Thursday, January 31, 2008


1. NEIL YOUNG LIVE AT THE FILLMORE EAST (REPRISE) - I'm a sucker for the jams. Massey Hall kicks ass too.

2. PANTALEIMON MERCY OCEANS (DURTRO/JNANA) - Ghost spirit of love enraptured by the sweetest folk songs of hope and faith.

3. ANGELS OF LIGHT WE ARE HIM (YOUNG GOD) - Post-punk barnyard stomp for the heavey-hearted and open-minded.

4. BORIS WITH MICHIO KURIHARA RAINBOW (DRAG CITY) - Cosmic distortion rebirth as exploding comets and cascading snowflakes. Acid rock for the tender hearts.

5. THE ONE ENSEMBLE WAYWARD THE FOURTH (SECRET EYE) - Chamber prog from valued contributers to the English psych underground, sounds like Robert Wyatt gone Klezmer on Saturn.

6. HALA STRANA HEAVE THE GAMBREL ROOF (MUSIC FELLOWSHIP) - A fog of stringed ethnic drones conjuring old world spirit music for children of a new country with no borders.

7. THEO ANGELL AND THE HILLSIDE TABERNACLE SINGERS AUROPLINTH (DIGITALIS) - Mind-blowing cracked acid folk from Theo of Hall of Fame; debut of the year.

8. SIR RICHARD BISHOP POLYTHEISTIC FRAGMENTS (DRAG CITY) - Many gods, many frets, many notes, many paths to enlightenment -- one guitar.

9. DIANE ROGERSON THE LIGHTS ARE ON BUT NO-ONES HOME (UNITED JNANA) - Post apocalyptic industrial jazz dirge; from beyond the grave, Nico sits in for a one-off recording session with Nurse With Wound. Grim, harrowing and beautiful.

10. SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE SHELTER FROM THE ASH (DRAG CITY) - Quiet songs of loss and heartache, splattered guitar squalls and cycling noise mantras. A Collision of styles, inspirations, possibilities and sounds. High, low and in between.

11. SUISHOU NO FUNE THE SHINING STAR (IMPORTANT) - The dark PSF psych sound recast as shimmering shoegaze cosmic bliss. The Live Band To See In 2007.

12. THE TERMINALS LAST DAYS OF THE SUN (Last Visible Dog) - Crazy/freaky depressive psychgarage-artpop quagmire groans and howls, melting beneath a dying sun. That world tour better be soon!

13. SIC ALPS PLEASURES AND TREASURES (ANIMAL DISGUISE) - Stoned to the effin bone. This whiskey soaked racket makes me remember the thrills experienced the first time I mashed up The Flaming Lips Oh My Gawwwd! with the J.A.M.C.'s Psychocandy.

14. GROUP DOUEH GUITAR MUSIC FROM THE WESTERN SAHARA (SUBLIME FREQUENCIES) - Blistering afro-syke power jams from alternate continent/dimension riding the line between annoying as fuck and mindblowing as shit.

15. KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT (FONAL) - Sputtering massed acoustic/electric sound baths and actual songs that enthrall like a pinball machine played in the middle of a misty Finnish forest while blazing on DMT.

16. SAPAT MORTISE AND TENON (SILTBREEZE) - Building prog drone, art rock, slop blues played by American hillbilly potsmoking hot shots that dig Beefheart just as much as Trad Gras Och Stenar.

17. MV/EE AND THE BUMMER ROAD GREEN BLUES(ECSTATIC PEACE) The Road branches off into mountain wilderness and happens upon a campfire surrounded by Phish heads; hears the disembodied voice of Jerry Garcia intone, "where's the noise?" Here it is.

18. MARISSA NADLER SONGS III: BIRD ON THE WATER (PEACEFROG) - Our lady of the manor gets help from some Espers, signs to a bigger label, gets airplay on MTV, in the process suggests a lost dream collaboration between a young Leonard Cohen and Mazzy Starr. Plus cool acid solos.

19. MAMMATUS THE COAST EXPLODES (HOLY MOUNTAIN) - Psychedelic biker prog from Seattle rocks with epic and ferocious twin guitar precision. I'm only calling it prog because the songs are so damn long.

20. WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM TWO HUNTERS (SOUTHERN LORD) Post rocking shoegaze neo-pagans cash in on nordic black metal craze, deliver one of the most convincing usbm albums yet, probably because it's more than one or two guys and a drum machine making all that racket.

21. WOODEN SHJIPS WOODEN SHJIPS (HOLY MOUNTAIN) - Finally it's hip to be cool again. Jim Morrison lives and he's playing crazy fuzz splattered psychedelia with this fierce San Fran Kraut-boogie unit.

22. BLUES CONTROL/HEAVY WINGED BORED FORTRESS SPLIT (NOT NOT FUN) - Post-nature-reclemation-bubble-drone backed with crushing-cosmic-biker-death or vice versa.

23. MAGIC MARKERS BOSS (Ecstatic Peace) - Elisa and the boys go pop and the world is all the better for it. I guess this is the EVOL of the oughts or some shit. Pretty friggin' hot.

