Thursday, January 24, 2008

10 Questions

Greetings Psych' Fans! "10 Questions" returns-every Thursday, with a new respondent. Today's guest is Sacramento's own Anton Barbeau!

Here's one description of our man:
"Anton Barbeau is a cult-hero's cult hero. With his esoteric and highly-personalized brand of psychedelic power-pop, his "mind-bending" stage show, and his auto-neurotic humour, he is quietly yet quickly building a global fan-base. The release gig for his record Guladong was held at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. His previous disk, King of Missouri, recorded in Bromley with psychedelic legends the Bevis Frond as backing band, was released in Europe on the Frond's Woronzow label and in North America on Vancouver's Bongo Beat Records. The album has been described as "a stellar display of psychedelic power pop" while The Sunday Times of London says of it " Bob Dylan fronting some great lost British freak-beat band.""

Anton's latest solo work, the brilliant In The Village Of The Apple Sun, appeared on several "Best Of" lists for the year it came out. (Me, I'm still puzzled. I thought it was 2006, as per his label; however the USA Today Music/Culture scribe has it on his "My Favorite Albums, 2007" list. Ah well, time's a myth anyway and whatever year it was hatched we're all better for it!

So,let's get on a Bicycle Built For Bicycle 9 and ride with Anton:

1. In ten words-or less, define "psychedelic music."

The mind-bending, heart-opening sonic screwdriver of the Universe!

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

I had the most surreal dream just last night of some magically talented woman at IKEA playing a freaky, cheapo sitar, or something like it. Whatever that instrument was, I want one! I love Indian music, and sitar and tabla both blow me away, but any instrument in the hands of a master can do the job. I gotta be careful - it's not just about mastery, is it? Sometimes you can grab a guitar run through an amp swamped with reverb and hit a single chord and let it ring. That can be as transcendent as anything. Not sure if I'm answering clearly, but you've got me wanting to go bang on my guitar!

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?

I think maybe favorite album of all, described however you like, is "Sgt. Pepper's". In certain ways, it's not THAT out-there, it's just another wonderful pop record by the lads. But my first stoned/headphones moment with that album has stayed with me for all this time! "Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" is another WAY up on my list, as is "S.F. Sorrow."

4. Who is your favorite member of the Byrds (any era) and why?

Ok, David Crosby. And simply because he was at one of my gigs, leaning up against a wall! I don't think he was there to see us, I think he was there for the wall, but still...!

5. If you could be a member of any band in history, what band would it be and what would you play?

I wish I could be bolder and offer my services as keyboardist to the Beatles during the "White Album" sessions, but they already had George Martin, Chris Thomas and Paul all doing amazing things that I couldn't come close to. But my consolation prize would be to play synth with Gary Numan in the early 80s!

6. What era has the best roster of psychedelic music?

I'm not much an expert, really. I'm hardly a record collector, just one of those guys who likes what he likes. That said, I think the music of the sixties is as fresh and powerful sounding as ever. The way that the bands were cross-breeding and influencing each other is staggering. Beatles, Dylan and Jimi Hendrix - the best in the world all openly turning each other on. Still, for as little as I'm aware, I know there's a whole new world of psychedelic music happening now. There's just a need to share the coloUrful experience of other-worldliness and transcendence in such treacherous and black-and-white times. Music does that job so well - you can dig as deep in as you want, or you can just put the record on and enjoy it with your dinner.

7. What psychedelic album do you wish more people knew about?

"In the Village of the Apple Sun" by Anton Barbeau!!!

8. List some of your favorite unpardonable sins from the history of popular music (e.g. - Phil Collins screwing up the beginning to the drums to Rock and Roll at Live Aid or the Replacements firing Bob Stinson):

Turning Yoko's microphone on at any gig ever! Naw, really, I like the way the world is full of idiot moments. I've based an entire non-career on such!

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

1. A Day in the Life - Beatles
2. A Very Cellular Song - Incredible String Band
3. Upwards at 45º - Julian Cope
4. My White Bicycle - Tomorrow
5. God Speed You to Earth - Bevis Frond
6. She Says Good Morning - Pretty Things
7. Reputation - Shy Limbs
8. Maypole - Wicker Man Soundtrack
9. Scarecrow - Pink Floyd
10.Itchycoo Park - Small faces
11.One Good Cry - Dipsomaniacs

(that's ALMOST ten!)

10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question.

When did you first read VALIS?

valis: The Year 13, when I was 46. The universe collapsed inside of me and I decided to turn off my mind, relax and float downstream. The Moon in my mind came alive!
That's how I got the Eye On My Hand...

Thanks Anton!


French Connection said...

I can see that henceforth I'm gonna be awaiting Thursday's eagerly.

Another great interview Valis, TVOTAS was one of my fave albums from last year (going with the year I first heard it!)

Always wondered where you got that third eye from!

gomonkeygo said...

Awesome Top 10 list! I don't know the Shy Limbs or Dipsomaniacs, but all the others are great. Especially love the Cope choice.

sr-71, the blackbird of doom said...

gersh - i'd dog him for putting sgt. pooper's as his top lp, but then he goes and redeems himself by wantin' to be the keyboard player for the white album or gary numan! i'm torn, i tell ya, but i definitely wanna check out TVOTAS. like that cheap sitar IKEA dream, too....

musicgnome said...

I love your blog, but this feature is my absolute fave. And, yes, any interview which requires someone to LIST favorite music will always entice and capture my attention.

ANOTHER great installment.