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17 November 2013
Name That Tune legacy
Now Playing: Midwinter "Waters Of Sweet Sorrow"
Topic: Minor change or comment

The contest is finished and the prizes are being distributed, but late-comers may still be interested in the Name That Tune contest, the music part in particular. The web-pages will be left running and the music remains downloadble, viz:

here you can download the Mystery Disc aka Name That Tune:
http://www.lysergia.com/NameThatTune/lamaNameThatTuneDownload.htm
 
track list here:
http://www.lysergia.com/NameThatTune/lamaNameThatTune.htm
 
Now it's time to look forward and boldly go where no man has gone before!

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 18:35 CET
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10 November 2013
Name That Tune contest finished !
Now Playing: Darius on Chartmaker
Topic: Minor change or comment

Things have been more strange than usual around these parts, as I fractured my hipbone last week and was taken to hospital, where they shot me full of morphine & then, between nodding-off, I checked my surf pad (gotta love Wi-Fi equipped hospitals) only to find that Lou Reed had moved on to, well, wherever a Lou Reed goes when it dies. Reclining in a hospital bed with industrial strength opiates running through my system while thinking of Lou Reed seemed like an unusually memorable event among the dead days of Nordic autumn. They allowed me home after a few days and sent me off with some interesting pharmaceuticals which are currently being evaluated. I'm not really a big narcotics fan, but it if it's clean and nearly free, why not enjoy it while it lasts... and now I really don't care anymore... you can aalll go take a waallk...

Actually, that's not true. What I really came to tell you about is the final results of the massive Name That Tune contest that we kicked off 5-6 months ago. The NTT website has been updated with all the results and winners ('Crazy Juan' in Spain won by a thin margin after having named 15 of the 23 tracks: a very impressive feat in view of the level of difficulty). Of these 23 tracks, only two remained unidentified after the dust had settled.

 

So, winners, track lists and comments can be found here: http://www.lysergia.com/NameThatTune/lamaNameThatTune.htm


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:33 CET
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7 October 2013
Reissue round-up
Now Playing: Koobas
Topic: Entry data revision

I don't intend or pretend to keep track of all new reissues that poureth forth from all corners of the world, but once in a while there may be a quick survey of what's going on. Like right now.

First off is the unexpected repro of TODD's immortal "With Love From Me To You", originally self-released in 100 copies in Indiana 1979. It's been said that Todd sells more t-shirts than records (I have two snazzy Todd tees, for instance), but the back story and significant artefact status of Todd justifies this repro from Swan Fungus, an American label. The modern producers generously provided a photo of Todd in a joyous moment reminiscent of his moment of triumph at the high school prom, where according to legend he became a John Hughes '80s teen movie type underdog/hero after the jocks tried to make fun of him and the other kids rallied to support him.

It was snidely predicted back then that Todd would "still be selling his record 20 years from now" and guess what--the bullies were right, but not in the way they intended! Apparently Todd likes to think that his current status is due to the excellence of his music and nothing else, so buy the rekkid and decide for yourself.

Way off at the other end of the scale, or maybe on another scale altogether, is a brand new reissue of the hallowed debut LP from MU, featuring Merrel Fankhauser and Jeff Cotton. No mind games on this Guerssen reissue, just the classic LP in the original '71 sleeve, with insert liner notes by, well, me. It was great to connect with the Fank, who remembers every aspect of his career well, and given his multitude of projects there was quite a bit to write about. I think this may be the most accurate and complete piece fact-wise for the 1969-72 period so far. The LP is great and now ready to be contemplated by another generation.

Almost as unlikely as Todd is the reissue of MISTY HUSH REVIVAL also on Guerssen. This one's been out for a while but still has me surprised each time I see it listed. It's enjoyable as a time capsule with a sound and vibe you never find on a 'real' label release, but it's also so extremely obscure (for a long while, only one copy was known to exist) that I never thought it would be reissued. Of course, I thought the same about HEITKOTTER, and then a 1000-copy reissue popped up from Time-Lag, so I guess anything is possible these days. When is the Cincinnati Joe & Mad Lydia repro due?

Finally on Guerssen is a record whose qualities are in your face and not in need of ironic analysis, meaning T-KAIL's "Somewhere Sometime" (or whatever--I have an orig here but am too lazy to check), which comes with band story from my Acid Archives colleague Aaron Milenski, esq. Aaron is a major fan of this record since long, which you can see from his review in the Acid Archives. I think it's pretty damn good too, and recommended to fans of Titus Oates, Galaxy and maybe even Anonymous. Watch for the disco track on side 2 though!

