Thursday, October 02, 2008

10 Questions

Greetings once again Psych' fans & friends! Welcome to October, the "Second Season" of baseball...our guest today is a big baseball fan and someone who was suggested to me by a good friend many, many months ago. This one took a while, as you'll read, but this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. (A tip to my Greek readers.)

A San Francisco Giants fan, who was in band called the SF Seals, (a nod to one of the great Pacific Coast League teams)-hey, they have a song called "Dock Ellis", remember him? I have the honor to present you... Barbara Manning!

Her own website offers us this biography:

Barbara Manning is considered one of the leaders of the independent rock scene. During her multi-album career, beginning in Northern California with the highly acclaimed neo-psychedelic group 28th Day; San Francisco's semi-legendary edgy pop band, World of Pooh; Matador recording artist, SF Seals; her numerous solo albums, and now with the power trio, The Go-Luckys!, Manning has consistently collected praise from respected and cutting edge magazines as well as her own peers. In 1992, Rolling Stone picked Barbara as one of the year's most important new artists; Spin magazine declared her 1995 album with the SF Seals, Truth Walks In Sleepy Shadows, the 8th best album of the year; in 1996, Germany's Spex magazine's Reader's Poll voted her among the 10 best female musicians; the French music industry magazine, Les Inrockupibles, gave an entire page review of her 1998 album solo album 1212; and the European Musik Express has applauded her last several albums with the highest marks. Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore proclaimed her one of San Francisco's finest poets. She is referenced in several current music guides, such as Spin's Guide to Alternative Rock, Virgins' Guide to Indie Rock and New Wave, Rolling Stone's Women in Rock, and Music USA, among others. Barbara also won a coveted Bay Area Music Award (BAMMY) in 1995 for the best independent rock album.

Barbara has played worldwide with such rock notables as Yo La Tengo, Giant Sand, Pavement, Calexico, the Replacements, Richie Havens, Donovan, Television Personalities, Stuart Moxham (Young Marble Giants), Jon Langford (Mekons), Faust, Urge Overkill, Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart), and Sonic Youth. New Zealand's most admired musicians, the Clean, the Tall Dwarfs, the Verlaines and the 3D's, collaborated with her as band mates while touring and recording 1999's In New Zealand.

While touring solo in Europe, Barbara met the young twin brothers who were the answer to her dream for an energized and committed rock band. Half Italian and half German, but 100% music fanatics, Fabrizio Steinbach (guitar, bass) and Flavio Steinbach (drums, percussion) formed her band the Go-Luckys! and have added renewed energy and enthusiasm to Barbara's music. The new full-length album You Should Know By Now, released by Innerstate Records, is an all original 10 song turbo-charged rocket blast into soothing outer space.

A busy lady, to be sure! (As further proof, here's a great interview.)

So, here she is:

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

Trippy, colorful, experimental, rhythmic, syncopated, dreamy, surreal, mind-expanding, playful.

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

The guitar is the number one psychedelic instrument because it can be used in unlimited ways to make sound and because the guitar appears on almost every psychedelic recording.

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time? Why?

My favorite psychedelic album is Magical Mystery Tour by the Beatles because it was my childhood favorite. Childhood is very psychedelic, at least mine was.

4. What band or performer has been the most inspirational to you in your own music?

That would have to be Pete Townsend & the Who whom I “discovered” when I was 14 and just starting to play guitar & write songs.

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

…Sonic Youth’s Day Dream Nation.

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

Rockpile! It would be dreamy to sing back-ups, play piano and assorted instruments, like autoharp or banjo. These instruments would work nicely mixed in their country pop sound. Why Rockpile? I want to get close to Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds any way I could, I worship those guys. Something about those two men makes me shiver down to my toes. Terry Williams and Billy Bremner are awesome too. What better way to get to know someone than by playing music with them? Plus I think as a band, they had fun together. Blue Nun!

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

Lucky Bishops, a band from Dorset, England, are certainly carrying the psychedelic rock torch. They have three albums you all can check out, one of which was released on the Woronzow label run by Nick Saloman of Bevis Frond, the psychedelic maestro.
(Editor's Note: I heartily endorse these strange personages from Dorset. And the offshoot, Cheese.)

8. What album would you most like to cover in its entirety, why? (Even if you were the only one who ever heard that cover.)

…Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy by Brian Eno because each song is so different from each other, although all are full of color, tell stories, have humor and grooves in a weird punky kind of way. It is one of my favorite records.

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

Jabberwock by Boeing Duveen & the Beautiful Soup
Paperhouse by Can
Keep Your Mind Open by Kaleidoscope
Until the Poorest of People Have Money to Spend by West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Panis et Circensis by Os Mutantes
No Good Trying by Syd Barrett
Brief Candles by Zombies
Reverberation by 13 Floor Elevators
The Otherside by Apple
Electric Sailor by KAK

10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question.
Barbara: Has anyone taken as long and with as many excuses as I did to get this completed? (Sorry about that.)

-valis: As a matter of fact, there've been quite a few who've taken longer. I'm just happy to have participation at all, no matter the length of time taken to get the answers. In most cases the explanation has been, "I'm really having a tough time with this question, valis, give me a few more days." (Or weeks.)
Thank you Barbara, so very much, for taking the time out of your own buy life to share your views with us on this, our favorite subject!

Wanna' hear more? Here's her MySpace page, and you can purchase her albums via the Shop at her website.


sr-71 said...

Amazing taste in music (and spot on about Daydream Nation as an unheralded psych classic) and a baseball fan? Are you going to start up a sports version of TITH just so you can interview Ms. Manning on your other shared love?

Cliff said...

Great interview from Barbara and something of a relief to read folks take so much time over your questions, I say so simply because I often think whilst reading that it would take an age of reckoning to do justice to the questions.

gerryboy67 said...

another interesting interview, herr Valis!

Barbara Manning said...

Wow, Valis! You made the interview so much better with all the pictures and films! Good thing I am not much of a computer user or I would probably be on youtube all day and night.

Thanks again for the CDs-all but one track is unknown to me from the whole batch. I am going to listen to them on my trip to SF today (to catch Nick Lowe at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass fest in GG Park!)

love, Barbara

Anonymous said...

Another good one, V.

Regardsfrom MFOOZ.

jay strange said...

the lucky bishops were before being the bishops in orange pre orgone box!

Joe said...

thanks for the babrara manning focus, i need to hear smoking her wings soon.

ask barbara if she would play in memphis,