We’re up here in the north country. Three deer just ran across the frozen lake. Robbie Basho is playing on the stereo. Coffee and tea are brewing. Heading out to this place shortly.
For fans of American fingerpicking masters like Fahey and Kottke, you can delve further into Basho’s eastern-tinged melodies and old-time-y vocals with this excellent essay ‘Guitarist of the Other Shore: Robbie Basho in the 1960s’. It’s a very worthwhile read.
Another deer just ran across the lake. Let’s hope the wolves are still sleeping.
Polar vortexes, mysteriously occupied hotel rooms, blood stains, burning pieces of metal appearing out of thin air…these are just some of the freakishly weird events that have taken place on Quilt’s current winter tour. As the band made their way through the snowy mountain passes of the West, we were given the chance to chat about their new album Held In Splendor with guitarist/vocalist Shane Butler, a man with an ever-interesting outlook on life. Read on below.
We’ve got a couple pairs of tickets to giveaway to Quilt’s show on Monday night in Toronto. Follow us on twitter (@doggonepresents) and look out for a chance to win before week’s end. Also be sure to pick up Quilt’s new album at your local record shop or via Mexican Summer.
What are the biggest differences between this album and the debut both in terms of songwriting and how the album came about?
Well, we were younger then, we are older now. We used different types of metal and wooden objects on this album than on the first; but also we used some of the same. With this album we were writing about now; with that album we were writing about ‘now’, then. I guess albums are just products of specific moments and the ways we as artists relate to the situations presented to us. We grow as songwriters constantly and we constantly have a new set of materials to work with; I guess those things mark the ‘difference’ or progression between the two.
This hauntingly beautiful track was the first to be recorded by Baltimore band The Stratfords back in ’64. Eerie, reverb-laden vocal harmonies, lo fi tremolo-heavy guitar, and minimal hand percussion give the tune a slight western feel that may very well possess some sort of voodoo curse. Featured on the b-side is an excellent noir instrumental titled “Enaj.” The Stratfords managed to achieve minor hit status in their hometown, playing at teen centres (seemingly the thing to do back then), school dances and local clubs. Magical stuff happening here, folks.
A few month’s back, we shared with you the sounds of UK psych band New Electric Ride, who will release their debut full-length next week on Beyond Beyond is Beyond. Sunderland, England, where the band members hail from, is a river town situated at the mouth of the River Wear. It was here that these lads came to form their shared love of tampuras, leslie speakers and psychedelic sounds, likely inspired by the sound of the river. The artist L. S. Lowry, was similarly drawn to Sunderland’s river setting.
Much has been written about the connection between our natural surroundings and the music we create (see The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wildest Places), but one aspect of the natural world that has influenced perhaps more music than any other is the river. See, rivers have not only inspired the sound of music, but have also influenced its history. “When the Levee Breaks,” the song originally written by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie and later recorded by Led Zeppelin, chronicles the 1927 Mississippi flood that accelerated the great northward migration of African Americans to cities like Chicago, where the Delta Blues got plugged in and eventually became rock ‘n’ roll. The Tennessee River is said to have been a large part of why the legendary Muscle Shoals recording studio turned out the magic that it did. As Townes Van Zandt sings in the “Texas River Song,” “there’s many a river that waters a land.”
New Electric Ride’s Balloon Age, no doubt, taps into the energy of the river. Through twelve tracks, the album flows seamlessly through a library of genres, ala the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, with moments of Byrd-sian greatness and elements of Nektar-ian prog. Touching on both classic and contemporary psychedelic sounds, the name New Electric Ride seems perfectly fitting for the journey in which they provide.
Pre-order Balloon Age via Beyond Beyond is Beyond.
There’s no doubt about it, folks. A cold, snowy winter is upon us. If you’re like me and you read the Old Farmer’s Almanac, you would have seen this coming. They predicted the whole thing. As you are surely aware, heavy snowfalls call for plentiful jams and loads of hot soup. Perhaps a tea and a Victoria sandwich too.
Enjoy this month’s mix.
Download: Dog Gone Presents: February 2014 Mix
Tracklisting after the jump…
Habibi, which translates to “my love” in Arabic, is a band of all-female garage rockers out of Brooklyn that formed in the spring months of 2011. With a shared love for Middle Eastern Culture, punk, motown and garage rock, members Erin Campbell, Rahill Jamalifard, Lenny Lynch and Karen Vasquez cross the sounds of bands like The Shangri-Las and The Ramones and The Marvelettes with Eastern-tinged melodies and mystical lyrics that sound like they were recorded in ’60s Detroit. There’s even some songs which feature Jamalifard singing in her native language, Farsi. It’s deep and it’s out now on Burger Records.