In the first version of this post I forgot to mention yet another unlikely reissue of recent making, meaning the extremely obscure METZ album from mid'70s Texas. You can find a review of the album in the Acid Archives 2nd Edition, but basically it's an energetic urban glam-rock sound that is quite unusual for the region. The back story has some interesting angles--the first (presumably) copy was found by the Rockadelic guys back in the 1980s, but one of them managed to break it when demonstrating the flexibility of the thin vinyl! They patched it together enough so it could be spot played, and realized that it kicked ass. After that nothing was heard about Metz for 20 years, until a copy popped up in one of the Pokora books, while a collector in New Orleans simultaneously found another copy.


Metz sleeve as seen in Pokora book, sorry for poor scan

A funny thing about the new reissue from the US Ossining label is that the front cover isn't "real"--the Metz LP was most likely sleeve-less, and what is being recycled is a home-made, modern design drawn by the Austrian (T.U.T) collector who owned the copy shown in the Pokora book, and who reportedly had a habit of creating new sleeves for the sleeve-less items in his collection. This is more of a fun curiosity than a problem, not least since the design is nice and fits the record. Observe the reversed 'Z'.


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 20:22 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:15 CET
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1 October 2013
Name That Tune enters the final lap!
Now Playing: Chris, Chris & Lee
Topic: Minor change or comment

Today we have precisely 1 month left before the doors close on that most exciting of contests, the psychedelic NAME THAT TUNE!

You've seen it on the TV show, you've heard it on the radio -- if not, here's the full low-down:
http://www.lysergia.com/NameThatTune/lamaNameThatTune.htm

Enter now and compete for the extraordinary prizes and even some good old US dollars!


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:32 MEST
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30 September 2013
Missouri's lost drone masters: The Sound Farm
Now Playing: Sound Farm
Topic: Addition

This was forwarded to me by an experienced Midwest collector, and turned out to be a highly interesting and for the area atypical '60s hippie underground sound with avant touches. The band were called Sound Farm and apparently were an early commune of musicians, something which is audible in the group-mind nature of the music. Alas, the Sound Farm settled for a reel-to-reel 'release' of their album-length material (complete with custom-designed box and awesome insert; $3.50), which has never come out in any other format. Reissue labels may take an interest in this in 2013. Reportedly the band laid down a bunch more on tape than what was released.

THE SOUND FARM (Columbia, MO)
Harvest (Music For The People) 1969 (no label)
  [reel-to-reel format; mono and stereo; circa 500p]
Nine tracks of atmospheric hippie drone-rock from communal heads in Missouri; reminiscent of The Electronic Hole and European early '70s psych in the Trad Gras & Stenar style. Recorded as early as 1966-68, this is a pioneering effort for the Midwest, and features structured songs mixed with instrumental organ/guitar headtrips with enjoyably stoned results. Only released on 7" reel tape.

"Mr Bullfrog":
http://www.lysergia.com/SoundFarm_03MisterBullfrog.wma

"Jungle Body", 8 minutes of vintage Missouri drone:
http://www.lysergia.com/SoundFarm_08b_JungleBody.wma

 


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:22 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:16 CET
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21 September 2013
Eden Ahbez with bonus
Now Playing: Eden Ahbez
Topic: Entry data revision

As the importance, not to mention sheer enjoyment, of Eden Ahbez' proto-psychedelic masterpiece Eden's Island opens ears and minds in ever wider circles, the reissues step forth. Righteous/Cherry Red in England have recently released what I think is the fourth repro, and it is the best one yet. Earlier repros have simply taken the original album for recycling, not bothering to add even the non-LP 45 side that clearly belongs to the Eden's Island sessions. A recent vinyl repro took the liberty to replace the classic, perfect 1960 sleeve with some yellow abomination that was neither modern nor retro, but simply wrong.

The current CD on the other hand retains the original front cover, and better yet, adds a whole bunch of vital bonus tracks. The 45 track ("Tobago"; actually an instrumental version of an LP number) is present, as are several other 45 (or even 78) tunes written by 'Ahbe', as his friends knew him. Bianchi & The Jungle Sex-Tet have 3 tracks from the Aphrodisia LP which are fun cocktail sipping music from the Atomic Age, and there is also a vocal surf tune with Eden himself.

