Here’s a new High Places video, which is for their song, “Main St. L.A.” I still don’t quite understand this Main St. Project, but here’s what High Places had to say about it:
We asked Mary Pearson and Rob Barber of High Places to write a few words about how they came to write a Main Street song about Los Angeles. Heres what they had to say: Mary: Rob and I recently relocated from New York City to Los Angeles, and consequently I felt a bit under-qualified at first for the role of Los Angeles Main Street Representative. However, as I began to think more about the task, it dawned on me that a newcomer can often see aspects of her surroundings that are so commonplace as to go unnoticed by longtime locals. Few born-and-raised Angelenos would treat wild succulents and late night taco trucks with quite the degree of reverence and gratitude Rob and I bestow upon such things. And it also struck me that Los Angeles is largely defined by its Promise-Land-like ability to lure in outsiders. In fact, this trait can be attributed to the entire state of California. Rob: As far as how we approached writing the song, this was the perfect project for High Places. Ordinarily, when we write for ourselves, we make a lot of off-the-cuff recordings and then arrange all the parts into a sort of hyper-organized mega-mix. With Main Street, we first went out on a couple different occasions to gather field recordings. Both times were very different from one another. The first night we went down to a more deserted stretch near the L.A. River, and recorded the more ambient aspects of the song. The whoosh of distant cars driving over manholes, crickets and night bugs, and the all-too-familiar (as well as surprisingly percussive) L.A.P.D. helicopters equipped with spooky spotlights. These sounds were cut up and used largely in the construction of the rhythm. A few days later we attended a Saturday afternoon street fair, where we gathered much of the rest of the sounds used: children playing, food frying, random snippets of conversations, empanada street vendors shouting How many dozens?, and of course a bunch of musicians whom we carefully worked off of with our own instrumental parts to fill out the composition. It was important to us to recreate a feeling of the multi-directional overlap and interplay of sounds present in a busy street environment. High Places tours a lot. We see a lot of Main Streets. Main Street Los Angeles is, as with most Main Streets, totally unique and of itself. Although parts are rather deserted and empty, such as the region near the L.A. River, other parts just a few blocks away, still give the feeling of being historically one of L.A.s predominant thoroughfares. Unlike many other Main Streets, which have become forgotten and obsolete with the development and commercialization of a towns outlying areas, L.A. Main Street is still mostly a viable and important center of the city. Like the spirit of California, it means different things for different people. For example, It contains the the oldest part of town, as well as the home of L.A.s underground music scene, the Smell. Mary: Joni Mitchells California is such a fitting love song to the elusive, golden state. The song is often what I sing at High Places sound checks, and I felt I just had to pay tribute to it in this composition by borrowing the lyrics from the chorus, California, oh California, Im comin home Hopefully our composition was successful in creating a similar mood of nostalgia and promise.Vodpod videos no longer available.