Monday, December 31, 2007

Idle Race (1969)

This is the second album from Birmingham's the Idle Race, following their peculiar psych-pop debut, Birthday Party. This is the first record that chief songwriter Jeff Lynne would produce. Poor record sales for their first record forced them to strive for a more cohesive, accessible sound, which they pulled off quite well. But I can't help but miss the unique aspects of Birthday Party that made it so great. This one's just a bit too concise in it's songwriting and production, but good nonetheless. Unfortunately, Idle Race didn't succeed commercially, which led to Jeff Lynne's departure from the group. He would go on to join the Move, which had offered him a position in the band prior to the release of Idle Race. The group would continue on without Lynne, releasing one last record, Time Is, in 1971. It was never really the same band without Lynne, though.

Download Idle Race

Sunday, December 30, 2007

More Music Videos

"Should a Cloud Replace a Compass?"
Circulatory System
Circulatory System

"Another Set of Bees in the Museum"
Olivia Tremor Control
Black Foliage: Animation Music

I guess I've been on that music video tip lately.

Tomorrow (1968)

Tomorrow are a prime example of classic British psychedelia. The band's most notable members were guitarist Steve Howe (later of Yes...yup, Yes), singer/songwriter Keith West, and drummer Twink, who would become a fixture in the British psychedelic scene, playing with the likes of the Pretty Things and the Pink Fairies. Twink also had an extremely brief stint in a band called Stars with Syd Barret, but Barret apparently walked off stage halfway through their first live performance. In the midst of Tomorrow's existence, West would find success in releasing solo singles, including "Excerpt From a Teenage Opera" which would reach number two on the British charts. To some extent, his solo career led to the demise of Tomorrow. Tomorrow is the band's only album and has come to be praised as a psychedelic cornerstone. The songwriting is top-notch with excellent instrumentation, lyrics, and occasional far-out psychedelic effects (primarily on the famous, "My White Bicycle"). The album includes a rendition of "Strawberry Fields Forever," which comes close to eclipsing the original Beatles' version. Just for the fun of it, I've posted the original version of "My White Bicycle" and a cover by Nazareth, of "Love Hurts" and "Hair of the Dog" fame. Now you're messin' with a son of a bitch.

Tomorrow - My White Bicycle

Nazareth - My White Bicycle

Download Tomorrow

Friday, December 28, 2007

Old Favorites with New Albums

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks and the Breeders will both be releasing new records soon. Neither of these bands are very psychedelic related (Malkmus has his moments), but they're two of my old favorite bands so I decided to give them a plug. Both Malkmus and Kim Deal of the Breeders were recently interviewed by Pitchfork and they're both quality reads.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks' Real Emotional Trash will be released on March 4th. The Breeders' Mountain Battles will be released on April 7th in the US and April 8th in the UK. Mark your calendars. Now.

Pitchfork interview with Stephen Malkmus
Pitchfork interview with Kim Deal

Dungen Music Videos

"Stadsvandringar" from Stadsvandringar
This one's pretty silly.

"Solen Stiger Upp" from Stadsvandringar
This one's digital design as hell, which isn't really my taste, but it has its moments.

"Panda" from Ta Det Lugnt
This one's extra hard.

"Festival" from Ta Det Lugnt
This one's extra hard, too.

"Familj" from Tio Bitar
This one's extra hard, three.

I think that's all of their videos. If anyone knows of any I'm missing, let me know.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Always Blue Society Compilation Vol. 3

Here's my third compilation. I think it's my sickest yet as far as sequencing goes.

1. Things'll Never Be The Same - Spacemen 3
2. On A Side Street - Bardo Pond
3. The Helicopter Spies - Swell Maps
4. The Man On The Dune - The Outsiders
5. Define A Transparent Dream - The Olivia Tremor Control
6. Citadel - The Rolling Stones
7. Sukoon [Reflection] - Saddar Bazaar
8. Being Is More Than Life - Baby Grandmothers
9. Follow Me - Czar
10. Red The Sign Post - Fifty Foot Hose
11. Radio Gnome Invisible - Gong
12. Program Ten- Part Six - Bill Holt

Download The Always Blue Society Compilation Vol. 3

Monday, December 24, 2007

Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible 1 - Flying Teapot (1973)

This is the first installment of Gong's three-part Radio Gnome Invisible series. Gong was formed in the late 60s by Australian guitarist Daevid Allen (ex-Softmachine) and his wife Gilli Smith.
The group released three records prior to this series. According to, the Radio Gnome Invisible series is about Zero the Hero, who "is a space traveler from Earth who gets lost and finds the Planet Gong, is taught the ways of that world by the gnomes, (pothead) pixies, and Octave Doctors and is sent back to Earth to spread the word about this mystical planet." I really haven't taken the time to venture into this lyrical realm and probably never will. The music is good though, so who cares about that weird shit. Flying Teapot is considered prog-rock but I'm sure most people will find it far more idiosyncratic and goofy than the majority of prog-rock
(I think the cover makes this pretty clear). It has a rich sound through the use of a variety of instrumentation, including saxophone, piano, synth, and space guitar courtesy of Steve Hillage. Hillage's guitar playing is often reminiscent of Hawkwind and I suspect that he influenced the likes of Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mothers Temple. The vocals are one of the biggest highlights. Allen and Smith deliver their mythic space tales through whispers, howls, cackles, sexually explicit ramblings, and yeah, singing too. Flying Teapot is an interesting album to say the least.

Download Radio Gnome Invisible 1 - Flying Teapot

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Dead Meadow song "What Needs Must Be"

Matador Records recently posted "What Needs Must Be" from Dead Meadow's forthcoming album Old Growth which will be released on February 5. It's an extremely good tune. Also, you can purchase Old Growth early if you go see Dead Meadow live at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on January 16. The cost for a ticket and CD is just $25 from the Matador website. Hmmm... I just might head to NYC for that. Man, that album cover is pretty fucking boss.

Dead Meadow - What Needs Must Be

Visit Dead Meadow's page on the Matador website for more

Bill Holt - Dreamies (1974)

This is a truly unique album that is widely considered to be one of the earliest examples of sampling. Recorded in a suburb of Philadelphia called Delaware, Bill Holt's Dreamies consists of acoustic songs that weave in and out of musique concrète inspired found sound and samples from television broadcasts and Beatles songs. There is also a heavy use of the Moog Sonic 6 synthesizer. The album is broken up into two parts, entitled Program 10 and Program 11 (originally intended for each to be a side of the record), which is a clear reference to the Beatles "Revolution #9" from the White Album. At certain moments, Dreamies reminds me of a number of different artists. Holt's voice has a somberness at times similar to Elliot Smith and the songwriting seems to be a precursor to neo-psych-pop like the Olivia Tremor Control. The use of found sound and samples is strikingly similar to what the Tape-beatles would be doing over a decade later. Due to it's mixture of songs and sampling, Dreamies is an album that has proved to be ahead of it's time.

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