Music Matters: Random Music Links


After stumbling across a treasure on the web, I’m often haunted by the realization that it would have totally escaped me but for chance. I’m left asking: What other wonders lie mere clicks away, unbeknownst to me?

That’s how I felt when I recently saw an old episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and intrigued by the actress it featured, J.C. Brandy, perused her online presence. When I read in her Wikipedia article that, besides the acting gig, she was a guitarist for the all-woman rock band Lo-Ball, I was off to the races. I found their web page, only to discover that they are now defunct! Not before coming up with some really fun songs and videos, though, “Uncomplicated” being my favorite so far. She’s currently pursuing it solo, by the way.

Girl Groups that totally rock are a special passion of mine, and one that is decidedly non-defunct is Vancougar, who released their sophmore album in 2008. I devoutly hope it catches on, as they know their way around punk, harmony, clever and incisive lyrics and the use of a handclap machine. They also seem to understand the pathos of trees in love. I look forward to seeing them the next time they come to the San Francisco Bay Area.

If you’re a resident of said area, by the way, you’ll want to check out Noise Pop 2009 the last week of February. I plan to see Martha Wainwright, Bob Mould, and especially No Age. This seething and yet surprisingly melodic lo-fi duo’s album Nouns made several people’s “best of 2008” lists, including mine. You know what didn’t, because I only saw the film a day or two ago? The soundtrack to Guy Ritchie’s latest film “RocknRolla”. It would have made the list if I caught it earlier, because this mix of classic punk and new wave, Wanda Jackson, Lou Reed and frightening Russian rock is the perfect aural counterpoint to the movie.

Chris West believes in the power of punk rock, heavy metal, Beat poetry, and the sanctity of Star Trek. He has appeared in the journals Kitchen Sink and Morbid Curiosity, in various online venues, and in the Mortified reading series. Chris resides in San Francisco, where he works for a non-profit while seeking a publisher for his first novel. More from this author →