Friday, July 17, 2009

Weekend Listomania (Special The Big Apple -- Don't Mind the Maggots! Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental lap snacker acount executive Fah Lo Suee and I are off to South Carolina for a little Appalachian Trail hiking, if you know what I mean and I'm sure you do.

In any case, posting by moi will necessarily be sporadic for a little while.

But in the meantime, here's another little project for you folks:

Best Post-Beatles Song or Record Referencing New York (City) -- and I Mean Specifically, With the Actual Words New York (City) -- in the Title or Lyrics

Yes, I did something similar to this last year, but as you can see from the above we're narrowing the parameters this time. Which means don't even try to sneak something like "Harlem Shuffle" past me or I'll come to your house and slap you silly. It's gotta say New York or New York City. Thank you.

Oh, and one really arbitrary rule. If you try to sneak "New York, New York" in here, don't even think about it unless it's some unbelievably sick, disgusting or ironic version that I'm unaware of. I dunno -- Nick Cave, maybe. Or GWAR. Other than that, watch it bub.

Also, I should probably mention that if you haven't already figured out how to do it, entries 3, 4 and 6 can all be downloaded simply by clicking on the divshare logo on the far right. You're welcome.

And with all that out of the way, my totally top of my head Top Six would be:

6. Tonio K -- American Love Affair

"Yes, and New York may be the New World, but she's still a filthy concrete bitch without a soul..."

Hey -- Tonio's from California, what can I tell you. I should also add that this song's from left field last line -- "It's an American underwear/it's in the washing machine" -- is one of the funniest things in the history of recorded sound.

5. The Rolling Stones -- She Was Hot

"New York was cold and damp" is one of my favorite opening lines, if truth be told, and this song is one of the best from Undercover, one of their several underrated 80s albums. The original video, of course, features the late paralytically sexy Broadway bombshell Anita Morris (woo hoo!), but the Stones seem to have gotten it pulled from YouTube, the bastards.

4. Willie Nile -- Streets of New York

"They come by the millions...the hipster, the prince and the clown..." From Willie's heart-as-big-as-all-outdoors album illoed above; if you haven't heard it -- including the flat out devastating "Cell Phones Ringing (In the Pockets of the Dead)" -- your life is the poorer for it.

3. The Ad-Libs -- The Boy From New York City

"And he's his mohair suit." That's poetry, folks.

2. The Strokes -- New York City Cops

If truth be told, again, I think these guys are the most overrated group of the last several years, but I will concede that if I was three decades younger and lived in the East Village they'd probably be my band. In any case, this is a perfectly acceptable ode to our Boys in Blue, so enjoy!!!!

And the numero uno song referencing the Humongous Mango, I think you already know this so let's not prolong the suspense unnecessarily, obviously is --

1. The Velvet Underground -- Rock and Roll

Lou: "Then one fine morning she puts on a New York station you know she don't believe what she heard at all...she started shakin' to that fine fine music you know her life was saved by rock and roll."

I think we all know the feeling...

Awrighty, then -- what would your choices be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: most memorable version of an often-filmed story -- is now up over at Box Office. As always, I'd take it as a personal favor if you could see your way to go over there and leave a comment. Thanks!]


geor3ge said...

Of the Strokes, I think Triumph the Dog said: "Their riffs are three times as old as my jokes."

cthulhu said...

Water, the Who - "New York skyline is hazy" - not one of their bestest songs, but it works up a good groove, and the live version on the deluxe "Who's Next" release, from the April '71 Young Vic shows, is outstanding.

But...Rock and Roll - yeah, baby, that's the one...

TJWood said...

One I'm surprised you missed:

Bob Dylan: Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (the line "I'm going back to New York City, I do believe I've had enough").


Here are three just simply called "New York":

The Sex Pistols: "New York"

Richard Ashcroft: "New York"

U2: "New York"

Those are just three of the more familiar ones. A cursory search will show dozens of songs with that title.

As far as "New York, New York" goes, Cat Power did a version on one of her covers albums that completely reinvents the melody, so maybe that will pass muster. Or maybe not.

To close out my choices, Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer", with its line about the New York City winters. Simon chose to sing this tune on SNL following the 9/11 attacks.

dave™© said...

New York's a lonely town
When you're the only surfer boy!

dave™© said...

