Archive for the 'Psychedelia' Category

Melody’s Echo Chamber – Crystallized

Melody’s Echo Chamber is the project of Frenchwoman Melody Prochet. She was in a band called My Bee’s Garden, which opened for Tame Impala somewhere along the line. She got together with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, who helped her rework her own sound and produced her first album. The first four tracks on the album are really the winners, and this is my favorite of the bunch.

I hear a lot of different things going on here. Stereolab/Ivy are obvious comps because of her French accent, and of course it’s easy to say that this is Tame Impala with a female singer, but I don’t think that’s all that accurate or fair (admittedly, the bass line here kind of seems lifted from Tame Impala’s Runway Houses City Clouds). There’s a bit of Krauty/Motorik feel in parts of the album, and there’s sort of a 60’s pastiche that’s reminiscent of Broadcast, though I realize it’s not all that surprising that an act that gets compared to Stereolab would also get compared to Broadcast. There’s also a bit a shoegaze feel to much of the album, and quite frankly I don’t know that I’d associate Broadcast with shoegaze, but your mileage may vary. Anyway, I think this was probably one of my favorite songs of 2012.

Foxygen – Shuggie

I kind of had a hard time deciding between this song, San Francisco, and No Destruction. I went with this one because it features a few different styles. These guys are basically ’60s revival, but where the Brian Jonestown Massacre are doing the Stones, Foxygen is heavy into the Kinks and Donovan. They’re a couple of guys based in L.A., and if you’re in the right mood, their stuff is really good. Though it’s kind of hard to tell whether they’re sincere or maybe a bit affected.

They’re playing Pitchfork this year, and because I thought the lineup on the whole kind of sucked, it served as a good motivator to listen to bands on my radar that I hadn’t yet made time for. As a result, they’ve become one of my new musical obsessions. I’ll probably post another one of those on Wednesday.

Love Don’t Care-Lab Partners

Kind of a first BRMC album vibe, with some chimey Coldplay “Yellow” stuff and maybe from an angle you would get a feel for some other songs too. I don’t care, nor does love. A good tune, and maybe you haven’t heard it yet.

Wait For Us-Mind Spiders

No offense to Jennifer, but this song is awesome, though the video makes me want to cry because it is very Outer Limits and I feel sad for fan astronaut and his possible fake fate on sad empty planet. I predict Zombie will like this one. Garage psych and I think they would play a great show. They are from a few hours away from Cloverhill Big Texas Cinnamon Roll, but it seems like a lifetime.

Mind Spiders – “Wait For Us” from stereogum on Vimeo.

Smith Westerns – Weekend

This is the first in a series of “Coming Attractions” posts for me, though I suppose in actuality, most of my posts here are in that vein.

This is a Chicago band, so I can never tell if the all of the buzz is local, or indie nationwide, but I know they’ve had some Pitchfork love. I caught a bit of their set at the Pitchfork Festival this year, but I think we were waiting for Neon Indian to start, so we probably weren’t paying attention, and quite honestly, it didn’t sound that great. Also, I don’t love their first album. And of course, you’d be justified in pinning the P4k praise on their willingness to appear at the Festival.

But I gave in to the hype and gave the new album Dye It Blond a try and I was sold about 15 seconds into this track, which leads off the album. I mean, those are some seriously great hooks in that first guitar part. Really all of the guitar work on this album is phenomenal, and the production values are pretty decent, making the whole thing fun to listen to. They sound like a cross between the happy and druggy eras of the Beach Boys.

They get another chance to impress me at the Empty Bottle in a couple weeks. They wouldn’t be the first band I hated at Pitchfork but subsequently loved in a proper venue.

Generals and Majors-XTC

As I mentioned at the 3B!, I was simply astounded that this song was playing in the entryway Korean Market in sprawling Big Texas Megalopolis. My experience with the Korean Market soundtrack is that it tends very much to Asian or American ultra light Adult Contemporary, so this was incredibly surreal. I had to get out of there before they blew my mind with Capt. Sensible or something.

