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Acid Archives 2nd Edition Updates
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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Present Your Errors 1976 (Gothic Records NCR 12--1171) 

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 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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13 May 2013
Art Of The Gifted
Now Playing: "Albedo", ambient sampler on Ultimae
Topic: Addition

I wrote about this on the Waxidermy several years ago, and it keeps popping up now and then so I figured I'd recycle it here within the Acid Archives domains, even if it violates the time constraints.

Art Of The Gifted 1988 (no label)


There’s lots of records by crazy people out there, but albums made by real mental patients are considerably fewer. Here’s one, recorded in 1985 by clients at various mental health facilities in Colorado. The project was the brainchild of Dr Alan Melinger, who also inserted a few numbers of his own creation into the mix. This is less odd than it may seem, as he had been in noted '60s Texas bands the Iguanas and Endle St Cloud (IA). His tracks lean towards an unexceptional '80s Springsteen/Bon Jovi muscle rock sound, and include the 45 pick “Live For A Friend”, composed and sung by the bearded Dr Melinger. However, two thirds of the album consist of creative outpourings from patients, and some of these are rather remarkable. “Secret Of The Night” is dark singer/songwriter with an instant appeal, while “We Too Care” is a spoken word female lament over moody keyboard backdrops, reminding us that people with mental problems also care about things such as Christmas. Then there is the “State Hospital Tune” by one Jean M, and here we enter some truly strange domains. In a somewhat toneless voice, Miss M delivers a rhymed poem which mentions a lot of her psychiatrists by name, and not all that respectfully either, followed by strange narrative jumps and 30 seconds of French chanson singing. As often within the field, it’s hard to tell where irony ends and true pathology begins. Before the therapy project had been completed the 38-year old Dr Melinger died of a heart attack. Out of respect for his efforts, the album was pressed up and released privately in 1988. Oddly, the cover opens at the top rather than on the right. Here you can find some snips from the LP. [PL]

ADDENDUM I (with special thanks to Rockadelic Rich)
As we discovered while looking into this rarely seen LP, Alan Melinger was a former member of Texan 60s garage legends the Iguanas (“I can only give you everything”; “Black Suit”), after which he joined Endle St Cloud, who released a circa 1970 album on International Artists (of 13th Floor Elevators fame). It seems that he in fact was Endle St Cloud. In a 1984 garage fanzine interview he testified on being strongly influenced by the Elevators during his Iguanas tenure. He had also been the owner of a 6-foot Iguana which named the band. At one concert he held the iguana by its tail and swung it over his head, but it slipped out of his grip and flew out into the audience. The Art Of The Gifted back cover obituary contains no such information.

After Mr Show'n'tell helpfully assisted in hooking us up with Alan Melinger's partner in the Art Of The Gifted project, Dr Dave Babak, some new info came to light and the few remaining copies (5) were aquired for the fringe collector market. The record is not for everyone but remains unique, with must-hear peaks in the two tracks on side 1 mentioned in the review. Since then, Dave Babak too has passed away.

R.I.P Alan Melinger and Dave Babak.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 15:42 MEST
Updated: 13 May 2013 15:46 MEST
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7 May 2013
Akashic Readings from The Eternal Now (part 1)
Now Playing: Paul Revere & The Raiders old mix-tape
Topic: Minor change or comment

As I mentioned earlier I used to run The Eternal Now, a webpage column (or blog) long before blogs existed, and over its 7-8 years in existence quite a bit of esoteric information appeared there. The page is still up and will remain so, as a kind of Akashic Library, but I intend to recycle some of the more interesting tidbits from there into this current blog. Not all of it will be immediately Acid Archives-related, but all of it will be immediately psychedelic.

from The Eternal Now, 2004:
...Moving upwards and then to the right we end up in Oakland, where a bunch of heads known as DIRTY FILTHY MUD held the population hostage with strange sci-fi music and even stranger behavior... their "Forest Of Black" 45 is one of the freakiest and most highly rated acid music 45s of all time, and thanks to info provided by Dave Baldwin I am able to reveal the following: 1) the blurry color design of their art sleeve is in fact a flashlight shining through a hippie shirt; 2) the band cut a whole bunch of unreleased tunes, incl an 11-minute version of "Forest Of Black" with acid guitar leads throughout... aargh... 3) the band were buddies with none other than the 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS during their Bay Area stay (Fall'66), and the amazing oscillator fx on "Forest" were in fact a tribute to TOMMY HALL's psychedelic jug... speaking of the Elevators, the wellknown "Avalon '66" tape that has been bootlegged by everyone and his attorney since 1978 derives from a broadcast of old ballroom live tapes on KSAN in the Bay Area; first mention of the Elevators tape I've seen comes from early 1978, suggesting the broadcast happened in late 1977; anyone know for sure?... the Elevators were just one of many vintage psych-era tapes broadcast by KSAN, and despite being traded for 25 years now most of these have never been properly released and they include killer stuff like '66 ragarock by the FINAL SOLUTION... [since then, the Avalon recording has of course been legitimately released on the British box-sets, via a tape provided by me to Elevators caretaker Paul Drummond]

