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15 April 2014
Kirk Felix
Now Playing: TV blather
Topic: Addition

For My Friends 1972 (Coward RI 3555)  [gatefold]

Odd acoustic folk LP from a peace-loving troubadour who played coffee houses when not serving overseas as a sergeant in the US Marine Corps (!). Apparently Felix was aware of how strange this seemed, as he poses with a peace sign on one photo and named his label 'Coward', which he clearly wasn't. In any event, the music is mostly conventional '60s Village sounds in a Fred Neil-Gordon Lightfoot vagabond folk tradition, and despite the '72 date it doesn't reflect much of the more expressive and freer moods that the s-sw style brought. At times he gets moody a la early Tim Buckley and these spots are the most interesting on the album. There's Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell covers alongside a string of originals. He has a nice harmonious voice and the album is consistent in style and quality, but only folk collectors need to concern themselves with Felix' LP, which has several things in common with another LP from the same area, Jon Batson. [PL]

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:35 MEST
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20 March 2014
Sinners mystery LP acetate/demo
Now Playing: Sinners "Mystic Eyes"
Topic: Addition

Working my way through old CD-R binders while doing hard disk transfers, I came upon an item I hadn't seen in 10+ years. It could well have been included in the Acid Archives book, but already at that time I had forgotten about its existence.


The Sinners  1966 (no label)
  [Gold Star acetate only] 
Sent to me long ago by a gentleman in the Los Angeles area, this is a sleeveless demo/acetate disc for an album credited to 'The Sinners'. No other information is present, but the grooves themselves contain a powerful garage message. Opening with a very good, intense take on "Mystic Eyes", the twelve tracks traverse a broad '66 spectrum including British covers such as an efficient "I'm A Man", a couple of vocal pop tunes ("It's Not Unusual", "Pied Piper", "You're The One"), one James Brown ("I'll Go Crazy") and two oldies (the Bell Notes "I've Had It", Richie Valens' "That's My Little Susie"), even more British Beat covers, and possibly an original or two. There's none of the residual surf or folkrock often found on this type of albums, which may or may not give a clue as to the band's origins. The vocals are semi-buried in places which suggests it may have been a rough mix acetate only. In any event, there's more Them via "Here Comes The Night", Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and, somewhat unusually, "Concrete And Clay" by Unit 4+2. Looking at the track list, I would venture a recording date of late Summer 1966, with "Pied Piper" the most recent track, while the bulk of the material looks more like a '65 set list than '66. All numbers except one are identifiable covers, the exception being "Ya Done Me Wrong" which is either an obscure r'n'b cover or in fact a band original. The odds are decent on the latter, as it's an uncomplicated tune with a fair debt to Jimmy Reed as processed through the Rolling Stones. If this checks out as a self-written number, it is the high point of the disc along with the opening "Mystic Eyes". It's a little unfortunate the band's live bookings demanded three (or more) lame pop tunes where they could've done the Byrds and the Raiders instead, but all over a respectable obscurity certain to interest garage collectors. [PL]

Note: after I posted the above, noted garage expert Mike Markesich suggested that this could be the East LA Sinners, who had a major label contract but no records out. The appearance of an obscure Richie Valens cover offers this hypothesis some weight.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:21 MEST
Updated: 20 April 2014 19:14 MEST
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5 March 2014
Child's Plate [updated]
Now Playing: Kvartetten Som Sprangde
Topic: Addition

I've now gotten the chance to hear this rarity a few times, and the interest seems warranted; it's got the special atmosphere that are vital for private pressings to raise attention with collectors, and a fairly attractrive sound with good vocals and well-written songs. It reminded me a little of Neil Young around After The Goldrush, except that the vocals are more like Stills than Neil. I need to hear this some more to write a genuine review, but so far Sorrell's LP seems agreeable, yep. 

This one appears to have been known in certain secretive cells, but was news to me when someone alerted me to the recent eBay auction. Still haven't heard it, but contextual data alone makes it seem like an AA contender.

Child's Plate 1974 (Yantis)
  [100#d; insert]

Appearing on the same label as the very rare and quite good Strange, this one may be even harder to locate--apparently a copy was sold back in the '90s but otherwise I have never heard of it before. Judging by the credits it is essentially the solo work of one Dan Sorrell, who wrote the tunes, sings and plays guitar and keyboard. We'll have to get back to you regarding the music ("drifting, introspective folk psych in a loner, singer/songwriter direction") but obviously it's a non-acoustic 'rock' title offering the interesting combo of sitar and Arp synth, which makes me wonder if it's a Sky Sulamyth or William E Nowik type nocturnal shroom tripper. Once heard, I'll update this. Moving on to what is known, this was not only on the same label as Strange, but the two albums do in fact overlap in the credits due to the presence of Mark Rensel, who here is credited with recording and production, in addition to the Arp noises. He is credited on the Strange LP for a couple of the live recordings, while another 'Rensel' named Robert (his brother?) was part of the actual Strange/BarApp band. Possibly Rensel owned the label/studio where both Strange and Child's Plate were mastered. Claims of the LP being a limited 100 press may be true, at least the recent copy showed a hand-written '78 of 100' on the lower right cover corner. [PL]


