Friday, March 28, 2008

Weekend Listomania (Special This Must Be the Place! Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental amanuensis Hop-Sing and I are off to Philadelphia to spend the weekend at some convention or another. To be honest, I'm not sure what it's all about, but the little yellow devil has all but begged me to take him there, and the sight of him prostrate on the floor, his little froggy loins akimbo, always melts my heart.

So -- anybody know exactly what Eschaton is, or who some fellow named Atrios is? Me neither, but apparently a lot of DFH's -- whoever they are -- will be in attendance at a function in his honor.

In any case, as a result, posting by moi will necessarily be totally not happening until sometime Monday.

But while we wait, here's a little diversion for you all:


Je repete -- a real-life location, not something made up for the purposes of a cheap Top 40 thrill. If you try to sneak any of that Thunder Road or Heartbreak Hotel crap past me, I swear to god I'll take a hostage.

Okay, that said, here's my totally top of my head Top Ten:

10. Ramones -- Rockway Beach

Now that I think of it, even though I grew up in the Tri-State Metropolitan Area, I don't think I ever went to Rockaway. Of course, I'm still pissed nobody's ever written a song about Teaneck.

9. The Clash -- London Calling

This one's for Joe.

8. Wilbert Harrison -- Kansas City

More proof that YouTube blahblahblah. Seriously, I must have heard this record literally thousands of times over the years, but until I found this clip I had no idea what Wilbert Harrison looked like, let alone that he was a piano man.

7. Screamin' Jay Hawkins -- I Love Paris

"I saw a Mau-Mau kissing Santa Claus," indeed...

6. Johnny Horton -- The Battle of New Orleans

Johnny was a bit of geek. Just saying....

5. Arrested Development -- Tennessee

Apparently there was a period when rap groups were all peace and love and mellow vibes. Must have missed it.

4. A tie --

The Rolling Stones -- 2120 South Michigan Avenue

and The Rolling Stones -- Route 66

The first song was actually recorded at the titular address -- the legendary Chess Studios in Chicago -- which is why it sounds so much better than the otherwise incendiery "Route 66" from some crappy demo studio in England.

3. Another tie --

The Move -- California Man

and The Beach Boys -- California Girls

The sort of yin and yang of West Coast hedonistic chauvinism.

2. Bruce Springsteen -- Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

Speaking of gorgeous.

And the number one most drop dead amazing, there's no fricking question about it, song with a real you-could-actually-go-to-it place in its title is ---

1. John Cale -- Paris, 1919

From his 1973 album of the same name. What a thrill to see this live version, which is yet more proof that YouTube is blahblahblah.

Alrighty now -- what would your choices be?

[h/t cangrejero]


Mister Pleasant said...

You hit the jackpot with your number one choice, Steve. Paris 1919 is a true masterpiece, and the Youtube live video captures the sound of the studio original with the extra visual thrill of Mr. Cale leading the orchestra through his finest composition.

My own list would include a batch of Jimmy Webb's heartland treasures, including Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman which I believe to be one of the 20th century's greatest songs.

And feel free to fall off your chair laughing, but MacArthur Park never fails to send a shiver up my spine (in a good way).

Back in the day, the Beatles Back in the U.S.S.R. was pretty much a non-stop play on my phonograph.

dave™© said...

No "Mendocino" by the Sir Douglas Quintet?


dave™© said...

...Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman which I believe to be one of the 20th century's greatest songs.

The version by British Electric Foundation (BEF) is a stunner.

elroy said...

Baltimore - Randy Newman
Anchorage - Michelle Shocked

peter spencer said...

Randy Newman had a lot of place-names in his songs (I love "New Orleans Wins the War") but you've gotta go with "I Love LA." It is that most overused of critical woids - iconic. Utterly nails the feeling of being there.


Steely Dan "The Boston Rag"

Bob Dylan "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues again"

Bruce Springsteen "Atlantic City"

Laura Nyro "New York Tendaberry"

The Drifters "On Broadway"

Jimmie Rodgers "T for Texas" (the Everley Brothers did a great cover of this in 1968 or 9)

Peter Spencer "Streets of Montreal" (ok, it's not like anyone else is going to call this one)

Magic Sam "Sweet Home Chicago"

Louis Armstrong "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?"

TJWood said...

Five worthy selections I can think of right now that I'll get in before they're taken are and I have to settle for something like "Please Come To Boston" are:

1. The Kinks--Holiday in Waikiki

2. Tom Waits--San Diego Serenade

3. Joni Mitchell--California

4. Warren Zevon--Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead

and to get in something from the new milennium:

5. R.E.M.--Houston (from the upcoming, and from what I've heard so far, excellent new album "Accelerate")

steve simels said...

