Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Eldritch Abominations from Beyond the Stars!: Interplanetary Halloween Special #4


1. The Fall of the House of Usher: Prelude [edit]- The Alan Parsons Project feat. Orson Welles
2. Night of the Vampire- The Fuzztones
3. Dracula's Daughter- Screaming Lord Sutch
4. Pajama Party in a Haunted Hive- Beat Happening
5. Down in the Lab- Deadbolt
6. Rosemary's Baby- Half Japanese
7. Casper the Friendly Ghost- Daniel Johnston
8. Have You Seen the Ghost of John- The Undermasks
9. Creep in the Cellar- The Butthole Surfers
10. Creeping- Alien Pornography
11. Dark Hallway- Lee Rosevere
12. Equus Haar- Spires that in the Sunset Rise
13. Music for an Underground Circus- Ergo Phizmiz
14. Croker Courtbullion- Dr. John [edit]
15. Hallowe'en- Charles Ives
16. Halloween- Sonic Youth [edit]
17. I'm a Jazz Vampire- Marion Harris
18. Skaggaunak Abyss- Psi Corps
19. Dance of the Morlocks- DJ Spooky
20. Blossoming in Cemetery- Meczup
21. The Three Witches- Tara Vanflower
22. tfe.(oddi.version)- 8m2stereo
23. I Have a Special Plan for This World- Current 93

Download Eldritch Abominations from Beyond the Stars!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Interplanetary Interlude #19: The Last Roach of Summer


1. Bros- Panda Bear
2. Horse Steppin'- Sun Araw
3. Shout (Hello Kitty)- Devo
4. Goodbye Honolulu- Dirty Beaches
5. Something Deep- Apache Tomcat
6. The Lonely Smurfer- Johnny Hawaii
7. The Beach! The Beach!- Holy Coast
8. A3- Chuck Person
9. Hawaii- Bobby Brown
10. The Island [edit]- The Millennium

Download The Last Roach of Summer!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Interplanetary Interlude #18: Farewell to Utah, Farewell to You


1. Gold- Michael Biggs
2. Crystal Dust Dream- Stag Hare
3. Und Wir Stoppen- Koala Temple
4. Dandelion- Seven Feathers Rainwater
5. I. Black Ruby Spoon- Seven Feathers Rainwater
6. #3- deerlord.rar
7. Ceaseless Questions Were Asked to the Murderer- Hoops
8. We Only Have a Dim Idea of it Now- Hoops
9. Ceremony- Silver Antlers

Download Interlude #18!

Rays of base lines running through
South Temple and Main embrace
The cosmos in a grid beginning at a new
Meridian of Time and Space.
-Edward L. Hart, "To Utah"

Salt Lake City has been my planetary dwelling for 10 years now, and I've been in Utah for most of my life. Less than two weeks now I will be leaving it with nothing more than I can carry in a backpack for Olympia, Washington. This occasional blog and podcast, for which I still have so many plans, is going on indefinite hiatus. I'm leaving off with something special, a collection culled from homegrown artists, with the help of Skyler from Silver Antlers.

Michael Biggs' Gold, is probably the most idiosyncratic album I found for this episode (tagged "Wizard House" on bandcamp). Most of the tracks feature (ironically?) autotuned sung/spoken vocals, but not the title track, which is a recitation from the Book of Kings describing Solomon's Temple. Perfect for the city oriented (literally) around a temple, said to be an imitation of same.

Stag Hare is a Salt Lake City Psychedelician with several albums well worth exploring. I could've included a number of tracks, but "Crystal Dust Dream" has been my jam most recently.

Koala Temple are psych/rock upandcomers. Last year's Blue Milk is way more radio-friendly than its "experimental" tag (to say nothing of "bantha" and  "gloom-fi") would lead you to believe, and to be honest there's a lot of rock bands like this around these days, but, that all being said, it is an enjoyable album and "Und Wir Stoppen," is a strong enough dose to satisfy a steady tripper like me.

Seven Feathers Rainwater has that freak-folk + electronics thing that Animal Collective did (does?) so well. You like that, you like this. Not that SFR is a copy, but that's just kinda how taste works.

deerlord.rar is a dubious entry into that most dubious of genres, vaporwave. I know nothing about deerlord.rar, and I'm pretty sure deerlord.rar wants it that way.

