Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Listen to (HELP) GOD HELP AMERICA by Charlie Whitehead.
Listen to SPIRIT OF AMERICA by The Beach Boys.

See if you can guess this week's theme! First up is a repeat appearance from the beloved Charlie Whitehead. Charlie and Swamp Dogg wrote a bunch of songs about America. Some people might object to the rawness and bitterness in a lot of these songs (like The Freedom Under Certain Konditions Marching Band we shared last year), but I can really get behind a song about this country that is passionate and intelligent and isn't watered down or deracinated. Fortunately, me and Charlie aren't trying to be President!

We also have a Beach Boys song, The Spirit Of America, which isn't literally about America at all, despite the title. But symbolically it's about much more than a car--it's about hopes and dreams. Brian Wilson (with help from Roger Christian on this one, I think) has this anachronistic (the doo wop he tries on here was already well out of style) and nostalgic vision that is so appealing to so many (including me).

Photo: Visit to Harlem (1).


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