To wrap up City Week here at Bridebird, Rachel presents a fantastic playlist that shows a lot of love for the city, whichever yours may be. –A.
There’s more than one way to travel — by car, train, plane, book, music… I’d like to take you on a musical tour around the cities of Europe and the US, though I can’t promise it will satisfy your wanderlust. In fact, it will probably stir it up even more. Honeymoon in Paris, anyone? (Sidenote: I’m really proud of myself for including only one song about New York. So difficult! But one of these days, I just might do an all-NYC playlist.)
Vienna | Ultravox
Ah, a little New Wave from 1981. It’s possible you don’t know or remember this song, but it’s a very likable track and a conversation starter… about obscure music, New Wave, the 80s and, yes, Vienna.
London Calling | The Clash
Nothing obscure about this one. London Calling is a classic punk rock anthem. A lot of people probably consider punk to be the music of juveniles, but this is a serious song about the possible impact of nuclear mistakes, and it reflects the powerlessness felt by many people at that time (in 1979). Is there any wonder this song still carries weight over thirty years later?
Detroit Rock City | KISS
I couldn’t resist including this one. Whatever you think of KISS’s painted faces, second-skin outfits and platforms, this song rocks and is a great homage to a city that has seen better days. (And I’ve got to say, it’s rather touching to hear a band from New York City paying respects to another town.)
Wannabe in L.A. – Eagles Of Death Metal
This song sounds like summer. “I came to L.A. to make rock ‘n’ roll. Along the way, I had to sell my soul. I made some good friends that make me say. I really wannabe in L.A.” And I think we all know what it’s like to go somewhere for one reason, but stay for another. Or at least want to stay…
Santa Fe | Beirut
I don’t really know what this song is about, but I like it! And the title is Santa Fe, so there you go. It’s kind of like Coldplay’s song “Amsterdam,” which seems to have nothing to do with the city. Oh well.
Paris | Friendly Fires
“One day we’re gonna live in Paris. I promise. I’m on it. I’ll find you that French boy, You’ll find me that French girl. I promise. I’m on it.” And that pretty much sums up the American Francophile’s dream.
Manhattan | Cat Power
Cat Power aka Chan Marshall has an honest, raw, chilled out voice that makes her songs soothing regardless of the lyrics. This particular song is an ode to a bygone Manhattan, but if you watch the video (please do!) you will see that New York is easy to fall in love with no matter the year.
Atlantic City | Bruce Springsteen
Songwriter extraordinaire, The Boss pens tunes that are the musical equivalent of comfort food. His lyrics either make you relive an experience or they make you feel like you were there. That’s some powerful writing, so don’t be surprised if this track leaves you feeling a little down on your luck.
Berlin | Lou Reed
This song is from an album of the same name, and it’s about two in-love but ill-fated junkies. Berlin is the setting (obviously), and in spite of the sadness here, the romance of the city really comes through. Though people seem to either love or hate The Velvet Underground, it’s hard to argue that Reed doesn’t know a thing or two about writing a solid song.
Philadelphia | Neil Young
If you’ve seen the film Philadelphia (which this song was written for), then you can expect that this is one sad song. But I think haunting and beautiful are even better terms to describe it, and I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong with Neil Young. But geez, I’m really sorry about all these downers!
Chicago | Sufjan Stevens
There’s probably an old blues writer who has written more songs about Chicago, but Sufjan Stevens is the first name that comes to mind for me when thinking about ballads set in the state of Illinois. This song is a reflection on a youthful road trip and lessons learned. A universal story.
Anna says: Here at Bridebird, music is crucial to our very essence. What I would obsess over at my wedding? The playlist. (Seriously; a likeminded friend just assembled 8 hours of music to play at his recent wedding, with different playlists at the ready in case people were bored, or sleepy, or pumped drunk.) In that spirit, we are thrilled to offer weekly playlists, inspired by a particular theme or feeling or pop cultural moment, that you can purchase over at Amazon, through our affiliate links, we hope. Our only request? To please purchase the music legally; stealing, just like a crappy DJ, is poor form. And we know, we know; we left something out/included a dumb song/generally have strange musical taste. Tell us all about it in the comments!