And it's really only a passing comment, but I would also nominate Elvis' "American Without Tears":

Now I'm in America and running from you
Like my grandfather before me walked the streets of New York
And I think of all the women I pretend mean more than you
When I open my mouth and I can't seem to talk...

And here's Elvis and Austin DeLone doing that song at the late great Village Music in Mill Valley, USA!

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

He came from New York City, man, but he couldn't take the pace-uh -- Mister Nick Cave & those bad, bad seeds, Dig, Lazarus, Dig

Dave said...

There are so many songs that are clearly about New York that don't say the words (e.g., "On Broadway," "At the Zoo," "Chelsea Morning" and for that matter, does Black 47's "Brooklyn Girls' count?), but I'll be a good boy and stick to the instructions.

"Chicago" (Sufjan Stevens)

"Daddy Don't Live in that New York City No More" (Steely Dan)

"Eyes of a NY Woman" (B.J. Thomas)

"I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City" (Harry Nilsson)

"King of the New York Streets" by (Dion) here's a cool live version featuring Steve Cropper

"My Apartment" (Ben Kweller) sort of a New York answer record to "In My Room" -- here's a live acoustic version:

"New York Mining Disaster 1941" "The Bee Gees"

"The Only Living Boy in New York" (Simon & Garfunkel)

"Walk on the Wild Side" Lou Reed" ("a hustle here and a hustle there...")

"12:30" (Mamas and Papas) "I used to live in New York City" is the first line.

"Springtime in New York" (Jonathan Richman)

"Rockin' Around in NYC" (Marshall Crenshaw)

danny1959 said...

Daryl Hall's "Nycny"

steve simels said...

Rockin Around in NYC....

Ah, yes. Somewhere there's a live version of my skinny tie band doing that...god, I love that song.

NYMary said...

I cannot believe no one has given any love to the Pogues, "Fairytale of New York" yet.

And on a related note, of course, Kirsty MacColl's "Walking down Madison" (although yes, that does bend the rules).

Michael said...

With apologies to Robbie Fulks...
Ryan Adams - New York, New York

The Kenosha Kid said...

Cub - New York City

Ace Frehley - Back in The New York Groove

Odyssey - Native New Yorker

Living for the City - Stevie Wonder

FeralLiberal said...

Just to bug Simels...

David Bowie - The Jean Genie

steve simels said...

BTW -- I can't get over how cool that Blue Cat record label is.

FeralLiberal said...

And to bug everyone...

Christopher Cross - Arthur's Theme

OK, now I'm gonna get banned.

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

Grandmaster Flash - New York, New York

Brooklyn Girl said...

Stones - Honky tonk Women: "I laid a divorcee in New York City"

Grateful Dead - Truckin': "New York's got the ways an means"

David said...

wow, this subject really taps into the extremes of my collection. To wit:
New York City Blues: The Yardbirds
New York USA: Serge Gainsbourg (with an inexplicable African beat)
New York Wakes: Horslips
New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down: LCD Soundsystem
Piazza New York Catcher: Belle & Sebastian

geor3ge said...

New York State of Mind. Probably Billy Joel's greatest pure Tin Pan Alley moment.

steve simels said...

David said...

New York Wakes: Horslips

Say what?


Dude, are you older than me?

Noam Sane said...

Tripe Face Boogie:

New York, You Nork

David said...

Not quite as old, Mr. S, but I did grow up worshipping Tull, so any other European band with a flute was all right with me. And while the bulk of the Horslips catalog doesn't hold up all that well, this song still works quite well.

dave™© said...

No one's mentioned that Billy Joel song yet, have they?


dave™© said...

Oh, hell - someone did!

Anonymous said...

John Lennon - New York City

Anonymous said...

Sting- Englishman in New York
Bruce Springsteen - New York City Serenade
Central Park and West" - Ian Hunter

MBowen said...

Heh...Horslips was the first band I ever hung out with.

"Fairytale of New York" wins.

The Kenosha Kid picked my other fave: Cub's "New York City". Here's the video; be prepared to be overcome by sheer adorableness. They Might Be Giants covered it.

Other NYC songs:

James Brown - "Down And Out In New York City"

Continental Drifters - "New York"

Garland Jeffreys - "New York Skyline"

Graham Parker & The Rumour - "New York Shuffle"

Prince - "All The Critics Love U In New York"

Saturday Looks Good To Me - "When You Got To New York" (a great song - download it when you get the chance!)

