Brands of the decade: 2010–2019

Ten years ago, when social media and blogging were still new and a rational person was in the White House, I did something ambitious and presumptuous: I published a list of the Brands of the Decade.* And now it’s time to do it again. To qualify for my highly subjective top-12 list, a brand had to meet these guidelines: Founded during the second decade of the 21st century or shortly before or Had a significant impact on the way we do business or live our lives during this decade or ...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Lyft, Twitter, Spotify, Music, Science, Technology, London, Sweden, Pinterest, Instagram, Colorado, Film, Washington

Millennial Ambivalence: The Road

If you're from the future and you're reading this blog from start to finish, it probably comes as a surprise that this weekend brings another junket and another Scrabble indulgence. The ascetic image I like to cultivate here is more cultivated than real. I have always worked on projects in bursts and then floundered for days, weeks or even months. I take lots of breaks which can last for lots of different durations. I seem to have a fixed quantity of creative energy which, like semen, is best sp...
Tags: Jazz, Scrabble, The Valley, Touring, The Road, Stefan Kac, Blog Month 2019, Millennial Ambivalence, Trump Blog Month

Bring Back the Muzak: Reprise

In rock music, the important thing about a harmonica solo is that it is played on the harmonica. In a cavernous retail space, where everything but the harmonica and the backbeat blend into the aural clutter, the true quality of the blaring harmonica solo is revealed, and is therefore made newly important. (Composed in and posted from a San Francisco Whole Foods, therefore also recalling a half-overheard conversation between CalArtians venting about how they grew to hate the Bay Area music scene:...
Tags: Whole Foods, San Francisco, Jazz, Bay Area, Acoustics, Muzak, Stefan Kac, Blog Month 2019

Millennial Ambivalence: The Hot Food Bar

When Whole Foods became Whole Paycheck, we could at least rationalize this by reciting the old adage, "You get what you pay for." ("Cheap gets expensive" is the polka singer version. Is this of German origin?) But when Whole Paycheck became Whole Economy, everything became much harder to rationalize. For me, today was a gift, an unexpected day off from work which happened to coincide with a local Scrabble tournament. Unusually for me, I went looking for a restaurant afterwards rather than rushin...
Tags: Amazon, Whole Foods, La, Jazz, Stefan Kac, Blog Month 2019, Millennial Ambivalence, Repressive Desublimation, Whole Economy, Whole Paycheck, Hot Food Bar, Marcuse Fromm Adorno Debord

Bring Back The Muzak (or something)

One of the lengthier and more in-depth chapters of Anthony Haden-Guests's 1973 book The Paradise Program is about the Muzak company. Among other things, it makes clear that Muzak was doing very interesting and timely Music Cognition research decades before that term achieved wide currency. Also that the human and material resources the company devoted to this and all other facets of their business were anything but lightweight even as this process dictated that the programming itself could be no...
Tags: Work, Spotify, Minneapolis, La, Los Angeles, Jazz, Miles Davis, Haden, Muzak, Bruegger, Stefan Kac, Digital Downloads, Day Jobs, Anthony Haden, University Avenues, Blog Month 2019

Consensual Art (iiia)

The portion of LA Metro's Red Line between Hollywood/Highland and Universal City frequently becomes a stage for pop-up dance performers. It is the longest stretch on this route without a stop, and in my experience also among the least likely to be boarded by police. The greater duration and lesser enforcement hence seem to jointly determine performers' choice of venue. I rode home from work this way for a solid year and have thereby been treated to dozens of Friday evening performances. Performe...
Tags: Art, Los Angeles, Jazz, Philosophy, Civil Liberties, LA County, Universal City, Hollywood Highland, Stefan Kac, LA Metro, Flash Mobs, Blog Month 2019, Consensual Art Series, Art And Life

Mumford -- Art and Technics (ii)

