Tuesday, March 23, 2010
A liquid portal stands agape in front of you. It oscillates like a penny dropped in a vertical pool. Stepping through, the desert sands burn and spiral upward in red cones against the blue expanse. You walk through the sagebrush toward a black vinyl highway in the distance. A car takes shape as your destination rises above the burn. It’s a 1971 Dodge Challenger in white. You step inside and the engine explodes with rage.
There is no longer sound, only the minuscule squeaks of rubber on rubber twitching the hairs in your ear. The road rises like a cobra off the flat dustlands in front of you. The car is driving itself into a loop. You breathe in the air and it’s more pure than you’ve ever inhaled.
There is peace and learning in distance.
FAUST - ON THE WAY TO ABAMAE
MOEBIUS - CONTRAMIO
ENO/MOEBIUS/ROEDELIUS/PLANK - THE BELLDOG
MANUEL GOTTSCHING - 77 SLIGHTLY DELAYED
MYTHOS - TERRA INCOGNITA
TANGERINE DREAM - FORCE MAJEURE
MANUEL GOTTSCHING - DEEP DISTANCE
ENO/MOEBIUS/ROEDELIUS/PLANK - JOHANNESLUST
JEAN-MICHEL JARRE - OXYGENE (PART IV)
KLAUS HESS - MAGUH
BERNARD FEVRE - DALI
ROBERT SCHROEDER - BRAIN VOYAGER
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Just a little mix I threw together.
Leaf Hound – Drowned My Life in Fear
Moby Grape – Gypsy Wedding
Cher – I Walk On Gilded Splinters
Spooky Tooth – The Wrong Time
Blue Cheer – Sun Cycle
Free – I’m a Mover
Atomic Rooster – Tomorrow Night
Pentagram – 20 Buck Spin
Born Again – No Good Reason
Cactus – Bro. Bill
Jeff Beck – Plynth (Water Down The Drain)
Flamin’ Groovies – Comin’ After Me
Lucifer’s Friend – Keep Goin’
The Groundhogs – Split Part One
Take a bite.
THE SAME DIRT
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Country rock music. I’m swimming in it right now.
New roots are digging downward into my California soul. The picturesque sand-meets-sea aesthetic is breaking through my cracked and thick east coast skin. But the beauty of this place is not without sacrifice. From above, all you see are the orange lights of an empty parking lot and the red and white highways at a bare crawl. You’re gifted the beauty, but you live in the mess.
What is this place? This place that has inspired so many. A destination for those who sought freedom from the expected life. The canyons acted as hammocks for the creative. Draped between peaks, artists lounged between Olympuses able to look down on the day-to-day world they so wished to feel separate from. They of course had to roll down the mountain from time to time if they wish to be known, but the dream was always waiting for them when they were done selling.
And what is this country shtick from the early 70s? These are intentional amalgamations. It’s not like a new art form was born without intention. These peace-seekers moved west to find a sort of post-hippie utopia. And they found it…sort of. They drank wine together. Took acid together. Slept together. Complained together. Commiserated together. And created together.
From my perspective, this was a very conscious collective. A group of motivated musicians immersed in consistent dialogue. The members took the psychedelic momentum of the 60s (Electric Prunes, 13th Floor Elevators, Chocolate Watchband) and applied it to a much loved country aesthetic rooted in love lost and love for place (Merle, Hank, Willie). The meeting of those two roads was where people like Gene Clark (and the Byrds), Gram Parsons and Moby Grape were all thumbing for a ride back to Laurel Canyon.
This new community was a big, incestuous, ultimately-creative melting pot that gave birth to amazing music. Music that seems perfectly applicable to my daily life here. I’ve had a good deal of love-related ups and downs, a number of anxietous (new word) reality checks relative to my career and daily drives with the windows inviting in the blue skies. All you need is country rock music. It’s the only thing that fits here. Everything else seems inauthentic and trying.
I’m so affected by the tone. The nature of the music. The peace that comes from creative community. The words above are a spur of the moment riff, not a composed scholarly piece. So take it all with a grain of salt from my sweaty, Californian skin.
I’m attaching three albums here –
Country Funk – Country Funk
John Phillips - John, The Wolf King of L.A.
and the obligatory Flying Burrito Brothers - Gilded Palace of Sin
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The year of being 27.
The age that Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Robert Johnson, Kurt Cobain, Dave Alexander, Pete Ham, Chris Bell, D. Boon, Jacob Miller, and Basquiat all bit the big one.
And I felt it - breath on my neck.
It was the terrifying din of chaos gaining on me. A more potent force than I’ve ever experienced. The winds took me horizontal and I was clinging to the last telephone pole.
The choice was always there. Let go and allow yourself to depart with everything you’ve known. Or hold on and be sure of your existence after the storm.
I don’t want to exaggerate the drama too much, but it’s far more engaging this way. Like a Roland Emmerich joint.
But so as the wheel sinks down, so must it come back up.
Surrounded by wreckage I can now feel the sky draw back a breath to silence. The moment after it happens, anything happens, when you can start to get your head back. The loudest nothingness you’ve ever heard. You start to look around and measure the damage. But before you feel anything, all that’s recognizable is the vast flatness of everything.
Henry Miller says in “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch” that:
“Man builds on the ruins of his former selves. When we are reduced to nothingness, we come alive again. To season one’s destiny with the dust of one’s folly, that is the trick.”
So that’s where we’re at coming into 2010.
Thus ends the craziest year of my life.
A new life, born of the ashes of those before it, begins here in Los Angeles.
So as you might guess from the over-the-top-ness of that little story, the musical year was also a turbulent one. Music has most certainly served as a salve but also as lighter fluid. I found solace in words, sounds and imagery but I also found choked throats, watery eyes and frustration.
The compulsive research continued through it all and I’ve pulled together a taste of 2009’s discoveries. Some reflective of the ups, downs and what-have-yous of the year and some not. Best idea is not to read into any of it and just enjoy the music of itself. That’s why it’s here.
I’m hoping this effort marks my return to this blog. As a good friend warned me, “The Lunchmeat is getting kinda smelly.”
Well here I am to refridge' the shit. As Paul Newman said so poignantly at the end of The Color of Money…
I’d have thrown in a “bitches” at the end, but I’m no Scorsese.
1. Serge Gainsbourg – Le Deuxieme Homme
2. Frankie & The Butlers Beverly – Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)
3. Bell + Arc – Let Your Love Run Free
4. Aphrodite’s Child – Babylon
5. Leaf Hound – Freelance Fiend
6. Shocking Blue – Send Me A Postcard Darling
7. Mindless Boogie – El Toro (Prins Thomas Edit)
8. Blair – Nightlife
9. Oneohtrix Point Never – Behind The Bank
10. Eno/Moebius/Roedelius/Plank – Johanneslust
11. Popol Vuh – Kleiner Krieger
12. John Fahey – Desperate Man Blues
13. Six Organs of Admittance – The Desert Is A Circle
14. Arthur Russel – Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart
15. Graham Nash – Better Days
16. Moby Grape – Lazy Me
17. The Flamin’ Groovies – Slow Death
18. Stray – All In Your Mind