I actually had a clip of early Joni doing "California" slotted in at number 10, but I figured that what with the Move and the Beach Boys it would West Coast overkill.

Holiday in Waikiki, however, should definitely have been on the list. I am depressed...

MBowen said...

Some that come to mind:

Two by the best band of the 1990's, The Loud Family - Inverness and Why We Don't Live In Mauritania

Suzanne Vega - In Liverpool

and three from Kirsty MacColl: A New England, Fairytale of New York with The Pogues, and my personal favorite, which unfortunately doesn't have a video, Soho Square.

Noam Sane said...

Great selection of tunes.

My vote would go to Moondog's Paris, which came to my attention via NRBQ's version on one of their later live albums.

"When I'm walking down the avenue,
I'm as high as Eiffel is to you".

David said...

"Philadelphia" by Magazine
"Lebanon, Tennessee," Ron Sexsmith
"San Tropez" -- Pink Floyd...
"Give Paris One More Chance" Jonathan Richman
and it would be somehow wrong not to at least give a shout-out to the not-eligible but completely apt in spirit, "My City Was Gone"

Noam Sane said...

OK, that 2nd link above doesn't work. That's what I get for trying to be fancy.

yknow...just trying to take advantage of what the interwebtubes have to offer us.

Try this one, if you care.

TMink said...

Much agreement about Wichita Lineman. The Meters do a version that is way boss. Check it out!


Cleveland Bob said...

Tons of choices.

To give a local flavor from my location I'd have to pick:

My City Was Gone--The Pretenders
and although I don't really like the song,
Cleveland Rocks--Mott the Hoople

Other additions might include:

Anarchy in the UK--Sex Pistols
I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea--EC

and my personal Ramones location specific ditty...

53rd & 3rd

And have a great weekend in Philly all you wacky librul Atriots!

Noam Sane said...

Instrumental guitarist Johnny A. does a killer version of "Wichita Lineman"... Here's a YouTube link.

Pretty remarkable tune, no matter who's doing it.

Anonymous said...

Kiss : Detroit Rock City !

The Kenosha Kid said...

Jonathan Richman - New England
Billy Bragg - New England
Tom Waits - Singapore
David Bowie - Warszawa
Dead Kennedys - Holiday in Cambodia
Chuck Berry - Memphis, TN
Paper Lace - The Night Chicago Died

just kidding on that last one.

preznit said...

Martha and the Muffins "One Day in Paris"

Gazetteers "The Poyaisian Peerage Scam of 1823 and "St Paul's Lament"

The Lucksmiths "The Chapter in Your Life Entitled San Francisco"

Sufjan Stevens- ah, take your pick

Cub (or the TMBG cover) "New York City"

Anonymous said...

Can't say I'm a big fan of the group but since I'm from the area... Moby Grape - Omaha
Also am in agreement with the original Wichita Lineman comments, can't say about any of the other versions as I've never heard them.
I also liked Glen Campbell's Galveston (I believe also written by Jimmy Webb)
Indiana Wants Me - R. Dean Taylor
and my one of my favorite's that I haven't seen mentioned yet
Streets Of Philadelphia - Bruce Springsteen

Anonymous said...

Procol Harum - Lime Street Blues
Ian Hunter - England Rocks

~*Neon Serpent*~

Anonymous said...

CCR - Lodi

Roues Brothers - Cypress Grove

Fairport Convention - Genesis Hall

Rolling Stones - The live EP version of Route 66 is the killer version.

The Hounds - San Francisco

and my winner: The Weasels - Cedar Lane!!!


TJWood said...

Cleveland Bob stated:

To give a local flavor from my location I'd have to pick:

My City Was Gone--The Pretenders
and although I don't really like the song,
Cleveland Rocks--Mott the Hoople

Just a slight correction, Bob: "Cleveland Rocks" is actually an Ian Hunter solo track--I believe it's from his album You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic. The song was something of a novelty that got old long before it was the theme song to a TV sitcom.

I'd also add "Cuyahoga" by R.E.M. and "Youngstown" by Bruce Springsteen to your Ohio list--even though I'm not greatly familiar with the latter.

TJWood said...

Holiday in Waikiki, however, should definitely have been on the list. I am depressed...

Actually, there might also be an overlook on my (and so far everyone else's) part as well: Is the Waterloo Station of "Waterloo Sunset" an actual place? If so, that should have been the Kinks choice, as fitting as "Holiday In Waikiki" is in the Northeast part of the country.

preznit said...

Is the Waterloo Station of "Waterloo Sunset" an actual place?

yep, it's part of the London Tube system

dSmith said...

Bells of Rhymney
Are you referring to Cousin Brucie in the title of this post?

shrimplate said...

"Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever," on what was probably a single with 2 A-sides, haven't been mentioned yet so I would like to add them.

"Washington Bullets."

"Girl From Ipanema."

"Alice's Restaurant."

"Lullaby of Birdland" as sung by Sarah Vaughn.

"Panama Red."

Mike said...

Some from out of the blue:

The Anaheim, Azusa, And Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review, And Timing Association - Jan & Dean
Los Angeles - X
There's No Surf In Cleveland - The Euclid Beach Band
California Saga - Beach Boys (here done by Brian's band and Al on vocals)
London's Brilliant Parade - Elvis Costello
A Rainy Night In Soho - The Pogues
Viva! Sea-Tac - Robyn Hitchcock
Coney Island Baby - The Excellents
Hollywood Swinging - Kool & The Gang

Cangrejero said...

Thanks for the h/t!

Descendents - 'Catalina'
Chuck Berry - 'Memphis, Tennessee'
FOW - 'Utopia Parkway'
Black Lips - 'Christmas in Baghdad'
Joe Cuba - 'I'll never go back to Georgia'
Goldfiner 'San Simeon'
and stretching the definition to the asbolute limit: Bjork - 'Venus as a boy' :-)

StillConscious said...

Zappa - "Montana"

best cowboy "yodeling" evah !

Mister Pleasant said...

To those who mentioned other versions of "Wichita Lineman" - I had no luck finding audio links, even the 30 sec nuggets on Amazon. If you know of a link, I'd be happy to give a listen.

Mike said...
That's quite a list, and most of them are new to me. "Viva! Sea-Tac" and "Los Angeles" are real keepers! The Jan and Dean song is outside of my memory - apparently was late in their career. It is a hoot.

And one last song that should have been high up on the list - Mott the Hoople's "All The Way to Memphis".

Mister Pleasant said...

Oops - Noam Sane did have a link to Johnny A.'s version. Extremely beautiful guitar work. Thanks!

preznit said...

a couple more late entries

Dream Syndicate - "Merrittville"

Heavenly - "Escort Crash on Marston Street"

Bangles - "Going Down to Liverpool" (better than the Katrina & the Waves version, IMHO)

The Besties - Bone Valley Deposit

Jeff K said...

Two more, unranked:

Brian Eno- "the Fat Lady of Limbourg"

Pavement - "I Love Perth"

Brooklyn Girl said...

"Ferry Cross the Mersey" - Gerry & the Pacemakers

"New York" - U2

"If You're Going to San Francisco" - Scott McKenzie (okay, I hate that song, but still ... )

"Winchester Cathedral" - New Vaudeville Band

"Mars Hotel" - Grateful Dead (yes, I admit I'm defining "record" broadly, but what the hell ...)

"Mississippi Halfstep Uptown Toodeloo" - also Grateful Dead

"Utopia Parkway" - Foutains of Wayne (see "Mars Hotel", above)

"Babylon Sisters" - Steely Dan

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

And now, for what’s probably the Sunday Night caboose on this fine train:

Muswell Hillbillies -- click here
for a tour of Muswell Hill

and the mighty Berkeley Mews, site of the shitty dining room through which Ray once staggered in the City of Westminster.

Also Highway 61, which inspired both this great video drawing by Giovanni Rabuffetti and this cool multimedia travelogue from the New York Times.

Dave said...

Two fun tunes:
Scruffy the Cat, Moons of Jupiter
B-52s, Private Idaho

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Let us add Talking Heads, The Big Country, given the title to the post.

steve simels said...

Once again -- you guys are totally awesome.

Oh, and Mike --

Mike said...
Some from out of the blue:

The Anaheim, Azusa, And Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review, And Timing Association - Jan & Dean

That's like my favorite song of all time. I can't believe there's a vid link..

When's the next bus to Oswego? said...

Washington, DC - Magnetic Fields
Willesden Green - Kinks
Sweet Virginia - Stones
A New England - Billy Bragg
New York, New York - Grandmaster Flash
London's Brilliant - Wendy James (penned by Elvis Costello, along with the rest of this fabulous but overlooked album)

and the Faces' version of Memphis has always been my fave.

plus many more that haven't popped into my head yet. i'll be back.

kudos to the person who mentioned kirsty's 'soho square.'

FeralLiberal said...

I may be an April Fool, but I can't believe no one's mentioned The Clash - London Calling.

And how about...

Graham Nash - Chicago
Little Feat - Oh, Atlanta
ZZ Top - Jesus Just Left Chicago
Neil Young - Alabama
Matthew Sweet - Come to California
Marc Cohn - Walking in Memphis
Nanci Griffith - Tecumseh Valley

preznit said...

I may be an April Fool, but I can't believe no one's mentioned The Clash - London Calling.

besides the original post's #9 track?