Saturday, February 25, 2012

My California Playlist

California represents something to me. It represents abundance, happiness, dreams, and better times to come. Sometimes I think I should have been a born and raised California girl I'm so attached to the state. Picturing myself in California is something of an instant relaxant for me. Sometimes it makes me feel homesick too. It's easier to picture myself there when I sing one of my "California songs". Most of them aren't even about California, but remind me of some experience I had in the Golden State, usually with my California born Malamute.

  • Make Me Lose Control- This song by Eric Carmen is definitely one of my favorites. Malamute and I have always loved cruising. In fact, we fell in love on a road trip to Phoenix, Arizona. It makes me think of a trip that we took to California last year when we had some money. We were driving from San Diego to Lake Isabella and going through the desert by Edwards Air Force Base. There was no radio reception since we were out in the middle of nowhere, so we couldn't "turn the radio up", but I think we had a playlist on. But I think what it reminds me of the most is that feeling of freedom and adventure we felt at the time. It was the middle of friggin' nowhere in a desert, but there was a certain beauty to it. It was so open there and it was springtime so the desert flowers were in bloom.
  • The Boys of Summer- I believe the Don Henley version is the one I have been hearing on the radio because of the "Deadhead sticker" reference as opposed to the "Black flag" reference in the version by the Ataris. This reminds me of a night when Malamute and I were engaged and he took me to where he used to live before his business went under. "My love for you will still be strong/ after the boys of summer are gone" is exactly what I feel about that night. According to Wikipedia, Don Henley said in an interview that the song was about aging and questioning the past, and I think it fits from that perspective too.
  • California-The Tchad Blake mix that was on that soap opera The O.C. when I was in high school and college. Yeah, I'm not a fan of the show, but the song has a sense of longing for me. It makes me think of leaving the shadows behind, driving down highway 1 and starting over.
  • The Way- This song by Fastball makes me think of taking off for adventure, foot-loose and fancy free exactly what Malamute and I did on our early road trips to Cali. However, the song was actually inspired by an elderly Texas couple with dementia who disappeared. The bassist read the newspaper articles about the couple and created a romanticized story of them heading off for fun and adventure like they used to do when they were younger. After he wrote the song, he found out that the couple had died. I guess the sense of tragedy fits too. I think it's a nice fairy tale though myself. I like to think that they were driving to California.
  • Anything by Colby Callait- She's from Camarillo, California so that must be why all of her songs remind me of beaches and the ocean. These embody some of my happier California memories. Walks on the beach, eucalyptus trees, fresh mornings where we would go to a grocery store and pick up breakfast before anyone was up. So many good times.
  • California Love- OK, this is a naughty song by rapper 2Pac, but it makes me smile because Malamute says he used to play it when he was pulling up into the church parking for dances.
  • Low Rider- A Cheech and Chong classic. I believe California is where the low-rider originated. And for a hilarious account of what can happen if you try to trick out a low-rider and take it on the streets of Florida, read Arrest-Proof Yourself by Dale Carson.
  • Route 66- This is Malamute's and my song. Our trip to Phoenix took us along the historic Route 66 and ever since he's wanted to take us on a road trip from "Chicago to L.A." following the original Route 66 as closely as possible.
  • All I Wanna Do- A classic by Sheryl Crow. "All I wanna do is have some fun... until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard." Although I think I should change "until" to "after" the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard since my idea of a fun night has turned into one where I'm allowed to sleep soundly and undisturbed.
  • Beverly Hills- "Beverly Hills, that's where I want to be". I have this promise that I made to myself that one day Malamute, Duckling, and I (with the dogs) will one day walk down the streets of Beverly Hills, soak in the ambiance, and eat at one of those fantastic Beverly Hills raw restaurants. I will have something pie/cheesecake with chocolate for dessert.

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