Birthday present for laliandra! Because I know she likes FSTs and playlists, so I made her one based around a song that she gave me.
A playlist of City music! City music is: about cities; played in cities; evocative of cities; has 'City' in the title; is excellent commuting and street-strutting music all around, basically. (DL)
o1. City - Patrick Wolf: a song that Lal herself gave to me!
"Don't let this city destroy our love"
o2. LDN - Lily Allen: Hidden lives and petty crime! Yay cities.
"Everything seems to look as it should but I wonder what goes on behind doors"
o3. ABCs - K'naan: Because Mogadishu is an entirely different kind of city.
"Superman is known by the locals, as this dude who's so fly it's global"
o4. Life in the City - Michael Franti & Spearhead: cities are places for uncertainty (you could be killed by a taxi AT ANY MINUTE), but thankfully also places for living loudly and colourfully.
"Ay yi yi put your hands up high, cause you never know how long you gonna live 'till you die, that's life in the city"
o5. Everyday People - Sly & The Family Stone: featured in the opening scene of Definitely Maybe, a song that Ryan Reynolds (Perfect Person) narrates is "just one of those songs that absolutely fits a time and a place and an afternoon of walking through New York" (and almost getting run over).
"The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then makes no difference what group I'm in [...] we got to live together"
o6. We Used to Wait - Arcade Fire: it is a rule that all playlists (especially hipster playlists) must contain at least one (1) Arcade Fire Song. This one was used on that really cool app that would create a music video in whatever neighbourhood you wanted using images from Google StreetView, which is why in my head there are people running through city streets in it. (Plus it's from an album called The Suburbs, so. Layers!)
"I used to sleep at night before the flashing lights settled deep in my brain"
o7. Suffragette City - David Bowie: David Bowie is now inseparable in my mind from the Queen Bitchfest AI8 fic festival that produced the most HQ fic I've seen from anything similar, but here! Have this. (Also: "wham bam, thank you ma'am" AHEM)
o8. Ya Ya (Al Stone Remix) - The Empty Heads: from the Take the Lead soundtrack. Cities are crazy busy oh wow fast what just happened I have 8 things to go to tonight what's the bus schedule out of my way oh ew what is that taxi! oh hi Sharon yeah I'll call them tonight do you know a good taco place SO FAST and awesome. And so is this song.
o9. Hot Child in the City - Nick Glider: this song reminds me of a fake music video that Rick Mercer (the Canadian Jon Stewart) did for octagenarian Missassauga Mayor Hazel McCallion (mayor for 31 years of a debt-free city), who is an amazing lady who expressed regret that she'd "never been in a music video."
1o. Crabbukit - k-os: a song about reconciling your success with friends who are jealous, but also set in Toronto and very evocative of the city.
"Walking down Yonge Street on a Friday, can't follow them gotta do it my way"
11. The City - Darwin Deez: this isn't this group's best song, but it IS about cities (and how they sometimes suck), and therefore qualifies.
"the city is a stop sign"
12. Plastic Jungle - Miike Snow: this is a the-streets-are-dark song, a clubbing song, a prowling song. ROWR.
"It hurts too much to breathe all alone in this plastic jungle [...] sometimes I wanna get slain"
13. City of Blinding Lights - U2: I make a habit of putting this song on whenever I'm coming into an airport at night; it's a beautiful away to arrive in a city, either home or a new one, with everything all lit up and laid out underneath you."
"Neon heart day glow eyes, city lit by fireflies"
14. Good Life - OneRepublic: when I took the overnight bus to New York this summer, this came on as I woke up and the bus was pulling through Jersey. I kept it on repeat to go underneath the turnpike and surface by Port Authority. It's about London (and other cities too), but now my brain thinks it's for arriving in New York at 7am excited and breathless.
"I say oh got this feeling that you can't fight like this city is on fire tonight, this has gotta be a good life"
15. This Time - Jonathan Rhys-Myers: from the August Rush soundtrack, about once-in-a-lifetime city meetings that you remember.
"the neon lights and bars, the headlights from the cars started a symphony surrounding me"
16. New York Minute - Don Henley and the Eagles: this song was "just something my dad likes" to me until it was in a West Wing episode. I won't spoil the episode for you, but it's incredibly emotional and fits the situation beautifully. And so another switcheroo - a song about New York that makes me think of Washington and Sam Seaborne.
"Somebody's going to emergency - somebody's going to jail"
17. My City of Ruins - Bruce Springsteen: he wrote this for Ashbury Park in NJ, but rewrote it for New York post-9/11. This album (The Rising) was very anthemic and full of post-9/11 confusion, hurt, and rising back up from ashes, and this song is the mourning balance to a lot of the more defiant songs. And Bruce, in typical Bruce fashion, is incredibly poetic and beautiful in writing and singing it.
"The church door's blown open, I can hear the organ's song, but the congregation's gone"
18. We're All In The Dance - Feist: from Paris Je T'aime (and therefore written for Paris) - I like cities because they're full of little neighbourhoods and families and everyone's doing their own thing and living their own little lives and tragedies but they're all together LOOK I'M BEING PHILOSOPHICAL IN ALBUM NOTES.
"we all go 'round and 'round, partners are lots and found"
19. I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers
"Brooklyn, Brooklyn, take me in"
2o. Summer in the City - Regina Spektor: city summers are sweltering, hot, stifling, horrific, and slow. Ugh.
"summer in the city means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage"
21. Dance Me To The End of Love - Madeleine Peyroux: my boss put this album on in her Brooklyn apartment when I visited her there, so all of the songs remind me of New York, but this is a lovely sultry song for indoor city evenings in apartments with red carpets, n'est-ce pas?
"Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon"
22. Never a dull moment on the NYC subway: this is a Youtube rip of an impromptu subway performance between two people carrying instruments who had never met before. CITIES, my friend. Cities <3
23. Jane - Barenaked Ladies: they wrote this song because the intersection of Jane and St Clair sounds like it would the most beautiful block in a city, but the reality in Toronto? Not so much.
"The girl works at the door sweet Jane St Clair, still dazzled by her smile while I shoplift there"
24. Pata Pata - Miriam Makeba
"Pata Pata is the name of a dance we do down Johannesburg way"
25. Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z: yeah, I had to do it
"these streets will make you feel brand new, these lights will inspire you"
25. You Can't Always Get What You Want - the Rolling Stones
...but if you try sometimes, you get what you need. (Though really, if it's a city and you want crepes at 2am, you can probably always get those too.)
Happy birfday, Lal! Enjoy your many cities :)