liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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Soundtrack: All Over the Musical Map — Finding New England; Part 6/6

I've finally finished uploading this!

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 60 through 70 is at the end of listing. Two tracks were too large to be uploaded to, so you will have to go to SaveFile to download (a list is provided at the end of the entry). The other tracks are in the applet.

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

Metal Drums — Patty Larkin
from Tango
[Support the Artist]

This haunting song tells the very true story about the environmental disaster in Holbrook, Massachusetts. For anyone who's read the book A Civil Action or seen the 1998 movie by the same name about the poisoning of the ground water supply in Woburn, Massachusetts thanks to illegal dumping by a large employer of factory work, this is exactly the same deal. This story has been repeated in countless towns across New England through the 1980s and the 1990s as the region's manufacturing base fled to the southern U.S. where non-unionized work was cheap and plentiful, leaving a century's worth of dumped toxic chemicals in the ground and the groundwater for the now-unemployed factory workers to pay for it. Let's just say that there are more than a few towns that feel that chill wind blow whenever the words "cancer" and "cluster" are placed too close together.

'Metal Drums' has a haunting melody, a marching drumbeat, and the feel of a ghost story as Larkin relates the very real-life losses suffered by Holbrook thanks to the ghost of their manufacturing base.

For more on the Patty Larkin, see above.

Fall On Me — Cry, Cry, Cry
from Cry, Cry, Cry
[Support the Artist]

Okay, technically speaking, this folk music super-trio is not a New England construct. However, Northamptom resident Dar Williams is a member (along with fellow folk-pop singers Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell), so I'm claiming it.  This nice cover of  R.E.M.'s  'Fall On Me' is courtesy of Dar.

We Got the Power — Dropkick Murphys
from Singles Collection Volume 2: 1998-2004
[Support the Artist]

In essence, this is a song about the power of unions to stand up for the little man against employers.

For notes on the Dropkick Murphys, see above.

Morning is the End of the Day — The Willard Grant Conspiracy
from A Short History of the Willard Grant Conspiracy
[Support the Artist]

For notes on The Willard Grant Conspiracy, see above.

Experimental Film — They Might Be Giants
from The Spine
[Support the Artist]

For notes on They Might Be Giants, see above.

Whisper When I Speak – Vox One
from Say You Love Me
[Support the Artist]

For notes on Vox One, see above.

Your Ghost — Kristen Hersh/Michael Stipe
from Hips and Makers

[Support the Artist]

You know, for someone who's from Atlanta, Michael Stipe shows up a lot in this countdown. [/jk]. In all seriousness, however, reason why Stipe is here is because of this duet with Kristen Hersch, who along with her half-sister Tanya Donnelly, founded Throwing Muses in Newport, Rhode Island. Aside from Throwing Muses, Hersh has been involved with several musical projects as well as her solo work. The Atlanta-born Hersh is still a resident of Newport and, from all reports, at least one son is following in her prolific musical footsteps.

The Night You Saved My Life — Tara Donnelly
from Beautysleep
[Support the Artist]

And speak of the devil! Here's Tanya! Like her half-sister, Donnelly has made the incestuous rounds in the Boston music scene. She was a member of the Breeders with Pixies bassist Kim Deal, founded the Boston-based alt-pop band Belly, and like her sister, is now involved in a number of different projects and is recording as a solo artist.  She's currently a resident of Massachusetts.

Otherwise — Averi
from At Wit's End
[Support the Artist]

For notes on Averi, see above.

Tessie — Dropkick Murphys
from The Warrior's Code
[Support the Artist]

'Tessie' has an interesting local lore that's tied up with the Curse of the Bambino, the 86 years the Boston Red Sox managed to screw up every chance of winning the World Series, and the filming of Fever Pitch.

This song is yet another remake/update by the Dropkicks, similar to 'Skinhead on the MBTA.' The original 'Tessie' comes from the 1901 Broadway musical The Silver Slipper and was actually titled 'Tessie (You Are the Only, Only, Only).' The Tessie in question, however, was a beloved pet parakeet. (Hunh?) The song was song by the parakeet's owner, a woman. (Okay!)

The song was popular enough that it was adopted by the Royal Rooters, a fanclub for the Boston Red Sox that existed at the turn of the century that officially disbanded in 1918. During the fourth game of the 1903 World Series when the Red Sox were losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Royal Rooters decided to rally for their team by singing very loudly. Among the songs chose was 'Tessie.' The Red Sox ended up winning that game in the end (as well as the whole series), and the Pittsburgh players actually blamed 'Tessie' for their loss. This apparently tickled Boston fans so much, that they started making up their own lyrics to the song just to annoy the opposing team.

The last time the song was performed by the Royal Rooters was 1918, the last World Series victory for the Boston Red Sox before the 86-year drought kicked in.

Fast forward to 2004: The Dropkicks decide to record their own version of 'Tessie,' and following in the great tradition of the Royal Rooters, they played with the lyrics to essentially tell the story about the Royal Rooters and their use of 'Tessie' to sing the Boston Red Sox to victory. The band released the song on a 2004 EP and basically gave the song to the Boston Red Sox in hopes that this was the ticket to breaking the curse.

Everyone laughed. The band laughed. The team laughed. Hell, sports fans laughed.

Then the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series. While the Farrelly Brothers were filming Fever Pitch no less. This meant that the end of the film had to be hastily re-written to reflect that the Boston Red Sox actually won the World Series. That should give you pretty good idea of what everyone thought of the Red Sox's chances of winner.

Needless to say, 'Tessie' (the Dropkicks version) is now a permanent fixture at Fenway Park. It's the second song played after the Red Sox win a game.

For more information about 'Tessie,' visit the Dropkicks page on the story here, or you can visit the Wiki entry here.

Alice's Restaurant (Live 1997 Recording) — Arlo Guthrie
from Alice's Restaurant
[Support the Artist]

The most amazing thing about 'Alice's Restaurant' (real name of the song: 'Alice's Restaurant Massacree') is that it's all true. All the places mentioned in the song exist, all the incidents really happened, all the people are real. In fact, the late Officer Obie (the hapless copy who arrested Arlo and friend for illegal dumping) is an internationally recognizable gentleman, thanks to Stockbridge, Mass., resident Norman Rockwell.

The original 'Alice's Restaurant' (I have the Live 1997 recording instead of the original here) runs a startling 18-and-a-half minutes, too long to run on radio. Yet, every Thanksgiving without fail, radio stations across the U.S. play this song, especially radio stations in the greater metropolitan New York City area and (not surprisingly) radio stations across New England.

You'll be happy to know that Alice's Restaurant still exists in Stockbridge, Mass., although it's now in the hands of new owners. The deconsecrated church in neighboring Great Barrington, Mass., that served as Alice's home and hosted young Arlo and friends that fateful Thanksgiving is now owned by Arlo himself and serves as an non-denominational, interfaith meeting house called The Guthrie Center.

I honestly can't add anything to this song at all, since Arlo himself tells it so well.

To learn more about places, names, and faces behind 'Alice's Restaurant,' you can read about it on Wikipedia.

Remember, you can get the rest of the soundtrack in these posts:

Please go to SaveFile to download the following tracks (Click here to reach the Project Page):
  • Metal Drums — Patty Larkin
  • Alice's Restaurant — Arlo Guthrie

Download the rest of the tracks here:

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

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