Eureka! The California Mix

Eureka! The California Mix

When I’m traveling and people ask me where I’m from, I say “California.” And no matter where I am in the world, it’s remarkable how many people reply either in song or by exclaiming Hotel California!

Christine Amorose and Rex Flores in Amsterdam 2010

My friend Rex is the ultimate mix tape master: he created “The Christine Album” for my seventeenth birthday and put together “Eureka! The California Mix” while I was living in Australia. Enclosed with the CD was a note: “I hope the salutary anthems make you smile when you’re homesick. The first song is not by a California band nor a song about California per se, but it is about everywhere and a great tune for traveling. Try not to cry when you get to ‘California Stars’ [side note: I totally did] and Joni Mitchell’s song about California was written just for you.”

It’s no secret that I love my homestate; however, one of my favorite things about it is how well-represented it is in song. Whenever I’m feeling particularly homesick, I pop in my earphones and turn up the California mix: I’m instantly taken back to being absolutely obsessed with The O.C., singing “Going Back to Cali” at 5 a.m. in the Rome Airport with friends when I was 18, visiting Grace Cathedral Hall as part of a high school philosophy field trip.

Here’s the playlist in all its awesomeness (p.s. scroll all the way to the bottom to find out how to win your own copy!):

View of San Francisco at dusk from the Bay Bridge

Home (RAC Mix) by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Going to California by Led Zeppelin

Life in San Francisco by Girls

San Clemente pier in Southern California

California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & The Papas

California Love by Dr. Dre, Tupac & Roger Trootman

Gene Autrey by Beulah

California Girls by The Beach Boys

California English by Vampire Weekend

California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco

Newport Beach volleyball set-up on a sunny day, Southern California

Hotel California by Gipsy Kings

Yosemite Theme by The Go! Team

Grace Cathedral Hall by The Decemberists

Going Back to Cali by Notorious B.I.G.

Hollywood Swinging by Kool & The Gang

Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers

California by Joni Mitchell

View of the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco by Scott Mckenzie

California by Phantom Planet

To celebrate being home and exploring this wonderful state, I’m going to give away one copy of Eureka! The California Mix. Just leave a comment saying what your favorite California song is–or if there’s a song about your home city, state or country that you love–and I’ll announce the winner next week!

  • Surprised there’s no Katy Perry on this. =P

  • Oooo, love Edward Sharpe! My favourite California song would have to be San Francisco 😉

  • Oh jeez. I do love Hotel California by The Eagles! I don’t really have a hometown, but Eyes Like Yours by Shakira does get me nostalgic about the Middle East!

  • No Californication by Red Hot Chilli Peppers? The guitars at the start are very Cali for me 🙂

  • Maggie High

    I always say I’m from California when asked abroad, too. I’ve found that if someone is anti-American, they usually are a bit more inclined to hear I’m from California. Plus, I love California and like to represent as much as possible. It’s the greatest state in the union! (Sorry other states. You’re cool, too. Just not as cool.)

    My favorite song on your playlist is Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros but there are a lot I haven’t heard so I hope I win so I can give them a listen! 🙂 I especially want to hear the Joni Mitchell song. I might have to go download that one right now.

  • I 2nd that. No Californication? Such a big fail 🙂

    PS: The Chili Peppers are my favorite band on the planet

  • What a thoughtful present, I love the idea.

  • I played Hot Fudge by Robbie Williams in my lead up to moving to LA last year but whenever I want that melancholic homesick feeling I always turn to Christine Anu’s My Island Home. She sang this song at my university graduation and it’s struck a chord with me ever since.

  • Moneypenny

    Great idea for a playlist! My favs would be California Dreamin’ and Hotel California.
    Love the blog — for the info and insights, and it always makes me want to ‘get outta town’ !

  • Amanda

    California Girls is definitely my favorite- I listen to it all the time haha.  And the men’s acapella group at my school has a funny version of it that I love as well.  

  • Love this mix! Anything by the RHCP puts me in a very Cali mindset, but my favorite California song is the Beach Boys winner! Also, I too had my OC obsessed days and the soundtracks to the show still get some major airplay on my ipod – such good tracks!

  • I’m going to have to go with California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & The Papas right now as my fav.

  • Having lived in California for most of my life I can totally relate to these songs. There is nothing like a song singing about your homestate and luckily we have a lot of them. What an awesome mix and present. I am about to travel the world and having a connection to home will be very important. My favorite song on the list is “Under The Bridge” mainly because I am a huge Chili Peppers fan.

  • camorose

    Haha if you knew my friend–you wouldn’t be surprised! But yes, I totally have Katy Perry on my iPod and California Girls is one of my favorites to dance around to 🙂

  • camorose

    Excellent choice 🙂

  • camorose

    Oohhh I don’t know that one–will have to check it out!

  • camorose

    Under the Bridge is my favorite RHCP song–so Rex might just know me too well 🙂

  • camorose

    Definitely check out the Joni Mitchell one–it’s a good one if you’re a California girl far from home 🙂

  • camorose

    Like I said–I think Rex just knows me too well! Under the Bridge is def my favorite RHCP song 🙂

  • camorose

    The custom mixtape never gets old 🙂

  • camorose

    Haven’t heard of either of those–definitely will check them out 🙂

  • camorose

    Glad you’re enjoying it! Always something to explore, even if it’s not too far from home 🙂

  • camorose

    haha that video is hilarious–was that from a So Cal school?!

  • camorose

    Yes! The OC soundtracks are THE BEST!

  • camorose

    That was definitely my favorite in Australia during the winter when the sun was shining at home–totally made me miss California!

  • camorose

    That’s my favorite RHCP song–always makes me a little sad though…

  • Bill

    This is a primo song 
    Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dani California

  • camorose


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