Happy May Day!
Yes, “mayday” can be used as a distress signal, but for many countries around the world, May Day is a joyous holiday that celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labor movement.
(left: Don’t get tangled when you dance around the maypole today.)
May 1 is also the date when Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine was made available to the public 53 years ago. (Current health concerns have many rooting for all the Salk-like minds in medicine today.) On this date 18 years ago Rickey Henderson, became the all-time leading base-stealer in Major League Baseball. On the same date, one year later–amidst the turbulent L.A. riots–Rodney King uttered his now famous, “Can we all get along?” The quote made perfectly good sense, but oddly enough, became parodied more than embraced. May 1 is also the birthday of film director, Wes Anderson, and garage punk, Jay Reatard.
As always, the Indie Ear Blog commemorates the holiday by throwing together a mixtape for the occasion. Whether you celebrate it or not, have a great May Day!
1. “Wherever I May Roam,” Metallica
If you happen to be roaming anywhere on this May Day, this seems like it would be a perfect song to rock on your iPod.
2. “Maybellene,” Chuck Berry
A little MAY-bellene for you on May Day. There’s a reason this song is considered a rock and roll classic.
3. “My Name Is Jonas,” Weezer
There are many labor overtones in this song, so it seems ideal for a May Day mix, especially when Rivers Cuomo shouts, “The workers are going home!” (I’m imagining the workers are either going home because they have the day off, or are going home to organize a full-scale protest demonstration.)
4. “See/Saw,” Jay Reatard
May Day is also Jay’s day–happy birthday!
5. “Superfly,” Curtis Mayfield
A little May Day funk for ya. Did you know that if Curtis MAY-field was born three days earlier he would have been born in the month of May?
6. “Around The World,” Daft Punk
Countries across the globe are celebrating today, so the inclusion of this track seemed quite necessary. And, oh yes, May Day is also celebrated in Daft Punk’s native France.
7. “May Day!” Elvis Perkins
I can’t forget about my indie peeps on May Day.
8. “May Day,” Unkle featuring The Duke Spirit
Two “May Day” tracks on one May Day mix? I didn’t know which one I liked better, so I included them both.
9. “Needle In The Hay,” Elliot Smith
Wes Anderson, this one’s for you (the track was feautred in The Royal Tenenbaums). Guess how old Wes is today? He’s celebrating the big 4-0.
10. “Beautiful Day,” U2
What a versatile mixtape track, huh? However, if May Day wasn’t celebrated in Ireland (U2’s home country), I promise you, I wouldn’t have included it. Like Bono so beautifully puts it: It’s beautiful day, don’t let it get away!