating the present team, the surprising play and subsequent laurel-resting, the hope for the future. Billy Joel knows it all. "You can get just so much from a good thing/You can linger too long in your dreams/Say goodbye to the "Oldies But Goodies"/Cause the good ole days weren't always good/ And tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems..."

I could do a whole other Neil Diamond-only version if you guys want. It would take me all of a minute and a half.

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