Jesse Jarnow

“california” – dr. dog

“California” – Dr. Dog (download here)
from Takers and Leavers EP (2006)
released by PTV Records (buy)

(file expires November 1st)

Been taking a leisurely slog through Writing Los Angeles, an anthology of great writing about the place. Here, in an essay titled “Paradise, ” Double Indemnity writer James M. Cain writes about what he thinks of as the shallowness of L.A.:

But what electric importance can be felt in a peddler of orange peelers? Or of a dozen ripe avocados, just plucked that morning? Or a confector of Bar-B-Q? Or the proprietor of a goldfish farm? Or a breeder of rabbit fryers? They give me no kick at all. They give themselves no kick. The whole place is overrun with nutty religions which are merely the effort of these people to inject some sort of point into their lives; if not on earth, then in the stars, in numbers, in vibrations, or whatever their fancy hits on.

Thing is, all those things do have kick: what a weird, mystical place southern California must have been in 1933, between the wars. Dr. Dog evokes it perfectly on this Western Swing-on-a-soundstage number from their Takers and Leavers EP.