I’m not familiar with the Milwaukees, a band that Ryan Penagos chats with over at Marvel.com about their music and comics, but anyone who puts together an iMix dedicated to Captain America is ok by me:
MARVEL.COM: You’ve constructed an American/Captain America-themed playlist on iTunes. What were you thinking when putting these songs together? Break down the songs you guys chose and why.
1. “My Hero” the Foo Fighters – I think this one is pretty obvious.
2. “Fortunate Son” Creedence Clearwater Revival – When we were thinking about it, we decided that Captain America would be a proud American hero without necessarily being a flag-waving, rah-rah, patriot blindly supporting the government. That is a position we sympathize with, and I think that Creedence is the ultimate in proud American bands that aren’t afraid to be critical.
3. “Highway to the Sun” the Milwaukees – This is our take on the great American road song. Its kind of about this very American notion of Manifest Destiny.
4. “Born to Run” Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – You can’t find a more anthemic American rock song. This really is the ultimate. Lots of driving and regional references. Its a classic.
5. “I Can Help” Elvis Presley – It would be very difficult to put together a list of music for the ultimate American super hero without including the King. This song seemed fitting. Though it was a coin toss between this and Elvis’ cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
6. “Pink Houses” John Mellencamp – Mellencamp is like the Midwest’s Springsteen. Pink Houses has that real good-time Americana feel. Not our favorite Mellencamp tune. We love American rock, but sometimes Mellencamp can be a little much. Still, we think that Cap would go in for it. I imagine super heroes are a little partial to some corny music.
7. “Hotel Arizona” Wilco – I imagine Captain America’s taste in newer music tended toward alt-country. Wilco’s “Being There” double disc from some years back is one of the best (and underrated) American rock records of the last 20 years. Newer Wilco is probably (understandably) a little too artsy for Captain America, but this is in his homerun zone. Also, there’s a little bit of loneliness in this song. I imagine that being a super hero can be a bit lonely. Kind of like touring.
8. “Jet Pilot” Son Volt – This is kind of like an update of “Fortunate Son.” A damn good one too. That’s why it makes the cut.
9. “Chicago” Sufjan Stevens – This would be the hippest thing on Cap’s iPod. Hipster or not, it is a damn good tune.
10. “Louisiana Rain” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – This is probably the most beautiful song on one of the most perfect records (“Damn the Torpedes”) by one of the best American bands ever.
11. “American Girl” the Milwaukees – We were really stretching our boundaries with this rootsy ballad. WWII era lyrics about love and innocence in pre-Nixon America. If Captain America got married, this would be his first dance.
12. “This Ship’s Going Down” Val Emmich – Val is a friend of ours and he has that epic, chest thumping quality in his voice that I think super heroes would really get off on.
13. “Stuck Between Stations” The Hold Steady – This is another band that is kind of updating classic American rock sounds. The band rocks a real Springsteen feel. The lyrics are pretty clever and the whole album seems to be about American youth. It’s a little jaded, and I think that Captain America would cast a similarly suspicious view of American youth and Myspace culture.
14. “Barrio Superstario” Pilot to Gunner – This is for when Captain America has to kick some ass. Pilot to Gunner really knows how to clobber you. Great band.
15. “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” ZZ Top – This is just such a killer song. We couldn’t leave it off. Who doesn’t like this?
16. “Don’t Stop Believing” Journey – We figure you’ve got to be pretty optimistic to fight crime and the powers of evil. This tune is very optimistic and pretty corny, but still it is pretty American and I think that when this would come on the radio when Captain America was driving, he’d check to see that no one was looking, then he’d rock out to it.