In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, in celebration of Mardi Gras, we’re picking songs we think could soundtrack our personal parades.
A few songs on The Go! Team’s 2004 debut, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, sound like theme songs to forgotten detective shows from the ’70s and ’80s, but none more so than “Junior Kickstart”—which makes sense because it samples Quincy Jones’ theme for the original Ironside TV show. I more or less picture the video for “Sabotage” when I hear it—though the band’s own video of a live-action Ms. Pac-Man being chased by ghosts through New York is pretty great—or maybe the opening scene of Saturday Night Fever. It’d also be great in the hands of a marching band, as the horn lines that carry the song practically beg to be played by a full brass section (which could also take on the harmonica parts), instead of the flat-sounding recording that has dogged every Go! Team release.
If we’re imagining parades for ourselves, then I can also imagine that I’d be badass enough to warrant such a soundtrack in this fantasy world. (Gizmodo’s Eric Limer said it’s a song he’d “want to start playing if I was running for my life.”) That horn line from the Ironside theme is so great, but The Go! Team makes it work so well as part of the larger whole of the song—the bridge in between verses, for instance, is one of my favorite moments, as the snare breaks away from its metronomic beat.
More than anything, “Junior Kickstart” is just a fun song, much like the album that contains it. If anything could make me feel like John Shaft walking down the street in my headphones, this is it.