Tonight in Seattle:  

Goin' to California

Goin' to California

Tonight at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard there's a special benefit show going on. It's called "Goin' To California" and it features a whole bunch of Seattle bands singing songs about California. The whole thing is an Earth Day benefit and proceeds go to Sustainable Ballard.

Performers include:
SHIM, SARAH SHANNON, THE MALDIVES, SHELBY EARL of THE HOPE, KURT BLOCH & LESLIE BEATTIE (as "Gary Busey and His (Buddy) Hollywood Nights"), THE HARBORRATS,
BRYN LUMSDEN, DEBONAIR, CLAY BALLARD, GALEN DISSTON, KATE TUCKER & THE SONS OF SWEDEN, MARK MOHRLANG, and special guests.

Tickets costs $7 and doors are at 8pm.

I've been trying to think of as many California songs as I can, trying to guess what will be played. So far I've got:

  • "California Girls" (Beach Boys version)
  • "California Girls" (Magnetic Fields version)
  • "Goin' Back to Cali"
  • "Lights" (doesn't have California in the title, but is about San Francisco)
  • "Walking in LA" (by Missing Persons, remember that one?)
  • And of course, "Goin' to California"

That won't complete the night. What other songs am I forgetting??

My mix CD club that my friends and I do, where we get together every few months and each make mix CDs with a common theme, met last night. Our theme was travel/geography songs. I had quite a few California songs on my disc, including "Goin' Back to Cali" but also:

"Shores of California" by the Dresden Dolls
"It Never Rains in Southern California" by Albert Hammond
"Moving to LA" by Art Brut
"The Kelly Affair" by Be Your Own Pet

I'm wondering if they'll avoid Hotel California altogether, or if someone will do some amazing, super-creative version and totally rock it.

2Pac & Dr. Dre - "California Love"
The Mama's & the Papa's - "California Dreamin"
Phantom Planet - "California"
The Decemberists - "California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade"
Led Zeppelin - "Going to California"
Rufus Wainwright - "California"
Joni Mitchell - "California"
Ryan Adams - "My California Love"

My favorite though, the aforementioned...
Notorious BIG - "Goin' Back to Cali"

Did Notorious BIG record a version of "Goin' Back to Cali"? The only one I'm familiar with is LL Cool J's. If he did record it (and I really don't know), I'd love to hear it.

I think I'm confused with this idea...
So SEATTLE bands will be playing songs about CALIFORNIA to support a BALLARD focused non-profit?

I've read the blog three times over and even went to the Sustainable Ballard's website, and I still don't see the connection for a California theme.

Chris, they're two different songs, with the same title I think. Maybe Dana meant the LL Cool J one. The Biggie song is on his Life After Death album.

Elle - I'll answer that! The connection is loose indeed, but basically a bunch of local bands just thought it would be fun to get together and do a night of songs about California (because there are soooo many good ones). Then we thought - who should we give the money to?! Because it's the week of Earth Day we decided on an earth-friendly, local organization - hence, Sustainable Ballard. That's the whole story! So if you're looking for a common thread, well, there really isn't one. :)

PS. Without giving away the set list, I will just say that you guys have named MANY of the songs that will be played tonight. Woo hoo!

Jon, thanks for clarifying that! There are indeed two "Goin' Back to Cali" songs - I just checked on Wikipedia. The one you mentioned fell under my radar because it was on Biggie's posthumous album (and I wasn't listening to a lot of hip hop back then - I listen to a lot more now). I *think* Dana was (and I know I was) referring to the LL Cool J version because it was a pretty big hit in the late 1980s.

I know what I'll be looking up on YouTube once I get to the other side of this firewall I'm behind at work!

Right you are, ChrisB... I was most definitely referring to LL Cool J.

"Shakin 'em, bakin 'em... yea ya'll I don't think so."

Everclear - Santa Monica
Hole - Malibu
The Thrills - Santa Cruz, You're Not That Far
basically anything on the Thrills' "So Much for the City"

and then there are the songs that are about/mention California but don't mention it in the title

I'm still as confused as elle, but I was asked this question recently so I have a list ready. How 'bouts:

ventura highway by america
los angeles by X
los angeles by frank black
california stars by billy bragg & wilco
california uber alles by DK
not california by HEM
california by low
california by rogue wave
california by wax
angeles by elliott smith
l.a. by elliott smith
screenwriters blues by soul coughing
san francisco by scott mckenzie

Lucinda Williams 'Ventura'

I hope someone covers 'Goin' to California.' Is it true that they wrote the song for or about Joni Mitchell?

Beth Hart "LA Song"
Warren Zevon "Join Me In LA"
RHCP "Californication" (!)

I know there are Wedding Present fans around here, right?
California from Hit Parade v. 1

Glad to see America got mentioned! I love them. haha.

tom petty - freefallin'
red hot chili peppers - under the bridge
decemberists - los angeles i'm yours
death cab - why you'd want to live here
unwritten law - california sky

The word on last night's line-up...

Pickwick-"Blue Jay Way" (Beatles)
Mark Mohrlang-"Why Would Anyone Want to Live Here" (Death Cab)
Clay Ballard-"Aenima" (Tool)
The Notters-"Los Angeles"(Alex Paul)
Leslie Beattie & Kurt Bloch-"Hollywood Nights" (Bob Seger)
Leslie Beattie/Kurt Bloch-"California Sun"(Rivieras)
Bryn Lumsden-"California" (Josh Ritter)
Bryn Lumsden-"California Brown and Blue" (Dennison Witmer)
Shelby Earl-"California" (Rufus Wainwright)
Shelby Earl-"California" (Phantom Planet)
Harborrats-"California Girls" (Beach Boys)
Harborrats-"California Cover Song" (the Harborrats)
Kate Tucker & Sons of Sweden-"California" (Low)
Kate Tucker & Sons of Sweden-Original song
Sarah Shannon-"San Diego Serenade" (Tom Waits)
Sarah Shannon-"Fulsome Prison Blues" (Johnny Cash)
Shim-"Goin to California" (Led Zeppelin)
Debonair-"California Love" (Tupac)
The Maldives-Original song
The Maldives-"California Stars" (Wilco)
EVERYONE!-California Dreaming" (Mama's and the Papa's)

Oh I was hoping we would get the final setlist!! Great choices. I can't believe I forgot Wilco's "California Stars" -- I love that song.

I'm very relieved no "Hotel California."

It was such a great night all the way around. Everyone's renditions were killer. Definitely good news on the no "Hotel California"!

Have to say, Debonair doing "California Love" was a DEFINITE highlight. It was unreal.

I found myself smacking my head over and over again reading that list. Jeez Gosh! Sounds like it was a great time! Great calls on Death Cab & Tom Waits...

Looks like I went 5 for 9.

Jon - you would have been 6 for 9, but the person who was going to play Joni Mitchell's "California" had to cancel last week. Maybe you should become a psychic - make a little money off your skills?

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