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This afternoon’s installment in our guest playlist extravaganza comes from the 33 1/3 series’ mastermind, David Barker. David, a UK native with a PhD in English from Newcastle University, is U.S. Editorial Director at Continuum Books in New York. He conceived and launched the 33 1/3 series in 2003. (Here’s a 2005 interview conducted by Daphne Carr, who six years later is the author of the series volume on Nine Inch Nails.) Cyrus and I owe David a special debt for accepting our proposals and keeping our volumes on track. Thanks, too, for participating in this playlist series.

Five NYC Songs

1. Caitlin Rose: “New York”

I’m not sure that this live version quite does the song justice, but it’s a brilliant portrayal of how one’s first visit to NYC at a tender age (or any age?) can have a huge impact: “Tennessee, when I get home / You just better leave me alone / Don’t try to claim me as your own / I’m not the girl I used to be…”

2. Fannypack: “Seven One Eight”

I have a horrible feeling that Fannypack were/are some kind of post-ironic Park Slope hipster joke band (and I can’t be bothered to look it up, obviously). But I’ve loved this song since it came out a few years ago, and the nonsensical way that it encapsulates a certain way of being young, dumb, and carefree in NYC.

3. Harry Nilsson: “I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City”

My Dad was a huge Nilsson fan when I was growing up in suburban England in the 70s. This song is gorgeous, wistful, aspirational, and lovely.

4. The Fleshtones: “Destination Greenpoint”

How does it feel to be part of a legendary NYC scene, and then basically forgotten about, 30 years later? You have to read Joe Bonomo’s fabulous book to find out, but this relatively recent song sounds like a bunch of middle-aged guys still in love with the city after all that time, and putting their peers to shame.

5. The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl: “Fairytale of New York”

Preposterous, really, that this song was prevented from being the UK’s Christmas Number One in 1987, by the Pets Shop Boys’ cover of “Always on My Mind.” It’s a work of singular genius, encapsulating so much of what visitors think/feel/believe about New York City, and it never fails to make me cry when they play it on every single Virgin Atlantic flight from the UK to NYC in the month of December.

What’s on your NYC playlist?

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This week, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we continue our series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. (Check back late afternoons: we’ll probably be posting two a day.) Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s playlist comes from Daphne Brooks, who teaches in Princeton’s English Department and Center for African American Studies. Her books include Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 and the 33 1/3 volume on Jeff Buckley’s Grace, which she treats not only as an inroad to the East Village in the 80s and early 90s, but also as a window onto the long history of race and popular music in America. She’s also a teacher and member of the board of directors at the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls.

Daphne’s NYC top 5:

Mamie Smith, “Crazy Blues” (1920):

James Brown, “I Found Someone to Love Me,” Live at the Apollo (1963):

TV on the Radio, “Wolf Like Me” from Return to Cookie Mountain (2006):

Jeff Buckley, “So Real” from Grace (1994):

Santogold, “I’m A Lady” from Santogold (2008):

[Daphne writes: “hoping this one was recorded in NYC/Brooklyn. Santi’s originally from Philly but has been based in Brooklyn for some time. A very Brooklyn record to me.”]

What’s on your NYC playlist?

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This afternoon’s installment in our NYC playlist marathon comes from Eric E., aka Esquared, long-time denizen of the downtown blogosphere and virtual friend of PWHNY who describes himself as “a gentrified new yorker who’s finally appreciating the past, and slowly appreciating the present, and hopefully the future of nyc.” You can follow him on Tumblr or @cire_e on Twitter.

