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American Road Trip Vol. 9

Last time on our US road trip, we left Pittsburgh. From there, one might travel in any direction to reach places of interest to our purposes. I do think it is time we come to the capital.

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Washington, D.C.

chocolate_cityI note Marion Berry, the four-term mayor of Washington DC was arrested again this month, this time for stalking a girlfriend. No matter what Berry”s accomplishments as a mayor and councillor, how on earth does that man still enjoy the credibility to be re-elected? How does the electorate of Washington arrive at the conclusion that a crackhead with the powers of judgment of a lemming is best qualified to govern their affairs? This is a man who delivers pearls of wisdom like, “The laws in this city are clearly racist. All laws are racist. The law of gravity is racist” or “The brave men who died in Vietnam, more than 100% of which were black, were the ultimate sacrifice”? It”s like the great American public electing a former drug abuser with no brains to the presidency. Which, of course, could never happen (and, yes, I can hear you whisper the name Zuma). Chris Rock perhaps nailed it when he said about Barry”s re-election as mayor after i his crack conviction: “How did that happen? Smoked crack, got his job back! What was the other guy on heroin?”
Parliament – Chocolate City.mp3

Baltimore, Maryland.mp3

Well, I sold my pick-up truckGP to take my woman where she used to be. We left our friends and Marion Barry back there in Washington. And I bought those one way tickets she had often begged me for, and they took us to the streets of Baltimore. Well, her heart was filled with gladness when she saw those city lights. She said: “The prettiest place on earth is Baltimore at night.” But I soon learned she loved those bright lights more than she loved me. Now I”m a going back on that same train that brought me here before while my baby walks the streets of Baltimore. On second thought, fuck it, let”s go to Philadelphia.
Gram Parsons – Streets Of Baltimore.mp3

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

tsopTo people who grew up in the “90s, Philadelphia may be a movie about AIDS discrimination starring two insufferably smug, overrated actors. Or the hometown of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. To me, it evokes the sunny sounds of “70s soul. The Philly sound. The O”Jays. The Three Degrees. The Delfonics. Billy Paul. Jean Carn. Blue Magic. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. The Intruders. The Trammps. Lou Rawls singing Lady Love. SalSoul and Gamble & Huff”s PIR.
M.F.S.B. – T.S.O.P. (The Sound Of Philadelphia).mp3
Dexys Midnight Runners – T.S.O.P.mp3


Previously on American Road Trip

  1. Cheap Gas Music
    July 27th, 2009 at 05:12 | #1

    When I think of Baltimore, I always remember fondly the Randy Newman song “Baltimore”.

  2. Dennis Glaser
    July 27th, 2009 at 14:54 | #2

    I’m a cousin, and worked for him a while. Story goes that after Tom wrote the song–with many more verses–he took it to Harlan and said, here, fix it. Which he did, by tightening the story to its current length. The song, by the way, was mentioned in some American Literature textbook as an example of songs that reflect actual life.

  3. July 28th, 2009 at 04:11 | #3

    Another good leg of a great trip. Thanks. (I don’t get the judgment of the citizens of DC either. And actually, a lemming couldn’t do any worse.)

  4. July 28th, 2009 at 21:39 | #4

    thanks for Paliament, diggin’ that :)
    And when I hear Baltimore I automatically think of Tori Amos’ song, makes me feel good dunno why…
    As for Philly – adopted Geordie me obviously thinks of sailing to.. :)

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