Friday, July 10, 2009

10 Questions

Hail Voyagers!

When the heat is on you turn to someone who knows all about HOT. Our guest today comes from hot & makes hot music. Dallas, Texas, IS hot. Real damned hot, (and getting hotter according to the "+ 100 days" charts.)((Serves 'em right if you ask me for that wretched piece of sh*t "football team/prison gang" known as the Dallas Cowboys. F__K 'em. I think I hates 'em.., no-I know I do. Erm anyway....back on track mister....))

He's been playing music for a very long time but for our purposes we turn to the late 80s, say 1988.., and the formation of the Burnin' Rain!

We have Mike Pemberton !

Here's a bio' by Lyric LaCeile,(and thank you Lyric):

" Mike Pemberton started out as the token ‘white’ boy playing guitar in an all-Black funk band in the late 70’s . It was a memorable experience to say the least. In the early 80’s he joined Deep Ellum band, ‘Model 12’, with Josh Weinberg and Jim Nabors....A very handsome guy, with a laid-back attitude, Pemberton eased onto the scene with flair and self-assurance minus the cockiness we could all do without. In the tradition of the ‘13th Floor Elevators’, ‘The Chessmen’, ‘Mouse and The Traps’ and ‘The Nomad’s meet the “Burnin’ Rain”, brainchild of Mike Pemberton and Mark Migliore, founder, Rockadelic Records, conceptualized in 1988. Using vintage ‘Vox’ guitars, amps and fuzz boxes they hired Jim Edgerton for vocals , Erich Anderson sounding very Manzarek-esque on Vox Organ and brilliant , veteran rock drummer Chris Gore. In a typically bohemian environment, replete with lava lamps, incense, carpeted walls, in an old brick two-story four-plex on Worth Street in historical East Dallas, their highly palpable chemistry shaped the sounds that quickly become ‘Burnin Rain’.

The first session produced “Piece of your Love”, and “All Night Long”, (the third 45 rpm on Rockadelic Records), a quick- selling 500 !. Within two months of the band’s formation, Mark Miglioure and Jim Edgerton split to form their own band, “Fish Eye Lens”. The surviving members located an old high-school pal, Dan Connelly, (formerly of ‘Danny and The Daylights’) to fill out the gap on vocals and lead guitar, producing their first effort, “Visions” on the ‘Mind and Eye’ label, with distribution through Rockadelic Records, Dallas and ‘Resonance’ of The Netherlands and New York City. The grainy, raw effects on tunes like, ‘Smoke Stack Lightening’ were due in part to a classic four-track Crown reel-to-reel recorder and a Gretch guitar owned by Pemberton. Danny’s natural swagger with the guitar and his organic, coarse, blues-driven voice brushed on the final touches of what would become one of the hippest, most talented bands in Deep Ellum, and the Southwest.

The next 10 months were spent honing their dazzling, vibrant 12-song repertoire. Within a month of pressing, Semiphore Records in Holland heard their music, instantly signed the band, repressing ‘Visions’ with 4000 sold as they began recording their second album, “Iwaska”. Iwaska is a South American vine that local shaman used in ritual ceremonies, inducing a drug-like trance with visions of places they never physically inhabited… . Featuring seasoned local Dallas chanteuse Cricket Taylor on the psyche-rock, bluesy, swaying duet with Danny, “Dreams”, opening with a light rainstorm track layered underneath, “What is it that you want, or do you really know, dear? Tell me do you have a dream ? Well find it , chase it, la la la… …..” Oh, you’ll sing along, trust me. “I have let others get to me at times, but I won’t let it stop me, no, I’ll let it inspire me, I will”……the sweet echoes of a voice too early taken , Danny Connelly’s haunting layers in harmony plead “Don’t let your dreams go too far”…..get ready for the chill.

Their third record, “Pictures In The Fire”, was a triumph in its simplicity. Still retaining the raw, edgy sound with a more finessed, mature result, noted especially in the title song, with Pemberton on guitar,Bobby Faubion on bass Chris Gore drums,Dan Connelly vocals and Erich Anderson ..boards each song left you with the feelings of euphoria. Thier live shows were etched into the memory of those fortunate to experience them. From live shows at clubs like Club Clearviw, Trees.The Bomb Factory and two headline shows at the Frye Street fair in Denton Texas. The Record is still till this day the best seller and is the one that will stand the test of time standing on its on merits as the bands most psychedelic effort to date.