Eric describes his selections as “not necessarily my favorites, but some ‘modern’ ones, i.e. 90’s to early aughts, and mostly britpop”:

Around the empire state, I saw the angels fly
~“empire state halo,” echo and the bunnymen

Got into town on a Saturday night, With a Fender guitar and I checked out the sights, And I drank my way down to the Lower East Side
~ “new york, new york, 10009,” black 47

I had seven faces Thought I knew which one to wear, But I’m sick of spending these lonely nights, Training myself not to care, The subway is a porno, The pavements they are a mess I know you’ve supported me for a long time, Somehow I’m not impressed
~“nyc,” interpol

We don’t need to educate, We only want to stay up late, Looking for these broken joints, Take in a peepshow?
~“nyc (there’s no need to stop),” the charlatans uk

And you must leave now, Before the sunrise, Above skyscrapers, The sin and This mess we’re in and, The city sun sets over me
~“the mess we’re in,” pj harvey with thom yorke

bonus — nyc in the ’80s videos

“big apple,” kajagogoo

“cruel summer,” by bananarama has nothing to do with nyc, but nice shots of nyc in the ’80s in the video

What’s on your NYC playlist?

Tags: , ,

This week, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we continue our series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. (Check back late afternoons: we’ll probably be posting two a day.) Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s playlist comes from veteran WFMU DJ Trouble, whose show remains on the summer schedule in its current Tuesday morning position, 9 to 12. (Be sure to tune in on June 28, when she’ll host Cyrus and me to talk about our books and NYC music in the 70s.) Trouble’s list, she writes, is “heavy on the art and outer borough essentials that propel nyc…” And so:

Sonic Youth, “Kool Thing”

Lounge Lizards, “Big Heart” (Live)

ESG, “UFO”

Roxanne Shanté, “Roxanne’s Revenge”

(Also see the “Street Version Mashup” video)

Shangri-Las, “Give Him a Great Big Kiss”

[Ed. note: Another performance, embedding disabled. Trouble: “Those outfits r to die for.”)

The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (opening sequence from Mean Streets)

(embedding disabled)

Laurie Anderson, “O Superman”

Laurie Anderson – O Superman from hype on Vimeo.

What’s on your NYC playlist?

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This afternoon’s playlist comes from Amanda Petrusich, a staff writer for Pitchfork and senior contributing editor for Paste. Her books include It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music and Pink Moon (33 1/3 series). Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Spin, the Village Voice, the Onion A.V. Club, the Oxford American, ReadyMade, eMusic.com, MSN.com, and elsewhere. She compiles the weekly pop listings for the Times. She’s currently at work on a book about record collectors, as will probably be plain by her selections below. Follow her on Twitter at @amandapetrusich.

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In the summer of 1952, the filmmaker and ethnomusicologist Harry Smith holed up in a little two-room office at 111 West 47th Street, (allegedly) chewing on peyote buttons and digging through his massive collection of 78rpm records to compile the mind-bending Anthology of American Folk Music for Folkways. Although it’s not comprised of New York songs (the tracks he chose are predominantly — although not exclusively — spooky southern screeds), the Anthology was born in midtown Manhattan, and it provides the perfect soundtrack to a blistering New York summer (the sizzle of a 78 might still be the hottest sound around). Here are my five favorite cracklers:

1. “Frankie,” Mississippi John Hurt

2. “John the Revelator,” Blind Willie Johnson

3. “Minglewood Blues,” Cannon’s Jug Stompers

4. “Old Lady and the Devil,” Bill and Belle Reed

5. “Judgement,” Sister Mary Nelson

[Ed. note: We’ve provided the links; here’s another re: Harry Smith himself.]

What’s on your NYC playlist?

Tags: , , ,

This week, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we continue our series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. (Check back late afternoons: we’ll probably be posting two a day.) Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s list comes from author/musician Nathan Larson, who began his artistic life in the DC hardcore punk scene, playing in bands such as Swiz and eventually serving as lead guitarist in Shudder To Think. He relocated to NYC in 1989. Today he is best known as a film composer, having scored upwards of 30 films, including Boys Don’t Cry, Dirty Pretty Things, and The Woodsman.
His debut novel
The Dewey Decimal System was released May 2011 on Akashic Press. Nathan lives in Harlem with his wife Nina Persson and their son Nils. Follow him on Twitter at @natoism.

