50 States of Song Part 1: Alabama to Georgia
When I was in third grade I learned all 50 states in alphabetical order thanks to a catchy tune. Now I'm hoping to stick that bit of trivia in your heads this week, just in time for the new school year by celebrating each state with an appropriate song.
Alabama: Phosphorescent, "It's Hard to Be Humble (When You're from Alabama)"
Only a truly lazy man would have popped Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Doors in here, and that's not how Rocks Off plays this particular game. Instead, here's Matthew Houck, better known as Phosphorescent, as he throws out an ode to his home state from 2010's Here's to Taking it Easy.
Houck keeps the somewhat moody lyrics of his previous work, but a solid driving beat along with hip-shaking horns keeps his sorrowful homesickness from going grim. A fine anthem from a real American songwriting treasure.
Alaska: Chiodos, "There's No Penguins in Alaska": Every time I hear Chiodos I feel like I should be playing a Tony Hawk game. This track from their debut album All's Well That Ends Well is actually about dreaming for a girl while you do that ridiculous petal-pulling thing with a flower.
In short, it's not about penguins or Alaska. Even if it was, the song title would still be a lie. Thanks to stowaways on fishing boats there is a small but significant presence in Alaska. Yet another Warped Tour band leads me astray. Sigh.
Arizona: George Strait, "Ocean Front Property"
It's not George's greatest song, but I've literally been hearing this cut all my life and I love it so. Strait assures the girl who is leaving him that he won't miss her, only to add with chagrin that if she'll believe that he's got a beach house in Arizona he's like to sell her.
Just so we're all clear, this is ridiculous because Arizona is landlocked. However, there are some really sweet lakefront properties for sale. Man made lakes, but still.
Arkansas: Charles Manson, "Stronger"
I maintain that old Charlie Stab Wounds was not a bad musician when you really break it down. Oh, he was never brilliant or anything, but with a little producing he could have possibly seen some action in the music scene.
On the other hand, there's the always slightly unnerving fruits of his unbridled crazy first efforts, like this one here about being an Arkansas squatter who doesn't want the government to make him go to school, in case it turns him foolish. There's a moral in there somewhere.
List continues on the next page.