1. SCROLL DOWNERS. Longtime Blastitude fave Lexie Mountain has a way of singing lead for heavy moderne psych rock bands that, like this brand new one, don't immediately fit into any one category. Which means that they must be Trip Metal (hell, Scroll Downers are playing Trip Metal Fest in Detroit as I type, possibly literally, it's 12:04 AM on May 29th, 2016 Eastern Standard Time). Her first such band was Crazy Dreams Band, who put out two great records on Holy Mountain in 2008 and 2010, the latter of which earned them a cover story on what is still the last "actual" "issue" of Blastitude to be published. Now she's in a band called Scroll Downers, which is her and the two guys who provided the music (guitar/bass and drums) for the band Dope Body, who I still have yet to hear, here grinding up a grand loud pulsing dream heaviness that is a perfect vehicle for Lexie's first world warrior woman rock poetics. Debut LP is called Hot Winter and it's out now on Ehse Records, also streaming here as of this writing.
2. FILMS OF INTEREST. Blackmail Is My Life et al (d. Kinji Fukasaku), an essay by Ivan Infante... The House With Laughing Windows by the brilliant Alexandra Heller-Nicholas... interview with Heller-Nicholas about "Suspiria, giallo cinema & the lure of the sensory... Gueros (2014, d. Alonso Ruizpalacios) gets into some deft Nouvelle Vague via Djibril Diop Mambety via Jimmy Jarmusch territory as it enters sideways into a story about the occupation of a university in present-day Mexico City via another story about the last days of an underground rock star...
3. BEACH BOYS Holland. I don't want to hear about the seemingly 19th "essential" forgotten bearded Beach Boys album made after 1970 either (shit man, I don't even really like Pacific Ocean Blue), but I picked this up cheap & semi-thrashed at a record show and it actually is really good. Key track right now is the anti-imperialist pro-indigenous "The Trader," especially the second half, lead vocals by Carl, heavy lyrics ("Making it softly / Like the evening sea, trying to be / Making it go / Creating it gently / Like a morning breeze, a life of ease / Eyes that see / Beyond tomorrow, through to the time without hours / Passing the Eden of Flowers / Reason to live / Embracing together / Like the merging streams, crying dreams" for example) by Jack Rieley, who was actually the group's manager at the time, and may have even been a bit of a Svengali... I think there's a story about Rieley and the band there, particularly about the making of this album, that an enterprising music writer could probably even get paid for!
4. OTHER RECORDS I GOT AT THAT RECORD SHOW. It was a particulary nice haul (thanks as always to the Rogers Park Music Swap and Funk Trunk Records)... I picked up a better $2.50 copy than my previous skippy/scratchy $2 copy of one of my favorite records of all time, Joni's Hejira (and if we're gonna quote cosmic lyrics, how about "We're only particles of change I know, I know / Orbiting around the sun / But how can I have that point of view / When I'm always bound and tied to someone / White flags of winter chimneys / Waving truce against the moon / In the mirrors of a modern bank / From the window of a hotel room")... a $5 copy of the Alvarius B/Sir Richard Bishop split LP If You Don't Like It... Don't! on Three Lobed, in which both artists perform a great set of all-instrumental all-acoustic guitar soli... a $15 copy of the Phoenix Records reissue of Flower Travellin' Band's Satori, even heavier and more beautiful than I already knew it to be (uh oh, more cosmic lyrics: "There is no up or down / Your truth is the only master / Death is made by the living / Pain is only intense to you / The sun shines every day / The sun shines every day"), and I'd never looked at an LP copy before so wasn't aware of all the detailed head-trip drawings inside the vase... I got Fairport Convention's Liege & Lief semi-thrashed for $5 and can finally say I truly get that band (thank goodness, it really took awhile)... also Judee Sill's 1st (4 Men With Beards reissue), Sunfighter by Kantner & Slick (dystopian white gospel?), dollar LPs by Coleman Hawkins and Rick James... fun stuff... not quite "being at Trip Metal Fest" level fun, but I'll take it....
5. POSTSCRIPT: Wanted to throw in a massive book I'm slowly working my way through called One River by Wade Davis, a stunning travelogue, ethnobotanical reverie, history of indigenous South America (both geographical and sociocultural), history/appreciation of the work of Richard Evan Schultes (1915-2001), Erowid-worthy trip journal, and much more, and it resonates tangentially but intensely with at least two of the things aforementioned (namely the song "The Trader" and the film Gueros), and I'm reading it because of another stunning film I should've mentioned up there, Embrace of the Serpent (2015, d. Ciro Guerra), which was partially based on and/or inspired by it. South America, man... the heaviest...
Sunday, May 29, 2016
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