———

New York jams i love

To state the very obvious NYC is nothing if not a seething mashup, a massive cross-pollination, inter-bred uptown-downtown or across oceans. This is well expressed musically :

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA – PLANET ROCK

The South Bronx/ Dusseldorf connection that kicked off, oh, just pretty much everything we understand as modern pop music

ROLLING STONES – SHATTERED

Hey bloated/ rail skinny rock star tax exiles from the UK! You too can make one of the ultimate NYC records.

Fun fact: two major unifying factors of all great NY platters: heroin n’ hookers!

SWANS – A SCREW (HOLY MONEY)

No city crafted musical noise better than our City. Swans were one my favorite live bands ever, they just kicked you repeatedly in the chest and you loved it.

LIQUID LIQUID – CAVERN

which folks will recognize as the basis for WHITE LINES….I don’t know the story behind how Grandmaster Flash got a hold of this obscuro record but I’m sure it’s fascinating and is one fine example of inter-breeding.

TRIBE CALLED QUEST – CAN I KICK IT

ok take Queens finest, add that Lou Reed classic + you have an amazing new track that still sounds fresh as hell.

WU TANG CLAN – “C.R.E.A.M.”

Kung Fu films + super raw hip hop, an all-boroughs crew of instant superstars…when this dropped i was fucking SCARED of these guys and still am. BIG BABY JESUS 4EVAH

JAMES CHANCE AND THE CONTORTIONS – I CAN’T STAND MYSELF

My nominee for induction in the R + R Hall of Fame, if I was God. Live At the Apollo played downtown by very white dudes with badass white skronky soul.

BLONDIE – HEART OF GLASS

RAPTURE would have been more in keeping with the theme here, Fab 5 Fred wandering around in there, but this track contains multitudes.

What’s on your NYC playlist?

Tags: , ,

Over the next few weeks, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we are featuring a series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s list comes from Alex Smith at Flaming Pablum, a Village blog with a 70s-80s East Village soul. He also contributes to The New York that Nobody Sings. Alex writes:

I was hugely enthused when Bryan first asked me to contribute to this, being that this stuff is right up my proverbial street. But then — I started to agonize. What exactly defines a “great NYC record”? Is it a sound? Subject matter? The personages involved? Moreover, since we were citing videos, should they be visually NYC-centric? My brain started filling with equally justifiable contenders for inclusion.

While there are scads of great examples of videos that feature New York City as their location (from “Cosmic Slop” by Parliament to “I’m Afraid of Americans” by David Bowie to “When I Get You Alone” by Thicke to “We Want the Airwaves” by the mighty Ramones, to name but a paltry few), I decided to simply cite songs that — to my mind — either singularly captured the New York experience and/or simply couldn’t have been recorded anywhere else. I know once I submit this, I’m going to bitterly lament excluding a whole bunch, but here goes….

Oh, and I’m cheating and going with ten. Sue me…

1. “Waiting for the Man” by the Velvet Underground

2. “New York Groove” by Ace Frehley

3. “Beat Bop” by Rammellzee & K-Rob

4. “All Twisted” by Kraut

5. “Forever” by Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul

6. “Steppin’ Out” by Joe Jackson

7. “I Love New York” by the Pop-O-Pies

8. “Rock Box” by Run-DMC

9. “We Gotta Know” by the Cro-Mags

10. “Shine On Elizabeth” by Cop Shoot Cop

What’s on your New York playlist?

Tags: , ,

Over the next few weeks, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we are featuring a series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s playlist comes from Dave Mandl, WFMU DJ and music editor at The Brooklyn Rail. Follow him on Twitter: @dmandl.

Some of My Favorite New York Records
Dave Mandl

Laura Nyro: New York Tendaberry (1969)
Laura was a Jewish/Italian girl who grew up singing on the streets of the Bronx — oh, and one of the greatest white soul/R&B singers of all time. New York Tendaberry is her most New York record.