But what really delighted me was the inclusion of Herb Jeffries' "Legend Of Nature Boy" suite in its entirety. Released around 1957, this is the only recording of Ahbez' complete suite, from which "Nature Boy" was pulled and made a hit for Nat King Cole in the late '40s. Jeffries fell in love with the spiritual depth of this smooth music, and arranged and recorded it with Richard Hazard's Orchestra for a self-financed release; an early private pressing in other words. This is not quite Exotica but big band crooner ballads with a serious, philosophical tone; not at all like Eden's Island yet quite psychedelic in its own way. In my Acid Archives and Psychedelia books I have written at length about Jeffries' LP, which the man even took care to reissue in the late 1970s. In addition to the musical and historical value, it is encouraging to see reissue labels do their homework and dig up contextual recordings of importance. Kudos to the producers.

Second pressing from the late 1970s

With reference to Ahbez' oeouvre, it should be recognized that what we get on this CD is a selection, by no means complete. There are several more 45s and 78s featuring recordings of Eden's songs (I have one in my own quite small Ahbez collection), although I don't think there are any more discs with Eden himself present. If the Ahbe trip continues its victory tour around the world, it may be possible to envision a complete collection of all his compositions in their original recordings. Wouldn't that be something? In the meantime, pick up this excellent CD reissue from Righteous and dream the dream that dreamers dream.


PS if someone is working on a complete Ahbez discography featuring all his compositions, feel free to get in touch for hands-on support.


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:55 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:17 CET
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9 September 2013
Joy Malay Ensemble on Album World
Now Playing: Eclipse (US 1983)
Topic: Addition

Avid Acid Archives reader JB generously forwarded an odd bird that should interest tax scam hounds and Album World completists.

 

JOY MALAY ENSEMBLE ( )
Maid Inn De' USA 1977 (JM Records AW 14086)

Here's what seems to be a previously undocumented addition to the Album World tax scam discography. The 'band', if we pretend that it existed, delivers what sounds like studio backing tracks for various known and unknown songs before the vocals were added. In other words, it's instrumental music that was never intended to be released in this form. Not uncommon for the wild world of tax shelter rock, and as you might guess, a rather unusual listening experience. Assuming that it all comes from the same source, I would venture that it was a club band cutting some studio sides, as the playing is reasonably good and the track list contains several 'oldies'. Off the top of my head I identified instro covers of "Liar Liar" (Castaways), "La La La La La" (Blendells) and "When You Walk In The Room" (Searchers). People with better ears than me can properly name several more, although the completely invented back cover credits do not offer much help. Since the music was intended to support a vocalist, there is not much of soloing and the verses and choruses float by in an amusingly passive way. It is strangely listenable, and fairly varied style-wise, so why not? [PL]


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:20 MEST
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25 August 2013
Save Wild Basin finally located
Now Playing: Pink Floyd live San Diego 1971
Topic: Minor change or comment

Since time immemorial I have been haunted by the mystery of two obscure vintage 45s for which even the tiniest bit of information refused to surface. Theories as to them being modern hoax recordings, or unreleased, or maybe not from the USA, came in vogue as time went and positively no one I asked seemed to know anything. Recently, after 20+ years, I sort of gave up on the quest, since not even the riches of internet yielded any clues.

And maybe that was just what was needed, because a few months ago, in rapid succession, I found the whole shebang of release data for both 45s. I will return to the other no-longer-mysterious 45 in a later post and focus on the second one of the two here, as I now have the actual rekkid in my hairy hands. It is "Save Wild Basin" by a group called Sonstar, and like almost everyone familiar with it, I first ran across it on the enigmatic 'Good Roots' garage/psych compilation from Austria c1982. The comp contained no data and in fact managed to mis-spell (deliberately?) the group's name as 'Sonostar', which may have contributed to my long delay in finding it.

A mighty fine piece of music it is anyway, energetic hippie-folk with an advanced guitar arrangement and soaring vocals that fit the theme of the lyrics perfectly. The band turned out to be a quartet from Austin TX and the single was released as part of a campaign to save a piece of rural land and a basin from explotiation. It came with a picture sleeve that also could be used as a mailing envelope, and contained a 2-sided insert. Very few people have heard the B-side "Golden Eagle", which is a quite good rock number with a full electric setting; it's probably one step too close to mainstream FM rock to work on underground ears, but does confirm the quality of Sonstar. Another collector who was in contact with the group learned that they had a major label deal in progress, at which point their album master tapes were lost; at least that's what the band claims. Too bad, because one can imagine a pretty damn good LP coming from these cats.

