August 1, 2008

Not all spacerock...

...and not all time. That was the original motto of my previous webcast and it still stands today for this monthly podcast. Just to clarify, spacerock is the blanket term I use to describe the majority of my taste in music, whether it's more accurately described as psychedelic, post rock or just plain trippy shit, THAT's what I like (along with a modicum of straight up rock, pop, jazz and/or electronica), and I hope you do too. This installment is full of hard-to-categorize esoterica that only loosely qualifies as spacerock even under my guidelines, and although it's all over the place I hope it all makes sense together and is sequenced to flow into your cerebral cortex and release it into the stratosphere. As the Beatles once said, "Turn off your mind, relax and float..." into the Spacerock Continuum.

We start with the enigmatic Akron/Family - are they a cult? a commune? well they're definitely more than a band - whose unique take on freak folk takes a cue from the more lysergic moments of said Liverpuddlians (if you're not acquainted with or enamored of free-form noise then I must advise you to please bear with this song past the first minute mark) and then abruptly dropping in on vintage Butthole Surfers in atrack from a 1989 live performance that rips both The Doors' "The End" and Black Sabbath's *cough cough* "Sweet Leaf" a new one. Then in honor of tomorrow night's San Francisco appearance (which yours truly will be attending) a track from mighty Japanese sludge-rawkers BORIS, from their fantastic latest release Smile, which finds them really stretching their own boundaries (there's a Japanese version and an American one which feature different songs, different mixes of the same songs, different titles for the same songs and a different sequence, both of which are indispensable).

From there it's deeper into undefinable esoterica with No Age and Indian Jewelry, two hot young undie rock bands that write their own rules, then a dip into the sublime with Mogwai's subdued take on the Spacemen Three chestnut "Honey" (a rarity included on the new remastered version of Mogwai's seminal Young Team album), followed by the rockier side of shoegaze from Swervedriver and Eric's Trip, one of whom recently reformed and the other who definitely should. The next sequence of tracks really expands the limits of my spacerock definition by dabbling in English electronica (Fourtet), Finnish free-folk (Paavoharju), French pop-tronica (Air) and two groups who have gone so far past blurring the distinction between electronic and organic that I could coin the term post-triphop to describe them (The Notwist from Germany, Portishead from the UK), but I won't.

Next up, some modern psych with roots firmly in the past (The Black Angels, Grails), some forward-looking postrock (Collections of Colonies of Bees, featuring members of the late/great Pele, and Chicago O.G.s Tortoise), some modern kraut-tronica from Cloudland Canyon - think Cluster or Tangerine Dream - and some classic Japanese acid rock influenced by the krautrock school from Acid Mothers Temple - think Amon Duul or Guru Guru - bringing this set full circle. I won't claim it's always an easy listen, but it's not supposed to be. It takes work to free your mind, and I'm always happy to assist!

The following tracks should appear in the player below:

Moment - Akron/Family - Akron/Family & Angels of Light
Sweatloaf - Butthole Surfers - Double Live
Statement - Boris - Smile
Sleeper Hold - No Age - Nouns
Seventh Heaven - Indian Jewelry - Free Gold!
Honey - Mogwai - Young Team Remastered
Duel - Swervedriver - Mezcal Head
Belly - Eric's Trip - Love Tara
Sun Drums and Soil - Fourtet - Everything Ecstatic
Valo Tihkuu Kaiken Läpi - Paavoharju - Yhä Hämärää
Surfing On A Rocket - Air - Talkie Walkie
On Planet Off - The Notwist - The Devil, You & Me
We Carry On - Portishead - Third
Never/Ever - The Black Angels - Directions To See A Ghost
Take Refuge - Grails - Take Refuge in Clean Living
Untitled - Collections of Colonies of Bees - Fa.ce (a
Gamera - Tortoise - A Lazarus Taxon
Silver-Tongued Sisyphus - Cloudland Canyon - Silver-Tongued Sisyphus
5 Seconds Demon - Acid Mothers Temple & Cosmic Inferno - Demons From Nipples