Listen to James Brown.

Listen to Black Sabbath.

Listen to Curtis Mayfield and Slayer, in that order.

Put on Alice In Chains’ Jar Of Flies EP and listen to Mike Inez’s bass.

Listen to all the bands that the bands you like say they like. All the bands I like seem to like Celtic Frost.

Listen to Celtic Frost.

And Cactus, while you’re on the ‘C’s.

And Captain Beyond.

A lot of good bands start with ‘C.’

Listen to Dozer, because you’ve probably never heard of them, and listen to Kyuss, because—among other reasons—you wouldn’t have Dozer without them.

Listen to Sleep.

Listen to Amebix.

Listen to Halfway To Gone. I’m thinking about putting them on the cover in July. They’re from Jersey, playing in Jersey for the first time in a couple years. It’s been a while since I did myself that kind of favor.

Listen to the first four Funkadelic albums.

I don’t care if you listen on CD, or vinyl, or if you download the records on iTunes, or whatever it is you do. I care that recorded music is the most ingrained artform the world has ever created. “Popular” in the sense of being of the populace. Visual art culture is a closed world, and that includes film and television. Literature is the same. Music may be (and is) a corporate hellhole, but anyone can still find a song and listen to it—more easily now than ever. So use that ultra-availability to the best advantage you can and make sure you hear Fu Manchu’s In Search Of before your too-short and too-painful time on this planet is over.

Listen to Miles Davis and Charlie Parker.

Listen to Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

Listen to Miles Davis and an electric guitar. Imagine being shocked by it.

Because nothing matters. Not you, not your job, your family, your loved ones, your house, your car, your righteous anger at the government, or even the music you’re going to listen to. None of it. So why not? What else could there be? What else would you need there to be?

Listen to Motörhead.

Listen to Black Flag’s The First Four Years and Neurosis’ A Sun That Never Sets and Jimi Hendrix’s Band Of Gypsys.

Sometimes it feels like it’s all we’ve got, and most of the time, it is.

Listen to Primus. The early stuff especially.

Listen to Sam & Dave and Electric Wizard.

You can bleed this shit or bleed something else. Either way, you bleed. So what the hell, right? If it’s gonna be a party, make it a party.

JJ Koczan

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