Wednesday, December 23, 2009

System of a Down -- "Lost in Hollywood" (2005)

They take you, and make you,
They look at you in disgusting ways
You should have never trusted Hollywood.

Life can be pretty random. If you don't think so, just look at your husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend (assuming you have one). How did you meet him/her? For many, the meeting was such a fluke, seemingly mere happenstance -- perhaps the result of the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil -- that a slight alteration in any one of about a million events would have caused enough of a divergence in your paths that you would never have encountered one another. (Of course, some would say that fact that there were incredible odds against that particular outcome actually taking place is the best proof that your meeting was not the result of chance, but destiny.)

That was certainly true for me. And it's equally true when it comes to me finding this song.

Like much of the music I have on my computer, I got System of a Down's Mesmerize CD through my local public library. I don't recall ever hearing the band's music on the radio or seeing anything about them on TV. I can only assume that I searched for and requested Mesmerize because I came across the name of the band or the CD on some music review site -- maybe on a "top 100 CDs of 2005" list or something like that.

After downloading the CD, I don't recall ever hearing any of the songs on it until last Saturday, when we were buried by the Mother of All Snowstorms.  Somehow five songs from Mesmerize had ended up on my iPod shuffle, and came up while I was shoveling the driveway. Four of them were great -- a very odd and very eclectic mix of rock/pop/punk/metal elements -- and the fifth wasn't bad.

This is the final song on the CD, and it's about an archetypal "young man from the provinces" who goes to the big city to seek his fame and fortune.  (Are you clicking on each and every one of these links that I am spending so much time and effort creating?) Unfortunately, we know what happens to all those strays who end up in Los Angeles: they end up working as waiters in vegetarian restaurants, playing in bands that never get any real gigs, and checking out each other's hairstyles.

As this song says,

They take you,
And make you,
They look at you in disgusting ways,
You should have never trusted Hollywood.

I'm a sucker for songs about Los Angeles. Forget the traffic and the tacky, temporary-looking buildings, and the generally ugly, dried-out landscape -- it's the center of the popular culture world, and popular culture is so much more important than serious culture (sorry, New York City).

Not sure what all this means:

All you maggots smoking fags on Santa Monica Boulevard
All you maggots smoking fags out there on Sunset Boulevard
All you maggots smoking fags out there on Hollywood Boulevard
All you bitches put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care

Here's a Youtube video of the song:

And you've gotta see this video:

Here's "Lost in Hollywood" on iTunes: System of a Down - Mezmerize - Lost In Hollywood

And for those of you who prefer

1 comment:

  1. An update: I've listened to this song several dozen times since discovering it a week ago. It just gets better and better.