DAN SORRELL => Child's Plate 

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 17:01 CET
Updated: 15 April 2014 23:10 MEST
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6 December 2013
Two obscure reissues
Now Playing: Mario Kart
Topic: Addition

It was easier back when you only had to keep track of Funhouse and Midnight Records catalogs to have a full grasp of new reissues. Nowadays many indie records sort of leak out into the real world without anyone bothering to advertise them, presumably because the internet networking is good enough to move 500 or 750 copies of a repro without standard PR. The risk, obviously, is that people who would love the reissue don't get to hear about it until much later.

Here are two reissues that you may not have heard about:

KEVIN APRILL: Sunset Upon An Imaginary Beach Of Latent Energy (Del Val, US)
This is a limited reissue of a 1-known-copy US private press basement wonderama which seems quite interesting, with references to Madrigal and Charlie Tweddle. I had to order one right away, and maybe you do too. The Del-Val label is back after a few years of hibernation.

CASE: Blackwood (Lion Productions, US)
Another one I never expected to see a reissue of, like Todd, Misty Hush Revival, etc. Discovered some 10 years ago by a young Texas craterist, Case is highlighted by a dynamite westcoasty basement psych track, while the rest of the album left me rather unmoved, as evident from the Acid Archives review. However, holding a real rekkid, even a reissue, in one's hand can change the impression substantially, so for now I'm just noting that this one is out from the renowned Lion Productions, with band info (recorded during X-mas break 1971 by a PA high school quintet) and color photo insert. Limited edition of 500 copies, which is a lot more than the RPC original, of which very few copies are known to exist. 

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 17:01 CET
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:13 CET
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Chaplains (1965)
Now Playing: Floss "Cruisin'"
Topic: Addition

The bold and beautiful few who share my journeys through the shunned woods of mid-60s teenbeat LPs have now come up with another buried artefact from ancient days. Previously undocumented, we give you...

More Soul 1965 (MIC 2109)
  [no sleeve]
The band were students at Vanderbilt Univ in Nashville, class of '65. The album apparently never came with a cover. Proud explorer Erik Lindgren reports that "...there are a few good garage numbers and a bunch of horn rock soulish covers. The three or so bona fide garage songs don't have horns and are spirited. Musically in the league of most Justice LPs...". Erik also forwarded a track list, viz: 

Side 1
1 Gloria
2 For Your Precious Love
3 Can I Get A Witness
4 In Crowd
5 Treat Her Right
6 Cry Baby

Side 2
1 Midnight Hour
2 Deep Purple
3 The Last Time
4 My Girl
5 All My Loving
6 Turn On Your Love Light

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 16:37 CET
Updated: 6 December 2013 16:40 CET
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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.

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":

"Jungle Body", 8 minutes of vintage Missouri drone:


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:22 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:16 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.


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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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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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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6 June 2013
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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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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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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4 April 2013
Now Playing: Hay! Kelly!
Topic: Addition

This one is not in the AA at all but clearly belongs, even without the recently observed $300+ going rate.

BLUEBYRD (White Bear Lake, MN)
Sweet Thoughts 197  (no label MT 1501)

An obscure private press with an unusual and attractive sound for local early '70s trips, the all-male Bluebyrd quartet delight the listener with a moody folk-pop sound seemingly rooted in the mid-'60s stylings of Peter & Gordon and Simon & Garfunkel. Recorded mainly as a demo for a studio project, the emphasis is on the songwriting and the vocal harmonies, both of which are quite attractive. While a rare style to pursue in later years, it is not completely unique, and the hallowed Schibbinz offer a good reference point for the best aspects of Bluebyrd. Comparisons could also be made to Lazy Smoke and Fredric, as long as one bears in mind that this is neither psychedelic nor underground, and does not offer much room for the secondary instrumentation beyond the distinct guitar-picking, and any 'trippy' production tricks are completely absent. The timewarp magic is disturbed by a couple of lesser tracks in a peppy '70s pop bag, one of which copies the melody to "Moondance". If these guys were bent they might have sounded like Dyckman-James, but they are straight as an arrow without sounding clinical. One of the more interesting Acid Archives type things I've run across in the last year or so. [PL]

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 00:09 MEST
Updated: 19 December 2013 20:27 CET
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27 March 2013
David Habeck
Now Playing: David Habeck
Topic: Addition

This obscure album was recommended for inclusion as a recent discovery, and why not.

