Friday, September 28, 2012

Sounds of Liverpool Psych Fest #10: Mind Mountain

It is a happy time indeed, friends, when psychedelic music is enjoying such popularity, as it is these days. Bacchanals celebrating this favored genre of yours truly are popping up all over the place (most notably in Austin, of course), but such a festival has recently popped up on my radar from across the pond. Obviously, I would love to be in England for the Liverpool Psych Fest (full official fancy name: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia), but since I can’t be there, these are some of the bands that I find most appealing.

It's never a bad thing when a band is so loud that they blow your speakers. Judging by the live footage that's on the internets, Mind Mountain is such a band. And I like it. The new Liverpudlian outfit takes the sludgy, jam-laden approach to psych, and I suspect that many a speaker lies conquered and spent in their wake, brief though their time together has been. They're just "three dudes who like to play heavy jams," though I assure you there's much more to it than just that. The noise I've heard so far is promising, and hopefully there's more where that came from. 

  

Sounds of Liverpool Psych Fest #9: The Cult of Dom Keller

It is a happy time indeed, friends, when psychedelic music is enjoying such popularity, as it is these days. Bacchanals celebrating this favored genre of yours truly are popping up all over the place (most notably in Austin, of course), but such a festival has recently popped up on my radar from across the pond. Obviously, I would love to be in England for the Liverpool Psych Fest (full official fancy name: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia), but since I can’t be there, these are some of the bands that I find most appealing.

This isn't the first time I've mentioned The Cult of Dom Keller, my friends, and I promise you it shan't be the last. They are, quite frankly, transcendental. A divine, decadent darkness hangs like midnight mist over their songs, adding to the element of the unknown and the unexpected that lives inside their music. At times menacing, their breed of psych rock is powerful and potent, nightshade deadly and quite possibly hysteria-inducing. That they cite cults, conspiracies, and black magic as interests will come as no surprise after indulging your ears in some of their offerings. It is a new life goal of mine to see this band live, and I envy those bound for Liverpool this weekend for getting the chance to see them before me.

   

Sounds of Liverpool Psych Fest #8: The Altered Hours

It is a happy time indeed, friends, when psychedelic music is enjoying such popularity, as it is these days. Bacchanals celebrating this favored genre of yours truly are popping up all over the place (most notably in Austin, of course), but such a festival has recently popped up on my radar from across the pond. Obviously, I would love to be in England for the Liverpool Psych Fest (full official fancy name: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia), but since I can’t be there, these are some of the bands that I find most appealing.

The words "Irish psychedelic terrorists" might scare some folks, but to yours truly those words mean wonderful, wonderful things indeed. The Altered Hours, about whom such words are said, command attention with their delightfully delirious distortion and heavy, hazy mind-melting. Theirs is some of the truest, purest "psych" on the festival's bill, and theirs is also some of the noise I'll most miss hearing in person. 

 


Video Vixens: The Verve

As we all know, one of the questions I'm most fond of asking folks is what they consider to be the best song ever written. It's definitely an impossible question, and everyone has a different reply. I don't know that I could ever truly choose a favorite song, but I've got a handful of songs that are pretty close. Naturally, several of them come courtesy of The Verve.

Pardon me if I've already told this story, but I can still remember sitting in a class whilst in college and having an incredulous realization one day as I read a William Blake poem. It was so strange, that feeling of deja vu, knowing that I had somehow known those lines before, though I was reading "London" for the first time. The reason, of course, is simple. Captain Rock himself, the one and only Richard Ashcroft, had "borrowed" heavily from Blake for the song "History." But as I always say, if you're going to borrow, take from the best. And Ashcroft most certainly did. 

Much like the poem, the song "History" is thought-provoking, moving, and terribly beautiful. The video, for its part, is actually a compendium of clips from other Verve videos, but I think the shots fit the song (though they ultimately take a backseat to the music). An overcast September day such as this feels just right for listening to some classic, impeccable Verve greatness. I can't even begin to express to you just how very much I love this song, and I do hope that if this is your first time hearing it, you love it as well.
  

