SONG: (We Can Blame Peter Higgs) At the Collider


“(We Can Blame Peter Higgs) At the Collider” [Download]
(To download:double right-click & “Save As”)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: CERN progress updates throughout 2008, as used in the posts “Calling Doctor Manhattan…”, “LHC fires beam” and a few others.

ABSTRACT: Well, it’d be hard, at this point, not to know what this song is about. It’s about the Large Hadron Collider, the machine 17 miles long and 300 feet beneath the French-Swiss border where physicists are hoping to recreate the Big Bang and, among lots of other things, see if they can finally pin down a Higgs boson long enough to make it say “Uncle!” The Higgs boson is the particle that’s supposed to give solid matter its mass. More poetically, it’s the thing that makes things real. So, this is a song about Higgs bosons, and about building a giant machine to find them. I was halfway hoping it would wind up being about the destruction of the world with a miniature black hole. That’s where that very long, “Blanket Hog”-inspired outro came from – it’s supposed to be the sound of the particle beams coming on line and smashing atoms. (Let’s hope the real LHC gets that back on track soon, eh?)

I played an acoustic guitar on this and faked a bass by pitch-shifting a Telecaster. Some of the drum fills were by Ringo Starr. But the shredding guitar solo in that outro isn’t from me and it isn’t sampled from some other record somewhere. It’s not a guitar, either. That’s Randy Pytel of Budget Cut Orchestra playing his Chapman stick and making the collider burn.