Allie's Top 12 California Songs

In honor of having only 12 days left in California, I present you with my personal list of the 12 best California songs. Actually, it's more like a California playlist, because I can't deal with ranking things. It stresses me out. Anyway, click HERE if you want to go to the playlist on YouTube. You know you want to.

1) California - Rufus Wainwright

                 California, you're such a wonder that I think I'll stay in bed
                 So much to plunder that I think I'll sleep instead

Most of the videos are boring lyric vids... but you should watch this one. 

2) California - Phantom Planet
 Some definite O.C. nostalgia going on here... Also, in Northern California we don't drive down the 101. We drive down 101. No article.

3) When I'm With You - Best Coast
Okay, so California's not mentioned at all in this song, but a) the band is called Best Coast, which obviously refers to the West Coast, and b) it's the most Californian song on my iPod.  Just listen to it. Fuzzy surf-rock, simple but distorted chords, catchy daisy-chain melodies. It's almost like she can harmonize with herself. This song screams "beach and sun-bleached hair and denim cut-offs."

4) Why You'd Want to Live Here - Death Cab for Cutie

                 I'm in Los Angeles today
                 Asked a gas station employee
                 If he ever has trouble breathing
                 And he said, "It varies from season to season."

True story: A non-Californian friend of mine and I were talking about this song. He laughed at the gas station employee's sense of humor. Those joking Californians. I stared blankly. "But it does..."

5) California - Rogue Wave

                 Screw California, and friends that are never there.

Disclaimer: I have no harsh feelings towards California, and my friends have a good track record of being there. But I love this song... it's like one of those 100 calorie snack packs. It's so light and delicious and sweet and comforting but slightly hollow. I can't help but think it would be better on a banjolele. The song, not the snack packs.

Click here for the original... or watch a fantastic cover by Kristen Sullivan.

6) Road Trippin' - Red Hot Chili Peppers
They have so many California songs... Californication, Dani California, Tell Me Baby, Venice Queen... but I choose this one. It's about a road trip (duh) to Big Sur. The opening lines made me snicker for so long, but I've grown very fond of the allies and snacks. (You'll see.)

7) Just Dial My Number - Jeremy Jay
Happy little piano jangle. Cute boy-voice. Adorable little love song à la Jens Lekman. Talks of his travels through the Golden State.

8) California - Joni Mitchell
Joni and a dulcimer. Wandering through Europe and missing California. It is perfect. How can she say "I'll even kiss a Sunset pig" and make it not sound ridiculous?

9) California One / Youth and Beauty Brigade - The Decembrists
It's just... lovely. They make a highway sound so appealing.

                 And the road a-winding goes from the Golden Gate to roaring cliffside
                 And the light is softly low as our hearts become sweetly untied
                 Beneath the sun of California One.

10) California Dreamin' - The Mamas and the Papas, performed by OriginalGreeno
We all know the song. But do we know it on a ukulele?

11) California Love - 2Pac

                 Now let me welcome everybody to the Wild, Wild West
                 A state that's untouchable like Elliot Ness.

Elliot Ness. Untouchables. Really. Go to 1:26 for the song, if you can call it that. It's kind of ridiculous. I don't even know...

12) California Songs - Local H
A song about hating California songs. Seriously.

                 We're all so sick of California songs
                 Yeah we know you love L.A.
                 There's nothing left to say
                 Please no more California songs
                 And eff New York too.

THE END of the longest post ever. Your poor computer browsers must hate me for all the video spam.

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