The 45 was released as late as 1976, making it almost contemporary when it was picked for bootlegging on 'Good Roots'. This places it in the fine company of other mid-70s tracks such as Neil Norman's "Phaser Laser" (1977) and Scorpion's "I'm Only Human" (1974) on that most peculiar compilation. In any event, the Sonstar quest is complete and I am very happy for the closure.

You wonder about the campaign? Well, it turned out successfully--wild basin was saved and is probably still there.

 


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 20:30 MEST
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22 July 2013
Stray dogs in need of a name tag
Now Playing: still the same Rex Foster LP
Topic: Addition

A couple of titles that look AA-like but need more feedback.

THOMAS HALAGAN (AZ)
Conglomerations 1973 (no label ARA 71673) 
[paste-on sleeve]
Described as pretty good acoustic downer folk, includes a rarely done Donovan cover.


BRAT (San Diego, CA)
Brat 1971 (no label R-2826)
  [1-sided; no sleeve]
Presumed demo press-only 1-sided disc with six tracks from this unknown local rock band, including covers of the Yardbirds and the Who. Reportedly only 50 copies made, which could be true.


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 20:28 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:19 CET
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9 July 2013
Alan Franklin Climactic Correction
Now Playing: Deliverance (1972)
Topic: Entry data revision

Floridian king of rock Alan Franklin had several obscure LPs under his belt, with at least three in the vintage (1969 onwards) years alone. The album credited to the Alan Franklin Explosion and reissued by Psycho is well-known and not overly hard to find--it was in fact even mentioned in Billboard--but the other two are obscure indeed.

Our diligent friend Juan in Spain recently aquired the LP listed vaguely as 'Climax' in the Acid Archives 2nd Edition, and forwarded several corrections to that entry. The release year is 1969, the title is Blues Climax (same as the Alan Franklin Explosion LP) and there is nothing to really indicate it being the 'demo' it is listed as. Based on the liner notes, which are quite amusing and probably written by Franklin himself, this was a proper commercial issue whose main fault was that no one was interested in it.

ALAN FRANKLIN (FL)
Blues Climax 1969 (Horne J.C. 333-7)

This pre-dates the better known 'Alan Franklin Explosion' LP and features earlier versions of several tracks, recorded with Franklin handling all instruments except the drumming. Despite its obscurity it appears to be a commercial issue, rather than a 'demo' as has been claimed earlier.

 


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:24 MEST
Updated: 9 July 2013 23:26 MEST
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6 July 2013
Hoi Polloi peeks out again (40 years on)
Now Playing: Hoi Polloi reissue
Topic: Entry data revision

I have written at some length about the sophisticated and partly quite superb college project LP Hoi Polloi from Earlham College 1972. After a long, diligent process the album is now out as an vinyl reissue from a joint indie project between Family Vineyard and Folk Evaluation: http://family-vineyard.com/products/hoi-polloi-lp-reissue

Hoi Polloi is one of few albums where I can claim a stake on being part of its "discovery", and it's an utter delight to see the long process from getting an original in a trade about a decade ago (a transaction actually described in the liner notes) now result in this upscale reissue from people who obviously take a real interest in the story and record. I can still recall the buzz I got from the very first play of my old original--the sound and quality of the opening "Who's Gonna Help Me" was totally different from what I had expected from the crude cover and custom label press. At the time, the album was unknown except for a listing in one of the Pokora books, and only 3-4 copies were known to exist. A few more have surfaced since, but it's still a serious rarity.

The reissue landed here just the other day and is very nicely done; thick sleeve, insert, exact repro of Custom Fidelity labels even. The sound seems to be excellent on the first play--despite the engineer/producer's comments about the limitations of 'bouncing tracks', the original recordings are almost of pro-studio quality, clean yet dynamic. One of my favorite reissues of 2013 so far, although I'm obviously biased. I had no direct involvement with the production of the repro, however.

Don't miss the highly rewarding download bonus tracks, which give the substantial talents of Charlie Bleak more individual space than the group-effort Hoi Polloi album. This cat was the Paul McCartney of Ohio! There are also four tracks from the one and only live performance from Hoi Polloi, which includes a couple of tunes not on the original album.

 


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:59 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:20 CET
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13 June 2013
Bureman & O'Rourke & Post #100
Now Playing: Terminator Salvation
Topic: New review

Post #100 will cause no particular celebration, but for the record I might observe that the AA Updates concept has worked out pretty well. Feedback is sporadic but good, and I can tell from e-mails and other comments that quite a few people read these pages. The blog format is convenient in some ways, but the lack of an A-Z index is annoying. I'll see if I can fix this somehow. And now...

