NASA is holding a contest to name the "wakeup songs" played during the last-ever Space Shuttle missions. You can submit an original composition, or pick from a list of songs. The problem: They all suck. The solution: These 10 tracks.
The "wakeup song" is the song played to, duh, wake up the astronauts every "morning." Usually, it's chosen by the crew and the crew's families and friends, but this time, in the spirit of "last Shuttle mission so what the Hell," NASA is asking you—citizen of the internet—to choose. Unfortunately, the 40 songs you can choose from are pretty... Well, they're not bad songs, mostly. It's just that, you know—does anyone need to hear U2's "Beautiful Day," ever again, let alone a bunch of astronauts, in space?
So in the spirit of the guy who won't let anyone touch the iPod at the party, I've selected 10 songs that the Shuttle astronauts should be listening to, if they really want to get in the right mood for the trip. Especially if the right mood is "dancing."
Dexter Wansel - "Life on Mars" (1976) Wansel, one of the driving forces behind the lush Philly funk of the 1970s, kills it on this track. Why isn't NASA going to Mars? Because Dexter Wansel already went there.
Claudja Barry - "Trippin' On the Moon (Cerrone Remix)" (1984) Claudja Barry was born in Jamaica, raised in Canada, and lived in Germany. Cerrone—who wrote the song, and then fell in love with Barry's cover and remixed it—is just French. Uh, and the song is about the moon. Obviously.
Bumblebee Unlimited - "Space Shuttle Ride" (1979) I mean, it's called "Space Shuttle Ride," for Christ's sake. Also, it rules. "I am Captain Bumblebee. We are moving at 130 beats per minute."
La Bionda - "I Wanna Be Your Lover" (1981) La Bionda's Italo standard. Watch the video on this one. Trust me.
Charlie - "Spacer Woman" (1983) Has someone ever written a graduate thesis about Italian disco musicians' obsession with outer-space romance? This one, like "I Wanna Be Your Lover," is a stone classic.
Sylvia Love - "Extraterrestrial Lover" (1979) Again with the alien sex. Jesus, guys. The clips in this video are from Galaxy of Terror, by the way.
Atmosfear - "Dancing in Outer Space" (1979) I don't know what you'd do while you listen to this in space. Drive the Shuttle, I guess?
Marvin Gaye - "Funky Space Reincarnation" (1978) From Wikipedia: "In this song, he described a parallel universe where in the future, he's a captain of a 'space bed' and he meets a woman that reminds him of his first wife, Anna. He then tells the woman that they'd probably get 'married in June' and tells her to 'smoke a joint from out of Venus.'"
Tony Sylvester - "Cosmic Lady" (1976) Famously edited by DJ Harvey. This is some ill hypnotic shit.
Jean-Luc Ponty - "Cosmic Messenger" (1976) Feel that violin! This is for smoking your space-joint. Ponty used to play with Frank Zappa, so if you're the kind of hippie who cares about that, there you go.