Here’s a mix of my favorite music collected this past quarter. You’ll hear psychedelia, rock and roll, and other way out and way in styles. Enjoy!
- Haikara Hakuchi | Happy End
Kazemachi Roman | 1971
My deep dive into Horuomi Hosono’s life before Yellow Magic Orchestra has yielded many joyous finds. This one from his Happy End project showcases playful, yet precise, sonic treatments against an honest effort in post-Beatles/Kinks rock and roll.
- Wizzard King | Inside
Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles | 2014
From the never-a-letdown reissue label, Numero Group, a gift from brother Dane. I was tempted to feature the female-vocal-led cut from the band Wrath on this collection but had to opt for the freak-fuzz coolness of Inside’s “Wizzard King”. Thanks for the totally eye-opening comp, Dane!
- Black and White | Parquet Courts
Sunbathing Animal | 2014
OK, my first truly new music featured on this collection comes from Parquet Courts. Sunbathing Animal is definitely one of my standout favorites of the year. What an album. It’s as if Stephen Malkmus started a band inspired by Mission of Burma as much as the Fall.
- Bloodshot Beholder | Great Speckled Bird
Great Speckled Bird | 1970
I happened upon a copy of the Great Speckled Bird LP at the end of a long, solitary walk around San Francisco a few weeks back. My dear old friend, Johnny, originally turned me on to this group back when he featured the clear, pure folk rock beauty of “Long Long Time to Get Old” on a collaborative mix we worked on together. “Bloodshot Beholder” brings some great energy in the style of male-female country vocals and a powerful comment on clouded perception.
- Pearly Gates | The Men
Tomorrow’s Hits | 2014
My second contemporary track on this collection. This album was a no-brainer for me. Open Your Heart taught me how to really hear this sort of raucous rock, and the reviews of Tomorrow’s Hits promised an even greater immediacy and nostalgia for Big Star and the Replacements. “Pearly Gates” come off as a throwaway jam track when I first listened. But as the album really sunk in, the tingly, catharsis around 4:40, when the flywheel effect of screaming instruments and screaming men, really takes off.
- Monster | Chad VanGaalen
Shrink Dust | 2014
It’s that bayou, mouth-harpy sound that locked in this song’s spot on the collection. Another favorite release from 2014, along with the Men and Parquet Courts.
- I Walked With A Zombie | Roky Erickson
The Evil One | 1981
I slept on this reissue last year. Well, I didn’t really sleep, I just put it off. Then, after watching the “You’re Gonna Miss Me” Roky Erickson documentary per Dane’s recommendation earlier this year, I was compelled to go get The Evil One. I can’t help but hear Television in those backup vocals and shimmery electric autoharp tones. A little dialed-in, post-psychedelia for us here to compliment the more out-there sounds yet to come in this mix.
- Notice Me | Sun Tunnels
Ball of Wax Volume 34 (in 3/4 time) | 2014
Louis O’Callaghan brings back that mid-nineties indie songsmith stuff in a very earnest and enjoyable way. I know the man from having worked with him in the office world. So, maybe that colors my experience with “Notice Me” a bit. But, really, just close your eyes and picture finding this tune on a mix from a friend after having exhausting Doug Martsch’s and Elliott Smith’s back-catalogs, and try not to sing your angsty heart out.
- Wild Geese | Small Sur
Singles Club – Vol. 1 – Issue 2 | 2014
Small Sur is the featured artist in the second issue of the Singles Club 7-inch record club. I’m hearing Microphones and Damien Jurado. It’s three-quarter’s-dry cow dung on a sunset-bathed field of wheat. Whoa, let’s not turn this into fake sommelier tasting notes. Really, though, Singles Club is cool. I get a 7-inch of a tune and an artist interview, along with complementary digital downloads and reading material. I learned how “Wild Geese” is an adapted poem by Mary Oliver.
- Morning Sunshine | The Idle Race
The Birthday Party | 1968
Record Store Day! Pardon my sins, but I’m an all-out Jeff Lynne fan, and I have a major soft spot for Roy Wood (see also: “Miss Clarke And The Computer”). The Idle Race entered my sphere of interest when they were featured on my Nuggets II comp (thanks again, Dane) in my formative music listening years. “Morning Sunshine” just grabs me. Think of what Spoon would do with this ditty. Or Bad Finger?
- Miss Clarke And The Computer | Roy Wood
Boulders | 1973
And speaking of time travel, Roy, you never came back. This song single-handedly paved the way to Grandaddy. This song touches me like a Roy Ayers quiet ballad. Or a complex, personal OS love affair a la that Her movie that I still need to see.
- Hepatitis | Haruomi Hosono & Tadanori Yokoo
Cochin Moon | 1978
Boom! Hosono is back on the mix. Cochin Moon is legit. “Hepatitis” catches.
- Big Dome | Phil Manzanera
Primitive Guitars | 1982
In a small corner of a bunch of probably-okay jazz records and too-well-kept soundtracks, I thankfully thumbed across Primitive Guitars. Brian Eno is my boy, and Phil’s his guitar hero. So, well, I had to bring it home. Happily surprised by the drum machine.
- Sketch For Summer | The Durutti Column
The Return Of The Durutti Column | 1980
Okay, I maybe can claim I didn’t sleep on Roky, but, the Durutti Column? Yes, I certainly did sleep on them. I didn’t understand that I would hear such studio texture and groove in their stuff. “Sketch for Summer” brings the heat.
- I Am Sky | Laraaji
Cosmic Tape Experiments 1979 – 1987 | 2013
This is psychedelia to me. Ambient psychedelia. So dynamic but also hypnotizing.
- I Think He’s Hiding | Randy Newman
Randy Newman | 1968
Oh, the big boy. I’m so happy I have come to know early Randy Newman. This is the saddest and also the bravest performance I’ve heard in his catalog. Another record store day grab.