the incredible string band – a very cellular song (1968)

“Nebulous nearnesses cry to me
At this timeless moment
Someone dear to me wants me near, makes me high
I can hear vibrations fly
Through mangoes, pomegranates and planes
All the same
When it reaches me and teaches me
To sigh…

… Oh ah ee oo there’s absolutely no strife
Living the timeless life
I don’t need a wife
Living the timeless life
If I need a friend I just give a wriggle
Split right down the middle
And when I look there’s two of me
Both as handsome as can be
Oh here we go slithering, here we go slithering and squelching on
Oh here we go slithering, here we go slithering and squelching on
Oh ah ee oo there’s absolutely no strife
Living the timeless life

Black hair brown hair feather and scale
Seed and stamen and all unnamed lives that live
Turn your quivering nerves in my direction
Turn your quivering nerves in my direction
Feel the energy projection of my cells
Wishes you well.

May the long time sun shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light within you
Guide you all the way on.”

Album: The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter (1968)

john fahey – the transfiguration of blind joe death

Full album (1965).

In a review for the 1967 Takoma reissue, ED Denson called the liner notes (by Alan Wilson of Canned Heat) “…a paranoid vision of reality unrivalled since Kafka. Nothing is what it purports to be directly, but everything is “in a certain sense” — people make statements like characters in B-grade horror films, the trivial becomes significant, the meaningful, nothing.”

The notes begin thus:

faheyA disgusting, degenerate, insipid young folklorist from the Croat & Isaiah Nettles Foundation for Ethnological Research meandered mesmerically midst marble mansions in Mattapan, Massachusetts. It was an unsavory, vapid day in the summer of 2010 as the jejune air from Back Bay transubstantiated itself autologically and gradually into an ozone-like atmosphere.

Knocking on a random door, haphazardly, the tasteless young man pondered the Hebraic inscription on the marble-tiled foot-brush, soporifically: “I wonder what the hell that means,” he said to himself reflexively.

The foot-brush backed itself into a corner at bay, with its back to the wall. Then, hissing at the wishy-washy young man, it reared up on its hind leg & stared into space, vociferously & stoicly.

At this juncture a somewhat equivocal shoe-shine man opened the door, munching on a vacant popsicle stick. Before greeting the young man he reached up with a tentacle and stroked the aging foot brush on its fore, thus quieting the beast’s existential anxiety.

“Pardon me,” the unflavored young man said casually, “Do you have any old arms and legs you’d like to sell? I’m paying thirty-seven, twenty-five, ninety-six, twelve cents apiece for old arms & legs depending on the condition they’re in.”

“Just one moment,” the splotched ontology professor mumbled, “I think we may have a few out back in the quagmire, or possibly near the fen, or then again we may have some by the waters of the boggy bayou. I must point out, however, that it is quite possible that we have none left. And I should also say that we may never have had any anyway. I certainly can’t remember ever having any.

Since the past went into a flux it’s very difficult to remember anything, you know. But I’ll certainly take a look. And don’t be afraid of my foot-brush. He’s been in the family for years. And, while it is quite true to say that he hisses a lot, and he certainly does, it is also quite true to say that he never bites anyone except when he does. But this is not the same as to say that he has actually bitten people, and I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to say that, because, well, for one thing I can’t remember anyway. But I’ll go look for those arms & legs like I said I would. Did I say I would?”

“Yes, you did,” the stale young man replied weakly.

“Well, then I will, in all probability,” the aging grave-digger muttered as he faded gradually through the irregular portal.

Read the rest HERE and more notes about the album HERE.

siri karlsson – with love to mankind

My new favourites out of Stockholm are this duo, and their album The Lost Colony.

According to their website (where you can also watch their videos and stream music):

“Siri Karlsson is a duo that have always gone their own way and broken with established standards. With one foot rooted in mystical folklore and the other constantly in search for new influences, they manage to create a highly personal expression. With vocals, alto saxophone, piano and key fiddles they create an unorthodox hybrid of folk, psychedelia and progressive.”

 

goo goo g’joob

The Beatles’ song, I am the Walrus, slowed down 800% and set to the 1969 film Vertige by Jean Beaudin.

“Sympathetic but subtly critical, Vertige presents itself as a psychological portrait of the escape and/or contestation tactics of the decade’s youth: while war, violence, famine and poverty continue to devastate the planet, these youngsters seek refuge in the hedonistic haven of sexual liberation, lysergic research and communal fictions.”

Watch the film at ubu.com. And HERE is an etymological investigation into the phrase “goo goo g’joob”.

jean-beaudin-vertige-1969

the verve – already there

Off the John Leckie-produced masterpiece of ’90s psychedelia, A Storm in Heaven (Hut/Vernon Yard, 1993). Visual material from Andrei Tarkovsky’s incredible film, Solaris (1972). 

I was so in love with this album for so many years, yet I have hardly listened to it in the past decade…  It’s hard to figure out why.  I don’t think it’s because I tired of it. Listening again now to the full album, I get the very same goosebumps as always. Most likely the reason I haven’t listened to it is because I have it on CD, and I haven’t really listened to CDs in a long time (though I am pretty sure I have it ripped to mp3 somewhere?). Heck, I don’t even own a CD player anymore, except for my old Walkman and the DVD drive in my Windows laptop. More broadly, it’s interesting to think about how different the mix of listening formats is now compared to when this came out, and how the format of a recording affects its consumption… But I think that may be an essay for another day when I’m feeling less spacey!

Hello it’s me, it’s me
I want to touch you
It’s me throwing stones from the stars
On your mixed up world

Been circling round for twenty years
And in that time I’ve seen all the fires and all the liars
I’ve been calling home for twenty years
And in that time I heard the screams rebound to me
While you were making history

LISTEN TO A STORM IN HEAVEN, and dream galaxies…