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The Astral Projection: Astral Scene
08.01.2009
12:30 am
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More from Dr. Schluss:

It could be the two manhattans that I just drank speaking, but I find this one exceptionally groovy. Even more than the Millennium’s Begin, I feel like these cats are trying to induct me into some strange hippy cult. We’ll dance around like the Brady Bunch on the days that Greg got high, sugarcubes in hand. That said, this sunshine pop is not musically in the same league as Curt Boettcher’s productions (like the aforementioned Millennium), but I would go for this one before the 5th Dimension, and it’s far trippier than the Mamas and the Papas. The Allmusic Guide mentioned that this was a studio construct and mostly exploitative of the counterculture scene, but I’ll admit that I’m pretty well fooled.

It’s a pretty awesome album, actually. I listened to it on Venice Beach recently. Kind of perfect.

Link here.

Posted by Jason Louv
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08.01.2009
12:30 am
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Bill Plummer and the Cosmic Brotherhood
07.30.2009
02:58 pm
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From Dr. Schluss’ Garage of Psychedelic Obscurities:

I’m willing to say this obscure sitar-infused psychedelic jazz album is one of the absolute best I’ve heard from the legendary Impulse! jazz imprint. Why they haven’t reissued it yet is beyond me. Bill Plummer’s primary trade is in the string bass, which does provide the awesome backbone for all of these songs. But someone must have tossed Mr. Plummer in a vat of acid (almost like Jack Nicholson in the 1989 “Batman”) before the making of this album. With it’s layers of Eastern gauze, occasional blasts of spoken word and free jazz, and oddball covers, this is the most ear pleasingly far-out legitimate jazz album I’ve come across (the wild fury of John Coltrane’s Om, also on Impuse!, is probably the most far out, but it’s not easy to listen to).

The first track, “Journey to the East,” is far beyond awesome and deserves a place on every psych compilation. It’s got a rock-solid groove, crazy chanting, a wall of sitar, and a totally entertaining spoken word rambling. Practically every 60’s cliche is packed into the spoken word, but it’s all convincingly sold by the dispassionate reading and the phenomenal music backing it up. I think I’ve listened to it about 600 times in the past week; I can’t think of a better complement than that. For your own mind journey to the East, you need go no farther than “Arc 294,” which plays as Indo-psychedelic free jazz for about ten minutes. The covers here are of note as well. Seeing “The Look of Love” on a track listing typically makes me groan, but with sitar drones and a groovy beat accompanying the tune, it works out just fine. Even better is the similar treatment to the Byrds great, yet-neglected “Lady Friend.” I didn’t know that that song required a transcendental Indo-jazz reading, but apparently it did. To hear Mr. Plummer score at making more conventional jazz, head for “Pars Fortuna” and “Song Plum”

This album manages to fuse jazz, Indian music, and wacky psychedelia, while still ending up as more than the sum of its parts. You need to become part of the Cosmic Brotherhood as soon as possible.

(Link here.)

Posted by Jason Louv
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07.30.2009
02:58 pm
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Little Heard Joni Mitchell Performances
07.30.2009
12:08 pm
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I am a complete Joni Mitchell nut. I once went for nearly a solid year listening to nothing but Court and Spark
and Ladies of the Canyon
in the car. I’ve easily played those two albums, 500 times each. My life has been immeasurably enriched by her music. There is nothing better to listen to when you are really, really sad, but her more joyous tunes can have you dancing around the house singing along like a fool.

When the we’re all dead and gone and future musical historians write the history of the 20th century’s greatest music, I have no doubt whatsoever that Joni Mitchell’s artistic contribution to our culture will rank alongside those of Lennon and McCartney, Miles Davis, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington.

And if you want to know how I really feel…

Here’s a stunning performance of a very young and very beautiful Joni Mitchell (then going by her maiden name of Joan Anderson) on the “Let’s Sing Out” TV show, hosted by the renowned Canadian folk singer Oscar Brand. Here Mitchell sings her own composition, “Urge for Going” which is better known as Tom Rush’s cover version.
 

 
I also found this clip. The audio is less than stellar, so turn it up, but what’s interesting about it, is that you can really see her hands playing the guitar. As a child Mitchell caught polio and it left some residual damage in her hands. So to get around this, she created custom tunings that allowed her to play exactly the sound that was in her head, and what her hands would have otherwise had trouble doing. It’s an extraordinary thing to see.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.30.2009
12:08 pm
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David Lynch, Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse: Dark Night of the Soul
07.28.2009
10:46 am
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Director David Lynch worked up a number of images in his patented surrealistic style for a book to accompany the new album by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse (featuring an A-list team of additional collaborators like The Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop, Suzanne Vega, Frank Black, James Mercer (The Shins), and Julian Casablancas).

But there’s a bit of a catch: the limited edition packaging for the album comes with no music. That’s right, all you get is a blank CD with the message “For Legal Reasons enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will” stamped across it. The reason for this is that EMI would sue Danger Mouse were he to release the CD properly (he’s been in this situation before, obviously, with “The Grey Album”).

