From the barstool of the publisher

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From the barstool of the publisher

Just when we all thought our country’s space program was as dull as life in a nursing home, NASA has proven that it not only has a pulse, but that the pulse has rhythm.

NASA announced last month that they are hosting a songwriting contest to help pick wake-up music for its astronauts in space. Yes, that’s right — NASA is actually soliciting songs that will, if chosen, be played beyond the scope of our atmosphere. Call me a total dork, but I think that’s awesome!

Anyone can submit a track for the contest and the winner’s track will be played via mission control to the space shuttle on a mission sometime next year. And while I’m not certain about this, I’m pretty sure that if they play your song, you can boast that your music has been played “around the world.”

In the spirit of “Rocket Man,” “Space Oddity,” “Spirit in the Sky” and many others, NASA is looking for songs that, of course, relate in one way or another to human spaceflight.

I want a Colorado band to win this! I’m personally calling on all Colorado musicians to flood NASA with submissions. I don’t care what kind of music you play, or how you play it, but damn it, I want you to enter something into the contest.

For those who aren’t musically inclined, NASA is also offering the chance to vote from a list of 40 songs for the wake-up music of a flight later this year. Their list has some of the aforementioned tracks on it, but what’s really interesting are some of the other songs that have already been played in space: Cake’s “The Distance,” Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again,” Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” even Colorado’s own Big Head Todd and the Monsters’ “Blue Sky” has been played for the astronauts.

NASA’s website lets viewers go through and hear not only the clip of music that was played, but the conversation between ground control and the astronauts, right afterwards. Each mission kind of has a theme, or at least a likeness in the musical selections.

Apparently, they have been doing this since the days of the Apollo program, but the music has always been chosen by friends and family of the crew, or by mission control. This is the first time that they are opening up either submissions or suggestions to the public.

So please, for all of the details, go visit www.songcontest.nasa.gov — the site even has a fun intro that’s a spinoff from the opening of Star Wars and ends with the quote, “Help us everyone. You’re our only hope.” I’d love to see someone from Colorado bring home that ultimate prize. Good luck.

See you at the shows.

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