It would be much more effective to have his exact quote, but Sam Baker once said something to the effect that Los Angeles is an experiment, and the experiment has failed. In exclaiming, “The experiment has failed!” Seth Timbs both references this quote and declares his independence from the city that took him from his native Tennessee home for two years. When I listened to this song at its lone performance on July 3rd, 2004, I liked it, but when I listened to its words more closely after I heard the live recording (available below), I was encouraged that Seth Timbs would indeed be returning here from Los Angeles.
The song fantasizes about destroying the city of Los Angeles, with the speaker’s finger on the button that will launch the attack, musing about armies and aircraft and missiles poised at the ready. Its refrain says, “Because it’s beautiful, it must be destroyed,” which is a curious description of an odious city that was “born without pity or shame.” This refrain could refer to its “perfect little place on the map” that will soon be demolished, or it could be a nod to the attitude of the city itself, treating anything good or worthwhile as something to be exploited.
The shocking thing about this song is that even though it is written in a time when America is so dead-set against war, it is so uncharacteristically violent! It does mention that the attack will not begin until “all the good folks” have made it out, then speaks only of the destruction of the geographical destruction—except for a brief mention of some group of people (sorry, I can’t make out exactly what he’s saying in the recording—“soul suckers”?) sleeping in a coked-out stupor while the invading armies come in. Declaring that, “In the later years, they’ll say that we were visionaries,” Seth Timbs becomes like a James Bond villain out of Moonraker or something, driving the point how dead-set he is on getting out of that city. Perhaps it’s best that this one didn’t get out too far, as it could have easily stirred up a back-lash among those who cannot see it simply as the musing of a fed-up Tennessean displaced from his home.
Download Live mp3