The following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In.
I’m standing behind my turntable in Mulberry St. Ristorante, playing a Kinks song from 1968. There are maybe 15 people in here. I step outside for a smoke and notice that, next door, the line for the Front Street/Back Alley Bar is really long and wrapped around itself. Heavy-set bouncers with goatees are frisking people for weapons. Loud Top 40 music blares through the door. Inside, through the windows, I can see young men and women “grinding” on each other.
I stand there, feeling a little defeated. Why do people prefer this to The Kinks, or any of the music that I play, which is not Top 40? I know it has very little to do with quality of music and way more to do with the weekend culture of Downtown Fullerton, which could be described as a conflict between independent/local music and corporate pop. At the moment, the corporate pop seems to be winning, but appearances can be deceiving.
I know, for a fact (because I have seen and heard it) that there exists, just beneath the surface, a thriving local independent music scene in Fullerton, perhaps best represented by Burger Records. The bummer, for me, is that this music has not yet found a home in the weekend culture of Downtown Fullerton. But, to quote Sam Cooke, “a change gonna come.”