NYT Reporter Living in Asia Since 1988 Astonished by Life in Modern San Francisco


A New York Times reporter living in Asia for 27 years recently moved to home San Francisco and published an article this weekend describing his adjustment to modern life in America. The piece, titled “What San Francisco Says About America,” is written from the perspective someone who sounds like they traveled to the future with Marty McFly.

I spend hours in supermarket aisles. Organic ice cream sandwiches! Vegan shoes! A “Bluetooth compatible” electric toothbrush!

The America of 2016 is so much more specialized than the one I left in 1988. It almost seems that we have created needs so that we can cater to them.

I stop and stare at the giant trucks in San Francisco designed for the specific purpose of shredding and hauling documents. What a luxury as a society to produce tons of confidential documents and then deploy specialized trucks to destroy them. I knew yoga was big in California and ditto for cannabis. But it was still a surprise to discover “ganja yoga.”

It makes for an interesting read, especially for someone used to taking modern American for granted.

Led Zeppelin Just Released a New Music Video


To celebrate their upcoming new box set, The Complete BBC Sessions, Led Zeppelin released a new music video this week for a previously unheard version of “What Is And What Should Never Be.” The track comes from the same historic 1969 studio sessions and is included in the box set along with several other never-before-heard recordings. I was a freshman in college when the original BBC Sessions album was released and it basically became the official soundtrack to Winter Quarter 1998. I’m not sure if I’m ready to shell out the cash for the new 5 album expanded collection of the same songs, but it would be interesting to hear what the remastered recordings sound like.

The box set comes out 9/16 and you can pre-order it now from Led Zeppelin.

Song of the Week: Soft Hair – “Lying Has To Stop”


This week’s Song of the Week comes from slinky new Los Angeles duo, Soft Hair. This band caught my attention because the pitched vocals and warbly tape sound of their debut single, “Lying Has To Stop,” harks back to the strange early days of Ween. Band members Connan Mockasin and Sam Dust recorded the album over the past few years in locations around the world. The clearly high budget video appears to have been filmed in an apartment with aluminum foil taped to the walls. The duo had this to say about it in an interview with Dazed:

“It’s kind of us trying to look good, but not really looking that good,” Dust laughs, “We only look good because they booked us a really expensive camera. It’s like a cinema quality camera, and then some really shit further details. It kind of looks like a hip hop video.”

Soft Hair’s self-titled debut album is out October 28th on Weird World.