Moby reveals his top ten NYC songs: Listen now!
Mon Sep 21 2009
In case you missed it—and it was an understated record—Moby's Wait for Me album was released in June, and in our humble opinion, it's his best yet (full interview here). Gone are the sheeny stylings of Hotel (an album that even Moby dislikes), supplanted by soft, mournful songs like "Shot in the Back of the Head" (check out the David Lynch--directed video after the jump). A born New Yorker, Moby's playing two shows this week with a full band: He's at the Fillmore tonight and Music Hall of Williamsburg Wednesday, September 23. To celebrate, he's assembled a playlist of his favorite New York songs for TONY—featuring Television, Gershwin and Melle Mel, among others. Live in New York? You need to listen to this.
"'Jean Genie' by David Bowie is one of the best songs about degeneracy in New York—who at 3am hasn't been out and heard 'New York's a-go-go and everything tastes nice' and felt some sense of debauched belonging?"—Moby
Click past the jump for the mixtape, and Moby's thoughts on each song.
"Venus" by Television
Makes me almost ache with nostalgia for New York in 1977 (I was a 13-year-old punk standing across the street from CB's, trying to not look 13). "Broadway looks so medieval" is one of my favorite lyrics ever written about New York.
"Jean Genie" by David Bowie
One of the best songs about degeneracy in New York, and who at 3am hasn't been out and heard "New York's a-go-go and everything tastes nice" and felt some sense of debauched belonging?
"NYC" by Interpol
Sitting on a rooftop in August at 5am after being out all night as the sun is coming up and listening to "New York cares..." is sublime. Big, nasty New York—but it's got a nice soft side, too, and it looks after all of us. Mother New York (who I actually think is Johnny Dynell).
"Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin
The piece of music that makes me most proud to have been born in New York City. To think that the city of my birth inspired one of the best and most beautiful pieces of music ever written.
"New York" by the Sex Pistols
See, even an anti--New York song is still pretty amazing, and somehow makes New York seem like the most exciting place on the planet. I always imagine John Lydon at Max's spewing about how he hates New York but he'll still share your drugs.
"Sunday Morning" by the Velvet Underground
I was going to pick "Walk on the Wild Side," as it probably is the best song ever written about New York, but "Sunday Morning" just sounds like New York at 7am in July. And I decided a long time ago that every Lou Reed song is about New York, even when they aren't.
"New York, New York" by Grandmaster Melle Mel
There are about 189,347,122 hip-hop songs written about, or inspired by, New York, but "New York, New York'" was one of the first and is still the best. Some of the lyrics are truly heartbreaking.
"New York Groove" by Ace Frehley
A mildly obscure song from Ace Frehley's solo Kiss album. and an absolutely flawless paean to disco excess and debauchery.
"Jet Boy" by the New York Dolls
I mean, how many other cities have inspired so many remarkable songs? We live in an amazing place. "Jet Boy" only makes perfect sense at 1am in NYC.
"Autumn in New York" by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Granted, it was recorded 50 years ago, but they're still describing the city in which we live. It makes me want to fall in love and take a nap on a blanket in Central Park.
More Moby: Check out stunning live photographs from Moby's Fillmore show here.