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Song Stories

“California”

EMA | 2011

Erika M. Anderson's expletive-laden lament to the Golden State was based on her wanting to explore the state's dark underbelly. "The thing about California that's interesting, [is] it's always been tremendously great at marketing itself," Anderson said. "I wanted to tell the other side of the story. Because my favorite California songs are things like 'Under the Bridge,' not necessarily 'California Dreamin'.' For a while in music, it felt like there was this continuation of this California self-promotion, and I kind of wanted to be like, 'Let me tell you something else.'" In dropping the f-bomb to refer to the Golden State, she certainly did.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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