Playlist: Up All Night

Remember how we turned formspring playlist requests into a thing?

This week’s request was:

Songs for Staying Up All Night Doing Problem Sets and Not Taking Any Breaks Because Breaks are for Suckers.



Mortal Combat theme song
Dilly – Band Of Horses
Juliette – Hollerado
Hash Pipe – Weezer
September – Earth, Wind & Fire
Son’s Gonna Rise – Citizen Cope
Diamonds & Guns – The Transplants
Bust Your WindowsGlee! soundtrack
Right As Rain – Adele
Magic Trick – M. Ward
Boys Boys Boys – Lady Gaga
Basket Case (Live) – Green Day
March Into The Sea – Modest Mouse
Gettysburg – Ratatat
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Lights & Music – Cut Copy
Kiss The GirlThe Little Mermaid soundtrack
2080 – Yeasayer
I Believe – Yolanda Adams

You can stream this playlist here

If you do want to take a break from doing problem sets, we suggest creating your own ‘Up All Night’ playlist via 8tracks or recommending some tracks in the comments section below.

Want us to make you a playlist ? Ask Crystal via Formspring and she will delegate it to the most appropriate team member.
Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Emily Choo started as an intern with Autostraddle when she was 18 years old. She's now 10 years older and lives in Toronto with her partner and cat. The defining moment of her career was when Riese said this about her: " I think Emily Choo is a very bright, 'poetically inclined' girl who pays attention to everything and knows almost everything (the point of stuff, how to read, how beautiful things feel, how scary things feel, etc.) but doesn't believe/accept/realize yet that she knows almost everything." She still doesn't believe she knows anything, so, thank you, Riese, for that.

Emily has written 100 articles for us.


  1. the Mortal Combat Theme song makes me want to shoot evil mushrooms with my optic blast.

  2. This is such a winner.
    I would also throw We R Who We R and Blow by Ke$ha in there, for danceability. Also, I Don’t Do Boys by Elektra because it’s fucking great.

    • We R Who We R was once my secret shame. Then I realized I should be ashamed no longer, because, you know, we are who we are, etc. I can like a Ke$ha song if I want to, damn it.

  3. man, wtf?
    where was this at 2am?

    i kid. i kid. but really i was just up all night and now i see this. lol fuuuuuuu-

  4. I didn’t realize how badly I needed this playlist until I began reading this article.

  5. this kind of playlist has to straddle the line between SUPER PUMPED and “easy listening”. because if it makes you too pumped then you’ll just end up dancing around in your room and doing no work. you have to be pumped enough to be like “FUCK YEAH I CAN DO THIS IN MY CHAIR”.

    also crystal and i couldn’t figure out what problem sets are, so i just substituted it for ‘research paper’.

    • Problem sets are long lists of problems you have to do for complicated subjects like Physics and Calculus.

      (At least as far as I can tell from my friends who take those classes…I’m off skipping around in Liberal Arts land pretending math doesn’t exist.)

          • i want to make a comment about majoring in the dark arts, but emily knows i’ve never read harry potter and my imposterness would therefore ostensibly fail to garner a comment award.

            sucks, bro.

      • As a science major with problem sets, they’re usually weekly assignments that take upwards of 10 hours to complete. But I go to MIT and we call them Psets so there is that.

  6. “Friday” – Rebecca Black
    Tried this song yesterday night (technically 2am this morning). Bad music really keeps me in the studying mood. “Friday” isn’t bad after the 10th straight listen. Still has me asking “which seat CAN she take?” Hard decision RB, I feel your pain. But, I’d kick it in the backseat…

    “Obscena Misdemeanour” – Ouch! My Face!
    Keeps you awake.

  7. I feel like “You Dropped a Bomb On Me” by The Gap Band would be on my list, but maybe that’s more of a personal experience type of thing in which coke might have played a major role.

    • No, that definitely still works. I am currently bashing out an essay and while i have consumed a large amount of coffee, I am coke free and it’s still a jamming track.

    • oh Wallow14, you brought back memories of blasting “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” in Ann Arbor at U of M with speakers on the porch (with same playing a major role way back then obviously). Also played: Bette Midler (The Rose Soundtrack), Prince and David Bowie.
      Now when I am up at night doing work it is Neil Young, Pretenders, Joan Jett, and Pink among others.
      That Gap Song is one of my ringtones, I will love it forever.

      • What? Is that a total coke song? Is this a thing? How many people does it take to make a thing a thing?

        • good question. i have an “old skool” mix cd & it definitely includes “you dropped a bomb on me”…along with “supersonic”, “she’s fresh” & “superfreak” (among others) maybe i have a “coke” mix cd really. huh.

        • Hmm I was thinking it was more a great song happened to be released during my time spent in Ann Arbor but now as I am replying I remember my neighbor then was into energetic recreation so maybe it is a thing??

  8. I’m pretty sure at least 40% of my academic career was propped up last year by a mix that always, always included something by Ratatat and “Boys Boys Boys.”

    Now that I’m a newly-minted unemployed graduate, I’ll totally be using this for writing cover letters and dancing in [my parents’] living room.

