[Editor’s Note: The London games have officially been declared open, and I for one am excited as hell — so excited that I’m setting aside a whole blogweek to dive into the crazy stuff that’s happened so far. So without further ado (please read the following words in a British accent), it is my honor to officially declare open You Hear That’s “OMG! OLYMPICS!” week!]
OMG, YOU GUYS! OLYMPICS!
Can we talk about the opening ceremony for a quick second? About the Queen of England (kind of) jumping out of a helicopter? About the hilarious squadron of Industrial Revolution dudes dancing in tuxes and top hats? About the terrifying, 100-foot-tall Voldemort? About the above-pictured sparks-spewing rings that themselves looked like something lifted out of Harry Potter? I must admit to being a little underwhelmed by the first few minutes, with the cricket-playing and the maypole-winding and the over-the-top pastoral bliss, but things picked up significantly, and if you didn’t catch it, I highly recommend you set aside those 3 hours you have just lying around the house and indulge in the most schizophrenic display of national pride you’ll ever see.
Oh wait, I would make that recommendation if NBC wasn’t criminally out of touch with how people consume media these days. They’re militantly policing the interweb, taking down full streams of the opening ceremony wherever they pop up, offering instead chopped up highlights, each with an annoying commercial tacked on to the front. And don’t get me started on how they still think it’s OK to tape-delay events like this to get bigger ratings. Ugh. Dicks.
Wait a minute… this post was supposed to be a celebration! I’m not letting NBC throw an ice pack on my Olympic fever! Let’s look at the sunny side…
For example, there was some amazing music featured in the opening ceremony, from angelic children’s choirs to his Sir-ness Paul McCartney, with a super-groovy musical timeline of Britain in between. You can even buy the soundtrack to the ceremony on iTunes, and there’s some great stuff on there, including an Arctic Monkeys cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together,” The London Symphony’s version of the “Chariot’s of Fire” theme, and David Bowie’s “Heroes.”
The track I was most excited to find on the soundtrack is “Caliban’s Theme” by English electronic group Underworld. I hadn’t heard the song before Friday evening, but was struck by its lofty beauty immediately, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how well it was placed in the ceremony. Check it out below, along with a live version of Arctic Monkeys’ “Come Together” cover, which may or may not be the version from Friday night. (Did the NBC Internet Police leave yet? Good, because I think it is the version from Friday night. Shhhhhhhhhhhh.)