by Sonia Calzaretta ’18
This playlist features music not only about the West Coast but also by artists who got their start there. It was inspired by my friend Anna Russell, who has a playlist featuring songs about and by artists from California. (The songs on this playlist about California were shamelessly stolen from Anna. Sorry bro.)
“Hello Seattle” – Owl City
A song about Seattle, and more importantly, the song that gives this playlist its name.
“Steal Smoked Fish” – The Mountain Goats
Although the Mountain Goats were formed in Claremont, California, this song is actually about Portland, Oregon. Notable sites mentioned are the Burnside Bridge and Plaid Pantry, a chain of stores where you can bring used bottles and get two cents in return.
“Float On” – Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse got their start in Issaquah, Washington, a town known both for its hard-to-pronounce name and the fact that it lies between two mountains named for large cats (Tiger to the east and Cougar to the west).
“You Are a Tourist” – Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie was officially formed at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
“Short Skirt / Long Jacket” – Cake
Cake is a five-man band from Sacramento, California.
“Everyone Knows Everyone” – The Helio Sequence
The Helio Sequence was formed in Beaverton, Oregon, which is seven miles from Portland and is often thought of as a suburb even though it’s the second biggest city in the state (right behind, ironically, Portland).
“Helplessness Blues” – Fleet Foxes
The Fleet Foxes got their start in Seattle, Washington, but you wouldn’t know it from the lyrics of their songs, several of which feature the state of Tennessee.
“Portland Bound” – Fruition
“It’s a pretty little city, it’s a damn rowdy town / hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah / we’re Portland bound.”
“The Cascades” – Fleet Foxes
This song is instrumental, but surprisingly still manages to remind me of the Cascade Mountain Range that is the spine of the West Coast.
“Needle in the Hay” – Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith was born in Omaha, raised in Texas, and spent most of his life in Portland. He was most closely associated with Los Angeles, California, though.
“Ghosts” – The Head and the Heart
The Head and the Heart got their start in Seattle, Washington.
“Beverly Hills” – Weezer
This one is a classic, and is also the only song on this playlist named after a place in California. Unless you count “Dani California”, which is named after the whole state and thus trumps “Beverly Hills”.
“Irresistible” – Fall Out Boy
“You know you look so Seattle but you feel so L.A.”
“Dani California” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers got their start in Los Angeles and did their state justice by getting three singles into the Billboard Hot 100’s Top Ten.
“Route 66” – Chuck Berry
This song is special because it names most of the West Coast (as well as quite a few other places in the country).
“No Sunlight” – Death Cab for Cutie
This one’s on the playlist because Anna couldn’t choose her favorite Death Cab song and gave me four good ones to choose from…
“Shadow Stabbing” – Cake
…and this one’s here because Cake is amazing and I couldn’t decide which one I liked best between “Shadow Stabbing” and “Short Skirt / Long Jacket”.