Oh yes... the SPACEROCK! Sorry for the delay, but since we were getting off our target of a new post on the first of every month, and because of a multitude of terrestrial issues and events to attend to, I decided to blow off September completely and move right on up to October. Okay by you? In the long run I not only managed to put together a singularly smoking set for this month, but to get a head start on some "educational courses" for the November and December installments, not to mention beginning to compile the auditory event that is the January Best Of segment which will reflect on 2010. Quite a year it's been, and what a massive couple-few months we have left. Of course there are those that say there is no time in in space...
We begin with a bang of bombast in the form of a re-release of criminally overlooked 90s British garage/psych monsters, The Heads. Then, in tribute to their Bay Area appearance this Saturday, a track from The Flaming Lips' most recent album (not counting their song-by-song cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon), the epic double-album Embryonic. Another band toiling in relative obscurity, the underappreciated all-male Canadian 4-piece Women concoct a heady mix of post-punk dissonance (a stripped-down Sonic Youth?) and art-rock absurdity (a less-abrasive This Heat?), as this track from their second album demonstrates. And in what is perhaps the sleeper of the year, Sleigh Bells comes from left field, marrying a coquettish child star's saccharine R&B-esque vocals with a hardcore guitarist's blistering overdriven riffs , and leaving nothing but scorched earth and a smile on your face. Fun stuff!
A semi-contrived segue back into garage/psych of a dark and scuzzy bent is up next with tracks from Jesus & Mary Chain worshiping Woven Bones, newly-gone electro-shoegaze Crocodiles, and a new one from Texas trippers The Black Angels that adds newfound color to their previously dark monotone.
And now for something completely different: modern Swedish progsters Dungen are back with a more exploratory collection that expands on their early 70s influences, to great effect. Nick Cave and his new band of seedy old debauchers Grinderman continue to put a heretofore unseen ragged angsty edge to his Southern goth tendencies. And for comparison's sake the next track is from the late great Memphis originators of said genre The Grifters, whose 4-track fidelity surpasses most massive studio productions. They are sorely missed.
Where to go from here...? How about off the deep end with some damaged instrumental improv from enigmatic rockers Peeesseye & Talibam! (that's their exclamation point)...? An extended track from Oneida's likely best album of a few years back, Secret Wars...? A sincerely tongue-in-cheek homage to krautrock's motorik groove from electronic-gone-organic Norweegie "space disco" master Prins Thomas...?
Seems like the only logical departure here is for the heavenly climes of ecstatic dream pop, from blisstronic duo Viernes, the shimmering vocals of Scots one-offs Simian, and the homecoming kings of early-90s shoegaze Chapterhouse (this in honor to their upcoming San Francisco appearance). A pseudo-Eastern synth-psych mantra from Brooklyn/Boston hippie-futurists (a trio of current and former hare krishna practitioners - no shit!) Prince Rama next, followed by a new track from modern krautronica duo Cloudland Canyon, and a blast of shoegazing post-metal shrapnel from Miami outfit Torche.
The illustrious Black Mountain, featured in this space many a time, have put out a contender for album of the year... yet again. But you'll have to wait until January for a track from that one. Instead I wrap up this set with a slow-burn opus from their previous album that shows yet another dimension to the Vancouver rockers who worship at the altar of Sabbath, Zeppelin and Floyd, yet manage to make the trope of those godfathers sound new again.
See you in November! I'll try to be on time...
The following tracks should appear in the player below:
Spacerock Continuum Intro - bRambles - BeeDub's Spacerock Continuum
Quad - The Heads - Relaxing With...
The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine - The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
China Steps - Women - Public Strain
Treats - Sleigh Bells - Treats
Creepy Bone - Woven Bones - In And Out And Back Again
Stoned To Death - Crocodiles - Sleep Forever
Bad Vibrations - The Black Angels - Phosphene Dream
Högdalstoppen - Dungen - Skit I Allt
Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man - Grinderman - Grinderman 2
Black Fuel Incinerator - The Grifters - Crappin' You Negative
You Tried (To Eat It) - Peeesseye & Talibam! - s/t
Changes In The City - Oneida - Secret Wars
Sauerkraut - Prins Thomas - s/t
Sinister Love - Viernes - Sinister Devices
The Wisp - Simian - Chemistry Is What We Are
Falling Down - Chapterhouse - Whirlpool
Om Mane Padme Hum - Prince Rama - Shadow Temple
Mothlight Pt. 2 - Cloudland Canyon - Fin Eaves
Out Again - Torche - Songs For Singles
Bright Lights - Black Mountain - In The Future