Today's New Age Music Is Crap

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Disney Unveils First Virgin Princess

LOS ANGELES—In an effort to better reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their audience, Disney officials this week introduced Lily of Hazelberry, the company’s first virgin princess.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 23, 2015

ARIES: The universe, in all its wisdom, has a plan for everyone. Strangely, you’re supposed to be the nun who holds up a distributor cap and winks while the Nazis try to start their car.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 9, 2015

ARIES: Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 “cross your heart and hope to die” pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben.

New Music Festival Just Large Empty Field To Do Drugs In

Declaring the event a rousing success so far, organizers confirmed more than 45,000 people turned out Wednesday for the first annual Cavalcade Folk and Roots Festival, a four-day gathering that consists solely of a big empty field to do drugs in.

Director Seeking Relatively Unknown Actress For Next Affair

LOS ANGELES—Saying that he’s going for a certain look and will know it when he sees it, feature film director Peter Hastings, 52, confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he hopes to find a relatively unknown actress for his next extramarital affair.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of May 26, 2015

ARIES: You’re not sure if your new mousetrap is better, but due to its horrifying use of liquefying blades, the world will beat a path to your door out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Famous Television Finales

The award-winning AMC series Mad Men ended its seven-season run on Sunday night and drew critical acclaim for its final episode, a conclusion that many felt was poignant and satisfying. Here are some other memorable TV finales across the years

Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse

SOUTH BEND, IN—Fifteen years after first envisioning the path he hoped his professional life would take, local man Brent Gibbs is still planning his future around being the drummer for Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Lifehouse, sources confi...

Fox Revives ‘X-Files’: What To Expect

After months of speculation, Fox has announced that it is bringing back its hit ’90s TV show The X-Files, about a team of FBI special agents investigating unsolved cases about strange and paranormal phenomena, for at least six new episodes...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 24, 2015

ARIES: Your belief that everything happens for a reason may remain unshaken in the face of personal tragedy, but you'll certainly be upset when you find out the reason is "to get the Zodiac some chicks." 

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 10, 2015

ARIES: As long as people don't look too long and the lights aren't too bright, no one will be able to see where they tried to fix your face from what will happen to it this coming Thursday. 

Nation Delighted As Many Famous People In Same Room Together

HOLLYWOOD—Expressing their immense personal satisfaction at the gathering appearing on their television screens, millions of Americans across the country were reportedly delighted Sunday night upon seeing many famous people in the same room together...

Half Of Hollywood Test Group Screened Placebo Film

LOS ANGELES—Saying the methodology helps them ensure unbiased results in their marketing research, studio executives at Paramount Pictures confirmed that during a Hollywood test screening this week they showed half of all theatergoers a placebo film...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of January 6, 2015

ARIES: One of the worst moments of a person's life is when they finally realize that they're mortal and are going to die, especially when it's a person like you who only sees the cement truck at the last second.

A Timeline Of Upcoming Superhero Movies

Following the massive successes of the Spider-Man, Batman, Avengers, and X-Men franchises, studios Marvel and DC Entertainment have announced as many as 40 upcoming superhero movies to be released over the next six years ...

Sesame Street’s 45th Anniversary: A Look Back

Sesame Street, the long-running PBS children’s television show starring a cast of Jim Henson muppets who teach children basic learning concepts and introduce them to difficult issues, turns 45 this week.

TV Show Under Fire For Depicting Murder

LOS ANGELES—In what is being described as perhaps the most shocking and distasteful moment in broadcast history, the popular primetime television show Criminal Minds is facing heavy criticism today for airing an episode that depicted the act ...
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Today's New Age Music Is Crap

Boy, nothing stays good for long, that's all I can say.

I went to Falling Water Books & Music right after work Tuesday, because I'd heard the new David Lanz CD was finally out. So I shelled out my $15.99, and raced home to listen.

And you know what? It fucking blew. I'm not kidding. David Lanz has let us all down. The first three tracks, I'm like, "Okay, this is kind of derivative of the earlier stuff like Heartsounds or Nightfall, but he's probably just reacquainting us with the style before hitting us with the new shit." And then the next five tracks... I don't even know how to say it. It sucked. I'm like, "Is this the same David Lanz who put out Woodlands?"

Believe me, I wish it were only The Lanz. But it's all of them. The golden age of New Age music has come and gone.

I remember when I first heard Yanni, back in '85. It was my junior year of high school. One Saturday night, I was hanging out at my buddy Steve's, and he looks at me and says, "Dude, you gotta hear this record. This shit will blow your mind." So I'm like, "Okay, whatever, Steve." So he puts this LP on, and I hear the first notes of Optimystique come out of the speaker. Needless to say, my jaw hit the floor. It was like the moment in The Wizard Of Oz where everything goes from black-and-white to color. The next day, I bought my own copy, and I listened to it for like 24 hours straight. I didn't get to sleep until, like, 4 a.m., so I skipped school the next day and just played Optimystique non-stop. I actually wore out the needle, moving it back to listen to "Butterfly Dance" over and over again.

After that, New Age pretty much became my life. I started devouring the old masters like Cluster, Tangerine Dream and Kitaro. I spent all the money I made at my pizza-delivery job on New Age, and when that wasn't enough, I started mowing lawns.

Then came my college years. The gang on my floor at the dorm would stay up all night playing the coolest shit, like Angels Of Venice and Gordon Burnham. We'd go through a whole box of Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger in a night. Once, we rented a van and drove all the way to Vermont just to see John Anderson live. That was back when I was dating Alicia Leupke just because she looked a little like Enya.

That was back when New Age was a real thing. Back when Windham Hill Records was an exciting new upstart indie label. Now they've sold out and are doing all these Beatles tributes and jazz festivals. They've forgotten what it's all about.

It used to be about the New Age music! Now, it's just about having the hottest stars and promoting them. Or getting that next album finished in time, to satisfy the record executives who don't even care if it's any good, so long as it's done on time. I mean, can you name one track on Chris Spheeris' last album? I didn't think so.

I was out with this chick a month ago, and she asked me what kind of music I was into, so I said New Age, and she goes, "Oh, I just love John Tesh." I'm like, what the fuck?!?! That shit isn't New Age! New Age is about harmony with nature! It's about ambience and calming down! Not about some Hollywood pretty-boy banging on his Casio! I hear Tesh doesn't even have real ocean sounds—that's all synthesized, too.

Frankly, none of these idiots on the charts nowadays know the first thing about the true spirit of New Age. I mean, Bruce BecVar? Where was Bruce BecVar during the harmonic convergence of 1987? Moussing his hair, most likely. And what about all these bands that are wearing a different crystal in every photo? They're using crystals for fashion purposes, not for focusing their personal, unchanging chakras! I swear, these poseurs wouldn't know the voice of Seth if they channeled it!

It's all been downhill since December by George Winston. A great album, no question, but it was too successful and went mainstream. Then all the phonies came out of the woodwork, the big labels wanted in, and the next thing you know, the scene is totally ruined, turned into a giant, money-sucking corporate whore-beast.

I know what you're gonna say: "What about Dreamsea? They're independent." Yeah, but it's so obvious that their whole goal is to sell out. Look how they're promoting Book Of Dreams, talking them up like they're the next Secret Garden or something. Yeah, right—they sound more like me and Steve screwing around in the garage with our flute and harp back in high school. They just want to get a million-seller so they can whore themselves to Time-Warner, you just know it.

Ah, well. I guess I'll always have Optimystique. And my memories.

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