I’m in Love with Love

Aug 2, 2013 by

When writing about Mazzy Star last week, I left out an obsession I have with songs that take place in, or are about, California.  We usually don’t know when our obsessions start; they’re just a part of us, a hole somewhere inside we desperately need to fill.  In this case, I know exactly when it started.  November of 2001, we were leaving California after 9 years.  We were excited to move back to the east coast, but we were a bit distraught to be leaving a west coast life we dearly loved.  We had a long road trip ahead of us and to help ease us into the transition, I did what all boys do.  I made a mix tape.

I downloaded every song I could find with any variation of California in the title with artists ranging from Tupac and LL to Johnny Cash, REM and the Beach Boys.  I even had “More Bounce in California” by Soul Kid Number One, which is a pretty stupid song – but I defy you to listen to it and not sing it the rest of the day.  You will, and it absolutely personifies Southern California.  The wide range of musicians and styles are befitting a mix about California.  It’s a big state and while most everyone around the country tends to think of it in homogenous terms, it is an incredibly diverse state.  If I magically transported you to Tracy City, then LA, then San Francisco, then Oakland, then the Russian River (preferably Guerneville, that town is CRAZY), you wouldn’t think all of those places were the same state(In Guerneville, you’d think you were on another planet), hell Oakland and SF are minutes away from each other and are two totally different cities in both looks and attitude.   It’s one of the reasons we loved it there, I’ll always miss it.  Thankfully, California is a muse for many bands, so I’ll never run short on songs about California.

My current favorite is “San Francisco” by The Mowgli.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about The Mowgli when I first heard them, but I’m quickly warming up.  “San Francisco” is a glorious choral shout out to one of the best cities on the whole fucking planet.  It’s hard not to think Polyphonic Spree when listening.  The arrangements, the vocals, and the pure ecstatic joy – you can hear the band smiling as they sing.  I’ve had a bit of a crush on the song since I first heard it, but I fell head over heels in love with it this morning on my way to work.

I usually vacillate between NPR and the various pseudo indie radio stations on Sirius while on my way to work in the morning.  NPR makes me feel smart, music makes me feel good.  Sometimes NPR plays music and my worlds collide for the better.  Sometimes indie music sings about politics and I feel sad.  It’s a big decision for my day; do I want to feel smart? Do I want to be happy?  Can I risk potential sadness?  Pretty heady stuff for eight in the morning, don’t you think?

Since it’s Friday and I’m a little hungover, I opted to risk potential sadness in the hopes of feeling good.  Somewhere on highway 52, just as the trees give way to concrete, the opening lines “I’ve been in love with love” come streaming through my speakers.  The sky is suddenly bluer, the sun is brighter and lines like “I’m in love with love” aren’t cheesy, they’re inspiring and beautiful, and I think I might just be in love with Love.  In fact, as soon as “let it pour out of your soul” is sung, the 8 member band now has a 9th, me, and I’m singing at the top of my lungs, smiling, bouncing and certainly looking like a fool to all those driving past.  But I don’t care, I’m in love, and when we’re in love we do stupid silly things, let the haters hate, they’re just jealous.

Don’t even get me started on the “Doo-Doo-Doos”; we’ll be here all day.  I love that shit.

Do yourself a favor, let go of your cynicism, your 21st Century Jaded Blues, give up your irony and hipster loathing, just turn this shit up and feel the love.

Official video

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