This Saturday is the Preakness, and the InfieldFest this year features noted Bud Light spokesman Pitbull and those “Thrift Shop” dudes Macklemore and Ryan Lewis as the headliners, which we’re not too psyched about. Especially since there are plenty of artists with Baltimore ties who have written songs that kinda, sorta relate to the second jewel of the Triple Crown. Book them instead! Here’s a list of those songs. Let us know in the comments if we made any bonehead omissions.
Panda Bear – “The Preakness”
Well this one was pretty easy. The Animal Collective member’s song named for the race was released in 2011 as a mixtape with four different pairs of shoes designed by each member of the band (no, really). It seems as Noah Lennox is using the race as metaphor for people jockeying for position in their own endeavors. He implores the listener to ignore this: “Keep it up, keep it up, keep it up/ Till the day you’ve got what you want.”
Animal Collective – “The Purple Bottle”
Speaking of Animal Collective, it was Avey Tare who met a girl who got him: “freaked freaked freaked on Preakness/ I’ve never met a girl that/ Likes to drink with horses/ Knows her Chinese ballet.” Who knew the infield was so sophisticated?
Dan Deacon – “Baltihorse”
This song comes out of the gate as a dizzying swirl of percussion and electronics, slows near the backstretch, and surges forward toward the finish line. It’s as exhilarating as any song in Deacon’s repertoire.
Horse Lords – “Wildcat Strike”
How could we not include Horse Lords? Their name makes it sound like they maintain a private box with tinted windows at Pimlico, where they sit in a chair stroking a cat and counting their winnings. It’s hard to say just what this song is about, as there are no words, but “Wildcat Strike” would be a great name for a racehorse.
Ponytail – “Burning Saddles”
Here’s another example of a band name that sort of lends itself to this. And hey, the song title even works here! We’re not exactly sure who made this video at the zoo, but whatever. City Paper does not keep a jockey on retainer, so we’re not quite sure if the term “burning saddles” has any sort of meaning in that line of work. If it does, it can’t be good.
Rod Lee – “Hey Riders”
The opening refrain of “Hey riders! /Give ‘em some room” is what we imagine the winning jockey yells as he surges for the finish line.
Celebration – “Pony”
This is as sexualized as the local psych rock stalwarts get, with lead singer Katrina Ford pushing her voice to the ecstatic heights of Debbie Harry territory. Here’s a hint: riding a pony is metaphor for sex.
TT the Artist – “Pony”
TT the Artist employed said metaphor on this club track. As an added bonus, there are remixes by Cex, James Nasty, Murder Mark, Kilbourne, Baglady, and Rick Rab. That’s like scoring two trifectas.
Secret Mountains – “High Horse”
Singer Kelly Laughlin may be out of the mix now, and her powerful vocal on this track is a good reminder of why she’ll be missed. Of course, the title is probably a reference to the ol’ idiom “get off your high horse,” but we’ll take it.
Adventure – “Wild Wild Ride”
We also could have gone with “Iron Stallion” off Adventure’s 2008 self-titled album, but this song is aptly titled and would probably make for a great soundtrack while cruising around the track at Pimlico.
Oxes – “Horses Are OK”
One group of animals showing love to another. Isn’t that sweet? We’re not exactly sure why the person who uploaded this to YouTube felt the need to upgrade “OK” to “Good.” Either way, chances are if you’re a fan of horse racing you tend to agree.
Beach House – “Zebra”
Okay, okay. We are well aware there are no zebras being raced at the Preakness. But in the chorus, Victoria Legrand correctly identifies a zebra as an equid, part of the horse family: “Any way you run, you run before us/ Black and white horse arching among us.” And the imagery of beautiful horses galloping is the stuff horse racing buffs will talk about when you bring up euthanasia or ask where the fun is in seeing a little man whip an animal around a dirt oval.