...the very growth of mechanical facilities has given people a false ideal of technical perfectionism, so that unless they can compete with the products of the machine or with those whose professional training qualifies them for such a public appearance, they are all too ready to take a back seat. (pp. 6-7) If "professional training" has contributed to a chilling effect borne of meaninglessly inflated standards, then the technologies responsible are not the ones which automate and dehumanize the...
Tags: Jazz, Technics, Bach, Mumford, Stefan Kac, Daniel Wolf, Blog Month 2019, Art And Technics (mumford, Mumford (lewis, Milo Fine

Freud -- The Pschopathology of Everyday Life (i) -- Know Thyself

"In this and similar incidents, I have concluded that actions unintentionally performed are bound to be a source of misunderstanding in human intercourse. The perpetrator, who has no idea that there is any intention linked to them, does not credit himself with one, nor does he consider himself responsible for them. The second person concerned, however, since he regularly draws conclusions about the intentions and attitudes of the first from such actions, knows more about that first person's psy...
Tags: Jazz, Freud, Stefan Kac, Anthea Bell, Blog Month 2019, Freud (sigmund, Psychopathology Of Everyday Life

Two Sides of the Hard Line

From Kyle Gann, Except That Like much of my music, the piece doesn’t wear its strangeness on the surface. On the surface are the normal elements of music: melody, harmony, meter, even a slight retro pop sensibility. ...Its surface naivete is a carefully calculated construction. It is almost cartoon-like, and I’ve always admired cartoons (in fact, at age twelve before I became a composer I wanted to be a cartoonist) for their clean, hard lines, their indifference to realism, their personality-exp...
Tags: Animation, Jazz, Frank Thomas, Stefan Kac, Kyle Gann, Blog Month 2019, Crude Mediums, Gann (Kyle, Indifference To Realism, Ollie Johnston Disney

Millennial Ambivalence: Work

I remember an evening sometime in my early twenties, at band practice (not rehearsal) with a group of mostly much older people, when I said something I immediately regretted about never wanting to retire. In that moment, conceiving of my profession as playing tuba in public, it seemed like a fair statement. What I really meant was that I hate being idle and I hope never to stop doing the work that I care about. A decade and a half later, it seems like no one in any profession cares about work, p...
Tags: Work, Jazz, Stefan Kac, Day Jobs, Blog Month 2019, Millennial Ambivalence

Lewis Mumford -- Art and Technics (i)

Three and a half centuries ago Francis Bacon hailed the advancement of scientific learning and mechanical invention as the surest means of relieving man's estate: with a few expiatory gestures of piety, he turned his back upon religion and philosophy and art and pinned every hope for human improvement on the development of mechanical invention. ... Neither Bacon nor his eager followers in science and technics...had any anticipation of the fact that all our hard-won mastery of the physical world ...
Tags: Jazz, Francis Bacon, Bacon, Shakespeare, Technics, Stefan Kac, Blog Month 2019, Art And Technics (mumford, Mumford (lewis, Lewis Mumford Art

In Defense of the Echo Chamber

When differences of political opinion arise from differences in either (a) basic underlying facts, or (b) bedrock ethical principles, there is little good (and much bad) that can come of even the most level-headed, "rational" debate between the parties in question. Put another way: much which is labeled "irrational" is actually just proceeding rationally from differences in either (a) basic underlying facts, or (b) bedrock ethical principles. ----- If you want to be challenged to maintain your...
Tags: Politics, Jazz, Stefan Kac, Blog Month 2019, The Echo Chamber

Consensual Art (ii)

Consent is a hot, fraught topic. One particular application of the concept tends to command most of the attention, trailed at a distance by a panoply of more esoteric concerns and abstract legal theories. Consent is subject to willing, knowing violation, and it is subject to unwitting misreading based on differences of culture, irrational desire, and so on. Positively establishing consent is usually possible but often cumbersome. In most arenas it is thought better to abandon or postpone the und...
Tags: Jazz, Tsa, Stefan Kac, Blog Month 2019, Consensual Art Series, Screening And Screeners

Consensual Art (i)

