Sunday, June 19, 2011

Young and impressionable

By Al Tays 
When Left Coast contributor Al Tays informed us he
was writing about Kenley Young, our first thought was,
'What the ... ?' But if our guy says check it out...

As a battle-scarred veteran of the newspaper industry (otherwise known as "buggy-whip factories"), I was weaned on the concept that you couldn't write or publish anything unless it had a "news hook." Like "This is the 25th anniversary of the invention of the Flowbee," or something like that. God forbid that you write anything about the Flowbee on, say, some random date, or even a randomly numbered anniversary date. No 13th-anniversary Flowbee stories, y'all.

Regular readers of SSS will attest that we, too, operate in this manner, weekly noting some band that made it to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986 or somebody's eleventy-first birthday.

Which is all well and good, but as one of my favorite movie quotes goes: "Sometimes you have to say, "What the f**k."

So today, no anniversaries. Just an anecdote.

When it comes to music, I have a dual personality. Part of me loves the security of listening to stuff I know and love, over and over and over again. I'm certainly not alone there - why do you think mainstream radio plays the stuff it does?

But another part of me loves the thrill of finding something new - "new" often meaning "new to me," since it might be something that's been out for 25 years and I just never heard it.

I recently made a trip to a neighborhood bar in LA to hear a co-worker play a solo acoustic set. I know Kenley Young only as a superbly talented writer and editor. I knew he played guitar and had been in bands, but that was it. But when I heard him the other night, I was knocked out. Dude writes his own stuff, and he's good.

So this is not so much to pimp Mr. Young (but by all means check him out at, but to encourage you to keep expanding your horizons, and support your local music economy. Get out there to your local bars and clubs and coffee houses and check out your local artists. You never know what you'll find.

And while you're there, remember to say "What the f**k."

1 comment:

  1. This little gem has been sitting here undiscovered since June, so, when I came across it this fine November morning I figured, "What the f**k, why not comment?" I know from first-hand experience that this guy Al Tays is one of the best editors in the history of buggy whip factories, but I had no idea he was a music guy 'til I saw this post. Let me just say, he knows about playin' and singin', even if he doesn't do any. The player he's promoting here, Kenley Young, deserves a listen. If you stumble on this post, paste the URL in your browser and check it out.