Travel mags like American Express’ Travel + Leisure fuel my wanderlust, but it’s always a nice surprise to see a feature close to home. Pick up this month’s issue and you’ll find an Ode to L.A.-inspired music. The piece is a delightful romp around the metaphorical jukebox and I do agree with writer Peter Jon Lindberg when he writes…
Other cities may have equally impressive music scenes, but they lack the peculiar imprint of geography that’s stamped on every bridge and chorus made in Los Angeles. Hell, with most bands you can hardly guess where they came from. I grew up in the thrall of Boston acts like the Cars and Mission of Burma, but none of their songs made me think, “Man, I want to go to Massachusetts!” Certainly none ever name-checked Faneuil Hall.
L.A. bands, however, were always calling out their turf. Their music wasn’t simply of Los Angeles but about Los Angeles. From “Ventura Highway” to “MacArthur Park”; Tom Waits (“Crawling down Cahuenga on a broken pair of legs”) to Ryan Adams (“La Cienega just smiled, ‘See you around’ ”); “California Girls” (1965) to “California Gurls” (2010)—has any other city mapped itself out so completely in song?
No, I don’t believe any other city has, but that’s why we love L.A.
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