Electric & Musical Industries was formed in 1931, initially releasing classical music, but went on to launch the Beatles, who changed the record label's operations and funded the company for years and years. The label's recording rules were further broadened by Queen and Pink Floyd. EMI ushered punk into the mainstream with Sex Pistols, and then embraced the New Romanticism and the polished excesses of Duran Duran. They made music videos big with Pet Shop Boys and made Brit Pop a thing with Blur, and were home to Radiohead. This is the inside story of EMI, one of the greatest British brands in recording history, as told by people involved with the record label's storied history, augmented by company and performance footage. [more inside]
According to the Daptone Gold compilation liner notes (auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
Grumbling Fur are a pair of former choir boys drawn to each other as teenagers by a love of metal and hardcore punk. Now they "make music that is terribly English: both polite and sinister," one part drone, one part rural psychedelia. Their new album, Preternaturals, released yesterday, is now streaming over at The Quietus. [more inside]
Rare footage of the Velvet Underground playing live in Boston (1967, sound, color, 33 mins. Dir: Andy Warhol) has recently been discovered. [more inside]
Here's a little something old to bring in the new year: Jacco Gardner and his debut solo album, Cabinet of Curiosities (Grooveshark streaming tracks; full album on YouTube). Why? Because it's a delicious platter of ornate, lushly orchestrated, psych-inflected "soft rock" or "baroque pop" and if you didn't know better, you might guess it was made in the 1960s, not in 2012. The album was created almost solely by Gardner, who played all the instruments except the drums. For live shows, the 25 year old multi-instrumentalist had to enlist more help, as you can see in this live set from Lowlands, and two more, from Ancienne Belgique and at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). [more inside]
THEESatisfaction is Catherine Harris-White (Cat) and Stasia Irons (Stasi), the spacey future-rap duo from Seattle who (kind of) got their break from the like-minded Shabazz Palaces, a collective lead by Ishmael Butler, aka Palaceer Lazaro. Shabazz Palaces was signed to the Seattle label Sup Pop in 2010, and they released Black Up (YT, official album stream), with THEESatisfaction featured as guest vocalists. From that appearance, Sub Pop signed the duo, and released their album, awE naturalE (YT, official album stream) last year. If that's not enough psychedelic space-soul jazz-rap, then check out their Bandcamp page, which is the source of their rambling collection of genres, and contains their releases from 2008 through the present. And if that's not enough ... [more inside]
Les disques africains collects, rips, and uploads out-of-print records (and their sleeves!) from the golden age of vinyl in francophone Africa. Don't miss la belle chanteuse Sali Sidibé, psychedelic grooves from Benin, or this incredible 35-minute oral-musical history of Bobo-Dioulasso. New posts appear, as if by some rare magic, every three to four days.
HEY YOU! Andrew Horowitz, a musician who goes by the name edu, writes music that sounds like Muppets-influenced psychedelia. At the End is a soft, melancholy song; Miss Melody blooms and blooms and blooms. Horowitz is also the mind behind The Baker Boys, which remixes Jay-Z with 20th century classical musicians like Philip Glass, Igor Stravinsky, Steve Reich, and Conlon Nancarrow.
New York based AutoSalvage put out one album in 1968, and then disappeared. The instrumentation on the brilliant self titled album included krummhorn, recorder, banjo and dulcimer. The band, which first formed in 1966, was "discovered" by Frank Zappa when the Mothers of Invention toured the East Coast in 1967. He liked their song "AutoSalvage" and encouraged them to use the title as their band name. They were signed by RCA Victor and put out one single followed by their album. The record was recorded at the RCA studio on the new 1' 8 Track machine.They disbanded after a mere year and a half, a great psychedelic band on the wrong coast, Members included RickTurner, now a well-known luthier. Other cuts from the album include Land of Their Dreams and the psychjangle Medley: The Great Brain Robbery, Glimpses Of The Next World's World
Ektoplazm is now the world’s largest distributor of free (and legal) psytrance music specializing in high-quality Creative Commons-licensed content from netlabels and independent artists, all released in MP3 and lossless CD-quality FLAC and WAV formats.
