A Musical Focus on Ohio

Posted by scapozzola on 02/27/2011

Here at ManufactureThis, we have a certain appreciation for Ohio, the 7th most populous state in the U.S.  It's the state that produced both the Wright Brothers and Guided By Voices.  It's also an industrial hub of the Midwest, a manufacturing economy that has built a lot of tires, auto parts, and bicycles.  And it's home to one of our favorite radio talk show hosts: Louie B. Free.

Ohio has had a tough time of it lately, though.  We've visited our friends in Youngstown (like our manufacturing book co-authors John Russo and Sherry Lee Linkon), and we've heard/seen plenty of stories about the ongoing layoffs that have devastated many communities.

If you want to know just how bad things are, consider this: Ohio has lost nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs over the past decade, and their loss of manufacturing employment has declined faster than much of the country.

We want to send a message of support to our friends there in the Buckeye State.  So we figured we'd reprint a cool recent item from The Ruckus, wherein they identified their Top 5 Songs with "Ohio" in the Title.  What makes the list all the more impressive is that they didn't include the obvious choice of "Ohio," by Neil Young.

So, without further ado, courtesy of The Ruckus:

5. The Low Anthem - To Ohio

This song has an almost ethereal quality about it. Haunted, simple, beautiful. I could tell you how it captures a bit of Ohio or why the reference matters, or I could let you listen to it for yourself. I think the latter sounds more appealling.

4. Gillian Welch - Look At Miss Ohio

Classic Americana feel and lyrics. Captures the urge to escape, to travel, to see more of the world and live a little bigger that so many of Ohio's (and the world's) youth feel.

3. The Black Keys - Ohio

Bluesy-rock from one of my favorite Ohio acts. A gem amongst currently recording artists, and one that shows the depth of talent in our little state. This song kicks ass and takes names, to put it simply.

2. Over the Rhine - Ohio

A song full of heart-wrenching nostalgia and a sound that, for me, expertly captures the quintessence of Ohio winters. Listening to this and imagining the landscape is just as powerful as actually experiencing it. Also probably warmer, unless it's subzero wherever you are when you listen to the song.

1. The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio

This song was talked about a lot last year, and for good reason. There's an urgency and longing in the lyrics that no description or analysis has managed to capture, in my opinion, so I'm not even going to try. Just listen and bask in the Ohio reference, ok?

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