In 1965 Roger Kynard Erickson penned his most famous composition, “You’re Gonna Miss Me”. Originally recorded with a group called The Spades, lyricist and jug player Tommy Hall heard it and invited him to join (and record) a version with Texas garage rock/psychedelic band The 13th Floor Elevators. Roky Erickson and the Elevators became a national sensation in 1966, with a renewed interest in the 80′s when the “Nuggets” collection included the hit. His legacy continues in person at Don Quixote’s in Felton on Wednesday, August 21st. Showtime is 9 pm.
Deerhunter / Monomania / Out via 4AD on May 7th, 2013
Like any well-oiled pop machine, Atlanta’s avant-garage outfit Deerhunter knows when to slowly gas the psych propellers into an ambient blissout, and bust out pedal-to-the-metal spurts of pure punk rock as soon as the lighters get raised. The band’s fifth studio album Monomania dropped May 7th via 4AD, this time forgoing the astral plane explorations of their sonically anarchic back catalog, and opting instead for a more concise pop record that snaps and crackles in equal measure. The interstellar improv and dream pop sensibility that once resonated at galactic proportions in earlier releases is tighter than ever, as though transmissions between ground control and the International Space Station achieved a crystal-clear moment of recognition, to produce a new release that is surprisingly grounded.
Amidst the bray of garage-punk snarls and slow burning shoegaze longplayers of recent days, it’s hard to tell if and when the genetics of alt rock will see the promise of mutation. In a culture-jamming return to form, frontman Bradford Cox told Rolling Stone that he and guitarist Lockett Pundt listened to only The Ramones and Ricky Nelson prior to making the album, and also cited Pierre Schaeffer, Steve Reich, and Bo Diddley as major influences. In fact, Cox referred to Diddley as “the god of this record,” but added, “I don’t think there’s a single Bo Diddley beat on the album.” Regardless of its precise coordinates, Monomania is a refreshingly relaxed moment amidst the fluorescent junk-pop riffs and celestial loops that combine to form Deerhunter’s weird era of psych-rock ephemera.
Feedback freakouts “Neon Junkyard” and “Leather Jacket II” open the band’s sixth studio album with freshly sharpened bite, pedaling onward without a moment’s fiery respite. Third track “The Missing” casts a synth-soaked ray of sunshine into the shimmering sea of kraut grooves that comprised Pundt’s 2012 release Spooky Action at a Distance, drifting into the hustle and creak of “Pensacola” and “Dream Captain”, freak folk Americana jams sporting a looser, garagey feel that evokes the DIY tape hiss of psych-rock contemporaries Woods. Saloon waltz “T.H.M.”, the meandering strings of “Sleepwalking”, and tightly capped jam “Back in the Middle” tread familiar ground in the newgaze post-explorations of Deerhunter’s back catalog. Five-minute title drone “Monomania” trickles into the cavernous cassette echo of “Nikebike”, proceeding through dirge to draw open the ultraviolet shades of “Punk (La Vie Antérieure)” for a final wave as the sun sets over a decidedly “avant-garde rock & roll record”, according to vocalist Bradford Cox in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. If their 2010 release Halcyon Digest didn’t hammer your tympanic threshold into metronomic submission, let the message ring forevermore that while indie festival darlings are only beginning to touch on the apache anthems and art-rock tinkering of the early 2000’s, Deerhunter continues make giant leaps forward, without all the white noise to mute their sonic footprint.
Friday night is just around the corner, meaning it’s that time again: Time for The Rising Tide on KZSC!
Allow me to introduce the first of Friday night’s guests: Blackbird Blackbird.
Blackbird Blackbird is the moniker of Mikey S., a San Francisco-based electronic artist whose work has attracted the attention of the press (The Bay Bridged, The Hype Machine and The Fader, among others) in recent months. Though firmly in the hypnotic and hazy world of chillwave at surface level, Blackbird Blackbird forgoes the vocally-focused approach of the genrefor a more glitch-and-dream pop sound that fits nicely between Gold Panda and Baths. Remixes and covers of the likes of Beach House and Modest Mouse demonstrate that Blackbird Blackbird is an artist who refuses to rest on his laurels and not challenge himself.
Tune in tonight to hear Blackbird Blackbird talk about the upcoming CD release of his debut record, Summer Heart, his forthcoming performance at the SF Weekly’s All Shook Down event, and what ever else he has in store for us this year!
Blackbird Blackbird will be joined on air by the local group who will be backing him up at the SF Weekly event mentioned above, Old Arc.
This local two-piece has been burning up lately, amping up their psychedelic synth pop sound with a live show that’s equal parts MGMT-inspired tribalism and utter youthful exuberance. Similarly ambitious in scope as Blackbird Blackbird, Old Arc have remixed the likes of Toro Y Moiand Local Natives, and their collection of demo recordings, EPs and remixes have been on rotation on The Rising Tide for the last few weeks.
Old Arc will come into the studio tonight to talk about their live collaboration with Blackbird Blackbird, their forthcoming recordings, and what they have planned for the year as well.
And to wrap things up, we’ll be joined live in the studio by our third guests that evening: The Mystery Lights.
Hailing from Salinas, CA, The Mystery Lights relentless garage rock assault has terrorized this part of the state for several years. Sounding like something of a fever dream straight out of a 60s psych festival, The Mystery Lights are poised to deliver the goods in 2011, including the follow up to 2009′s Teenage Catgirls and The Mystery Lightshow. The band has been laying low for the past few months, but they are returning to help support the one-night-only reunion of The Spurts at the Crepe Place on Thursday, February 3rd (also playing are Sugar Shack).
Tune in tonight to hear from these artists and more, starting at 8:30pm on KZSC Santa Cruz!
- DJ PassiveTheory