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Mixtape Filter: Songs about NYC
August 6, 2007 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Indie songs about New York?

I'm looking for songs about or making reference to New York, as in the City. Not looking for classic songs like "New York, New York", but stuff more in the modern & indie realm.

A few I already have in mind:

- LCD Soundsystem - New York I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down
- Interpol - NYC
- NOFX - Olympia, WA
- Beastie Boys - An Open Letter to NYC

What else ya got? Thanks :)

Jesse
posted by sprocket87 to Media & Arts (51 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
The best: They Might Be Giants - New York City

Also -
REM - Leaving New York
Simon & Garfunkel - The Only Living Boy in NY
Steely Dan - Daddy Don't Live in that NY City No More
Death Cab - Marching Bands of Manhattan
Dylan - Hard Times in NY Town
Strokes - NYC Cops
posted by kdern at 7:05 AM on August 6, 2007


They Might Be Giants - New York City

And while I wouldn't exactly call them Indie:
The Pogues - Fairytale of New York (also one of the greatest Christmas songs ever)
posted by Captain_Science at 7:05 AM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Le Tigre - My My Metrocard
posted by ourobouros at 7:06 AM on August 6, 2007


Ryan Adams - New York, New York
posted by martinrebas at 7:08 AM on August 6, 2007




Not sure how indie you consider some of these, but

Yeah New York - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
New York City - They Might Be Giants
Fighting 69th- Dropkick Murphys
New York is a Woman - Suzanne Vega
Hard Times In New York City - Cat Power
Black History Month - Death from Above 1979
Girl From NYC - Of Montreal
Coney Island - Death Cab for Cutie

There's stuff by the NY Dolls and Sex Pistols and Lou Reed etc if you want older...
posted by iconomy at 7:10 AM on August 6, 2007


The 6ths - I've Got New York
Magnetic Fields - The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side
posted by hydrophonic at 7:12 AM on August 6, 2007


A couple of lists.
posted by iconomy at 7:14 AM on August 6, 2007


How about:

I'll Take New York - Tom Waits (Franks Wild Years)
New York City - Bad Livers (Blood and Mood)

Seconding The Pogues Fairytale of New York that Captain Science recommends.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:15 AM on August 6, 2007


Steve Earle: New York City ("...never really been there, just like the way it sounds...")

Beastie Boys: No Sleep Till Brooklyn
posted by salvia at 7:18 AM on August 6, 2007


Dictators - New York, New York
posted by jonmc at 7:22 AM on August 6, 2007


That They Might Be Giants song is a cover.
posted by jjg at 7:23 AM on August 6, 2007


!!! (chk chk chk) - Me and Giuliani down by the Schoolyard

It's about NYC's cabaret laws.
posted by rabbitsnake at 7:29 AM on August 6, 2007


There's a Moldy Peaches Song, New York City's Like a Graveyard.
posted by creasy boy at 7:54 AM on August 6, 2007


Kicking Giant, "She's Real"
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:58 AM on August 6, 2007


NOFX - Olympia, WA

It's by Rancid.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:00 AM on August 6, 2007


PJ Harvey: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

Pretty much the whole album.
posted by sourwookie at 8:03 AM on August 6, 2007


Jill Sobule - Jet Pack
posted by suasponte at 8:04 AM on August 6, 2007


The corpse in the library:
NOFX - Olympia, WA

It's by Rancid.


Yeah, I caught that after I posted it, sorry. I think I got that from the Rancid/NOFX split where NOFX covered it.

Thanks for all the awesome suggestions, and keep 'em coming!
posted by sprocket87 at 8:06 AM on August 6, 2007


Herman D√ľne - Take Him Back To New York City
posted by ascullion at 8:23 AM on August 6, 2007


Jesus and Mary Chain had a song called "New York City". Lyrics here.
posted by jasonspaceman at 8:46 AM on August 6, 2007


New York is a cool song by Frankie Big Face.

Disclaimer: that dude is married to my sister.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:53 AM on August 6, 2007


Lou Reed did a whole CD on New York
posted by InfidelZombie at 8:53 AM on August 6, 2007


Jonathan Richman - Springtime in New York
posted by turaho at 9:03 AM on August 6, 2007


Chelsea Hotel by Leonard Cohen
posted by dawdle at 9:06 AM on August 6, 2007


Richard Ashcroft - New York
posted by mattbucher at 9:06 AM on August 6, 2007


I was a bit suprised to realize that a number of Old 97s songs reference NYC.
Nightclub
Broadway
Doreen - there are multiple recordings including a really twangy one off of one of their earlier albums
posted by Good Brain at 9:07 AM on August 6, 2007


Johnny Cash - Orange Blossom Special

"Ain't you worried about getting your nourishment in New York?"
"Well, I don't care if I do-die-do-die-do-die-do-die."

posted by hydrophonic at 9:15 AM on August 6, 2007


Dean Wareham/Luna has a number of songs that reference New York.

