Friday, November 06, 2009

Weekend Listomania: Special The Undiscovered Country Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental philo-groinal consultant Fah Lo Suee and I will be heading to a Learning Annex in Stillwater, Minnesota where we'll be attending a special accounting seminar hosted by Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Prozac). Apparently she's got some kind of system where you can prove that 4000 dollars actually equals 150,000; should come in handy next time I'm trying to balance my checkbook.

In any case, posting by moi will more than likely be sporadic for a little while.

But in the meantime, here's another little fun project for us all:

Most Memorable Post-Elvis Pop or Rock Song About Getting Away From It All

Songs about travel, in other words, or more specifically the specific faraway places you might dream of someday travelling to.

And my totally top of my head Top Five is:

5. The Kinks -- Holiday in Waikiki

Based on a true story, or so I've heard. Apparently it stuck in Ray's craw that he had to pay to go swimming on some idyllic beach. A fabulous song in any case -- that Hawaiian guitar break in the middle doing the hula thing never fails to crack me up.

4. The Clash -- London Calling

Okay, granted it's not exactly a travel poster, but it makes you want to go there just the same, no?

3. The Go-Go's -- Vacation

My favorite Go-Go was Jane Weidlin, in case anybody was wondering. Wotta cutie.

2. Three Dog Night -- Shambala

I figured we needed a hippie hashish trail song here, but I'm just sick to death of "Marakesh Express." Sorry. Anyway, I really like this one even if Three Dog Night aren't cool.

And the numero uno On the Road to Somewhere tune, I'll brook no debate, has to be --

1. Gene Pitney -- Mecca

For obvious reasons. I love this record, incidentally, and I think it's really pretty sad that it can't be played on oldies stations anymore -- also for obvious reasons.

Alrighty then -- what would your choice(s) be?


Feral said...

The "Country" is the place to be:

Canned Heat - Going Up the Country

Chicago - In the Country

(More) Three Dog Night - Out In the Country

Cousin Kevin said...

Country Joe and the Fish == The Harlem Song.

Gummo said...

Tsk tsk.

What kind of Beach Boys fan leaves out "Kokomo"?

Anonymous said...

Tom Rush - On the Road Again

Canned Heat - On the Road Again (different song)

Roues Brothers - Behind the Dixie Sun (makes me want to go record hunting in the deep south, which would be a great way to get away as far as I'm concerned!)


dave™© said...

The Ronettes' "Paradise" and Brian Wilson's "Let's Go Away for Awhile" come to mind...

dave™© said...

What kind of Beach Boys fan leaves out "Kokomo"?

One that is an actual fan.

John Fowler said...

Hi Steve, this was a fun one -

Wilco + Billy Bragg (all Wilco?) - "California Stars" - in the same spirit as Steve's "London Calling" - makes me want to head to Yosemite or Big Sur or the California desert. To me, this is one of Wilco's best, and along with "Walt Whitman's Niece", the highlight of Mermaid Avenue

Neil Young - "Sugar Mountain" - don't want to be leaving there too soon...

The Beatles - "Yellow Submarine" - a trip to the Sea of Green

The Who - "5:15" - horns!
(It strikes me that are a number of Who tunes that could be on this list)

Yo La Tengo - "Return to Hot Chicken" - not sure where Hot Chicken is, but this is a nice little instrumental that opens I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One

Liz Phair - "Stratford-On-Guy" - how can you make such a great song out of just flying into Chicago? Off of Exile in Guyville

Tom Waits - "Shore Leave" - from Swordfishtrombones - not exactly the type of vacation the Go-Go's were referring to -
(By the way, I will join in Steve's admiration for Ms. Weidlin - plus, her singing on the bridge of "Our Lips Our Sealed" is (IMHO) one of the finest moments in 80's pop, bar none)

New Pornographers - "Myriad Harbour" - from Challengers - I suppose this is probably more of a 'band on the road' song, than a vacation song, but I hope it is close enough to qualify. A truly weird video.

and doesn't this one require something from:

Traveling Wilburys - how about "End of the Line"?

dave™© said...

Speaking of Beach Boys', I'll throw in Brian's absolutely brilliant "Busy Doin' Nothing"...

Jon said...

I got Two Tickets to Paradise.


Dave Lifton said...


What kind of Beach Boys fan leaves out Let's Go Away For A While?

Anonymous said...

Tom Waits - "Shiver Me Timbers"

A few songs off "Hell's Ditch" by Pogues - "Sunny Side of the Street", "Sayonara", "Ghost of a Smile". Basically, Shane MacGowan wishing he could quit the Pogues and hang out on Thai beaches smoking opium.

Elroy said...

Joni Mitchell - several cuts off Hejira

David said...

Whoa, lots of choices, and I admit making a mixtape on this theme, which helped:
Thailand: Vic Chestnutt
Stranded in Greenland: For Against
Give Paris One More Chance: Jonathan Richman
Denmark Street: The Kinks
That's Why We Don't Live in Mauritania: Loud Family
South America: Shout Out Louds
Manchester: Hair (soundtrack)
Neverland: Todd Rundgren
Beechwood Park: The Zombies
San Tropez: Pink Floyd
Bangkok: Alex Chilton

The Kenosha Kid said...

