Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The 50 States: Kentucky

Hey kids -- Back from the super-long weekend with a post about Kentucky. It wasn't so much that I was being lazy (that did contribute), it was rather that Kentucky is a very musically inspired state and there was too many choices for me to sift through. This may not be a complete list of songs, but it is one that I spent far too much time on for you thievin' bastages!

The in-line mp3 player is gone -- so it's a sad day. What I am going to do for those of you that want to listen to this post without downloading it is offer podcast feeds on the left side of your screen. If you click on the +podNova button then you can listen to this entire feed through a player of your choice (or a flash player) without having to manually download all the songs. Check it out, it's pretty cool.

Now -- onward towards Kentucky.

Kentucky was made a state in 1792. It's been sitting down there representin' the BACKBONE of southern culture for a loong, long time. In that time it has given us things like the kentucky derby, cheeseburgers, corvettes, the first commercial oil well, KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN, Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, a wet Christian County and a dry Bourbon County (oh, the irony!), the birthday song, post-it-notes, bluegrass, the unveiling of the electric light bulb, the radio, fort knox gold warehousing, and millions of stereotypical toothless, truck drivin', wife beatin', beer drinking' rednecks (or is that milwaukee I'm thinking of?).

People from Kentucky include Muhammed Ali, Crystal Gayle, her sister Loretta Lynn, Casey Jones, Bill Monroe, Diane Sawyer, and the great great great Hunter S Thompson.

We love you Kentucky!
Thanks again to everyone that submitted ideas in the comments for the last state. They were very much appreciated! If any of you anonymous contributors have blogs or websites you'd like linked -- feel free to make sure it's on your blogger account, otherwise I can't spread the love across my vast and deep collection of fans. Keep it up below -- drop some Lousiana love in the comments.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A Soundtrack for my Weekend

Hey kiddies -- I'll be back on Monday or Tuesday with Kentucky for the 50-states, but until then I'm going to pack in as much drinking and socializing as possible. I didn't want to think about all of my loyal fans hanging out this weekend with nothing to do so I assembled a little weekend mix. This CD is probably (for better or for worse) pretty much sum up my entire weekend. If I could stretch it out to fill 48 hours, I could really create the mood -- but I'll have to settle for an entire weekend in a 1-hour span. Because of that, you too, fair reader, will have to settle for my entire weekend in an hour.

The only thing I've left out is what's sure to be the highlight -- the new Sopranos on Sunday night. Just butt the end of this mix up with that infectious A3 tune and you'll be gravy, jack. I've also done something new and that is compile the entire mix, ready to burn, in one handy zip-file. HUZZAH!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

You Guys are the Tops, Man!

So I just wanted to gloat here for a second. Every other blog on earth must have failed to update today because I've reached tops on The Hype Machine.

If you don't already use the Hype Machine it's a fantastic site to keep track of mp3 blogs. I use it every day to sync blogs to podcasts in my J-River Media Center, to search for freshly leaked tracks, and to truly decide if I should make a post on a "new" artist -- if I do a search for them and find 200 posts from 3 months ago, then I just decide that i'm late to the bandwagon. If I do a search for lets see .... new Grandaddy tracks... or The Infadels ... and I see that nobody has covered them yet, then I feel like I am the king shit and I post the hell out of those things and then gloat when I see the traffic spike provide a STNNING confirmation my already overinflated ego. Basically this whole site is just an excuse for me to have a fanclub, and you fans have made me proud today.

I'll try and keep up my end of the bargain, if ya'll keep coming back. Here's a couple of new remastered Billy Bragg tracks just so you guys can feel the love that I'm beaming right outta my zig-zag smile.

Love yas,


The 50 States: Kansas

// insert some beautiful picture of kansas here, because blogger sure as hell isn't going to cooperate with my desire to make one appear //

Kansas is the heartland. A steady batch of corn and wheat whizzing past our rock-filled bus' windows. Kansas, you have lawrence. Lawrence, one of the coolest college-towns in the country. The town that seems small but draws national bands on a nightly basis. The town that is all coeds and fast-food. I like lawrence.

Kansas has given this country such great things as the nations biggest ball of twine, Amelia Earhardt, Dwight D Eisenhower, nations largest concentration of wild grouse, wheat, wheat, more wheat, Pizza Hut, Fatty Arbuckle, Bob Dole, Dennis Hopper, Stan Kenton, Barry Sanders, oh yeah, and tornadoes.

