Jozé Gonzales. The slow speedy. He mixes the universally loved acoustic sound with just the right amount of edge to be relevant to the many modern lives that make up the mass market. Gone are Simon and Garfunkel with their sweetsad funk. The Carpenters starved. Gonzales posits himself as a suitor for modern ears because he gives us what we need. Fluffy and easy and sad and stuff just leave us lost, it’s so last menses; our lives are far from the melancholic introspection that West Coasters (that species otherwise known as Californians) could indulge in when flowers were power. We’re smack bang (literally, bru) (as in tik tik boom) in 007, and if the world is a global village, and the world is at war, we want sound that can sing these paradoxes. simply. Gonzalez’ sound is gentle but realistic. There is a subtle sorow that never dominates, and a joy that never overflows. This is the truth of our lives. We feel a lot. We live a lot, and we seem to be making it to the Future. His certain reserve only makes one want more.
Same goes for others of his almost alt ilk. Their fusion sound is relevant to our ears, our hearts, our lives, and while it may not challenge us to climb out of our skins (our lives do that. I hope. Does your life do that to you?) , we do consume them en mass. Take the likes of Jack Johnson as fuel for my thorts. He lightens reggae rhythms so that green, gold and red also mean money,money and …bloodmoney; capitalism from a surfer boy. How contemporary, mate. Matisyahu mixes Yiddish joy with Hip Hop to bring us Yidbop, and put dog back on the map (er sorry, god). Norah’s melodies are classically feminine, but the masculine undertone to her voice speaks to the androgyny in all of us. These peeps got it going on. You have to hand it to them – they may be commercial, but they’re working it like it’s last Tuesday at Morrie’s.
There are a lot more musos in this city who’ve got it going on. Try them on for size with your next pint. And tell me the talent in