The Circle Meets Itself Each Time Around 1981 (Makin' Jam 1001)

Little known acoustic rural folk/singer-songwriter LP from the tail end of the hippie era. Habeck sings in a high register yet manages to sound gentle and inviting, given ample support by acoustic guitar tapestries. It sounds like his voice is double-tracked, or else he's harmonizing with someone else, but the vocal richness helps steer the impression away from the dull solo loser folk, and towards more of a CSN vibe--something like "Helplessly Hoping" is not too far from Habeck's style. The overall vibe is a little like Michael Styers or John Villemonte, laidback and reflective, but the lack of amplification is a drawback. Still, a pleasant encounter.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:06 MEST
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3 February 2013
Random unheard '70s dawgs
Now Playing: Simla Beat '71
Topic: Addition

A couple of very obscure titles that are added since reliable people speak in favor of them... I have yet to hear them.

Present Your Errors 1976 (Gothic)

New England private press described as 'loner introspective folk psych' with flute, synth, nocturnal moves.

Songs of the middle way 1966 (no label)

Female acoustic folk with crystalline vocals and mostly originals, has been compared to Vasthi Bunyan. Housed in the same colorful generic sleeve as one of the Hellers LPs ('Johnny Spots').

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:59 CET
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24 January 2013
Now Playing: Anonymous "Inside The Shadow"
Topic: Addition

This is a recent discovery that remains unheard by me for the present time. It has commanded good money on repeat occasions and may be one for the '70s folk/s-sw crowd.

Featuring Graham & Wesley 1972 (Virgin Enterprises 208319)
  [no sleeve]
Pressed at QCA in Cincinnati.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 16:38 CET
Updated: 25 January 2013 00:13 CET
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12 December 2012
Liquid Smoke
Now Playing: Lee Michaels "Carnival Of Life" LP
Topic: Addition

Although a '1-tracker' in some people's ears, the obscure Liquid Smoke album has begun to see some real action on the collector market, enough so that it's time to bring it down from The Attic and add it to the regular Acid Archives.

LIQUID SMOKE (Long Island, NY)
Liquid Smoke 1970 (Avco Embassy AVE-33005)
On the unpredictable Avco Embassy label, here's a white soul band who amped up their sound enough to attract the attention of psych collectors. The organ/guitar backing rocks pretty hard, but this is only one step removed from all of those horn bands that collectors hate. The band is pretty tight and tough, but aren't even remotely original. The highlighted songs are well-known covers, the singer postures throughout (not a single growl or groan sounds like it hadn't been rehearsed a hundred times), and while a few songs have half-decent hard rock backing tracks, the arrangements are aimless (backing vocals come straight from the adult contemporary playbook and most of the guitar solos are bland and dull) and the singer always annoys. Records this lousy make me wonder if all you needed to get a recording contract in 1969 was a fuzz box and a drummer who could keep time. Exception: "Reflection" is a pretty solid hard rocker, and even has a decent guitar solo. [AM]

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:39 CET
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15 November 2012
Snake Eyes
Now Playing: 'Get Him To The Greek' movie
Topic: Addition

This remains unheard and could suck, but collector-wise it's still of interest.

Not A Minute Too Soon 1977 (C.C. Records CC-BB-2034)
A previously undocumented title on the obscure tax scam label CC Records, who put out a bunch of weird LPs in generic-looking covers in 1977. Of these, Frigate is the most noteworthy. See Acid Archives Second Edition for more on this cluster, which is buried even by tax shelter standards. The musical contents are unknown at this point, but unlikely to feature any real band called Snake Eyes, if history teaches us anything.


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:09 CET
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Allen Ginsberg "Dialectics Of Liberation"
Now Playing: Gordon Jackson LP
Topic: Addition

Here's another vinyl imprint resulting from Ginsberg's visits to Britain in the mid-'60s. I believe it's missing from the standard Gins bibliography, just like the album written about here earlier.

Dialectics Of Liberation, Vol 1-23 1967 (no label, UK)
  [vol 13, 14, 16]
A massive 23-volume set that seems unfathomable as a product today, yet we should rejoice in its existence. A bunch of learned men gathered in London to discuss the possibilities, nature and need for 'liberation', which seems to be a code word for revolution. Lectures, dialogues and roundtable debates are spread out across the 23 volumes, including luminairies such as Stokely Carmichael, R D Laing, Julian Beck, Simon Vinkenoog and several more. Ginsberg appears on volumes 13, 14 and 16, of which the last is all Allen and nothing else. Vol 13 has an amusing passage in which a British professor of religion challenges Ginsberg to explain what his sanskrit chanting means, and could he please describe the differences between hinduism and buddhism. Ginsberg is also taken to task for his hedonistic lifestyle, in light of his religious appearance. Sort of like what you always wanted to hear, but never thought would happen. Allen is rather defensive and simply says "point taken" before things move on. Stokely C has some interesting things to say on the same volume. Supposedly Digger Emmet Grogan appears on one of the volumes, but I haven't figured out which one yet. Doubt they pressed many of this.

UPDATE: Here is a clip of the amusing Ginsberg passage mentioned above.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:52 CET
Updated: 19 January 2013 20:46 CET
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