From controversial social propositions to rolling golden landscapes, California has a little bit of everything for those who want to experience the majestry (and oddities) that makes up the Golden State. For example, who knew that the state folk dance is square dancing? To honor this wonderfully diverse state, throw on your peasant skirt and swang your pardner to this Golden State mix.
The California One's
Ten Reasons to Love It
1. Jack's Mannequin - Miss California
---While it's not about the homophobic, platinum blonde bimbo that stumbled over questions in the Miss America pageant, Andrew McMahon's pledge to his golden girl is surrounded by beautifully soaring piano and sharp guitars.
2. Weezer - Beverly Hills
---Ah, yes - Beverly Hills. Weezer takes over the Playboy mansion in their music video to raise a toast to the fame, wealth, and status that comes with living in this exclusive L.A. playground. Sure, they may be "no-class-beat-down-fools," but who says fools can't strike gold?
3. Metro Station - California
---The Golden State is often seen as a romantic escape for the young and in love. Metro Station's techno-pop anthem embraces this truth, urging lovers to pack up and leave as soon as possible.
4. The Eagles - Hotel California
---A song about the tragic results when fame and wealth consume the greedy. This Eagle's hit is sononymous with Hollywood temptations, as well as a killer guitar solo to wrap up this Western poem.
5. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
---Following an alternative formula to the woes of the Eagle's earlier hit, "Californication" is Anthony Keidis' depiction of the best and worst part of the fantasy land where he grew up too fast.
6. Led Zeppelin - Going to California
---Laden with beautiful western mandolins and classical guitars, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant dreamily fly through new tomorrows and reaching the end of the earth.
7. Eddie Vedder - Toulumne
---While this song is only a minute long, Vedder's exploration of strictly instrumentals mimic the silent wonder of nature. Written specifically for the motion picture Into the Wild, A young Chris McCandless wanders among the lush forests of Toulumne with this song playing in the movie background.
8. The Decemberists - California One Youth and Beauty Brigade
---Who's up for a long drive to look at some of the most picturesque scenery in the world? From Big Sur to Baja, the historic Highway One stretches the coast for miles and miles of endless ocean and staggering cliffs. The Decemberists' meandering ode to the road is perfect for the drive down.
9. Brandston - Earthquakes and Sharks
---Sure it's pretty, but California is a bitch when it comes to relentless heat, pollution, and of course traffic jams on the 405. Brandston covers it all in this clever lugy hocked on the seemily perfect face of Mexico and California.
10. Phantom Planet - California
---Phantom Planet's O.C. anthem is the reason most of my generation became obsessed with the state in the first place. Everyone with hearing abilities can recognize the piano intro, and it's the type of song that instills a need for adventure, or at least a change of pace.