It was great to see the Curiosity rover land successfully on Mars. I’m so happy that there’s something besides Neil deGrasse Tyson making science cool these days. Maybe it will encourage some young American children to learn more about the planets around us.
Jon Langford and the One Day Band “Rocket Man” (Elton John)
Of course there was no rocket man in the spaceship that took Curiosity to Mars, just the remote controlled dune buggy. But the rover is indeed burning out its fuse out there alone. This cover comes from an episode of This American Life about classified ads. Jon Langford used the classified ads in The Reader, Chicago’s free “alternative” weekly newspaper, to put together a band for one day. And this is what they came up with.
The Gourds “Ziggy Stardust” (David Bowie)
When I first heard about Curiosity I was very excited because I thought they would finally find the Spiders From Mars. But the guys at NASA decided to have it look for rocks instead of doing the really important stuff like looking for spiders. I could have just taken five covers from the Ziggy Stardust album and called it a day, but that would have been too easy. But I did have to include at least one.
The Space Lady “Major Tom” (Peter Schilling)
Kind of a two-fer on this one. It’s the inimitable Space Lady performing a song that’s a response to Mr. Bowie’s Space Oddity.
Camper Van Beethoven “Interstellar Overdrive” (Pink Floyd)
Mars is of course part of our solar system so there was nothing interstellar about Curiosity’s journey. But the more we learn about our solar system the more prepared we will be to one day travel to other stars.
Mates Of State “Son et Lumiere” (The Mars Volta)
This song comes from a Mates Of State album called Crushes where they covered a wide variety of material. I had heard of these folks before I found this song but I wasn’t aware of how polarizing they are. People seem to either love them or hate them. Personally, I kinda dig what they’re putting down.