A few months back, Light In The Attic reissued a series of Roky Erickson solo LPs that, for quite some time, rarely left the vicinity of our listening station. While Roky is well-known for his role as a core member of the 13th Floor Elevators and a pioneer of Texas psychedelic rock, the man’s solo cannon is a bit more mysterious.
See, Roky was arrested for the possession of a lone joint in ’69, to which he pleaded insanity in order to avoid a prison term. A three-and-a-half year stint in the state’s Hospital for the Criminally Insane followed, where he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, subjected to extensive electroshock therapy, Thorazine, and various other FDA-approved psychoactive “treatments.”
In 1973, Roky was released from captivity, although he came out a very different person. Instead of the psychedelic fueled music of The Elevators, Roky turned to horror films for inspiration, as he returned with a new band, The Aliens, penning songs like “Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer),” “Don’t Shake Me Lucifer,” and “I Walked with a Zombie.” To add to his troubles, managers continually took advantage of his instability and drew him into a series of unfair publishing contracts that resulted in a number of unauthorized releases from which he earned not a cent. Eventually, in 1982, Roky signed a legal affidavit declaring that a Martian had taken residence in his body, and gradually disappeared from music all together. However, in recent years Roky has re-emerged on the scene, backed by bands including The Black Angels and the Night Beats while appearing at festivals across the country including FYF and Austin Psych Fest.
On February 11, you can witness the legend live in concert when Roky Erickson and The Black Angels make their way through Toronto. We happen have a couple pairs of tickets to give away, which you can enter to win by simply commenting below with the title of your favorite Roky Erickson solo tune. We’ll pick a winner by Friday afternoon.
A few nights ago while Woodsman were in town, we threw on an interesting looking record that I had recently dug out of my father’s stash of old LPs. What’s interesting about this record is the personnell, which features three fifths of the Stones–Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman—along with sessionmen extraordinaire Ry Cooder and Nicky Hopkins. So what’s the story behind this un-official Rolling Stones record that happens to be missing, uh, Keith? It’s said that, while tracking the 1969 sessions for Let It Bleed at London’s Olympic Studio, producer Jimmy Miller set ol’ Keef off when he suggested that they bring in Ry Cooder to beef up the guitar lines. You know how he gets! Well, after Keith stormed out of the studio, the band proceeded to jam for the next few days and the result became Jamming With Edward.
Deadheads will, no doubt, recognize Hopkins’ name from his tenure in the Jerry Garcia Band as well as his signature instrumental “Edward, The Mad Shirt Grinder,” a song he had originally recorded during his tenure with Quicksilver Messenger Service and which JGB was known to slip into during the ’75 era. The song also inspired the name for this record. We’re slipping off track ourselves here, so go and enjoy these jams and have a great week.
Early last year, California native Morgan Delt self-released a very limited 6-song cassette titled Psychic Death Hole, which offered up the first taste of his unique home-recorded psych experiments. Today, Trouble in Mind releases his his debut self-titled album, building those initial experiments into a psychedelic masterpiece that traverses nearly every corner of the genre’s 40 year history. Essential references like The Byrds, Love and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band arise frequently throughout, but Delt goes beyond, employing distant eastern melodies, tribal hand percussion and Faust inspired kraut journeys, all of which mesh together in an interweaving web of distorted, fuck-up sound. It’s as though Delt has studied the inners of psychedelia since its very beginnings, learned the formulas and techniques to recreate its best moments, and then ran them all through a half broken cassette player. The album as a whole is warped—at times it can even sound like you’re hearing a band like White Fence coming through the particle board walls of the bathroom at a DIY venue, while others recall the likes of R. Stevie Moore’s lo fi recordings. Throughout the entire album, Delt’s music ebbs and it flows in an acid-drenched river of psychedelia–unstuck in time, unfettered by rule, organically and vibrantly alive.
Purchase Morgan Delt via Trouble in Mind.
Anna Fox Ronchinski of Boston psych-folk band Quilt was kind enough to put together this Winter-themed mix for us. Quilt are releasing their excellent new album Held in Splendor next week on Mexican Summer and will be hitting the road in support shortly thereafter. Head to Mexican Summer to pre-order Held in Splendor and check out the full list of tour dates after the jump.
Before sitting down to try out the excellent new King Noodle in Bushwick on Saturday night, I stumbled across the nondescript doorway of Heaven Street record shop in the basement of a nearby apartment building. It was here that I came across a reissue of The Other Half’s 1968 self titled featuring guitar wizard Randy Holden (later of Blue Cheer). Upon listening, two things immediately caught my attention–the degree to which “What Can I Do For You (First Half)” sounds like the Grateful Dead’s “Viola Lee Blues” and how much “What Can I Do For You (The Other Half)” reminds me of the groove on Ultimate Spinach’s “Ballad of the Hip Death Goddess.” A terrific garage-psych album that puts into full view the early greatness of Randy Holden, who apparently turned down a role in The Yardbirds to take on this gig. Seek out the LP, which was reissued in 2012 by Pilot Records.
Photo by Johnny Maroney
With another year upon us, here we present to you the first Dog Gone Presents Mix of 2014. Whether you’ve been braving the cold in the midwest or the ice storms and snow in the east, brew up a hot pot of tea, throw on this mix, and take a seat by the fireplace (or if you don’t have one there’s this). Have a great weekend, we’re off to NYC until Monday.
Tracklist after the jump.
Brooklyn psych outfit Woodsman have shared the second track, titled “Rune,” from their forthcoming self-titled LP. Join us when Dog Gone Presents Woodsman on January 29 at Rancho Relaxo in Toronto alongside Carl Didur (of Zacht Automaat) and Glass Tomb (RSVP). The evening will also feature the cosmic liquid light projections of lightsweetcrude.
Woodsman comes out February 4th on Fire Talk.
On Wednesday, January 29, Dog Gone Presents a night of primal psychedelia featuring Brooklyn psych-trio Woodsman, who have an excellent new album coming out on Fire Talk Records next month. The show will also include sets by Toronto kraut-duo Zacht Automaat and cosmic devotional project Glass Tomb. The show takes place at Rancho Relaxo and will feature liquid light projections by Lightsweetcrude. Tickets are $10 at the door. Check out Woodsman’s 2014 Winter Tour promo vid and a bit of info about each of the acts below.
Our love for Woods should be no secret around these parts by now. With each year, the band ages like a fine wine—constantly refining their songwriting and studio material, while taking their live improvisations further and further toward the cosmos. On April 15, Woods returns with a new album titled With Light and With Love on their own Woodsist label. You can hear the first song from it, titled “Leaves Like Glass,” below.
On Saturday, January 25, Dog Gone Presents a night of ghostly folk featuring Weyes Blood and ANAMAI at Toronto’s Magpie Taproom. Having already performed one of our Brooklyn shows, we’re psyched to bring Weyes Blood north of the border for her debut appearance in Canada. The show will feature Toronto’s own ANAMAI (the solo project of Anna Mayberry from HSY), who’s debut cassette we’ve been obsessing over of late.
Come take part in a night of creep folk while enjoying a crafty brew or two. Tickets available at the door. Inquire about group rates and travel packages within.
Weyes Blood is the mysterious ghost folk project of Natalie Mering, (former member of Jackie-O Motherfucker, Axolotl). Weaving sound textures with delicate folk songs, Weyes Blood is truly bridge music, combining the sonic influences of tape experimentation with the ancient art of song. Her voice is singular and timeless, unadorned yet soulful and penetrating. She has provided her pipes on Ariel Pink’s new record Mature Themes, singing back up on the song Early Birds of Babylon. She also accompanied the haunted graffiti live on an east coast tour in Sept 2012. Aside from small run releases such as the self-released “Strange Chalices of Seeing” (2007), and a 7″ entitled Liquor Castle (Smoker’s Gifts, UK, 2008) Weyes Blood released her first full length in March 2011 on the Not Not Fun label entitled The Outside Room.
Anna Mayberry—of Toronto sludge-punk band HSY—released a solo, three track cassette under the name ANAMAI in late 2013. Stepping out from the murk of her other project, this new avenue finds Mayberry softly crooning over ghostly, psychedelic atmospheres–ones that would find themselves right at home alongside those of MV & EE and their extended family of bands.
Well folks, here we are again looking back on another year gone by. Fresh out of the frost, here’s the list of albums that received the most play around these parts in 2013. You’ll also find a mix containing some of our favorite songs from 2013 at the bottom.
