10. Mambo Sauce – “Welcome to D.C.”
This insidiously catchy song hits every item on the local song check list as it name drops local music legend Chuck Brown, alludes to Marion “Bitch set me up” Barry, and is played at every Wizards game. Oh, and the band is named after DC’s favorite condiment.
09. JB Beverley & The Wayward Drifters – “Ghost of Old D.C.“
Beverley, who’s hopped a freight train or two in his life, writes good and gritty country music. This tune about a ghost train that haunts the rails outside Silver Spring can be found on Dark Bar & A Jukebox.
08. The Baseball Project – “Phenom“
One of this summer’s most exciting moments in DC was Stephen Strasburg’s stunning debut in front of a packed hometown crowd. One of the summer’s most depressing moments was when it was revealed that Stephen Strasburg needs Tommy John surgery. It’ll be quite some time before his return to the mound, so relive Strasmas with this sparse, folky tune told from the pitcher’s point of view.
07. Postal Service – “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight“
Gibbard’s lyrics “I am a visitor here/I am not permanent” perfectly sum up D.C., a city that sometimes seems entirely populated by people just passing through.
06. Skip James – “Washington D.C. Hospital Center Blues“
Listening to bluesman Skip James will cure what ails you. You know, provided you don’t have an actual disease or anything.
05. Gil Scott-Heron – “Washington D.C.“
Here’s a great song from one of the forefathers of political rap. If you weren’t already aware that Scott-Heron is a pretty outspoken guy, the first words of this Reagan-era song—in which he calls D.C. an “outhouse of bureaucracy” and a “mass of irony—should clue you in.
04. Magnetic Fields – “Washington D.C.“
Why does singer Claudia Gonson keep coming back to this fair city? Not because of the monuments or cherry blossoms or cupcake fads, but because it’s where her baby lives. Why do we keep coming back to this song? Because of its awesome chanted intro.
03. The Simpsons — “The Mediocre Presidents”
“I Love Lisa” is a classic Simpsons episode, from the “I choo-choo-choose you” Valentine’s Day card to this song about “the adequate, forgettable, occasionally regrettable, caretaker presidents” who’ve briefly called the White House their home.
02. Bad Brains – “Banned in D.C.“
One of the best tracks from one of hardcore’s seminal albums. This guy says it the best: http://thedailyguru.blogspot.com/2010/02/february-4-bad-brains-banned-in-dc.html
01. Parliament – “Chocolate City“
No, not Hershey, Pennsylvania. Whether you’re in the Chocolate City or its “vanilla suburbs,” it’s hard not to get behind the idea of Stevie Wonder as Secretary of Fine Arts or Aretha Franklin as First Lady.