Music News

Pretty Girls Make Saves

For record labels, video games and music are a match made in target-demographic heaven. EA Sports pushes major-label names in rock and hip-hop on the company's yearly Madden and NBA updates, and Tony Hawk games sport underground punk and metal soundtracks. While those are somewhat appropriate, the latest music-in-games development comes off as a bit odd.

Take 2K Games, for instance. The company recently enlisted Matador Records to oversee soundtrack duties for its latest game, Major League Baseball 2K6. Home-run derbies with Belle & Sebastian, bullpen checkups with Pretty Girls Make Graves, 4-6-3 double plays turned psychedelic by Yo La Tengo -- they're all there. The lonely-record-collector-bastard songs don't seem steroid-pumped enough for MLB action, but you gotta admire 2K's willingness to push indie music on seventh-inning stretchers. So listen up, game-makers: Here are more weird-ass suggestions in light of Matador's unexpected coup.

Super Mario Bros. : Jam bands like the String Cheese Incident, Phish and the Grateful Dead. What, you expected the Three Tenors? Mario eats mushrooms and flowers that make him grow huge and catch on fire. He fights lizards and talks to mushroom-shaped people. C'mon, his dream girl is Princess Toadstool! I'm already on a level-three trip.

Donkey Kong: Though Gorillaz and the Monkees were in contention, Tommy Lee wins out by composing a pro-ape soundtrack dedicated to ex-wife Pamela Anderson's devotion to PETA.

Paperboy: Cypress Hill and Peter Tosh. Oh, wait -- those are newspapers, not rolling papers? Then make it Editors and the Ink Spots.

Pac-Man: Drum-and-bass songs by Photek, Aphrodite, Goldie and Grooverider would be as rave-worthy a companion to Pac-Man's colorful, pill-eating world and ghost-fighting hallucinations as a water bottle and an insecure girl who wants to touch you "allll over your body."

Tetris: Bloc Party. Duh.

Dance Dance Revolution/Emo Edition: For this special release of the popular rhythm-stepping game, Yellowcard, Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday deliver painful stories about being lonely and full of feelings. Rather than demanding that players spaz out like epileptic monkeys trying to keep up with the game's usual electro-cartoon soundtrack, this version tests how long you can sit on your bed and silently weep in time with a gently strummed guitar. Sounds like a winner.

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Sam Machkovech