Talkabout 01/23/13

John has guest Naslsh Dhillon & Fran Grayson to Talkabout local food. Following, is Chris LaVeque on gun shops opening in Santa Cruz. 

Universal Grapevine 01/22/13

Bruce has Roberta Bristol, Beth Pettengal, and Ruth Scromon talking about dance history in Santa Cruz County. Following them is Steve Pleicn on local orgaination “Citizens For A Better Santa Cruz” and city politics.

Jazz Charts 1/22

After a wonderful holiday and inherent lack of mail, the jazz charts only have one new add: Jose James’ “No Beginning No End” which I am very excited to have. This album is where genres break down and the artist can be truly appreciated for his cutting edge approach to jazz, soul, and beyond.

KZSC Jazz Top 10 Charts 

1 JEFF BABKO Crux Tonequake
6 BRAD MEHLDAU TRIO Where Do You Start Nonesuch
8 JOSE JAMES No Beginning No End Blue Note
9 NINETY MILES Live At Cubadisco Concord Picante
10 MYRIAD 3 Tell Alma
Til next week.

Loud Rock Charts: 1/22

In this week’s sexy edition of new Loud Rock, we see Holy Grail release one of the best album of the year so far with Ride the Void. It’s in the same vein as new classic metal, with a thrashy spin thrown on it. If you’re into some older stuff, like Judas Priest or Iron Maiden, definitely check this out.

On the other side of the genre map, black metal outfit Lightning Swords of Death release a very solid effort with Baphometic Chaosivm. Definitely check this stuff out. January is shaping up to be a really great month for metal.




1 HOLY GRAIL Ride The Void Prosthetic
2 LIGHTNING SWORDS OF DEATH Baphometic Chaosivm Metal Blade
3 HELLOWEEN Straight Out Of Hell The End
4 CRASHDIET The Savage Playground Frontiers
5 DEAD LABEL Sense Of Slaughter Nuerra



Voivod-Target-Earth1 VOIVOD Target Earth Century Media
2 DEFTONES Koi No Yokan Warner Brothers
3 CORSAIR Corsair Shadow Kingdom
4 GAMMA RAY Skeletons And Majesties Eagle Rock
5 BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Parallax II: Future Sequence Metal Blade
6 LEAVING EDEN Between Heaven And Hell Nova-Right-UNI
7 INCITE All Out War Minus Head
8 DORO Raise Your Fist Nuclear Blast
9 SLAM ONE DOWN Who Really Wants To Live Forever Pour One Out


Pop! Culture! And Why It Sticks Around.


The first record I ever bought with my own money was No Doubt’s Rock Steady. When my friends came over, we’d take turns mimicking Gwen Stefani’s chesty vocals into an old broom handle while the CD whirred in my plastic pink boom box. I still have the CD, and it sounds exactly the same now as it did in 5th grade; the punchy melodies and bass-heavy hooks are preserved forever, trapped in the worn laser disks hard physical matter. Despite having listened to this album countless times, I’m still effectively transported back to the emotional roller coaster of my pre-teen years by the end of the first track. This mysterious relationship between sound and memory I suspect, is why music is like time travel: it is a powerful trigger of emotion, capable of transporting the listener through the heavy sediment of recollection. Just  ask any die-hard deadhead, devout festival-goer, or reunion tour enthusiast, music solidifies a communal memory parallel to the historical memory of academia. Mainstream participation is at the heart of pop culture, a social element often dismissed for being decidedly non-academic.

Gwen, my 5th grade hero.

Gwen, my 5th grade hero.



(while pop does ultimately offer a sweetened and approximate perception of reality, a close examination can effectively illustrate temporal distortion in popular American memory, and its divergences from legitimate history. Shifts in American perceptions of time and leisure in the mid-20th century facilitated a dramatic increase in commercial consumption. This development hugely affected the music business, and its effects on pop culture.  The record industry played a significant role in marketing the ideas and aesthetics that ultimately composed mainstream content)


There is validity in mass appeal. Popular culture—particularly when paired with mass media—is especially relevant to the study of collective memory. Contrary to to common depictions, subculture and counterculture aren’t the opposite of mainstream culture, just different opinions framed within the same conversation. They are offshoots, not irreconcilable poles. So what is pop culture, exactly? A dictionary definition tells us pop culture is simply, “the commercial culture based on popular taste.” Clothes, movies, magazines, and music are all pertinent facets, and although rarely ever explicitly stated, pop culture serves as a foil to ‘high culture,’ different a cultural product held in higher academic esteem. For example: Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa can be considered high culture, a mustache penciled on her reproduction, pop culture. Popular culture is not new, but it is distinctly marked by postwar collisions with the rise of mass media. This phenomenon is distinctly American, because of the economic prosperity following the Second World War, and the comparably shabby condition of the rest of the Western World.


Pop culture’s fundamentally accessible nature often delegitimizes much of its academic appeal, but this detachment from traditional scholarship does not invalidate it. In fact, the contrary is true; pop culture is important to note in discourse pertaining to patterns and trends in group opinions and memory. Since the majority of even Western populations exist outside of the proverbial University, an examination of historical perceptions outside of academia can provide relevant historical insight into how history is portrayed by mass media. Since music is recorded, and accessibility to recorded music increases every year, correlations between music and their temporal context are often drawn after the fact, serving as a physical historical record for the attentive listener. American music is of particular interest, starting with the sentimental pop music characteristic of the mid-20th century. These recordings were relatively inexpensive and accessible, endowing everyone from the lower-middle class upward with a certain degree of purchasing power. This music was also not intellectually challenging, it was designed and recorded with the intention of being as appealing to as possible and to as many people. This added to the appeal of music in a commercial sense, offering at the same time narcotic escape from “the banalities of social life,” and collective identification with the rest of music’s anonymous audience.

… What do you think?