Got soul?

Smile when you say that with
All right, we know the Chico Examiner is gone baby, gone. But how many of you have picked up a copy of a newish rag called Got Soul? It’s desperately trying to find it’s footings and reminds me most of a days-gone-bye publication called The Beak out of Paradise, though the big difference is that while The Beak focused on punk, Got Soul is all about the funk. Listing shows in and out of Chico, Got Soul attempts to be a source for and about “jam bands.”

With no disrespect to the Synthesis, it’s been obvious that since self-proclaimed lover of rap and hip-hop Max Sidman took the helm years ago, that the Syn, while having bands like The String Cheese Incident on the cover, is not really about hippies. Of course, hippies are like Sumerians: They don’t really exist anymore. Driving a microbus, having dreadlocks and smoking weed doesn’t make you a hippie anymore than wearing a turban, carrying a saber, and eating curry makes you a Sikh. But, I digress, as usual.

While everyone has heard of Eminem, few have heard of SCI, but that is not to say that one is “better” than the other. That’s a matter of taste, and we all know that the majority’s taste tends to quickly become homogenized and stripped down, and therein is my point.

The youth of this country hold a mythic relationship to music. The youth believe that music can effectively change the way society operates. A common fiber I see between the punk/rap/hip-hop of the Synthesis and the jam-band/funk/groove of Got Soul is that, in all of the genres they represent, there is a core belief that the music has the power to “tell the truth” and by doing so free our minds from the shackles of society. And though not that young anymore, I too still hold this to be true.

The real problem is that everything gets replicated, processed and merchandised so quickly these days, that music is experiencing an age of impotency. Whereas at one point Elvis stunned America by just shaking his hips, we now live in a totally different world. My theory is that real change will only happen at smaller shows where one can escape the anonymity that larger venues create. Keep up to date by reading local publications and seeing local shows.