Hoops specializes in a doggedly lo-fi form musique concrete and a contemplative, zen-like version of noise. So, you know, "experimental." The description of the 26 tapes comprising the "Knowledge Mastery Series" is worth quoting:

The ambition of the "Knowledge Mastery Series" is to enrich lives and increase knowledge. Each tape has been carefully researched, composed and performed in a way that ensures not only your listening pleasure but your knowledge and understanding of music. After listening to each tape, one should acquire and retain information and insight that would normally require a lifetime of musical study. 

Ditto for Interplanetary Music!

And then we end it nice and gentle with Silver Antlers' floaty cover of Joy Division's "Ceremony."

Friday, May 29, 2015

Interplanetary Interlude #17: Shine in Shadow Rest in Flame


1. Khan el Khalili- Agitation Free
2. Drowning in Light- Abunai!
3. They Dated Steadily- Mink Mussel Creek
4. Sleepy Silver Door- Dead Meadow
5. Burning Off Impurities- Grails
6. April Fool$- Guardian Alien
7. Amboss- Ash Ra Tempel

Download Interlude #17!

There will be heavy guitars. There will be 13 minute songs. There will be no lyrics. Have a nice trip.

Agitation Free's 1972 debut album Malesch drew upon the band's travels in Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus, and you can hear one of their field recordings breaking into the end of "Khan el Khalili." Tapping into non-western modes and melodies is hardly a new idea for psychedelic rock, but on Malesch these aspects are neatly integrated into the band's kraut/prog sound, and not just used an exotic spice like the cornball orientalizing of a lot of 60's pop psychedelia.

Abunai! was directly inspired by Can's approach (jam for breakfast lunch and dinner, record it all, then cut and splice the best bits into a seamless whole (itself inspired by Miles Davis' recording technique to his post-Bitches Brew albums)) to recording Tago Mago, one of my top 5 albums for sure. The result, Round-Wound, is available for name-your-own-price. How nice.

Mink Mussel Creek is not a band I know much about. They are dudes. Australian dudes, I think. They play rock music. Good rock music. The album is Mink Mussel Manticore.

Y'all know Dead Meadow right? Stoner rock? David Simon's nephew? Ok, well listen to "Sleepy Silver Door." Track one from the self-titled debut, back in '00. Good place to start.

Grails hails from Oregon. Experimental, instrumental, heavy metal.

Guardian Alien were nursed by New York City, but have since been given to a one love entity.

Ash Ra Temple brings it all back home, to Germany. Never again would they return to this kind of frenetic freakout. It was pretty much synths and space from there. It took all those other albums to come down from this high.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Experiment #6: Anima Mundi: World Psychedelic Remixes

Download Anima Mundi!


Sensacional Soul Vol. 1:

1. Melenas Club- Frank Miller & Hispania Soul
2. Vagando en las Tinieblas- El Fin
3. It's My Thing- The Presidents

Sensacional Soul Vol. 2:

1. Sintonia en Soul- Jae's Soul
2. Perdoname- Las 4 Monedas
3. El Saltamontes- Los Roberts
4. Las Bellas Illusiones- Conjunto Brillant's
5. La Maquina Infernal- Lone Star

Pop Yeh Yeh: Psychedelic Rock from Singapore & Malaysia, 1964-1970:

1. Budi Bahasa- Adnan Othman & the Rhythm Boys
2. Bertemasha- Zaleha Hamid & Orkes Zindegi
3. Bersiar Siar- Fabians Boys ft. Halipar
4. Bintang Pujaan- Hasnah Haron & The Spiritual 70s

African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds

1. It's a Vanity- Gabo Brown & Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo
2. Ye Nan Lon An- Orchestre Super Jheevs des Paillotes
3. Djanfa Magni- Tidiani Kone & Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo
4. Mi Kple Dogbekpo- Les Volcans De la Capital

Psych Funk Sa-Re-Ga! Seminar: Aesthetic Expressions of Psychedelic Funk Music in India, 1970-1983:

1. Freak Out Music- R.D. Burman
2. Dance Music from Hare Rama Hare Krishna- R.D. Burman
3. Lekar Ham Diwana Dil- R.D. Burman ft. Asha Bosle & Kishore Kumar
4. Dum Mario Dum Live- Asha Bosle w. R.D. Burman
5. Bairaag Dance Music- Kalyanji Anandji
6. Tera Jasia Pyara Koi Nahun- Usha Khanna
7. Hum Tumhe Chate Hain- Kalyanji Anandji
8. Hotel Incident Music- Usha Khanna
9. Dharmatma Theme Music- Kalyanji Anandji
10. Everybody Dance with Me- Bappi Lahari
11. Sitar Beat- Klaus Doldinger
12. Somebody to Love- Kalyanji Anandji
13. Aaj Mera Dil- R.D. Burman ft. Asha Bosle
14. Meri Aakhon Mein Ek Sapna Hai- Sapan Jafmohan ft. Mohd. Rafi & Pankaj Mittra

