Thursday, May 13, 2010

In the City

I've been a little sad because we've probably seen the last of TNC's wonderful Confederate History Month series...but The Atlantic comes through, with an introduction yesterday to a very promising new series: Conor Friedersdorf on cities.  All of which puts me in the mood for a list...

1. In the City (The Jam)
2. Big City (Operation Ivy)
3. Heart of the City (Nick Lowe)
4. Living for the City (Stevie Wonder)
5. This Town (The Go-Gos)
6. Buzzcity Talking (XTC)
7. Take This City (Tim Armstrong)
8. Inner City Blues (Marvin Gaye)
9. Cities (Talking Heads)
10. Uptown (Prince)

And while I'm at it, I should also recommend my buddy Ron Schmidt's excellent This is the City: Making Model Citizens in Los Angeles.  It's a political theorist's understanding of the LAPD, Dragnet, the concept of emulation, Blade Runner, the zoot suit riots, and lots of other terrific stuff within Los Angeles political culture.


  1. If anyone doesn't know about the awesome (free) website, you can see a demonstration by listening to the entire mix tape Johnathan suggests.

    Good songs.

  2. To turn the circle:

    11. Los Angeles (X)

  3. Where the Hell are the Eagles? After that, maybe "Nobody Walks in LA" (Missing Persons).

  4. Time for me to stop lurking....

    Chocolate City (Parliament)
    Erotic City (Prince)
    My City in Ruins (Springsteen)

  5. Los Angeles by X should be number 1. Plus let's not forget Fear's "I love living in the city"

  6. Excellent list, but no "Summer in the City"? If not the Lovin' Spoonful's version, than certainly Joe Jackson's.

  7. Glenn Frey's "You Belong To The City."

    The Boss, "It's Hard TO Be A Saint In The City" and "My City Of Ruins" and "My Home Town" and "New York City Serenade" and "Streets of Philadelphia" and more...

  8. OK, that's it: next person to suggest an Eagle can consider themselves on report.

    The Prince and Parliament suggestions are good...I know Joe Jackson's version of Summer in the City; it's OK, I think, nothing special. There's also Elvis's "This Town," which I didn't include because I like the Go-Go's song of the same name a lot.

    I avoided the one-town specific song (X, Missing Persons). Obviously #1 on that list to me is I Left My Heart in San Francisco...also London Calling, Chicago, Walking to New Orleans, Kansas City, Manhattan. Which reminds me of the best line in the whole series, when Liza says: "Everyone thinks they're Sinatra."


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