Hi-Fi Fifteen: Geography

What makes a person feel a strong connection to a strip of land? The Olympics are here, and I’m doing my best to root for the USA. I’ve never been very patriotic and am not particularly proud of my dusty little Northern California hometown.

Still, I am constantly moved by artists paying tribute to their beloved geography. For this month’s Hi-Fi Fifteen, the three of us contributed songs titled and about the love of neighborhood, state, and country. We follow the moon, moving west to east from our Pacific coastline to the valley of the Himalayas.

1. “California Stars” – Billy Bragg & Wilco
Released on Mermaid Avenue (1998)

2. “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)” – Scott McKenzie
Released as a single (1967)

3. “Edmonton” – The Rural Alberta Advantage
Released on Hometowns (2008)

4. “Rocky Mountain High” – John Denver
Released on Rocky Mountain High (1972)

5. “Up On Cripple Creek” – The Band
Released as a single (1969) and featured later that year on The Band

6. “Jackson” – Johnny Cash and June Carter
Released as a single (1967)

7. “Southside Chicago” – Otis Brown and the Delights
Released as a B-side to the single “I’ve Got Another” (1966)

8. “Oh Jamaica” – Jimmy Cliff
Released on Unlimited (1973)

9. “Graceland” – Paul Simon
Released on Graceland (1986)

10. “Jacksonville Skyline” – Whiskeytown
Released on Pneumonia (2001)

11. “Allentown” – Billy Joel
Released as a single off The Nylon Curtain (1982)

12. “Fairytale of New York” – The Pogues
Originally released as a holiday single (1987) and later featured on If I Should Fall from Grace with God (1988)

13. “The Fenway” – Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers
Released on Rockin’ and Romance (1985)

14. “A Sweet Summer’s Night on Hammer Hill” – Jens Lekman
Released on Oh You’re So Silent Jens (2005)

15. “Kashmir” – Led Zeppelin
Released on Physical Graffiti (1975)

Hi-Fi Fifteen is a callback to the “5 in 5” playlist game that MMDG, holybee, and djlazybear used to play on their lunchbreak. They’re all in different professions now, and don’t even live in the same counties, but quickly throwing together playlists on rotating themes is still fun as hell.