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See you in Chicago
April 26, 2012 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Chicago has a new tourism anthem. It's pretty incredible.
posted by naju (80 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh dear.
posted by washburn at 11:23 AM on April 26, 2012


I just got done reading Dexter by Design and now I'm wary to click the link.
posted by Malice at 11:23 AM on April 26, 2012


Well, I guess if Enterprise comes back for a 5th season they can hit these guys up for a new theme tune.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on April 26, 2012 [18 favorites]


sounds like a rejected sitcom theme song
posted by idiopath at 11:25 AM on April 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


Wow. That was worse than I expected.
posted by Malice at 11:26 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This one's better! (youtube)
posted by slackdog at 11:27 AM on April 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's not that bad. Maybe a bit cheesey but I've hear worse crap on the radio all the time.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:27 AM on April 26, 2012


Needs more towel of dreams.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:27 AM on April 26, 2012


A lot of great songs have come from Chicago.

This is not one of them. Ooph.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:28 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always liked this one.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:28 AM on April 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Umphrey's McGee are pretty happy with it, and note that they'll be playing it at tonight's HUG Chicago 2012 ‘thank you’ concert.

"HUG Chicago 2012 is the first-ever hospitality industry effort dedicated to the beautification and protection of Chicago's structural assets visible to and accessed by visitors."
posted by filthy light thief at 11:29 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's pretty incredible.

I see what you did there.
posted by sendai sleep master at 11:30 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hopefully one of those videos above is the Sufjan Stevens song.
posted by resurrexit at 11:30 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


It was actually better than I expected after the buildup. Not good of course, but not terrible enough to be laughable. Just ignoreable. There's a bit of a TMGB whine on some of the vocals, and some parts actually reminded me of Jets to Brazil ... all sent through a Goo Goo Dolls filter. :(

Whoa, guitar solo. That must be Guy? I have a short attention span, and I listened to the whole thing.

Buddy Guy - See You In Chicago
posted by mrgrimm at 11:31 AM on April 26, 2012


They forgot to mix in something from the musical Chicago, to round it all out.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:31 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, why can't I get paid to make crap like that?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:32 AM on April 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


You don't know the Right People.
posted by aramaic at 11:34 AM on April 26, 2012


some parts actually reminded me of Jets to Brazil

Blasphemy!
posted by alpinist at 11:35 AM on April 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


I dunno man, I've only spent a week or so in Chicago, but that song doesn't make me think of anything I experienced there. That's like a NY "Friends" type song. Nothing there is evocative of the vibrant feeling of the city, the soaring architecture, the astounding art and public spaces, the river, the docks, the pizza, the astonishingly friendly people...gods I love Chicago. Except for that winter thing.
posted by dejah420 at 11:36 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


idiopath: “sounds like a rejected sitcom theme song”

Yes. As in, the sitcom was rejected. By everyone. Ever.
posted by koeselitz at 11:37 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure Mr. Steven F. Albini composed the best tourism song for Chicago back in 1985.

And as far as tourism songs go, nothing will ever beat these two for Cleveland.
posted by namewithoutwords at 11:37 AM on April 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


I've never heard of these guys before. Do they always suck so hard?

This song sounds like the theme song to a remake of Perfect Strangers.

Even Cousin Balki would agree, though, this song is balls.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:40 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always thought this was Chicago's theme song.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:41 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Has a bespoke song-for-a-city ever been anything but terrible? I work in commercial production and often hire music houses to create a tune. They're earbleedingly awful 96% of the time (either that, or a straight ripoff of something already successful). Truth is, music is frigging HARD. 11 bajillion songs get written every year. 7 of them don't suck.
posted by Pathos Bill at 11:42 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


When it comes to songs and Chicago, the inimitable Soul Coughing weren't quite sure.
posted by namewithoutwords at 11:43 AM on April 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Vaguely reminds me of the theme from WKRP in Cincinnati, which gives me a good feeling. I kinda like it.
posted by jbickers at 11:55 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you bleeped out every instance of the word Chicago in that song, there would be nothing left that was about Chicago in that song.
posted by grog at 11:55 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Good Wife B plot arc ahoy!
Or A plot. Pleasepleaseplease
posted by Bwithh at 11:57 AM on April 26, 2012


Won't you please come to Chicago?
posted by rocket88 at 11:58 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Home sweet home, there's so much more than meets the eye

Should you really start off with an apology for the appearance?
posted by CaseyB at 12:00 PM on April 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh my, no.
posted by LMGM at 12:07 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the intro: until the lyrics kick in it sounds a lot like songs from the original Sonic the Hedgehog games (e.g.). My mind immediately started adding in the dings of rings being collected in the background. Windy City Zone!

