...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hell, I still love you New York

This morning I hopped a plane to New York City for a long weekend visiting three of my best friends from the year I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. I am ridiculously excited.

After all those months of spending ridiculous amounts of time together with these gals, seeing mind-boggling beauty and pushing our tenuous edges through hesitant Italian speaking, train rides all over Europe, lots of carbs and gelato and Michelangelo, and questionable Italian dance moves in sweaty clubs, we all went back to our respective lives across the country and the world. The four of us saw each other three years ago in Cleveland (and we rocked that town) but ever since then it's been this b.s. "someday we have to get together!" nonsense. In fitting with my new efforts to seize the day while it's here and fresh and beckoning, I sent out an email in August saying we had to make plans now, and amazingly -- things started to really happen.

In my excitement, I've been working on this mix off and on for a month of songs written in, about, or for New York. It's synced to my iPod for the travels today, and all ready to become your new favorite playlist for New York nights -- or just thinking about all the fun you could have there.

New York City (home recording) - John Lennon
New York, New York - Ryan Adams
I'm Waiting For The Man - Velvet Underground
NYC (There's No Need to Stop) - The Charlatans
Angel of Harlem - U2
No Sleep Til Brooklyn - Beastie Boys
My Apartment - Ben Kweller
Brooklyn Stars - Matt Pond PA
NY Nights - Jesse Malin
The Only Living Boy In New York - Simon & Garfunkel
53rd and 3rd - The Ramones
Dirty Blvd - Lou Reed
Chelsea Hotel #2 - Leonard Cohen
New York - Richard Ashcroft
She's The New York City Skyline - The Damnwells
Harlem Shuffle - The Rolling Stones
New York - Stephen Fretwell
New York Baby - Leona Naess
Queensboro Bridge - David Mead
New York - Sex Pistols
New Amsterdam - Travis
Olympia WA - Rancid
New York City - Mason Jennings
Broadway - Old '97s
New York - U2
The Boy Looked At Johnny - The Libertines
Central Park N West - Ian Hunter
Motorcycle Drive By - Third Eye Blind
New York City Serenade (Springsteen) - Pete Yorn
NYC Improvisation 5/5/06 - Pearl Jam



At October 25, 2007 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many favorites...

My all-time favorite song is Simon & Garfunkel's "The Only Living Boy in New York," it just makes me smile. :)

Also, coincidentally, I've been obsessed with different covers of "Chelsea Hotel" for about a week now.. how appropriate.

Makes me want to finally take my first trip to NYC! :D

At October 25, 2007 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you checked out Josh Ritter's cover of Chelsea Hotel?

- Neil

At October 25, 2007 5:14 PM, Blogger Kyle Meredith said...

for shame! you missed Counting Crows "Chelsea" - the hidden track on the VH1 CD. the perfect song for NY in the winter when you're all alone. that horn (trumpet?)? it's the voice of the whole city.

At October 25, 2007 5:19 PM, Blogger booktapes said...

Would Elvis Costello's "I Don't Want to go to Chelsea" qualify? Also saw that your a fan of Till We Have Faces. Best book ever.

At October 25, 2007 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many great songs....I love NY so much. You could also include Bright Eyes "Train Under Water" or "Lua" on there. Enjoy the trip!

At October 25, 2007 8:20 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Nice list...add Francis Dunnery doing Only New York Going On to make it better

At October 25, 2007 10:17 PM, Blogger Trent said...

How about LCD Soundsystem? New York I Love You, But You're bringing Me Down.

At October 25, 2007 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link to the Charlitans song doesn't work. Can you please fix the link.

At October 25, 2007 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil, no, I haven't, but I will now! Actually, I'm really in love with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's cover. Robert's voice on it is awesome. :)

At October 25, 2007 10:47 PM, Blogger Jason Fry said...

NYC by Steve Earle....

At October 25, 2007 11:39 PM, Blogger carterbham said...

Fantastic mix! Enjoy your time in NY.

At October 26, 2007 12:15 AM, Blogger El Gordo said...

Can't forget "New York City" by Cub, later covered by They Might Be Giants. That's probably one of my favorite songs about the Big Apple. Right up there with "Olympia, Wa."

At October 26, 2007 3:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't there a song by Keith Caputo about New York? I once heard it live on a festival, maybe someone can hook us up with an mp3 ...

At October 26, 2007 4:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interpol "NYC" <3

At October 26, 2007 6:04 AM, Blogger Joy said...

This made my morning. As a die-hard Yankees fan, the past couple of weeks have been more or less brutal. Seeing a post like this made all the Red Sox "in your face" stuff around the web go away.

Not to mention New York is one of my favorite places in the world.

I love Josh Ritter, but I prefer the Rufus Wainwright version of Chelsea Hotel. Rufus's version is what a cover should be, while Josh's apes the original.

At October 26, 2007 7:18 AM, Blogger Matt T said...

