May-June Music Challenge: We Built This City on Rock and Roll (/Folk/Jazz/Hip-hop/etc)

May 1, 2015 2:21 AM

...with apologies for getting that song in your head. Or NOT because it is FREAKING AWESOME.

Anyway, welcome to the new Music Challenge, which will run for at least two months to give people time to get their teeth into it. And special welcome to anyone who hasn't posted in Music before, or not for a long time.

The challenge is: record a song about a city.

This can be a cover, or an original. It can be recorded on the most pristine and expensive recording equipment, or on your iPhone mic. You can do it alone, or involve others. And you can post it whenever you feel you can't get any further, as if there's one thing a bunch of musicians like, it's being asked for their opinions on music.

Post your urban hymn here, and tag it MeFiMusicChallenge and CitySongs.
posted by greenish (28 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Thanks greenish! I would like to get involved so if anyone needs a person to contribute crappily iPhone-recorded vocals (so you can do all the actual work) let me know.
posted by billiebee at 4:03 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

If someone feels like a cover of Sudbury Saturday Night could use a mandolin solo, I'm here for you.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:22 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ok, I think I'll submit something. I wrote a song last year and it's been languishing, so I'm polishing it up and I'll submit it.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:21 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like this one so much I may even participate!
posted by Corduroy at 1:11 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I just want to respectfully say that I have always really hated that song. I say this as someone born and raised in aforesaid city, and a long time fan of said band. But great idea for a music challenge.
posted by gt2 at 7:33 AM on May 3, 2015

This is a great idea. Is there a way to see all of the results specific to this challenge?

I made a city playlist last year for a road trip if anyone needs inspiration.
posted by jeffamaphone at 4:55 PM on May 3, 2015

This is a great idea. Is there a way to see all of the results specific to this challenge?

There will be, on this page, once it's updated. (It usually takes a reminder MeMail or two to get this done; I'll fire one off right now.)
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 8:51 PM on May 3, 2015

Challenge page is up!
posted by cortex at 9:50 AM on May 4, 2015

This sounds like the kind of thing I make mix tapes based on. Sadly I have no musical talents, so I look forward to enjoying yours.
posted by maryr at 1:55 PM on May 6, 2015

Sounds like a good excuse to do either a Tom Waits or a Fiery Furnaces cover.
posted by umbĂș at 12:05 PM on May 8, 2015

If I can marshal my Feelings into something coherent and steal a little time away from this freaking paper, maybe something about Burlington, VT?
posted by en forme de poire at 2:04 PM on May 17, 2015

(en forme de poire, there's a Zola Turn song I love with the line "I just can't live in Winooski anymore / everytime I see the hill I just start crying". It's not really their best song though.)
posted by maryr at 8:46 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hahahaha, I was totally planning on name dropping Zola Turn!
posted by en forme de poire at 8:54 AM on May 18, 2015

I wrote mine on the bus last night! It sprang into my head fully-formed. Recorded it on my iphone when I got home, but the recording is terrible and there are some truly bum notes, so it's getting a full re-record this weekend before it's ready to post :)

Anyway this is my way of saying, I call dibs on London.
posted by greenish at 3:59 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Well, there's mine up! Two cities so far, who's got more in the bag...
posted by greenish at 11:42 AM on June 15, 2015

It was mainly by accident that I created not one but potential entries for this challenge. I'm not sure about posting the second but the first is up. While not my original intent, I think its a fitting paean for this once soggy-bottomed town. If you listen hard you can hear the summertime innertubers.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:18 PM on June 18, 2015

Just posted my entry, four cities in one song. Great challenge idea!
posted by BlackPebble at 9:27 AM on June 26, 2015

Heck, I only noticed the challenge yesterday and I thought the deadline was tomorrow, so I cranked out a ditty from 1860 called Boston Jig. I see on the challenge page that we have until July 31, so that gives me time and an excuse to try to learn another one or two city-named tunes that have been on my list for a while.
posted by usonian at 9:08 PM on June 29, 2015

Billiebee and I collaborated on a track for this challenge. Just posted it.
posted by ochenk at 6:44 PM on July 21, 2015

Here's one called Philadelphia Jig from 1865.
posted by usonian at 7:38 PM on July 25, 2015

...and another from 1865, New York March.
posted by usonian at 5:01 AM on July 29, 2015

I uploaded an older version of a song me and my brother wrote about a neighborhood we were stuck in, in Philadelphia, when things were grim - Kensington.
posted by kmartino at 4:13 AM on July 31, 2015

LAST CALL LAST CALL... submit your entries now as I'll be doing a sum-up post in a day or two!
posted by greenish at 6:46 AM on July 31, 2015

Just in time: Rocket City, Huntsville, AL.
posted by cortex at 9:25 AM on July 31, 2015

This month has been brutal with work and moving so I may not make the official deadline... bummer! I will still submit something if I finish it on the early side of late. :)
posted by en forme de poire at 12:50 PM on July 31, 2015

Noooooooo!!!!! Just this afternoon I got an unexpected window of alone-in-the-house time, which enabled me to finally record some vocals for a thing (A contemporary, non 5-string banjo thing!) I had abandoned earlier this month... but I already uploaded a track today! I'll try to sneak it in tomorrow morning.
posted by usonian at 3:32 PM on July 31, 2015

It adds nothing to the conversation, but I am so angry with myself for failing to engage with this one. My city ain't all that, but Goddamn does she have character! "Good challenge" is what I'm saying!
posted by comealongpole at 9:39 AM on November 7, 2015

Nothing wrong with showing up late to this kind of party; get on it!
posted by cortex at 9:52 AM on November 7, 2015

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