OFF: Riddle of the Prank-Playing Playlist

I’m a mix artist. That is, I will organize songs into well-flowing playlists. Usually, given my illegitimately huge music collection, there’s some overarching theme.

I’ve done a few that compile inside jokes. I’ve done decades of American history. My iTunes even has a playlist-in-progress that compiles good songs inspired by record producers. So far, I’m at Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar,” Cake’s “Sad Songs and Waltzes” and Weezer’s “Pork and Beans.” I haven’t gotten many more songs. I’ll appreciate any suggestions.

While that last idea stalls in mid-completion, my masterpiece is almost done. When I finally give it to a selected target, it will be a prank of proportions I find very amusing.

At first listen, this masterpiece sounds like a pretty standard, ho-hum classic rock playlist. Paint it Black. Killer Queen. Message in a Bottle. When You Were Young. Your target puts the CD on in the background while he raids around on his World of Warcraft server.

Yet as your intended target listens on, he’ll passively notice a few out-of-place additions. How did parody glam-rock band Spinal Tap make the cut, beating out The Beatles? Why “Spanish Castle Magic” when we all know Jimi Hendrix’s best chart is “Voodoo Child?” And where has he heard “The Beast and the Harlot” before? He begins listening intently, much to the detriment and frustration of his online raiding party.

Listening on, he thinks he recognizes a pattern. By the time he gets to the requisite Tenacious D selection, he’s pretty sure of himself. Before listening to the last three songs on the disc, he calls you up.

With a bemused smile on his face — you can tell when someone’s smiling while they talk on the phone — he triumphantly lets you know just as the last few notes of “My Name is Jonas” fade into the “Knights of Cydonia” preparing for a battle against a dragon-man.

Riddle to my readers: Name one other song that could have been on this playlist. There are many.

For the sake of the riddle, don’t give away the pattern.

  1. samjshah

    Three things:

    (1) Another song for your post: Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.” Because it’s almost true.

    (2) I meant to email you a while ago wrt your post on your historical music/speeches compilations. Although I’m a math teacher, I have a few totally off the rocker interests. One of them is the Supreme Court. And I’m beyond addicted with listening to supreme court oral arguments. You can access them, download them, and listen to them here: They also sometimes have justices reading the crux of their decision to the public, so those could be great snippets for your cds.

    (3) I too am an addict of crafting great cds. Here’s a recent tracklisting I made for a mix cd club that I organize ( But more importantly, I have a CD riddle for you too. Try to avoid reading the comments for the answer. What do these songs all have in common?

    Happy year coming to a swift close!

  2. Marvelous comment, and yes: “School’s Out” is a correct answer.

    I have heard of Oyez. I only wish the audio recordings went back as far as Dred Scott. Heh. Also, I love muxtape. I will steal this from you.

    Riddle: Does the pattern have anything to do with commercials?

  3. samjshah

    No (are a lot of the songs on commercials?) but if you get stuck:

    (1) Go to the muxtape ( and listen to two or three of the songs

    and/or [this is a big hint]

    (2) Look at the title of the Muxtape

  4. Oh, okay. Clapping.

    The Feist song was in a commercial once.

  5. samjshah

    Hahaha. Felicitaciones.

  6. Just for you, I’m pretty sure “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper might just make it on that list 😉

    Your writing style is great! I found your blog on the Comics Curmudgeon. See you back there!

  7. School’s Out is, again, one of the many correct answers.

    See ya back at The Curmudgeon, natch.

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