Hive Five: Your Rapture Explained … Through Song

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It turns out the Rapture isn’t just a dance-punk band from New York City. It’s also the name for what some fundamentalist Christians predict will happen Saturday, May 21, when Jesus returns to Earth, gathers up the true believers, and unleashes a string of natural disasters that, by October, will completely destroy the planet. This may sound like an epic drag, but it’s important to understand the complex characteristics that come with any proper rapture — which Hive has compiled in song form.

1. Belief: Sonic Youth, “Do You Believe in Rapture?”

Possibly inspired by President Bush’s global warmongering, this gorgeous 2006 track is about mercy and redemption — ideas a certain longhaired carpenter soon to be making his comeback supposedly stood for. Belief is central to a rapture occurring. [Listen here.]

2. Destruction: The The, “Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)”

As the world crumbles, The The singer Matt Johnson turns the biblical idea of Armageddon on its head, blaming the world’s major religions for the destruction he sees as imminent. “God will remind us what we already know,” he prophesizes, “that the human race is about to reap what it’s sown.” Scary. [Listen here.]

3. Visitors descending on Earth: Parliament, “Mothership Connection (Star Child)”

In one form or another, a rapture involves a return to Earth from above — and we’ll have to say the idea of George Clinton’s alter-ego Star Child coming down sounds like the grooviest type of visitor we’d welcome. [Listen here.]

4. Heat: The Clash, “Armagideon Time”

Covering Jamaican singer Willi Williams’ 1978 doomsday classic, the Clash do Rasta angst with a punk edge, warning, “The battle is getting hotter” — which is what a rapture bestows on those who aren’t chosen. Fire. Lots of fire.  [Listen here.]

5. Partying: Yeasayer, “Final Path”

When you realize your own soul can’t be saved, Yeasayer suggest the next best thing: Partying in the face of annihilation makes doom much easier to swallow. [Listen here.]

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