How Would They Feel About This Modern City Life: The 52 State Pick-Up Mix, Part 8
We’ve come so far in this roadtrip mixtape but we’re not done yet! I started with Vermont and Massachusetts, went down to the Deep South of Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, came up through the mountains and rivers of the Carolinas, West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, stopped to remix New York, California, Virginia, Tennessee, and Arizona, dropped back down into the Great Plains for Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Iowa, headed west to find the Dakotas, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, then took a tour of the midwest with Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
So, most weeks I’ve arranged by region (with the exception of the hip-hop section), but today I put all the “new” states together: New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii. This mix also features a couple dedications to Fry Butter commenters. This first song and state goes out to thepants!
Some DJs plan out their whole set ahead of time, others never plan a thing. I’m about 2/3 the latter, I like to let the sets to be organic to the energy of the moment, but sometimes my editor self wishes I could get a re-do, for when the great idea comes AFTER the moment. In this case, I would probably have put Ludacris’s Georgia song in to the hip-hop set and taken out Arrested Development, instead giving the state of Tennessee to Johnny Cash for Tennessee Stud. But, I didn’t. And I can’t have an American mix with no Johnny Cash. So, with apologies to thepants (that Jill Sobule song is good too!), but hey, the up-side is that the Land of Enchantment (yes, that’s their slogan!) gets Johnny Cash.
No, that’s not Bruce Springsteen’s version. Yes, his is more famous and it seems like a Springsteen tune, but it’s not, it was written by the brilliant dark scamp Mr. Waits about his wife in New Jersey. There are actually a good number of Garden State songs that sing the praises (or simply acknowledges) the stereotypes of Jersey girls, but I like this one for not having that. I got no problem with big hair, I’ve just witnessed north v. south jersey fights and I want no part of it. Let’s just instead all marvel that Tom Waits put “sha-la-la” in a song and sells it.
The Granite State needs a ROCK SONG. Luckily they have one with the band Scissorfight who reps the state as well as ____core (I am afraid to fill in the blank and get it wrong) music. Obviously this is not my genre of expertise, but I can still appreciate some loud crunchy guitars and heavy metal drumming at times. I had no idea that the state was so rough! And the pairing of picturesque New Hampshire scenery cracks me up while he name checks all the places he’s gotten stitches, assault charges and put steel-toed boots up someone’s a$$. I dedicate this song to Amy Nicole Miller, because they named their band after her favorite lesbian sex act.
“I’m on the road to Alaska, no it ain’t Nebraska, but I’m sure if I don’t ask her she’ll know”. I know, I know, it hardly mentions anything specific about The Last Frontier, there’s no talk of snow or moose or oil, in fact it’s primarily just picked for the word play aspect. But this song is my jam! And I want to drive to Alaska just so I can put this on a list and hear it every hour! I wish there was a better video to go with it, Robin seems to be having a hard time hearing himself while singing, but Barry shows off his rock and roll skills on the electric guitar, as well as his Pantene-worthy hair.
Hawaii is our newest state, the 50th, and the birthplace of our current president, so perhaps sometime in the future, us here on the mainland might get educated on the the Aloha State beyond just simply the term “aloha” (or Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii….or as the set of LOST). This song Hawaii ’78, about sadness for how ancestors would perceive the current situation in Hawaii, was made famous by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole aka Bruddah Iz, whose voice you’ve probably heard in various movies and TV projects, including his version of Over the Rainbow which blew up in the 90s. Sadly, his great voice and inventive ukulele are gone, he died in 1997, before getting a chance to see the explosion of ukulele covers on youtube that he helped inspire. This song goes out to Kawika – I hope I did right by Hawaii.
What songs did I miss? Are there other re-dos I should consider before I get all the way to the end?