Nate Fitzbutler did a remix to Kanye West’s and Kendrick Lamar’s “No More Parties in LA” called “No More Parties in SD”. He said, "we made this track to try to bring some national buzz to our city that’s always been in the shadow of the LA music scene."

Niko Sitaras from the San Diego based dream rock band Paper Days says, "We just released our new EP 'Fun For Family & Friends'. Our release party is on Feb 19th being hosted at the Irenic (with The Bash Dogs & Splavender). 

Panic Is Perfect is an indie-pop group from San Fran and they are touring in support of their new album, Cellspace, which drops tomorrow on Strange Loop Records. They'll be playing at The Loft @ UCSD on Feb. 12!





Pink Floyd - Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (3 disc Reissue)
EMI Keith Boyd 9.13.07
Although perhaps best known for their two Magna Opera , "The Dark Side of the Moon" and, "The Wall", I've always vastly preferred the earlier psychedelic Floyd offerings. Sure, the above mentioned twosome set a template for heady, self-analytical music that still resonates in acts such as Radiohead and The Mars Volta today but I still find myself drawn to the eerie menace and peculiar British whimsy of their first two albums. In particular it is their debut, "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" that I most often reach for. So it was with great glee that I dove into EMI's deluxe 3 disc repackaging of "Piper".

This beautifully done reissue is composed of three discs; the stereo and mono version of "Piper" and an extra of other Syd Barrett era singles and outtakes. The set is housed in a small red book with gold inset lettering and the classic kaleidoscope cover photo. Inside there is page after page of period era photos along with lyrics to the songs. Another highlight is the reproduction of one of Syd Barrett's art journals. Given both the historicity and relative obscurity of "Piper." this kind of attention to detail is both understandable and surprising.

"Piper at the Gate of Dawn" is primarily the work and showcase of Floyd's first frontman, Syd Barrett. For those of you who don't know the strange and tragic details of his story a few words are fitting to help with context. Syd was a brilliant and sensitive art school student who along with Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright formed Pink Floyd. The band started, as so many of the time, mining American Blues for inspiration. However, under the odd inspiration of Barrett and sonic adventurism of the rest of the band they soon became a favorite of the British underground music crowd which centered around clubs such as UFO and The Marquee. As was the usual for musicians at the time Syd Barrett was a frequent and heavy user of drugs, in particular LSD. Given that he most likely suffered from a latent form of schizophrenia, the constant and heavy drug abuse caused symptoms to emerge and began a period of steep decline which led to his ouster from the band and an independent life in general. He went on to record two brilliant solo albums ("Barrett" and "The Madcap Laughs") before settling down with family in England where he continued to live until his death in 2006. Syd's life is often framed by the similar trajectory it shares with other 1960's drug casualties as Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison. This is an unfortunate fate for this highly original and creative artist. Given his underlying mental health issues it remains uncertain how much the drugs played a part in his decline. Despite these troubling aspects of his life Syd's time in Pink Floyd represents the amazing blossoming of a particularly British style of creativity and "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is cut fully from the cloth of that spirit.

The eleven tracks that make up "Piper." are a wide ranging assortment of musical styles and texture. From the weirdly menacing whimsy of "Bike" to the Cosmos blasting, "Interstellar Overdrive" the album sparkles with energy and fantasy. Here we see the birth of that wide reaching experimentation that would lead Pink Floyd through the next several decades. Shards and pieces of this album can be heard to influence musicians and bands for 40 years. Bizzaro and folkloric songs such as "The Gnome" and "Chapter 24" are the obvious touchstone pieces for artists such as Robyn Hitchcock and can even be heard amongst today's "Freak-Folk" scene. Along with the lighter and quirkier elements are muscular and punchy rhythms with straight up rock guitar-fests. The album is such a satisfying and varied listen that although deeply rooted in the 60's, it presents facets that could have seemingly been recorded this year. The inclusion of both mono and stereo version is a master stroke that has been done before with albums such as The Velvet Underground's "The Velvet Underground and Nico". Hearing the two versions is quite an interesting study. On the mono disc all of the music seems to come from a central location. The sounds moves forward in a single motion with no separation to diffuse it. On the stereo disc the exact opposite is true. Having broken the tracks into different channels subtle additions come to fore and tend to change the overall rhythm of certain pieces. For the most part I appreciate the stereo versions but prefer the mono. That "all at once" sound represents the original songs best and lets them stay true their momentum. The third disc is a wonderful assortment of singles released at the time and is filled out with alternate versions of certain songs from different European pressings.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is a wonderful and magickal album. It is both an amazing debut and a fully realized project. Although some elements of this group would remain on their next disc, "A Saucerful of Secrets" Pink Floyd would never sound quite like this again. So go ahead and dive down the rabbit hole. There's enough great stuff here to keep you busy forever.

