Inspiration and Perspiration: 10 Tracks That Sum Up The State Department

Tomorrow night at DC9 will be a District showcase of sorts, with local rock mainstays Modern ManThe State Department, and Shark Week sure to shred.

The State Department | Engender Me

State Department guitarist Patrick Kigongo took a few minutes to prep a playlist for your Friday enjoyment of songs that have inspired them during their journey to success and excess. Give it a listen through the YouTubes below, or stream it on Spotify, then come out tomorrow night and see this DC post-punk powerhouse.

The State Department | Mt. Pleasant

1. Happy Mondays – “Wrote for Luck”
Tony Wilson was right. Shaun Ryder really was the greatest British poet since Yeats.

2. The Birthday Party – “Junkyard” 
I can’t think of too many bands who are as genuinely confrontational or as beautiful as the Birthday Party. Maybe the Pop Group, I dunno. The twin assault of Nick Cave’s vocals and the late Rowland S. Howard’s shrieking Fender Jaguar pummels the listener into submission. Not for the faint of heart.

3. Isley Bros. – “That Lady”
Unfortunately, most people only know this song from TV commercials. What a lotta folk don’t know is that Jimi Hendrix played with the Isleys in the early ’60s. It’s evident that his style rubbed off on Ernie Isley, who fuckin’ wails on this track.What a solo!

4. Blur – “Bang”
Mike Medlock (vocals) and I are pretty serious Blur fans. Anytime we end up hanging at his house, “Live in Hyde Park” or “Glastonbury 2009” is playing in the background. The lyrics on this song are pretty ho-hum, but Graham Coxon’s guitar and Alex James’ bass playing take this song to another level…

5. Tame Impala – “Solitude is Bliss”
I slept on these guys for a while, but I really got into this record after hearing on repeat while hanging with Tennis System on a random Tuesday night. Me and Aaron Baird (drums) usually warm up to this song.

6. David Bowie – “Golden Years”
In the mid to late ’70s, David Bowie could do no wrong. The man had so much soul and swagger and it really shows on this track. It’s a shame that he’s retired.

7. Serge Gainsbourg – “Requiem pour un Con”
The greatest diss song of all time? I think so. Serge was a straight up G. But real talk, the English language version on “Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited” was absolute shit. Some of Serge’s humor doesn’t translate well into English. Stick to the original for that real deal Holyfield hate.

PS If you’re bored, go on YouTube and watch some of his interview clips. The man was nuts.

PPS Jason Mogavero (bass) has a framed copy of 1970’s “Histoire de Melody Nelson,” another Gainsbourg classic, on his living room wall.

8. Beastie Boys – “Hey Ladies”
Tell me that this isn’t one of the greatest party jams of all time.

9. Ringo Deathstarr – “Imagine Hearts”
Our very first show was opening for these guys (and gal) at Black Cat in October 2009. The after-party set a pretty high bar for post-show destruction.

10. The Stooges – “TV Eye”
The importance of this band cannot be overstated.

Photo Credit: Sara Nabizadeh

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  • Ed

    “The importance of this band cannot be understated.” You mean overstated, correct? The Stooges were pretty important!

    • Anonymous

      You are correct in both regards! Thanks…

  • Ed

    “The importance of this band cannot be understated.” You mean overstated, correct? The Stooges were pretty important!

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