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These United States will be playing the Black Cat tomorrow night, Saturday, July 7th. We got a hold of TUS’s frontman Jesse Elliot to talk about a few of their tracks. In the mean time listen to their entire self-titled release.

These United States – These United States by These United States

Dead & Gone – This is the most fun I’ve had with lyrics since Honor Amongst Thieves, a very DC-based tune. This one is a continent-wide version of that, compare and contrast, your basic anthropology lesson, maybe melded with a little existentialism – you know, for the good times, the salad days. Nearly drove us all to tears trying to get the music to go along just so – that’ll teach us to choose such careers.

Miss Underground – Didn’t really mean to keep this one around, until we sent the demo tracks that Justin and I had done with this Brooklyn band called Backwords on to J. Tom Hnatow. He latched right on to the perfect slide guitar hook, and next you knew we just couldn’t let her go! Or was it us who was going? Always so hard to recall.

The Park – This is what happens when the lead guy is proven wrong. Everything turns out right. I loved this song at first, then I thought we missed the mark. Maybe it needed another go-round or two. Surely it’d make it on some album, but not this particular one. There were heated debates. My bandmates out-reasoned and out-voted me. I relented. The song made it. They were right, in retrospect. Damnit. As a DC-specific sidenote, “the park” referred to therein is Malcolm X, 15th & W, a non-descript beautiful brown brick Latin American hideaway, 5 stories tall. That’s the first place I ever lived in the District, and I still can remember the Sunday morning sound drifting across all those people in a circle, just the way the song says.

  • Never Stop Falling – The most spontaneous of all tracks recorded for this album, just 10 people, 2 drum kits, organ, piano, guitars, singing saw, anything to clank or lean on possible, a microphone for every pot, and all 10 madly in love with each other and hungover together bad from such a long late night on a wild bluegrassed Kentucky horse farm as you have never known kind of an evening. Us and Frontier Ruckus it was, if memory serves, which of course it never does right at the moment you need it most. We needed each other the most, and we got it.