BUREMAN & O'ROURKE (Kansas City, MO)
Strawberry Pickin's 1974 (Pearce 42550)

This is a fairly well-known title among private press rural rockers, yet listening to it I think it deserves a little more attention. It's simply a good, enjoyable album that could well have come out on a real record label. Music-wise it's bluegrass-oriented roots sounds, utilizing a standard rock setting plus banjo and mandolin. It's not a hippie barnyard thing like Sodbusters, but a more genuinely dedicated effort that reminds me of the Brown County Band. Side 1 is more traditional, while side 2 leans more towards rural rock with a possible New Riders Of The Purple Sage influence. That said, "Genevieve" on side 1 is the strongest track of all, an excellent original that could have come from the Modlin & Scott LP. Covers include a fine "Mr Bojangles", "Love Song" by Loggins & Messina, and a couple of trad numbers. While not quite up there with Cambridge or the Black Canyon Gang, Strawberry Pickin's (it's their apostrophe) plays through like a charm, and will appeal to anyone with an ear for rural rock, country-rock and modern bluegrass. This used to be in 'The Attic', but both quality and recent going rates promotes it as a matter for the main Acid Archives. The duo had at least one more album. [PL]


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:24 MEST
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12 June 2013
Doc Holiday & Justen O'Brien
Now Playing: Doc Holiday
Topic: Addition

Here's one that's probably been floating around in $5 bins before someone with the right ears sat down and gave it a chance. Cred goes to the legendary sleuth in Texas who still pulls rabbits out of the hat after 25+ years. The connection to a well-known private press maestro provides the icing on the cake.

DOC HOLIDAY (ND)
Lady Free 1980 (no label DDP-807)

