Monday, July 06, 2009

Happy Summer-time, folkies. Kindly cast your eyes over here if you have not done so as of yet. I have been strangely obsessed with this video ever since first catching a random glimpse a few days back. It manages to invoke images of Summer complete with splotches of bright lights reflecting off the inner lids. So much glorious cymbal crash! Not sure Madonna ever sounded better, though the selection of this particular song for paying tribute almost seems cosmically fated to yours truly. Set that baby to full-screen, volume to max and blast off. MTV used to be really cool. Now I don't know what it is. No fuckin' idea.

4 Psimple Psaucers
for Psummer

Cave Psychic Psummer (Important) - Besides inspiring the title of this here little piece, Chicago's Cave delivers propulsive post Kraut head boogie for those of us who like our disco jams a little less synthetic. Psychic Psummer is a rambunctious blast of galloping beats, pulsing synth, vocal howls and good old fashioned fist-pumping rock 'n' roll that should appeal to fans of Oneida, the Moog, LSD (figuratively speaking, of course!) and blazing hot sun.

White Hills Heads on Fire (Thrill Jockey) - New York's White Hills has been kicking up a dusty racket in the psych underground for a few years now, and I've never been disappointed by any of the uber-limited CD-Rs or tapes I've been lucky enough to hear. In fact I been downright head-smashed and blown away. Then came Thrill Jockey's beautiful reissue of this '07 masterwork, and my skull separated from the rest of my body and went into permanent orbit. You'd be hard pressed to find a more masterful blast of guitar saturated space punk than what's displayed across Heads on Fire from start to finish. Sun kissed head brilliance that lands somewhere between classic Hawkwind and Sabbath but sounds totally in the now and benefits greatly from a rhythm section that kicks mucho ass whether cracking through the earth's crust or gently levitating over its magma sea.

The Sand Pebbles A Thousand Wild Flowers (Double Feature) - Holy shit! I thought these guys were long gone. They released a humdinger of a debut for the esteemed Camera Obscura label some years back and then the followup never came. Never till now, and My Gods, it has been worth the wait! A Thousand Wild Flowers is THE QUINTESSENTIAL SUMMER JAM! You will be hard-pressed to find a more rollicking, vivid, alive, hummable rock tour-de-force in this or any other Summer. Don't know what it is really, but where that first album was the work of young upstarts with a knowing pedigree and capable chops, Wild Flowers is the work of psych punk overlords operating at full capacity. Many a fave are evoked across the span of its 60 plus min expanse: Velvet Underground (always), Television, XTC, Spacemen 3, hell, even The Clean, yet throughout The Sand Pebbles maintain a ridiculously infectious sound that's entirely their own. Features a searing twin guitar front and lyrical content that strikes just the right balance between mind-swept psychedelic oblivian and orgasmic sexual revelry. It's a psych punk bliss out!

Black Sun Ensemble Across The Sea Of Id: The Way To Eden (Camera Obscura) - Funny thing - there's a song on the above Sand Pebbles album that's actually entitled "Black Sun Ensemble." I can only take this as homage, and it's fitting. If ever there was a band devoted to getting cooked in the desert it's Tucson's Black Sun Ensemble. This most recent CD from the long-running psych ensemble finds them returinng all the way back to 1985 and their self released/titled debut in style and tone with lead guitarist Jesus Aceda smearing his acid fried electric leads over a languid folk rock backdrop to brilliant effect. This is BSE in mellow/subdued mood with slight effects hovering over wind-swept dunes of the southwest in the lotus position. A fine soundtrack for watching the sun go down (or disappear entirely).

I'd also like to acknowledge the passing of two icons of my youth. You know which ones, Farrah and Michael. Sky Saxon too, though I wasn't really aware of him when I was a little squirt. I'm not the biggest Kevin Smith fan, but this is kinda sweet. pix of fireworks!


Drew said...