Kansas -- you seem to be confused as to where Kansas City stops and Missouri begins. Because of that, I am going to assume that all songs about Kansas City are about Kansas City, KS. Actually -- if I were smarter I would assume that they were about Kansas City, MO since that is the bigger more metropolitan part, but I'm not smarter and it's a lot easier to include these songs with Kansas. Plus -- who really cares.

Next up is Kentucky, so you want to drop some science in the comments about Kentucky, I'll do my best to include it in my next post. WORD!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The 50 States: Iowa

Iowa you low, fat, agricultural beast. I drive through you constantly to get to Kansas. Your roads are straight (except for the most crooked one in the country -- pictured), your balance is strong, and you have a very odd method of influencing your might on presidential elections. I don't dislike you, Iowa.

You've given us the likes of the worlds largest strawberry, covered bridges, the worlds shortest and steepest railroad, quaker oats, a sprint car museum, Herbert Hoover, John Wayne, Glenn Miller, Winnebagos, Johnny Carson, Buffalo Bill, George Gallup, Ann Landers, and Slipknot!

We love you, Iowa.

Stick with me here, these next 3 get a little \../ and try and shake that iowa sound.
So the next songs are probably about somewhere in the UK. Doesn't matter -- let's assume they're about waterloo, ia because that fits my theme much, much better!
Next up, Kiddies, is Kansas. Drop me some Kansas love in the comments if ya'll feeling spectacular.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The 50 States: Indiana

This locomotive of rock and roll continues to steam across the nation and the next stop is, Indiana.

Indiana, I wanted to comment that I felt like you had lots of interstates. I didn't want to upset your great citizens and it's true -- the only times I've visited indiana is on my way to somewhere else -- but you actually do have more miles of interstate than any other state!. You have also given us such great things as the Indy 500, the beginning of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the P47 fighter plane, Raggedy Anne, the first professional baseball game, James Dean, David Letterman, the only rotary jail in the US, top-quality limestone, studebakers, Van Camps Pork and Beans, a John Dillinger prison escape, the Gatling gun, the center of the underground railroad, Larry Bird, Bill Blass, Jimmy Hoffa, Michael Jackson, Shelley Long, Cole Porter, Kurt Vonnegut, and Wilbur Wright.

I'll also go ahead and say something that actually may piss some people off. Gary is actually the scariest, shittiest city that I think I have ever been to. I never feel safe there. Despite that, we still love you, Indiana!

Next up we have Iowa, so go ahead and contribute some songs in the comments if ya'll feelin' it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The 50 States: Illinois

Oh Illinois -- noble displayer of cornfields and silos. You put the heart in heartland, and the plain in plains. Drive east and you'll find the silos keep getting bigger and bigger until they are skyscrapers. Stop before the lake and you're in for a treat. Chicago is a city of the world, one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited and I still make nearly monthly trips. I am in awe of your public library, your giant chrome jelly bean, and the Sears Tower. You're also the only place in the US I have ever been that has a 4am bartime, and for that -- well for that, I salut you!

Illinois, you have such distinguishing features as the worlds first aquarium, the worlds first skyscraper, the tallest building in north america, Metropolis, you were the first state to ratify the 13th amendment, McDonalds, Ronald Reagan, a huge fire, Abraham Lincoln, the ice cream sundae, worlds first silo, countries highest percentage of personalized license plates, the largest public library, Jane Addams, Gillian Anderson, my grandparents, Jack Benny, Ray Bradbury, Jennie Garth, Cindy Crawford, Richard Daley, Miles Davis, Walt Disney, Harrison Ford, Benny Goodman, Dorothy Hamil, Ernest Hemingway, Charlton Heston, Wild Bill, Rock Hudson, James Jones, Quincy Jones, David Mamet, Bill Murray, Bob Newhardt, Richard Pryor, Sam Shepard, Raquel Welch, Wilco, Andrew Bird, The Smashing Pumpkins, and and and, and the Oreo factory. Oh yeah, and you crazy micks in Chicago are going to dye the freakin' river green this weekend!
So -- next up is Indiana -- if you have any ideas of songs about indiana, drop them in the comments.

Later, kids!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The 50 States: Idaho

So we continue our slow trundle across the plains, mountains, rivers, and streams of this great nation. We've put some controversy behind us (in my Hawaii post I mistakenly referred to a Dutch group as a German group, I don't really care but I made some people upset). We've gained some readers, and several other blogs have given us some great lovin' and fueled my fire for continuing this project. So without further ado: Idaho.