Nigeria Disco Funk Special: Sounds of the Undergroung Lagos Dancefloor, 1974-1979:

1. Lagos City- Asiko

The Sound of Siam: Leftfield Luk Thug, Jazz & Molam in Thailand, 1964-1975:

1. Mae Jom Ka Lon- Dao Bandon
2. Lam Toey Chaweewan- Chaweewan Dumnern
3. Mae Kha Som Tam- Onuma Singsiri
4. Sao Ban Pok Pab- Panom Nopporn
5. Fai Yen- Ream Daranoi
6. Soul Lam Plearn- Chaweewan Dumnern
7. Nom Samai Mai- Saknatee Sirichiangmai
8. Uay Porn Tahan Chaydan- Sodsri Rungsang
9. Isan Klab Tin- Noknoi Uraiporn

Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of 1970s Funky Lagos:

1. Dancing Time- The Funkees
2. La La La- Sgun Bucknor & His Revolution
3. No Discrimination- Tony Allen & His African Messingers
4. Ifa- Tunji Oyelana & The Benders
5. Kita Kita- Gaspar Lawal

The Sound of Wonder! Rare Electronic Pop from the Lollywood Vaults, 1973-1980:

1. Karye Pyar- Tafo ft. Nahid Akhtar
2. Dilbar Dilbara- M. Ashraf ft. Nahid Akhtar
3. Mera Mehbob Hai- M. Ashraf ft. Nahid Akhtar
4. Dama Dam Mast Qalandar- M. Ashraf ft. Ahmed Rushdi

The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood:

1. Hare Rama Hare Krishna- Asha Bosle & Usha Iyler
2. Pyar Zindagi Hai- Asha Bosle, Lata Mangeshkar & Mahendra Kapoor
3. Title Music- R.D. Burman

The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Africa:

1. Kadia Blues- Orchestra de la Paillote
2. Obialu Be Onye Abiagbunia Okwukwe- Celestine Ukwu
3. Nijaay- Orchestra Baobab
4. Guitar Boy- Voctor Uwaifo
5. Fadakudu- Balla et Ses Balladinds

Love, Peace, and Poetry: Asian Psychedelic Music:

1. Gonul Sabreyle Sabreyle- 3-Hur-El

Love, Peace, and Poetry Vol. 6: Brazilian:

1. I Need You- O Terco
2. Let's Go- Sound Factory

Love, Peace, and Poetry Vol. 9: Turkish:

1. Sur Efen Atini- Turkuz Turku Cagiririz & Mazhar Ve Fuat

Forge Your Own Chains: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads & Dirges, 1968-1974:

1. Nina Nana- Ana Y Jaime

Back to Peru:

1. Tercera Piedra en el Sol- Los Juniors
2. Los Extranos- Pina Y Sus Estrellas
3. Who'll Stop the Rain- Los Datsuns
4. Ston- Texao
5. Tema De Los Golden Stars- Golden Stars
6. Pasos en la Luna- Los Mutables

World Psychedelic Classics Vol. 3: Love is a Real Thing:

1. Minsato Le, Mi Dayihome- Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo
2. Awon-Ojise-Oluwa- Gaspar Lawal


1. Spellbinder- Gabo Szabor (Spellbinder)
2. Gimmie Some- Freddie McCoy (Gimmie Some)
3. Homin Si Tche- Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo (Vol. 4)
4. Aiha Ni Kpe We- Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo (Vol. 4)

Interplanetary Interlude #16: Disco Sux


1. Disco Sux- Chuck Wagon & the Wheels
2. Brothers Gonna Work it Out- Willie Hutch
3. Slick- Willie Hutch
4. Say Leroy (The Creature from the Black Lagoon is Your Father)- Jimmy Castor Bunch
5. Love Affair- SJOB Movement
6. If You Don't Give a Doggone About It- James Brown
7. Rock Your Baby- George McRae
8. You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine- Lou Rawls
9. Aint Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)- Joe Tex
10. Don't Leave Me This Way- Thelma Houston
11. Boogie Magic- Dennis Coffey
12. Live It Up- The Isley Brothers
13. I Feel Love- Donna Summer
14. Chase- Giorgio Moroder
15. I Want More- Can
16. Big Business/I Zimbra (live)- Talking Heads
17. Chain Reaction- Can
18. Rubbermiro- Liquid Liquid
19. Faith- Manicured Noise

Download Interlude #16!

