neon open sign

Post-Nothing? Music, Nostalgia, and One Late-Night Rant.

   Music is the cultural bundle package. It defined the identity of post-war social movements and their countercultures; it also acts as a commodity consciously bought, sold, and made marketable to prospective general audiences in the form of fads or trends. Why do certain elements of pop music persist in their popularity? Why do others become dated and kitsch? What is retro? What is vintage? Why do we like them? Why do the Beatles still sell records to 15-year olds? Why do 15-year olds still buy records? Isn’t this the Digital Age? Why does Maroon 5 write songs about Mick Jagger? What about Nick Waterhouse, whose contemporary albums made in contemporary studios are meant to sound as ‘sixties’ as possible?  What about cover songs? What about cover albums? What about box sets? Why do people buy them? They’re expensive. Do people ever listen to them?


All 500 bootleg uncut versions of Queen Jane Approximately?

What about reunion tours? Who goes to see Pat Benatar at a casino for 9$? I did. I wasn’t even alive when she was at her most popular, but I went anyway. What about that Grateful Dead Archive? Can you really archive a musical event? Is that still relevant? Going to an archive is nothing like seeing a concert in person. Can you put punk rock in an archive? That’s not very punk rock. What about post-punk? New wave? No Wave? Why do people pay $15.00 for a mediocre hamburger at the Hardrock-Café-Wherever to gawk at Eric Clampton’s old unsigned red Fender behind bullet-proof glass? The guitar is not Eric Clampton. Right? Or Elvis. Or The Beatles.

 If nostalgia is a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, what exactly do these trends say? If a generation begins longing for a past it never participated in, does that imply some sort of current cultural dissatisfaction? How can you feel homesick for a house you never lived in? Have visions of the future in the chaos of the postmodern world been recapitulated backwards?

Maybe the answer lies in understanding the nature of post-war consumerism and the advent of leisure time. People now had time to be nostalgic and culturally disaffected. People suddenly had the money, and the education, and the time to spend collecting tokens of the past, and constructing their identities around them. You could live in the 60’s and dress like you were from the 30’s, or from England, or from India, or from Bohemia. The rise of the service economy and upward swell of per capita income freed white America to be unsatisfied.

 But! In the grander scope of larger more historic epochs, haven’t humans always been unsatisfied? Isn’t that what drives the need for progress? Even if we’re well fed, housed and exist outside the immediate threat of arbitrary violence, humans will find something to be discontented over. Maybe we’re not really post-anything. The music industry is a case study.

Lights Out

Loud Rock Charts: 11/6

In this week’s edition of new metally things that you should care about, we have a group of bands that aren’t quite as well known as the past few weeks’ additions, but they’re still just as awesome. Something noteworthy about this week’s adds: The Sacred People marks Tiamat’s 10th record. No matter what band you are, ten full lengths is an impressive feat in its own regard. Also,  is it just me or is this the millionth reissue of a Megadeth album? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, it’s just remarkable that after over 20 years Megadeth is still making waves in the loud rock genre.

1 GRAVEYARD Lights Out Nuclear Blast
2 HEARTIST Nothing You Didn’t Deserve [EP] Roadrunner
3 TIAMAT The Sacred People Napalm
4 MEGADETH Countdown To Extinction 20th Anniversary Edition EMI
5 DORO Raise Your Fist Nuclear Blast



1 NEUROSIS Honor Found In Decay Neurot
3 THE SWORD Apocryphon Razor And Tie
4 MOTORHEAD The World Is Ours, Vol. 2: Anyplace Crazy As Anywhere Else UDR
5 CONVERGE All We Love We Leave Behind Epitaph
6 BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Parallax II: Future Sequence Metal Blade
7 METALOCALYPSE: DETHKLOK Dethalbum III Cartoon Network
8 TEXAS IN JULY Texas In July Equal Vision
9 ALL DINOSAURS Rules Of Civility And Decent Behavior Self-Released
10 ABIOTIC Symbiosis Metal Blade


