In honor of the end of the space shuttle era, and because thousands upon thousands of word have already been written about the Thin White Duke, here are the Top Five Songs About Space Not Written By David Bowie.
No Knife – Mission Control
Perpetually underrated San Diego band, No Knife, use their staccato, angular songwriting style to express the danger and anxiety of space flight. Lyrical references call to mind “Space Oddity” and the early days of space exploration (“the monkey’s a goner”), while their sharp guitar work and groove get your ass shaking in your space suit.
Modest Mouse – 3rd Planet
Although scientifically and lyrically confusing, Modest Mouse brings us catchy indie rock that puts our place in the universe in context. While most astrophysicists would disagree that “the universe is shaped exactly like the earth” it does give us a sense of our place and importance in the bigger picture of existence. That sense is much of why we humans decided to explore the stars in the first place.
Aesop Rock – Bring Back Pluto
Rapid fire wordsmith, Aesop Rock, brings us a call to action concerning the declassification of Pluto as a planet. With an analogy of Pluto as a bullied school kid, Aesop Rock convinces us that the smallest planet(oid) in our solar system got a raw deal.
Radiohead – Subterranean Homesick Alien
Radiohead approach the idea of space travel and extraterrestrial life with a distinct sense of abstraction, paranoia, and claustrophobia. Beautiful, melancholy, and unsettling, “Subterranean Homesick Alien”, makes you look at the night sky with a sense of wonder and trepidation.
Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
Lyrically not specifically about space, Spiritualized’s best know song perfectly captures the mood of floating in outer space. A perfect soundtrack for an astronaut floating away after a space walk gone wrong, the sense of wonder and beauty is interwoven with a strangely comforting sadness.