    Lotushouse MP3 Sampler
    Maquiladora - The Revenge of Becky Royal (New Piano)
    Tenniscoats + Maquiladora - Hours
    High Mountain Tempel - Processional (An Invocation to Thee Angelic Sister)
    Raagnagrok - HJD
    Beggars - Will We Call It Love
    Maquiladora - Termez 1936
    Maquiladora - Song 26
    Buzz or Howl - Sendhe Mortu Chin Rigore
    Earthling Tempel - Celestial Inhabitants of the Sun
    Buzz or Howl - The Sins Of The Flower Are Visited On The Shunned
    Maquiladora - Light of the Rain
    High Mountain Tempel - The Ascended Master (Hang Gliding in Heaven)
    High Mountain Tempel - Fluctuat Nec Mergitur
    High Mountain Tempel - Tempel Walk
    Buzz or Howl - 05 Oct 05
    Buzz or Howl - Sun as the Destroyer of Dreams
    Live version at the Make Room SF 2005
    Maquiladora - In This Life
    Maquiladora - Simply to See You
    Maquiladora with Kawabata Makoto - Nampasen
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Drunk and Lighting Fires (A Waltz)
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Ritual of Hearts
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Ankle
    Maquiladora - Mayday
    Loraine Loraine - Pasqually Old Pasqually

    Beggars - S/T
    by Pierro Scaruffi

    Maquiladora's Eric Nielsen and Bruce McKenzie joined forces with Skygreen Leopards' Glenn Donaldson to form Beggars, whose double-disc Beggars (Lotushouse, 2013) is a tour de force of ecstatic Eastern-influenced freak-folk. Mostly these pieces lean towards the traditional song format, although inevitably deformed by the musicians' pedigrees.

    The ghostly hyper-dilated drones of Ghost Coyote are imbued with quasi-Morricone western-movie guitar twang and even harmonica. The sweet lullaby and the trotting pace of Eureka My Love as well as the romantic honky-tonking Justine (with a refrain a bit reminiscent of Dylan's Blowing in the Wind) hark back to the heydays of country-rock. 2-3-74 Floating evokes the martial laments of the young Neil Young although diluted amid discordant guitar jamming and lulled by waves of funereal vocal harmonies. Berserker's Boogie is a lively and poppy almost-bluegrass tune. They even intone the singalong Queen Anne's Lace with drums, banjo and all.

    Thankfully, the spaced-out yodeling of Lullaby de Bourbon (memories of Aoxomoxoa-era Grateful Dead), the free-form quasi-jazz guitar and vocal interplay of Will We Call It Love, the seven-minute dreaming psalm Big Pink Sun and its sublimely disintegrating coda, remind us of what Maquiladora are best at. The 23-minute Midget Decapitates Clownis an ambitious concerto for suspense and agony. Far from being just a droning piece, it piles up sonic event after sonic event, producing the trancey effect out of a multitude of traumatic sounds. The chirping and tweeting that accumulates half-way into the piece decays into a nervous organic filigree and dies away in the most cryptic manner; one of the high points of Maquiladora's career.

    Earthling Tempel - Pilgrimage To Thunderbolt Pagoda
    by Aquarius Records

    Not sure if this is part 4, or just the first in a new multi part epic, hardly matters, what does matter is, this is another glorious expansive collection of meditative psychedelic abstract dronefolk ambience. Every High Mountain Tempel disc we're reviewed thus far has gotten played to death here, and this one doesn't appear to be any different. Well, at least in that respect. In one distinct way it is very different, HMT are not going it alone this time. They've assembled a pretty impressive collection of sonic alchemists and musical conjurers to help with this ritual, Isis Aquarian from the Source Family, Charles Curtis from La Monte Young's Just Alap Raga Ensemble, and two crews from the UK we've never heard of, Earthling Society and Astarism, but even with all those cooks in the kitchen, HMT and friends have managed to weave another dark minimal masterpiece, all hushed barely there guitar shimmer, drifting whispered vocals, delicate crystalline melodies, dense swirls of piano, warm swells of tape hiss, mysterious voices and field recordings, whirring organ, bowed steel strings... so lovely.

