The soundtrack to a Mermaid making music across three continents.
Where: Los Angeles to San Diego
When: 15/03/2015 – 19/03/2015
Lesson: SPRRIIIINNGG BREEEEAAKKK!!
Achievement: Playing some songs in an Irish bar and beach serenading every night
Lyric: You said you were waiting around to die and I’m waiting to live
Quote: “You kook” / “Spracken!” “Wait, whut”
1. Lil John & The East Side Boys – Get Low
I have always hated this song but upon entering my hostel literally on Pacific Beach I was greeted by a topless guy from the Military singing “OOH, SKI SKI MOTHERFUCKER” in my sunkissed face. There was a big group of them partying in the hostel with us and a lot of booze flowing so me and Jordana, a gorgeous gal from South Carolina, named them by their home state/town instead of their actual names. We began St Patrick’s celebrations with Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Albuquerque, Maryland and so many more inked hunks and everything got rather blurry. They performed a beautiful acoustic version of this track and i’m so sad I didn’t catch it on video but this version is pretty similar to Gabe’s (the only real name I learnt) beautiful voice. Here is me creeping on them.
I played some songs in an Irish bar the next night which was thoroughly enjoyable as i’m learning performing live is pretty much the only chance I have to play guitar and sing whilst living in hostels. It was a bit of a strange place but lovely compliments and company from Jordana who kindly drove us there. There’s some American man talking the whole way through this snippet video. Here Jordana is with my first Denny’s (of many) that i’ll be gulfing down in the next weeks.
2. Aha – A Little Respect
This track came on in the car on the radio and was probably the only song I knew, compared to all the teen rock I heard from most stations. Everyone in the hostel used Pandora which I thought was my charm bracelet but it turns out to be just like Spotify.
I sang to a guy named Cassius who also played for me on Mission Boulevard and we agreed to get together in a studio and write some “beach music” together. Alas, i believe he may have been high as a kite and this never came to substance. I have been writing a few poppy “beach” songs though which will be surfacing at some point.
3. The Kooks – Seaside
I spent SPRING BREAK with a group of students from Nevada who hit it hard and I decided it would be rude not to join every night, despite my time here not really being SPRING BREAK. Hours were spent on the decking of the hostel with my head growing bigger from compliments and redder from the sun. I was continuously referred to as Lucy Spracken, which was intended as a compliment from Tony, but not really taken as one. Tony is a salesman and has decided I am going to make him rich if we go door to door to producers in Hollywood.
The staff at the hostel were wonderful but had to interrupt me performing on the decking when it got too late so from there we would stumble to the beach. One night we sank beers with some German firefighters and another night with a group of conservation workers on their break from work. The conservation workers included Tristan, who also had a Taylor with him and taught me some Californian slang (none of which I can remember), Rob who was from Iowa and has a brother in the music industry and who he is going to give my EP to (fingers crossed) and Michael, who lives in Colorado, played harmonica and stayed with me till 5am listening to my repertoire. We all deliberated on what the term “kook” meant and in America it is apparently an insult. I gushed about my unhealthy teenage obsession with the band and their name originating from Bowie’s song (stalker alert again). Derek requested I play Seaside which was very fitting for our beautiful surroundings. Here’s a recording of, typically, the worst of the songs I sang drowned out by drunken college chicks and my hyena giggle. Please note I have not picked up an American accent, I do not know why I am talking like that.
Here is a “fucked up” Derek (on the earlier recording referring to Tony feeling his toes) on our way to a SPRING BREAK house party we crashed. We then got kicked out of the party and whilst Tristan did some fabulous beat-boxing we marched down the boardwalk doing this…
4. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home
Tuesday was St Paddy’s day and drinking began before breakfast. I was out with the guys who work at the hostel (one of them being an Irish Leprechaun fittingly) and a lot of alcohol and sunshine was absorbed. I had a bloody great celebration and this track was playing in one of the bars so will bring me new and fond memories to a track I already loved.
The hangover post Paddy’s was truly astonishing and I certainly had a wave of wanting home. A glorious Facetime with my girl brought me back to the reality of the dream I am in the middle of and all was well again.
5. The National – Sea of Love
The only functional thing I could do during the post Paddy’s hangover was walk, so that is what I did. I walked for hours and hours around Pacific and Ocean beach listening to depressing music and to lift myself out of it, which eventually Zlotty and The National did for me.
On my last evening I was lost halfway back to the beach from the Gaslamp Quarter and after passing quite a few blocks I eventually decided to ask for directions. In a quiet area of San Diego I managed to ask for directions from Bob. Bob was born in New York, now living in San Diego and for the past 8 years had been living in Ilkley, a quiet area in West Yorkshire 20 minutes from my home of Menston. He recognized my accent and we supped some Margheritas in Mexican bars and discussed Ilkley, my travels and his incredibly interesting life (he’s mates with Denzel bloody Washington). A crazy and wonderful coincidence for this small world and I can definitely hear a song coming out of it.
Other songs I’ve been writing from the beach revolve around a marriage proposal meaning I could live the American life for the rest of my years. Although this was only one week into my trip, after a few green coloured beers and slushies, I came very close to booking our flights to Vegas for the next day. As charming as he was he also wanted 2 grand (cash) so the romance was a touch spoiled but still a pretty good deal.
I was not ready to leave San Diego and a return trip is currently in the pipeline for the last couple of weeks in USA in May before heading to Australia.
On the Pacific Surfliner train up to Santa Barbara after a very stressful and expensive morning sorting my accommodation and travel up the coast… stay classy San Diego.