Sunday, March 29, 2009

Exhibitionist - Evan Lysacek's musical choices, 2008-2009

I have attended three days of the ISU Worlds figure skating championships in Los Angeles, California. And while I often blog about things that I don't understand, the intricacies of figure skating are beyond my comphension. While golf is simple to understand (you have to get the ball into the hole), figure skating is, to put it mildly, a bit more complex. I suspect that I'll understand the offsides rule in soccer (football) before I understand a triple whatever vs. a double whatever.

Which is why I'm confining myself to talking about the music.

I've already talked about figure skating music a bit, but when I was talking earlier, I was talking about the music that is used in competitions. (Incidentally, if you read that earlier post, I should inform you that Laura Lepistö came in 6th place in the ladies' competition.)

Today (Sunday) was exhibition day, in which the winners in the four categories got to have some fun and show off a little bit, without the pressure of wondering whether your axels were properly greased.

The exhibitions were all good, but the one that caught my attention musically was Evan Lysacek, the winner of the men's competition. Now during competitions this year, his musical choices have been "Bolero" and "Rhapsody in Blue," but you figured that things would be a bit different during an exhibition.

And the bass started.

And the drums started.

And the singer started singing.

I'm gonna fight 'em off
A seven nation army couldn't hold me back...

Yup, Evan started with the White Stripes' "7 Nation Army."

But we never got to the crunching guitars part, because the music changed.

To Daft Punk's "Harder Better Faster Stronger."

By the time the music changed again, to Kanye West's "Stronger," it was almost expected.

And actually, if I had done a bit of reading beforehand, I would have known that there was a good chance that he would have skated to these songs. You see, his website lists his 2008-2009 music selections.

2008-2009 Season
Short Program
"Bolero" by Maurice Ravel

Free Skate
"Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin

"Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson and
"Wall to Wall" by Chris Brown

"Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes,
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Punk and "Stronger" by Kanye West

And it turns out that Lysacek also performed in an exhibition at the Four Continents championships. If you view and listen, you can see not only how he incorporated the three songs, but also how the individual songs were remixed to fit what he wanted to do in the routine.

By the way, Lysacek's website lists his musical selections for the past several years. Some other interesting exhibition choices from the past include U2's "One," INXS' "Need You Tonight," and Elvis' "Hound Dog."
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