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December 14, 2014 5:41 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for SoCal music, the newer the better. It doesn't have to be from there necessarily but it has to evoke it. No Eagles.

This question is good but I don't just want songs where the lyrics are about California, I want anything that evokes Southern California.

Already got tons of ska, Best Coast, Dre, "Going Back To Cali" by LL Cool J, everything from the Drive soundtrack, and the Minutemen and Dead Kennedys. Also System of a Down. Plus technically they're from Berkeley, but Operation Ivy and Green Day.

I'm looking for anything and everything, not just stuff similar to what I already have. (Surf music? Nortec? I don't know) Please, if you are not sure whether to recommend something, just hit post!
posted by vogon_poet to Media & Arts (34 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Gabriel Kahane's The Ambassador! (Here's its site and a Rolling Stone writeup.)
posted by ferret branca at 6:00 PM on December 14, 2014

I think of Pinback and their side projects (Rob Crow, Systems Officer, and many others) as evocative of a melancholy version of San Diego.
posted by umbú at 6:12 PM on December 14, 2014

Also weird electric jazz virtuosos kneebody seem very LA to me.
posted by umbú at 6:17 PM on December 14, 2014

Sublime, of course
posted by sacrifix at 6:19 PM on December 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Jenny Lewis, definitely.
posted by The Michael The at 6:19 PM on December 14, 2014

Here's a totally random and unmanicured list!

Bad Religion
Suicidal Tendencies
Jane's Addiction
Cypress Hill
Angry Samoans
Guns N Roses
The Airborne Toxic Event
The Beach Boys
The Eagles
Social Distortion
The Offspring
Motley Crue + Every glam rock band of the 80s ever
Black Flag
The Germs
posted by pazazygeek at 6:28 PM on December 14, 2014

Well it's not exactly new but
Los Abandoned - Van Nuys (es very nice)
posted by Lorin at 6:29 PM on December 14, 2014

Jack's Mannequin
posted by ichomp at 6:36 PM on December 14, 2014

Beachwood sparks & Apollo sunshine , both sounds very turn of the century/early aughts LA to me.
posted by askmehow at 6:44 PM on December 14, 2014

Danny Elfman, Oingo Boingo, and the Dandy Warhols.
posted by effluvia at 7:10 PM on December 14, 2014

posted by zutalors! at 7:12 PM on December 14, 2014

How has no one mentioned Red Hot Chili Peppers yet?
posted by desjardins at 7:13 PM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Tristeza - used to be a San Diego band, but have since moved. Golden Hill is named after a San Diego neighborhood. One of their guitarists went off on his own as The Album Leaf, and started to get a bit twee and precious later on, but his first album is pretty good. One Minute is from a later EP.

Greyboy - Technically a DJ, but does kind of a acid jazz thing and used to perform with a live band called the Greyboy Allstars. Panacea, which made an appearance in the Get Shorty soundtrack.

Then we have our punk bands, like Hot Snakes. John Reis, of that band and quite a few others, along with Rob Crow had their fingers in just about everything coming out of San Diego in the late 90s - Reis was part of Rocket From the Crypt and Drive Like Jehu; Rob Crow's circle started from Three Mile Pilot, which evolved into Pinback, Black Heart Procession and other bands. I don't know how much of a "this sounds like California" vibe you'd get out of any of those bands.
posted by LionIndex at 7:43 PM on December 14, 2014

What about Captain Beefheart and The Doors?
posted by rfs at 8:19 PM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar! (Probably most known for Miserlou, but all his stuff makes me feel SoCal).
posted by whoiam at 9:38 PM on December 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

Warren Zevon

Flogging Molly

Fitz and the Tantrums
posted by mogget at 9:42 PM on December 14, 2014

Long Beach Dub All Stars.
posted by fshgrl at 10:16 PM on December 14, 2014

I know you said no Eagles, but I don't see any yacht rock represented - Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, Christopher Cross, etc. Very much a time as well as a place!
posted by Otter_Handler at 3:43 AM on December 15, 2014

The Go-Gos
Van Halen
The Dickies
Los Lobos
Dream Syndicate
Randy Newman

I can't stand either, but No Doubt and for sure desjardins' pick, The Chili Peppers.

Seconding Sublime, Suicidal Tendencies, and Motley Crue

God, these are all so old.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:01 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not new, but Incubus.
posted by like_neon at 5:42 AM on December 15, 2014

Concrete Blonde -- Especially "Still in Hollywood"
Country Crows -- especially the Album Recovering the Satelites
The Go Gos -- Especially "This Town", but in general too
No Doubt
Real Estate (they're actually from New Jersey, but it reminds me of So Cal for some reason)
posted by willnot at 6:34 AM on December 15, 2014

Duh, Frank Zappa, fer sure.
posted by effluvia at 6:37 AM on December 15, 2014

I associate this kind of tight narco-corrido with crisp, sped-up drums that sound like a drum machine with Southern California. Gerardo Ortiz is from Pasadena.
posted by umbú at 9:54 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

A couple of other ideas: Trying not to go down the punk rock rabbit hole, but Agent Orange. Also Beat Farmers. And speaking of rabbit holes, have fun with Freestyle Fellowship!

Buffalo Tom are from Boston, so maybe their mid-90s stuff feels like SoCal just because I played them so much, but at least give Tangerine a shot.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:13 AM on December 15, 2014

Not new, but The Edge by David Axelrod evokes LA in the 60s for me. The entire Songs of Innocence album is fantastic. The Mamas and the Papas also scratch that same itch for me. Their album If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears is especially good.
posted by slogger at 11:22 AM on December 15, 2014

Response by poster: These are all excellent suggestions, some I should have thought of and some I never would have. My playlist is expanding.
posted by vogon_poet at 12:55 PM on December 15, 2014

Some other stuff that evokes SoCal for me
Summertime Sadness, Cedric Gervais remix.
Lots of Lana del Ray actually, but I always prefer more upbeat remixes.
Southside by Moby and Gwen Stefani
Tom Petty, free fallin.
1979 by Smashing Pumpkins (may need to watch video)
Everybody Loves Me by One Republic
Black Hole Sun
Queens of the Stone Age, Songs for the Deaf
Mother Hips: Rich Little Girl, Desert Song, Channel Islands Girl, Homesick Son of a Grizzly Bear esp
Mr Bungle, especially Pink Cigarette for me.
Violent Femmes
Kris Kristofferson: Me and Bobby McGee, Sunday Morning Coming Down.
Sprung Monkey, Sweet Home San Diego and Get Em Outta Here.
Sheryl Crow, Tuesday Night Music Club, esp All I Wanna Do.

Either I'm old or there was a golden age of these songs 10-15 years ago.
posted by fshgrl at 1:04 PM on December 15, 2014

When I think of SoCal, I think of desert rock...

Fu Manchu
Queens of the Stone Age
Brant Bjork
posted by medeine at 1:18 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: Home.
Bush: Machinehead reminds me of driving way too fast on the freeway as a kid.
posted by fshgrl at 1:19 PM on December 15, 2014

Eleni Mandell
posted by neat graffitist at 1:57 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Rose Royce

Oh! Oh! Fear [NSFW. OBVS.]

You probably have Fishbone?
posted by Room 641-A at 2:04 PM on December 15, 2014

Ozomatli + Fishbone? You're south of the grapevine.

Ozomatli + Fishbone + Cake? You're in northern California.

Easy navigation in case you are ever confused at a festival. Valid since '97.
posted by fshgrl at 2:34 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah it's starting to seem like the late 90s-early 2000s was the moment.
posted by vogon_poet at 2:39 PM on December 15, 2014

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