Between the rush and rumble, and the 3am burritos of indeterminate origin, I miss two things: year-round temperate California nights and restlessly driving through them. I don’t own a car in Chicago, but I would hazard a guess that it’s not really the same thing. The locked grid of traffic lights and months of pucker-inducing black ice tend to provide enough evidence to me. I know I could always just drive out a few miles to the corn fields, but looking around and seeing a vast field of darkness doesn’t appeal to me like the dull glow of a deserted Santa Monica Blvd, or even the blinding flames at the Carson refinery.
I’m not usually one to make broad, generalizing statements, but it seems these days that the fuzzy garage sound that used to be a uniquely San Francisco sound is shifting south to claim LA as a breeding ground. Thee Oh Sees (briefly) quit and wrote a break-up letter with SF, and Ty Segall set up shop in the plastic mecca, and now acts like LA-based Wand are shooting MS Paint lasers across a sun-streamed beach.
And hardly anyone knows exactly when or where that is. The rumbling, gut-punching tone of low-end fuzz is common among psych rock acts wishing to prove their mettle against level-headedness (so, all of them) but when that effects pedal is still down going into the solo, it throws the balance of the tune out of whack. Continue reading