Another recent discovery, Doc Holiday managed to ensure maximum obscurity for his opus by a combination of artist name, album title, and front cover design that sends out a total impression of second tier contemporary country music. However, flipping the cover over to read the credits, the name JUSTEN O'BRIEN will jump out at any seasoned record aardvark, not least since O'Brien's presence is all over the album: he handled engineering and mixing at his own 'Justen Other' studio, reportedly co-wrote several of the (uncredited) songs, and played bass. The opening track is unimpressive soft rock that seems to confirm the negative promise of the packaging, but with "I Dreamed I Went Sailing Last Night" we are swept into what sounds like a lost outtake from Justen O'Brien's Time Will Tell LP. Any fan of that highly original piece of work will instantly recognize the odd nocturnal vibe, the flowing basement sound, and the lyrics about journeys of the imagination. For a pure Justen OB buzz, this is the high point of the LP, but fact is that for its full duration, Lady Free is good or even very good. There is a certain folk influence that combines with the '70s late-night Midwestern vibe most intriguingly, as heard on side closer "I Am Just A Spirit", which revisited some of the Justen feel as combined with a solid dose of Tom Nehls. A tribute to Sir Thomas More (!) anglifies the folk theme, while over on side 2 cutting fuzz leads opens the door to the most rocking track, "A Friend I Have". Moments like this may bring Michael James or even side 2 of Marcus to mind, although Doc's excellent, mellow vocals gives the music a distinct identity. "Kathleen" takes a Pearls Before Swine approach to a melody reminiscent of Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time", with excellent use of violin, while the Donovan strain from the Thomas More tune resurfaces on another Albion-themed song about Queen Victoria. True private press appeal arises from the combination of '60s folk, nocturnal singer-songwriter, and spooky Midwestern late '70s DIY FM rock production; had the Doc been picked up by a record label the outcome would have been completely different. As it is, the unexpected marriage makes the album difficult to figure out at first, but with several plays a consistent, homogenous experience emerges. Lady Free has some things in common with the Richard Kneeland LP [see review below] and may appeal to the same type of '70s private press collector, once the news of Justen O'Brien's presence has been digested. The artist was tracked down recently and his few remaining copies were aquired and distributed. [PL] 
~~~
see => Justen O'Brien


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:15 MEST
Updated: 12 June 2013 22:23 MEST
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9 June 2013
Jerimiah in the Kitchen
Now Playing: Jefferson Airplane "Up Against The Wall..." boot LP
Topic: Entry data revision

One of the least known Johnny Kitchen tax scam releases, Jerimiah surfaces only once in a blue moon, a rare astronomical event which recently occurred. The album is listed in the Acid Archives Second Edition, an entry which could use some upgrading. The description of the music (aka review) is brief, although there isn't really much to say about it if you're familiar with the Kitchen '70s kitchen sink releases.



JERIMIAH ( )
Blowing Your Mind 1977 (Wong 14068)
This is Johnny Kitchen doing messed-up lounge-a-go-go fuzz rock ten years too late. Like all Album World label releases, a new label name has been invented, while the catalog number follows the Album World sequence (see Ilian, Tarots, etc). The excellent "Flippo" is the obvious high-point, and there's also a cool, slightly trippy cop-show funk number and two completely misplaced patriotic crooner songs, in addition to the generic Album World vibe that tax scam collectors like. Except for its rarity, Jerimiah isn't overly desirable and not at all as good as the Tarots, as an example. The artist name is written 'Jerimiah' on the sleeve, a possible misspelling that would have bugged the artist if he had existed.
  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:48 MEST
Updated: 12 June 2013 22:26 MEST
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6 June 2013
Tripsichord trip chore (2nd update)
Now Playing: Blue Planet Corporation
Topic: Entry data revision

The Acid Archives entry for the Tripsichord Music Box LP goes some way towards sorting out the complicated pressing situation, but recent info suggests that even that substantial effort may have been insufficient. It's easy to get lost in vague speculation or false memories here, so to try and get to the bottom of this, I encourage anyone owning an interesting Tripsichord original variant to get in touch. Please note that you must have the LP in your possession and be able to provide confirmed matrix number and other info. No 2nd hand info, please! Thanks... now enter through the narrow gate and face the black door:


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:55 MEST
Updated: 10 June 2013 00:45 MEST
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Bondsmen (TX)
Now Playing: Caravan "Grey & Pink"
Topic: Addition

After 15 years a cycle is closed, thanks to an attentive Acid Archives reader/collector. The Bondsmen LP was included in Ron Moore's pioneering pre-Archives book Underground Sounds back in the late 1990s. However, when transferring all of Ron's data to the Acid Archives, we were unable to confirm any of the Bondsmen info, and no one remembered much about it either. So I did what we usually did when info is too scant for even a place-holder info, and put it up in The Attic awaiting illumination.

And now illumination has arrived--the Bondsmen exists, it's a genuine teenbeat era album, and a damn rare sucker too.

BONDSMEN (TX)
April 2, 1966  1966 (Austin WAM-33-6652)
This rarely seen album includes typical 3rd-tier club band cover versions of "Farmer John", "Just Like Me" and "Gloria" along with less exciting MOR like "Unchained Melody" and "Theme From A Summer Place". "Ebb Tide" lays on a sleepy early '60s lounge mood a la Willie Wall Trio. "Seventh Time Around" with tough garage moves, crude playing and snotty vocals is a high-point, and they reap bonus points for rarely done covers like "Night Time" (Strangeloves) and a strangely depressed "Ferry Across The Mersey". The recording is crude and possibly done on-stage before a show (no audible crowd noise). A roller rink organ bounces along somewhere in the back, and the lead guitar too is mixed low, while the happy amateur singer is all over the place, depending on how close he held the mic to his mouth. It's almost as off-the-wall as the Rebs on Fredlo, but a frantic drummer, the atmospheric organ, and the energy of the front man keeps the Bondsmen ship floating. The recording took place in Beaumont, which may be the band's home-town, and was custom-pressed in Austin. As few as 100 copies may have been pressed, and it's a rare one even as local teenbeat LPs go. [PL]


