In San Luis Obispo, I opened up my iPad and changed the album from This is Happening by LCD Soundsytem to Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys. A drastic change, but it needed to happen. As a child, my dad played the album constantly. In the rainy northwest, the beaches and girls depicted by Brian Wilson and the rest of the Pendletones felt worlds away. My knowledge of waves was limited to whitecaps on the Columbia River and I'd seen a few girls in bikinis in Mexico once. My family drove old Volvos, not Thunderbirds and I had never seen a Deuce Coupes. Regardless of my experience with the places they described, their music captured me.
Bad to the bone.
I heard this thing coming two blocks away.
Shooting the shit.
Travels with Charlie.
As I grew, so did my appreciation of the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson's dark side and the duality of their music made the stories they depicted even more compelling and real. Having spent a good amount of time in this area in the last six months, I'm still intrigued by the image of Southern California they described in their music. Although it's very different today, a lot of what they captured is still alive and well.
Here are some more links,