How To Explain Indie-Rock To An LA Cab Driver

Jaimie Hodgson writes:

This debut blog comes direct to you from the city of lost angels. I’m currently sat by the pool of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, sipping on a raspberry mojito, looking pasty, and listening to two worryingly skinny tattooed ladies talk very loudly about how much they enjoy being lesbians, and how bad men smell.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

In the six hours I’ve been here I’ve been asked to stop loitering around the entrance to the official church of Scientology’s ‘Celebrity Centre’ (what kind of religion has a ‘Celebrity Centre’? Only the best kind!), seen Darth Vader smoking a cigar through his mask on Sunset Boulevard, and had to explain the concept of indie-rock to a 60-year-old Russian immigrant cab driver (a surprisingly tricky task).

He asked what music British people like, then wondered if it originated in India. Incidentally it wasn’t a one-way lesson between me and the cabbie. He claimed his car was the musical heart of LA, and to prove this cracked out a couple of his favourite CDs. He described them as rock’n’roll classical interpretations. It sounded a little something like this.

As I left him, he asked for a few examples of this ‘indie-rock’ music I spoke of. I toyed with being mean and pointing him towards the new Pig Destroyer record, but instead thought I’d start him off easy and wrote down: Blur, Oasis and Arctic Monkeys.

A few things have brought me to Los Angeles. Aside from wanting one of these. A spot of this. And definitely one of these:

We recently caught word of California’s brooding retort to the Big Apple’s much-hyped psychedelia love-in. However, round these parts the sonic kaleidoscope seems to come fittingly shrouded in a thick plume of tarry smog.

While their New York cousins are more interested in dreamily drifting off into some utopian stratosphere of technicolour abandon (or something), on the mean streets of Laurel Canyon it’s more a case of bonging away the blistering sun in a murky dirge of paranoia.

The first band of call will be the lead new music feature in a forthcoming edition of the mag. They’re called Darker My Love, and they look and sound a bit like this:

I recommend checking out ‘Talking Words’ on their Myspace though, it has become a bit of an office anthem in recent weeks. We’re doing a big shoot and interview with them tomorrow so shall report full findings.

Right, I’m off to don a tight white vest, some white parachute pant material peddle pushers and then find a stray mutt to plonk in the orange Sainsbury carrier bag I brought over specially. Faaaaahhbulous!

I shall close with this though. As I started writing this blog, this sketch sprung to mind. “I’m out by the poooooolllll!”