There's a great song on Lloyd Cole's latest Anti-depressant called New York City Sunshine.

Great little CD too with some great pop hooks and acoustic strummings.

At October 26, 2007 7:24 AM, Blogger Otto said...


It's an oldie, but if you can find it (or I could probably send it) there's a song called "American City Suite" by Cashman and West (from the early 70's or so...they were Jim Croce's producers) that's worth a listen...it's a little over done (in a Bruce Springsteen/Billy Joel romanticizing sort of way) but worth a listen...It's about eight minutes long, but listen until the end and it will really put you through the paces...

David M.

At October 26, 2007 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really dug this but you did miss Keith Caputo's New York City - that's my fave NY song.

At October 26, 2007 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Real Rock & Roll Don't Come From New York" - The Gizmos
"New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones" - Fear

At October 26, 2007 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what - no Pogues?!

great list though, enjoy your trip

At October 26, 2007 8:11 AM, Blogger Stephen Thomas said...

YOU ARE MY HEROINE! My best friend is leaving for a weekend break to New York a week today, and after I made a Paris Mixtape for our joint trip there this summer I promised I'd make a New York one, only to find myself short of tracks!


At October 26, 2007 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add "6th Avenue Heartache" by The Wallflowers and then the playlist would be just about complete for me.

At October 26, 2007 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry we don't have better weather for you here. But hopefully you've experienced a crisp, sunny autumn visit to New York in the past.

My soundtrack to this season in this city consists of all things Bill Evans.

At October 26, 2007 10:00 AM, Blogger daryn said...

I second train under water by bright eyes, and suggest new York city by cub (covered by tmbg)

At October 26, 2007 10:07 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Best song about New York that i've heard is "New York" by the the Frank and Walters on the "Glass" album. Fantastic.

At October 26, 2007 10:37 AM, Blogger Joe Whaley said...

some great songs i haven't heard before. have fun. and if i may add to your mix... elton john "mona lisa and mad hatters".

At October 26, 2007 10:38 AM, Blogger Ray said...

Heather have a great weekend here in the Big Apple. Not gonna be around or else I would have loved to met you somewhere.

Another great NY nugget which would work with your wonderful mix is Steve Forbert's Grand Central Station, March 18, 1977 off of his first album Alive on Arrival.

At October 26, 2007 11:51 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

you'll have a great time here in NY... i love living in such a bustling city. you said you're staying for a long weekend, but does that include halloween? because if so, try to get scalped tix to ryan adams that night. i'll be there, in full costume (i'm dressing up like one of the guitar girls from the robert palmer 'addicted to love' video.)

anyway, have fun!

At October 26, 2007 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of thoughts:

One, you should probably distinguish Charlatans UK from the original Charlatans. If you haven't heard the 60's band, it is worth checking out. http://chrisgoesrocks.blogspot.com/2007/05/charlatans-amazing-charlatans-great-us.html

Two, say what you will about Billy Joel, but omitting him from a NY themed playlist is an oversight. While "New York State of Mind" is the obvious choice, there are several others that would fit into the mix

Three, IMHO omitting Harry Nilsson's " I Guess The Lord Must Be in New York City" is a major oversight.

At October 26, 2007 4:48 PM, Blogger Audio Taco said...

such a great mix! i love the leonard cohen and simon and gartfunkel.

At October 26, 2007 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lovely, and thanks. my own NY play list is more old school, Mel Torme and the like. But what about Meeting Across the River, and the 10 Avenue Freeze Out by Bruce. Hey Manhattan by Prefab Sprout. 14th street by Laura Cantrell. Caetano's Manhattan. New York City Boy by the Pet Shops. Avalon blues by Mississipi John Hurt. And the 59th Street Bridge Song. and On Broadway by George Benson. But thanks, made my London evening

At October 26, 2007 6:07 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Can I suggest the deeply twisted "Back in NYC" by Genesis? The lo-fi Jeff Buckley version isn't bad either.

At October 26, 2007 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously we all wish you well and you are hopefully experiencing much happiness in your Ny sojourn;the beginning and end of 'Manhattan' comes to mind;firstly the rhapsody in blue and secondly the immortal and swooning glory of Mariel Hemmingway's perceptive final lines,'it's only six months,you've got to have a little faith in people." and Woody's smile which lights up the skyline like the fireworks.

If you are ever feeling blue before work,watch it and weep for joy.


At October 26, 2007 7:15 PM, Blogger aikin said...

I can't believe you left Sinatra off the list!!

No one tops his "New York, New York"

At October 27, 2007 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Heather: Why not putting together another New York Zip File?

