Carmageddon Playlist: 7 Songs that Namecheck the 405 Freeway | West Coast Sound | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Carmageddon Playlist: 7 Songs that Namecheck the 405 Freeway

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Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 9:42 AM

click to enlarge 405_panlede.jpg

By Sheila Dichoso

Carmageddon is coming! We thought we'd remind you again about the three-day 405 shutdown. The media warns that chaos will ensue, so stay at home and smoke weed or something.

The San Diego freeway is notoriously loathed. Because of its congestion, we put up with way too many bumper-to-bumper dents and countless, insufferable radio plays of that LMFAO song (we prefer murder-suicide, thanks). The traffic drains us. The smog is slowly killing us. We are stressed. Tired. Wrinkly. The years it's shaved, the life it's sucked. We are as miz as the "Everybody Hurts" people.

But now that we won't have it (temporarily), we bet we'll kind of miss it. Hey - it's the lifeline of Los Angeles: It's our road to the Getty and Westwood; to faraway lands like the Valley and beyond, via LAX. And that northbound uphill you climb up the Sepulveda Pass and descend into the sprawling San Fernando Valley - have you driven by when the sky gets all orangey-blush as the sun's about to set? Right when you're ready to decry the 405 as another layer of hell, you see this gorgeous view. How dare they!

We all have our special 405 experiences and metaphorical moments - especially musicians. So let's spend Carmageddon appreciating the most congested freeway in the U.S. by checking out a Carmageddon Playlist of 7 Songs that Namecheck the 405. You can go back to hating it next weekend.

1. Thug Life feat. 2pac - "Stay True"

"Rollin' down the 405/Gettin' high/White boys done wrecked their shit/Tryin to check my ride"

Tupac's early '90s hip-hop group recounts L.A. hustling in this easy, breezy West Coast car jam. Survival, the California way, includes cruising the 405 to "pick-up some hoochies" to "ride back to the movies."

2. Neko Case - "In California"

"Another suicide on the 405/The black dahlia, she smiles and smiles/It's the same old town that bled her dry"

Any starving artist, musician or writer can relate to this gloomy little ditty's "I moved to this city to become an artiste but I hate it because I miss you" theme. But this can be good: With Big City loneliness comes inspiration. So put on your best Glasgow smile, dammit!

3. Jimmy Eat World - "If You Don't, Don't"

"Don't you know what I'm thinkin'/Drivin' 405 past midnight/You know I miss you"

We'll never forget emo of the early aughts. In other words, rock history's screaming, angst-ridden teenaged stepchild. Vocalist Jim Adkins declares himself a mess: He squandered all the money he could suck from his ex yet he never loved her back. While driving on the 405, he realizes he misses her! Ugh, maybe you deserve to be sad.

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