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Soundtrack of the city
March 31, 2003 9:30 PM   Subscribe

Dave Bidini, of the Rheostatics, lists fifty songs that remind him of Toronto. In the spirit of this thread, if your city had a soundtrack, what would it be? [via Boing Boing]
posted by arto (26 comments total)

 
doing the uganda stomp
bomp idi bomp
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:35 PM on March 31, 2003


My city has a soundtrack.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:40 PM on March 31, 2003


Lisbon.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:57 PM on March 31, 2003


Given that Dave B. didn't actually plug his own band on his list, a couple of his songs definitely describe the Calgary mindstate: These Days Are Good For The Canadian Conservative Youth Coalition (even though it namedrops Edmonton, not Calgary) and "We Went West" (which, when they performed it at the Calgary Folk Fest a couple of years ago, got more applause for the lines about driving to BC than the ones about performing in Calgary--a very Cowtown moment, if ever there was one.)
posted by arto at 9:58 PM on March 31, 2003


Portland has Light Rail Coyote by Sleater-Kinney, that's pretty cool...
posted by Cowboy_X at 10:03 PM on March 31, 2003


My city's soundtrack, at least that's what it was in the 70's. It's a lot different now.

I drive around the eastern half of the country a lot, and one thing that surprises me is how much better songs sound when I'm in the area that the musician is from. (The best example I can think of is driving on I-90 between Rochester and Buffalo while listening to Ani Difranco.)

That said, it's interesting to me that sometimes people (myself included) can put such a deep connection between a song and a place that would otherwise have no noticeable connection to anybody else.
posted by dogwalker at 10:10 PM on March 31, 2003


There's a lot of music that makes me think of Philadelphia... Anything by G Love and Special Sauce, Summertime by Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince, I dunno... I always loved that in Philadelphia there's actually good radio. 88.5 WXPN, 91.7 WKDU, 90.9 WXPN, 103.3 WPRB.... So much non-commercial radio, it's a good thing.
posted by mosch at 10:28 PM on March 31, 2003


Thanks for the link. I would add the following.

Shuffle Demons - Spadina Bus: If you lived in TO and rode the Spadina bus you just know why.
Molly Johnson and Alta Moda – Julian: Her first hit. Her voice always brings back memories of Blue Mondays at the Cameron House
Police – Roxanne: Just ‘cause I saw them every time they played TO
Leonard Cohen - So long Marianne: The soundtrack to a love affair with a sloe eyed, dark haired lovely in a dumpy east Toronto hotel/apartment once occupied by Ernest Hemingway
Pursuit of Happiness – I’m an Adult Now: Moe Burg! Coolest Nerd Ever! And a great Toronto video shot across from my old apartment.
posted by arse_hat at 11:01 PM on March 31, 2003


"I'd sure look like a fool, dead in a ditch somewhere with a mind full of chemicals like some cheese-eating high school boy."

- 'I'm An Adult Now,' Moe Berg

Classic.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:07 PM on March 31, 2003


"And I guess it won't be long, Till I'm sitting in a room with a bunch of people whose necks and backs are aching"

- 'I'm An Adult Now,' Moe Berg

Sounds like my weekend :(
posted by arse_hat at 11:12 PM on March 31, 2003


"I don't write songs about girls anymore
I have to write songs about women
No more boy meets girl boy loses girl
More like man tries to figure out what the hell went wrong" - yet more "I'm An Adult Now"

Wow...what memories this article dredged up. Thanks arto, I'm not living in Toronto just now and this made me really homesick and nostalgic. Weird how most "soundtrack" music seems to come from ones' youth.

Even though I can think of more modern music, what first springs to mind as real Toronto soundtrack music for me is the truly ancient Vital Sines' "Collage" ("coll-UH-hodge") and Blue Peter's "Radio Silence" and "Don't Walk Past" (which at the time had one of the best videos by any local band). And of course all the music of my friends' bands (my underaged self snuck into clubs or offered to drive the band around and help set up so as to get in before they started checking ID at the door - The Horseshoe, The Beverly, The Cabana Room, The Rivoli and others...it doesn't seem like nearly twenty years ago).
posted by biscotti at 12:19 AM on April 1, 2003


wow he included "pat's decline"... that's really personal as i suppose not many people would know pat or truly understand the song. that's swept me right back to early 80's st. joseph's street, 4am weekends, watching that strange decline up close and personal. thanks dave, it's going to take the rest of the freaking morning to get my good mood back.
posted by t r a c y at 5:10 AM on April 1, 2003


"Love Kills" by Radio Birdman, because it mentions a stretch of road that I drive daily.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:32 AM on April 1, 2003


Then there's the group Toronto which hails, naturally enough, from Toronto. They had two hits, but I only remember "Your Daddy Don't Know". I think something by April Wine and Gino Vanelli should be included in this list, but maybe that should be for a different soundtrack?
posted by ashbury at 7:35 AM on April 1, 2003


I recently realized that Rush's "Lakeside Park" is actually about Port Dalhousie. I'd always thought it was about Toronto--I'm really not a Rush fan--so now when I hear that tune it makes me think of St. Catharines...

And if you're going to include Murray McLauchlan, "Down By The Henry Moore" is a bit more evocative:
I walked down to Kensington Market
Bought me a fish to fry
I went to the Silver Dollar
Looked a stranger in the eye

posted by xiffix at 8:05 AM on April 1, 2003


I live the last ghetto town on the peninsula in the Bay Area, and every time I walk down the street I'm thinking "White Man In Hammersmith Palais".

But hey, houses are cheap here.
posted by padraigin at 10:33 AM on April 1, 2003


From All Girl Summer Fun Band and Beat Happening to Some Velvet Sidewalk and Yume Bitsu, Olympia has it's own soundtrack already.

cowboy x: if you're gonna steal sleater-kinney from olympia, i'm stealing agsfb from portland!
posted by car_bomb at 10:37 AM on April 1, 2003


The first Violent Femmes record pretty much sums up life as a male in Milwaukee.

The Promise Ring name check some streets I live near.
posted by drezdn at 6:15 PM on April 1, 2003


xiffix: Neil Peart went to high school at Lakeport in St. Catharines, hence songs about Port. How is St. Kitt's these days?
posted by mzanatta at 7:13 PM on April 1, 2003


Those who have heard 'Montreal' by Autechre know that it captures something of the cool sexiness of that city.
posted by nasim at 7:23 PM on April 1, 2003


While I've resided at the Hotel California for the last three years, I still hear London Calling.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:33 PM on April 1, 2003


Too many to list here, from Frank Sinatra to Lou Reed. But let me just remind you that everyone's your friend in New York City...
posted by Vidiot at 3:18 AM on April 2, 2003


"Charlie on the MTA" is wicked dated, but it's stil the best well-known song about Boston. Jonathan Richman's "Government Center" is even better, but it's a little obscure.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:51 AM on April 2, 2003


vidiot: great choice!!! best song ever.
"the best thing about new york city is...you and me"
posted by car_bomb at 11:38 AM on April 2, 2003


Indeed. Telling that the band was from Vancouver, no?

and Mayor Curley: Have you heard "I Want My City Back" by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones? Best thing by far on their new album.
posted by Vidiot at 1:53 PM on April 2, 2003


What's this, Mr Bidini? No Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet at all?

Not even "Having an Average Weekend"?
posted by Tomatillo at 11:33 PM on April 2, 2003


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