My Five Favorite Songs about Los Angeles (off the top of my head.)

by octopushat

The internet loves a list, so I figured I’d throw the curtain off this new site and kick off the weekend with a hastily thrown together and not really researched list-post at the top of the page.  Here are 5 songs that I thought of first when I sat down:

“Los Angles” by Frank Black

To me this song is inexorably linked to it’s awesome video that features Black Francis himself driving around the desert in a hover craft (driving?) directed by They Might Be Giant’s John Flansburg. The first single off Frank Black’s 1993 solo debut which remains to this day one of my favorite albums of all time.  I’m still trying to suss-out the meaning of the tune…  I feel like it is about the love-hate relationship with Los Angeles and a desire to escape the “pouring sun” for some OTHER LA, perhaps the one in South Patagonia.

“In California” by Neko Case

A haunting ditty on a bunch of different twangy guitars about lovers separated by geography  and by mentality.  She name-drops K-town, the 405, the Black Dahlia. The song captures the longing and blind hope/ambition/ then resignation of so many of the California Dreamers.  It’s a cover, but I can’t recall who wrote the song.  Neko makes it her own and it I dig the harmonies so much.

“Paradise City” by GN’R

I don’t think they ever mention LA by name, but come-on. Not my favorite of the album, actually I don’t really like the song all that much at all.  I really dislike the outro.  But it was on the top of my head so…

“Ventura Highway” by America

I love the acoustic guitar riff and the bass line on this Arrow 93.1 classic.  Some more tasty harmonies on this one, though I couldn’t begin to tell you what it is about.  “Alligator lizards in the air?” Indeed. Technically I guess it is about Ventura and not LA, but maybe they are driving OUT of Los Angeles…

“Under the Bridge” Red Hot Chili Peppers

Trite and over played maybe, but did you realize that this song is TWENTY YEARS OLD.  Yeah.  And it still holds up w/o sounding dated.  Easily the best John F’s guitar sounded on that album.  Another anthem about the lost and lonely Angelino finding solstice in the arms of the city herself (or is that heroin?)

I’m sure that I’m going to recall an even MORE favorite song even MORE off the top of my head as soon as I hit “publish,” but there are the 5 that I’m going with for now.  Do you have a favorite Los Angeles song?  Or even a song that makes reminds you of LA?