Punk rock songs about California deserve their own box set. None of these are making it to my final mix CD, but that doesn't mean that they don't deserve your ears. More outtakes:
Dead Kennedys, "California Über Alles" and "Moon over Marin"
The two most accidentally melodic DK tracks are dedicated to the state's Jerry Brown Part I-era conditions. Jello Biafra's lyrics sound dated, even escapist in a post-Dick Cheney America, but the tunes rescue them.
Fear, "I Love Livin' in the City"
Mr. Boddy from Clue croons of his favorite city and all the debauchery that it encompasses. Eat your heart out, Randy Newman.
The Stooges, "L.A. Blues"
Call it noise-rock, if noise-rock ever got this good. "L.A. Blues" ruined music for everyone (except for maybe Thurston Moore and G.G. Allin.)
Sleater-Kinney, "Hollywood Ending"
Proof that Sleater-Kinney's deep cuts run deep. Outside of the Beastie Boys, no alt-rock vocalists played off each other as well as Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein.
Frank Black, "Los Angeles"
"I want to live in Los Angeles, not the one in Los Angeles." Of course not, Frank.
Rancid, "Journey to the End of the East Bay"
I spent a week laboring over this bassline, and even tried playing with three fingers, like Matt Freeman. Somehow, it never sounded quite like this.
The Misfits, "Hollywood Babylon"
Laugh at Glenn Danzig all you want. No one, not even the Cramps, ever captured the macabre psychobilly sound quite like he did with the Misfits.
Local H, "California Songs"
It kills me to not include this. I've seen Local H play this for eight years, and every year there's a new terrible hit about California for Scott Lucas to dedicate the song to. When Local H write about hating California as much as they hate the music it inspires, it'll go on a mix for my sister.