Friday, January 30, 2015

An Alternate Soundtrack for Inherent Vice

Going in to the theater to watch Paul Thomas Anderson's new film, Inherent Vice, I knew nothing about the soundtrack. So when the first song queued up was Can's "Vitamin C," I, as a fanatical Krautrock devotee (& especially a Can man) thrilled with anticipation of what more vintage tunes the film might have in store. But in the end I was left somewhat underwhelmed. Johnny Greenwood's original score is perfectly fine, but it is subtle and subdued: it dissappears into the film's mystery rather than setting the tone in the way his music did for There Will Be Blood (much of which was composed before the film). This is the way to go for most instances of film scoring. But this is Pynchon, and he has a special kind of highbrow hi-jinx. Layered complexity, lyricism, yes. Subtlety, no. Pynchon draws from pulp and pop as much as from quantuum physics and multivalent modernism. He can  be zany, to a fault even, but this is the quality I found charming about the novel version of Inherent Vice, what saved it from being a mere exercise in nostaliga, and what I found ultimately lacking in Greenwood's score.

As for the rest of it, while I certainly love classics like Kyu Sakamoto's "Sukuyaki," The Marketts' "Here Comes the Hodads," (the goofiness of that title is perfectly Pynchonian) and Les Baxter's "Simba," they belong to another era than that of the hippie-hangover in which Inherent Vice is set ("Sukiyaki" was used in a season two episode of Mad Men, for instance, and although it hadn't been released yet when Don Draper is supposedly listening to it, it feels less anachronistic there). The real gem of the soundtrack is Minnie Ripperton's "Les Fleurs." (Riperton was famous for dog whistle-register hit "Lovin' You" from 1975, and is the mother of Maya Rudolph, Paul Thomas Anderson's wife.)   It was actually released in 1970!

Finally, the film includes not one but two Neil Young songs, and not the guitar-freakouts but the faux-rustic ballads. I'm not a fan. So, at the hazard of monday-morning quarterbacking, I submit to you some suggestions for a soundtrack that works better in terms of tone, period (which I consider in a rough way, since the music in this film is non-diagetic), and theme.

I should mention that, as is typical of the pop-obsessed Pynchon, the novel mentions dozens of songs and artists, some mainstream and some obscure, and you can find a list of them here. PTA only uses one (but it's a goodie), the aforementioned Marketts' tune. But I'm not interested in that kind of fidelity, and I also only use one. My soundtrack is more a tribute to the genre, the era, and Pynchon's style and themes.

1. Alcatraz- Simple Headphone Mind (Vampire State Building, 1972)

This has "cruising around L.A. with hippies in a VW and trying to get to the bottom of a vast conspiracy while avoiding the cops" written all over it. And while the bulk of the music should be California-centric, a little Krautrock never hurt anyone.

2. Jack Nitzsche- The Lonely Surfer (The Lonely Surfer, 1963)

This one instead of Neil Young (Nitzsche produced Young's Harvest). There's a serious lack of surf music in Inherent Vice, which is odd because a major subplot involves a heroin-addicted surf saxaphone player. But how to do that without sounding like a Tarantino movie (hey, he used The Marketts too!)? Well, here ya go.

3. The Music Machine- Point of No Return (1966)

The Music Machine was an L.A. garage band, and one of the most innovative and idiosyncratic of that genre, often verging into psychedelic territory but with a dark undercurrent missing from bands in the bay area scene, but fairly common to L.A. (The Doors, Love) bands. Appropriate for the home of noir, no? And if a rock band running around in Beatle-cuts and matching black suits and one black glove isn't something that belongs in a Pynchon novel, I don't know what is. I believe this song remained unreleased until well after the band broke up.

4. Fapardokly- Supermarket (Fapardokly, 1966)

Ah, what could be better for this soundtrack than a band that "never existed?" Or rather, an invented band that was a cover for another band, in this case Merrell Fankhauser & The Exiles. Fankhauser apprenticed in surf and graduated to psych-folk. This song has the virtue of actually being mentioned in Pynchon's novel.

5. Shuggie Otis- Ice Cold Daydream (Freedom Flight, 1971)

When Doc Sportello is said to be sticking his nose into every creepy den of iniquity L.A. has to offer, LA. born-and-bred wunderkind Shuggie Otis (son of R&B bandleader Johnny) was cooking up some of the most original psychedelic soul around.

