Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

New feature: Pacific Swell's Thursday Song of the Week

This week I'm bringing over to Pacific Swell proper a weekly tradition I started on Twitter (as @KPCCMolly): a Thursday song of the week. 

The idea going forward is not (necessarily) earnest songs about the environment - though I'm gonna go on record and admit there may well be some. (Maybe not.) The idea is:

  1. I like music.
  2. Let's just pick a song that signifies something that happened in our beat that week - in California, usually, or anywhere else we can make an argument matters to you, our devoted Pacific Swell readers. 

This week we saw the second of two Santa Monica-based environmental groups' worth of beach pollution reports. (I explained earlier why it is that these reports may all sound the same.) According to the NRDC, Avalon, Cabrillo and Doheny beaches are among the nastiest in the nation

So, this time around, an incredibly weird badge of honor goes to Robert Walter's "Cabrillo." I don't know if the name is related to the beach itself, but I do know that while I was living in New Orleans post-Katrina (and reporting on Mr. Walter's music) the song's name reminded me of home, of California - though, at the time, that didn't equate to, you know, pollution. Its feel is Latin-ish, and it's got a weird rhythm that's different from the rest of the album it's on (I'm gonna guess 5/4 time, partially just to see if any music nerds correct me). 

In reverse chronological order, straight from Twitter, here's the first 11 Music Thursday/songs of the week for @PacificSwell - and explanations: 

Slightly late, and slightly on the nose, Green SOTW - about LA's urban environment - Ozomatli's "El Jardinero[picked this one to go with my story about "A Better Life…which btw expands into more LA movie theaters this weekend.]

Song o'the day: "Dirty Water," The Standells Double duty for #Bruins win, toilet-to-tap [picked this the day after the Bruins took the Stanley Cup, and also because the LADWP is talking water recycling again along with new rates]

Green (#ocean) song of the day for Music Thursday = Pacific Ocean Blues, by Dennis Wilson. 1970's beachy...dig! [this was for World Oceans Day, and also cause it's summertime]

For the 40th b-day o'Marvin Gaye's What's Going On? "Mercy Mercy Me," fish full of mercury. [two reasons: both the What's Goin' On? anniversary, and a renewed interest in chemical contamination in fish caught by sustenance anglers on SoCal piers.]

For Mem Day, @HealTheBay's beach grades, stormwater runoff-->pollution, Music Thursday = Hole's Malibu, covered. [What can I say? According to Heal the Bay, it's not Malibu's year, fecal coliform wise]

Music Thursday change-up, to go with @OceanProgress: DJ Shadow, "Broken Levee Blues." Here's hoping they don't. [picked because we had a big cresting Mississippi River]

Music Thursdays, kids! In honor of next week's Bike to Work week, an OG bicycle activist = Queen! "Bicycle Race." [self-explanatory, this one]

Music Thursday: for #jazzfest2011, a sick "When the Levee Breaks" w/ Papa Mali, R.Walter, Stanton. Flood risk! [picked because it was New Orleans Jazz Fest, and because there was a lot of talk about the Bonne Carre Spillway while I was down in NOLA]

These were the first three songs I picked. Mostly, I picked them because they are awesome and had environmental-ness in them in some way. Gillian Welch, I picked because around that time, I had gone camping, and felt the nip of the pogonip: the Shoshone word for "ice fog." My hair had icicles in it, anyway. 

Green song o'the day: "Monkey Gone to Heaven," The Pixies. Sludge in the ocean, a hole in the sky, halo, monkey! [Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout, the BP spill, the Macondo well going nuts = "sludge in the ocean']

(environment) Music Thursday (lookin' at you, @emiliecole): "Wrecking Ball," by Gillian Welch & David Rawlings.

Every Thursday now I'm going to celebrate an awesome song with environmental issues in it. This week, Mos Def, "New World Water." 

Always taking suggestions about the song of the week. Taking suggestions for a hash tag for twitter, too.