Thursday, August 20, 2009

LOST days remaining: 3

So, I'm talking with some friends from my program at orientation on Monday, and they decided that they were interested in checking out the graduate student government table, so I go with them. As we're standing there, this guy comes up and starts waxing socially awkward, making irritating little zingers to try to hold our interest and just generally being the proverbial mosquito interrupting our barbecue lunch.

I was already annoyed, but then he had to go ahead and pull out one of my big pet peeves. "Where are you from?" "Oh, I grew up around here in the LA area." "Oh, well I'm from New York, but I've been in LA for a few years. Which part of LA?" "The Valley." [condescendingly forced pained expression] "Oh, ouch."

So, I know that the Valley was the butt of a lot of jokes in the 80's, and that people on the other side of the Santa Monica mountains tend to still have a little bias against it. And I know that in the 90's people were exposed to that bias via Cher in Clueless, which is kind of the impression that a lot of people have of it now - that it's not as *nice* as the Westside. Which, hey! That's true for some of it. But since when it is cool to rip on anywhere for being less wealthy than somewhere else? I actually thought that was kind of anti-cool. But people still get away with it all the time with the Valley.

Let me tell you, I met someone from Newport Beach this year who told me "I'm sorry" when I mentioned where I was from, and I didn't think it was funny. I just wanted to barf all over her and her snotty privilege. I don't make fun of where other people are from when they tell me, even if I think it sucks. I mean, I might be thinking to myself in my head, "Bakersfield, man, that place smells like cow and it's even hotter than the Valley." But I'd never rip on that person to their face. That's just rude! And even if you think I'm cool with it because I'm not outwardly punching you in the face, "where ya from" is something you can't change, like your family. There's gang wars over people defending their home turf. So no, people who don't know me, making fun of the Valley is not a good way to endear yourself to me.

Anyway - today's playlist. (Commentary is for Laura who is feel free to tell me after this post if it actually added anything meaningful to her life)

Some major points (not per se my favorites among the list, but just those that garnered the stream of consciousness resulting in the following points):

Let Me Know - Roísín Murphy
I was glad to see Roísín come up on shuffle today, because I think she's delightful. She's totally weird but what I really love about both of her albums that I have -- Ruby Blue and Overpowered -- is that though there is a cohesive spirit amongst the songs that defines them as unabashedly HER, the songs themselves all come from such different inspirational sounds that it never becomes just background noise. They all have great character.

Burn, Burn - LostProphets
This was part of my angry rock phase in high school, but it still holds up well for me as a headbanger. Not to mention I couldn't find fault with the not-so-vaguely pyromaniac message.

Strict Machine - Goldfrapp
You'll have heard this most notably in the promos for Nip/Tuck a few seasons ago. I like the heavy downbeat and I'm generally a fan of Alison Goldfrapp's voice. This is pretty prototypical "heavy" Goldfrapp most notably featured throughout Supernature, though this song is from Black Cherry.

I'm Not Driving Anymore - Rob Dougan
Rob's featured pretty prominently on the soundtracks for the Matrix trilogy, and fans of his sound on those albums will appreciate this song. It's got the string symphony set to a rock-ish breakbeat that one may expect from him. A bit repetitive, but generally I like it.

Breath and Start - Blockhead
I am not sure how to pinpoint Blockhead - not because it's categorically weird music, but just because I'd say beats-wise and frequently attitude-wise it's instrumental hip hop. But the sounds over the beats are often smooth, jazzy even, usually influenced by other genres, and not usually associated with the hip hop genre. I guess generally I'd say it's urban cool.


  1. Wow, people are so rude sometimes. Maybe it's because I'm not super familiar with Socal, but I've always thought that The Valley was super legit. I just assumed that a lot of affluent Hollywood types lived out there so that they could have bigger properties and more privacy. I didn't even realize that parts of it were less than nice until very recently!

  2. I'm right with Tiff... In terms of the neg tude toward the valley... I always thought that only rich, spoiled turds thought that way. And THANKS for the musical schooling. You are quite legit with your commentary. VERY Rolling Stone review-esque. Keep it coming!

  3. i just embrace the heat (haha literally) we get for being from the valley, and i kinda like that we're so infamous. i can't believe someone you JUST met would say something so rude as "i'm sorry" about living in the valley. well, I'M sorry to her, despite newport's richness, most people i know from there are either obnoxious or boring and sit around creating stupid things all day which only show that they have too much time on their hands!