#storysongs combo: “You Trip Me Up,” by Jesus and Mary Chain. In the world of ’60s-pop-through-punkish-prism bands, they win my vote. (Sorry, Ramones.)


Thursday’s Great Read:

Colorado town declares open season on drones

Wearing a black duster and a black cowboy hat, Phil Steel walked to the front of the meeting room armed with a Nerf gun and a smile.

The U.S. Army veteran was there to pitch his big idea: an ordinance that would legalize and regulate drone hunting inside Deer Trail city limits. If approved, residents could pay $25 to get a drone-hunting license; the town would pay a bounty for every drone bagged.

“Really?” someone asked sarcastically as the theme music to “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” blared during Steel's entrance. Laughter rippled through the room.

Steel had hammered out the 2,800-word ordinance in just four hours. Its key points:

When a drone flies into its airspace, Deer Trail will consider it an act of war.

You can only shoot at drones flying lower than 1,000 feet.

Unless your life is in danger, you can only fire up to three shots at a drone.

Some at the August meeting thought the drone-hunting ordinance might be a good idea. Others used words like “stupid” and “a joke” to describe a proposal that they worried might become an embarrassment.

To many, that's exactly what it has become.

#storysongs combo: “Shoot You Down,” by the Stone Roses. Finally I get the Roses into a story soundtrack! “I’d love to do it, and you know you’ve always had it coming...”


Friday’s Great Read:

Deadly power of '94 quake was revealed at Northridge Meadows

Alan Hemsath woke up to the earth cracking underneath him. Wood beams splintered above his bed, and the window shattered into small slivers.

He ran for the doorway, but the ground kept convulsing. As the apartment's walls crumpled, he fell face first onto his kitchen's concrete floor. His right hand was in a fist and pinned under his chest. A metal circuit breaker box collapsed onto his other arm. He opened his eyes, saw black and whispered the Lord's Prayer.

It was 4:31 a.m. on the third Monday of 1994, and he was trapped inside Apartment 110 of the Northridge Meadows apartment complex.

Half a mile away, the temblor tossed firefighter Mike Henry out of bed at Station 70. The two-story, brick firehouse jolted up and down and then rocked side to side. He tasted dust. Pieces of the ceiling had fallen into his boots, so he emptied them out and pulled them on.

He ran to his hook-and-ladder truck, waited for a few other guys to hop in and began to back out when an aftershock hit. Parts of the station collapsed.

Henry, who had turned 36 two days earlier, started south down Reseda Boulevard, along the route he was assigned to survey after earthquakes. He swerved around potholes and downed power lines.

“The whole Valley was just pitch black,” he said. “Dead, dead, dead black.”

#storysongs combo: “Walls Come Tumbling Down,” by Style Council. It was a bit strange choosing this upbeat song for a story about disaster, but in the end I decided the theme of unity and empowerment worked. (I will point out that it’s a rare style misstep for the usually impeccable Paul Weller in this video.)


If you have ideas for story-song pairings of your own, tweet the title and artist to @karihow or @LATgreatreads with the hashtag #storysongs.