Friday, August 28, 2009
You've Been Tipped...
I've a new feature, as yet unnamed, wherein I'll be sharing some of the interesting things I've come across over the course of a month. (If you've a name for this post a comment, it might get used!)
"What kind of things?" you might be asking. Well, things such as this:
I received an EP of psychedelic music from a band in St. Louis, called Riding The Riff. After listening I decided to play a track from it as the "-valis Pick of the Week" on both my radio show and Psychedelic Velveeta.
After contacting Manik Myk, who was involved in the music, he gladly assented to my sharing this EP with all of you. So download it HERE! (Art included.)
Here's some background on the EP:
" I met Jim "Seamus" McKinney through our mutual friend John McClellan. Jim had recorded, on his four track, John McClellan's CD entitled "Sea Shells."
When the band John and I were in, Atlas Dropped the Ball, finally decided to record we tried several options. First, we tried to record it ourselves on a sixteen track, but had little success. Next, we tried a friend who was the opposite of a perfectionist. We met with little success. John suggested Jim. We made a crude 4 song demo. I was not that impressed with three of the songs (No fault of Jim's), but I really liked his production on my song "Demons to Chocolate."
While Jim McKinney and I were almost neighbors in Maplewood, We did not start hanging out until I lived across town in Hazelwood. The first recordings we did together were songs that I wrote and were political in nature. The first e.p. was called "Heaven." We decided, after this, that writing political songs meant that not only did you reduce the size of your potential audience, but the songs had a shelf-life of about six months tops. Jim McKinney suggested that we do psychedelic EP. I wanted to make sonic Christmas present. So, we did both. We made an EP that included "The Woman With the Love," Turn Me On," & "Demons to Chocolate" with a retooled Jim MCKinney bass part. about this time, Jim suggested that we name ourselves Riding the Riff and I agreed. We even, for an nanosecond, had a drummer and a bass player, but we never did a show.
Jim told me that anytime I wanted to record at his studio I could. I wrote the lyrics for "My Life Among the nominally Sentient," and decided he was the man to produce and record it. I recorded it one afternoon and let Jim add his magic. Working with Jim is kind of like that Italian fable where you leave leather out at night, and the next morning you have shoes (presumably made by little shoe-gnomes or something).
He had already recorded "Everything is Alive" and had featured some of his friends, including me, reading metaphysical books. I believe that this song sums up Jim's metaphysical beliefs rather succinctly.
Kissing the Flame was another one of Jim's songs. I was fortunate enough to play bass on it. I watched him for several hours as he pursued the definitive guitar lead.
"The Day the Roses Bled Sunshine," was a throwback to the Christmas album.
I guess that's about it. Thanks a lot, Manik Myk"
So, there's one of the kinds of things we'll feature. Here's another:
Brian Andrew Marek is another St. Louisan (!) making psychedelic music. His latest effort is entitled Utopian Flying Machines. Of it he says:
" Disconcertingly shaky, held together by duct tape and dreams but somehow managing to occasionally achieve flight, these are my "utopian flying machines" - 14 diverse tracks banged out in my basement over the last seven months at no small expense to my brain cells (not that I'm complaining). Recorded on the same old school Tascam reel-to-reel four track that produced "The Vertigo Swirl", this lastest batch of songs and sounds finds me yet again looting and pillaging all my favorite genres for an eclectic pop/rock blend lyrically covering such topics as love, death, work, politics, ghosts, Walt Winston, conspiracy theories and, of course, peanut butter toast and tea. As is often the case, my ambitions outstripped the facilities at my disposal, resulting in a murky, low fidelity echo of the classic rock productions I love - hopefully these sonic imperfections are more interesting than offensive to the listener. So here it is, a distorted aural snapshot of myself in 2009, unwashed and naked (but making funny faces here and there), setting off in my psychedelic airship. Enjoy the flight. "
You can get free HERE!
Are we doing okay so far? Good, here's some more:
A new (to me!) site I've derived a lot of pleasure from lately is Head Full Of Snow! Yesterday's post brings a review of The Move's Looking On album. Comb the archives! (I'll add a permanent "Outbound Flights" link on sidebar.)
As I type away here, mulling what exactly I'm going to post, I'm riveted by the sounds from KGLT in Bozeman, Montana! Ron Sanchez, of Donovan's Brain, takes to the airwaves there every other Friday from 4-7pm. (Central Time USA). (If you've ever talked to him, or read his website, you'll know this man is a collector's collector! I'd love to share some rum at his place and stroll thru' that collection!)
OK, that's gonna' do it for this post.Hoping you enjoyed it and it proves worthy to add in regular monthly rotation. (Perhaps you'd let me know.)
Take care, see you next Friday with a new "10 Questions"!
Addendum, Oct. 9, 2009:
From the Dharma Bummer
I heard "Manik" Myk Thompson before I met him. An ex-girlfriend of mine had a brief relationship with him shortly after ours, and it was through her that I got a copy of his 1994 cassette "Beyond Dysfunctional". His works were intriguing enough to overcome my natural aversion to an ex's new boyfriend, and I soon drafted him into my latest project, initiating an occasional working relationship and a friendship that continues to this day.
Myk also started to make me jealous in a way that has nothing to do with girls. Like me, he was making strange, funny, smart home four-track creations, but unlike me (and like another influential friend, Andrew "File 13/Full Dimensional" Aldrich), he had the drive and vision to compile entire cassettes of this material, package them and give them out to people. I just sat and hoarded mine, too unsatisfied and self-conscious to share, waiting for some undetermined day in the future when I could professionally record and release my music. For several years in the nineties, Thompson was releasing a new 60 minute album every year, and it is from these that this compilation derives.
While Myk is best known in the open mic night circle that he still haunts for laugh-out-loud folk songs of the political and observational stripe, I have intentionally eschewed this material in favor of his more esoteric efforts. Tape manipulation, samples, skewed poetry, cosmic humor and his always outrageous guitars come together to produce a sound world that is uniquely "Manik". There's even a few bona fide (if slightly left of center) songs.
Myk asked me to compile this, and I'm glad he did - it gave me the opportunity to pay tribute to the lesser known side of a talented friend. So sit back, relax and enjoy nearly eighty minutes of Mykadelia!
Thanks Dharma Bummer!