Wednesday, 27 May 2009
All I know about Indiana is that it's David Letterman's homestate and its residents are known as Hoosiers. I've no idea what the word means and hoped Bill Bryson's wonderful book Made in America would have the answer.
To no avail. All I learnt about Indiana from Bryson is that the state passed a law in 1905, which reads in part: "Whoever entices, allures, instigates or aids any person under the age of twenty-one years to commit masturbation or self-pollution, shall be deemed guilty of sodomy". You learn something new etc etc.
Anyway, you're not just here for trivia are you? I hope you enjoy these four tracks and if you have any suggestions for other Indiana related songs please leave a comment below.
MP3: The Jackson 5 - Goin' Back to Indiana
I always get a little sad listening to Little Michael considering the freak he's morphed into since 1970 when he recorded such energetic and fun material as this. The song later gave its name to a TV special of the boys' homecoming concert filmed in Gary, Indiana.
More Jackson 5: Wikipedia | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: Phil Ochs - Jim Dean of Indiana
Ochs wrote this wonderfully mournful sketch of the tragic actor after he visited James Dean's grave in Fairmount, Indiana. The track's from the misleadingly titled Greatest Hits (the LP featured all new material). Released in 1970, six years before the singer's suicide, it was Ochs' final album.
More Phil Ochs: Wikipedia | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: The Bottle Rockets - Indianapolis
The Bottle Rockets were alt.country heroes in the early 90s but never seemed to get the attention in the UK that The Jayhawks and Whiskeytown received. Booze, cars, jail, pissed-off girlfriends, no money and a jukebox that plays John Cougar Mellencamp - they're all here in just over three-and-a-half-minutes of twangy goodness.
More Bottle Rockets: official site | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: Lyle Lovett - Up in Indiana (Acoustic)
The tale of a fella on a chain-gang thinking about the girl who "looked over 22" and presumably landed him in the joint. Some trivia: Henryville, the setting for this track from Lovett's 2007 album It's Not Big It's Large, is the birthplace of KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders. Some more trivia: Lyle Lovett's brief marriage to Julia Roberts began in Indiana; they wed in the town of Marion.
More Lyle Lovett: official site | Amazon | 7digital
We're staying in the Mid-West for our next state on the journey - Iowa. See you down the road.
State Songs #14: Illinois - Frank Zappa, Wilco, Tom Waits, The Handsome Family, Sufjan Stevens, Three Bits of Rhythm
The Journey So Far
State Songs - links to every post on this musical road trip