Tuesday, April 29, 2008

City Songs: Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans


This citysong comes in at exactly 2 minutes and 42 seconds long, which, according to Joshua Allen's recent rant currently in heavy roation across the music blogworld, is the perfect length for a pop song. The fact that this is not a pop song, but a languid and sparse banjo-and-bass paean to a city which is currently gearing up for the best damn music festival in the universe despite being totally pushed aside by its host nation like the subject of an especially caustic Randy Newman song probably means something. Luckily, this is a place for shortform poetics, not longwindedness on the subject.

From Our New Orleans, one of the best post-Katrina New Orleans compilations I know, which includes all new recordings from Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Randy Newman, and a host of other amazing NOLA-based acts worth knowing.


Anonymous said...


Welcome to SMM. Glad to have you as a fellow contributor. And thanks for the link to the 2:42 rant. Good stuff. That would make a good theme here. Other than The La's "There She Goes," which prompted the whole idea of 2:42, my i-pod has these gems clocking in at 2:42:

This Charming Man - The Smiths
If Not For You - Bob Dylan
Love Me Tender - Elvis
Strict Time - The Other Elvis
Dock Of The Bay - Otis
Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Downtown - Flatlanders
Take Me Back To Tulsa - Bob Wills
No Particular Place To Go - Chuck
Pictures Of Lily - The Who

boyhowdy said...

Thanks for the welcome, Paul; I joined up because of the company, present company included.

My own iTunes list for songs of that length is too long to post here -- over 100 tracks, it looks like. Comes from keeping all your music digitized, and having an oversized collection. Surprised not to find TvZ's "waiting around to die" on your list, though; it comes in at 2:42 on my own listing. And Paul Kelly's original "You can't Take It With You" -- a total classic. And the Grateful Dead's version of Mama Tried -- didn't I get that from you? So much wonderousness.

Hey, Six, do we take requests for themes? Heck, with so many to choose from, and enough great covers in the mix, even if we do a theme like that here, I would still have more than enough to do my own 2:42 coverpost over at Cover Lay Down! Someone let me know by Sunday if the theme is in the offering, so I know to hold back the "right" few.

Anonymous said...

I just checked my iTunes library... I've got 40 tracks that clock in at 2:42!

Anonymous said...

That wasn't the whole list. Just some highlights. My version of Waiting Around to Die is 2:45. I've got 122 total at that length. Probably because a lot of old songs and country songs are short.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
boyhowdy said...

Ah, hadn't realized we were only covering the highlights.

Our different lengths of what is surely the same "original" Townes van Zandt cover lends credence to my suspicions about track-length variability in iTunes. I'd still love to try the theme, if it comes up, though.

Also: deleted spam comment above.

Anonymous said...


Please give me as many theme ideas as you have. This week was suggested by BWR. Last week was Ramone666. Matt had the week before that. And I came up with the first theme.