  9. Ah, I was forever making playlists of this variety during grad school. Nostalgia!

    “Not a Love Song” – Uh Huh Her
    “No HesitAtIon” – Ai Kago
    “Deep Dish” – Ani DiFranco
    “I Want to Conquer the World” – Bad Religion
    “It’s Alright” – The Bandits
    “I Love Myself Today” – Bif Naked
    “Tell It to the Kids” – Bis
    “When It All Comes Down” – Bonnie McKee
    “Classics of Love” – Common Rider
    “Dance de Bakoon” – C-ute
    “Get Off” – Dandy Warhols
    “Rock’n’Roll Machine” – The Donnas
    “Hey!” – E.via
    “When You Have To” – E.via
    “Merry May Folk” – Emerald Rose
    “Nu ABO” – f(x)
    “Take Me Out” – Franz Ferdinand
    “Why Do You Love Me” – Garbage
    “American Idiot” – Green Day
    “Brain Stew” – Green Day
    “The Judge’s Daughter” – Green Day
    “Island of Pogo Pogo” – The Groovie Ghoulies
    “Oh Gypsy” – The Gypsy Nomads
    “Kill Me Kiss Me” – Hangry & Angry
    “Sadistic Dance” – Hangry & Angry
    “Striptease” – Hawksley Workman
    “Legend of a Cowgirl” – Imani Coppola
    “Wytches (2004)” – Inkubus Sukkubus (go ahead and laugh. I understand.)
    “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” – JET
    “Love at First Sight” – Kylie Minogue
    “Fuck You” – Lily Allen
    “Prisoner of Society” The Living End
    “Love Me Dead” – Ludo
    “Fly Away” – Maki Goto (as Sweet Black)
    “Lady-Rise” – Maki Goto (as Sweet Black)
    “Renai Revolution 21” – Morning Musume
    “Love Machine” – Morning Musume
    “Do It! Now” – Morning Musume
    “Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba” – The Mr. T Experience
    “Semi-OK” – The Mr. T Experience
    “Love is Dead” – The Mr. T Experience
    “Ah W Noss” – Nancy Ajram
    “Unwritten” – Natasha Bedingfield
    “New” – No Doubt
    “Just a Girl” – No Doubt
    “Want You Bad” – The Offspring
    “Life During Wartime” – Pinhead Gunpowder
    “For What It’s Worth” – Placebo
    “Special K” – Placebo
    “The Bitter End” – Placebo
    “20th Century Boy” – Placebo
    “Make a Confession” – The Plus Ones
    “Walk the Walk” – Poe
    “Can’t Stop” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
    “Around the World” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
    “Higher Ground” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
    “Knock Me Down” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
    “Ramalama (Bang Bang)” – Róisín Murphy
    “Abintra” – RURUTIA
    “Super Star” – SHE
    “Firebird’s Child” – SJ Tucker
    “In the Name of the Dance” – SJ Tucker
    “Turn It On” – Sleater-Kinney
    “Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down” – The Toasters
    “Osaka Rhapsody” – W (Double U)
    “Khayraouni” – Woroud
    And, really, just about anything Morning Musume’s ever done.

    These songs also make me drive way too fast. I guess one good thing about living way out in the boonies is that there are fewer cops around to catch me when my iPod hits one of those songs.

  10. Oh man now I can stay up all night to write my thesis, and it will almost seem like a good thing!

  11. would like to say that this playlist also works if you have already stayed up all night but need to keep awake during the day to finish the essay you didn’t do last night!

  12. Three Stages of Focus:

    1. Get into a mindless trance.

    Alejandro by Lady GaGa
    Beautiful by Mandalay
    Jestem by Magdalena Tul
    The Lady of Shallot by Loreena McKennitt
    Still Alive (Acoustic) by Lisa Miskovsky

    2. Stay awake

    Bring Me to Heaven by Unsun
    Apologize by Timbaland
    Heartbreaker by P!nk
    Take Me Away by Fefe Dobson
    Inolvidable by Reik
    What About My Dreams by Kati Wolf (bonus points for the Hungarian version)

    3. Give up, roll into bed, try to sleep.

    Come Along by Titiyo
    Running Scared by Ell & Nikki
    Do You Believe? by Cher
    I Will Love Again by Lara Fabian

    You can also set any one of these on repeat for hours on end to achieve the desired effect.

  13. My tried-and-true kickass study playlist (which often wound up being an allnighter playlist) included the following:

    Aretha Franklin – I Will Survive
    Clamour for Glamour – The Ark
    Red Alert – Basement Jaxx
    London Burning – The Clash
    God Willing – Dropkick Murphys
    Let Me Blow Ya Mind – Eve feat. Gwen Stefani
    I Love Rock ‘n Roll – Joan Jett
    Just Dance – Lady Gaga
    Feeling Good – Nina Simone
    You’ll Find a Way – Santogold
    Ricochet! – Shiny Toy Guns
    Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
    Get By – Talib Kweli
    Punkrocker – Teddybears feat. Iggy Pop
    Woman – Wolfmother

  14. It’s kind of weird, but if i am up studying all night, i prefer songs with few or no words because the words break my concentration:

    things like:

    Yes (close to the edge)
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer (pictures at an exhibition and others)

    I can proudly claim to have all of the above in their original vinyl (my parents gave me their vinyl collection of about 500 albums).

    some classical

Comments are closed.