Like Woody Guthrie, singer/guitarist Jon Kanis believes “this machine kills fascists.”
  • Like Woody Guthrie, singer/guitarist Jon Kanis believes “this machine kills fascists.”
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Jon Kanis spent around two years working on his upcoming full-length, Fundamentalism Is the Only Way, co-producing with Christopher Hoffee (Atom Orr, Truckee Brothers) at Chaos Recorders in Escondido.


Jon Kanis at Tucker's Corner, 2011 at Tucker's Corner, 2011

“The album was conceived to be experienced like a classic British Beatles LP, with seven songs per side on a slab of 180-gram wax,” he says of his first vinyl release. “It sounds different than listening to the digital WAV files. Even a digital recording sounds warmer when it’s transferred to vinyl. Analog waveforms are just more soothing and enjoyable than the ice-cold brilliance of zeros and ones.”

Most of the album features power-pop and rock, though numbers like “Where Is Joe Strummer When You Need Him?” play like a contemporary twist on the classic protest song. “I think of Joe Strummer as being exactly like that picture of Woody Guthrie where he’s holding his acoustic guitar proclaiming the message ‘This machine kills fascists.’ A snapshot of passion, integrity, and the desire to eliminate injustice so that everyone has a shot at basic goodness and access to general necessities, like clean air, food, water, clothing, and shelter. And education.”

One track, “Devil in My Head,” was recorded in two different rooms at the Holiday Music Motel in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in what Kanis describes as “a beautifully makeshift studio.”

Past Event

Jon Kanis Album Release

  • Friday, December 2, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
  • Grassroots Oasis, 3130 Moore Street, San Diego

The release party for Fundamentalism happens December 2 at a Grassroots Oasis house concert. “I wanted to do an alternative to a standard bar situation,” he says. “Martha Sullivan has a cool little community going on there, and I want to support it and be a part of it. We can do anything that we want with it in terms of presentation, and the room sounds great.”

This is the fourth project Kanis has worked on with executive producer Ed Turner, a collaboration that began when Kanis provided narration and original music for the indie documentary A Box Full of Rocks: The El Cajon Years of Lester Bangs. Kanis is also the author of Encyclopedia Walking: Pop Culture & the Alchemy of Rock ’n’ Roll, with a second volume in progress subtitled San Diego Serenade.

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Jay Allen Sanford Nov. 23, 2016 @ 3:11 p.m.

At the December 2 release party for Fundamentalism Is the Only Way at Grassroots Oasis, Kanis will be performing the album in its entirety with Christopher Hoffee, Roger Morrison, Jamie Shadowlight, Brad Smith, and special guests.


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