I've been thinking about place and space a lot recently, so when Octopushat made a list of his five favourite songs about Los Angeles
, I decided to do the same. I've been wanting to write something about L.A. for a while, in part inspired by coming across this blog post
while trying to find out more about the second song on this list.
In no particular order.Shihad 'La-la-land'
Of course this was going top the list: a high-energy critique of the vacuous and fast-paced world of the entertainment industry by one of my favourite bands. Plus, an appropriately frenetic video featuring a Angelina Jolie-like cyborg and a very young Jon Toogood.Alexander Hamilton 'L.A.'
This is a remix of MURS' 'L.A.'
(L dot A dot). I prefer the remix because I'm not a big fan of the original's bare hip hop aesthetic. However, I really like MURS' lyrics for their underground hip hop authenticity. The L.A. they refer to is much closer to the real L.A than the rich white parts of town associated with the entertainment industry. At least, closer to the real L.A. of my daily experience. My L.A. is centred on riding the Vermont bus through K-town to West Adams, catching the Red Line between Downtown and Hollywood, and riding the Hollywood DASH loop. It's an ethnic patchwork of predominantly working class Angelenos going about their daily business rather than the glitz and glamour that so many songs reference. Thinking of which...Hathbanger 'Party & Bullshit (In The USA)' (Notorious B.I.G. vs. Miley Cyrus)
And speaking of the entertainment industry, I love this mash-up for the way it deflates that bubble
. The L.A. connection, comes from the full verses of the Miley Cyrus track.Victor Menegaux – Going Back To Dani (Notorious B.I.G. vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers)Another Mash-up
. No apologies, it's one of the most vibrate musical genres of the 21st century. I like both originals, but this is definitely a case where the sum is greater than the parts.
Besides. It has a Fatburger
reference. Represent, yo.
Buuuut, the lyrics are all Biggie, no Anthony...Red Hot Chili peppers 'Dani California'
Menegaux's mash-up sacrifices all of the Kiedis vocals, so the original has to have a place here too. This came out in the year I moved to L.A., so it's not surprising that it was one of the songs on the airline radio for my first couple of trans-pacific flights. This is always my "looking out the window at L.A. on the way to for from New Zealand" song. I'd never actually seen the video before tonight though.
I was going to include the epic 'California Love'
by Dr Dre et al.
, but I've used up my five and it's really just a favourite track with no particular resonance aside from being about California. If I included that one, I'd have to slip in some Katy Perry
That said, I will slip in a sixth. The Dresden Dolls 'Shores of California'
Filmed on the beach in L.A. and created by one of my favourite artists of the last 5-7 years. I have so many good and hopeful memories associated with The Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer and those memories, for better or worse, will always be associated with Los Angeles.
I can't do Christchurch. Not now. But probably not ever. The music that I associate with Christchurch is the music that I associate with 30 years of my life, and especially my 20s. It's too all encompassing to be a viable sub-category of my musical tastes.