    If the liner notes are to be believed, two of the tracks feature Earthling Society on their own, and those tracks do sound different, much less free and sprawling, a bit more structured, like seventies UK acid folk, swirling and melodic and quite lovely. The final two tracks find the two groups in full on collaborative mode, and the gears shift to something much more space rocky and Hawkwindy, all blissed out and heart-of-the-sun, until the final track which is a strummy, delicate, moody chill out closer, a sort of dour doom folk drift, that makes a perfect ending.

    Super nice packaging, silkscreened oversized 4 panel sleeve, white on black, with the cd-r affixed to the inside. And of course, SUPER LIMITED!

    High Mountain Tempel - The Glass Bead Game by Aquarius Records

    Part three in the ongoing series of limited cd-r explorations from mysterious drone combo High Mountain Tempel, and like the two before it, the band continue to delve into some murky sonic underworld, again presenting loooong songs, each separated by brief sonic interludes, this disc seems feature more actual vocals, the opening track features a processed voice, that sounds a bit like throat singing, or a Speak And Spell, intoning some arcane message, interwoven with long drawn out tones, and a thick ropy buzz, super dark and intense and atmospheric. Elsewhere sampled voices surface, there are bits of chanting here and there, all peppered throughout the disc. But even with the extra voices, the focus here is still on dark, lugubrious, extended dronescapes.

    The sound of High Mountain Tempel is probably closest to Expo '70, as their various permutations of dronemusic seem to have a definite krautrock vibe, that gives the sound a sort of spaced out quality, and a subtle propulsion, but unlike Expo '70, HMT seem to have a distinct Eastern influence, much of the music is meditative and subtly dramatic, a bit soundtracky, and some of it sounds like it could be Japanese. Especially the way field recordings are incorporated into the sounds. Giving everything a definite texture, some of it sounding like it was perhaps recorded live in some hilltop temple. Which we would imagine is the idea.

    Not sure what else to say actually. This is indeed fantastic, brooding and malefic, but also shimmery and dreamy, sonically it has much in common with the first two installments, so definitely check out those reviews to read more about their 'sound'.

    Needless to say, fans of the drone and folks into the current crop of cd-r soundscapers will for sure dig this, but like the other HMT discs, this is more than simple drone music, this is ritualistic alchemical soundwork, one can almost imagine stumbling across a group of cloaked figures huddled around a fire in a forest clearing, tossing various powders into the flames, causing the fire to change color and cast beastlike shadows on the branches above, and this is the sound filtering through the forest like a black moonlit fog...
    SUPER LIMITED of course, packaged beautifully in a foldover silkscreened sleeve, gold metallic on red on the outside, black on red on the inside.

    High Mountain Tempel - A Screaming Comes Across The Sky - The Faultline Scriptures
    by Aquarius Records

    Record number two from this mysterious drone-kraut styled duo. Their last disc was a huge hit around here, so we were pretty thrilled to get our hands on this one, a logical sonic extension of the first, delving deeper into some murky tripped out twilit soundworld.
    The disc opens with shimmering clouds of gongs and cymbals, whirring and sizzling, suspended over a deep distant rumble, a delicate intro to a record at once hypnotic and lovely, dark and dense.

    The record is arranged into three epic tracks, interspersed with short sonic interludes, ranging from field recordings of crickets, looped chants (Elizabeth Clare Prophet if we're not mistaken), spirituals and mysterious liturgical songs, whirring drones, and backwards percussion, but it's the long tracks where the duo get to spread out, let their dense soundscapes sprawl.

    The three long tracks sounds like movements of a greater whole, clocking in at 15 minutes, 11 minutes and nearly 17 minutes respectively, each rife with creepy delayed vocals, churning guitars and smeared chords, roiling muddy whirls, which often dissipate leaving streaks of fragmented melody and haunting slowed down voices. Buried amidst the drones and whirs, are lullaby-like melodies, skittery percussion, streaks of grinding distortion, hidden voices, more field recordings, thick swaths of cavernous rumbles, little bits of electronic glitch and lots and lots of low end buzz.

    Packaged in a fancy navy blue fold over sleeve, screenprinted in white ink, with a photocopied insert with liner notes and song credits.

    LIMITED TO 150 COPIES! Each one hand numbered.


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