photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
in less than two short years itll be three decades since my family permanently left SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA for whats been an INSANE journey that has led me to live in several countries across five continents before resettling on the east coast of the UNITED STATES in recent years. ive been back out west a few times, enough to know that whatever ties i had to ORANGE COUNTY and the greater LOS ANGELES area are now pretty DISTANT and MINUSCULE, but one thing i still hold on to is the EXPERIENCE of listening to the radio while in early elementary school. specifically the nationally INFLUENTIAL ALTERNATIVE ROCK powerhouse that is 106.7FM KROQ.
i have a DISTINCT MEMORY of listening to KROQ and hearing bands like SOUNDGARDEN, LIVING COLOUR, MORRISSEY, THE B-52's, PEARL JAM, JANE'S ADDICTION, U2, TEARS FOR FEARS, NIRVANA, THE CURE, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, ELECTRONIC, 4 NON BLONDES, DURAN DURAN, R.E.M. and ALICE IN CHAINS on car trips to and from school and regional sporting events with my dad as a kid. at this point that MEMORY is like a security blanket and one reason i probably view radio as an almost SACROSANCT institution.
embedded below are live performances of bands that have played the WEENIE ROAST, ALMOST ACOUSTIC CHRISTMAS or their recent SOUND SPACE events. all of it was recorded well after my time in LOS ANGELES but squarely showcases the continued influence of that station. it is all definitely worth checking out.
photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
during the pandemic many a musician, much like the res of us, were stuck at home with their RECORDING and TOURING cycles effectively semi-permanently on hold. during that period a number of them initiated PODCASTS and YOUTUBE channels in order to staving off cabin fever, as well as (one would assume) supplement their income during a dry period of seemingly indefinite length as the world came to terms with COVID.
of all these endeavors, JIMMY EAT WORLD's frontman and main SONGWRITER JIM ADKINS created the PODCAST and associated VIDEO SERIES PASS-THROUGH FREQUENCIES (available on his band's YOUTUBE channel) over twenty episodes in 2020 as a means of discussing with other musicians the CREATIVE PROCESS and more specifically his love of SONGWRITING. and it really is very much a deep dive into the MECHANICS, RITUALS, THEORY, COLLABORATIONS, PRODUCTION, SELF-DOUBT, TECHNIQUE, HABITS, INSPIRATION, FRUSTRATION, TECHNOLOGY, HARD-WORK and SPONTANEITY that goes into writing a SONG. notable past guests include KEN ANDREWS (FAILURE), MARK HOPPUS (BLINK-182), MATT PRYOR (THE GET UP KIDS), BETHANY CONSENTINO (BEST COAST), WILLIAM RYAN KEY (YELLOWCARD), BEN GIBBARD (DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, THE POSTAL SERVICE), TEGAN QUIN (TEGAN & SARA), GERARD WAY (MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE) and FRANK TURNER.
i think what really comes across in these discussions is the level of INTENTION and CRAFTSMANSHIP involved in SONGWRITING. given its EPHEMERAL nature, the experience of listening to music make it seem an almost INVISIBLE ART and PASS-THROUGH FREQUENCIES very much establishes how such is definitely not the case. makes me wonder about what other aspects of modern entertainment is passively consumed with little to no notice for its creation. FOOD, WEB DESIGN, CINEMA, JOURNALISM, GRAPHIC DESIGN and PHOTOGRAPHY (along with aforementioned MUSIC) come immediately to mind. its all a bit of a reminder to be a more MINDFUL consumer of the CREATIVE EFFOTS of others. my biggest takeaway is the role of battling CRIPPLING SELF-DOUBT as a part of the CREATIVE PROCESS. it feels reassuring that most of these accomplished SONGWRITERS who have all created MEMORABLE art over the past few decades first had to overcome their own SELF-CRITICISM and sense of SELF-WORTH to make something worthwhile. makes them feel more HUMAN.