Moondog: More Moondog (1956)
Blind composer, percussionist, and all-around eccentric Moondog was a fixture on the streets of upper Manhattan from the late ’50s through the ’80s. This is one of the earliest and best recordings of his music.

Various Artists: No New York (1978)
At the time, my musician friends and I barely considered these midwestern art-school transplants (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the Contortions, Mars, and DNA) to be real New Yorkers, but even we were eventually influenced by what they were doing, and so were many many others. In retrospect it’s hard to imagine this tortured racket being made anywhere but the grim, industrial Lower Manhattan of the late ’70s.

Eddie Gale: Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music (1968)
I happened to meet fellow Brooklynite Eddie Gale through a mutual friend when I was a teenager, but I never actually heard his music till many years later. It’s hard to believe that this brilliant soul-jazz was being made just a few miles away from where I lived, but I suspect I wasn’t the only white kid who was unaware of it at the time.

Robert Fripp: “NY3” (Exposure) (1979)
On top of a blistering prog-metal instrumental backing, this track loops an all-too-real audio recording of a familial screaming match captured on tape somewhere in Hell’s Kitchen. Mother to daughter: “You’re carrying a baby, and you don’t know whether it’s a nigger, a spic, or a white baby!” Lovely.

What’s on your New York playlist?

Tags: , ,

Over the next few weeks, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we are featuring a series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s playlist comes from our friend Caryn Rose, a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer who documents rock-and-roll, baseball and urban life. Her first novel, B-Sides and Broken Hearts, will be released in Summer 2011. Follow her on Twitter: @clr & @metsgrrl.

CARYN’S “IF YOU COMBINE SOME GIRLS AND MARQUEE MOON IN MY MUSICAL MEMORY BANK, THIS IS WHAT YOU COME UP WITH” PLAYLIST

Dance, Pt. 1 – Rolling Stones

Few albums say “New York City in the Summer” like Emotional Rescue does. They were my guilty pleasure back then, I didn’t know how to reconcile the Studio 54-ness of this record with the rest of the things that I loved but I just knew that I loved it. I heard it in my head as I walked around the city that year.

New York, New York – Dictators

Everyone has a love/hate relationship with the Dictators, but this is classic, and live from Coney Island High in 1997.

Down At Max’s – Jayne County

When I first heard this song out at a club somewhere, it was like the keys to the kingdom. All the bands I read about in Rock Scene. Bonus points since this footage is Jayne County with the Fast (who I was never a huge fan of, but people were) onstage at Max’s.

Rock N Roll – Velvet Underground

Her life was saved by rock and roll.

New York City Serenade – Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

I never really saw my love of Bruce and my love of punk rock as disconnected in anyway – to me he was always one of us, and this was before we knew he’d written “Hungry Heart” after seeing the Ramones or drank vodka in the Record Plant bathroom with Alan Vega. This version from 1975.

Extra credit:

It’s not a song about New York, but the Speedies will indelibly be part of my early New York memories, and the video is an amazing period piece, filmed on the Brooklyn Heights promenade. (Take that, Ryan Adams)

The Speedies – Let Me Take Your Photo

What’s on your New York playlist?

Tags: , ,

Over the next few weeks, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we are featuring a series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s list comes from Tim B, proprietor of one of our favorite rock ‘n’ roll ephemera blogs, Stupefaction, a constant source of pleasure. He’s also one of the minds behind The New York Nobody Sings. Follow him on Twitter @karateboogaloo.

Tim B writes: “Here’s five with an honorable mention. No commentary.”

Serge Gainsbourg, “New York USA”

Lou Reed, “Coney Island Baby” (Live)

Bush Tetras, “Too Many Creeps”

Charles Mingus, “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”

Justin Townes, Earle “Harlem River Blues”

Honorable Mention – Tom Waits, “Midtown” (no video available)

What’s on your NYC playlist?

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