Los Angeles Soundtrack: The Icarus Line

Joe Cardamone writes for Clash...

The Icarus Line are steeped in the mythology of Los Angeles.

Whether that's the sleaze of the strip, the grit of the city's famed punk scene or the area's faded glamour, The Icarus Line seem to embody the unrelenting atmosphere of Los Angeles.

New album 'All Things Under Heaven' is released later this week (October 2nd, in fact), with the material being laid down in singer Joe Cardamone's home studio.

Staying close to home seems to be a recurring theme in the band's career – with that in mind, Clash invited Joe Cardamone to pick out his Los Angeles soundtrack.

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Germs – 'Lexicon Devil'

Look at Darby Crash's eyes in this clip. He's just a kid, but it's already fully on. Germs were a perfect representation of the sprawling suburban wasteland that is L.A.. The city that is all about showbiz and perfection birthed a reject like Darby Crash. The Germs were about as un-commercial as it gets, which to me is a natural reaction when your surroundings are cosmetically surgery-ed. He died the day before John Lennon, so no one talked about it in the media. I guess that sums it up.

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N.W.A. – 'Straight Outta Compton'

I remember this coming out when I was a kid. It hit L.A. well before the rest of the world. I had never heard anything like it before and was instantly down with it. Nothing was ever the same after this record. N.W.A. was made outside of the system and that's the only way it could have been. They took the shit that we saw on the news everyday and put it on a record. Still, to this day, nothing else feels like this record, it is an actual blueprint for everything that would come out after it.

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The Gun Club – 'Death Party'

Man, his voice on this tune is just out of sight. I just picked this song because it was the last one I heard. Jeffery Lee was so bad ass. Maybe Jack White could go back to these records and check 'em out? I remember the White Stripes name checking Gun Club a lot when they first came out. There's fire in Jeffery Lee's heart, we need more people out there with this fire. Can't touch Gun Club, I'm sorry.

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Screamers – 'I Wanna Hurt'

Who hasn't ripped off this song? I know I have. I first heard the Screamers when i was 18 at my first record label job. I was answering phones for below minimum wage. My boss had this 12 inch by the Screamers and I asked him what it was. He was like "ehhh, it's OK". So of course I borrowed it and I still have that record at home. They never made a proper record, mostly just videos. Screamers were hugely influential on the LA punk scene and still are to this day.

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Jane's Addiction – 'Gift'

I remember getting a VHS of this movie given to me around the time it came out. It blew my mind that a major label let a band spend money on making their own movie, a movie about being a band of junkies no less. What the fuck? For all of the stupidity flowing through the veins of Gift they somehow really bottled up the feeling of the LA post punk/goth scene at the time. Popcorn!

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Chet Baker – 'Polka Dots And Moonbeams'

Maybe you wouldn't figure that this would make it on my L.A. playlist, but Chet Baker is really the ultimate Los Angeles. This is a place where people come to find dreams and hope for a better life. In between all of that, they might fall in love or break a heart or lose someone they love back home. You can still feel silent movie stars haunting some of the old buildings and streets. When you go downtown, in the right light, you are in a Fante novel. All of that is in Chet Baker's music. His fragile voice holds the spirit of Los Angeles at night.

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'All Things Under Heaven' will be released on October 2nd.

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