An Open Letter to NYC: These Five California Songs Show You How to Make a Track Your Own

Empire State of Mind.jpg
We love "Empire State of Mind," too, New Yorkers. But ease up on bringing her out everywhere. Ask your buddy California for some song advice.
Tonight, the season premiere of Rescue Me airs on FX. If you watch the network, you've seen the promos that intersperse shots of star Denis Leary* fighting TV fires and New York Yankee Derek Jeter being ... Derek Jeter. And playing underneath the images is "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.

New Yorkers, I have a message that I hope you take in the right spirit: Take a cue from California, and give "Empire State of Mind" a chance to breathe! 

We get it, New York, you haven't had a good, rousing song about your city since Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York," but that doesn't mean you have to turn into a desperate stalker for the first well-done pop song that gives you goo-goo eyes. What are you, New Jersey? Hell, Jersey almost took it up the ass for "Born to Run," a song about getting the fuck out of the state.

That's why you need to use California as your role model. Any and every dumb music act with a four-track or GarageBand makes a song about California or L.A. or the beach. But you don't see the state making a fool of itself. Oh sure, it won't say no to a blowjob from Katy Perry's "California Gurls," but it's not like it's returning her calls.

Don't misunderstand: "Empire State of Mind" is a great song, and you deserve to stay together. But give it some space, see some other songs, show "Empire State of Mind" you have some confidence.

If you're still unsure how it's done, let California show you. Here are 5 songs about the state that are worth spending a time with when they call.

"Going to California," Led Zeppelin
To this day, California is still amazed that a bunch of Brits could really understand it. Sure, Jimmy and Robert are getting long in the tooth, but they still know the right things to say.

"California Uber Alles," Dead Kennedys
Sometimes, California likes it rough and wants to feel degraded. Don't judge. 

"It Was A Good Day," Ice Cube
This song always takes California back to the early 1990s. Good times back then, even when they weren't, y'know? The sad part for California: This is when Ice Cube thought it would be a good idea to start making movies for kids.

"Carmelita," Warren Zevon
California misses Warren so much. He could make it laugh and cry like no one else.


"I Left My Wallet in El Segundo," A Tribe Called Quest
Best. Night. Ever.

What are your favorite California songs?

* Don't even get me started about the fact that Denis Leary, Boston born and raised, is giving New York City and the hated New York Yankees a big, wet tongue kiss in these promos. Yes, I know his character is a lifelong New Yorker, but I expected better from Leary.


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