Sounds of Liverpool Psych Fest #7: The Lucid Dream

It is a happy time indeed, friends, when psychedelic music is enjoying such popularity, as it is these days. Bacchanals celebrating this favored genre of yours truly are popping up all over the place (most notably in Austin, of course), but such a festival has recently popped up on my radar from across the pond. Obviously, I would love to be in England for the Liverpool Psych Fest (full official fancy name: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia), but since I can’t be there, these are some of the bands that I find most appealing.

I think it's safe to say that if a band should happen to pop up with a name taken from a song by The Verve (i.e. "Catching The Butterfly"), that I'll probably end up talking about them one way or another. Witness, brothers and sisters, The Lucid Dream. The Carlisle-ians have toured the UK with Fuzzy darlings A Place To Bury Strangers, and I suspect their scuzzy, darkly poppy, grey matter psych will go down a treat at this weekend's festival. 

 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sounds of Liverpool Psych Fest #6: Black Manila

It is a happy time indeed, friends, when psychedelic music is enjoying such popularity, as it is these days. Bacchanals celebrating this favored genre of yours truly are popping up all over the place (most notably in Austin, of course), but such a festival has recently popped up on my radar from across the pond. Obviously, I would love to be in England for the Liverpool Psych Fest (full official fancy name: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia), but since I can’t be there, these are some of the bands that I find most appealing.

The Londoners of Black Manila have sass, my friends. Sass to spare, even. Heavy with grit and molasses murk, these three make lo-fi garage dive bar psych that is naughty and so very nice. At times the jangle of their guitars calls to mind bands like Orange Juice, which is really just icing on the cake. Mercy, indeed. 

Sounds of Liverpool Psych Fest #5: Hookworms

It is a happy time indeed, friends, when psychedelic music is enjoying such popularity, as it is these days. Bacchanals celebrating this favored genre of yours truly are popping up all over the place (most notably in Austin, of course), but such a festival has recently popped up on my radar from across the pond. Obviously, I would love to be in England for the Liverpool Psych Fest (full official fancy name: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia), but since I can’t be there, these are some of the bands that I find most appealing.

Way back in April, whilst in Harrisonburg, in between talk of Pumas and burritos, my friend Marty told me about a band he thought I'd like. The band was called Hookworms, and lo and behold, my loves, Marty was all sorts of right. I like to think that this is partially because the band is reminiscent of his own bands, my dearest Ttotals. After all, a hazy drone emanates from both bands, as do ferocious fits of feisty instrumentation and spacey, out there vocals. Hookworms is certainly not for the faint of heart. Just the awesome at heart.  



Sounds of Liverpool Psych Fest #4: Milk Maid

It is a happy time indeed, friends, when psychedelic music is enjoying such popularity, as it is these days. Bacchanals celebrating this favored genre of yours truly are popping up all over the place (most notably in Austin, of course), but such a festival has recently popped up on my radar from across the pond. Obviously, I would love to be in England for the Liverpool Psych Fest (full official fancy name: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia), but since I can’t be there, these are some of the bands that I find most appealing.

Toss me a band with an ex-Nine Black Alps-er involved and I'll be all over it. Hence, this here mention of Milk Maid. That they've played with Wild Nothing, The Cribs, and Crocodiles ought to speak to the wide net of their appeal, which is quite wide indeed thanks to their incorrigible, irrepressible sound that incorporates the best of all things bestest: shoegaze, psych, and a Beach Boys gone Manc pop ethos. In other words, brilliant.

  

Sounds of Liverpool Psych Fest #3: Drenge

It is a happy time indeed, friends, when psychedelic music is enjoying such popularity, as it is these days. Bacchanals celebrating this favored genre of yours truly are popping up all over the place (most notably in Austin, of course), but such a festival has recently popped up on my radar from across the pond. Obviously, I would love to be in England for the Liverpool Psych Fest (full official fancy name: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia), but since I can’t be there, these are some of the bands that I find most appealing.

