The complicated beauty of the Los Angeles River has acted as muse for artists across the spectrum, from sculptors and graffiti artists to writers and poets. For musicians, the river has inspired, among others, Eels frontman's sad bastard balladry and DIY punk renegades No Age, who in a forward-looking move used the banks of the river as a venue.

The tradition continues as the Songs of the River Project inspired a new generation of musicians to sing about the birds and the concrete. At Mayor Villaraigosa's L.A. River Day of Service on April 30th, the winners were invited on stage by Ozomatli to perform their winning songs. As part of our StoryShare event, we asked the musicians to share the stories behind the songs, as well as record exclusive intimate performances for our cameras, set up right next to the river at the beautiful Rio de Los Angeles State Park.

Enjoy the flow of the rhythms as they share their songs in the videos below:

THE LIL' RATTLESNAKES - Clean It, Green It, L.A. River Song
Hear their teacher Sandra Ellen Bacall talk about how the song came to be HERE.

BROKEN ENGLISH - Concrete Veins

THE CONGREGATION - Water Under the Bridge


Songs of the LA River was presented by the City of Los Angeles in collaboration with the Mayor Villaraigosa's L.A. River Day of Service, Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, Ozomatli, the Department of Cultural Affairs and KCET Departures.