Having grown up on Unsolved Mysteries and Time-Life books... as well as being completely ignorant of organized religion, my head is full of a thousand examples of Fortean phenomena, unexplainable happenings, and tales of a eldritch and incomprehensible world that gnaws at the edge of reality like a supermodel with a rice cake.
Slowly, over the years, I've lost some of my exuberance for such things. For instance, I no longer believe there is a monster in Loch Ness. However, I still hold firm that extraterrestrial life has at least zipped by planet Earth at some point.
And I'm not alone. Today is World UFO Day, and it is an annual celebration where alien enthusiasts are encouraged to head on out for a day and scan the skies for visitors from another world. It's been going strong for over a decade now, and the WUFODO, which is both the acronym for the World UFO Day Organization and what I hope to call my new dubstep act, has a handy chart on its Web site that allows you to recognize the various official types of UFOs so that you can cross them off like bird watching.
Of course, while you're out there scanning for Martians, the Covenant, or a small blue box, you're going to want to have some appropriate tunes to keep you occupied. This week's playlist is all about UFOs, and the artists who love them.
Kenny Rogers, "Planet Texas": The National Geographic Channel recently asked Americans who they think would be more capable in the middle of an alien invasion, because apparently they just rewatched that Treehouse of Horror featuring Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and thought, "Survey!"
Obama beat Romney handily; getting 65 percent of those polled to place their lives in his hands should terror descend from the skies. Mr. President? Based on this video, I highly suggest you recruit Kenny Rogers as secretary of space cowboys as part of your initiative.
Sufjan Stevens, "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois": In January 2000 five police officers in Lebanon, IL sighted a strange triangular object in the night sky. Each witness described roughly the same shape, and they maintained radio contact with each other during its visitation. Five years later Sufjan Stevens would pen an incredible, mystical ode to the incident for the first album in his 50 State Project, Illinois.
Steve Glen, "No Doubt About It": At some point in the mid-1980s, Steven Glen, who penned this UK No. 2 hit with Mike Burns and Donny Most for Hot Chocolate, went on TV to reveal that he was inspired to compose it after he and his wife has watched a UFO buzz their house. The rest of the tune detailing actual visitation was just artistic license.
Porno for Pyros, "Pets": An enduring message of UFO culture is that aliens will basically descend like Space Jesus and take poor, old fucked up humanity under their wing. They'll guide us to a perfect utopia where everything will be provided and all will be well.
A cursory look at how Europeans treated native peoples during explorations should hopefully caution anyone eager to adopt an alien overloard, but it's hard to argue with Perry Farrell when he shows us just how often we screw things up. Maybe he's right, and we'd be better off on a leash.
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Legendary Pink Dots, "The Saucers are Coming": Always close with the Dots when you have a chance. Edward Ka-Spel and company perfectly lay out what is likely to happen all over the world if alien spacecraft suddenly appear in the sky.
Further proof that he is either a prophet, or from another planet. "There is no moon tonight, but the stars are whispering our names." Seriously, why doesn't this band have ALL the Grammys?