The Friday Morning Listen: The Rivieras – California Sun: The Best of the Rivieras (2000)

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When I say that I’m not particularly fond of California, people look at me like I’ve just said that I don’t like breathing, or could do without sex or something. I mean, breathing and sex aside, are some things really universal?

Let’s start with the weather. Yes indeed, it’s been sunny, dry, and in the 70s all week. I can’t argue that it feels nice. However, I couldn’t deal with not having a real change of seasons. I love the sound of rain on a metal roof. When I wake up on a clear mid-February morning, I actually enjoy walking outside when it’s a handful of degrees below zero. The blinding sparkle of the sun through fresh dry snow just can’t be beat. The fall foliage is not only stunningly beautiful, it kicks off anticipation for the winter to follow. And if that winter is unusually severe? That makes the arrival of spring all the more sweet.

Now even if I’d completely fallen in love with the weather, I could not deal with the population density. Yes, there are beautiful beaches, magnificent architecture, and some terrific culture as well…but all of that is buried underneath an unending mound of sprawl. There are eleventy-trillion people out here! And with all of those people come the strip malls, the strip malls behind the strip malls, and the four-lane divided secondary roads to connect them all. For a guy who lives in the country, the crush of people and vehicles is downright claustrophobic.

Clearly I’m in the minority on all of this. The population of the United States has been migrating to urban areas over the past few decades. Are people moving to California? I don’t really know. But I’ll tell you this, the warm California sun has no hold on me.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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