I think we all agree that XTC deserves more space that we currently give in on our collective zeitgeist hard drive.

Growing up in Deseret we had the ol’ new wave/modern rock station that played on occasion:

Generals and Majors
Making Plans for Nigel
Senses Working Overtime
Towers of London
Life Begins at the Hop
No Thugs in Our House
Love on a Farmboy’s Wages
King for a Day
Dear God
Mayor of Simpleton
Ballad of Peter Pumkinhead

And it wasn’t as if they were all that popular, but it of course was the time when you felt like you could play more that two songs by a band. I don’t think Talking Heads, who got much more play, had as many songs that would get pulled off the shelf.

UPDATE:

I think I must have also heard “Respectable Street” too

Jason Lytle – I Am Lost

The return of Jason Lytle was almost completely unheralded, but now that I’ve finally listened to his post-Grandaddy album, Yours Truly, The Commuter, I can say that it is a massive norepinephrine rush of nostalgia tinged with post-Pink Floyd sensibility and sprinkles of utter brilliance.

I picked this particular track for Pinko Punko, since it is super Jeddy-like and it evokes Lawn and So On from Under The Western Freeway. Short, sweet, and kind of melancholy. The beginning is so Dark Side of the Moon, I almost laughed out loud, but then it settled into a replica of old Grandaddy and I got really sad for Jed.

Summertime Clothes-Animal Collective

I needed to wait until posting this wasn’t seen as hipster, then I needed to avoid the accusation of bandwagon, then there was the minefield of the inevitable backlash. I hope I am in the realm of indifference/old news, but am likely in the land of poseur.

Creepy and psychedelic video for a surprisingly 80s-esque experimental art-wave straight up lovey dovey song about walking around at night in the city when it is too hot to sleep in your unstated 4th floor Brooklyn walk-up or some such. Works best for our Northeastern urban areas, 80s Sprite commercial type zones and from the Loop up to Wrigleyville. It is really a good tune.

Make a Deal with the City-East River Pipe

I have entered a productive relationship with Pandora internet radio wherein songs I’ve never heard are played, and then I look on Emusic (not Emu-sic) and find they have the song. This is unpaid product placement at its finest. This is hazy bedroom psych at a very wonderful level. It just hits you with a very standard chord progression, the standard chord progression of almost uniformly awesome songs. This is the song of a lost mixtape presented to you by a friend of exceptional taste, the friends we all wish we are to other people the friends we strive to be. Therefore, I pass this to you.

Two Ways Out-Darker My Love

Kind of an amiable ramble from these new psych drone hipsters not necessarily prone to this sort of pop reverie. The key part of the song is the refrain that tips into a different tone from the rest of the piece, somewhere different, something portending unspoken something, but vague in the best way, where you can supply your own palimpsest. Kind of reminds me of the Baxter Dury we did here.


“There’s one thing you should know, there’s always two ways out.”

Shoot You Down-The Stone Roses

Sugary-spun shuffling psychedelia. I always post songs from this album (The Stone Roses) with the admonishment that this is one of the nastiest albums that you don’t ever think is that nasty because the sound is so lazy hazy summery drug Sunday. This is one of the most obviously nasty of the bunch. King Monkey spreads the hate with a matter-of-fact-smirk on his face. Think this is the Bad Acid at Woodstock:The Next Generation with Ian Brown, lead singer, as the Jean Luc Picard of Manchester hippie pub club drug thug.

Baxter Dury-Francesca’s Party

Baxter Dury is the seemingly reclusive son of pub punk fave Ian Dury (Blockheads). Considering the quality here on this poppier, more direct version of his psychedelic and hazy musings, I am sad that he’s only available on import and possibly out of print. He’s got a MySpace page (well a couple, here’s the new one and the old one). The new one has some lovely and wonderful demos. The thing that made me most sad is that this is the kind of artist that Pop Renaissance would either love or tell us about, but he just doesn’t seem to be around. I think Seitz would dig this too.

HOLIDAY BAKE OFF THEME SONG-PREPARE TO ENTER THE HALLS OF MANDOS!!!!

