liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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Soundtrack: All Over the Musical Map — Finding New England; Part 3/5

Other sections of this soundtrack can be found in:

Track listing is under the cut and, where appropriate, a brief description of what makes the song fit in the soundtrack. Download for Tracks 31 through 45 is at the end of listing. Tracks have to be downloaded on an individual basis because of SaveFile's weird hiccups.

Please comment if you download...or even if you just feel like it.

Pavlov's Bell — Aimee Mann
from Lost in Space
[Support the Artist]

Aimee Mann dropped out of the Berklee College of Music to join a punk band. When The Snakes failed to take off, she became one of the early members of Ministry. When that didn't pan out, she joined forces with a former classmate/then-boyfriend to create new wave band 'Til Tuesday. Finally, something stuck. The band toured the Boston area for a year before winning a local battle-of-the-bands contest and landing a record contract with Epic Records. After releasing three albums with 'Til Tuesday, she set off on a solo career and hasn't yet looked back. For the record, if you ever get a chance to catch Mann live, do it. I was lucky enough to catch her at the Newport Folk Festival a few years ago and she put on a terrific set. Also, I helped her while she was signing CDs in the Borders Books & Music tent at the festival. She's a very sweet lady, and shy. She seemed to be constantly taken aback whenever her hard-core fans would sing her praises while she was signing her CDs.

The Eyes of a Jungle — Vox One
from One
[Support the Artist]

For more on Vox One, see above.

Cuckoo — Willard Grant Conspiracy and Telefunk
from In the Fishtank 8
[Support the Artist]

For more on the Willard Grant Conspiracy, see above.

The Ice of Boston — The Dismemberment Plan
from The Ice of Boston
[Support the Artist]

They're not from New England, no. But this song is a pretty good description of what it's like to wander around in the open, frigid air of First Night Boston when you can't wait for the old year to end.

An interesting bit of trivia: the original First Night was held in Boston in 1976. The celebration soon quickly spread to surrounding Massachusetts communities. Since then, it has creeped across the English-speaking world thanks to the efforts of First Night International. What makes this story doubly funny for me is this: If you have any idea how cold a waterfront city like Boston can get in winter, something like First Night seems like a very, very bad idea. I could see it if something like First Night got started in New Zealand where it's basically summer in December. But Boston? Okay. No one ever accused Bostonians of actually being sane. Or even in the neighborhood of sane.

The Statue Got Me High — They Might Be Giants
from Apollo 13
[Support the Artist]

For more on They Might Be Giants, see above.

Bring the Monster Inside — Willard Grant Conspiracy
from Flying Low
[Support the Artist]

For more on the Willard Grant Conspiracy, see above.

Debaser — Pixies
from Wave of Mutilation: The Best of the Pixies
[Support the Artist]

For on the Pixies, see above.

Dirty Water — The Standells
from Dirty Water
[Support the Artist]

The Standells are an L.A. band, but 'Dirty Water' is about Boston. Specifically, it's about havoc caused by the Boston Strangler. There are specific references to the midnight curfew imposed on women during that period (midnight or bust), and the constant warnings about security that blared out across the city. Spike Lee's Summer of Sam, although it's about the Son of Sam terrorizing New York City, is an accurate description of the same hysteria that gripped Boston during this period. To this day, there remain doubts that Albert Henry DeSalvo was the real Boston Strangler, and there does appear to be enough room for doubt on this score.

Good grief. Singer/drummer Dick Dodd was a Mouseketeer. Singer /keyboardist Larry Tamblyn is the uncle of Amber Tamblyn (she of Joan of Arcadia fame). It's that kind of trivia that makes you laugh at the irony.

Despite the song's dark theme (I'm being serious. Listen to the lyrics.), 'Dirty Water' has evolved into one of Boston's theme songs. (Only here. Seriously.)  It's on permanent rotation for a lot of radio stations in the area, and you can hear snippets of the song whenever radio stations announce their call letters. It's also one of six theme songs for the
Boston Red Sox that's played at Fenway Park. 'Dirty Water' is played after a game victory, followed by 'Tessie' by the Dropkick Murphys, 'Build Me Up Buttercup' by The Foundations, 'Joy to the World' by Three Dog Night, and ''What a Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong. 'Sweet Caroline' by Neil Diamond is played during the eighth inning to fire up the crowd.