If they had to pastiche a Sonic song, this sounds more Chicago-y to me.
posted by painquale at 12:11 PM on April 26, 2012


naju: "Chicago has a new tourism anthem. It's pretty incredible."

Incredible? Really?

Heads to dictionary...

in·cred·i·ble/inˈkredəbəl/
Adjective:

Impossible to believe: "an incredible tale of triumph".
Difficult to believe; extraordinary: "the noise was incredible".

Okay, yes, I was wrong. Totally appropriate word choice.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:15 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


My pal Marah was the one who wrote the linked AV Club article—we spent a good chunk of the morning brainstorming over IM some good Chicago songs by Chicagoans (including the Screeching Weasel one mentioned above) ...

We've decided that The Handsome Family's "The Woman Downstairs" would be a great anthem. It has it all: Hot dogs, Ashland Avenue reference and suicide.

(Also a shout out to the Mekons' "His Bad Dream": ("The Days Inn on Diversey / Is a very nice place to stay / when you're in Chicago / with nothing to do all day")
posted by pfafflin at 12:16 PM on April 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Waxtrax is out of Chicago, right? Just needs an Al Jourgensen remix.
posted by the bricabrac man at 12:28 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Come to Chicago!
posted by Sys Rq at 12:34 PM on April 26, 2012


I know I ALWAYS check a major city's theme song first before even thinking of venturing out. You can never be too safe these days.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:35 PM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Or Tom Waits: Chicago
posted by washburn at 12:35 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've always liked this ditty from back when Andrew Bird was making swing music, even though it never mentions Chicago by name.
posted by theodolite at 12:41 PM on April 26, 2012


Even John Darnielle is all up in this.
posted by pfafflin at 12:46 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's really weird to associate Umphrey's McGee, a band known for its face melting jam rock, with this song. It would be like hearing Clay Aiken rap about Denver.
posted by euphorb at 12:47 PM on April 26, 2012


That Soul Couching song will forever be my own personal Chicago anthem. Well, that and the Superbowl Shuffle. This new one, however, has finally allowed me to emotionally detach from my home town and learn to embrace my adopted city. That's something even the cold, cold Chicago winters couldn't manage.
posted by davejay at 12:50 PM on April 26, 2012


Soul Coughing, that is. Although soul couching does sound relaxing.
posted by davejay at 12:50 PM on April 26, 2012


This is a rapid-fire, let's-get-things-done world we live in today. Much like the TV shows that dominate our consciousness today, Chicago doesn't need a whole theme song--it needs the equivalent of a title card. Bam. Done.
posted by psoas at 12:53 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a rapid-fire, let's-get-things-done world we live in today. Much like the TV shows that dominate our consciousness today, Chicago doesn't need a whole theme song--it needs the equivalent of a title card. Bam. Done.

Is this where I mention that "take off your hat, bitch. Ya baldin bitch" is uttered at least once a day in the theodolite household
posted by theodolite at 12:57 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I heard a little bit of Ghostbusters in there at the beginning...
posted by Kabanos at 1:01 PM on April 26, 2012


Via Chicago by Wilco, but honestly, you have Frank Sinatra singing about Chicago already so what more do you need?
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:03 PM on April 26, 2012


Heck, Sinatra sang two classics about Chicago.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:06 PM on April 26, 2012


I started laughing hysterically at the opening horns, and had to shut the song off as soon as I stopped.
posted by brand-gnu at 1:09 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, it's 7 minutes long, but I smile every time I hear it
posted by pupdog at 1:15 PM on April 26, 2012


The only real Chicago anthem. And the horns in it don't suck.
posted by blucevalo at 1:23 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is always going to be Chicago's theme song for me.

That and the sound of gunshots five blocks over on a hot summer's night.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:26 PM on April 26, 2012


We need to honor our musical heritage. How about something by Wesley Willis?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:34 PM on April 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Home sweet home, there's so much more than meets the eye

With no comparison...don't try!

posted by Jehan at 1:34 PM on April 26, 2012


Somehow this seems completely appropriate for a city with fucking Rahm Emmanuel at the helm.