^Sweet video. The Lips cover album 'Late Night Tales' is a dandy but the Borderline cover is new to me. I noticed the Black Keys in there. I'm one of the elite group of Lips fans that would like to see them rock a bit more. I'd like to see them pull some gems out of their older catalog for their live shows. Let's say, Five Stop Mother Superior Rain. Ah...I'll always have to thank you for showing me the way with them. 'In A Priest Driven Ambulance' is one of the best record suggestions I've ever received...from anyone. Having said my bit about The Lips, I think they are winding down and I'm pretty excited for them to break up. Mainly because Steven Drozd is one of the best American songwriters alive today. His first solo recording should be a treat to all contemporary/creative music enthusiasts.

Kevin Smith kinda sucks. I hate to be a little shit on the summer blog but I think his movies are really lame. "You're girlfriend sucked how many dicks??" C'mon. Am I really supposed to find that funny?

I'll also stay sour and say, I'm not really a big fan of the pop culture in making a big deal about a celebrity death. That said, you're a little older than me so maybe you have more of a personal connection with it. Sadly, though, each death has overshadowed another. No one is talking about Ed McMahon anymore...and certainly not David Carradine. I guess people felt really awkward at the funeral but I would imagine that most autoerotic asphyxiation funerals are awkward. Just imagine what was said in his eulogy! Yeah, I'm a sick bastard.

Great pics. They look like you took them on your phone and, if so, I'm surprised they turned out so well.

Drew said...

"That said, you're a little older than me so maybe you have more of a personal connection with it."

^That's not me saying that you have more of a personal connection with DEATH. I was suggesting that because of your age, maybe you have more memories attached to Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson than I do.

I grew up on the 'King of Pop(ped)" but he'd been dead to me for years. I do, however, think it's sad for the families of all these celebrities who have recently died.

poppyallgood said...

I tell ya, I have a rekindled appreciation for Madonna and gongs, as well as the colors turquoise and orange. Keep pushin'.

Love that White Hills record. "Don't Be Afraid" is the aptly-named, heavy headswirlin' jam my summer needed for sure.

Also, I was fortunate enough to catch Cave going crazy in a local pizza pub at summer's beginning. Monster krauted up hyper-frenzy. Full throttle.

Love the pics, keep 'em coming.

Lee said...

drew, you may or may not be shocked to know that I completely garee with everything you say about The Lips, Kevin Smith and MJ. I hear Enbryonic, the new Lips, will in fact be rawer/more hardrocking, and I saw them live in 96 when they played over 2 hours, including key songs from Priest Driven ambulance. So believe me, I sympathize with your gripe!

I also started the "kevin smith is a lame hack with pretentious overly talky scripts" dismissal routine like 8 yrs ago. You're right about him. I imagine he'd be the first to agree. I'm not really a fan, but I thought that scene was sweet, and clerks 2 was a slight return to the modest vibe of the first clerks. So it was worthy of mention in these hallowed pages.

as for mj and farrah, sympathize with them too. MJ died in 84, sure I can agree with that, but he didn't actually check out till this year. Off the Wall and Thriller age well. Definitely a generational thing -- and nothing I'm embarrassed or ashamed of. That's all, big daddy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

also, don't really think the brief mention qualifies as "pop culture fixation," though I do tend to pop culture fixate! David Carradine, man. What a way to go....

Lee said...

yep, phone pix from right beneath the explosions.

Drew said...

I have heard the same about The Lips. I also heard it's a double LP. I'm typically not a fan of double albums...ala The White Album, The Wall, etc. We'll see.

Since MJ and Farrah died, we've lost Oscar Mayer and Walter Cronkite. I was 'fixated' on both deaths. I'm a hypocrite 90% of the time. I think most people are.

Keep writing!

Lee said...

Droppin' like flies all the time. So many pivotal figures lately too, like George Russell, whose work was a strong influence on the more modal playing of classic Coltrane and Miles Davis among many.