Continuing my series on fun game tunes, today’s post focuses specifically on–wait for it–drum cheers, aka the cool stuff the drumline plays in the stands.
Cheer 1. What makes Cheer 1 so great is its versatility: it’s an offensive cheer, a defensive cheer, and, in hockey games, what the drumline plays when fans shout “Drop the Puck!” at the refs. All three variations (that I know of) consist of distinctive yet simple arm motions. Cheer 1 is very short and relatively simple, but it gets the job done in terms of hype.
Cheer 4/Raise the Roof. What happened to Cheers 2-3? Well, they are not Cheer 4, that’s what. Cheer 4 is also known as Raise the Roof, and it is played after major plays (I think; don’t quote me on this) in games. Cheer 4 is the one where people go “Oooooooh” and pump up their hands (as though they’re raising a roof) to a rhythm from the drumline cadence. It is often combined with something called C1, which starts with the winds and segues into Cheer 4.
Cheer 6. Cheer 6 is essentially the rhythm of “Let’s Go Blue” in 7/8, which evidently gives it a “disco” feel; indeed, the band shouts the name of whoever is on the ladder (or the name of another staff member) with the moniker “Disco” during the rests of the cheer. (For instance, when the Fearless Leader is on the ladder, we yell, “DISCO FEARLESS LEADER!”)
Cheer 8. I mentioned this in my recap of The Game the Saturday after we beat OSU as a cheer that is played when victory is in our sights. The dance includes the whip, the nae-nae, and doing the thing where you walk backward and forward while rotating your arms in front of you before turning around with a “Yeeeeeee-haw.” This is always a great cheer to play, and nothing beat hearing Cheer 8 called on November 27th–except, of course, the moment we won.
Cheer 10. The rhythm of Cheer 10 resembles a familiar tune whose title is alluded to in the accompanying dance, which mimics taking a shot in basketball. It’s got a lively rhythm and is, in my opinion, not played frequently enough.
Beyoncé. The rhythm of this is inspired by/is a Beyoncé song, reminiscent of a Beyoncé-affiliated show that happened before my tenure. It is in the opening line of the drumline cadence and involves a dance routine that I assume is also inspired by Beyoncé.
Sailor. Yes, this is the name of a piece in the cadence–the ending tag, to be specific. Sailor gets its distinction by having a cymbal crash on the “e” of three every odd measure. It sounds like duh-duh-restDAH, duh-duh, DAH, with the final note being a simple quarter note.
Eights. What drumline cheer repertoire would be complete without the most basic drumline warmup known to mankind? The Michigan Drumline’s repertoire, of course. They do not need to play Eights in the stands because they have all the epic cheers listed above.
If you or a loved one has played Eights as a drum cheer, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
In light of our resounding victory against That Team Down South, your local band geek would be remiss not to write about The Game from the perspective of the Michigan Marching Band.
I’m just going to preface this with a simple yet eloquent statement: WE CRUSHED THEM, BABY!!!!!! YEEHAAAAAAWWWW!!!!!! ONLY ONE FOOTBALL TEAM IS GOING TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP, AND IT’S NOT THAT TEAM DOWN SOUTH! (As you can see, I’m still basking in the glory that comes from defeating Public Enemy #1.)
5:00 am. Yes, really–we arose at 5 am in the shadow of the waning night to get fired up for the day we had all been waiting for. Bundled up in multiple layers with our garment bags in tow,
we traversed the distance from our dwellings to the sanctified building known as Revelli Hall. For all the hype that coiled through the frigid atmosphere, the uncertainty of what lay ahead–namely, the expectation that we were going to lose–crouched in the backs of our minds for the most part.
We all wanted to win, of course. But being a Michigan fan, as we all know, means preparing for the worst during The Game. Were we going to be subjected to abysmal ref calls? Succumb to a walloping by That Team Down South (TTDS) for the ninth game in a row? Or were we finally going to show TTDS who was boss?
Pregame. In all my time as a marching band member (so basically just this season), I have never heard the fans be so loud. This was easily the rowdiest the student section has ever been. And when the band took the field doing entries? Utter chaos.
It was cheering for the most part, though there were spurts of intense booing that were audible with and without foam earplugs.
Truly, it was magical.
The First Half. Cold. Cold. Cooooooooooooooold. Where I’m from, temperatures do not dip this low for such extended periods during which we must be outside. Compared to the eager snow and vengeful wind, the sweater weather that dominated October was a tropical paradise. Lukewarm handwarmers, semi-numb fingertips, and–hang on a second–
WE GOT THE FIRST TOUCHDOWN OF THE GAME.
The rest of the first half unfolded as a true nail-biter (or glove-biter, if you were fortunate enough to have gloves). The holy band beanies were indeed a saving grace against the winter weather (it’s still fall, right? RIGHT!?!?!?!?!?!?)…until the time came for the halftime performance.
Halftime. Arguably the most crucial part of The Game other than the victory, the halftime performance provided heat where the weather did not. The dusting of snow revealed the tracks of marchers as we went through our drill, our breaths almost as visible as the bull’s ferocious puff at the end of the first song.