At October 27, 2007 5:51 AM, Blogger fred said...

what a great playlist. I've used the downloadthemall firefox plugin to download the entire list and put it in my itunes/ipod.

tonight (sat night) is a great night for live music:

Shout Out Louds - Maxwells in Hoboken, a Path train ride

Jens Lekman - Webster Hall

Go Team - Bowery Ballroom

Morrissey - Hammerstein

Scout Niblett - Knitting Factory

and many others

enjoy NYC even if its raining

At October 27, 2007 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heather. I am a loyal reader of your blog and a great admirer of your musical choices as well as your tasty commentary. Keep up the great work!!

At October 27, 2007 10:50 AM, Blogger CTV said...

Oh, great mix. I made myself a New York mix CD about six/seven years ago. Lost it since. I started it with an edited version of "New York New York" from the Gene Kelly & Frank Sinatra musical On The Town.

It also featured the Darts version of "Boy From New York City", the Eagles' "In A New York Minute". And the previously mentioned "Hey Manhattan" by Prefab Sprout. Billy Joel's "New York State Of Mind" is really essential.

And no Rosie Thomas? "Much Farther To Go" on the new album should be a on your mix...

At October 27, 2007 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to listening to these. Thanks for posting them.

I'll also second the Rosie Thomas nomination, and add a recommendation for They Might Be Giants "New York City".

I hope to visit the city some day.

At October 27, 2007 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made me think of my time in one of the greatest cities... And miss it terribly.

The Wombat's "Moving To New York" is also a worthy addition to this lovely mix!

At October 27, 2007 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nina Hagen 'New York' it's a cracker

At October 27, 2007 11:29 PM, Blogger booktapes said...

"I like New York in June"
Whatever version, this song is quintessential.

At October 28, 2007 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you forgot "Only New York Going On" by Francis Dunnery

At October 29, 2007 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heather ~ once again an amazing playlist! Hope you had a great reunion in the City. And I must thank all the posters, I'm keeping a running list of more songs to download and add to it, thanks for all the suggestions!

At October 29, 2007 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, and hope you're enjoying your stay in my neck of the woods!

The Lennon track made me want to tell one of my little New York incidents: I was at Penn station, about to see the Chili Peppers play Madison Square Garden in 2002. I had some time to kill while I waited for my friends so I decided to grab a beer at this pizza place (I forget the name of it but you can get a 22 oz. Fosters for $2).

I was sitting next to a weird-looking dude in a black leather jacket, with long black hair in a ponytail. He started talking to me, and it came out that I was in a band. He started dispensing advice, including how you need to leave your home turf in order for anyone to give a damn about you (in NJ there are a million bands, but if you play farther away you can get billed as "All the Way From New Jersey!") He then gave me his business card.

Stupid me, I didn't look at it until later that night... it was David Peel! (Namechecked in John Lennon's "New York City" and produced by John and Yoko.) Beleive me, if I knew who he was at the time I would most DEFINITELY have had a few questions about New York, the 70s and John. Every time I'm there I poke my head in that pizza place to see if he's there, but that was my moment.

At October 29, 2007 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way... no Dylan in this post???

At October 29, 2007 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey heather - nice mix - but more importantly:
The PJ track was from the Irving Plaza Show?? Do you have a copy of that whole show? ive been dying to hear it since my bro went and i didnt!

At October 30, 2007 12:31 PM, Blogger Sokiente said...

What about the Wombats' "Moving to New York"...it's incredible.

At November 01, 2007 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heather - listening to you post of Chelsea Hotel #2 reminded me of someone you may like. Chris McFarland - a singer/songwriter from Austin. He does a great cover of that song on his CD 'Given'.

Thanks for all the great posts!

At November 08, 2007 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I adore all these New York songs..especially Dirty Boulevard by the king of the underground in NYC.
Of course you cannot beat a Leonard Cohen song with a coat hanger.
I am still waiting for my trip to NYC.
First stop The Dakota.
Great music you have!


At January 06, 2008 3:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love New York! 3 visits already and I still want more :)

Cant seem to download your song mixes though :(

- Jerry

At January 26, 2008 2:42 AM, Blogger dubmusic said...

Wicked playlist!

At January 27, 2008 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic playlist; I love every song. I'm currently working on one for a friend who is moving to Chicago. Does anyone have any Chicago recommendations?

At January 27, 2008 10:04 PM, Blogger heather said...

clearly you already have Dear Chicago by ryan adams, right?! Via Chicago, wilco. Chicago x 12 Rogue Wave. Used To Work In Chicago, a cover of an old folk song Pearl Jam did one year at Bridge School (I have this if you email me). I don't have really obscure ones for you :)

At January 28, 2008 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chicago and Via Chicago were the first two songs that came to mind :) I definitely need that Pearl Jam song. I am emailing you immediately. Thanks!

At August 30, 2008 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there anyway you could re-post this mix? I would love to get a copy of it?

At December 23, 2008 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi heather,
Today I have found your blog thank to "This Morning I Born Again", please could you re-post this compilation again?
Thanks & Merry X-mas.



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