We’ve updated the California soundtrack

We’ve been regularly adding songs to our California playlist for several months now, and the eclectic collection has grown to over 250 songs. But your suggestions keep coming.

For the uninitiated, the California Soundtrack is our ever-evolving playlist that strives to reflect the Golden State’s endless complexity in music. We started with the hits — “California Dreamin'” and “(I Left My Heart) in San Francisco” — and then, with your help, we started diving into deeper cuts.

I added about 20 songs to the playlist today based on your recommendations. Among the most requested this round were “Topanga Windows” by Spirit (1968), “More Bounce (In California)” by Soul Kid #1 (2005) and “This Town” by The Go-Go’s (1981).

You can see the full list of California songs here (newest additions are in bold) or listen to them here.

As always, the California soundtrack is a work in progress that we will continue to edit. Send your song recommendation and a few lines about why you think it deserves inclusion to [email protected] Please include your name and city where you live.

And now for some of your newest options:

“Grey in LA” by Loudon Wainwright III (2007)

“This song is a fun counterpoint to the typical praise of the sun. It captures a lot about life in Los Angeles—warning nightmares, mudslides, broken dreams. And anyone who’s lived there long enough knows that sometimes there’s too much sunshine, and those rainy days can be quite nice.” — Nick Strazzabosco, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

“Adios” by Linda Ronstadt (1989)

“It’s a stunningly beautiful song in which Ronstadt sings in the absolute best of her magnificent voice. Just thinking about it gives me chills! It’s all about a lost love that he has to leave behind on the coast of California. No words can truly describe the beauty of her singing. Just listen.” — Mary Smathers, Carmel

“California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade” by The Decemberists (2002)

“I love the dreamy way this progression unfolds, like a slow drive down Highway 1 through the sunny mists of the coast:

“And the road is winding.

From the Golden Gate to the Roaring Cliff

And the light is slightly dim

How our hearts sweetly untie

Under the California sun one'”

—Justin Mears, San Francisco

“Palmdale” by Afroman (2000)

“Here is a movie in three acts with a song that reminds me of Warner Brothers gangster stunts, an action road to destruction paved with honesty, stereotypes and moral lessons. Plus you can dance to it.” — Sue Perry, Carpinteria

“Still in Hollywood” by Concrete Blonde (1986)

“It has always described the addictive magic of Hollywood that draws so many of us to California. But the reality of life here can be tough for newcomers, and many don’t survive the first few years. But for the rest of us, once you find your place, it’s impossible to imagine living anywhere else.” — Jeremy Wagener, Los Angeles

More:


Today’s tip comes from Kate Dreger, who recommends a hiking trail in the Oakland Hills:

“My favorite place to visit on a weekend or a quiet afternoon is the Serpentine Prairie Trail departing from the Richard C. Trudeau Conference Center in the Oakland Hills.

It only has a small parking lot, but you can also park along the road. The views are gorgeous, it’s dog friendly and there are even fenced areas with educational signage. You’d never think you were in Oakland – it reminds me of Ireland. You can take a short 20-minute hike or take one of the side trails and make it a longer adventure.”

Tell us about your favorite places in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected] We’ll share more in upcoming newsletter issues.


Are you inundated with text messages from congressional candidates or groups trying to influence your vote on ballot initiatives? Have you tried opting out of receiving these texts?

If so, Times technology reporter Natasha Singer is working on a story on political campaign texts and wants to hear about your experiences.


As fascism spread in Europe in the 1930s, Jewish artists and composers struggled to make their music heard. They faced persecution from the Nazis and were banned by orchestras and cultural institutions because of their Jewish identity. Many fled abroad.

As a result, hundreds of works by promising composers were lost or neglected. But scientists and publishers are now working to make their music heard again.

G. Schirmer, a major music publisher, and Exilarte, an organization at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, announced Thursday an initiative to release more than 400 compositions by Jewish composers whose careers were disrupted by the Holocaust.

Among the composers is Walter Arlen, a 102-year-old who was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Vienna. He aspired to study music professionally in Austria, but in 1939 he fled with his relatives from persecution by the Nazis.

In a telephone interview from his home in California, Arlen told The Times that he is humbled that his works will reach a wider audience. “It’s a beautiful experience,” he said. “It’s not easy to be published. I lived long enough to be a part of it, to see it.’


Thank you for reading. I’ll be back on Monday. — Soumya

PS Here it is today’s mini crossword.

Briana Scalia and Miles McKinley contributed to California Today. You can contact the team at [email protected].

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