CovetedNOPrizeWinnerWithOakLeafCluster said...

Rockin' Around in NYC- a link

Anonymous said...

Sheena Is A Punk Rocker - The Ramones " Well New York City really has it all ,,Oh yeah, oh yeah"

Anonymous said...

Kate and Anna McGarrigle's lovely "Talk to Me of Mendocino":

I bid farewell to the state of ol' New York
My home away from home
In the state of New York I came of age
When first I started roaming
And the trees grow high in New York state
And they shine like gold in Autumn
Never had the blues from whence I came
But in New York state I caught 'em

Anonymous said...

Back in the New York Groove - Ace Frehly

Plum Pudding said...

What New York Used To Be - The Kills

Piazza, New York Catcher - Belle And Sebastian

hey, NYC can be twee you now ;-)

Plum Pudding said...

oh, forgot the great underated mancunian band Doves with their song NY

dave™© said...

So even though it was referenced in the title of this post, did no one mention "Shattered"? Or did I just miss it?

Also, there HAS to be a Mink DeVille song that fits the criteria...

geor3ge said...

dave™© said...

Oh, hell - someone did!

[thumbs nose at trademark dave, stands defiantly by unhip comment]

Anonymous said...

Not a lyric; not a song title; but it belongs here somehow, I truly feel. Here goes:

The Blues Brothers live album, "Briefcase Full Of Blues", in between "Messin' With The Kid" and "(Everything I Need) Almost", when John Belushi is introducing the horn section band members:

"On sax, a good friend from New York City, also from Texas...Mr. Tom 'Bones' Malone! Tom Malone!"


"And also from New Yawk City...Mr. Fabulous himself...Alan RUBIN! Come on! Alan RUBIN!"


Libby Spencer said...

Jeez, I'm late and all the easy ones have been taken. Did anyone get the song that goes,

Do wah, do wah, do wah ditty.
Talk about the girl from New York City?

Can't quite remember the song at this hour.

D. Cloyce Smith said...

"A Heart in New York" -- Art Garfunkel

"Leaving New York" -- R.E.M.

Anonymous said...

Going to NYC by Steve Earle is a good one.

Dave said...


That's #3 on the survey, ready to take over #1 if both 1 & 2 are assasinated. The Manhattan Transfer later covered the song, but the AdLibs version rules.

bklyngti said...

Two from the 80's

New York, by MCL (Micro Chip League

and The Apple Stretching by Grace Jones

(link related)

Anonymous said...

Hard Times In New York Town

Come you ladies and you gentlemen, a-listen to my song.
Sing it to you right, but you might think it's wrong.
Just a little glimpse of a story I'll tell
"Bout an East Coast city that you all know well.
It's hard times in the city,
Livin' down in New York town.

By Bob Dylan

Nylund said...

Not Mentioned so far:

X: "Your Phones off the Hook but Your Not."

Interpol: "NYC"

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: "By The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth"

The following mention Brooklyn, but not NYC:

Franz Ferdinand: "Eleanor Put your boots on" (Brooklyn, Greenpoint, Coney Island all get mentioned)

Beastie Boys: "No Sleep til Brooklyn"

Already mentioned, but worthy of mentioning again:

Ace Frehly: "Back in the New York groove"

LCD Soundsystem: "New York I Love You"

Also, although it doesn't mention "New York City" it should be noted that The Mamas and the Papas song, "California Dreaming" was written by them when they lived in NYC and missed California (believe they lived on East 5th street at the time). I've always considered it one of the best anti-NYC song.

Thers said...

Portastatic, "Don't Disappear" -- one of the very, very rare genuinely moving songs about 9/11

And unmentioned so far, Tom Waits, "I'll Take New York," the Sinatra deconstruction.

James said...

Really should have "Marching Bands of Manhattan" by Death Cab For Cutie, too, even without the specific NYC mention.

kodos423 said...

New Amsterdam - EC

Erin said...

"Istanbul (Not Constantinople)", most famously covered by They Might Be Giants (a rare cover for them).

And New York State of Mind is a fantastic song, screw the unhipness of Billy Joel.

Anonymous said...

"I'm going back to New York City I do believe I've had enough."

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues | Bob Dylan

bink said...

