With respect to Andrew W.K., and his fine suggestion of keying your 4th of July soundtrack around one song that everyone can sing along to, reflect upon and find deep personal meaning in the lyrics and melody—we’re old fashioned. We like mixes. We like carefully hand-selecting a playlist of holiday-appropriate bangers, and then wowing our co-partyers with the breadth, timeliness and consistent excellence of our musical selections. (Or, at the very least, we like having a bunch of songs at our disposal that we like just in case the party ends up sucking and we have to end up getting drunk and wailing along to the lyrics of each while everyone stares at us concernedly, to stay properly amused.)
Anyway, we couldn’t possibly bear the thought of sending you out into the fray this weekend without proper mixtape ammunition. So here is the official Popdust 4th of July Weekend Playlist, featuring ten songs with some form of national reference in their title to make you swell with pride for your country while you’re fighting with relatives and chowing down on some vodka watermelon. You can listen to our playlist on internet radio site 8tracks at the bottom of each page. And don’t worry—neither Toby Keith or Lee Greenwood are anywhere to be found therein.
MILEY CYRUS, “PARTY IN THE USA”
Duh. Thanks to the assassination of a certain Middle-Eastern someone a few months back, “Party in the USA” has somehow come to be the single-most patriotic pop song of the 21st century, a Boot-in-Your-Ass anthem decrying anyone who dares threaten America’s most precious resource—its popular music. If you’re sick of the original and would rather go the Notorious B.I.G. mashup route, or even with the awesome Bad Lip Reading version instead, we could hardly blame you, but we still get a giddy rush when we hear that opening guitar lick, and Miley hops off that plane at LAX with her dreams and a cardigan. A dozen violently deposed al-Qaeda leaders probably won’t change that.
DOM, “LIVING IN AMERICA”
Massachusetts trio DOM have certainly taken advantage of all their many fantastic freedoms living in the United States of America, namely their freedoms to create catchy underground electro-pop/rock and take a lot of publicity photos where they look like they Don’t Give a Fuck. (Our ancestors would be so very proud.) “Living in America” is the group’s tribute to their homeland of opportunity, centered around a chorus proclamation of “It’s so sexy to be living in America.” Guess they’d know.
JIMMY EAT WORLD, “BLEED AMERICAN”
Hey, it’s not so sexy for everyone living in America. Some of us are fucked up teens or twenty-somethings who rely on the TV for company and on pharmaceutical medication for mental stability. But we all still bleed American (or something), as maybe promised by emo legends Jimmy Eat World on the title track to their smash 2001 album. “Salt, sweat, sugar on the asphalt / Our hearts littering the topsoil / Tune in and we can get the last call” sings Jim Adkins on the song’s chorus. Not really sure what it means, but it sounds anthemic, and on 4th of July Weekend, that’s the top priority anyways.
ESTELLE FEAT. KANYE WEST, “AMERICAN BOY”
Nothing like a little foreign perspective on what makes our country so great, and in the estimation of British R&B singer Estelle, the explanation is obvious: Hot dudes. Well, yeah, she’s also into seeing the sights of Chicago, San Francisco and Brooklyn and whatnot, but what’s really on her mind are the guys wearing the baggy jeans, and what they’ve got underneath them. (Estelle!) Kanye shows up to ostensibly provide some American perspective, but he’s too busy flexing his Anglophile muscles (“Who killin em in the UK, everybody gonna say UK!”) to do much representing. Still, it’s good to know we still have something stateside to offer the women of the world.
DESTROYER, “SONG FOR AMERICA”
Unfortunately, “Song for America” is not actually Destroyer mastermind Dan Bejar’s song for America—that either appears somewhere else on the group’s excellent 2011 release Kaputt, or maybe doesn’t exist at all. (“I wrote a song for America, and they told me it was clever / Jessica’s gone on vacation on the dark side of town forever / Who knew?”) Still, there are lyrics that vaguely describe what could be 4th of July weekend partying, or at least some dark, depraved version thereof: “Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall / Punks kick a ball in a park on a Sunday / Strung out in the rain!” Not buying it? Oh, whatever. It’s a good song. You do like good music, don’t you?
For lots more arguably patriotic pop songs, including Kid Rock and a mashup of some of our country’s greatest Top 40 treasures, click NEXT.