There’s a Reason Indie Rock Pinball Machines Don’t Exist


There’s a certain level of superstar ubiquity required to earn your own pinball machine. You need to have a long, impressive career, make a couple great albums, have your guitarist recognized on a first-name basis, and generally reach peak popularity in the mid-’80s. At the pinball joint I regular, there’s a whole section dedicated to the select few bands that earned their own table – AC/DC, Guns ‘n Roses, Elvis, even The Who. It’s kind of a lost era of pop music, when furnishing your name in an arcade was a legitimately feasible career milestone, and it got me thinking, what if bands today were getting pinball machines themed after them, what might they look like? Because I take all of my ideas too far, I got my idiot brother Mitchell Winkie to sketch a few blueprints.

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Andrew W.K. is the hero we need, but not the one we deserve right now, which is probably why nobody has made an Andrew W.K. pinball machine yet. I’d like to think Andrew would use pinball to promote his core values; partying, cheerful virility, anti-fascism etc. Just make sure you don’t go in the “I Have Never Seen My Dad Cry” hole. You’re probably not prepared.


It’s a polo shirt. Because right?

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The syncopated, perfectly mechanized techno of The Field would naturally begat a perfectly syncopated, perfectly mechanized pinball machine. There are no variables in The Field’s grey universe. It’s probably good minimal electronic artists are not popular enough to get pinball machines, because that would make pinball pretty boring.


No comment.


I feel like Ariel Pink is a guy who accidentally makes catchy music. His pinball machine would do everything it could to make the public feel sad.


The obvious and correct answer for Steve Reich’s pinball machine is a single bumper in the middle of the table. Minimalist, and elegant sublimity.

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