Music has the unique ability to connect to a specific time and place. Last month we asked Angelenos to submit songs inspired by Highland Park for our version of a mixtape. We chose to give away a few prizes - Artichoke's "Historic Highland Park" album for six runners-up, and a $50 gift certificate to Wombleton Records for the grand prize winner.
Now we're thrilled to announce the winners and present the completed mixtape in a visual songbook. Contestants submitted personal reflections their song selection and we chose those that were relevant to Highland Park and reflected a personal history in the area.
LISTEN: "Highland Park" by Artichoke
First, special thank you to Artichoke for donating their album "Historic Highland Park" for this contest and inspiring this initiative. Find out more about the band's connection to Highland Park in our latest Departures: Highland Park installment.
LISTEN: "Sweet Milky Peaches" by Frank Fairfield
Submitted by Garbiel Chabran:
I selected Frank Fairfield's "Sweet Milky Peaches". The reason I selected it because I know that Frank lives (or lived) in Mt. Washington. Fairfeld's music reminds me of Charles Lummis on his travels or perhaps of the architectural style featured in some of the homes on Monte Vista, near the Southwest Museum and along Griffin Ave.
LISTEN: "La Raza (Remix - Instrumental)" by Kid Frost
Submitted by Jonathan Maghen:
Kind of an obvious choice, but this song always reminds me of Highland Park because the music video includes several murals from the area.
LISTEN: Rosie and the Originals' "Angel Baby"
Submitted by Alberto Vega (Grand Prize Winner):
Bands from Rosie and the Originals to Jay and The Techniques actually put me right back on the street I grew up on (Ruby Place) in Highland Park and so I'd have to put one of those songs up...so, "Angel Baby" it is. Also: A Franklin High School friend from Mt. Washington and I lost touch and reconnected in NYC while going to college. I met her cats, "Angel" and "Baby" and she was excited when I (the first of anyone in her years in NYC) immediately made the connection to that song. She said their names were a little homage to home.
LISTEN: "Lawless Street" by Rolando Alphonso
Submitted by @PochoHipster via Twitter:
Inspired by the Jackson Browne song of this muse city.
LISTEN: Rage Against the Machine's 1st Public Performance (Note: 53:39 minutes long)
Submitted by Suzette Brillantes:
An homage to RATM and their history with Highland Park-- any early Rage song would do, I guess.
LISTEN: X's "See How We Are"
Submitted by Kevin Kleinhans:
If ever there was a band that really epitomized Los Angeles during the punk rock heyday, it is X. There are plenty of bands that epitomize "L.A.", but "L.A." is just a construct, an idea. Ideas are very powerful things, but X didn't write songs about surfing and palm trees and fun, fun, fun 'til daddy took the t-bird away. They wrote songs about setting dumpsters on fire & hanging out with junkies and bikers. By the time X wrote this, the main lyricists (Exene Cervenka & John Doe) had divorced and had gotten away from the hell-raising of the past. The band took on a more roots-Americana vibe when this song came out (which is sort of an answer song to a Los Lobos song). The song (as well as some of these other songs) might sound pessimistic, but they're not. They are commentary. "See how we are/Gotta keep bars on all our windows/See how we are/We only sing about it every 20 years/See how we are/Oh, see how we are."
LISTEN: 8-bit's "HLP" (Myspace link)
Submitted by Maryam Hosseinzadeh:
I may be operating at an unfair advantage here. Seasons is a band that was born and raised in HLP, Franklin High School grads, covering "Eagle Fighting Zebra" by the Monolators about Mr T's Bowl while playing next door at the American Legion Post. Seasons and the Monolators had long time residencies at Mr T's a few years ago before Joe Teresa's son took over the place. 8bit also used to play T's back in the mid-2000s and has an amazing song "HLP."
To listen to all the songs listed, including bonus tracks from our honorable mentions, click the links below and a new window will pop up with the video for that song.
We hope you enjoy the Highland Park mixtape and please stay tuned for the next mixtape contest featuring Venice.