By the very end, my fingers were numb and I was in physical pain, but retrospectively it was awesome. And playing El Toro Caliente evidently worked, because the weather was less miserable during the third quarter.
The Second Half: Where it All Went Down. With each touchdown, each stands cheer, the tenuous hope we’d clung to throughout the first half gradually solidified. Was this really happening? Were we finally going to dominate TTDS?
I didn’t let my excitement carry me away until the fourth quarter. When the score was 28-20, I knew The Game could easily be tied with a TD and a two-point conversion, which has been a sore sport for the Wolverines this season (read: we’ve missed it every time, and the other teams seemingly snuck past our defense to score. Yes, I’m looking at you, Sparty).
Then, in the fourth quarter, it happened: the cymbal rank leader called Cheer 8.
The drumline calls a series of cheers throughout the game, each in a different context. Drum cheers are similar to stand tunes other than the fact that only the drumline plays. Cheer 8 is reserved for moments when we are definitively beating the other team and involves a dance that includes the whip, so its being called was a watershed. All of a sudden, the possibility of victory felt real.
When Haskins scored the sixth touchdown, we knew. The final minutes were those of surreal anticipation and chaotic thrills as the seconds ticked toward zero–
And then the football team rushed the field.
Triumph. Elation. Screaming brazenly as our lord and savior Carl Grapentine announced the final score to thousands of victorious Michigan fans. A fervent rendition of “The Victors” exploding from our instruments as fans began to storm the field. I sensed going into the season that the field would be stormed if we won The Game, but it was a mere fantasy, a wishful hope the dream of smashing TTDS would finally come true.
As my overjoyed hollering joined the ecstatic roars of thousands, the cold evaporated into a storm of maize and blue.
Aftermath. …for about ten minutes. Then, we had to wait for quite literally thousands of fans to clear the field. (Also, it was snowing again.) The field, when we did finally set foot onto it, was littered with detritus: primarily maize pom-poms, although I did spot a shot-sized bottle of Fireball whiskey.
The MMB celebrates wins by wearing our shakos backwards from the conclusion of our postgame performance to the moment we enter Revelli after cadencing there. Flipping around my shako as I had done for all the home games this season felt differently than before. It felt magical, incredible, fantastic. It also felt unstable because my chinstrap was not adjusted accordingly, and I was too dang cold to bother adjusting it. Perched as it was atop my beanie (with help from my hand holding it in place), my backwards shako bore the victory as I marched along the pavement with a giddy smile stretched across my face.
Although the regular season is over, the band/football season and this blog are far from finished! Tune in next week for more band-related hubbub.
With the rise in popularity of horror films within the past decade, the desire to witness a new and haunting story for the first time has firmly rooted itself in mainstream consciousness due to the cleverly-crafted mixture of uncertainty and anxiety that keeps its audience on edge and in eager anticipation for the next scare. As a result, the horror genre has rapidly diverged into subcategories to consistently create fresh and frightening experiences across many different forms of media and on many different levels of intensity. One such divergence, occurring in the late 1990s and early 2000s, was the creation of hauntology, which originated from French philosopher Jacques Derrida who coined the phrase in his book Spectres of Marx when describing the tendency of Marxism to haunt Western society. However, hauntology has now evolved into a complicated and overarching term within popular culture to refer to situations in which elements of the past continue to persist in the present.
Thus, it is to no surprise that hauntology has swiftly manifested itself within the aesthetics of the past where anxiety, unease, and scrutiny was most prominent when one considers the eerie detachment that can come from reflecting upon the strange and dystopian-esq structures of the past. Inspired by these surreal memories and the imagery that it generated, writer and designer Richard Littler took it upon himself to create Scarfolk Council, an unsettling satirical blog about a fictional town called Scarfolk in northern England that has found itself trapped in the 1970s.
Through the Scarfolk Council blog, Littler used the aesthetics of the 1970s to create historical documents that turned the familiar and ordinary sights of British public information posters, product branding, photographs, and artifacts into a dark and dystopian reality that invoked similarities to the evocative writings of George Orwell. The intentional use of mundane objects from the time period that had long since faded from public memory allowed Littler to create an unnerving atmosphere around his work as viewers attempted to piece together fragments of the past, uncovering an alternate reality that was all too accurate and all too incorrect to be true with its implicative themes of surveillance, occultism, and civil rights and reminder to reread for more information.
Ultimately, Scarfolk Council is a fictional creation that has cleverly twisted the aesthetics of the past into an alluring and unsettling reality that triggers indescribable emotions from our deepest memories. The expansion of the small town of Scarfolk into several books and an upcoming TV series along with its accidental features in official UK publications indicates the subtle power that unconventional applications of hauntology have over traditional productions within the horror genre. That’s why I believe that Scarfolk Council has successfully mastered the anxiety and unease of horror through its creative re-imagination of the past that draws upon the normalcy of its fake artifacts to tell an eerie and compelling narrative that illuminates concerning realities behind its satirical gaze.