The question of gaining access to art for those who don't have it is much discussed. This series considers one species of the obverse scenario: those so exposed who don't necessarily want to be. It is one thing to lament barriers to access from the perspective of the self-centered, self-interested practitioner/specialist and quite another to frame the access question more broadly as a social justice issue. The latter is by far the more socially graceful position, but it strains credulity in a fe...
Tags: Politics, Democracy, Power, Jazz, Marv Albert, Long Tail, Ivory Tower, Stefan Kac, Lewis Mumford, Blog Month 2019, Consensual Art Series, Urbanism And Urbanists, Garden Cityism

December Is Blog Month/Twenty-teens We Hardly Knew Ya/I Have Plenty To Say and Will Get Around To Saying It Eventually/Bandwagon Packer Fans and Other Signs of the Apocalypse

To borrow something a friend said to me recently, things have never been better and never been harder. Doors have opened for me in California that I never could have anticipated when I moved here. (The one that remains closed was wholly predictable.) I get to work at playing, mostly with musicians who are as good or better than I am. I've been able to graduate from Valley Boy to Gentrifier. After years of uneasy compromise I've been able to return to my roots and ditch my car. I've replaced bask...
Tags: Work, California, US, Jazz, Southern California, Valley, Packer, Stefan Kac, Blog Month 2019, Blog Month Intros, Music Scenes, LA Scrabble

Watch The Voidz Cover “Under Pressure” With Danielle Haim

The Voidz played a secret show for friends and family at the HVW8 Art + Design Gallery in Los Angeles last night. They performed their brand new single "Did My Best," and at the end of their set, Danielle Haim came out to sing Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure" karaoke-style with Julian … More »
Tags: Video, Music, Los Angeles, David Bowie, Julian Casablancas, Julian, Danielle Haim, Voidz, The Voidz

Stream: Greatest Hits … This Week (Vol. 137)

Get with the latest from Moses Sumney, KERA, Talker, Irene Diaz, the Red Pears, Mk.gee, Cartalk, War Tapes, Cory Becker, Moon Bounce and more on Greatest Hits … This Week (Vol. 137), the latest from Buzz Bands LA. We start this one off mellow, because this week kinda called for that, but like all our playlists, this 137th doesn’t languish in one mood. Check it out below, and there’s more info on the artists beneath the player. ||| Stream: Greatest Hits … This Week (Vol. 137) Moses Sumney, “Po...
Tags: Music, Featured, Playlists, Playlist, Greatest Hits, Buzz Bands La, Greatest Hits ... This Week, Los Angeles music, LA scene, Moses Sumney KERA Talker Irene Diaz

Stream: The Red Pears, ‘Dreams’

Capping a year in which they played the Sonora Tent at Coachella and headlined Echo Park Rising, El Monte trio the Red Pears released a new EP on Friday. It contains the single “Dreams,” which is appropriate since 2019 has been that kind of year for Henry Vargas, Jose Corona and Patrick Juarez. And it’s titled “Alicia,” which is appropriate since both Vargas’ and Corona’s mothers are named Alicia. Plus … moms. “The EP wasn’t necessarily made for them but more dedicated to them,” the band says. “...
Tags: Music, Featured, Coachella, Sonora, Glass House, Los Angeles Bands, Latest Music, Corona, ALICIA, Red Pears, the Red Pears, Patrick Juarez, Echo Park Rising El Monte, Henry Vargas Jose Corona

US Justice Department Reportedly Preparing Legal Action Against Live Nation

The US Justice Department is preparing to take legal action against Live Nation Entertainment, Reuters reports. According to "a source familiar with the planned legal action," the DOJ is pursuing Live Nation over allegations that the concert promoter has strong-armed venues into using its Ticketmaster subsidiary. More »
Tags: Music, News, US, Live Nation, Doj, Ticketmaster, US Justice Department, Live Nation Entertainment Reuters

