Friday, June 27, 2008

I've been tagged! Apparently Ned Raggett (the nicest, most musically informed person on Myspace or at any Terrastock) tagged my friend Nari, and she tagged me, and I guess I'm gonna tag some other folks too!

So the basic idear here is 7 Songs, 7 Blogs. I dig cuz it offers me a chance to get wordy on some tunesmithery and other strange numbers while revisiting a few things of old that have somehow slipped through the cracks till now, and I can comment on my Terrastock voyage with a few tracks by T-stock performers thrown in for good measure. Cool? Cool:

1. Flying Saucer Attack and Roy Montgomery "The Whole Day" from a split 12" on VHF Records - I recently got to rediscover this throbbing psychedelic morsel and since then it's found its way onto the player a few times, and just now too! I'm not sure if Roy Montgomery actually plays on this, though it's certainly possible. "The Whole Day" opens with some fairly indistinguisable feedback drones, the sonic answer to just-waking disorientation, before it transitions into a massive tower of pulsing feedback throb that lands squarely in Popol Vuh's holy-enlightened sonic territory. It's a huge number that can make you feel small; more importantly it offers a fine way to wipe the mind clean for 6 or 7 minutes and leaves the listener a kind excuse for simply being for a little while.

2. Gowns "Cherylee" from Red State CD (Cardboard Records) - A friend and I were recently discussing the concept of God in the modern world, and the underlying beliefe that something is definitely out of wack, with large sections of the Earth's religious population today seemingly set for self-destruct. This human race is in need of a new Enlightenment maybe, some kind of evolution on a spiritual plane. I'm sure 2012 will tie into it all somehow. The weird thing is soon after this discussion I found myself outside in the sweltering heat doing a little gardening, Ipod Nano set to shuffle--my random aural fate in the hands of Steve Jobs and all who follow--"Cherylee" miraculously sprung into my mind with a voice passionately pleeding what could be an intervention for a drug addict (0r any kind of broken organism desperately in need of some repair) over a plaintive backdrop of weepy piano and squelching feedback in near biblical images of cleansing and final judgement, followed by a simple refrain that burns into the gray matter while offering no real answers: "You've got to look it in the eyes and say that I don't believe." She's right. We all have to doubt sometimes, even if only for a few seconds. Beyond that, the fact that the title of this song combines my bro's wife's name with my own and brings me almost to tears if I've had enough beers before hearing it seems to suggest some sort of cosmic communication, but then i'm a goofball.

3. Hush Arbors "The Same Tree Forever" from Hush Arbors CD (Digitalis) - And just then Nano-shuffle deposited this song onto my lap--one of the finest deep drone earth trips I've heard. Keith Wood uses guitars and bows to stretch things out far and wide, invoke's the faces of God and Gaia wrapt in an endlessly growing, distorted embrace. It makes for some kind of respite for my troubled/confused mind in the process. Apparently Wood doesn't really play stuff like this any more. Pity.

4. Sharron Kraus "Brigid" from The Fox's Wedding CD (Jnana) - Yeah, I guess you could say the Womb's gettin' all Lilith Fair on your ass right about now, but then its no real revelation that we love English folk chanteuses, and Kraus has hit her stride with her Jnana debut. I'd think NPR could easily do one of their little spotlights on "the English folk revival" and not a find a finer practitioner of particularly dark and tender acoustic song poems. This bittersweet ditty (the album opener) starts on some splendid minor key acoustic guitar before Kraus sings in a croon worthy of comparisons to Sandy Denny and Maddy Prior of the ill-fate of the title character, along with flutes and strings in a truly classy chamber folk backing that eventually erupts into a kind of pagan celebration with Kraus throat-singing to the gods over soaring strings in her sensual worble. Hot.

5. Grails "Silk Road" from Burning Off Impurities CD (Temporary Residence) - I've managed to build quite an affection for this Po(r)tland crew, and this track as much as any other covers all bases when it comes to a mastery of trippy epics that combine Western aggression with Eastern mysticism. Some fine tambura drones give way to Arabic guitar lines, thunderous prog percussion and levitated bass grooves all eventually melding into a dense drone stew before bubbling up to a fierce climax that you can almost headbang to. Godspeed You Black Empoeror on an Agitation Free kick. Not bad at all.

6. David Peel and the Lower East Side "Hemp Hop Smoker" from the Comin' Down Fast 10" compilation of songs inspired by the Manson Family (Helter Skelter) - This absolute behemeth of hilarity finds the legendary Peel remolding Helter Skelter as the ultimate ode to smoking pot, concluding with the immortal closing words, "I've got joints in my fingers!"

7. Religious Knives "In the Back" off the Resin CD (No Fun Productions) - A compilation of recent singles and rare tracks - Religious Knives (ex Double Lepards, current Mouthus) is emerging as one of the coolest of the new breed of Brooklyn groan rockers, and, as evinced by this tasty freight train of dense organ buzz and garage bludgeon, they have truly arrived amid piercing vocal howls and tribal percussive sprawl thudding/crashing beneath a dense fog of distortion in a way thats both completely harrowing and undeniably alive. Shit is fucking for real, ya'll.

7 Songs Playlist

And now for further taggings - 7 more blogs, 7 more songs:

-- The Broken Face
-- SUBkommander
-- Travis
-- Zoedune
-- Blastitude
-- Siltblog

Instructions: “List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.”

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