Songs About New York City, Vol. I – Lou Reed, Interpol, Cat Power, Jay Z, Beastie Boys, Conor Oberst, Stars, The Kills

New York City has been a mecca for popular music going all the way back to Harlem’s Cotton Club and greats like Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Show, the rise in popularity of rhythm and blues, the folk rock movement of the early 1960s, spurred largely by Bob Dylan, followed by The British Invasion (The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Kinks) and Fillmore East and psychedelic rock, the advent of funk and soul, disco and Studio 54, and successive waves of the punk, pop, rock, rap, hip hop, indie and the list goes on and on.

Whatever music genre you’re looking for – from acid jazz to shoe gaze, Mississippi blues to garage rock, city-slicked bluegrass to Broadway musicals, New York, the world’s music capital, has it all.

From The Velvet Underground to The Ramones, Billie Holiday to Simon and Garfunkel, The Strokes to Animal Collective the list of iconic New York musicians and bands is mind-boggling, but not more so then the sheer number of songs recorded in the past nearly 100 years that reference New York in some way, either in the track title or song lyrics.

In this first installment of three special playlist mixes, IRC features some of our favorite songs about NYC. This mix is an extension of the popular State of Music playlist mixes, an on-going series that has focused mostly on songs that are about the 50 states. In time, there will be more mixes of songs about cities around the U.S. and the world. But right now it’s New York time.

“Walk On The Wild Side”Lou Reed from Transformer (1972)

“Hello Brooklyn”Jay Z and Lil Wayne from American Gangster (2007)

“New York, New York”Cat Power from Jukebox (2008)

“New York City”They Might Be Giants from Factory Showdown (1996)

“New York State Police”UK Subs from Warhead (1984)

“Harlem Sunrise”Rainbow Arabia from Kabukimono (2009)

“New York State Of Mind”Billy Joel from Turnstiles (1976)

“New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down”LCD Soundsystem from Sound of Silver (2007)

“Chelsea Hotel”Leonard Cohen from So Long, Marianne (1999)

“New York City Heat”Dead Heart Bloom from Chelsea Diaries (2007)

“The Last Tango In Brooklyn”Frightened Rabbit from TLB4 CD2 (2009)

“Piazza, New York Catcher”Belle & Sebastian from Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003)

“Fairy Tale Of New York” (Pogues Cover) – Stars from Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (2005)

“Brooklyn”Creaky Boards from Brooklyn is Love (2008)

“Brooklyn”Blue Train from No Free Lunch (2002)

See Songs About New York, Mix II

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