Songs for the Golden State

12 Sep

I made a preliminary version of this mix for a road trip down Rt. 1 to Santa Cruz with my friends Hal and Emily. Growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, I never thought that I would one day be a Californian. But, somewhere along the way, with the top down, the Ocean on my right, and some pesticide-free organic veggies in my bag, I realized that I’ll be out here for a very long time. (note, this is a re-post of a very old entry).

Going Back to Cali – LL Cool J
“Her bikini – small; heels – tall
She said, she liked, the ocean”

California Love – TuPac
My white version would have different shout outs at the end of the song…
“Mill Valley in tha house, uh yeah. Atherton, Atherton definately in tha house hahaha. Walnut Creek, The Creek. Hey, you know Humbolt is up in this. Humbolt, where you at? Yeah, La Jolla, La Jolla always Hoe Ya. Even Malibu tryin to get a piece baby. Rancho Cucamonga where ya at? yeah”

Goodbye California – Jolie Holland
As were driving down the coast, Hal asked “does she talk in that voice too?” I sure hope so.

California Uber Alles – Dead Kennedys
I doubt Jello Biafra would have guessed that Jerry Brown (his aura smiles and never frowns) would one day be Mayor of Oakland, not President of the United States, let alone Governor again years later.

California – Joni Mitchell

A friend once played me this song, quoting her collage friend who said “Everyone should listen to Joni Mitchell’s Blue before falling in love.”

That’s Why I Came to California – Leon Ware
A soulful tour of the major cities of California

Estimated Prophet – Grateful Dead
The song is actually about the tripped out folks hanging out by the stage door at Dead shows. Without the band to follow around, they are now scattered throughout California, talking to themselves.

California English – Vampire Weekend
You’ve got to read all the lyrics. Any band that references Toms of Maine toothpaste is OK in my book.

Do-Re-Mi – Woody Guthrie
California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot
If you ain’t got the do re mi.
Seventy years later and the lyrics still apply

California Stars – Billy Bragg and Wilco
Also from Woodie Guthrie.


One Response to “Songs for the Golden State”

  1. ET September 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    I remember this trip! Best Chinese food I’ve ever had while camping. And I like your list, even if it’s missing one of my favorites, Luna’s “California (All the Way).” Nothing brings me back to 1994 (driving around SF in my then-boyfriends VW bus) like it.

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