The fourth record by the band "Ritual Medicine Show" on Rockadelic records was the last studio recording with all five members. Mike ,Bobby,Chris,Erich and Danny. This effort by the band was yet another great release. Each member brought thier own style,influences and sound to take the bands music to a whole new level. With fuzz drenched guitar tracks like Flying Saucers, to the mysterious jug sounds of the Underground, the band had scored another pure Texas psychedelic classic that sells as well as "Pictures in the Fire". Recorded in the summer of 95 at Hai Tex Studio and engineered by Andy Childs on a 16 track tape this fine record is in the collections of some of the most discerning music lovers all over the world. The Burnin Rain CDs can be had at CD 12.00 each and have been enhanced and remixed to bring out the best of the old recordings. -Journalist, Unsigned Magazine, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, England, UK -Music Biographer -Hostess and presenter, UK Featured Artists Site,

For me the blast that is "Love Is Like Dying" or the amalgamation that is "Slip Inside This Slide Machine", (complete with jug!), are prime slices of the true wafer and a testament to this band's dedication to the Trip. They're not taking the short path. Plus, I respect any band who sings about Sirius, the Dog Star. (Hmmm, might should've saved this post for August 23rd?)

Let's plumb the mind of a fellow traveler:

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

Psychedelic music to me is the white man's version of soul music.

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

The most psychedelic instrument is the jug. Even though it is so simple
it takes an ordinary song and transcends the sound into another dimension
another plane, a higher plateau. Tommy Hall's playing of the jug was one
of the most defining moments in the sound we call Psychedelic.

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?

If stuck on an island there could be only one album that i would have to
grab off the shelf and that album would be Easter Everywhere. Is there
a better album ever recorded? Tell me about it.

4. You can go back in time and save one ill-fated rocker, who do you save and why?

When i was in the 10th grade i found out about Hendrix and i was saddened
to find out that he had been dead for 10 years. It would be so nice to hear
him exploring the way he did but sometimes the brightest stars always
burn out the fastest. Stacy Sutherland was another guy that i wish i could
have saved, his guitar work meant- and still does to this day, the world to me.

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

Some people may laugh at this one but i always liked Neil Diamond's
Solitary Man. It had undertones of a soft psych song. Another song i
liked was John Lennon's Number 9 Dream. There was something mysterious
and prophetic about the words. It stands above most of his later songs.

6. Is there an advantage in being the pioneers (60s psychedelic bands), or being the continuing explorers armed with the knowledge of those pioneers work (the modern psychedelic bands)? Why?

I liked being the second generation psych guy because i think- thanks to
technology, we were able to do things that the first generation guys had
to struggle to make those same sounds. I do admire how they did it with
just amps and tape trickery and some of those sounds are still hard to
duplicate to this day .

7. What band active at the peak of Burnin' Rain did you most appreciate musically?

A local band that had started the local Psych movement was Lithium Xmas, they had been playing around town playing the Stark Club and parties. When i saw them i knew that i wanted to explore the psychedelia like they were.
Mark Riddlin and i had played in a new wave band called Model 12 in the mid-80s but we both knew there was a bigger statement to make one that
would make a lasting impression.

8. If you could-even without anyone else ever hearing it, cover another album entirely, which one would you love to give a go at?

There are many dreams that one has that could go unfulfilled but mine is to
do the 13th Floor Elevators' Bull of the Wood album. To me it is one of the best unsung statements of psych history that will ever be. I am still amazed at the music genius of simple Texas boys from Kerrville and the depth of their understanding of complex rhythms and tones that were never heard before. God rest his soul,Stacy Sutherland.

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

!.Slip Inside this House (13th Floor Elevators)
2.Slide Machine (13th Floor Elevators)
3.We Sell Soul (The Spades) Rocky Ericsons 1st band
4.Foolish Baby (The Briks) Dallas
5.Uncle Kirby (Countdown Five) Corpus Cristi Texas
6.Every Night a New Surprise (The Moving Sidewalks) Houston Tx
7.Whats then Matter (The Ant Trip Ceremony)
8.The House of Yesterday(Hydro Pyro)
9.Lost in My World (Dug Dugs) Mexico
10.The World is a Bomb (The Survival) Mexico

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

Mike: What was your first song that you heard as a child that turned you to the world of psychedelic?

-valis: Well Mike.., I wouldn't have known it as such until much later in life but two tracks from my kidhood did things to me:

The Rolling Stones "She's A Rainbow" & (in that category with your Neil Diamond track as an unlikely source) Redbone's "Come And Get Your Love." (It took me years to realize it was that electric sitar they're using what did it to me.) It wasn't until my late 20s, (late 80s), that I went full-blown.

The obsession continues, unabated.

Thank you Mike!


sr-71 said...

good call on that Dug Dug tune. that song is tits!

Chris said...

which is more psychedelic:
jug or sitar???

you guys are great!