#109 – “Nevada” (1999)

State Songs
L.K.: Probably the only really hated State Song, but that’s less for the song and more for the seven minutes of parade noises that follow it…
A.S.: I mean the song itself is also probably the simplest thing Linnell has ever written, outside of maybe a few “Fingertips”
L.K.: Yep. It sounds more like a nursery rhyme than a serious composition.
A.S.: And the lyrics are pretty… I dunno, he could’ve written the whole song sitting on the toilet.
L.K.: Well I don’t know about the location, but it sure doesn’t sound like a time-consuming piece of song craftsmanship.
A.S.: Then again, I guess the version on the Hello EP has more lyrics; unfortunately I haven’t heard that version.
L.K.: The lyrics are pretty nonsensical though. “The acorn of the squirrel”?
A.S.: True; at least the little middle stanza seems to have some thought put into it. Hey, I wonder what march the band is playing.
L.K.: I really wonder about the source of that parade recording in general.
A.S.: I wonder if I’d be able to take this to a band director and have him or her pick it out, assuming the band director can tolerate the out-of-tune playing. And yeah, I’d love to find out the story behind the parade recording.
L.K.: Well I mean, also because there are probably legal implications involved behind using a field recording in this way.
A.S.: Yeah, I know nothing about the legal use of field recordings.
L.K.: Somebody from that marching band could decide he wants a cut of the royalties from sales of this song. I don’t know.
A.S.: Or the estate of John Philip Sousa or whoever wrote the march.
L.K.: Well I mean, the march would probably be public domain then if that were the case.
A.S.: Oh right.

L.K.: The performance, on the other hand…

A.S.: Still, despite the immense skip-ability of the track on it’s own, it’s really a fascinating/fitting close to an album that on its surface, is an overview of America.
L.K.: Yeah, it works a lot better in its proper place as an album closer than as a stand-alone track. And I guess we’ll never know the answer to that last question.
A.S.: Of course, it’d be ironic if the march wasn’t written by an American. But from what little I know about marches, it sounds pretty American. Let that extremely qualified statement guide you.
One Response to “#109 – “Nevada” (1999)”
  1. Nathan says:

    While this is such a slight song that it doesn’t really matter, I have to wonder why Linnell changed the lyrics at all. At least there was SOME substance to the ones on the Hello EP, and “The Acorn of the Squirrel” does kind of sound like a state nickname or something. Also, the Hello version is sung quite differently, with Linnell using the same bored-sounding voice he does on “Particle Man.”

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