Utah–one of my favorites. I used to come out here to visit my sister when she lived in Salt Lake and I simply fell in love with the only state to have six straight sides and more BLM than any other state. And yet there are so few great songs about this great state. But here’s a few that will do.
Departure: Can I tell you about my unabashed love for REM? This album for some reason or another struck a chord with me–the spareness, the grunge and disconnectedness, the hollow feeling like you’re soaring through some wispy clouds and staring down at a vast nothing. At any rate, enjoy.
The Mess Inside: Back when the Mountain Goats (really, John Darnelle—also a helluva an author, by the way) was what has been called miltantly lo-fi. Darnelle’s strident guitar is matched by his voice and like lots of his early work, it is angsty (but in the way that cuts you to the bone). Throw this track on and let it lay you bare as the boneyards of southern Utah.
Utah Gateway to Nevada: Not a technically great song. Okay, actually it is masterful and damn is the YouTube video entertaining. With lines like “Utah gateway to Nevada. Not as cool as Colorada,” this is simply fun. And, for what it is worth, I love Utah more than Colorado.
Sign on the Window: After being spurned by his friends, Bob is gonna build himself a cabin out in Utah, catch some fish and raise some children. It’s a trifle compared to some of his other songs, but it does explicitly mention the beehive state.