6. David Axelrod- A Divine Image (Songs of Experience, 1969)

A tense, ominous piece from David Axelrod (another L.A. native, who came out of the jazz scene and developed a distinctive brand of moody psychedelic/symphonic third-stream which has been a perennial favorite of crate-digging DJs) that succinctly sums up a good detective-movie score. It also helps that this is from the experience side of the Blakean dialectic that Axelrod was paying tribute to with his Blake-inspired albums. Inherent Vice is in part about the change from innocence to experience that happened in the late 60's and early 70's, as progressive and utopian hopes exploded in apocalyptic praxis.

7. Charles Manson- Eyes of a Dreamer (LIE: The Love and Terror Cult, 1970)

Do I really have to explain this one? Inherent Vice is replete with Manson references, including a very funny scene in which a cop pulls over Doc and the gang and explains to them that any large gathering of youngsters considered a cult in the eyes if the LAPD. The eyes of the Man, if you will.

8. Linda Perhacs- Parallelograms  (Parallelograms, 1970)

Linda Perhacs was a Beverly Hills dental hygenist when she cut this great record in 1970. The album went nowhere fast and she never quit her dayjob. But she became a cause celebre among cult fans, and she eventually returned to music and made a second album in 2014, 44 years after her first! The album, and the title track in particular, is just brimming with trippy mysteries (the lyrics seem to have to do with sacred geometry, beloved by gnostic occultists). I find myself with no surprise at reading this account of her synesthesia (and perhaps otherworldly influence) in an interview she gave to NPR:

And you were sort of becoming part of that hippie culture, it sounds like.

Well, I loved them instantly because they understood energies. I ave a synesthesia-type capacity, since childhood, and I can see and feel and hear things that would not be the average. I have sensitivities that are more acute than the normal. 

It has something to do with colors, too, right? You hear sounds and see certain colors?

Yes, yes. I finally figured out how to explain it to myself, as well as to others: if you have a normal radio and you're turning from one part of the radio all the way up to the other end, you're changing frequencies. When people have that sensitivity, they are able naturally to go to a higher frequency. So that was a natural realm for me, to find friends who understood these things. It was a natural friendship without effort.

. . .

I'm driving home on the freeway that connects you from Brentwood to Topanga Canyon, which is called the Ventura Freeway, and all of a sudden I got some synesthesia. It was about 11:30 at night, and in the sky I saw beautiful lights, hard to describe, but they were so magnificent. And I said, "Linda, you're seeing music, you're not just hearing it. Stop and draw what you're seeing before you forget." So I did. I drew these pictures on little pieces of paper in a dark, deserted gas station off the freeway and tried not to forget what I'd seen. I went home, took a melody that I'd been creating, put it on the front end of that idea I was getting, to create a three-dimensional sound sculpture from the beauty I had just seen in the sky.

And this would become the song "Parallelograms," right?

9. Love- Live and Let Live (Forever Changes, 1967)

Oh the snot has caked against my pants
It has turned into crystal
There's a bluebird sitting on a branch
I guess I'll take my pistol
I've got it in my hand
Because he's on my land

Already in the hippie annus mirabilis of 1967, the L.A. band Love, led by an increasingly eccentric and reclusive Arthur Lee, was registering the bad vibes that would wreck the whole trip. Forever Changes has all the elements of flower-power folk rock: lush arrangements, intricately picked acoustic guitar, strings and melodies galore. But the lyrics and mood deliver up dread, paranoia, hatred, insanity, apocalypse. It's about the "end end end end end end end."

10. The United States of America- Garden of Earthly Delights (The United States of America, 1967)

11. The United States of America- Cloud Song (The United States of America, 1967)

The U.S.A. is still one of the best-kept secrets of the High Psychedelic period (1967-68). They were much more experimental and technically-accomplished than any other rock band at the time, except probably Zappa & The Mothers. But where Zappa went for satirical humor that ultimately tended toward cynicism, The U.S.A. (though not without a sense of humor themselves) were visionaries with the controls firmly set for the heart of the sun.

12. Brainticket- Black Sand (Cottonwoodhill, 1971)

This song is just really fuckin groovy and way far out.

The Millennium- Nothing More to Say (Begin, 1968)

This album is a stone cold psych-pop classic, and it fairly screams "utopian hippie cult." The lyrics of this song even ominously suggest some kind of Manchurian Candidate-style brainwashing or secret commune-ication to hippie sleeper-cells:

There is something that you hear in so many of our songs
But it's something that we want you to know
Oh the time is going to come
When we're going to lead the way
You'll be shown the way
And s

I can't think of a better way or a better song to end my imagined version of this movie.