Mandos says:

“TRIPLE WHAMMY!!!

and then

PREPARARSE PARA LA BATALLIA!!!

END QUOTE!

INTENSE AND PSYCHEDELIC!!!!

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Mono)-The Beatles

John Lennon is of course great, but when he doesn’t mutlitrack himself or have some effects, sometimes he can sound a little nasally, or at least nasally in a way I never remembered him to sound on the CD version of “Lucy in the Sky…” from Sgt. Peppers. My memories were from playing my parents’ orginal vinly copy, and the CD sounds different. I never realized this was because the mixes are different- the mono mix on the record is a totally different mix (beyond its monophinic nature). Cue up your CD and listen and then compare with this:

Much better.

Kathleen has a Song of the Day coming up, when I get my act together.

Bonus “She Said She Said”

Someone pointed out the drumming on this track to me as being amazing. Now I am addicted to it.

Sniper at the Gates of Heaven-The Black Angels

We had these guys on before. You know I have a soft spot for retro, sinister, fuzzy 60s-esque drug rock. If you’ve seen the R-rated red-band trailer for the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men you’ve heard another tune off their album Passover, “Young Men Dead.” The lead singer recalls a Jim Morrison like voice without sounding like him, kind of the delivery I guess. This one is quite good, and if you like any one of their songs, you’ll like the album.

A Quick One While He’s Away-The Who

Kind of wanky some might conclude, but total genius. To be honest, I’ve always thought The Who were fine, but the sound is always so clean it was hard for me to understand for what purpose this band was once “the loudest on Earth.” I heard a bootleg “Live at Fillmore East” on the radio and my mind was changed. To compare we have two versions of the epic “A Quick One While He’s Away.” Please note there are only three people playing instruments, and yet the band does not sound like Rush, they sound good. You might note a slight Beach Boys influence, yet instead of using a studio to create the different mini-vignettes within the opera, they just kind of happen.

Here’s the Who at Monterey Pop (awesome, very clean):

For comparison, though, here’s the same song live at the Fillmore East (1968), where you can sense how much more powerful they could be. Pete’s still playing super cleanly, but there is a muscularity there under the 60’s tone, he’s playing the Who’s sound, but it is more raw and crunchy. What is evident is how unbelievably well they performed. I mean Zep (whether you like them or not) could show flashes of awesome but I think it is clear they phoned it in sometimes.

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Bookshop Casanova-The Clientele

Song of the Day loves The Clientele. This a jaunty retro-pop uptempo jaunt through what feels like somebodies quiet corner of 60’s London. From their latest God Save The Clientele, another excellent song from one of my favorite current bands. Alasdair MacLean’s voice is a little bit of an acquired taste, but you MUST love the English a-gain (a-gaiyn) that always seems to come up in their songs. This is a really clean in-studio live performance, the only problem is that the guitar and drum are a little buried in the mix so it doesn’t quite feel as jaunty as it should.

North by North-The Bats

Moody antipodean indie new wave of the strummy guitar variety. We picture certain transplanted New Zealanders walking the fields moodily with certain transplanted PupHs while the video inevitably crossfades to our band playing their song and back again. Of course this is import only, but last.fm spit it out at me yesterday, and it was pretty good.

Weapon of Choice-B.R.M.C.

I didn’t realize these guys had a new one coming out. First two albums were driving fuzzy droney attacks, a la Jesus and Mary Chain+Love and Rockets via a Dandy Warhols psych wall of sound. Last one was a stripped down affair that I kind of skipped. This one is supposedly more straight forward and plugged in. This song is OK, but for some reason I am a little bit excited for the album. I assume Seitz will give us a report.

Senses Working Overtime-XTC

This is one of those songs where I cannot wait for the chorus. I listen and think that maybe the song is not as good as I remembered in the beginning. But then the chorus etc. comes around and I realize how awesome it is. It is always hard to post about XTC because the XTC whackos come out of the woodwork ranting about Mel Schachter. They just cannot be rational about XTC. They get crazy and must be dealt with by horse tranquilizers.