As a side note, both 'Tessie' and 'Build Me Up Buttercup' were featured in films by Cumberland, Rhode Island natives the Farrelly Brothers. 'Tessie' was used in Fever Pitch and 'Build Me Up Buttercup' was used in There's Something About Mary.

Psycho Killer (Live) — Talking Heads
from Stop Making Sense
[Support the Artist]

For more on the Talking Heads, see above.

Rain — Patty Griffin
from 1000 Kisses
[Support the Artist]

Patty Griffin broke into the Boston/Cambridge folk scene after her divorce in 1992. Since slowly built a loyal local following through her live performances before signing with A&M Records.

You Look Like Rain — Morphine
from Good
[Support the Artist]

Boston-based Morphine achieved cult status during the 1990s, thanks to its bluesy rock & roll sound. The band never broke out of cult status and disbanded following the heart attack death of bassist/vocalist Mark Sandman at age 47 in Rome.

(I've Got to Stop) Thinkin' 'Bout That — James Taylor
from Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
[Support the Artist]

Sweet Baby James, the king of 70s soft rock, and his tremendously musical family is the very definition of Boston Brahmins. He was born in Belmont, Massachusetts, summered on Martha's Vineyard, attended Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts, and spent time in McLean Hospital, a psych hospital in Belmont, a stay which inspired some of his earliest songs (most notably, 'Fire and Rain'). When I said very definition of Boston Brahmin, I wasn't joking here. As an interesting side note, McLean has a bit of a musical tradition itself. Other famous musician patients include Ray Charles and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.

Say Hallelujah  — Tracy  Chapman
Let It Rain
[Support the Artist]

For more on Tracy Chapman, see above.

It's All About Me — Ball in the House
from The Way It Has To Be
[Support the Artist]

Ball in the House is another Boston-based a cappella group that blends pop, blues, soul, and doo-wop. Extensive touring (they tour more than half the year) has earned them a huge following, especially in a cappella circles.

The Rascal King — The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
from Let's Face It
[Support the Artist]

These guys were the pioneers in the ska-metal movement, laying the ground work for No Doubt and Sublime (truthfully I think The Mighty Mighty Bossones were better musicians). Let's Face It and 'The Impression That I Get' (a song about the 1994 shooting deaths of workers at various abortion clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts) brought the band to national attention.

'The Rascal King,' a less well-known track off the CD, is steeped in Boston history. The Rascal King of the song's title refers to the late James Michael Curley, a life-long Boston pol who, at different times in his career, served as mayor of Boston, governor of Massachusetts, a representative in the U.S. Congress, and in jail on charges of mail fraud. Depending on your point of view, Curley is either one of the crookedest politicians ever to grace Massachusetts history (and he has some pretty tough competition there) or one of the greatest political heroes ever to grace Massachusetts history.

The folk tales surrounding Curley, many of them spread by retired newspaper reporters who knew him personally, puts him on the same footing as any number of trickster spirits. Curley, in many ways, broke the glass ceiling for the Boston Irish. He constantly tweaked the nose of the WASP (stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) power structure in the state and single-handedly made Boston practically more Irish than Ireland. It made him both beloved by the working class and hated by the upper class.

The Last Hurrah mentioned in the song is the title of a book that is an only lightly fictionalized account of the life and career of Curley (Curley is essentially the Frank Skeffington character). It was later made into a film with Spencer Tracey in the Skeffington/Curley role. The song also references Curley's bare-knuckled political style, time behind bars, as well as the mixed feelings Curley and his legacy still creates in Bostonians.

A hero? A hooligan? As the song says, "Well, that part's never clear."

To download Tracks 31 through 45, go to the SaveFile Project Page All Over the Musical Map: Finding New England, Part 3.

Other sections of this soundtrack can be found in:

Tags: music: download, soundtrack: 2007, soundtrack: all over the musical map, soundtrack: general

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