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:24 MEST
Updated: 7 May 2013 23:27 MEST
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Phantasia & Phiphth Pipe Dream
Now Playing: Kris Kylven & Syb-Sonic "Forgotten Souls" xlnt psybient
Topic: Minor change or comment

A couple of quick but vital points... one of the oft-mentioned but hardly ever seen stickers that was supposed to come with the classic Fifth Pipe Dream sampler finally popped up, not exactly a feast for the eyes but cool to finally see. 

I think there is another one in another color, and there are definitely promo stickers in the same 'series' for Tripsichord Music Box and other Katz sweatshop acidrockers. 

Regarding Phantasia, noted collector Juan in Spain points out that his copy of the rather severe Graal that is their first demo LP comes with a lyric sheet insert. This is not mentioned in the Acid Archives book, and I'm unsure whether all or just some of the copies found included this lyric sheet. The tracking story of Phantasia, if I remember correctly, is that the main Ton Um Ton guy in Austria found the band some time around 1990, and extracted a few remaining copies of the 2-sided and 1-sided demo albums, which were then sold to well-heeled European collectors. Very few copies have been seen since, and in view of the reported 25-copy pressing, won't be seen either. You know the music, of course... here's side 1 of the lyric insert so you can sing along to "Transparent Face".

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 00:10 MEST
Updated: 7 May 2013 00:12 MEST
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5 May 2013
The Name That Tune 2013 Contest has begun !
Now Playing: Juventus celebrating a new scudetto
Topic: Minor change or comment

Following last week's Lesser Mysteries, we have now unveiled the full trip of the Greater Mysteries. The Name That Tune website contains all the vital information and music you need to join the contest. $100s of dollars and some great records can be yours, if you can Name That Tune!

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 16:57 MEST
Updated: 5 May 2013 16:58 MEST
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3 May 2013
Now Playing: Tourniquet
Topic: New review

This obscure late '70s release on the haunted RPC custom label appears in the Acid Archives 2nd Edition with what is basically a place-holder entry, as we were unable to find a copy or dub thereof. At long last a helpful collector forwarded me a rip, so here goes:

You never know what you're going to get on RPC, and if anything the diversity among the releases seemed to get ever greater as the years passed. From the final days you have things like fringe boner Tone The Bone and the seriously timewarped MHS Rock, and you also have the oddly named Tourniquet. It took several plays for me to wrap my head around this album, not because it is particularly strange, but because it doesn't sound like a custom label disc at all. To begin with, it sounds fairly professional; not quite major label-worthy, but with more time in the studio these guys could probably have worked out the wrinkles (some weak vocals and less than ideal mixing). For the most part Tourniquet sounds like one of those new wave-era bands who could pull almost anything out of the hat and sneak it past the trend jury, as it was modern and genreless enough to seem "OK". So, depending on your politics and mood, Tourniquet sound either like a  melodic AOR band or ambitious power-poppers. There's plenty of guitar in the mix, some of it pretty edgy, and also strongly late '70s/early '80s-flavored keyboard (and synth) used mainly for embellishments to the succinct, guitar-driven tracks. The vocals, some solo and some ensemble, are generally pretty good and adequate to the musical style. The lyrics have enough quirky personality to grab your attention after a few plays (I particularly enjoy the second track and it's sugary "You're boring, boring" chorus), and give a certain identity to a disc which runs the risk of sounding like an imitation of a trendy major label band, c1979. My mind wanders towards things like Sniff'n The Tears or the Motors, but it's more a generic period style than anything else. What confused me most were a couple of tracks that sounded quite different from the rest, such as a '60s-flavored number with fine female vocals that pops up out of nowhere (Blondie-inspired?), and two heartfelt ballads with keyboards upfront. The diversity briefly had me thinking of a various artist album like North County Rock Association, but ultimately I think it's clear that Tourniquet is the product of 2-3 guys in New Jersey, who may have recorded this primarily as a demo album; at least that's what it sounds like. One of the main guys apparently received some encouraging feedback from hip UK record label Stiff, which seems reasonable given the modern (for the time) sound and respectable songwriting heard on the album. Some interest in the power-pop/new wave axis is required; despite its utter obscurity there is nothing psychedelic or underground about this. [PL]


