Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bands from California

First off, nice lights dB.

Second, I want to defend the music of my home after not being able to adequately recall worthwhile bands from the Golden State. (And admitting I went to high school with the runner up of American Idol-Adam Lambert, attended schools that produced Blink 182 and Unwritten Law, and could only grasp at the bad pop punk--such as Green Day, AFI--and really bad alt rock--a la Third Eye Blind and Train--when put on the spot.)

The Beach Boys are actually from California (Hawthorne to be exact) much to my delight. I don't know why I got it in my head that they migrated from a less surf friendly state. (Unfortunately, the Doors, Santana and the Grateful Dead are also originally from Cali).

The main problem is that it's a place that bands move to, not necessarily come from. And the bands that do hail from the area, don't necessarily have a "California sound" (like the Byrds, Flaming Groovies, and uh, NOXF). But you know what, there's still plently to like. In San Diego alone there was always the Rocket from the Crypt (Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu, Beehive and the Baracudas, Night Marchers) and Pinback (Thingy, Three Mile Pilot, Octagonally Yours) circles, not to mention the totally underrated Black Heart Procession, Pitchfork and Greyboy Allstars.

Though punk (Minutemen/Germs) and post rock, as well as a certain circle of hip hop and electronica, seem to be the strong points there's plenty of that hippy protest rock, power pop (Plimsouls to Weezer) and the more experimental stuff (my personal favorites include Deerhoof and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum) to go around.

If that were not enough to comfort me against all the musical crimes of my state (Monkees/No Doubt, I'm looking at you guys), there are the uniquely California dynamics of indie-ish bands like Imperial Teen, Granddaddy and Sparks... and Pavement... and Beck.

Lastly, though there are plently of songs that are about California (Straight Outta Compton, Hotel California, I Left My Heart In San Francisco, California Dreamin', Kalifornia, I'm So LA), I take great joy in the fact that Otis Redding, bless his Georgian soul, is singing about my waterfront in "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay."

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