Earlier this month we asked Angelenos to help us create a Venice Mixtape. Among the entries were original songs from local artists, ranging in style from baroque chorale to heavy political rock. Participants also submitted songs by iconic musicians that conjured up the feeling of what Venice is all about.
Now we're thrilled to announce the winner and present the completed mixtape in a visual songbook. Check out the tracks below!
LISTEN: "Venice Anthem" by Brad Kay
Submitted by Brad Kay (Grand Prize Winner):
When the great WPA-era Abbott Kinney Mural at the Venice Post Office was finally dedicated in 2007 (only 66 years after it was painted), I seized the moment to compose and arrange a proper National Anthem for Venice, to be sung by a 500-voice choir, with cannons firing and pigeons launched at the end. Although we ended up with only an eight-voice choir, minus any cannons or pigeons but WITH a speech in the middle by Franklin D. Roosevelt, I think the song still reflected the righteous, over-reaching hubris of a true Anthem, which our town desperately has needed ever since it lost its municipal independence in 1925.
LISTEN: "Venice Beach" by Isabel Spiegel
Submitted by Isabel Spiegel:
Growing up in Venice is a unique experience that has shaped who I am and how I view the world.
LISTEN: "Classic Girls" by Jane's Addiction
Submitted by Steve Bevilacqua:
I've lived in Venice for decades, and this song always reminds me of one of the greatest summers of my life...hanging out on the beach every day, energized by the sun and amazing people. It seemed eternal.
LISTEN: "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and The Waves
Submitted by Paul Buxton:
Everytime I go to the Venice Boardwalk, the energy of the place makes me feel like I'm walkin' on sunshine. (Be sure to catch his own Venice-centric video of the song in the Youtube playlist at the bottom.)
LISTEN: "Moonlight Drive" by The Doors
Submitted by Paul Rich:
Listen to the lyrics of The Doors "Moonlight Drive" and you will hear Jim's allegorical reference to Venice, a love song to Venice ...the oasis that captured his soul, that inspired him and the very formation of The Doors.
LISTEN: "The Sound of Sunshine" by Michael Franti & Spearhead
Submitted by Robert Pappalardo:
Franti's song and video uniquely capture the free spirit and simultaneous gritty edge of today's Venice Beach, with visuals that invoke summer, sunshine, water, cool breezes, and carefree times that keep us coming back for more.
LISTEN: "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies
Submitted by Ted Wilkinson:
Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized" from the 1983 Suicidal Tendencies album is the song that most make me think of Venice because when I was a kid in Orange County in the 1980s, I thought that the video depicted what Venice was like.
LISTEN: "Reggae for Children" by Ron Artis & Family
Submitted by Alex Rose:
Anyone who spends time on the boardwalk hears this song over-and-over-and-over along with the call "Reggae for Children!"
LISTEN: "Breakin' The Law On the Boardwalk" by Zuma Dogg
Submitted by Zuma Dogg:
Here's my original song about my experience as a performer on Venice Beach Boardwalk, only to have L.A. City Hall violate FEDERAL law and my rights for five years. So I had to have a judge tell 'em to stop. Written, produced and performed by Zuma Dogg.
LISTEN: "Living in Zen" by Rich Sheldon
Submitted by Rich Sheldon:
Living in Venice Beach puts my mind in a state of Zen.
To listen to all the songs, including bonus tracks from our honorable mentions, click the links below. The mixtape is also available as a Youtube playlist, here.
We hope you enjoy the Venice mixtape and please stay tuned for our next contest!
- A Los Angeles Primer
- Arrival Stories
- Block by Block
- Engaging Spaces
- Green Justice
- I Am Los Angeles