Sound City Studios, Then and Now


soundcity 1970's


Classic rock albums were once recorded here.  You can learn all about it in Dave Grohl’s new documentary.

From the Daily News:

“I am a total Valley Girl,” Grohl clarified. “I love living in the Valley. My wife was born and raised in the Valley.”   How did that happen to, arguably, grunge rock’s biggest icon?

“I moved to Los Angeles in 1997 and lived in Laurel Canyon for a year,” Grohl added. “Basically, I just drank my way through the Sunset Strip and (slept with) anything with a pulse and then I thought, yeah, I gotta get outta here.”

After some time out of state, it was a recording studio conversation with fellow musician Beck that convinced Grohl to settle north of the hills.

“There’s that funny stigma that is the San Fernando Valley, that it’s not a cool place to live,” Grohl noted. “I never understood that.

“So when Beck said `I think I’m gonna move out of Silver Lake.’ I said, `Dude! Valley! You’ve gotta go Valley.’ And the engineer in the studio said `The Valley? You don’t want to live in the Valley.’ And I said, `Well, why?’ And he said, `Because it’s the f— Valley!’

“That’s when I realized, that’s exactly where I want to live. Let everybody have the other side of the hill. I have the f— Valley! I love it here, it’s great.”


Won’s Coffee Shop


A topic of passing fascination: the down market old school establishment which manages to stay in business as an old school establishment while conceding nothing to modern taste, or a retro  makeover, and lacking the patronage of a hipster clientele a la the Dresden Room.  I thought they might be getting away with it as a front for massage parlor profits,  but at 3 pm on a Tuesday it was doing a brisk business in chow mein, conducted by a James Ellroy character who barked at cook and customer alike and slapped greasy plastic-lined menus on the counter. Interior matches expectations.

Tell me why this is legal


Once upon a time you used to write your Congressman.  For the price of a stamp and an envelope you could demand your potholes be filled. He would ignore you.  Then he would send you four newsletters a year touting his accomplishments with your money and you would have to pay for his postage. Franking, it was called.

Live long enough in politics, and eventually they name stuff after you. After you go.  Or so they did, back in the day, in the rare and sparkling occasion of tragic demise. Now, hack politicians contrive to baptise schools, parks and naval ships in their own name while they are still in office, and looking to run again.

Here we have a disaster awareness PSA, city shield right on the billboard, doing double duty as a campaign ad for a sitting councilman.

Los Angeles hasn’t elected a non-machine candidate in three decades. Ever wonder why?