Threw it Away by Dean and Britta. The opening line is "New York City I was born and raised and I threw it away..."

Going Home by Luna has the line "The Chrysler Building was talking to the Empire State, the Twin Towers were talking to each other."

In addition there's a song called Great Jones Street ("see the water towers, look so forlorn"). Also Chinatown.

Finally, Dean Wareham has a lovely instrumental guitar piece on the Guitarrorists compilation entitled West Broadway.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:23 AM on August 6, 2007


Harvey Danger- Pike Street/Park Slope (Seattle/NYC)
posted by slow graffiti at 9:35 AM on August 6, 2007


N.Y. by Doves
If you don't want to do Fairytale of New York, Thousands are Sailing is another Pogues song that would work.
Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed

The first thing that came to mind is "New York's Alright if you Like Saxophones" by Fear, but I'm not sure I'd feel good about recommending that one.
posted by craichead at 10:34 AM on August 6, 2007


Lou Reed - New York Telephone Conversation
Amon Tobin - The New York Editor
Belle & Sebastian - Piazza, New York Catcher
posted by ageispolis at 10:38 AM on August 6, 2007


Joe Dimaggio Done It Again - performed by Billy Bragg, written by Woody Guthrie.

Guthrie recorded New York Town himself. It's available on This Land is Your Land: The Asch Recordings.

And let me 2nd Cub's original version of New York City.
posted by ursus_comiter at 11:23 AM on August 6, 2007


Reid Paley - Lazarus in Brooklyn (sorta Tom Waits-ish)
Cub - New York City (covered by They Might Be Giants, as mentioned several times above)
Dylan - Talking New York (howdy, East Orange)
and Dylan's 115th Dream is largely set in NYC
about half of Freedy Johnston's career is about moving to New York
posted by fidelity at 12:04 PM on August 6, 2007


Fashion Crisis hits New York - The Frank and Walters
posted by highrise at 1:11 PM on August 6, 2007


Elliott Smith's "Bled White" is likely about both Portland, Oregon and New York City.
posted by inoculatedcities at 1:17 PM on August 6, 2007


Jay-Z's "Where I'm From", about Marcy Houses in Brooklyn. Besides, pretty much every rapper (only the Beasties are listed here...) from NYC has mentioned the city in multiple songs (often multiple times in each song).
posted by sillygwailo at 1:46 PM on August 6, 2007


Eskimo Joe - New York
A Shoreline Dream - New York
The Pogues - Fairytale of New York
Frontier ruckus - Mohawk, New York
Matson Jones - New York City, Fuck Off
Suzanne Vega - New York is a Woman
Dead Heart Bloom - New York City Heat
Belle and Sebastion - Piazza, New York Catcher
posted by youarenothere at 1:52 PM on August 6, 2007


"New York City" by Damon and Naomi

Leonard Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan" namechecks but is not so much about NYC. (see also versions by REM and Joe Cocker)
posted by Martin E. at 1:58 PM on August 6, 2007


Laura Nyro -- New York Tendaberry (from the album of the same name)
The Frank and Walters - The Fashion Crisis Hits New York
Hem - Great Houses of New York
Toasters - New York Fever
LCD Soundsystem - New York, I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down
Rosie Thomas - All the Way to New York City
posted by youarenothere at 2:02 PM on August 6, 2007


Blues Traveler, "Dropping Some NYC." Ca 1991, and I first heard it live on Bleecker at Mondo Cane.
posted by Phred182 at 2:09 PM on August 6, 2007


I was going to say Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side, but Come Back from San Francisco by The Magnetic Fields also references New York (and is a great song):
Come back from San Francisco
It can't be all that pretty
when all of New York City
misses you
posted by ludwig_van at 2:33 PM on August 6, 2007


Pretty much everything I've thought of has been mentioned so far except (in descending order of relevance):

The Wombats - Moving to New York
Radiohead - Alligators in New York Sewers
Sufjan Stevens - Chicago
posted by Kattullus at 2:45 PM on August 6, 2007


moe. - New York City for a jam band nyc song
posted by krakedhalo at 3:02 PM on August 6, 2007




Eleanor Put Your Boots On by Franz Ferdinand
posted by notswedish at 3:26 PM on August 6, 2007


Have to add: Going to Queens by the Mountain Goats
posted by apostrophe at 5:21 PM on August 6, 2007


Is the reason why nobody here has mentioned anything by the Ramones because it's so damn obvious?

53rd and 3rd and Rockaway Beach immediately come to mind...
posted by melorama at 11:26 PM on August 6, 2007


Luka Bloom - An Irishman in Chinatown

Black 47 - 40 Shades of Blue

Second the TMBG cover of NYC and there's also a reference to Old NY in Istanbul (not Constantinople)
posted by terrortubby at 6:01 AM on August 7, 2007


The Toasters - Go Girl
posted by terrortubby at 6:43 AM on August 7, 2007


Fountains of Wayne: No Better Place
Versus: Underground
posted by Sara Anne at 3:33 PM on August 7, 2007


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