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This LA Band Made A Music Video Tribute To The City's Not-So-Classic Car Culture

Members of the band Modern Time Machines (Kimberly Zsebe, courtesy Modern Time Machines)
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Not exactly the way you'd want someone to describe your car, but L.A. based-band Modern Time Machines doesn't care about looks. They're paying tribute to history.

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Their new music video celebrates the unloved vehicles from the Malaise era ('70s, '80s and early '90s) with vintage L.A. as the backdrop.

"Maybe it's just nostalgia, or maybe it's just I gravitate to liking unloved things," singer and guitarist Ben Golomb told LAist. "It's celebrating what people think is garbage."

Some of the cars showcased? Golomb's own 1975 baby blue Pontiac Firebird, complete with vinyl top, and his friend's 1979 Lincoln. And oh, yeah, the DeLorean -- as seen in Back To The Future.


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Golomb got the hookup from actress Claudia Wells, who played Marty McFly's girlfriend before she quit acting and was replaced in the subsequent two sequels. Her friend Ron Ferguson, president of the DeLorean Owners Association, ended up rolling up in his own DeLorean.

The video also features Wells herself and the men's clothing store she owns, Armani Wells in Studio City.

Valley Relics Museum owner Tommy Gelinas with the members of Modern Time Machines. (Kim Zsebe, courtesy Modern Time Machines)

Other local landmarks like the Valley Relics Museum in Lake Balboa and the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo -- home to the Malaise Daze Car Show -- make cameos too. (Fun fact: the song, "Malaise for Days," is named in honor of Malaise Motors and the Malaise Daze Car Show.)

The video pays tribute to vintage L.A. culture in general, including a scene taking time to do some record diving. They shot it at Golomb's friend's store in Thousand Oaks.

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"L.A. doesn't really preserve its history enough," Golomb said. "So with old cars, I think that it's just a way to hold on to a little memory of the past, when maybe things were a little simpler."

The band's been going for around a decade now, playing mostly shoegaze, according to Golomb, an L.A. native.

They're planning a release show for the new song and video on April 27 at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo at this year's Malaise Daze Car Show. Keeping with the retro aesthetic, they plan to sell the song there on limited-edition cassette as a maxi-single.

"It's a lot cheaper than making vinyl, but also, there's going to be a bunch of nerds who own cars from the '80s with cassette players -- I feel like, if I ever have a chance of selling a few of them, it would be there," Golomb said.

Get your cassette decks ready.

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You can watch another of their retro videos here, re-creating classic TV shows but getting twisted along the way: