Friday, September 25, 2009


It's that time again Voyagers! (And we've a name for this exercise as well, suggested by a great friend.) Alright, let's on with it, shall we?

I've been talking to Scott, of the Strangers Family Band for a couple of years now and it's been fascinating to watch (hear) the way they're maturing as a band. From those early recordings to what is on offer today the progression has been noted from afar. Hailing from Orlando, Florida, they're slowly (painfully to me at times)making inroads on the club circuit and stretching further & further afield seemingly each time out. I've felt the adumbrations! One day friends, one day. So, enough mit der rambling!

Their self-titled EP (a/k/a Beware The Autumn People) is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD and I highly recommend you invite these Strangers into your home and headphones.

Here's my take on this EP:

If the Doors & Kennelmus had a baby, the Strangers Family Band is their love child!

At seven tracks this EP never wears out welcome, nor-just like a good Stranger, overstays. From the mood-setting/changing opener "Enochian", (well, it would be an opener wouldn't it?), we know we're entering another world. Sound creating a travel ticket. Perfectly segueing into "Girl I've Been Taken," from all sides of the spectrum-in my Sennheisers, this reminds me substantially of those 70s desert-dwelling, peyote-munching psychsters Kennelmus. That's a compliment where I come from.Stylistically, this track also seems to lean more on the early 70s period of psychedelic music.

Track 3, "Wooden Hands", further bids you to come into their funhouse mirror world o' weird. A Music Hall romp with horn-backed chorus.

Track 4, "No One Sees Her", maintains the vibe of the prior tack, set up nicely by a small-stringed instrument-ukelele? Mandolin? and shuffles along right past the tilt-o-whirl, a la The Seeds "Nobody Spoil My Fun."

"Strange Transmission" should be familiar to regular readers of this blog for its inclusion on this year's Summer Solstice, Volume II compilation. Opening with SITAR (!), this is pure Doorsian wobble, a long-lost companion and heir to "The End." At seven minutes it's also in the right proportion, too.

"Tangerine", to these ears wouldn't sound outta' place-at all, on the Brian Jonestown Massacre's albums, say circa Methodrone. Complete with Anton-like affected Engle-accented vocals.

The EP ends with "Beware The Autumn People", a trip into an alterniverse where the only song anyone's ever heard is "Soul Kitchen"! Yet these guys manage to somehow break the stranglehold. A slow-burning center to propel it and a swagger which demands attention from your third eye.

I'll stand by my assertion, made earlier, these guys are a product of a Doors-Kennelmus tryst, made one night out near the old prison town of Yuma, a bag of peyote being passed around, and after enough digestion the guitars and percussion come out as a crescent moon slowly rises overhead...those sounds? They entered the Noosphere and were caught in transmission many moons later by a group of guys trying. Trying. As long as they're doing so I'll keep buying the string of tickets from the barker...

Thanks Scott & Co.! Listen and tell 'em "-valis sent me!"

Okay, up next I'm delighted to tip you to an old acquaintance of mine, Joe Lynch. Joe plays some of the best Beatlesque music I've heard and-after a long, too-long time not hearing from him I was surprised he's taken to blogging and posted a FREE CD's worth of stuff. I had all of this about seven years ago but lost it due to hard-drive failure and was saddened at the loss of contact and the loss of the music. Imagine my delight when I found this over at his blog. Going by the name Beatlescene could be construed as hubris, but not in Joe's case, at all. Listen to "Psychedelphia" and tell me he's mistaken. "Cherry Hill Parade", "Blackburn Lancashire", and the rest all have the right moves and are played with earnest emotion. Joe knows! Thank you Joe!

Lastly, I wanted to remind you of my psychedelic radio show, on St. Louis' own KDHX, every Tuesday morning from 5am to 7am. Entitled, strangely enough, Trip Inside This House, I realize not everyone's going to be available at the time I'm on air. The show's streaming archives are up for two weeks after a show for your enjoyment at a time more convenient to you. Access it. E-mail me with suggestions. (There's a link right near the top of my show's page, right under the show's name.)

Do you have a suggestion for a free CD or EP? Let me know in the comments, also any suggestions for another blog or website I should let readers know about is always appreciated. Always.

Until next time, take care, and TURN IT UP!


Chris said...

Valis! another geat post to your awesome blog. Pithy, thoughtful, fun, and informative. Congrats on naming your baby.


Terri said...

I am loving the song by Stranger Family Band that you so kindly put on that Summer Solstice II comp, will definitely check them out further with these links & info, thank you! Cheers, Terri

Terri said...

LOVE this EP. Equal parts Doors & Donovan, and ALL groovy psychedelic. Already turning friends on to these guys.