Streetwise newsletter unpacks our weird obsession with a Wichita tourism ad
If you follow any of the employees of The Pitch on social media, you might have gathered that we have a fairly wacky office culture. Music is a big part of what we fill the background of our days with. Sometimes this music is used for good. And sometimes this music is used as a prank we pull on ourselves.
A few weeks back, I stumbled upon a song that has become weaponized in our office. And I inflicted it upon the staff. And now we’re sharing this odd addiction with you.
To begin this journey into madness, please enjoy this advertisement from the tourism board of Wichita, Kansas.
Your first reaction might be akin to the first reaction of my friends from Wichita: “Wow, they really fit the only interesting parts of Wichita into less than 60 seconds! That’s it! That’s all the things! We’ve also fed that giraffe.”
My first reaction was: “What is going on with this song? Why did this Wichita ad go this hard in the paint with the soundtrack? Who made this??? And what kind of accent is that?”
I think we can all agree: this track is a bop. Just a helluva earworm—an undeniable banger. We, as a staff, had to learn more, after a day of playing it on near-constant repeat. Here’s what we found.
Cats on Trees is a French duo. Or was. They recorded a song called Wichita back in 2013. If you Google “song lyrics wichita” it is, as we predicted, the first result. Which is surely how this track was found by the Wichita tourism squad. [Not that I can blame them. No one was going to be able to afford The White Stripe’s Seven Nation Army, which is probably modern music’s best-known reference to traveling into Wichita.]
The French element probably answers some of your other questions, like “Why does the person saying ‘Wichita’ sound like they’ve never heard the word spoken out loud?” And indeed, the rest of the track seems to speak of Wichita as a magical place, located by the sea? Yes. Many questions about what this French lady thought Wichita was.
Adding to the delight of this song selection, the lyrics immediately following the ad’s chorus of “I’m going to Wichita” are as follows:
They never let me in,
They never let me get in,
I need to be with you and I will bewitch you
They never let me in
Yes. The song used by Visit Wichita proceeds to detail a city gate that is used to keep people out of Wichita. While the protagonist of the song may be willing to attempt to use the sea to enter Wichita, the city of Wichita is designed to keep them out, and it will require magic/witchcraft to break this curse.
I would like the lead singer to draw me a picture of what she believes Wichita is—because it sounds fantastical and on the scale of a Lord of the Rings civilization. I want to go to there. I want to defeat the gate.
Does this letter from me convey that we’ve got cabin fever at the office, and have spent wayyyy too much time over-thinking an ad for a perfectly fine city in Kansas? Yes, absolutely. Is this song both my favorite and least favorite song in the world, based on the sheer number of times we’ve surprised each other by blasting it in the office? Oh, you bet. Will I lose my mind if I hear those opening piano chords ever again? 50/50!
Anyway. Amid a world full of darkness and complicated stories, I thought on your Labor Day you might like to be introduced to the best/worst song I’ve ever heard. We can all use a little more dumb fun in our lives.
The full track, in all of its glory, is here:
KC Is Never Boring
It’s time for the Best of Kansas City voting round! You can cast your votes starting Wednesday, September 1 until September 30. For our nominations round, you sent us over 54,000 submissions in our 500+ categories, so we’ve got a pretty good idea of all of the people, places, and things that make you love our town. Now it’s time for you to pick the cream of the crop of our Paris on the Plains.
We’re a couple of weekends out from The Pitch’s Fall in Love with KC scavenger hunt, and we still have tickets available. Our scavenger hunt early in the year was a blast, and you and your squad can get in on this round for only a few bucks. All details here.
The first annual National Burnt Ends Day honors one of KC’s biggest culinary creations.
Missouri awards no-bid contract to boost staffing, antibody treatments, field hospitals. The business that got the contract? Best known for their work on the border wall and for some less-than-successful COVID response work in Texas and New York.
In music, we’ve got our monthly Single Sentence Singles review round-up.
Dish & Drink KC: A new French bistro opens in Midtown, plus more new restaurants and openings to look for this month. Also: a new coffee shop opens at 40th and Main, a new chocolatier is making waves (and ice cream) in Blue Springs, and a sodamaker finds a home in Midtown.
Our calendar of upcoming September events is right here. Hope to see you there!
Cafe Europa is moving to the South Plaza and opening a second location.
A new playground opened to big fanfare in Martin Luther King, Jr. Square Park.
The Pitch Magazine—On Stands Now!