Thursday, April 24, 2008

10 Questions

Hail Voyagers!

As I sit here attempting to gather the myriad thoughts about today's Guest I realize that my just-ground Italian Espresso Roast beans are providing an apt analogy: great taste & fires the mind's circuitry. Of our guest these are certainly hallmarks. If you're in any way, shape, or form a fan of psychedelia you must know this man. A virtual whirlwind of activity who constantly displays his passion for the genre in a multitude of creative outlets. Let's name some:

- edits, writes, and hand-draws the Galactic Zoo Dossier (!)

- Writes for the Chicago Reader on the Secret History Of Chicago Music

- does an every-other-week radio special on the Secret History with Nick Digilio on WGN

- Curates the annual Million Tongues Festival

- has his own band, Plastic Crimewave Sound

I think the attribute I most appreciate about him is his wide-ranging tastes; he never comes off as a "my taste in music is superior to yours" arsehole (I know a few of those and hope they manage to grow up soon); he champions Sonny Bono alongside the wilder strains of the Japanese psych-and-mayhem makers. Good is good, he doesn't need you to tell him it's so. Soft, (quote/unquote) or hard, he has room for the full spectrum in his world. Bravo!

All of that, and here's what Julian Cope, the Arch Dood himself says:

" He’s a guy, he’s a band, he’s a multi-coloured forward-thinking arthole of Tardis Dementions. He’s a Futuretro freak, he’s a sibilant gas, he’s a rock’n’roll-a-holic, he’s a pain in the ass. He’s uptight, he’s outtasite, he’s kimming quite fowley every Friday night. He makes records, he writes reviews, he does great artworks, and (more to the fucking point) this guy’s got VIEWS! Gentlemen and (even-more-to-the-point) Laid-eez, I give you Mister Steve Krakow AKA Plastic Crimewave his self..."

I dedicate today's post to lo-fi jr. & the Musicgnome. Gentlemen:

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

oh i like david thomas's "cinematic music of the mind" or really just anything that takes you somewhere else.

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

either sitar, banjo or saxophone because of the vibration capacity--or a binson echoplex.

(Thanks Tony!)

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?

oh god, that's tough--the phil spector christmas album or the holy mountain soundtrack? piper at the gates of dawn or group 1850?

4. You've been given the one-time ability to time travel *but* you can only use it to sit in on one of the following recording sessions, which one do you choose and why? 1) The Pretty Things recording S.F. Sorrow ....or, 2) The Outsiders recording CQ

oh that's tough, i guess "sf sorrow" because that was such a crucial record for me, and the pretty things seem like such fun wild guys--though i interviewed dick taylor and he was sweet as could be...but i do think CQ is it's equal, perhaps even more punk.

5. Can you put together your 60s psychedelic Dream Band lineup; four- or five-piece...?

syd guitar
lou guitar
marc vocals
leon (thomas) bg vocals
mitch drums
ox bass
eno electronics

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

skip bifferty, forever amber, mark fry or relatively clean rivers

7. What legendary lost recording or unfindable bootleg would you most like to have?

sam gopal's dream, denny laine's electric string band, more "griffin", and more tim hardin with can.

8. Agree or disagree: though disregarded or worse- ignored, the thread of psychedelic music was upheld in the 70s by the funk bands? Why or why not?

in some ways, elments were carried on like fuzz and the groove, but i think the germans really took the torch and ran with it in the 70's as did the japanese heavies, or french brutal proggers like magma.

9. Your Top Ten All-Time Favorite Psychedelic Tracks are?

syd barrett - lanky pt.2
tintern abbey - vacuum cleaner
golden dawn -my time
the doors - end of the night
blossom toes - peace lovin man
hawkwind -master of the universe
black sabbath – children of the grave
mars - 3E
high rise - ikon
hendrix - 1983 (a merman i wish to be)
love - you set the scene

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

Plastic Crimewave: what's your fave psych album? how could i pick one??

valis: Seeing how you named four I'm imagining that, like myself, a flood of titles leapt to mind. (I've lost count.) Knowing the difficulty I'm somewhat astonished when someone does manage to name only one! I admire their strength of conviction regardless of my agreeing with them. All of that said, I'm forced into a tie:

1) The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Extended Revelation For The Psychic Weaklings Of Western Civilization

I'm well aware this is an album of "leftovers" from their debut. The record company didn't want to issue a double album as a debut and this is their sophmore. The seeds, in my mind, had been hinted at with the latter offerings of Union Carbide Productions and where Ebbot wanted to take the music. The damned thing just seems flawless, to my ears. I nearly cried the first time I heard it, with headphones, in the dark. It fit not only the atmosphere but the mood I was in and everytime I hear it now I'm taken right back to that day.
From the opener, "Regenesis", on through- it has an atmosphere that paradoxically suffocates and allows freedom to mind-wander; by the time you get to "From Gravity To Gold" you're strapped in and there's no turning back. All the smothering darkness and then-BANG!-right at the end the hope and light of "Jehovah Sunrise."

(My second choice, at this moment, without explanation: the Brian Jonestown Massacre - Give It Back, containing "Malela." 'Nuff said.)

Thank you, Plastic Crimewave! Hope you'll grace our blog at a future date. Respect aplenty.


sr-71 said...

thems some pretty fine choices for best psych album, v., although i would be tempted to say that they are more best albums than best psych albums. there are other rekkids like Teenage Filmstars that are more mind fooking and disorienting, but i certainly wouldn't want to listen to them as often as SoOL or BJM unless i was aiming for a section 8.

jamie said...

Another informative and entertaining read!

gomonkeygo said...

Most very good great thing stuff here now! Like so more much! Yeah! Yeah!

Anonymous said...

Geez, each new entry here gets heavier and heavier....I can't remember the last time I heard anyone with enough taste to bring up Leon Thomas, or Jodorowsky for that matter. Given the corrosive quality of history, no one remembers Tim Hardin anymore, let alone his work with Can (!!!), so I'm impressed with the overall quality of Steve's internal archives.

Jim K.

Anonymous said...

Frikkin' awesome!!!! Did he say anything about the Quintessentially British Psych Mix!!!???


nicepooperzine said...

Cool interview, great to see the Relatively Clean Rivers album get name-checked!