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 16:28 MEST
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4 June 2013
Play that Frunky music
Now Playing: Spring (UK)
Topic: Entry data revision

One of the more absurd stories in the Acid Archives book dealt with FRUNK, a group of young women who pressed up an LP of themselves singing along with various famous recordings from the early 1970s. Due to the album's obscurity it seemed the story might end there, but not so -- recently a person involved with the Frunk "project" popped up on internet, and better yet, he had a few copies of the rare LP stashed away which he offered up, along with the Frunk story!

"The album was released in the Summer of 1972. There are 8 copies available and we believe the initial pressing was 25 records, not 100. We have also located the original Master as received from Frankford-Wayne Recording Labs at 212 N. 12th St. in Philadelphia PA. I have also located the original master tape on which I recorded all of the sessions, then mixed them down via a TEAC 4 channel mixer, to the final set. The record was recorded on a Teac 3340 10 1/2" reel 4 track recorder. The tape is exactly as it was when it was delivered to the pressing company. If you would like details of how the record was created and the group formed: Back in 1971 I was just getting into serious electronics and high end audio was my current compulsion. I was living in Haddonfield and I build a recording studio in my basement. One day my sister in law and her friends were visiting and I was playing “500 miles”, Peter, Paul & Mary in the studio and they came in and started singing. It sounded interesting, so I suggested we record. Over the next few weeks we recorded many takes on my Teac 3340 4 channel recorder. As there was no karaoke in those days, I dubbed the girls voices over the original music from the turntable. Eventually we got “acceptable” material. I mixed it all down and created a 10” reel with the master on it (which I still have) and took it to Frankfort Recording Labs and had 25 copies made. We created covers, pasted them up and poof! We had a record. I gave the girls each a 3 copies and asked if they could sell them (for $5 each to help off set the cost of the project. I think my Mom bought the only copy sold, but I felt sorry for her and gave her a refund)..." 

From this detailed account we can derive not only a release year and locale, but also a press size. The run turns out to be RPC's minimum of 25 copies, making Frunk a rare as Mystery Meat, the first Phantasia, and Drywater (if memory serves me). The musical experience is somewhat different, but nevertheless unique, and it also offers Steve Drake Kaczorowski tight competition as to who did in fact invent karaoke rock. The few remaining copies have now been sold one by one to the tune of $400-600, with those interested hopefully realizing that these are the last spares anyone's ever going to see of the Frunk record, much like the Mystery Meat frenzy 10 years ago.

FRUNK (PA)
If At First...
1972 (R.P.C. Z69821)  [25p]


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:33 MEST
Updated: 4 June 2013 23:50 MEST
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3 June 2013
Richard Kneeland
Now Playing: Creation Of Sunlight
Topic: Addition

Here's a recent discovery (I think) that was recommended to me by a rare LP dealer, and not without reason.

RICHARD KNEELAND (Worcester, MA)
Present Your Errors 1976 (Gothic Records NCR 12--1171) 
[>1000p]
 

Right out of Bobb Trimble country, except a few years earlier, comes young master Kneeland, who despite his youth has enough tricks up his sleeve to keep the listener intrigued. At first the album seemed kind of disjointed in its mix of singer-songwriter and atmospheric instrumentals, and there was no obvious 'signature' song to grab onto as an initial reference point either. Yet something in there demanded repeat plays, and I ended up keeping the disc on my turntable for a couple of days, flipping it over and over for scrutiny or simply to enjoy. It's familiar terrain for '70s private press collectors, a semi-electric production with guitar-picking, bass but no drums, and occasional flute and Arp synth supporting Kneeland's rather agreeable voice, or in the case of the instrumentals, successfully instilling a thoughtful nocturnal mood. The vibe I get is a college student home for Christmas sitting in his old room and brooding over the past and the present--it's not neurotic or suicidal but a more complex, reflective state of mind. Kneeland's self-confidence carries the album and allows him to open side 1 with a nonsensical little instrumental ditty, and there are quirky moments scattered throughout that keeps one guessing. Soundwise it could be compared to Carl Erdmann for the instrumental passages, while the dominating s-sw style reminds me a bit of Communication 1, or a more experimental and less rootsy Millard & Dyce. Most of all it simply sounds like Richard Kneeland, and if you're like me you will award it enough spins needed to get to know him. It's clearly better than something like Chris Yates, and as good or slightly better than Carl Hakansson. Specialists in local s-sw and moody '70s private press albums need to check this out. The cover is pretty amusing and contributes to the clever, slightly ironic impression of the artist (who also reported the press size in an internet post). [PL]


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:50 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:21 CET
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1 June 2013
30 Years of Being Ugly!
Now Playing: Richard Kneeland LP
Topic: Minor change or comment

A note now to champion the 30-year anniversary of the leading '60s-oriented fanzine in the world, Mike Stax' UGLY THINGS. Those who know the zine well are likely to have noticed the grand celebrations recently held in honor of this great publication, with everyone from '60s pop stars to '90s neo-moptops paying tribute.