A girl I once knew was driving through the middle of nowhere Idaho with her parents during their spring break, family outing. A bullet came through the door and went into her leg and she almost died of blood loss. That's the only person I know that has ever been to Idaho.

Idaho, you were admitted as a state in 1890. It is still illegal to give someone from Idaho a box of candy weighing more than 50 lbs. Also, your contributions have been slight -- you have given us potatoes, Gutzon Borglum, Harmon Killebrew, Ezra Pound, and Picabo Street.

Never the less -- we love you, Idaho.
So next up will be Illinois. You can be certain that Sufjan will be represented, but if you have any other suggestions that I might miss -- feel free to chip into the comments on this post.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Motorcycle Songs

So this post is a mixed blessing. Today we received around a foot of snow and I snowboarded all day. It's bitter, however, because it means at least another few weeks before the motorcycle season starts. That sort of bums me out, so I'll have to drown my sorrows in sweet sweet Jim Beam and motorcycle songs.

Also -- it's just a really good excuse to post my current favorite bands motorcycle song. The guy in Baptist Generals plays the guitar the way it should be played -- like a drum. Fuck yes.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The 50 States: Hawaii

Next up on our tour is sweet sweet Hawaii. Hawaii, you thief of hearts. You are the volcanic topping on a paradise sundae, the ultimate honeymoon destination for crusteceans, coral, and the jet setting japanese. You have a language that is a completely mystery to me, and a joyous mystery at that -- a conundrum of beautiful consonants and diabolical punctuation. I bet you are warm right now, and I bet since it's the ides of March that many of my millions of readers are headed for your basaltic embrace -- to put their feet onto your warm sand and thaw their bones of the cold and misery that is a midwest winter.

Hawaii, you were scooped up in 1959 by the good ole' US of A. You give us all pineapples, and you're the only US state to grow coffee. Honolulu is geographically the largest city in the world, and hawaii overall is wider than any other state including AK and TX. You've given us such things as Hawaiian Standard Time, worlds largest wind generator, macadamia nuts, the only royale palace in the United States, and the worlds biggest telescope.

We love you, Hawaii. You have LOADS of good songs about you, here's a handful.

Also kiddies, thanks for all the comments on the Georgia post. Next up is Idaho -- so if you think there is some songs about Idaho that I'll overlook (and yes... I'm aware of built to spill) then feel free to drop it in the comments below.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New Music: Cameron McGill

Somehow just stumbled upon this guys website. He's everything I hate -- talented, clever, good-looking, and stylish. Unfortunately I can't get away that easy because he's also insanely talented. Think Tom Waits playing piano and throwing dirt at Ryan Adams who is doing his best Buckley (either one, really) impersonation.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The 50 States: Georgia

Hey kids -- it's another week and I'm up bright and early to bring you the grande state of Georgia.

Georgia, I visited you once and you thoroughly reminded me of that old ladies house in Great Expectations. You struck me as once grand, once dignified, once a beacon of southern money -- but now eroded, blown, struck, toppled, and decayed into dust. Your plantation manors and civil war remnants are now their own special kind of beautiful -- though only relics of what once was, they offer a striking and vibrant example of the leftovers of industrialization. Today, Atlanta is one of Americas landmark cities -- ripe with culture, class, and Ludacris.

Georgia, you became a state in 1788. You are the nations number one producer of peanuts, peaches, and peacans. You can appreciate fried chicken, and in Gainesville you outlawed eating chicken with a fork. You have also given us such great things as Vidalia onions, the Masters golf tournament, Coca-Cola, the bloodiest battle in American history (Chickamuga), the worlds largest sculpture, Jimmy Carter, the first state university, Ray Charles, Ty Cobb, Lawrence Fishburne, Amy Grant, Oliver Hardy, Hulk Hogan, Doc Holliday, Martin Luther King, Jr, Gladys Night, Blind Willie McTell, Otis Redding, Burt Reynolds, Little Richard, Jackie Robinson, Ray Stevens, Clarence Thomas, Travis Tritt, and Trisha Yearwood. Oh yeah, and Outkast.

You've also got about eleventy billion songs about you. I decided to stop after I found 50 (ok, maybe only 49) good ones.

One more idea, kids: in the last post the comments section started overflowing with suggestions on songs that I missed for Florida -- that's ok -- that's good, actually -- but in addition to recomending me songs about Georgia in these comments (and no doubt, I missed a couple hundred good ones) lets use this space to recommend me songs I may overlook for my upcoming post on Hawaii.

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