Randy Newman: "Hate New York City, it's cold and it's damp; and all the people dressed like monkeys.

bink said...

And not to forget 'Balloon Man' by Robyn Hitchcock.

stefran said...

Living for the City - Stevie Wonder

Anonymous said...

New York's alright (if you like saxaphones)

Anonymous said...

I'll take New York- Tom Waits

tofubo said...

Lou Reed > New York > Romeo Had Juliette

Karin said...

Duh, practically every song on "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea" by PJ Harvey.

The Mess We're In-"Do you hear them, the helicopters, I'm in New York"
Good Fortune-"In Chinatown, hung over"
You Said Something-"In Manhattan, I see 5 bridges, the Empire State Building" and "on a rooftop in Brooklyn".

GuyInMilwaukee said...

No one posted Lead Belly's New York City? wow...

Nina Hagen's great New York, New York.

Do I have to be the one to list Don Henley's NY Minute?

How's about Godley and Creme's "An Englishman In New York" or Sting's crappy version.

GuyInMilwaukee said...

Here's the link to Godley and Creme's version. Gotta love the infinity of the YouTubes.

and Sting

Billie Holiday's "Autumn in New York"

I wanted to find Louis Armstrong's version of "There's a boat that's leavin soon for New York" but all I could find is this one.

..and for a real rare gem.
No New York by Black Eg
(YouTube doesn't go that deep yet.)

Libby Spencer said...

Trying to redeem myself from last night's lame answer. Don't shoot me if these have been taken.

Hey there Delilah, by the White Tshirts

Fountains of Wayne reference NY in Valley Winter Song and sort of obliquely in Little Red Light.

Can't remember if Heartbreaker - rolling stones has been mentioned.

And I'm really said that Detachable Penis doesn't actually mention the word NYC specifically because he shouts out to one my fav breakfast places, The Kiev.

Chuck said...

Soul Coughing loops this great lyric in the background throughout much of the song "The Incumbent":

New York, New York /
I won't go back /
Indelible reminder of the steel I lack /
I gave you seven years /
What did you give me back? /
A jaw-grind, disposistion to a panic attack

JFranklinParnell said...

Roxy Music: "To Turn You On" from 80's make-out album "Avalon"

Is it raining in New York
On Fifth Avenue
And off Broadway after dark
Love the lights, don`t you
I could walk you through the park
If you`re feeling blue
Or whatever

sylvain said...

I think it's sad that no one's mentioned the New York Dolls...


at least...

steve simels said...

Libby Spencer said...
Fountains of Wayne reference NY in Valley Winter Song and sort of obliquely in Little Red Light.


Libby -- I was going to make Valley Winter Song my number one, but somehow when I actually wrote the piece it COMPLETELY SLIPPED MY SENILE MIND!!!!!

This pisses me off!!!

Cole said...

From my fave HS driving cassette:

"New york, new york, 42nd street
Hustlers rustle and pimps pimp the beat.
Monty clift is recognized at dawn
He aint got no shoes...and his clothes are torn"

--Joe Strummer, RIP

drmagoo said...

For completeness - New York Minute, Don Henley

cavjam said...

"Did you go crazy or did you report
on that day they wounded New York"

- Leonard Cohen

ardenscott said...

Wu Tang Clan, "C.R.E.A.M.":

I grew up on the crime side, the New York Times side
Staying alive was no jive

I second (or third) "Fantasy in New York" and add "Thousands are Sailing" as another NY Pogues song without any specific NY mention for purely academic purposes:

In manhattans desert twilight
In the death of afternoon
We stepped hand in hand on broadway
Like the first man on the moon

Anonymous said...

i got the paranoid blues
walking around in new york city...

paranoid blues-- paul simon, 1971

T*Nyce said...

"New York is cold, but I like where I'm living / There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening...." "Famous Blue Raincoat," L. Cohen.

Ditto, natch, the prior nods to the Pogues and They Might Be Giants.

johnny phenothiazine said...

Another TMBG cover, a love song:

cause everyone's my friend in New York City
and everything's so beautiful when you're young and pretty
the streets are paved with diamonds and there's just so much to see
but the best thing about New York City is you and me

Anonymous said...

Dinah Washington, among others:

We'll Take Manhattan
The Bronx, and Staten Island, too
It's lovely going to
The zoo