Top of the World — Pacific Palisades
Neel: Top of the World is a fitting name for a place like this, especially on the night we went. The blanket of fog with peaks sticking out from underneath made it look like there were little rifts among a sea of clouds. Above all the noise and clamor, we were on top of the World.
Modest Mouse – The Stars are Projectors
Kate Bush – Cloudbusting
Keifer: As we traverse the same path I’ve navigated dozens of times in years past, I’m shocked by the amount of foliage around. Pushing through spiny thistles, a barely there trail, and a group of people I told that the hike up was easy to get to my favorite view in Los Angeles made me question whether or not we should abandon ship and turn around. Despite the jungle that sprouted up as a result of the rainiest LA winter I’ve seen, we made it to the top and saw ourselves alone on the top of a mountain with nothing but clouds below us. I’ll admit I felt disappointed that we couldn’t see the usual view of the city skyline, oceanfront, and endless shining lights from cars stuck in traffic and the amusement park on the pier, but ultimately, the view we were met with felt otherworldly, transporting us to our own world away from the hustle of the city.
Lana Del Rey – Thunder
Cocteau Twins – Fifty-Fifty Clown
Candace: With a stomach greedy for In-N-Out and a mind rapt on Magdalena Bay, we made our way down PCH in the serenity of coastal darkness. Familiar with the Palisades yet unsure of our bucolic destination, I enjoyed the beachside scenery I only associated with the brightness of summer days. While I didn’t expect a sundown hike to be part of our itinerary, moving up this unfamiliar peak soon became worthwhile. As we reached its final locale, the group’s anxiety firmly settled. Now encircled by a pool of fog and the boundless abyss of the dreaming ocean, our newfound stillness deemed each of us transfixed. Gazing on through a plume of silence, the coastal fog drifted us away. In my escapade, I found both ease and envy; a kneeling rock of emptiness that replaced miasmic flattery. Newly grounded in the reality of the drifting ocean gaze, I wished to live close by this hazy place, an imagined freedom of perpetual escape into its glittering chasm.
Eola – Future Hymns Ni
James K, Yves Tumor – Open
Bogdan Raczynski – myloveilove
The Baked Potato — Sherman Oaks
Keifer: The unassuming door of The Baked Potato seemed almost like a trap. This modest facade couldn’ possibly open into one of LA’s most celebrated jazz clubs, and yet, it did. As we entered the tiny club we saw performing on the equally tiny stage, none other than hit TV show The Office’s Creed Bratton. Throughout thirteen years of living in Los Angeles I’ve always thought of the claims of celebrities all around as overblown, but I guess I just never looked in the right places.
Frank Zappa – Peaches en Regalia
Cities Aviv – Everything Workin On a Natural Time
Candace: When we entered The Baked Potato, the scenery was reminiscent of the now abolished Hamburger Hamlet I’d had so many dinners at growing up. The familiar scenery made me feel comfortable, and as we settled into the jazz bar’s crammed front room, people of every age seemed stoically excited. While our inability to take an interior photo hindered us from following through with our project’s demands, I preferred the bar’s attempt at secrecy. Resistant to the hyper-visibility of the digital age, it forced you to settle into the music. I appreciated the consciousness the bar enforced upon its patrons, and my inability to mentally categorize the place became the source of my enjoyed fascination as the night unfurled.
Teethe – By Your Side
Horse Jumper of Love – Ugly Brunette
Brad Stank – Take Me to the Crib
Anna: Los Angeles keeps its secrets well, and this is one of them. Telling you about it feels like a crime, but at the same time, who am I to hold the Baked Potato hostage? I will, however, leave you to make your own map of LA’s jazz clubs, and this is a fine place to start. Jazz improvisation is my favorite form of poetry. The spontaneous music is anything but amateur, as the bass whispers to the drums who request that the trumpet slow its roll so they can have their long-awaited solo. The crowd encourages the musicians to let their instruments overcome them, and in turn, they invite you, the beholder, to listen to their conversation.
Unit 4+2 – Concrete and Clay
The Doobie Brothers – Listen to the Music
Faces – Ooh La La
Francoise Hardy – Le temps de l’amour
Dan Sung Sa — Koreatown
Neel: The first thing that came to my mind when we arrived at Elysian Park was “Elysian Brewing” and the unpalatable beers they’ve been making since 1996. But the view was much more palatable as we saw blinks of cars zoom by below us. But Dan Sung Sa, the little Korean gastropub on 6th Street, was arguably the most palatable of all (get the kimchi pancakes, PLEASE).
FIDLAR – Cheap Beer
Sudan Archives – Glorious
Candace: Nestled near Dodger Stadium, the view from Elysian Park was alluring. The comfort of Los Angeles’ twinkling skylights began our night with enchanted excitement. As we drove towards Dan Sung Sa, I worried if the group’s vegetarians could find something to eat, or if there would even be parking. Yet after hearing their excitement when we entered the congested, wooden restaurant, my anxieties washed away. As we shared the kimchi pancake, and talked about growing up queer, I felt once again at home here, finishing my night with fried spam, a warm belly and gratified affection.
Lala Lala – € € € €^^%%!!!!!heaven!!!!!!
Tonstartssbandht – 5ft7
Deadharrie – Overdrive
Anna: Dan Sung Sa transports you. The graffitied walls and dark, gritty atmosphere of this place are unlike anything I had ever seen. Walking through the restaurant to our table, we passed booths of all different kinds of people. The old lanterns hovering just above their heads and the three wooden walls that enclosed them made every conversation seem sacred. Ours sure was.
Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Las Vegas
Phantogram – When I’m Small
Deerhunter – Agoraphobia
Botanical Gardens — Westwood
Neel: The garden was more like a zoo — although I’m not sure if there is much of a difference. With orchids, palms, and trees from all over the world in one place, for just a moment, it felt like we were no longer in Westwood. Instead, we were in some plant land like the ones where the dinosaurs would walk. We also saw turtles! Maybe those guys are the dinosaurs.
Dinosaur Jr. – Raisans
The Cure – The Hanging Garden
Keifer: Despite the threatening presence of finals week only days away, sitting on an unassuming bridge in the botanical gardens all of that stress faded away as we watched a bale of turtles mindlessly swim around waiting for us to drop in something for us to eat. Unfortunately, we had nothing to offer them but our presence, which we offered fully and generously. Though not a single one of these plants or animals would likely cross paths without our intervention, you would never guess any of them were out of place. The garden has a certain magic quality that filters out all but the present.
Jessie Ware – Remember Where You Are
Laura Marling – Held Down
Anna: Faced with the chaos of finals week and our reluctance to take our eyes off of our study guides, the culmination of our project almost didn’t come to fruition. I arrived eager to get it over with. To get back to studying. But I slowly realized this experience couldn’t be rushed. After exploring our city for the past few weeks, we were comfortable in each others’ quasi-silence and the trees’ contentment. The botanical gardens were meditative – the green was glue and stole our anxious thoughts as we roamed. Los Angeles disappeared around us, skyscrapers and American presidents became hilarious figments of our imaginations, and we found a safe haven from reality amongst friends. The gardens turned out to be more effective than any study session.
Beach House: Walk in the Park
Morningsiders: Somewhere in Between
The Kinks: Waterloo Sunset
High Highs: Bridge