Yawning Sons are Worthy of Ceremony

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Pretty.You can make whatever sound comparisons or analogies you want, to my ears, the debut from Yawning Sons is principally two things. First: mesmerizing. Second: warm. The band is end result of a fortunate ocean-crossing collaboration between Californian desert rock legend Gary Arce of Yawning Man and the UK?s Sons of Alpha Centauri. Presumably they went with Yawning Sons because ?Arce & Sons? sounded too much like they were electricians. In any case, their debut, Ceremony to the Sunset, released by Australia?s Lexicon Devil, is seven cuts of mostly instrumental experimental post-rock psychedelic hypnosis, with guest vocal spots from Fatso Jetson?s Mario Lalli, Wendy Rae Fowler (Mark Lanegan Band) and Scott Reeder spread throughout to act as trail markers.

The story goes that Arce and the four-piece Sons of Alpha Centauri had never met before he flew to the UK to produce a record for them, but when he arrived they jammed and over the course of a week, wrote and recorded Ceremony to the Sunset instead. Not to say the narrative lacks plausibility (Arce himself recounts it in the liner notes), but if that?s how it went down, the chemistry between Arce and Sons of Alpha Centauri members Nick Hannon (bass), Marlon King (guitar), Stevie B. (drums) and Blake (textures) must have been immediate. Otherwise the project would?ve fallen flat entirely — or, more likely, it wouldn?t have happened in the first place — and the intricate melodies that permeate ?Tomahawk Watercress? and closer ?Japanese Garden? would have nowhere near as much power as they do. Ceremony to the Sunset is a patient album, but it feels fast, spontaneous and exciting, striking a rare balance.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Some Weird-Ass Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 9th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Weird Owl loosing the silver chord.Tee Pee Records head trip rockers The Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound have teamed up with labelmates Weird Owl for a quick run of West Coast dates. Unfortunately, they haven’t named the tour AssOwl ’09, but even good looking Californians can’t get everything in life. I mean, you already got hoverboards. What more do you people need?

Here is the info as it showed up in the press release:

Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound and Weird Owl have mapped out a short West Coast tour for early July. The band is also premiering the track “By the Rippling Green” off of their recently released album When Sweet Sleep Returned [reviewed here].

6/19 – The Great American Music HallSan Francisco, CA*
6/20 – Lounge UndergroundMonterey, CA**
7/06 – Comet TavernSeattle, WA
7/07 – The East EndPortland, OR
7/08 – The StillwaterAshland, OR
7/09 – The HemlockSan Francisco, CA
7/10 – The Crepe PlaceSanta Cruz, CA
* w/ Sleepy Sun & Spindrift
** w/ Spindrift

Tags: , , ,

Lamp of the Universe: Heady Psych from Middle Earth

Posted in Reviews on May 11th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Free your mind and be absolutely terrified.Likely I’d have bought it anyway, but what really sold me on Acid Mantra, the latest self-release from prolific deep-space psychedelic traveler Craig Williamson under the one-man-band banner of Lamp of the Universe, was when I read that it had more in common with older albums like The Cosmic Union and Echo in Light than more recent work Earth, Spirit and Sky and From the Mystic Rays of Astrological Light. Not that I didn’t enjoy those records for what they were — largely instrumental slabs of tripped-out psych from the wilds of New Zealand — but since my favorite songs from Williamson (also the bassist for the underrated Datura) are “Born in the Rays of the Third Eye” and “Lotus of a Thousand Pedals,” the thought of having more material akin to that was too much to resist purchasing.

The suggestion holds true: Acid Mantra does share much in common with Lamp of the Universe‘s early output, but it’s no more of a throwback than any of Williamson‘s output as ever been. The banjo-laden “Searching for a Sign,” for example, sounds like something you might hear on a Six Organs of Admittance record, and closer “Universe Within” even has drums! Drums and fuzzy electric guitars! Hell, I couldn’t believe it.

But it’s not necessarily that Williamson is aping himself, rather he’s just writing more active songs; songs that are more structured than have been those on his more recent collections. Acid Mantra is still psychedelic folk at its heart, with plenty of the sitars, tanpura and drones those who’ve followed Lamp of the Universe have come to expect, but they appear here tempered by more earthly elements as well. If you’re going to travel through the cosmos, you have to lift off from somewhere, right?

Read more »

Tags: , , ,

Nature Gets all Colour Hazed

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Hello next album cover.Lucy Williamson in Jakarta filed this report on the BBC News site:

Research published in the US scientific journal Copeia says the fish was spotted by scuba divers off the island of Ambon in eastern Indonesia.

It belongs to the frogfish family, but its looks are unique even among its peers, the journal reported.

The question with this new discovery is how it went unnoticed for so long.

The new psychedelica frogfish is completely covered in swirling concentric stripes — white and blue on a peach background — radiating out from its aqua-coloured eyes.

It has a broad flat face, thick fleshy cheeks and chin, and eyes that look forward like a human’s.

It’s the next evolutionary step! Look out for the scientific classification Kingdom Psychedelica! If I don’t see some blue and orange squirrels running past my window soon, and if there isn’t a band named Psychedelica Frogfish by the end of next week, I’m going to be very, very disappointed.

Tags: , ,

My Sleeping Karma: German Psych Heads Take Tibetan Buddhism, Run With It On Second Album

Posted in Reviews on February 2nd, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

Sure, the UN can try to do something about it, the Dalai Lama can be out and about in the mMy Sleeping Karma - Satyaedia and touring across the world, but even that’s only going to get you so far. What the Free Tibet movement really needs is four Deutsche psychedelic (mostly) instrumental hippies championing their cause.

And that’s just what it gets with Satya. Read more »

Tags: , , ,