A History of Zamrock: Zambia's mix of tribal patterns, heavy rock, blues and psychedelic from the 1970s
Zamrock is a largely forgotten musical movement, born from a newly independence still trying to find stability. The sound is a mix of local sounds with heavy, bluesy and psychedelic rock, usually sung in English, the constitutional language for Zambia. Unfortunately, little of the history is written, and those who were there are fewer each year. Last year, Emmanuel Kangwa “Jagari” Chanda, the co-founder and lead singer for WITCH (We Intend To Cause Havoc), was interviewed for two hours (Vimeo; transcript; source) and recorded a radio show with 14 Zamrock tracks. The South African newspaper Mail & Guardian have an article with more history and interview snippets with Jagari, whose stage name is an Africanisation of Mick Jagger's name. (via) [more inside]
Dengue Fever is an L.A. band that fuses Cambodian pop music with psychedelic rock. They have a youtube channel where you can find highlights such as a live acoustic version of their song Uku as well as a clip from the 2007 documentary Sleepwalking Through The Mekong. NPR has an interview with them in 2008 and a review of their second album Escape From Dragon House. Peter Gabriel is a fan.
Psychedelic icon Owsley Stanley dies in Australia "Owsley 'Bear' Stanley, a 1960s counterculture figure who flooded the flower power scene with LSD and was an early benefactor of the Grateful Dead, died in a car crash in his adopted home country of Australia on Sunday, his family said. He was believed to be 76." The Bear, previously on MetaFilter.
Radical Friend makes interactive music videos for Black Moth Super Rainbow and Yeasayer. [NSFW] [more inside]
Boys dared to grow their hair and girls dared to wear mini skirts and in Korea indecency officers patroled the street with scissors and rulers, publicly cutting hair too long and checking if skirts were too short. Shin Joong-hyung, was there with his 70s hit, Beauty, as were other musicians and artists like Sanullim and the Key Boys. [more inside]
Mickey Ween: A security guard came onstage and Gibby threw the alcohol on him. The dude just started backing away, it was clear that Gibby probably would set him on fire. And now, knowing Gibby like I do, it was definitely within the realm of possibility.An Oral History of May 3, 1987: The Day The Butthole Surfers Came to Trenton, New Jersey. Butthole Surfers interviewed in bed, parts 1 and 2, playing The Scott & Gary Show on their first run through New York, parts 1 and 2, playing live in 1985 [low quality], live footage from the 80s. [more inside]
Mark Pesetsky: And Gibby just gave me that psycho look with the Charles Manson eyes. He grabs a bottle of the rubbing alcohol and throws it on me and then starts walking towards me with a lighter. And John, the other bouncer, just jumps offstage. It was every man for himself at that point.
Gibby Haynes: Oh yeah, I do remember that. I mean, I've lit kids' heads on fire and they were smiling!
Some Velvet Morning When I'm Straight - the "Cowboy Psychedelia" of Lee Hazlewood in duet with Nancy Sinatra, and its many, many, covers.
Erkin Koray's long career as a major rock star in his native Turkey has seen him cover all sorts of musical territory. His songs are often a curious (some might say bizarre) hodgepodge of musical influences, and one thing's for sure: you couldn't call the man unadventurous! Here's a sampling of some of his psych-Turk-rock from decades past: Krallar - Gel Bak Ne Söylicem - Cemalim - Allahaşkına - Aşka Inanmıyorum - Yanlizlar rihtimi - Gönül Salıncağı - Anma Arkadaş - Aşk Oyunu - Gün Doğmuyor - [more inside]
Roger Mainwood's 1979 animated film of Kraftwerk's 'Autobahn', plus other assorted forward-thinking clips featuring the same music and/or theme
Autobahn, a 12 minute animated film by Roger Mainwood, was commissioned by Kraftwerk's record label in 1979 to be released on one of the first ever laser discs. [more inside]
Robert Wyatt is not dead. In fact, he recently released a new album titled Comicopera. [more inside]
The Neon Philharmonic consisted of members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, a producer of country & western records named Don Gant (who produced Jimmy Buffett's first hit), and a jazz pianist named Tupper Saussy. Strangely enough, this odd combination produced an unexpected Top 20 hit, Morning Girl. The group was briefly mentioned as an obscure music hipster reference in a devastating indie-rock takedown of current critical darling Sufjan Stevens, but such a throwaway reference to the Neon Philharmonic does not do justice to the bizarre life of its founder, Tupper Saussy.(more inside)
Spirit was an American jazz/hard rock/psychedelic band founded in 1967, based in Los Angeles, California. Their 1970 album Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus is highly regarded for originality and uniqueness and is considered by many to be one of the best albums made by a Los Angeles group [source]. Among the many bits of fascinating rock trivia surrounding the group: founder and frontman Randy California jammed with a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix. Curious fans can also peruse unofficial sites for original members and founders Randy California and Jay Ferguson.