The Entrance Band – Face The Sun
Four years on from the release of their previous full-length, LA psych juggernauts The Entrance Band returned with an album built upon the personal struggles and spiritual transformations experienced by all three band members during the extended period of gestation. Balancing both sides of the journey toward the light, Face the Sun finds The Entrance Band in a more transcendent, melodic space while maintaining a hauntingly beautiful darkness in its undercurrent. Songs like “The Crave” and “Year of the Dragon” depict the introspective journey through the tunnel of addiction and sorrow, while “Fine Flow” and “Fire Eyes” channel a more cosmic side with the interplay between guitarist Guy Blakeslee and bassist Paz Lenchantin at near subliminal levels. A journey to the depths of the darkness can be known to strip away the heart and soul of a band, but in the case of Face the Sun it seems as though the members have returned to the surface with a brighter and more inspired outlook than ever before.
(originally published in Relix Magazine)
White Fence – Cyclops Reap
Once again, in 2013, the ever-prolific Tim Presley released an album loaded with lo fi, garage-rock nuggets that sound like they could have been released over 40 years ago. Recorded during a 4 ½ year span and largely inspired by the loss of his father, Cyclops Reap strips away some of Presley’s trademark punk murk, making way for a more spacious, folk-inspired sound. Surely one of the finest to come out of the White Fence cannon.
Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
These two young California sons managed to meld the ideas they’d been crafting while separately away at college into a beautiful piece of ‘60s inspired paisley psych-pop. As history often shows, combine two unique songwriters, especially one who possesses a highly volatile personality, and magic is bound to happen. However, tragedy and conflict are often bound to follow.
Endless Boogie – Long Island
There aren’t too many bands that still embody the old New York spirit the way Endless Boogie has for the past decade. Long Island, the band’s third proper release for No Quarter, unapologetically churns and tunnels its way through the group’s signature, riff-caked groove, tugging at their namesake for 80 minutes of stoned-out bliss. You either love ‘em or you don’t. They certainly don’t give a shit.
Steve Gunn – Time Off
For nearly 15 years, New York-based guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn has existed on the periphery of the contemporary avant-folk scene, acting as a solo artist and touring member in Kurt Vile’s Violators, as well as one-half of the Gunn-Truscinki Duo. But on Time Off, Gunn’s immense talent comes into full view as he leads a trio of old pals through a series of six extended folk journeys that touch on everything from Pentangle to Fahey to Indian Ragas to the Grateful Dead. Gunn’s soft, slightly haggard voice is showcased on songs like the heady acoustic jam “Lurker,” while the guitar interplay on “New Decline” would have Bert Jansch and John Renbourne singing praises. The title, Time Off, perhaps is not so much a suggestion that these songs were recorded during a particular downtime, but rather a nod to the music’s timelessness—where time can simply be switched off leaving music as the only dimension in which events may take place.
(originally published in Relix Magazine)
Wooden Shjips – Back To Land
For Back to Land, the new album by West Coast Psych amblers Wooden Shjips, leadmen Ripley Johnson and Omar Ahsanuddin packed up and moved to Oregon to record their first set of tracks outside of the Bay Area. With the lush climate and natural surroundings inspiring their musical direction, the pair tapped into a more grounded, organic sound without diverting the course of their modernist space-psych core. Throughout each the album’s eight tracks, a distinctly brighter flag flies atop the Shjip, as melodies step out into the forefront, washing away much of the sledge-y murk that cloud their previous recordings.
(originally published in Relix Magazine)
Night Beats – Sonic Bloom
Recorded in a Tacoma, WA warehouse, Sonic Bloom album perfectly captures the Beats at their drugged-fueled, raved-up best.
California’s garage rock son turns in his electric and fuzz pedals for a simple acoustic on the emotionally-charged, introspective Sleeper LP. Recorded following the loss of his father, Sleeper showcases the unadulterated beauty of Segall’s knack for melodious songwriting.
Kevin Morby – Harlem River
Harlem River is the debut solo album from Woods bassist/Babies guitarist Kevin Morby. Aided by a stellar cast of backing musicians, along with the help of Rob Barbato’s (Darker My Love) impressive production work, Morby delivers an intimate collection of songs that touch on the loneliness, addiction and hardships of a touring musician. Having joined Woods before he was legally allowed to drink in bars, Morby’s tale rings with the wisdom and experience of a man who’s spent the better part of his life on the road.
Fuzz – S/T
For the past several years, Ty Segall has largely existed as a solo artist. But with Fuzz, his latest project formed together with high school friend and Ty Segall Band guitarist Charles Moothart, it seems the lone wolf has finally found a pack in which to roam. Heavy psych of the highest order.
The Entrance Band collaborated with London fashion brand Sister Jane and photographer Amanda Charchian for the video set to their new Face The Sun single, “No Needs.” Watch the space-themed video below.
