The freeways were designed in the fifties. As they were overrun by cars in the decades that followed, glaring design flaws were revealed. If I’m getting off and you’re getting on, and we’re supposed to cross, don’t you expect this to create problems?
But that’s the way it is on the eastbound 10 at La Cienega.
The system is riddled with mistakes like this.
They finally fixed the interchange of the 405 and the 101, where there were so many cars going in so many directions that traffic was backed up all the way to Mulholland, even on weekends, long after rush hour.
But there are still unfixed fuck-ups. Like the interchange of the 405 and the 10. It’s bad enough trying to go from the 405 South to the 10 East, but it’s equally bad going from the 10 East to the 405 North. Because just where you’re supposed to merge onto the northbound freeway, there’s another entrance, from Pico. So you end up backed up, suspended on this slab of concrete far above the ground, waiting to merge onto the 405, even when traffic on the 405 itself is moving.
There’s quite a vista. From downtown to the beach. Makes you proud to live in L.A. When you can see, of course… But smog is lighter on the Westside.
And someone taught me a trick. Even if I’m coming from Santa Monica, I should drive to the Pico entrance, it gets precedence, you can save five or ten minutes. But I felt this was unnecessary on a Saturday afternoon at 3 PM.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
And there’s nothing you can do. You can see the cars suspended on the overpass in front of you, but there’s no off ramp, you’re gonna drive right into traffic and end up suspended too, wasting time.
And after applying the brakes, inching forward a few feet at a time, I started pushing the satellite buttons. Every song was wrong, nothing sounded good. Until I got to "Kandi", by One Eskimo.
IT FELT SO FUCKING GREAT TO BE ALIVE!
Strasburg hipped me to One Eskimo. I got it when he e-mailed me late last year. But trapped in my car, I fully understood it. This track had all the power of the songs of yore. It wasn’t about crafting a hit, but a track so in the pocket that your body turned into Gumby, you were bending in places where angles were never created, you were infected with sound, your only desire was to hear the song AGAIN!
That’s the essence of music. Good enough ain’t worth shit. It’s got to be GREAT! Especially in the Internet era, where something better is just a click away.
So dial up "Kandi". Let it wash over you, let it infect you. And damned if when it’s done you don’t need to hear it again!
Google "One Eskimo". "Kandi" is the first track that comes up in the player. Click on it. Turn up the music loud enough to robustly fill your speakers, your room, your ears.