We used to like Datarock a lot. Our working theory is that in 2007, while we slept, we were taken over by a hipster succubus that abused cocaine and drank too much Pedialyte–plausible explanation for how our critical functions were deactivated.
Fortunately, Datarock have devoted their career to restoring our senses, and they finally succeeded with the release of “California”:
Bask in its glory. Dripping with the kind of lame Vice Magazine irony that was already old during W's second term, filled from start to finish with lyrical cliches that would make James Blunt blush, and that awful melody. And it's a filmed-live-in-concert video! Shudder.
But “California” is not only Datarock's worst song, it's also one of the worst songs ever written about the State of California. “Gonna go where the sky is blue”? Really?
California is America's most populous state, the 7th largest economy in the world and (we think) the culture center of the US. So it isn't like there isn't a lot to say about the place. But no, Datarock just wants to shed beard dust all over it and pretend they're getting it. FAIL, guys. You could replace the word “California” with “Florida” or “Italy” and achieve the same result.
Now, while it is terrible, making terrible songs about California is a noble tradition going back over 40 years. We have to respect the song for having the courage to suck this much at it, and in tribute to that we want to shout out to the songs that wanted to be California Love but ended up stuck somewhere in Barstow. Here's our definitive list of the 10 worst songs about California (that aren't “California” by Datarock).
10) California Gurls by Katy Perry
At number ten, here's Katy Perry describing the Golden State as a hellish dystopia populated by gummi bears and Christian fundamentalists. If we woke up and found ourselves living in this version of California, we'd pack up and reverse Grapes Of Wrath ourselves back to Tulsa pronto. Plus, she shamefully squanders the last of our state's dwindling Snoop Dogg resources. Now we're going to have to power all our homes with The Game. Thanks, Katy.
9) Back From Cali by Slash (Feat. Myles Kennedy)
Back from Cali? Good, please stay home. And while you're at it, please give Myles Kennedy a lozenge.
8) Cowboy by Kid Rock
Kid Rock makes us wish the bailout of the Detroit auto industry came with the requirement that their modern music scene be outsourced to China. When we are king, we will outlaw any new song that references Hollywood fame and excess, or pretends this is rap music.
7) Have A Nice Day by Stereophonics
“Ew, you got your douchey frat boy bullshit in my San Fransisco.”
“No, you got your San Fransisco in my douchey frat boy bullshit!”
“Actually, I asked and everyone there assures me they never asked you to vomit all over the city like this. Jello Biafra and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien will be beating the shit out of you at, shall we say 5 PM? Cool, see you then.”
6) California Sunset by Neil Young
Number 6 is a “classic” by the only rock legend more overrated than Eric Clapton. Yet another in the “California is warm, amirite” genre, it's simultaneously bad at being about California and bad at being country music. If anyone else – That Dog, for example – sang this song it wouldn't be quite as bad. Then we remember, fuck Neil Young, because he sucks.
5) California Sun by The Gin Blossoms
The spiritual successor to number 6, The Gin Blossoms' Jesse Valenzuela claims to have intended “California Sun” as a Beach Boys style song. And he succeeded; it totally reminds us of “Kokomo.” It also makes California sunlight sound like the punishment for second degree manslaughter.
4) Sunset Strip by Courtney Love
Maybe she did have Kurt Cobain murdered. She certainly murdered our ability to stomach the fact that she lives in LA. Bonus dis: If we told you this was Sheryl Crow, you would believe us.
3) Don't Gimmie No Bammer Weed by RBL Posse
The beats in this song are dope but this might be the worst rapping ever recorded. And that assessment includes Mario Van Peebles. This is supposed to be a gritty take on the underbelly of San Fransisco, but it just sounds like RBL Posse wrote this song after reading an article about the city in The Source. They probably live in Palo Alto.
2) If I Could Give All My Love (Richard Manuel Is Dead) by Counting Crows
Once, we considered breaking up with a girl who made me a mix tape with Counting Crows on it. They might be the worst band Generation X ever produced, and if it weren't for our number one song, this would be the worst song about California ever recorded. But no, that honor goes to…
1) Hotel California by The Eagles
This isn't just the worst song about California ever recorded, it's the worst song ever written by the worst American band of the '70s.
Sorry for making you all endure that. To wash the horrible taste out of your mouth, here are the three best songs about California ever: