Friday Five :: Songs about Los Angeles


Songs About Los Angeles


For the month of September I will be picking a city to do a Top 5 Songs of Post for the weekly Friday Five theme. To start off with, of course, my hometown, place of my birth, and place I always find myself back in no matter how many times I try to leave, Los Angeles. The city of angels, of broken dreams, of Hollywoodland, of tinsel and stars on the sidewalk, and maps to the stars handed out by the homeless, and of mountains and oceans and palm trees, and yes, really nice weather (except for maybe the earthquakes). I have spent my life falling in and out of love with this city, she holds my memories, and I try not to hold her in too much disdain, after all, I am always the prodigal daughter returning, again and again and again.


I could hear everything, together with the hum of my hotel neon. I never felt sadder in my life. LA is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities; New York gets godawful cold in the winter but there’s a feeling of wacky comradeship somewhere in some streets. LA is a jungle.” ~ Jack Kerouac

If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model and the San Fernando Valley is her teenybopper sister, then New York is their cousin. Her hair is dyed autumn red or aubergine or Egyptian henna, depending on her mood. Her skin is pale as frost and she wears beautiful Jil Sander suits and Prada pumps on which she walks faster than a speeding taxi (when it is caught in rush hour, that is). Her lips are some unlikely shade of copper or violet, courtesy of her local MAC drag queen makeup consultant. She is always carrying bags of clothes, bouquets of roses, take-out Chinese containers, or bagels. Museum tags fill her pockets and purses, along with perfume samples and invitations to art gallery openings. When she is walking to work, to ward off bums or psychos, her face resembles the Statue of Liberty, but at home in her candlelit, dove-colored apartment, the stony look fades away and she smiles like the sterling roses she has brought for herself to make up for the fact that she is single and her feet are sore.” ~ Francesca Lia Block


Following are my Top 5 songs about the Los Angeles. Do you have any?

1. Let Me Back In :: Rilo Kiley

But when the palm trees bow their heads,
no matter how wrong I’ve been,
you always let me back in

2. La Cienega Just Smiled (live) :: Ryan Adams

“And I hold you close in the back of my mind,
feels so good but damn it makes me hurt.
And I’m too scared to know to how I feel about you now.
La Cienega just smiles…”see ya around”.”

3. L.A. Song (live) :: Beth Hart

She hangs around the boulevard,
she’s a local girl,
with local scars.”

4. A Long December :: Counting Crows

“And it’s one more day up in the canyon,
and it’s one more night in Hollywood.
It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean,
I guess I should.

5. Angeles (live) :: Elliott Smith

I could make you satisfied in everything you do,
all your secret wishes could right now be coming true,
and be forever with my poison arms around you.
No one’s gonna fool around with us.
No one’s gonna fool around with us.
So glad to meet you,

2 Replies to “Friday Five :: Songs about Los Angeles”

  1. Hello Lyrique Discorde,

    That’s actually Portland in Elliot Smith’s video! Thanks for the amazing picture of Fairfax Avenue. I was born in Los Angeles (in 1958! c’est bizarre!) though my parents left when I was two. Though I used to visit my grandma there my whole life.


    Lauren Kael


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