Bay Area Music

Here's a new question. What music do you most associate with the Bay Area or Nor Cal generally? I don't mean which Bay Area groups do you like or what concerts you have gone to, but what music makes you suddenly think of certain places in the Bay Area--maybe just because you heard it there for the first time, or were living there when you heard it.
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FlowerGirl Sep 18, 2010
I'll get things started so that you have some idea of what I mean. Whenever I hear any early White Stripes songs I think of the Cafe's on Columbus because when I lived in North Beach, I was dating this guy that was really into the White Stripes. I had never heard of them, but he would burn me these disks of them and other alt bands that he really liked (he actually had pretty good taste in music). Hollie Go Lightly (sp?) too. He liked them too.
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StephSF Sep 19, 2010
Any jam band music (O.A.R. and Sublime especially) gets associated with California, and Santa Cruz by association, which is the closest to the California beach culture that we have around here. I think Sublime was actually out of SoCal, but to my East Coast self, it's all a whole lot more similar than anything on that coast.

And for a while, I couldn't get on the 101 without hearing Phantom Planet's "California" in my head at some point during the drive.
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StephSF Sep 25, 2010
I love this thread...anyone else have thoughts?

My boyfriend kept referencing Katy Perry's "California Girls" as being a reminder of me, but I think that's before it played twice an hour on every major radio station all summer...
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FlowerGirl Sep 26, 2010
I went to see Vampire Weekend last night at the Greek in Berkeley, and it was great! I love Vampire Weekend even though people say they are the whitest band ever. There is definitely something very snobby and eastcoast about the them (I think they all met in Cambridge), and even when they have songs about California, like "California English," it is kind of like Woody Allen's view of California, it always feels like it is being filtered through an East Coast frame of view.

Anyway they were great!
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FlowerGirl Sep 26, 2010
As far as bands that are from around here, there are a bunch, like Green Day and more recently the Limousines.
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StephSF Sep 26, 2010
Nice! "Woody Allen's view of California"...I love it.

I was just in Boston, and reminded of how preppy it is by comparison to California. It's funny how perception changes when you move here. I'm curious what your version of an "East Coast frame of view" means. I have my own thoughts, but I don't know how they align with this band.

On a side note, that looks like a great venue.
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NightOwlnOrinda Sep 26, 2010
@Flowergirl: Looks like I'm not the only Woody fan.

Wow Vampire Weekend. I heard them on NPR and kind of liked them. They reminded me of Paul Simon from his Graceland period mixed with a bit of Peter Gabriel (of course) but also a sort of Talking Heads sensibility.
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NightOwlnOrinda Sep 26, 2010
Oh, as far as music, the first group that I really started to associate with here was the Gypsy Kings, a Spanish group who were kind of popular when I first came up here, but I had never heard them before.

Teh other group that always feels SF to me is Simon and Garfunkel--probably because of the Graduate.
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Tracypie Sep 26, 2010
This is interesting, I love the responses. When I think of jam bands though, I think of grunge and when I think of grunge I think of Seattle, not SF. The White Stripes are the developers of the hipsters, so I can see that they ooze California culture, but I think of them as more L.A., not SF although SF certainly has it's fair share of skinny jeans taking over the world.

When I think of bands and SF together I think of the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin. Oh yeah and whoever said Green Day, and the Gypsy Kings - them too.
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StephSF Oct 02, 2010
I can definitely get on board with Green Day, but I see them more as SoCal. In fact, a lot of late '90s and early 2000s pop music automatically gets affiliated with SoCal in my mind. That probably has to do with the fact that that was the peak of my love affair with MTV, where many of the videos were shot in LA and I assumed that anything cool that had to do with pop culture came from Southern California. Oh, high school.
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StephSF Oct 02, 2010
And I agree, @Tracypie, this thread definitely elicits some of the most interesting responses that I have seen anywhere on here.
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NightOwlnOrinda Oct 03, 2010
I actually don't think of Green Day as being an SF group but they are from here. Played their first gig at this diner in Vallejo. They do sound sort of Seattle grunge to me. There's actually a lot of groups from here. I think Counting Crows was from here. And here is one that blows my mind:

Credence Clearwater Revival met and formed in Richmond in the East Bay. If I hadn't come accross this somewhere, I would never have guessed this. I would have that they were definitely from the south somewhere.
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FlowerGirl Oct 03, 2010
Is Credence the band that sings "Heard through the Grapevine?" Did they mean the freeway?
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StephSF Oct 03, 2010
Funny, I think my CA affiliation is everyone else's Seattle grunge. It must be a combination of my age and my East Coast upbringing.

Oh, Weezer's "Beverly Hills" always reminds me of California in a somewhat twisted, very non-SF way. That could easily go into the "worst pop culture depictions of Cali" thread.
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StephSF Oct 03, 2010
Also, any song that has the word "summer" in it automatically makes me think of California, because in my subconscious mind CA = sunshine = summer. Obviously.
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FlowerGirl Oct 03, 2010
I think its because Rock was dominated by Nirvana during the early Nineties so every band is associated with them.
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StephSF Oct 08, 2010
@Flowergirl - "Heard it through the Grapevine" is Marvin Gaye. I'm not sure what the intention was.
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FlowerGirl Oct 09, 2010
I think CCR has a remake of it. I should ask my brother, he's the one that's really into this classic rock stuff.
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NightOwlnOrinda Oct 09, 2010
Of course, there is also that shmaltzy Tony Bennett song, "I left my heart in San Francisco." Not my favorite but I do like "Do you know the way to San Jose" (not the title).
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