Lucy, my spayed female dog, almost has become accustomed to the thunderous motorcycle engines of the biker rallies here in Myrtle Beach.
Meanwhile, I've noticed that engines aren't the only things making noise as motorcyclists cruise Ocean Boulevard. Some of them have music blaring from their motorcycles. I've actually heard the music when the engines were idling.
A couple of days ago, I heard some sugary pop blaring from one of those motorcycles. That hardly seemed appropriate. The majority of these bikes have been big -- either tough-guy bikes or travel bikes that could pull a recreational vehicle behind them.
And while it seems I've mostly heard classic rock and maybe some rap from these motorcycles, I have also heard some music that just hasn't fit either the fashion or the steel horse.
If I'm noticing this, then let me tell you, man -- you, man on the bike, listening to Katy Perry or Justin Bieber or whatever boy band -- if I'm noticing this, then the biker gangs are going to eat you during their snacktime, which is right after their toke time, and right before their naptime.
So allow me to make some observations and suggestions about the types of music to play and to avoid.
Tune the radio to a classic-rock station or a hard-rock station. You're looking for Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Aerosmith, or maybe Soundgarden, Limp Bizkit, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
My guess is one of these three will suffice:
1. Wave 104.1.
2. Rock 107.
3. 96.1 WKZQ.
With a sense of humor and a flair for theatrics, you might try "Ride of the Valkyries" by Wagner.
What's that? How's a work of classical music going to work better than Perry and The Bieb?
If you're asking the question, then certainly you haven't heard it. And you haven't seen "Apocalypse Now," either, have you?
This work of classical music, blaring from a motorcycle, will evoke an ominous sense of your arrival.
In fact, if you'll watch this clip of "Apocalypse Now" through to the end, you'll get to hear the music and get an idea of how our neighborhoods feel while you're visiting.
By the way, this is South Carolina, so if provoked, many of our residents probably will shoot back, with similar anti-aircraft guns.
Sometimes, the mythology of the biker conjures dark, mysterious, esoteric images and emotions.
If that's the shtick you're going for, you need grinding, growling, gut-punching audio wreckage.Try the band High on Fire. With this sound (even I can't quite say "music" here), you'll find yourself shoved into the biker mythology faster than your imitation leather chaps can follow you. The High on Fire video for "Fertile Green" even stars a dark biker hero:
And for more growling and grinding, there's always Nekrogoblikon (don't miss the band's convention-twisting video for "No One Survives").
Proper, early-1990s gangsta rap might seem a bit dated, but it still offers the same opportunities as heavy metal, hard rock and classic rock -- an outlaw attitude and an invincible swagger.
"Gangsta Gangsta" by NWA flows raw enough to ride and nasty enough to party. Ditto for most of their tracks.
DJ Quik's "Born and Raised in Compton" is a tough declaration of survival, perfect for a cocky, slow roll down the Boulevard.
So now you know how to ride with appropriate music. Turn off the sugary pop and you'll make it through the rallies.
All that being said, you might want to wait until you've come to a complete stop before switching the stations, the iPod input, or the 8-track tape. We don't want you to break on through to the other side. Not now. Not around here.
We don't want to be the ones cleaning up the asphalt after your wipeout.
-Colin Foote Burch