It’s the Not-By-Billy Joel Song Challenge!

NotByBillyJoelSongChallenge

I try to keep all of the content on this website germane to Geography and my related research, but also sometimes…in the middle of the summer, I go walkin’ into admittedly dumb but fun ideas.

Download this image and re-post it on whichever social media account you would like with your pick for song of the day. The only rule is that it cannot be a song by Billy Joel.

Hashtag it as #notbybillyjoel so I can keep up on your selections. I’ll post my full list here, as I did with the #SonicGeographySongChallenge. I don’t know why I’m hashtagging that within the body of a blog post, but that’s just how we’ve been reprogrammed.

Happy July!

Come and get it, Boomers:

My Sonic Geography Song Challenge Results

In case anybody is curious, here are my personal picks from the Sonic Geography Song Challenge.

Reference:

SonicGeographySongChallenge

  1. Aesop Rock – “N.Y. Electric”
  2. Nass el-Ghiwane – “Labtana”
  3. The New Pornographers – “Letter from an Occupant”
  4. The Twilight Singers – “Fat City (Slight Return)”
  5. Radon – “Science Fiction” (I can’t imagine a 2 1/2 minute song with more references to Florida)
  6. Lord Blakie – “Steelband Clash” (Live Version was the only one available)
  7. The Go-Betweens – “Bye Bye Pride”
  8. The Topp Twins – “Untouchable Girls”
  9. Alizée – “J’ai en Marre”
  10. The Verve Pipe – “The Freshmen”
  11. The Jam – “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight”
  12. Queens of the Stone Age – “No One Knows”
  13. Fucked Up – “David Comes to Life”
  14. The Calypsonuts – “You Can Call Me Al”
  15. Miracle Legion – “The Backyard” (Live Version)
  16. Black Grape – “A Big Day in the North”
  17. Geographer – “Paris”
  18. Airbag – “Coleccionista de Discos”
  19. Jason Derulo – “Want To Want Me”
  20. Tom Waits – “I’ll Take New York”
  21. U2 – “The Ocean”
  22. Dead Milkmen – “Surfing Cow”
  23. The Afghan Whigs – “Crime Scene Part I”
  24. The Go-Betweens – “Finding You”
  25. Crass – “Sheep Farming in the Falklands”
  26. The Dismemberment Plan – “Spider in the Snow”
  27. The Wedding Present – “A Million Miles”
  28. OutKast – “ATLiens”
  29. Café Tacvba – “Eo” (el D.F.)
  30. Charley Patton – “Shake It and Break It” (narrowly edging out ? and the Mysterians – “96 Tears”)

Thanks to everyone who has participated over the past 30 days and is still going if they started late! I’ve had so much fun seeing what songs came to everyone, especially a handful of challenging days. I can’t wait to make another one of these.

Sidetrack: Pavement and California Anti-Geography

As a thirty-something white person who wears glasses and has been to grad school, I love the band Pavement. I’m taking a quick break from my California Excursion updates (I have a massive entry coming soon for Part III) to bring back up one of my favorite Geography 101 assignments. I had the opportunity last night to see Spiral Stairs (aka Scott Kannberg) play a great set of songs with his current band that mixed Pavement classics on which he sang lead like “Date with Ikea,” “Two States,” and “Kennel District” with songs off his two solo albums. It had been a little while since I’d properly geeked out over Pavement, and last night’s show gave me a perfect excuse to, so thanks to Jason Boardman and the Pilot Light crew for that.

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As I alluded to in my entry two years ago, Pavement were hard to pin down geographically. The two founding members of the band, Kannberg and Stephen Malkmus, grew up together in Stockton, a Central Valley city that has become infamous over the past few decades for blight and poor urban planning around its social issues.  The other three members who rounded out the classic lineup of the band came from scattered points on the East Coast, which ultimately spelled the end of the band in 1999 when distance between them all made it unsustainable to keep going.

I just found this relatively new lyric video somebody made for their song “Unfair,” an album track on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (Matador, 1994) which runs through points on the California map similar to how Damon Albarn sang Blur’s way around England on “This is a Low.” I’ll embed it here for your enjoyment.

As I was telling my friend last night, one thing I really have grown to appreciate about Pavement over the years is just how overwhelmingly ordinary the five of them are. None of them really look like you’d expect them to be in a band, much less one of the most genre-defining of their era. To this day, I still get skeptical when I see a band who look like a band; take that for what it’s worth. Either way, my friend asked me which album to start out with, so I had to be honest and just rank their five studio albums for him rather than single one out in particular…

  1. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994)
  2. Brighten the Corners (1997)
  3. Slanted & Enchanted (1992)
  4. Wowee Zowee (1995)
  5. Terror Twilight (1999)

Outside of Terror Twilight (which is still very good, don’t get me wrong) being last, I feel like a lot of indie rock fans would disagree with me on that order, which is encouraged here. Also, some of the band’s non-album tracks like “Frontwards” and “Debris Slide!” (which may be directly inspired by CA… hard to know) are essential as well. And though it isn’t one of my favorites, Pavement also contributed a single “Painted Soldiers” to the Kids in the Hall movie ‘Brain Candy,’ which leads me to end this entry and tease my upcoming one on the California trip: Scott Thompson will make an appearance.

Your Feet are Going to be on the Ground

Video

Why I didn’t inaugurate this site with this video is beyond me. It may be the most bare-bones “geographical” song (and video) ever recorded, “Green” is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary, and who can say no to those long-extinct flowing locks that Michael Stipe once owned? Say what you want about their post-I.R.S. output (at least post-1996); few bands (if any) had a higher batting average (and at-bats aka albums) across the 1980s. Enjoy this fancy choreography and the Buck/Mills/Stipe/Berry long jump competition. If you’re confused, check with the sun.