If I gave you ten guesses at which Beastie Boys track I was going to include in this mix, you probably couldn’t have done it. Twenty guesses? Probably still not enough. “Pow?” Pow. (No, not “Pow Pow”, that’s too long!)
The Beastie Boys have been putting out albums basically since I started paying attention to contemporary music. Heck, the first cassette tape I ever bought was Licensed To Ill. That hugely relevant fact alone would have made “Paul Revere” or “Brass Monkey” a strong choice to represent the Beasties. Hello Nasty was also an extremely memorable album for me partly because it was a great album, but also thanks to some unfortunate personal associations. Paul’s Boutique is a classic; at the end of each music round at my old trivia place, “Hey Ladies” was always mysteriously queued up.
Instead of making any of these choices, however, I’m representing a seminal, groundbreaking rap group with a track that falls one word shy of being an instrumental. You see, during my junior year at Syracuse, my roommate and I had similar tastes in music. One day, we made a mixtape, trading off turns picking tracks. The end result was pretty fantastic and that tape got lots of play in our dorm room that year. While our masterpiece was packed with great tracks, the definitive highlight was Pete’s choice of Medeski, Martin and Wood’s “Bubblehouse,” followed by my pick: “Pow.” Just like that, an instant classic was created… “Bubblehouse” into “Pow”. Nearly 15 years later, it’s still one of my all-time favorite mixtape transitions. I’ll bet it’s high on Pete’s list too.