The idea, if you haven’t figured it out already, is to download the music wherever you might find it (I just found nearly 5000 results leading you right to it on the various torrent trackers) to burn to the enclosed blank CD.

Our friends at Dazed and Confused spoke to Lynch about the collaboration:

Dazed: Do you approach painting and photography in the same way as you would creating a scene for one of your films?

David Lynch: Yeah, exactly. If an idea comes for furniture, you will see a table in your brain. You will see what it’s made of and the shape of it, and if that idea is something you love, then you go into the wood shop and start making that table. If you get an idea for a painting and you’re all fired up about it then you go right into the painting studio and start working on those. Making a film is just a longer process, but when you’re in love you don’t care how long it takes to make something.

Dark Night of the Soul official website

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.28.2009
10:46 am
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Annie Lennox: Backwards/Forwards
07.24.2009
02:05 pm
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Whether in the Eurythimics or in her solo work, Annie Lennox always demonstrates a tremendous ease in slipping in-and-out of personalities.  Well, now you can see, oh, almost all of them on display in this rather amazing mashup by DJ Earworm
 
For those keeping score, here’s the mish that made this mash: Why, Walking on Broken Glass, Little Bird, No More I Love You’s, Waiting in Vain, Something So Right, Dark Road, Sing, Shining Light.

 

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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07.24.2009
02:05 pm
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Out-Bloody-Rageous: The Soft Machine
07.22.2009
06:56 pm
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The death last month of Hugh Hopper saw me pulling out my Soft Machine CDs and giving them a listen again. I go through a Soft Machine phase every couple of years and Hopper’s passing was a good excuse for another. It was also an excuse for me to pull “Out-Bloody-Rageous,” Graham Bennett’s exhaustive Soft Machine’s bio off the shelf again, too. It will forever be the definitive book on the band.

Eccentric pioneers, first of psychedelia, then prog rock, then of jazz-rock fusion, the innovative avant-garde onslaught of the Soft Machine was probably best encountered as a live experience.The odd time signatures and sheer complexity of the music would have been almost stressful to play. This musical tension was probably personally wearing as the band went through 24 different line-ups in its long career.

Sadly, I never had a chance to see the Soft Machine play live, it was before my time, but I have had a chance to see Gong and Kevin Ayers and both shows were delightful experiences. Here’s a particularly hot performance of the Soft Machine performing “Ester’s Nose Job” from French TV circa 1970:

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.22.2009
06:56 pm
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Julian Cope: Black Sheep
07.21.2009
06:41 pm
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Pagan lord of Britain Julian Cope’s new double album Black Sheep is his best, and most vitriolic, effort since 1992’s Jehovahkill. If shamanic screeds against religious fanatics, the G20 and modern man are your idea of a party, this is the one. Check out this outstanding track from the album, Black Sheep’s Song.

The album demands serious listening. If you throw it on casually in the background, it’ll sound like crap. I was underwhelmed by it the first few times until I sat down with it on headphones and actually listened to every word he was saying. It’s an incendiary classic and a perfect statement of protest?

Posted by Jason Louv
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07.21.2009
06:41 pm
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Bobby Conn: Never Get Ahead
07.21.2009
06:40 pm
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Bobby Conn isn’t just a genius. He’s a midwestern genius. His albums (like “The Homeland,” with the Glass Gypsies) are some of the best protest music that came out of the Bush years, and he’s still going strong. The man is a one-man culture destroyer that apparently they’ve never let out of the gate because he’s too dangerous. They keep him penned up in Chicago somewhere and I, for one, believe the man is criminally overlooked and that they should let him loose.

He is, however, apparently famous enough to make this list of bands that can make your children gay. It’s actually a great checklist. Apparently Morton Subotnick makes you gay, too!

Posted by Jason Louv
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07.21.2009
06:40 pm
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La Bionda, Wacky Italia Disco Synthpop Duo (1980)
07.21.2009
05:20 pm
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I coundn’t find much information on Italian disco group La Bionda, except for that the musical duo was formed by brothers Carmelo and Michelangelo La Bionda and they make me smile.  La Bionda, are considered among the inventors of the disco Italiana.

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La Bionda

Posted by Tara McGinley
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07.21.2009
05:20 pm
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Miles Davis Quintet Skateboards
07.20.2009
10:11 pm
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Ian Johnson designed this jaw-dropping series of skateboards for Western Edition. The skateboards depict the 1959 lineup of the Miles Davis Quintet, the group who played on the classic album “Kind of Blue.”

Update: Dangerous Minds reader Greg says, “Hi, just thought I’d let you know that this product and description are a bit wrong: The group that played with Miles Davis on the 1959 album ‘Kind of Blue’ was a sextet. You have missed out Cannonball Adderley. Also, on one of the tracks (Freddie Freeloader) Wynton Kelly played piano not Bill Evans. Just thought you’d like to know, Greg”

Ian Johnson

(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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07.20.2009
10:11 pm
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