A long-awaited day has finally arrived: the cinematic collision of matter and antimatter exemplified by summer’s two biggest and perhaps most thematically disparate films, opening on the same date. To everyone who celebrates, very happy Barpenheimer for you.
Talking about “Barbies” and “Oppenheimers” runs the risk of relying on lazy stereotypes about the essentialism of gender and taste: men are from Mars, women are from Venus. “Oppenheimer” for boys, and “Barbie” for girls. But what I find most amusing about a lot of Barpenheimer memes is the way they subtly mock those assumptions and treat the idea of ”masculine” and “female” aesthetics as something more artificial, interchangeable, and downright ridiculous than it might seem at first.
admit that Barpenheimer memes They still laugh. (Good , good ones.) until the jokes About how ridiculous Barpenheimer memes are at this point making me laugh. I wanted to make my own contribution. So, ha- Barpenheimer: Playlist.
Sometimes a good playlist is about coherence and tonal similarity. But when putting together a collection of songs, I also like to play with aesthetic contrasts—oddly enough, the better. And I definitely went a little crazy on this one.
Yes, this playlist is cut to one of Leonard CohnThe darkest songs ever Natasha BedingfieldThe hit “Unscripted” is on feel-good radio. It also follows a Nine inch nails A song with a faux pop vocal that mimics (a generous word in that context) the same Nine Inch Nails song. The only thing it doesn’t have is “Barbie Girl”. Even I know my limits.
But despite all the funny juxtapositions, I hope you find something to enjoy in each of the extremes in this playlist. We all contain multitudes – in each of us, an inner Barbie and an inner Oppenheimer. Here’s an audio clip that will satisfy both.
1. Dolly Mixture: “Baby It’s You”
Cheryl It was the first group to record the groovy “Baby It’s You” — written by Burt Bacharach, Luther Dixon and McDavid — a hit, but I love the driving beat of this 1980 version, by British post-punk band Dolly Mixture. (get it? Dolly?) (Listen on YouTube)
2. Nine Inch Nails: “A Head Like a Hole”
Trent Reznor’s recording career began with a screaming roar, kicking off this smash hit from Nine Inch Nails’ 1989 debut album Pretty Hate Machine. The chorus sounds like someone turning over a drawer full of cutlery, still judging emphatically and unequivocally. RIP J. Robert Oppenheimer; You’re going to love Nine Inch Nails. maybe. (Listen on YouTube)
3. Ashley O: “On a Roll”
In a 2019 episode of the sci-fi anthology show Black Mirror, Miley Cyrus played Ashley O, a fictional pop star with pink Barbie and a creepy 3D alter ego. One of Ashley O’s songs, playfully, misrepresents “Head Like a Hole” and changes her wildest lyrics into empty, #girlboss-worthy slogans: “I’m on my way, I drive high, I achieve my goals.” (Reznor, a fan of the show, agreed to use his music, including a reworking of “Hurt” titled “Flirt,” which, unfortunately, didn’t make the episode.) “On a Roll” is so miserable and silly that it’s legitimately fun—or at least sexier than anything heard on “The Idol.” (Listen on YouTube)
4. McCluskey: “To Hell With Good Intentions”
“And we all go straight to hell!” Andrew Falcos cries out, from an inferno of guitar noises, on this propulsive, zany track from the Welsh rock band’s beloved 2002 album Mclusky Do Dallas. (Listen on YouTube)
5. Hannah Diamond: “Every Night”
Overly sugary, industrial-glossy and a little weird, “Every Night” from 2014 sounds as if it was written and performed by an AI program taught on ’90s hits by Jock Jams and Max Martin. But it’s actually the work of Hannah Diamond, a British musician and visual artist who has worked with experimental pop group PC Music. (Her last single, “affirmations,” He has a slight Ashley O feeling about it, too.) (Listen on YouTube)
6. Leonard Cohen: “Avalanche”
The bleak opening track to Cohen’s 1971 “Songs of Love and Hate,” “The Avalanche” is… definitely Of the hate songs. (Listen on YouTube)
7. Natasha Bedingfield: “Unwritten”
8. Lou Reed: “Waves of Fear”
Here’s Lou Reed doing his best in Danzig, from his 1982 solo album “The Blue Mask” – one of the medieval gems buried in his mega-music oeuvre. The song is cartoonishly macabre and a very convincing evocation of an anxiety attack: “Waves of fear, pulsating with death / I curse my shivers, I jump in my step.” (Listen on YouTube)
9. Sophie: “immaterial”
The great electronic artist and producer Sophie, who passed away in 2021, looks beyond the confines of the physical world and reaches for something transcendent and liberating in this swirling pop fantasy. It’s from her first and only full-length album, “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides,” from 2018. (Listen on YouTube)
10. The Gap: “You Dropped a Bomb on Me”
This is how this playlist ends. Not with a moan, but with jam. (Listen on YouTube)
I have more songs than a song conference,
Listen on Spotify. We update this playlist with every new newsletter.
“Barbenheimer: The Unofficial Playlist” track list
Track 1: Dolly Mixture, “Baby It’s You”
Track 2: Nine Inch Nails, “Head Like a Hole”
Track 3: Ashley O, “On a Roll”
Track 4: Mclusky, “To Hell With Good Intentions”
Track Five: Hannah Diamond, “Every Night”
Track 6: Leonard Cohen, “Avalanche”
Track 7: Natasha Bedingfield, “Unwritten”
Track 8: Lou Reed, “Waves of Fear”
Track 9: Sophie, “Immaterial”
Track 10: The Gap Band, “You Dropped a Bomb on Me”