The word Drenge for some reason makes me think of sludge, which is a little bit apros pos, seeing as Drenge actually make seriously sludgy, dirty, muddy rock and roll. Loud, sonically lewd, and pretty hard to ignore, I've no doubt Drenge will blow the roof off whatever venue they happen to be playing. Having a song called "People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck" also earns plenty of points in my book. Trust.

 

Good Cover Version: Guards Does Metallica

Pulp gave the world the song "Bad Cover Version." But seeing as I'm a sonic optimist, I'm of the belief that there's more likely than not more good cover versions floating around than bad ones. Good Cover Version celebrates the good, and leaves all that bad and ugly stuff alone.

I believe my crush on Richie James Follin to be pretty well-documented at this point. So let's just talk about how Guards covered Metallica, and it's all sorts of awesome. Follin and co. give "Motorbreath" a dark, dreamy murkiness, perfectly spine-tingling and nigh on intense. I've never been a big Metallica fan, but darned if Richie and his Guards don't do this song in a beautiful, eerie new way. 


Sounds of Liverpool Psych Fest #2: Palma Violets

It is a happy time indeed, friends, when psychedelic music is enjoying such popularity, as it is these days. Bacchanals celebrating this favored genre of yours truly are popping up all over the place (most notably in Austin, of course), but such a festival has recently popped up on my radar from across the pond. Obviously, I would love to be in England for the Liverpool Psych Fest (full official fancy name: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia), but since I can’t be there, these are some of the bands that I find most appealing.

There is a breathless rush of energy that goes along with Palma Violets. Prettily rough around the edges, they sizzle and smoke their way through 60s garage rock with a petulant appeal, confident and ready to win you over. When it comes to me, the mission is most assuredly and decidedly accomplished. This is a band that makes me terribly blue about not going to the fest. Alas.
 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hopscotch 2012: A Photo Recap





































After another year down in Raleigh, I'd have to say Hopscotch has turned into one of my favorite events of the entire calendar year. Good music, good people, good times. I know it's a cliche to say so (and I probably said so after last year's festival, too), but damned if I can't already wait for 2013's festival. In the meantime, here's a little taste of what went down. I give you, Hopscotch 2012, in pictures.

[photos copyright Megan Petty] 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crossing The Pond: The Kumari

I often wonder what London must have been like in the 60s. Sometimes I feel as though Swinging London is probably when and where I really ought to have been around. But no matter. As long as bands like The Kumari exist, we can all get a modern take on the heady shimmy shake of certain bands (The Zombies, early Who, Sam The Sham, etc.) that we've missed by a good many years.

It's not at all a secret as to which bands the gentlemen of The Kumari listen to, and they've been taking notes. The kicky beats and vintage, perfectly tinny sound serve as a fitting tribute laid at the feet of Blunstone, Sham, Burdon, and the early days of Jagger/Richards, amongst others. It's nostalgia done good and proper, and it verily makes me want to cut a rug and then some. This is a band perfect for the cigarette panted, bowl-cutted scenester, but I suspect their appeal will prove to be even broader. Rather highly recommended, indeed.
 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sounds of Liverpool Psych Fest #1: Wolf People

It is a happy time indeed, friends, when psychedelic music is enjoying such popularity, as it is these days. Bacchanals celebrating this favored genre of yours truly are popping up all over the place (most notably in Austin, of course), but such a festival has recently popped up on my radar from across the pond. Obviously, I would love to be in England for the Liverpool Psych Fest (full official fancy name: Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia), but since I can’t be there, these are some of the bands that I find most appealing.

We begin with a bang, so to speak. Wolf People, hailing from Blighty, proudly don the mantle of pure, 60s-influenced blues-doused psych. Extended solos, trippy dippy pan flute appearances, and that pitch-perfect, golden retro vocal tone make for some blisteringly good aural moments. They have their darker moments, as well, and those sound just as delicious. Wolf People wasn't made for these times, but they sure do sound good right here and right now. 

Bands on Film #36: Bloc Party @ 9:30 Club, 9/17/12












































[photos copyright Megan Petty]