24. DARKTHRONE F.O.A.D. (FUCK OFF AND DIE) (Peaceville) -Best thing these idiots have released in well over a decade.

25. CLOUDLAND CANYON SILVER TONGUED SYSPHUS (KRANKY) - Cosmic splatter honed down to precise electronic space jams that draw heavily from Kraut and French prog roots.

26. GHQ CRYSTAL HEALING (THREE LOBED) - Destroyed deep space American ethnic blues drone music, primordial and ecstatic.

27. VALET BLOOD IS CLEAN (KRANKY) - I wish Honey Owens was my vibe partner. Charlambides and Grouper fans need this.

Caveat: One of the benefits of making multiple year-end best of lists is you can instantly revise from list to list. So there are things here that wont appear in the Deep Water piece and vice versa. Bring on '08 and its many splendors. OH SHIT! I really meant to include Mudboy's Holy Ghosts! (Digitalis/Not Not Fun) in this list and White Rainbow's Prism of Eternal Now (Kranky) too for that matter.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just a quick note here...and naysayers be damned. This is a bangin' lineup with more to be added soon:

The Terrastock 7 Music Festival is a 4- day event coming to Louisville (Kentucky, USA) June 19-22 2008 celebrating and sharing the experience of Psychedelic Rock, Folk, and Experimental Music.

Start planning now! Early Bird Tickets will be on sale soon.

Volunteers Needed....please contact

Who's Playing 2008 so far:

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno featuring Pikachu (Japan)

Rob Sharples (UK)

Ignatz (Belgium)



Plastic Crimewave Sound



Bevis Frond (UK)

Wooden Shjips

Insect Factory

Dead Maids (formerly Monster Bastard Project , UK)

United Bible Studies (Ireland)

Linus Pauling Quartet with special guests

Motorpsycho (Norway)

The Photographic

Marissa Nadler

Mono (Japan)

Sharron Kraus (UK)

Bardo Pond


Major Stars

Windy and Carl



Jack Rose

Tara Jane O'Neil

Damon and Naomi

Black Forest/Black Sea


Friday, January 18, 2008

Had a grand ol' time the other night at The Cavern and got to catch up with our old compadre Ben Chasny of the dependably kickass Six Organs of Admittance, plus two fine supporting performances by the slightly Neutral Milk Hotel-ish Dust Congress and the Zoviet*France-gone-wacky-on-datura Zanzibar Snails.

Dust Congress currently features the great Ryan Williams of The Baptist Generals and live Jandek fame on mariachi bass, which I must say injected some class into the proceedings. His measured notes provided a warm, steady bedrock over which Nick Foreman spun lyrically rich paintings via guitar and voice, accented brilliantly by marimbas and solemn trumpet. Altogether, the quartet opened up the sparse DC sound into a fully functional pub unit while still maintaining the scrappy appeal of Foreman's earlier solo live incarnation. Very promising stuff perhaps best suited for dark drinking spaces more so than the open air. Perfect for The Cavern.

Same goes for creeping aural lurch of The Zanzibar Snails. Dark spaces, please. Playing as a quartet along with local tone generator Mike Maxwell sitting in, The Snails delivered to a well tuned and devoted audience choice servings of their oblique guitar strums 'n' plucks, pulsating electronics, bowed cymbals, radio and tape noise. Their half hour (or so) set went from a melodic slow-burning crawl to jerking post industrial blurts and massed drones, Morse code bleeps and more densely throbbing passages. I was reminded of Nurse With Wound and even the great This Heat at their groaning ambient best. Managed to record a few minutes of video on my cheapo digicam, the best parts of which can be glimpsed here:

A few hours before the show Ben Chasny played a solo set next door at Good Records,and it was a real beauty with a super attentive (meaning quiet!) audience and great low level Xmas lighting. My first instore at the new(ish) location, but surely not the last.

Unfortunately Ben's approach for the first half of his set later that night was not really the best fit for The Cavern's low stage. Aside from the first row and because the whole place was mostly standing room only, it was impossible to see much of anything at all. He was also unplugged, so couldn't hear much at all above the constant chatter and bottle clanking background noise. But the second half of the set, with Elisa from Magik Markers (who contributes to the progedelic Shelter From the Ash and just released a kickass album with her own band called Boss on Ecstatic Piece that showcases a welcome nod to songcraft while maintaining every bit of the raw nowave grime of earlier works) on second guitar, was more like it. Together they played ragged electric duo versions of some old and newer stuff, given an extra garagy quality that worked well to counter the constant bar-noise barrage surrounding us. Had a great time catching up a bit with Ben, getting to know Elisa and their merch guy, Jesse. I think that instore made up for any misgivings I may have had about the actual gig. All in all a thoroughly memorable night complete with some fine music scores including a SMOKING new Basalt Fingers CD-R and a recent Badgerlore album. And other stuff that may/may not find its way into these pages at a later date.

You can go here to see some really badly recorded Six Organs clips by yrs truly complete with horrible sound. Or you can check out Nari's superior captures from the next night in Austin right here (the opening of that second clip sounds really Fahey!):

That's it for now my bruthas and sistas. Best of 07 list imminent.