Sunday, December 8, 2019

Strange Sounds #14

Art by Ariel Olivetti; Doctor Strange Annual #1 (2019)

"Without magic there is no art."
- Raymond Chandler

The last time I put out a Strange Sounds compilation was way back in 2017, on the six month anniversary of Chris Cornell's death. I'm constantly listening to and absorbing music - not just rap - and there's nothing more that I enjoy than sharing it all. It's time-consuming, though. But worth it. Hope you enjoy this selection of tracks, new and old. Let me know what you think in the comment section.


1. George Harrison - Isn't It A Pity (Demo Version)
Let It Roll: Songs By George Harrison

Starting things off with a sparse and beautiful demo version of one of my favorite songs from my favorite Beatle, George Harrison.

2. Ty Segall - Isolation
Fudge Sandwich

And here’s Ty Segall covering "Isolation", a great song for our times by my second favorite Beatle, John Lennon. Fudge Sandwich (In the Red Recordings) is a really fun covers record featuring music by the Grateful Dead, Funkadelic, The Dils, War, Neil Young, and more. Highly recommended. Ty Segall's output in the past decade has been prolific to say the least and a joy to behold.

3. Mikal Cronin - Shelter

"This is a song about searching for answers in an uncertain world," Cronin says. "It's about the observer reluctantly stepping out of their comfort zone and looking around, while trying to keep their head straight." Seeker was released in October via Merge Records.

4. The Black Angels - Currency
Death Song

"I can see/ Currency/ How it always sanctions us/ All these paper lives you've sold/ There's no God in who you trust/ Print and print the money that you spend/ Spend and spend the money that you print/ ... You've paid with your life/ A slave from nine to five/ You're spent through us/ You take from us when we die/ So claim the diamonds in your eyes/"

5. Thee Oh Sees - Sticky Hulks
Mutilator Defeated At Last

A slow-paced, fuzzy, psychedelic journey from the Bay Area band's sixteenth(!) studio album (released on Castle Face Records).

6. Froth - Lost My Mind

A hazy,fun, surf-psych jam from Echo Park's own Froth. Available on Lollipop Records/Burger Records.

7. Ultimate Spinach - Mind Flowers
Behold and See

Boston's Ultimate Spinach released three albums in the late 60s. This track is a total trip. "I am falling/ I am falling/ I am falling/ Into the quicksand of my troubled mind/ My troubled mind/ My troubled mind/ My troubled mind/". More on Ultimate Spinach and the Bosstown Sound here.

8. Wand - Planet Golem

Love me some heavy psych, and "Planet Golem", off their album Golem (In the Red Recordings), is the heaviest track on this compilation. Wand released their debut album, Ganglion Reef, on Ty Segall's God? label in 2014, and have been consistently putting out great records ever since. This year, they released Laughing Matter (Drag City Records).

9. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - I Put a Spell on You
Viva Las Vegas

Can’t go wrong with Nick Cave covering Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. This appears on a bootleg live album called Viva Las Vegas. (Side note: I subscribed to Nick's Red Hand Files via e-mail and I suggest you do the same. Fascinating insights on music, politics, life, spirituality, everything.)

10. Arzachel/Uriel - Queen St. Gang

From the album Arzachel, a psychedelic rock gem (and coveted collector's item) by the band Uriel, here's a fun take on Keith Mansfield's "Funky Fanfare".

11. Wakefield - Something Is Coming
The Lost Warthog Tapes

I don't know too much about this band, but I came across this compilation, The Lost Warthog Tapes (Gear Fab Records), and enjoyed it quite a bit.

12. King Tuff - Birds of Paradise
The Other

The Other was one of my favorite albums of 2018. It opened my eyes about a lot of things I’d already been contemplating. I saw him perform an acoustic set at the Masonic Lounge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in 2016. (He also performed with Ty Segall and Cairo Gang.) It was cool to hear a lot of those songs in acoustic form before they were fleshed out into the beautiful versions we hear on The Other. Then earlier this year, I saw him at the Troubadour. I took this photo, which he posted on his IG. (Not the first time he’s done that, either.)

Here are a couplem of videos I shot during his 2016 performance:

13. Roky Erickson - Warning (Social & Political Injustices)
Gremlins Have Pictures

Closing out the set with Roky Erickson, a true pioneer of psychedelic rock, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 71. Here are a few obits/tributes/articles: KCRW, AltPress, NPR, Rolling Stone. Worth checking out as well is the 2005 documentary You're Gonna Miss Me. R.I.P.