As testified in some of the articles I've written about the garage scene of the mid-1980s, Ugly Things has been a big deal to me personally, first inspiring and guiding me as a moptopped teenager, and more recently allowing space for several of my reviews and articles (the Mel Lyman piece in #22 was my first, the Perth County Conspiracy in #30 the most recent). Founder and editor Mike Stax has been encouraging throughout, and as you might guess, becoming a writer for a magazine that had been a formative influence in one's youth is a slightly surreal experience.

Most timely, the new Ugly Things issue is out, as big, comprehensive and cool as ever. I managed to close a cycle by reviewing a retrospective LP with the infamous Stockholm garage punks the Crimson Shadows, i e: the same guys that I idolized (and soon got to know) at the very same time that I first discovered Ugly Things magazine! Whether it's 1985 or 2013 doesn't matter, Mike Stax and his creation make their benign presence felt in my life.


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:51 MEST
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19 May 2013
Mystery EP 'The American'
Now Playing: The Ones on Ashwood House
Topic: Addition

This has to be one of the most obscure items ever in my possession. I spotted it on eBay a couple of years ago with no info attached, but the seller's suggestion that 'one track sounds like David Crosby' was enough for me to take a shot. Scrutinizing the record and the other material clarifies a thing or two, but I've been unable to find any references to this at all.

So what is it? Well, first there's a sturdy, black outer slipcase in roughly quarto format, showing a big sun which turns out to be an orange-tinted image of a meditating hippie. The slipcase holds a printed magazine whose cover at first glance seems to be completely blank. Looking closer one can make out the words 'THE AMERICAN' embossed in white-on-white, and at another spot is a printed serial number. This may sound very much like The Beatles' White Album, which obviously is the intention. Looking for production year yields an early 1970 date from various clues, making the White Album reference seem a bit dated.

The magazine, apparently called 'The American', turns out to be a typical college yearbook thing from an obviously free-spirited, or even anarchaic instititution. It's a thick, generous mag with nice print quality, though only black and white. The contents are the usual mixture of poetry, political rallying calls, absurd prose snips, underground comics and similar brainstorms from any and all students who wanted to take part. I've gone over it cursory and saw nothing that seemed particularly different or psychedelic. The most interesting question is the geographical origins, which wasn't entirely easy to figure out. From what I gathered I am however pretty sure that this emanates from The American University in Washington DC.

Now, here's what's really interesting, and the reason I bought this. Along with the year-book came a 33 rpm flexi-disc featuring three tracks. The credits are scant, but a couple of names overlap with the staff at the college magazine, so it's obviously a campus production. The appearance of the text 'The American' seals any doubts on its relationship to the slipcase and magazine, into which it was slipped when I found it. Although the two clearly belong together, there is no reference in the magazine to the flexi disc, from what I can see.

In any event, the flexi comes housed in a rather attractive monochrome art sleeve which is full of nicely drawn mushrooms, palm tree-size cannabis plants and some psychedelic patterns. The back cover is blank. The flexi disc itself is two-sided and credits 'Earth Matrix Ltd' as the (probably fictious) label. Side 1 has two shorter tracks, clocking in at a total of 6.5 minutes, while side 2 has one long track of almost exactly the same length, suggesting that this may have been a technical limit set for the flexi production.

Now, I wouldn't have bothered writing any of this if the music had turned out to be some generic, mediocre campus folk thing. Luckily it is not, although the second track on side 1 fails to breathe any particular life into the IRA folk hymn "The Patriot Game", the melody which Bobby Dylan borrowed for "With God On Our Side". Preceding it we get "Come Into My Garden" credited to Susan Manning, a risqué, or more precisely downright dirty little Judy Collins parody featuring various sexual invites from Ms Manning. I wonder how her friends reacted when they heard her gladly proclaiming that the visitor could well "enter through the rear gate". Let us hope her parents were kept unaware of this special class project of Susan's.

OK, so side 1 is student zeitgeist nonsense, but what it's really all about is the long track on side 2, the one that was said to sound like David Crosby. Well, in short, it does sound like David Crosby, his late '60s mood of flowing oceanic hippie psych mystique to be precise. I've uploaded a 75-second clip so you can get an idea about this number, which is titled "Gently All Around (Warmth)" and credited to one Wall Matthews with assistance (probably second guitar) by a Mac Walter. None of these names appear in The American magazine, or on the tracks on side 1. So the mystery is at its thickest just where the music is the best, a phenomena familiar to many veteran record collectors. There is a tempo shift with an intense acoustic guitar break before the Crosby ocean flow returns and the song ends. Due to this being a flexi the sound isn't all that great, but all in all this is one of the more interesting things I've found of late. In terms of obscurity few can top it, so if you know anything about this artefact or the people involved, please post a comment below and I'll contact you.

THE AMERICAN EP (DC)
The American 1970 (Earth Matrix Ltd)
  [33 rpm 7" 2-sided flexi]
Songs credited as follows: "Come Into My Garden" featuring Susan Manning; "The Patriot Game" featuring Jack Purdy, David Taylor & Donald Colwell; "Gently All Around" featuring Wall Matthews with Mac Walter.  [PL]


Is that you, Susan Manning? And is this me?


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 00:41 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:23 CET
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