Song of the Week: “Come a Long Way” by Michelle Shocked
My family moved to Los Angeles when I was five and I left when I was a teenager. 1980’s Los Angeles and I were never a good fit, and I generally dislike songs about L.A. They too often romanticize a glossiness I can’t stand, even when they are trying to get to the grit of things. I rarely miss Los Angeles (although there are people there I miss quite a lot) but “Come a Long Way” by Michelle Shocked fills me with a kind of longing I can wallow in for 4:43 minutes (LP version). Released in 1992, the year I finally left, it’s got everything I remember: the big hair on the Boulevard, earthquakes, the pachyderm, the dying dark. The music is celebratory, the lyrics are wild, clever, even funny, and in Shocked’s lovely, no-frills voice there is a familiar ambivalence about the city I will never get over.
Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints? Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.
See all Songs of the Week here.