One week ago today, I was maxing and relaxing in sunny Los Angeles. I spent my time eating Mexican food on patios, driving with the windows down and walking my friend’s adorable dog, Hudson, around the Silver Lake Reservoir. In other words, one week ago today, I wasn’t wearing Wellies, hitting people with my industrial-size umbrella and suffering from humidity-induced hair frizz.
That’s right — I love you, New York City, but you’ve gotta quit with this rain garbage!
I moved to NYC from Los Angeles in July to accept my amazing editor gig at MTV.com, and while I had only lived in the City of Angels for 18 months, in that time I became pretty attached to my picturesque surroundings. One week after moving out West, I remember driving down Sunset Boulevard, whizzing past the Chateau Marmont, thinking to myself, “Do I really live here? This must be a dream!” and I continued to pinch myself on a weekly basis until I had to stop pinching myself, because that’s weird.
While I absolutely love my Manhattan stomping ground, I definitely miss Los Angeles on days like this when the rain is incessant, the sky is gray, and the public transportation smells like ass.
To get in touch with my California self, I’d like to share some of the songs that remind me of my former hood. Grab a beach towel, apply some sunblock and feel 100 times sunnier with music from The Distillers, Everclear, Hole and Coconut Records.
1.) The Distillers‘ “City Of Angels”: I don’t listen to a ton of full-out punk rock, but once I heard The Distillers, I was hooked. Their second album, Sing Sing Death House, unleashed my inner Liberty-spiked rebel, and I always thought “City Of Angels” was the perfect love letter to Hollywood and the Sunset Strip. Plus, I was lucky enough to hang out with frontwoman Brody Dalle a couple times while I was working at Alternative Press, and she remains one of the badass-est ladies I’ve ever met.
2.) Everclear‘s “Santa Monica”: I can’t tell you how many times I spent driving around Shaker Heights, Ohio, in my friend Jessica’s mom’s Toyota Celica convertible, blaring this song while the two of us screamed along at the top of our lungs. We would even put the top down in the middle of winter and blast the heat so we could still achieve the full “Santa Monica” experience. (I also can’t tell you how many times I developed a gnarly head cold because of such behavior.) Oddly enough, Jessica still drives her mom’s Celica, and when I go visit her at the end of the month, don’t think I’m not bringing this song with me!
3.) Hole‘s “Malibu”: Sadly, I never managed to make my way to “Malibu” while I lived in L.A., but I can put this song on, close my eyes and almost smell the salty beach air. One of these days, I’m going to take a mini-trip and drive down to the Paradise Cove Pier. From there, I also might have to frolic in the water in a nearly nude slip dress so I can pretend to be Courtney Love in the “Malibu” video. NBD.
4.) Coconut Records‘ “West Coast”: Whereas some Jason Schwartzman fans would pick Phantom Planet‘s “California” as their favorite L.A.-inspired song by the Rushmore Renaissance man, I prefer the quieter indie pop of “West Coast.” (Why, you ask? I blame it on watching too many reruns of The O.C. on The Soap Network while I was fun-employed.) Plus, I think the line, “I wish you would’ve put yourself in my suitcase,” is the cutest thing ever, so if Jason ever wanted to sneak away in my luggage, I’d totally pay the check-in fee.