For those in the New York area, The Entrance Band are performing a special birthday extravaganza with secret guests for bassist Paz Lenchantin at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn tonight!
Purchase Face the Sun via Beyond Beyond is Beyond.
Just the other day, I was discussing with a friend the excellent production work heard on Kevin Morby’s debut solo album, Harlem River. About an hour later, completely by coincidence, the man responsible for that production work, Rob Barbato (Darker My Love), dropped a new track he’s been working on in me mailbox. This one comes from Columbus, OH-based singer-songwriter Andrew Graham and his Swarming Branch project. The song, “Rock and Roll #61,” is featured on a new 10″ single and seems to channel Gene Ween’s vocal stylings with a touch of Schmilsson on the side.
Purchase the 10″ single/digital release featuring “Rock and Roll #61″ b/w “Candlestick Boogie” via White Iris Records.
Poster design by Jessica Milton
Greetings, friends! It is a great honor to once again present to you the lineup for our third annual run of year-end late-shows taking place once at Mercury Lounge in New York City. This year on December 29 we’re psyched to present the combination of Invisible Familiars (essentially the band behind Sean Lennon’s The Ghost of a Sabertooth Tiger) along with Frank LoCastro. The following night on December 30, we’ll welcome back Real Estate side-project Alex Bleeker and the Freaks for their second year in a row. Supporting the Freaks will be Shorts, one of our favorite new acts on the scene which features current and former members of Woodsman and Real Estate. Both shows kick off around 11PM and will feature Dog Gone Presents and guest DJ sets to be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 12PM Eastern Time via the Mercury Lounge website. Previous years have sold-out so be sure to get your tickets in advance to avoid missing out.
Steve Gunn, having already secured a pair of spots on our year’s best of list with his Golden Gunn LP and the solo effort Time Off, makes a run at a hat trick with a third release this year recorded together with Pelt‘s Mike Gangloff. The album was recorded in the spring months of this year at the remote farmhouse of noted roots-music engineer Joseph Dejarnette (Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bruce Greene, Curtis Eller). There, in the tiny community of Topeka set in the countryside of Floyd County, Virginia, Gunn and Gangloff spent an entire night improvising with six-and 12-string guitars, a banjo, along with traditional Indian instruments like gongs, tanpura, singing bowls, and a shruti box. The result was an intense night of improvisation captured on the forthcoming release Melodies for a Savage Fix. You can hear one of the tracks, titled “Worry Past Worry,” below.
Purchase Melodies for a Savage Fix on regular or red vinyl from the good folks at Important Records.
Before moving back to Toronto earlier this year, I remember scoping out the local music scene and coming across Optical Sounds—a independent Toronto label fixated on the burgeoning Great Northern psych community. It was here that I first discovered the Sun Stone Revolvers (formerly The Revolvers), a band that took little time to make their way to the top of my “list of bands to see” once I got back to my hometown. Not long after my return, I was lucky enough to catch a show put together by the good folks at Exhale Presents and to say it was a nice welcoming would be an understatement. A true rock band at the core, Sun Stone Revolvers venture through a range of sounds from spaced-out, dark-psych territory to blissed-out tribal chants to motorik, kraut-inspired grooves. And they look fucking cool doing it too. You can stream their most recent album, Spaceship X, below or purchase it on vinyl/CD via Optical Sounds.
Have a listen to this month’s mix, available to stream or download below.
01. Woodsman – Healthy Life
02. The Entrance Band – Fine Flow
03. Morgan Delt – Beneath The Black And Purple
04. White Fence – To The Boy I Jumped In The Hemlock Alley
05. The Velvet Underground – Lady Godiva’s Operation
06. Quilt – Arctic Shark
07. Doug Tuttle – Turn This Love
08. Speed, Glue & Shinki – Don’t Say No
09. Amen Dunes – Ethio Song II
10. Grateful Dead – Early Morning Rain (11/3/65)
11. The Bethlehem Exit – Walk Me Out (Morning Dew)
12. The Resonars – Marina
13. Hellshovel – Summer’s Over
14. The Candymen – I’ve Lost My Mind
15. Jonathan Rado – Hand In Mine
16. Wooden Shjips – Ruins
17. Bombino – Amidinine
18. The Gaslamp Killer – Nissim feat. Amir Yaghmai
19. Endless Boogie – The Artemus Ward
20. Our Solar System – Merkurius
Boston psych-folk trio Quilt have unveiled the second tune off their forthcoming album, Held In Splendor, out January 28 via Mexican Summer. Hear the raved-up “Tired & Buttered” below and be sure to check out their upcoming tour dates as well.