Safe European Home by The Clash - a good bummer vacation song to go with Holiday in Waikiki

Hollywood by Los Lonely Boys - recent, worth seeking out

Tokyo, I'm on My Way - Puffy Ami Yumi

Promised Land - Chuck Berry

Gummo said...

For your dystopian holiday getaway:

Holiday in the Sun -- Sex Pistols
Desolation Row -- Bob Dylan

And how about the entire "Blows Against the Empire" album, Paul Kantner's little escapist fantasy about a band of technohippies hijacking the first interstallar craft?

Brooklyn Girl said...

Um ... "California Dreamin'." Helloooooo!


And "Woodstock", "Back in the USSR", "You Can't Catch Me" (okay, maybe it's not post Elvis, so sue me), "New York State of Mind", "If You're Going to San Francisco", "Wooden Ships", "Space Cowboy" ... and, for something more contemporary, "Around the World" (Chili Peppers)

Anonymous said...

"Another Girl, Another Planet" - Only Ones
"Holiday in Cambodia" - Dead Kennedys
"Bermuda" - Roky Erickson
"I'm On An Island" - Kinks
"Gotta Getaway" - Stiff Little Fingers
"Tommy's Holiday Camp" - The 'OO

-bill buckner

jackd said...

Best Late-Bush Era get-away-from-it-all song:

"Borneo" - Firewater

This in-studio performance at KEXP is big fun.

Walking Oliver Productions, Ltd said...

Can't think of anything better than CCR's "Green River." "New York State of Mind" is up there.

Love "Mecca!" Great record!!


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

What a great theme.

You know, I was thinking, Vermont's a good place for an indy bookstore or a vegan restaurant:

-- Peace and Love -- Fountains of Wayne

And you know where it's nice to spend a week or two?

-- Mozambique -- Dylan

Dave said...

Got to agree with David that Jonathan Richman's "Give Paris One More Chance" has to be the most exuberant ad for travel I've ever heard in a pop record:

Now hear the boys singing Beegees songs under the skies

Give Paris one more chance

And on the steps of Montmartre they harmonise

Give Paris one more chance

Because if you don't think Paris was made for love

Maybe your heart needs a telegram from up above

I've also always been fond of Bobby Bloom's one hit, "Montego Bay."

Edward said...

Elvis Costello - I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea
and Tokyo Storm Warning

Jonathan Richman - 19 In Naples

Phil Ochs - Tape From California

John Cooper Clarke - Majorca

Libby Spencer said...

Wow, you left the oldies for me.

Leaving on Jet Plane - Joni Mitchell

Katmandu - forget who did it. Didn't really like the song but always wanted to go there.

Sandy Beaches - Delbert McClinton

2000 Light Years from Home - Stones

And the song I've heard covered in every dive bar with live bands I've ever been in - On the Road Again.

Brooklyn Girl said...

I can't believe nobody has mentioned "STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN" yet ...

Brooklyn Girl said...

Not to mention gettin' your kicks on "Route 66" ...

And "Born to Run" to that place in the sun ...

steve simels said...


Bob Seger, bitches!!!!

agitpropre said...

Rockaway Beach, the Ramones hat tip to the Beach Boys...

Anonymous said...

Los Abandoned, "Van Nuys"

'nuff said.

Libby Spencer said...

A few more:

We Gotta Get Out of This Place - Animals

Traveling Man - Lynard Skynard

And of course there's a Ricky Nelson song with the same name but I don't think that's post Beatles - is it?

And of course then there Rambling Man - Allman Bros

Ramble On - Led Zep

and the song that seems to fit every category Roger Miller - King of the Road. Oh wait, is that post Beatles?

Did anybody list Africa - Toto

lester said...

Mecca. Thanks Steve for turning me on to this fine song.

Noam Sane said...

A clown puts his makeup on upside down
So he wears a smile even when he wears a frown
You might think I'm here when you put me down
But actually I'm on the other side of town.

My body's in this room with you just catching hell
While my soul is drinking beer down the road a spell
You might think I'm listening to your grocery list
But I'm leaning on the jukebox and I'm about half ... way there

I'm sittin' on a chair just behind my ear
Playing dominoes and drinking some ice cold beer
When you get done talking I'll come back downstairs
And assume the body of the person you presume who cares

I'm across the river on the other side of town
In my mind I'm on the other side of town

John Prine, "Other Side of Town", from the Fair and Square album

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

I vote Noam wins. I love that song more than I can say ... and yet I forgot all about it.

Dan said...

Island in the Sun by Weezer

I was shopping in Whole Foods once and they played this song. I found myself pushing the cart down the aisle, zombie-like, singing "we'll never feel bad anymo-ore," passing a woman going the other direction doing exactly the same thing...

Anonymous said...

Million Miles Away - Plimsouls