Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pink Floyd - "Astronomy Domine"
Live on Look of the Week in 1967

Nice beatboxing by Syd Barret.
That dude Hans Keller is a dick.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppermints (1967)

Strawberry Alarm Clock is one of the most underrated American bands from the psychedelic era, largely due to the hippie image created by their self-consciously trippy name and hit song, "Incense and Peppermints." Granted that many of the songs from Incense and Peppermints contain stereotypical hippie lyrics, the arrangements, instrumentation, and vocals are so impressive that it's endearing rather than annoying. Incense and Peppermints has a wide array of instrumentation including excellent psychedelic lead guitar, harpsichord, flute, keyboards, organs, and other exotic instruments. The vocal harmonies also add to the rich sound of the album. They began as a group called Sixpence from Glendale, California in the mid-60s and would endure numerous line-up changes throughout this time and during the recording of Incense and Peppermints as well. Around the time that they released their first single, "The Birdman of Alkatrash" with "Incense and Peppermints" as the B-Side, they changed their name to Strawberry Alarm Clock. "The Birdman of Alkatrash" failed as a single while "Incense and Peppermints" took off on the radio and became a #1 hit in November of '67. Although Strawberry Alarm Clock enjoyed some success with the release of Incense and Peppermints, from that point on they would be plagued by negligent management and pressure to compromise their sound.

"Incense and Peppermints" from the film Psych-Out with Jack Nicholson pretending to play guitar

"Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow" from Psych-Out

Download Incense and Peppermints

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Vince Collins' Psychedelic Animations

Animation funded by the United States Information Agency for America's Bicentennial from 1975

"Malice in Wonderland"
This is definitely the scariest, trippiest shit I've ever seen.

Animated film for the song "Life is Flashing Before Your Eyes"
I can't figure out who did this song, but it's pretty sweet.

"It Depends On Your Perspective" from Sesame Street

This is some of the most amazing animation I've ever seen. He has new videos on his myspace page that I've yet to watch, but apparently they're digital and not as sweet. His "About Me" is pretty hilarious, though.

Vince Collins' Myspace Page

Peter Max's Psychedelic Television Commercials

Movie refreshment ad

American Cancer Society ad

7-Up ad from 1968

7-Up ad from 1970

I accidentally came across these psychedelic animated television ads by artist Peter Max, and I must say it's some of the sweetest shit I've ever seen in my life. I only know a little about Peter Max so I'm gonna spare the effort of writing anything about him and just throw up a wikipedia link instead.

Peter Max wikipedia entry

More Psychedelic Sampling

The Electric Prunes - Holy Are You

The Electric Prunes were a psychedelic garage band from Los Angeles, CA, but by 1968 they had been completely transformed into a project run by composer David Axelrod (pictured above) and producer Dave Hassinger. Their two albums from 1968, Mass in F Minor and Release of an Oath, combined rock and classical music with heavy religious content. This song is from Release of an Oath.

Quasimoto - Return of the Loop Digga

Quasimoto is a project by producer/DJ/MC, Madlib. The music is heavily sampled, tripped-out hip hop with rapping by Madlib and his alter-ego Quasimoto, which is Madlib rapping with an altered, high-pitched voice. This song is from The Unseen, which is the first of the two Quasimoto albums.

Madlib's sample from "Holy Are You" occurs at about the 1:06 mark. In "Return of the Loop Digga," the sample appears at about the 2:02 mark after Quasimoto says, "Yo Madlib! Yo! I know you comin' with all this other shit man, but I want you to hit 'em with that raw shit right about now. You know whatcha gotta do." This is a great example of the potential to recontextualize music through sampling. Madlib takes a loop of David Axelrod's religious, orchestral production and turns into a raw, hip hop beat...and a peculiar one at that.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Love - Da Capo (1967)

Following their self-titled debut, Love expanded to a seven-piece for their second album, Da Capo. The first side of the record contains some of the finest American psychedelia ever recorded while the second side contains a 19-minute jam entitled "Revelation." It isn't a bad song by any means, but had Love invested as much effort and thought into the second side of the record as they did on the first, Da Capo could have been as great of a classic as their following record, Forever Changes. Regardless, Da Capo remains an important album because Arthur Lee's songwriting had begun to blossom, hinting at the greatness he would soon achieve. It also contains their only Top 40 hit, the fast-paced, pre-punk, "Seven & Seven Is." The instrumentation of the album is an impressive blend of psychedelic lead guitar, harpsichord, horns and flute. After Da Capo was released, apparently the band was on the verge of collapsing due to heavy drug use and internal conflicts. When they started recording their third album, there was so much turmoil that Arthur Lee and Bryan MacLean would have sessionmen backing them on their respective songs. Luckily, they were eventually able to get together and record their undisputed masterpiece, Forever Changes, but this lineup would unfortunately break up in early 1968.

Fun Fact: Mick Jagger admits that "She Comes In Colors" was the inspiration for "She's A Rainbow" from Their Satanic Majesties Request.

Download Da Capo