Santa Monica Beach

To close out road trip week here on Tadpole Audio, I’m psyched to present a guest mix coming to us from David Kitz, drummer in Los Angeles band Princeton.   Being based in Los Angeles, a city in a state you could drive through and see some of the most varying terrain in the country – I of course jumped at the opportunity to include a mix of specifically Cali style music.   In addition to giving us a stellar mix, David spilled a bit about their recent European tour and Princeton’s next album…

TA: So why go with a California road trip?  What inspired you about the theme?

DK: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and while growing up, the majority of our vacations were road trips either down the coast to visit family in San Diego, or up the coast to places like Cambria, Pismo Beach, Monterey, or up and inland a bit to Yosemite.  Since joining Princeton, drives through California have once again become a frequent occurrence in my life.  I love California, and driving through it feels (at least to me) different than driving through any other state.  I guess I wanted to make a mix that captured that feeling (or feelings) in some way.

TA: Did you start with any particular song or artist, or a specific tone / feel you wanted to go for?

DK: I think I wanted to capture a few different moods (or feelings) in the mix. I wanted to cover the range of experiences you have on a road trip; the energy and excitement of getting in a car and leaving, as well as the more contemplative moments you have once you’ve been in the car for a while and your mind starts to wander.  I also included tracks with beach imagery for obvious reasons.  I guess I wanted to build some sort of narrative.

TA: What moods or feelings did you try and touch on that are specifically Californian?

DK: For me, there is something very comforting about California.  Maybe I feel

A vineyard in Santa Barbara

this way because it’s my home state, but I think that a lot of people experience that here…I wanted to capture that feeling of comfort in the mix.  I also think there is a relaxed and optimistic vibe that characterizes California’s coastal towns…I think there are several tracks on the mix that encapsulate that.  There is also a dreaminess that I think Brian Eno and Nagisa Ni Te’s tracks capture well too.

TA: It seems like the mix has a definite “bridge” if you will, with Brian Eno’s “On Some Faraway Beach” – was that intentional?

DK: Yea, for sure.  Going back to the narrative thing…I think the energy and entire mood of the mix takes a huge turn when you hit that song.  The way I imagined it was using that song to mark the point at which you pull off the road and spend a few hours on some secluded beach.  The few songs that follow kind of carry that on.

TA: Speaking of touring with Princeton – you guys just got back from Europe.  Were there any songs that played on repeat in the green rooms, tour bus, your iPod, etc. along the way?  What about a song you would choose that sort of encapsulates the experience you had over there?

We did.  We had a great time over there.  It’s funny, we didn’t have any CDs in the van the entire tour aside from copies of our own album (which we’ve all heard enough of) so we listened to the radio.  We got mostly American top 40 pop (Usher, Rihanna, and Katy Perry to name a few) and a handful of Euro dance tracks that seem to drill through your brain.  That’s the stuff that really encapsulates the experience oddly enough.  I think hearing “OMG” by Usher and will always bring me back there.

Sequoia National Park

TA: That’s amazing.  Does this mix reflect any of your own personal tastes?

DK: I think the mix definitely reflects my personal taste a lot.  It leaves a lot out, but I’m a big fan of all of these artists, and love all of these songs.  In fact, now that this mix exists, I’m definitely burning a copy for the van.

TA: What are you listening to right now?

DK: Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Charles Mingus, Lou Reed, and I’ve been getting really into Joanna Newsom’s new record…I guess I’m a little all over the place.  We are getting ready to record our next record, so I’m taking in as much as I can right now.

TA: Oh?  What can we expect from the new record, in terms of the sound?

DK: I think in some ways it’s too early to tell, but I think the vision for it is pretty clear on our end…It’s going to be much for focused than our last record.  It’s going to be more orchestral and it’s going to be more austere.  It’s hard to describe, but you’ll know it when you hear it….we’re definitely excited.

As a fan of both their their last album, Cocoon of Love, AND their Bloomsbury EP before that – I’m excited as well.  And now, “On The Road Again”

And lastly, though I could not find (or successfully upload) it on Grooveshark…

The Beatles “When I Get Home”

in case you’re unfamiliar, here’s one of my favorite songs off of Cocoon of Love:

Princeton “Korean War Memorial”