Together with a local NYC collector I've attempted to contact the Tourniquet guys, and while they all seem to live in the New Jersey area, no response came to our inquiries.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:21 MEST
Updated: 7 May 2013 23:28 MEST
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1 May 2013
Mystery Image Unmasked!
Now Playing: Eclipse (US 1983)
Topic: Minor change or comment
And here it is, the entire mystery image unmasked! I had intended to award 1 point of good karma to a single winner, but as it turned out the point will be split between Paul Glavin (who right off the bat guessed right on the content) and Ian Johnson (who first deciphered the key texts). 0.5 karmic points to Paul and Ian each. These may come in handy when the actual Name That Tune competition begins. More on this soon...

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 19:02 MEST
Updated: 1 May 2013 19:04 MEST
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30 April 2013
Charlie Bleak / Hoi Polloi 45
Now Playing: Charlie Bleak 45
Topic: Minor change or comment

For more than 10 years we at Lysergia have championed Ohio's Charlie Bleak as an undiscovered talent of national magnitude, and it's pleasing to see the persistent interest in both Bleak and the Hoi Polloi LP, which will see a vinyl reissue shortly.

For Charlie Bleak (pronounced like 'Blake') the Hoi Polloi project at Earlham College was just one stop in a long and varied musical career that began in the '60s garage era. Some day, maybe not too far in the future, I suspect that it will all be excavated and documented with the attention it deserves, preferrably by some young musicologist in the Ohio/Indiana area. While waiting for that I keep chipping away at my archivist contributions, from which now a useful addition can be reported. After reading some years back that Charlie Bleak had some session hours logged at the Owl studio where several Ohio artists recorded, I figured there might be a release somewhere between Hoi Polloi (1972) and Bleak's mainstream album Let Me In (1976). And indeed there was, more precisely a 45 which was recorded locally and self-released by Charlie, with a picture sleeve even. I was lucky to find a copy fast once I knew what to look for, and here it is.

The presumed A-side "Love Is On The Way" is melodic '70s pop with a breezy feel, very much in the McCartney mode where one often finds Bleak as well as other local '70s talents. It's a well-written, well-arranged song which is so succinct in its action that it only lasts 90 seconds! It still has all the elements of a 3-minute pop song, which tells you something about Bleak's modus operandi. Both verse and chorus are agreeably catchy without being silly, I just wish there was a bridge section so one could enjoy it a little longer. The B-side "Never You Mind" is a longer song that leans more towards a CSN type dreamy westcoast vocal harmony sound, and none the worse for that. Not as radio-friendly upbeat as the A-side but for a 2013 listener, about as good. In short, Bleak does not disappoint with this 45, but confirms his standing as a terrific songwriter and all-around music pro, seeing as how he both arranged and produced both tracks. Anyone smitten with his Earlham College work will want to add this 45 to the collection, at least until that groundbreaking Bleak retrospective album comes around some day.

A final note, unless I've mentioned this already--the story on how Bleak came to play bass (under an alias) on the One St Stephen LP is that they lived in the same building and Charlie got tired of hearing 'Stephen' rehearsing the same tracks over and over, so he brought him to Owl studios to get the songs out of his system and on to vinyl.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 00:54 MEST
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28 April 2013
Preparation for the Mystery Rites -- have a guess!
Now Playing: Torino-Juventus
Topic: Minor change or comment
Taking a break from interviewing Merrell Fankhauser (aye) in order to present the blog readers with a little mystery that I've concocted. This mystery is in itself the prologue to a much bigger mystery which will be presented in time. For now, the game begins with the Lesser Mystery:

Every day in this coming week I will post 4 different parts of the same image. These parts are like pieces of a puzzle where the full image is unseen and unknown. As new parts of the image are added each day, the complete picture gradually becomes more clear. Once it is entirely clear, it will signal the beginning of the Greater Mystery.
If you can post a reasonably accurate guess as to what the picture contains, you will be awarded a bonus point which can be very valuable in the next and much heavier part of the Mystery.

 (note: if the 'post comment' option doesn't work, send me an e-mail at renaissancefair*, replacing the * with @).

This countdown will continue for a week, beginning now. And remember, future events such as these will affect your life in the future.

Countdown Image part 1:

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 16:12 MEST
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