Friday on My Mind: Red, White, and Blue!

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind, our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News.

It’s Fourth of July again everyone. I just read that the 2nd of July during 1776 was the actual day that the Continental Congress decided to adopt the Declaration of Independence. In fact, John Adams was quoted as saying, “I am apt to believe [July 2] will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.” The declaration wasn’t even completely signed by most of the members of the Continental Congress until that August, which is also when England was finally made hip to the idea. You know what this means. We have good reason to bust out flying spinners in August too. Don’t blow yourselves up out there kids and now here some red, white, and blue songs for you all to wave your American flags along to…

Pearl Jam – Red Mosquito

We’re representing Red with “Red Mosquito”, which is from Pearl Jam’s 1996 release No Code. Eddie Vedder wrote “Red Mosquito” in 1995 after visiting the hospital due to a nasty bout of food poisoning. After Vedder’s hospital adventure, he still attempted sing and made it through most of a performance at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, but was unable to completely make it through the show. His vocal duties were then taken over and finished by none other than Neil Young. I guess you can’t be doing too bad when Neil Young is your understudy. Here is Pearl Jam’s performance of the song, along with help from Ben Harper during an October 2009 appearance during the PBS music series Austin City Limits.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- White Walls

Seattle also represents white with a song from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. “White Walls” is another single from their 2012 Grammy winning, debut album The Heist. The song features contributions from big names from hip hop including Big Boi from Outkast, A$AP Rocky, and Seattle hip hop royalty Sir Mix-a-Lot. Portions of the official music video, which Macklemore and Lewis co-directed, were filmed throughout Seattle. At one point Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed from the top of the Dick’s Burger location over at the Capitol Hill on Broadway. Seattleites packed the surrounding streets to be filmed as a part of the video.

Tommy James & The Shondells – Crystal Blue Persuasion

And we round out blue with “Crystal Blue Persuasion” from the 1969 album Cellophane Symphony by Tommy James & The Shondells. The lyrics of this song were inspired by The Book of Revelation from The Bible since at the time, the most of the band was in the process of converting to Christianity, but many believed the song to be referencing the use of crystal meth or even LSD. The drug referencing misconception was reinforced by the song’s use during an episode of Breaking Bad in 2012. Here is video which was made during more recent times featuring 1960’s footage galore:

Honorable Mentions:


Elbow – Red

TV On The Radio – Red Dress (Live on Letterman)

Peter Gabriel – Red Rain


The Clash – White Man (In Hammersmith Palais)

Grandmaster Flash – White Lines

Gorillaz – White Flag


David Bowie – Blue Jean

New Order – Blue Monday

R.E.M. – Blue

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