This song will always be what Chicago sounds like to me.
posted by scody at 1:53 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of my favorites: Mike Doughty, "Drunk on the Train to Chicago" (cover of a Drink Me song.)
posted by me3dia at 1:55 PM on April 26, 2012


"Daddy was a cop... on the East Side of Chicago... back in the U.S.A.... back in the bad old days..."
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:01 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


this is, after all, the city that commissioned a dance in 1999 called the milly.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 2:24 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chicago's New Tourism Anthem Is Bad, Like Every Tourism Anthem Ever
posted by naju at 2:25 PM on April 26, 2012


Just be glad you're not in Baltimore, where we barely dodged this gem from the nineties' worst Kate Bush impersonator.
posted by sonascope at 2:33 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, there are worse ways to welcome tourists. On the other hand, this could be resurrected as our new motto under Rahm.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:47 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this a good chicago song?
posted by kuatto at 3:01 PM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Buddy Guy already recorded a perfectly serviceable version of "Sweet Home Chicago", which was further popularized by the Blues Brothers, and they chose this? Couldn't they have taken out the boozing and wife-beating out of the lyrics and made it tourist-friendly?

It's sort of like picking Master Shake's Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary when you have the Happy Birthday song.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:30 PM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh man, it sounds like a free instructional-VHS-tape theme song -- which it nearly is, I suppose.

I did hear a new promotional jingle for San Diego that I quite liked, though. (NSFW)
posted by Countess Elena at 3:57 PM on April 26, 2012


Was this funded by tax-payer money?
posted by Flood at 3:59 PM on April 26, 2012


Made it to exactly :35. Must clean up my shirt front now.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 4:17 PM on April 26, 2012


The Paul Butterfield Blues Band has a cool one.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:27 PM on April 26, 2012


The Empty Bottle's take: "The new song we play to clear the room at bar close has arrived! Infinite yikes-vomit."
posted by naju at 5:11 PM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's not that bad. Maybe a bit cheesey but I've hear worse crap on the radio all the time.

You're forced to listen to WXRT at work, too?
posted by HumuloneRanger at 5:19 PM on April 26, 2012


Umphrey's McGee is my favorite band - seen them a dozen times or so, been obsessed with their live show for some time. Umphrey's is a PROG ROCK band. They dabble in heavy metal, hippie trance, jazz, southern rock and everything in between. They are best known for their unbelievable ability to cover almost any song perfectly. The guitar duo of Jake Cinninger and Brendon Bayliss is second to none - they are the most proficient pair of guitarist out there at the moment. Jake is the guitar God of the group. Yes, their name is stupid, but hot damn, these are some of the best players in rock right now. Here is a recent cover version of Chigago's 25 or 6 to 4 for a better introduction to this band
posted by weezy at 5:23 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


..Having said all that above, I think the tourism song is bad. Really bad.
posted by weezy at 5:32 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's I'm outta here!
posted by pianomover at 5:41 PM on April 26, 2012


I've always been partial to the theme song that Chicagoland's Smoking Popes wrote for my hometown [lyrics]. It is a tourism song, although not in the way that you think.
posted by dhartung at 7:02 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


See, weezy, Umphrey's McGee should have gone with this song for their offering... works on several different levels.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:30 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has anyone mentioned the Blues Bros' "Sweet Home Chicago" yet?
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 7:37 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


all things blow, all things blow
posted by threeants at 9:41 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a lot of great suggestions here, but I think Goodman's Lincoln Park Pirates is the most accurate theme for Chicago.
posted by ztdavis at 9:59 PM on April 26, 2012


Yes Chicago - A town you should be ready to leave and go to Milwaukee where I'm sure you'll be well met.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:20 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The dream of the 90s... The inoffensive, forgettable, mainstream 90s, is alive in tourism bureaus everywhere, apparently...
posted by Skwirl at 7:25 AM on April 27, 2012


It could be worse. My city made a similar mistake, but with cornier and more off-base results. The song: "London is the City of Opportunity." Note that this atrocity was created shortly after a plant locked out 450 employees and moved south... and we had already held the title for Canada's highest unemployment rate. "Imagine a city where dreams can come true..."
posted by to recite so charmingly at 6:30 PM on April 27, 2012


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