Krautrock: From the hypnotic rhythms and melodies of Can, to the revolutionary electronics of Kraftwerk. Krautrock was a genre that spawned many genius acts. The communal bands like Amon Duul II and Siloah that were soon to be emulated by cult-like restaurant owners, Ya Ho Wha . There were the obscure acts like Zweistein whose sound evokes thoughts of current bands like Animal Collective and Wooden Wand. And there were albums the ground-breaking albums like Tangerine Dream's dark, ambient, Phaedra and the Manuel Gottsching record E2-E4 which is considered to be the first techno album ever produced. Needless to say, Krautrock's influence has been lasting and monumental.
'In all of rock history, there can be few stranger stories than that of Yahowa 13', formed in 1969 in Los Angeles by a middle-aged beatnik called Jim Baker, who believed himself a god and went by the nickname of Father Yod. Yod became a guru of sorts for a group called the Source Family. Based around the group of disciples, Yahowa 13 made almost a dozen limited-circulation LPs (slightly nsfw cover art), most within the course of just a couple of years. 'Yahowa 13's most successful artistic statement was 1974's Penetration: An Aquarian Symphony... At the end of 1974, the Source Family moved to Hawaii. On August 25, 1975, Yod went hang-gliding for the first time and was mortally injured upon landing, dying after about nine hours. His disciples scattered within two years after his passing.' See also: 2002 interview with band members.
From Inner Sounds to Astro Sounds Session guitarist Jerry Cole made several albums of instrumental surf rock as the leader of Jerry Cole & His Spacemen, but after playing on sessions that produced the Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, he realized he had to adapt to new musical trends. In the summer of '66, Cole responded by bringing several session buddies together to record The Inner Sounds of the Id, a psychedelic studio creation that was at least a year ahead of its time. The story might have ended there if the producer hadn't stolen the Id's session outtakes... (more inside)
LSD documentary records were a forgotten side-track in the war on drugs, reaching a high point in 1966 with the release of LSD, an album featuring interviews with Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsburg, and Ken Kesey, and featuring a live recording (which may or may not have been real) of a kid going on his first bad trip. (Not to be confused with Leary's own record of the same title.) In 1966, with neither internet nor home video, the record album was one of the most sophisticated communications media available, and it was a big year for LSD hysteria, with a LIFE cover story and a Sal Mineo-narrated LSD version of Reefer Madness called Hallucination Generation. LSD-related magazines and periodicals, reviews of psychedelic music, and more from lysergia.com.
J.M. Nasim's Psychedelic Jew's Harp. Such a simple and ancient instrument, the Jew's Harp, or maultrommel, or Koukin, or Khomus, or guimbarde, or genggong, or numerous other names, has never sounded quite like this (streaming mp3 link).
I create this music live. No multi-tracking, no playback of pre-recorded material, no sampling. The raw signal of voice and Jew’s Harp feeds into a portable bank of automated processors. Here, various programmatic, architectonic sound spaces frame rhythmic zones within which certain acoustic potentialities reside. These sonic holograms manifest my musical explorations as shape-shifted sound. Seminal acoustics are gestated into new aural forms to birth multi- dimensional soundscapes of interpenetrating pulses and harmonics.
High Art. Rick Griffin's famous flying eyeball poster is considered by many to be the single finest example of San Francisco psychedelic poster art. The image comes from this fabulous motherlode of eye candy that is Paul Olsen's Fillmore and Avalon poster collection. It is the largest and most complete collection of its sort. He would like to sell it as a whole--The Whitney Museum wants to buy it but can't afford it. That should tell you something. Come step behind the Indian bedspread curtain and smell the incense.