Tag Archive for pantera

Gimme a Theme Song (or Three)

Driving home at 3am last night, it occurred to me that I need a theme song (which you’d already know if you follow my Twitter feed). In fact, everyone should have one. Something to at once provide a jolt of energy and convey mood to all those around us. Something without lyrics, that would explain itself in the beat, the pitch, and the tone. It worked for Peter Griffin, right?

It occurred to me, then, that we actually need three. Well, at least three, but I feel these three, if written correctly, can be adapted to just about any situation we might encounter. They are as follows:


Speaks for itself, yes? To follow the Squirt’s example, why walk when you can strut? Why stand when you can dance? I sure as hell am not going to do it without music, so why not have something blaring away as I stroll down the street? I heard Flogging Molly’s “Requiem for a Dying Song” on Sirius last night and it’s damn close; strip out the lyrics and place close attention during the chorus and you’ll feel it.

To be done right, it would need a variety of beats. Something while standing and waiting at the DMV. Something to soothe one in the security line at the airport. Something to make one’s way through a crowd to.

Something to drive to! Someone on the radio said no car should be driven without the theme to Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure blaring from the radio. Not bad, if perhaps a little over the top. Along the same line, consider the theme to The Simpsons.

You can’t tell me Danny Elfman wouldn’t be perfect to pen this one for us.


When that pinhead from the next cubicle steals the last donut from the break room, it’s time to cue up the Fight Music. It should also be good for everything from unbridled road rage to the controlled power of a sparring match, from pushing that last rep into the air or punching through that last lap. It gets the blood pumping and keeps it that way, fueling fight and flight alike. Pantera’s “Cowboys from Hell” works, but it’s way too obvious. Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart” works in the gym, but it’s too cheery for life-and-death situations or when you just need to beat some poor bastard’s face in for pinching your girl’s arse.

It needs to be mean and offensive. It needs to shock the enemy. Thus I give you Metallica’s cover of Anti-Nowhere League’s “So What” (most certainly not safe for work).

“But wait, Mike!” you might be saying. “It has lyrics!”

To that I say “so what?” Rules were meant to be broken.



I was tempted to label this one fucking, but according to the Wife, that’s not an appropriate term for all bedroom entanglements. Thus this one is the trickiest of the three, as it has to cover those tender Barry White/Marvin Gaye moments and those times you go so fast and so hard you think your nut is going to blast her through the bedroom wall.

Want metal? I suggest Judas Priest’s “Turbo Lover”. It works. Even after you remember Rob Halford is gay halfway through the song (and the lovin’). Trust me. If you were thinking “Lick It Up”, I will queue up my Fight Music right now. Although John is probably going to recommend “Swallow That Load” (do I really need to warn you this link is not safe for work?), which I will allow just to see the hilarity that ensues.

Our conundrum here is lyrics. If the song is going to tell us what to do, then we may as well watch pr0n. “Pause it, honey! I’m not there yet!” Not quite my thing. Or hers. Not to mention if I asked her to try some of the things on the Internet, she’d have me castrated. The old ’70s Disco tracks are lame and cliche, so they’re out, and I don’t want to hear what I’m fairly certain came out of the automatic mode on a $50 synthesizer in the ’80s stuff, either. (Jesus, why do I even know this?)

So once again we have to recruit someone to pen us something that alternates from wild to wonderful to fit the varying cadences of carnal desire.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Les Claypool. Jam that bass for us, my brother.

There Is No Number Four

Crying music came to mind. You know, sad stuff.

Bah, I say. Leave that one for the chicks to figure out for themselves. They can recruit Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond and pass around the tissue boxes at their Pampered Chef parties. If you’re a dude and something’s about to get you crying, cue up your Fight Music and knock that wuss crap down deep.

Or at least use it to conceal the way you’re blubbering like a little girl because you just watched Tommy’s father die at the baseball game in last season’s finale of Rescue Me. (Yeah, that’s right, cried! Don’t make me cue up my Fight Music again!)

In Conclusion

I have more time on my hands than I thought.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Run for Your Life

Tomorrow, Troy and I officially start the Cool Running Couch-to-5k Running Program. The late cold weather delayed us several times this month, but now it looks like weather for both of us will be more cooperative this week and we’re going to get started. Anyone else feel like joining us?

I spent some time the last few days preparing for the program. I’ve never been much of a runner, so I’m doing everything I can to eliminate excuses and make it as fun as possible before I even get started. I set up some running tunes on my iPod nano (lots of punk and metal), injected a little tech geekery by setting up a Nike+ account, and selected Pantera’s “Cowboys from Hell” as my PowerSong.

I’m finding the Nike+ site is flexible with its goals and resolutions, letting experienced runners set up marathons and sprints or allowing folks like me to set simpler goals. For now I’ve set a goal to run 10 times over the next four weeks, which should be a piece of cake if I follow the Cool Running program properly. It recommends running three days a week, so if I stick to it I should hit 12 runs. I’ve made my progress public here, and there’s also a new widget to track my goal in the sidebar of my blog.

I’ve mentioned the plan to several of my friends and family member, and by far the first question they ask is “Why?” Two reasons: lose more weight and to increase my endurance.

I’ve already mentioned I lost about 35 pounds in my first year of karate, and there’s no question it has helped me make dramatic improvements in my overall health. However, my weight loss has kind of stalled out since December. I’m thinking I’m making a trade off by packing on new muscle, but in general I’m floating in the same five-pound range and I wonder if I’ve hit a plateau. A running program should help me get past that point and burn off some more fat.

The endurance is also karate related; when I spar, I come away gasping for breath. The matches rarely go the full two minutes allotted, and they’re mostly bursts of activity rather than constant motion because we’d trade a few blows, one of us would score, and the judge would call a quick stop to award a point and reset. The few times we’ve done Judo matches I’ve been even more exhausted, and in one match my body just about quit on me before the match was over. Don’t get me wrong, I expect to be at least winded. However, I feel like I should be able to last longer than I do, and that I should be less exhausted and recover faster when a match is over.

As a bonus it will help my endurance when we do our hundred front kicks, ideally preparing me for having to do 500 front kicks in a black belt test at some point in the future. It should also be helpful for running strings of wazas in rapid succession. For example, running the first four ippon kumite katas out of kiba dachi for my first review as a blue belt wasn’t terrible, but those numbers will increase as I climb in rank and I’ll perform the technique to multiple directions, so I had best prepare now.

So the motivation is there and my intentions are good. Let’s see if I can’t make this happen.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.