Jazz Charts CMJ 1270

After an amazing week in the CMJ festival in NY it was time to come back to the redwoods of paradise. So many new artists, people, and things to do, CMJ is not an event to miss to discover new artists. Here are the week’s jazz charts, thanks to all the jazz DJ’s who help make this possible.
Top 10 Charts
1 LIONEL LOUEKE  Karibu Blue Note
2 JOSH NELSON Discoveries Steel Bird
3 UPTOWN VOCAL JAZZ QUARTET Hustlin’ For A Gig Virginia Carr
4 GRANT GEISSMAN Bop! Bang! Boom! Futurism
5 KAT PARRA Las Aventuras De Pasion! JazzMa
6 VICTOR WOOTEN Sword And Stone Compass-Vix
7 JOY MOVER Joy Mover joy mover
9 AMIKAEYLA Being In Love RootsJazz
10 AKIKO TSURUGA Sakura American Showplace
Gonzalo Beraga Quartet Simplicated Self Released/Kuumbwa Jazz
Acoustic Alchemy Roseland Concord/Kuumbwa Jazz
Etienne Charles Quintet Kaiso Culture Shock/Kuumbwa Jazz
Jason Robinson Tiresian Symmetry Cuniform Records
Living By Lanterns New Myth/Old Science Cuniform Records
Craig Chaquico Fire Red Moon Blind Pig Records
Deanna Bogart Pianoland Blind Pig Records
Christian Scott Christian Atunde Adjuah Concord
David Bixler The Nearest Exit May Be Inside Your Head Jazz Dog
Pharez Whitted For the People Origin Records
Della By Moonlight Nichol and Farquharson Kari-On
Louis Durra Rocket Science Kari-On
Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet Hustil’ for a Gig Kate Smith
The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band Ritmo! Groov Mktg
Tara Linda Torch and Sass Lisa Reedy
Todd Marcus Inheritance Mitchell Feldman Associates
Jeff Holmes Of One’s Own Jeff Holmes Music

Interview with Rupa and the April Fishes

Yesterday, I had the privilege of interviewing Rupa Marya, lead vocalist of the world fusion group Rupa & the April Fishes. Formed in San Francisco, the band has a very distinct, jazz-influenced style of music, overlaid with Rupa’s soothing vocals in English, French, Spanish, and even Hindi. Rupa discussed their newest release, “Build”, as well as other aspects of the band, in this interview – check it out at the link below.

The band will also be performing at Moe’s Alley this Friday, November 2, at 9 pm. Don’t miss it!

Rupa Interview

KZSC Music Sale

KZSC’s Annual Music Sale Nov. 17th

If you haven’t been to one of these before and you LOVE music, plan to join the crowd Saturday, November 17th for KZSC’s Annual Ultimate Music Sale. Thousands of CDs & LPs will be available for purchase from bunches of independent vendors in one big room. How big? It’s formally the dining hall at UCSC’s Merrill College. And, as always, KZSC will have its own special 25-cent table. That’s right: CDs or LPs for just a quarter (or four for a dollar). No doubt there’s something for any music hound no matter what your tastes are. P.S. -this is a fun fundraiser for KZSC. Doors open Saturday, November 17th at 10 AM. Get here early for best selection.

If you’re interested in renting table space as a vendor, call Charlie at 831-454-8807 or email us. More info about KZSC’s Annual Ultimate Music Sale can be found on our Facebook Page.


Loud Rock Charts: 10/30

Consider this: during any other year, almost every single album listed below would be an album of the year, and at the very least a top 5 record. However, 2012 isn’t just any other year. I’ve said this time and time again, but this is quite arguably the greatest single year in recent loud rock history. It doesn’t get better than this folks. Oh wait, yes it does: Deftones’ newest record drops in 2 weeks. Still unconvinced?

1 NEUROSIS Honor Found In Decay Neurot
2 GEOFF TATE Kings And Thieves Century
3 KAMELOT Silverthorn SPV
4 EARLY GRAVES Red Horse No Sleep
5 PARKWAY DRIVE Atlas Epitaph



1 CONVERGE All We Love We Leave Behind Epitaph
2 ENSLAVED Riitiir Nuclear
3 METALOCALYPSE: DETHKLOK Dethalbum III Cartoon Network
4 ABIOTIC Symbiosis Metal Blade
5 MOTORHEAD The World Is Ours, Vol. 2: Anyplace Crazy As Anywhere Else UDR
6 DOWNFALL OF GAIA Suffocating In The Swarm Of Cranes Metal Blade
7 WINTERSUN Time Nuclear Blast
8 BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Parallax II: Future Sequence Metal Blade
9 HAARP MACHINE Disclosure Sumerian
10 ALL DINOSAURS Rules Of Civility And Decent Behavior Self-Released