Fundamentalism Is the Only Way performed live this Friday, December 2nd at Grassroots Oasis!



Fundamentalism Is the Only Way San Diego Album Release Party 12.02.16

Regardless of the cultural climate, it is always a supreme delight when you encounter an artist, or a piece of work, that has the ability to simultaneously grab you by the throat, pull on your heart strings, stimulate your third eye, and stoke your imagination—all the while compelling, and insisting that you pay attention to the sonic splendor being cast into your ears and brain.

And so it is with the multi-faceted, 21st century Renaissance man Jon Kanis—a visionary artist who is clearly in a zone of his own. Eluding all attempts at musical categorization (particularly by the standards employed by today’s hype-saturated media), Kanis exists outside the box and off the charts as the perfect antidote to mainstream mediocrity. And (just in time for the holidays!) he’s back to infuse his multi-faceted brilliance into his latest long-player Fundamentalism Is the Only Way: a 14-song, old school conceptual romp, providing ample evidence within that here is a unique point of view to reckon with. Fundamentalism Is the Only Way offers a true musical alternative, and it ups the vibrational ante in extreme contrast to the syndicated pay-to-players glutting the stagnant airwaves of contemporary terrestrial radio.

Fundamentalism Is the Only Way picks up where 2014’s career-retrospective All-American Mongrel Boy leaves off. Executed over a period of two years, Kanis co-produced the album with Christopher Hoffee (Atom Orr, Truckee Brothers, The White Buffalo) at his CHAOS Recorders studio in Escondido, California. The record was conceived of by Kanis to be experienced “like a classic British Beatles LP: with seven songs per side on a slab of 180-gram vinyl. It really has a deliberate flow and arc to the songs, with one track building upon the next, so that by the end of the record you really feel like you’ve taken a journey—that the music transported you to a place that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Because, if a piece of music doesn’t transform your experience in some significant fashion, why would you waste 40 minutes of your precious time?”

Reviewing the LP for the San Diego Troubadour, Terry Roland writes: “[Kanis is] a clear-eyed example of an artist with a vision, who builds on his own rock heritage… Fundamentalism Is the Only Way is a masterfully conceived slice of rock ‘n’ roll psychedelia, fused with power-pop rock that is dedicated to present-day consciousness. It is a signature work, and if this album is given the chance to shine into the dark world of current rock music, it will bring a very bright light as one of the best rock albums of 2016.”

Fundamentalism Is the Only Way will be performed live in its entirety by a five-piece band that includes the aforementioned Hoffee on guitar, keyboards and vocals; Jamie Shadowlight on violin; Roger Morrison on bass, guitar, and vocals; Brad Smith on drums; and Kanis on acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards, and vocals. Kanis says “there will also be a couple of surprise guests, but I can’t say more than that at the moment.” The release party/performance takes place on December 2nd, 2016, at the Grass Roots Oasis, 3130 Moore Street, San Diego, CA 92110. Doors open at 7:30 pm with music from 8 to 10 pm. Donation/cover charge is $10.00.

Kanis’ resume reads like a graduate thesis for a pop culture professorship: his initial stabs at pop music stardom found him collaborating with such distinguished stalwarts as Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Andy Partridge, Joe Satriani, Dethklok, the Assumptions), and Darian Sahanaja and Nick Walusko (Wondermints, Brian Wilson). As a radio host and DJ he produced hundreds of weekly radio programs between 2006 and 2011 titled State Controlled Radio, which serve as a timeless primer to the history of 20th century music. Between 1999 and 2005 he co-created the world’s largest music film archive with Reelin’ in the Years Productions. It was at RITY that Kanis won the Achievement in Film award from the Blues Foundation, as well as a Grammy nomination for his production work on The American Folk Blues Festival DVDs and CDs.

In 2014, Kanis’ first book Encyclopedia Walking: Pop Culture & the Alchemy of Rock ‘n’ Roll earned the honor of Best Published Nonfiction—History and Biography from the San Diego Book Awards. Kanis is an expert musicologist and journalist, whose work has been featured in Ugly Things, the San Diego Troubadour and the San Diego Reader. Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Kanis has spent the last 34 years calling San Diego, California his home.

Kanis has created three different art installations with his singular style of pop culture collage, with his latest piece Keeping Your Eyes on the Pies currently on display at Sicilian Thing Pizza, 4046 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104.

Fundamentalism Is the Only Way is the fourth in a series of projects that Kanis has collaborated on with executive producer Ed Turner of Road Ahead Productions. This highly successful association began when Kanis provided narration and original music for the independent documentary A Box Full of Rocks: the El Cajon Years of Lester Bangs. The far more ambitious follow-up Ticket to Write: the Golden Age of Rock Music Journalism, provides historical context about why the early days of Crawdaddy!, CREEM, Circus, Rolling Stone, and the New Musical Express were so vital to the emerging rock culture of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Kanis contributed three original songs for the film’s soundtrack, provided cinematography, and interviewed seven of the film’s principles. Kanis recounts his entire adventure in Chapter 30 of Encyclopedia Walking (Mystery, Murder, Mayhem, and Magic: Ecstatic and Overstimulated at SXSW 2014). His 18-song anthology All-American Mongrel Boy (1989–2014) provides the perfect soundtrack to the musings and adventures of Encyclopedia Walking, described by Terry Roland as a “to-the-bone, walk-the-talk work of literature that informs and transforms…it is essential reading along with the works of Lester Bangs and Paul Williams.”

Fundamentalism Is the Only Way is available on December 2, 2016, through MJK Records/Road Ahead Productions.

Executive Producer: Edward Turner, Road Ahead Productions

Press inquiries: contact Jon Kanis at or 619.794.6469.