Thursday, April 17, 2008

10 Questions

It's Thursday and that means, dear Trippers, another installment of "10 Questions"! Our guest today is a man who's proven, consistently, in our online discussions he knows a thing or two about our favorite genre. (Not only does he seem to have a damned big record collection, he has the right albums in said collection and he listens to 'em. Often.) It's Bobby Harlow of Detroit's The GO!

Their 2007 release, Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride was in our own Top Ten. In doing a bit of online searching of reviews I was stunned at how many reviewers panned the album as being regressive and hollow, for to do so is to miss the point, imho. (In the words of another musician friend: "I make the music I do because it's the music I like and no one's making it that way anymore, so I do it myself.") Even more stunning is that the Pitchfork reviewer got it closer to right. I'm still going with the snippet review by the mighty sr-71,a/k/a the Blackbird:
"I am listening to the delicious sounds of The Go (either that or Gene Clark cut an album with '67 era Kinks and decided it would be a canny marketing move to shelve it for 40 years before releasing it) - sure works for me, anyway..."
I've enjoyed The GO since their debut, 1999's Whatcha Doin on thru' '03s self-titled album. Bobby & Co. haven't disappointed (me) yet with their stylistic twists and turns-they make the sounds I LIKE!

Let's GO!!!

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

Psychedelic music is a byproduct of the hallucinogenic drug experience.

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

Jimi Hendrix was pretty far out, guitar maybe?
The man truly marveled in the psychedelic experience.
John Coltrane and Miles Davis were also multidimensional monsters. Bitches Brew is a psychedelic record. So, trumpet?
Really, anyone who knows anything knows that all parts equal the whole. And, if you really wanna get down to it, the only psychedelic instrument is the mind.(((((((((FAR OUT))))))))))

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?

Jimi Hendrix -Are you Experienced. Although there are many obscure psychedelic records to choose from, and some of them farther from reality than this one, I believe that Jimi's album is the strongest. Pound for pound, Are You Experienced is the groundbreaking psych’ record that has stood the test.

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

I would be a member of The GO and I would play anything that I wanted to. I have the knowledge to shape my music into a myriad of auditory stimuli. I have the advantage of extensively studying the history of Rock & Roll, which is something that the classic psychedelic bands were without.

If I had to choose another, I suppose I would like to make music with The Beatles. They seemed like a fruity bunch.

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

The Byrds are too pretentious. I prefer the Lovin' Spoonful.

6. What psychedelic album, besides your own, do you wish more people knew about?

I wish people fucking listened to good music in general. American Idol makes me want to die, for real. Die!
I think every 13-year old child should be issued a copy of Sgt. Pepper. If, after one year, they aren't obsessed
with great music, we should put 'em down like cattle. Is it still taboo to talk about murdering children?
I don't expect everybody to be running around, high on the Pink Fairies, but, come on. Even a sixteen-year old kid wouldn't serve wine out of a box. Why do they listen to Sum 41?
I dunno... I guess people appreciate different things at different times in their lives. I listened to crap for about 5 years straight, when I was a kid. One day, I swallowed acid at the right moment and the entire spectrum of sound opened up to me. Of course, now I'm trapped within a stained glass mind and suffer the fractured perspective of a lightly sprinkled schizophrenic... but, things could be worse... worse...worse...worse...worse...worse...

7. What band, active today, most defines "psychedelic" to you?

I don't know. I guess Acid Mothers Temple sounds psychedelic. The Black Lips have a couple of psych songs.
Here, in Detroit, The Human Eye are a bit psychedelic with a heavy prog vibe. Outrageous Cherry has made a number of very psychedelic records. I don't know. What is psychedelic?
Blue velvet trousers? Songs about outer space? Fuzzy, meandering guitars? I think "psychedelic" is a person who has ingested L.S.D. and is making music which is inspired by that experience. It may even be a lifestyle. If that's the case, then I don't know of anybody. Julian Cope, of the Teardrop Explodes, was a notorious acid head. His music doesn't sound very, traditionally psych. It's a bit of a vague concept, isn't it? Maybe psych rock is free jazz for caucasians. Good god! I dunno.
Oh, wait. I've just thought of one... Dungen. They are the only real psych rock band on the planet. I can stand behind them as pure, psychedelic rock & roll music. They're it. That's the good stuff.

8. What song or album that wouldn't fall into the classic "psych" definition is, nevertheless, psychedelic to you?

The Beach Boys - Surf's Up (album)
(Editor’s Note: AMEN brotha’..!)

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

In no particular order...
1. 13th Floor Elevators - Nobody To Love
2. Twink - Sparrow Is A Sign
3. Sam Gopal - Midsummer Night's Dream
4. Jimi Hendrix - Machine Gun
5. The Beatles - It's All Too Much
6. The Pretty Things - Bracelets
7. The Pink Floyd - Candy And A Currant Bun
8. Hawkwind - Hurry On Sundown
9. Funkadelic - Mommy, What's A Funkadelic?
10. Traffic - Hole In My Shoe

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

Bobby: What's your definition of psychedelic music?
valis: In my brain? Pure aural transport. It takes me, paradoxically, outta' my head and deeper into my head. I also like this quote from Ken Erwin, of the CA Quintet, when asked about a part of "Trip Thru Hell, Pt. 2":
"A "hiccup in reality" an "interruption" in agreement and expectations …. like an acid trip. It is like when reality tends to get tangled up a bit and things don't fit the pattern anymore." (from the Acid Archives)
Thanks Bobby! I look forwrad to where you're taking us next!


sr-71 said...

I'm honored to have my review quoted, but based on the Byrds comment, maybe they don't like the Gene Clark comparison? Or maybe not since Gene was never the prig that Crosby or Roger were. After reading Boyd's White Bicycles (thanks for the tip, V.), I wonder about the Spoonful - it does sound like they were, at the outset, an attempt by their label to create a band to ride on folk momentum. Thanks, gents, for the mighty food for thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm,,,,,,,,is it my imagination or are the answers to the 10 questions getting more thoughtful all the time?

Jim K.

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite running series on the net. Period.