Kodak Black Claims He Was Drugged & Beaten by Correctional Officers in Prison

Kodak Black has revealed that he has been a victim of police brutality and inhumane treatment while behind bars. In a lengthy post he published on Instagram, Kodak speaks on being laced with an unknown substance by police officers, denied medical attention, and beaten by officers and other inmates to the point he thought he was going to die. Kodak also claims a police officer tried to use his celebrity status to get a huge payday. Peep Kodak’s message below: On October 29th I was laced with an u...
Tags: Celebs, Kodak, Canada, Hip Hop, Pop Culture, Jazz, Miami, South Carolina, Co, Kodak Black, Niagara Falls New York, PST Kodak, Rolling Loud Kodak, Instagram Kodak, Peep Kodak, Juice World

Maybe The Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire Shouldn’t Be Adapted Into A TV Series

In December 2016, 36 people lost their lives in a tragic fire at the Oakland warehouse music venue Ghost Ship. The fire led to two criminal trials, as well as numerous lawsuits against landlords, managers, and the local government on behalf of victims and their families and … More »
Tags: Music, News, Michael Chabon, Oakland, Ayelet Waldman

Photos: KOLARS at the Lodge Room

[See image gallery at] There was much foot-stompin’ and clappin’ (KOLARS), hip-shakin’ and croonin’ (The Soft White Sixties) and shimmyin’ and smilin’ (Bloody Death Skull) on Friday night at the Lodge Room. The occasion was the next-to-last tour date for KOLARS, the husband-and-wife duo who worked everybody (including themselves) into a lather with their hybrid of blues, glam and punk. As is their habit, shredder-wailer Rob Kolar and tap-dancing drummer Lauren Brown played off each...
Tags: Music, Featured, Local Artist, Show Review, The Soft White Sixties, Lauren Brown, Kolars, Rob Kolar, Nick Gilder, Bloody Death Skull, Lodge Room, Costa Mesa Photos

Wells Fargo Employee in Charge of Cash Vault Stole $88,000 & Was Caught Flexing on Social Media

An aspiring rapper with an apparent taste for the finer things in life has been accused of stealing thousands of dollars from Wells Fargo while he was supposed to be guarding the cash vault at a branch in Charlotte, North Carolina. According to a recently unsealed indictment, 29-year-old Arlando Henderson was arrested last week on 34 counts of financial institution fraud, theft, embezzlement and misapplication, making false entries and money laundering. Court documents state that Henderson was h...
Tags: Facebook, Crime, News, Social Media, Fbi, San Diego, Jazz, North Carolina, Thieves, Balmain, Wells Fargo, Charlotte, Henderson, Mercedes Benz, U S Army, Charlotte North Carolina

Hear Ja Rule Rap About Fyre Fest On His New Song “FYRE”

The disastrous Fyre Festival continues to live on in our hearts -- and in Ja Rule's immortal rhymes. More »
Tags: Music, News, Ja Rule, Fyre Fest

Want to hear some ... Live jazz in Rochester, December 5-11?

Every Wednesday, every week, you'll find the next seven days of jazz in and around Rochester right here on JazzRochester. Share us with your friends and family who love live jazz.  Check us out on social media (links at the top of the column to the right (on the website if you're getting this via email). Let your friends know we're here!  If you hear about something that I haven't added below, please drop me a line (use the Contact Us link above),  give me the details, and I'll add it to the po...
Tags: Jazz, Rochester, Hanna, ESM, Stromboli, Mendon, Charley Brown, Jazz Around Town, Greg Bell, Jon Seiger, Laura Dubin, ESM Kilbourn Hall, Ray Wright, Bop Shop Records, Rochester Click, Bobby DiBaudo

13-Year-Old Boy Arrested for Fatal Stabbing of College Student in New York City Park

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the murder of an 18-year-old college student in New York City, according to multiple reports. Tessa Majors, a freshman at Barnard College in Manhattan, was killed Wednesday night (Dec. 11) when three teens tried to rob her while she was walking through Morningside Park. NYPD Detective Vincent Signoretti said at a hearing Friday that the 13-year-old boy, whose name hasn’t been released because he is currently not being charged as an adult, to...
Tags: New York, Murder, Crime, Kids, News, Teens, Children, NYC, Stabbing, New York City, New York Times, Manhattan, Jazz, Times, New York Daily News, Harlem

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