Today's New Age Music Is Crap

Top Headlines


Guide To The Characters Of ‘The Force Awakens’

The highly anticipated seventh episode in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Force Awakens,’ which will be released December 18, will feature several returning characters as well as a host of new ones. Here is a guide to the characters of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history

Netflix To Temporarily Remove Every Movie Except ‘Hard Eight’

‘Everyone Should See It At Least Once,’ Company Says

LOS GATOS, CA—Saying that everyone, including all 65 million of its subscribers, really ought to see the film at least once, Netflix announced Tuesday that it will suspend all streaming content except Hard Eight for a full month.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of September 15, 2015

ARIES: Some things only become funny when you look back on them years later. Conversely, the events of next week will seem funny at the time, but as the years go by, society will gain sensitivity and learn to outgrow that sort of thing.

Your Horoscopes – Week of May 1, 2012

ARIES: You will experience unbounded happiness and success in every area of your life this week, unless of course there is something fundamentally and irreversibly wrong with you.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 18, 2015

ARIES: Your feeling of impending doom shall come to nothing again this week as the world continues to turn and your life goes on as normal. Perhaps you should consider feeling useless and stupid instead.

Highlights From ‘Go Set A Watchman’

Harper Lee’s buzzed-about new release, Go Set A Watchman, went on sale last week, taking the world by storm with its new investigations of Scout Finch as a grown woman and its divisive portrayal of her father, Atticus Finch, as a racist figure. Here are some highlights from the new book:

Leonardo DiCaprio Agrees To Donate It-Factor To Science

LOS ANGELES—Saying the gift would immeasurably improve their understanding of the ineffable quality that makes certain big-screen stars positively radiate, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles announced Tuesday that A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to donate his it-factor to science.

How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Comic-Con Survival Guide

San Diego Comic-Con is expected to draw more than 130,000 fans to Southern California this year to participate in cosplaying, attend panels, go to film screenings, and learn more about their favorite series. Here are some tips for surviving the four-day conference

Your Horoscopes — Week Of July 7, 2014

ARIES: Your belief that nothing can stop you will be tested this week by depression, procrastination, concrete barriers, dysentery, armed gunmen, and the unanimous passage of several laws targeted specifically at stopping you.

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...
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage


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.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close