Talk:State Songs

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Early discussion[edit]

Anybody know anything about the next State Songs release from Linnell? Supposedly he's got enought stuff lying around to put together another album. I hope he would tour it. --BlarJotunn

Yeh, I talked to him once and he promised me he was going work out another one when he had the time, but in this thing he says he "gave up" on doing more. Which made me cry and I really really hope he changes his mind on. --Self Called Nowhere 06:10, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I think it's better if he doesn't do any more. It was fun... but "completing" it would be taking the joke too far. This album + Louisiana + his take on Springsteen's Nebraska is enough. There's a reason magicians don't repeat their tricks. --Nehushtan (talk) 00:11, 13 December 2013 (EST)
1) "Nebraska" wasn't the only supplemental state song; Linnell also performed "Maryland, My Maryland", "North To Alaska", "Ohio", "Tennessee", and, a personal favourite, "California Über Alles" for live shows. 2) i have to disagree and say that there ought to be infinitely more state songs. i'm hesitant to call the project a "joke". sure, the idea of naming songs after states is a bit silly, but the point is just that linnell should produce more solo output (and there's nothing wrong with doing so to such an, ahem, patriotic theme). it's not so much a joke as, perhaps, a legitimate project with a sharp bit of witticism thrown in for good measure. Apollo (colloquia!) 00:21, 14 December 2013 (EST)

I have to concur that it's a real shame that Linnell didn't write a second batch of State Songs, though I feel that there may well be a few wrote for his abandoned second album. State Songs is up there with the first three Giants albums and is one of my favourite releases. I wonder though if he missed Flans energy and organisation in making it? I remember reading at the time him saying how hard it was for him to do everything. State Songs is far more cohesive than the hit and miss Mono Puff. (Mr Tuck) 16th anniversary update! Wow, where does the time go. A wonderful album. Illinois remains one of my favourite instrumentals and South Caroline my favourite three narrator song! If only he'd write the second album. Or at least release an EP of what was left? The solo experiments of this time were interesting as they had the opposite effect to the normal band history. Usually the solo experience where you get to call the shots leads to the band breaking up. I think with the Giants it made them realise how much they needed and appreciated each other. I've often wondered how close they came to breaking up around 95-2001 in that difficult period of their career, before the commercial and kids music gave them a second wind. I think Flans was the driving force at keeping the ship together. I've read stuff about how tough it was at this time, but they never dwell on it. I wonder if more knowledgeable wiki folk can shed light on this period? (Mr Tuck)

Maybe he and Sufjan Stevens should collaborate. -Martorano

Oh, I honestly hope you're joking. - Overjoy

Did Linnell actually use a real calliope on this?

It's a band organ, the kind used inside a carosel. The notes are fed in on a paper roll, like a player piano. - 10:46, 24 Apr 2006 (CDT)

i agree with the first guy, Linnell should do another tour for this album, or at least a concert or 2.

Is it a coincidence that many of the early electoral primary states have also been made into State Songs? I find myself playing the songs in my head when I read the news in a self-amusing way. Of course, many of the songs are also of states that have late primaries. Argonaut 04:40, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

my copy's back is upside down.

on ebay[edit]

I just want to point out that in the release details for the Dutch pressing, in the "purchase" box, it searches ebay for "John Linnell", and nothing more specific. Is there a way to change this? -- DidgeGuy (आ ज) 20:11 14 September 2010

there aren't that many results to look through. and since a lot of times sellers don't explicitly state the origin, it probably wouldn't help you much anyway. -- 21:28, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
107? I think it would help to search for "John Linnell State Songs" and that would narrow it down. -- DidgeGuy (आ ज) 21:44 14 September 2010


My back cover insert came upside-down. Is this usual, or is mine defective? --veggieman.//(leave a message after the click?) 05:36, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Can't you flip it around? -CapitalQtalk ♪ 06:06, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


for those of you wishing that this had come out on vinyl, here's to helping pretend: a back cover, and labels for both sides. -- 06:14, 25 March 2011 (UTC)


I've got a burned copy of a friend's original CD that he made for me some 10 years ago or so that has 17 tracks. Track 16 is Louisiana, and is about being suffocated under a blanket. Is there a reason it's not in the track listing?

Louisiana was not on the State Songs album; it was only available as the B-side on the vinyl single of Montana. That's pretty damn rare. Rare enough that I've never actually heard the song. Your friend must have somehow transferred the vinyl to mp3 and then put it on a CD, or stumbled onto an mp3 of it somewhere else. Perspixx 00:01, 14 October 2011 (EDT)
I wouldn't call the "Montana" single "pretty damn rare" at all, considering you can buy it from the TMBG merch store. --Self Called Nowhere 00:15, 14 October 2011 (EDT)
"This item is currently out of stock" ~ veggieman 02:22, 14 October 2011 (EDT)
Oh. Well, it was there until fairly recently, at least, and shows up on eBay reasonably often. --Self Called Nowhere 03:14, 14 October 2011 (EDT)
Yeah, he confirms that his original has 16 tracks. Sorry, I thought he had told me it was a direct copy from his disc, but he says he must have downloaded Louisiana from somewhere. -- 13:58, 19 October 2011 (EDT)

"50 Songs 50 States"[edit]

Via a series of semi-related internet searches, I stumbled upon this. A songwriter who goes by the name "Netherfriends" completed an ambitious project a couple of years ago where he wrote 50 songs for all 50 states as he toured across the country. It's similar to Linnell's idea in that the song usually has little or nothing to do with the city or state it's named after. However, these are relatively ordinary pop songs without much whimsy (i.e., you won't figure out that Montana was a leg). Check out the intriguing interactive map here. If the site is working properly, you can listen to the first dozen states--I mean, tracks--here. --MisterMe (talk) 15:02, 8 May 2013 (EDT)

Conlon Nancarrow[edit]

It would be interesting to learn whether Conlon Nancarrow was an influence on Linnell's band organ compositions, particularly Utah. Nancarrow programmed player pianos with runs too rapid for any human player. --Nehushtan (talk) 02:41, 4 August 2019 (EDT)