Jason Simon of Dead Meadow Releases New Solo Album Familiar Haunts

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Anytime you’re ready to get weird, Jason Simon is already there. To the best of my knowledge, Familiar Haunts is the Dead Meadow frontman’s first solo album since his 2010 eponymous debut came out on Tee Pee, and even as he jumps styles from psych-outlaw to fuzzy drift, it might be even harder to keep up with all the labels involved putting the new one out. I count four between Tekeli-Li, Cardinal Fuzz, Burger Records and Blind Blind Tiger, but there might be one or two more in there — I wouldn’t make a promise either way. Understandable to get a bunch of support behind it, both because of Simon‘s pedigree and the swagger of the 11-minute “Wheels Will Spin,” which seems to sum up the mindset of the whole release while also spacing out in a satisfyingly meandering jam.

Admittedly, I’m a little behind on the release, so you can stream the album in full on the player below and hear “Wheels Will Spin” and the rest of it for yourself before you dive into picking a label and/or format for your purchase. Info from the PR wire:

jason-simon-familiar-haunts

Familiar Haunts by Jason Simon

Jason Simon, best known for his work as the guitarist and singer for the seminal heavy psych band Dead Meadow, releases his new solo record Familiar Haunts on Cardinal Fuzz / Tekeli-Li Records. Cassettes available from Blind Blind Tiger and Burger records. For Familiar Haunts Jason takes his love of the haunting Appalachian banjo playing of Dock Boggs and old time Americano Folk music to create a heady mix where wheezing organs come up against Maestro like drum machines and delivers on the weirdness inherent in old folk/country and blues tunes.

All the various strains of Cosmic Psychedelia that run through the grooves here you can find as you dip into the opening cut “The People Dance, The People Sing” as a twanging droning raga like guitar eventually slides into wild tangles of heavy swirling clouds of psych bliss. Tracks drift from the heady to the etheral to churning and heavy deserty dirges as Jason Simon emerges from the eerie haze.

Tracklisting:
1. The People Dance, The People Sing 04:28
2. Without Reason or Right 03:54 video
3. Now I’m Telling You 03:44
4. Pretty Polly 03:24
5. Seven Sisters of Sleep 04:11
6. Hills of Mexico 06:05
7. Wheels Will Spin 10:59
8. I Found the Thread 03:36

Jason Simon : guitar and vox
Scott Seltzer : Bass
Jon Randono : organ, synth, electric balama
James Acton : percussion

https://www.facebook.com/DeadMeadowOfficial/
https://jasonsimon.bandcamp.com/releases
http://deadmeadowstore.bigcartel.com/product/jason-simon-familiar-haunts-lp
https://www.facebook.com/CardinalFuzz/
http://cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TekeliliRecords/
https://www.facebook.com/burgerrecords/
http://burgerrecords.11spot.com/
http://www.blindblindtiger.com/

Jason Simon, Familiar Haunts (2016)

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Duuude, Tapes! Spindrift, Exotic Detonation

Posted in Duuude, Tapes! on February 12th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

spindrift-exotic-detonation-tape-and-case

Way out west there’s a band called Spindrift, and they’ve been a-ramblin’ for the better part of 20 years now. Back in 2012, guitarist/vocalist Kirkpatrick Thomas — who’s seen ’em come and seen ’em go as regards bandmates — took his troupe of Ennio Morricone-inspired bandoliers out on a five-week run of ghost towns, because, uh, clinical depression? Nah, I don’t know that. Point is, Spindrift ventured out and brought a film crew along and made a movie basically to go with the sounds they make that are — wait for it — inspired by movies. Got it? If it’s a question of the chicken or the egg as to which came first, the movie or the soundtrack, the answer is yes.

spindrift-exotic-detonation-tapeSince then, Ghost of the West has been shown here and there at festivals and special premieres and whatnot, and the soundtrack — also Spindrift‘s eighth and latest long-player — came out in 2013 on Tee Pee Records. It closed with a punked up take on “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” Very cool, lots of fun. Apparently there was some music left over, which is believable both because these cats jam and because some pieces are pretty short, and so the Exotic Detonation EP came to be. It’s a quick one, just three songs and about 11 minutes long, released on a two-sided, clear-blue cassette by Burger Records, but if you’ve ever or never heard Spindrift before, it makes a solid argument for what they do in their particular brand of cinematic desert-hued spaghetti Western psychedelia.

Side one of the tape is comprised of the title-track and “Ghosts Go West,” two shorter more livelier slices that are complemented on side two by the five-minute “High Plains Spindrifter,” which the tape notes also appeared in the film The Legend of the Widower Colby Wallace, to which Spindrift also supplied the score. That cut is something of a departure from the other two, a more minimal, foreboding atmospheric work marked out by Native American flute, sparse, descending guitar and a tense underlying drone — it has a threat of open spaces at night. To contrast, back on side one, opener “Exotic Detonation” starts with a direct port of the theme song to The Twilight Zone and moves into a gallop that, were it not for the punkishness of its drums, would just about make you dig at the grave of Arch Stanton.

spindrift-exotic-detonation-j-card“Ghosts Go West” as a more prominent low end and is in less of a rush generally, but the guitars open wider, echo further. Both it and “Exotic Detonation” are sort of thematic slices, but each is distinguished from the other, and by the time the tape clicks off at the end of “High Plains Spindrifter,” it’s a surprise because it’s so otherworldly and hypnotic. I haven’t seen Ghost of the West, but I’d be interested to know what visuals it accompanies. In my head it’s someplace where things like light pollution don’t exist.

Spindrift are about due for a follow-up to Ghost of the West, whether that’s a studio album with the current or at-least-current-last-time-I-looked-which-was-right-now lineup of Kirkpatrick Thomas, guitarist Thomas Bellier (also Blaak Heat Shujaa and who mixed the first two songs on Exotic Detonation and mastered the release), bassist Henry Evans and drummer James Acton, another soundtrack, or something else entirely. Whatever they wind up doing, they remain a band unto themselves soundwise and as a sampling of that, Exotic Detonation satisfies atmospherically and in its Western loyalist soundscapes.

Spindrift, “High Plains Spindrifter”

Spindrift on Thee Facebooks

Spindrift’s website

Burger Records

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