Coming of age in Los Angeles gifts you a perspective of the city that I think other latecomers, newcomers, and “just visiting” tourists lack. There’s an under-the-surface kind of grit, grime, glamor, and glory that I honestly believe only those in their youth, who are pushing and pulling at who they are, recognize. Maybe this is due to all the falling down and missteps you do when you are young, or perhaps it’s from snagging all our hopes, dreams, and innocence, like coat sleeves, on the sharp edges of the city that does it. That’s what I think opens our eyes to it all.
After awhile, it just seems inevitable to see that the city that helped give us all those scars, and all those memories, has plenty of it’s own.
“I can make you satisfied,
in everything you do.
All your secret wishes,
could right now be coming true.
And be forever,
with my poison arms,
“Angeles” by Elliott Smith
from the album, Either/Or (1997)
Song Of The Day – April 26, 2011
“Angeles” is a musical snapshot of the Los Angeles I knew, and still recognize. Elliott saw it, and sang about it, with such brutal beauty in this song, as well as quite a few others in his lexicon of music, and discography of albums. The harsh realities of swindlers and thieves, the bruised up vulnerability of trying for love, the loneliness of the city, the bars and the dirty streets – Elliott captures all of this in “Angeles”.
When I close my eyes and listen, I can see the people in this song, and all the stories in his lyrics. I feel “Angeles” in my bones, and in my own memories.