Friday, October 30, 2009

10 Questions

Greetings & Hail Voyagers! I know, it's been far too long. Apologies. My calm exterior belies the fact all else resembles a speeding U-Boat underneath it all. (A LOT going on behind the curtain, though we'll not pay attention to said man behind same...)

Right, let's get down and get with it. It's what you came for.

Today's guest hails from Los Angeles. Seems to be a place conducive for the making of the music we like. It's Rob Kolar of Lemon Sun!

(Photo by Philicia Endelman)

They've just released their album, Run With The Faithless. Here's what some others are saying:

"...Their eleven-song set ended in what seemed to be a rock opera, including a cover of “I'll Melt With You,” with a strobe light, Felipe Ceballos on his feet slamming the drums and the whole stage illuminating the dim room with their energy. It is no surprise that Lemon Sun is essentially based on a dream Kolar once had—by the end of a set, they have glided you through your own dream sequence leaving you refreshed and desiring more." Britt Witt - LA RECORD

"...From the very first song "Congratulate Our Thievery" you're instantly transported to a time of protests, uninhibited clothing choices and a few free flowing illegal substances. "What's in it for me?" makes for a perfect chant through this excellent rock song." - HYBRID MAGAZINE

"... singer Rob Kolar, whose fantastic voice and psych-folk rock leanings have carried the band since its inception. Still unsigned, these guys have vast commercial appeal and a classic Southern California sound. Though most in the crowd were likely there to see headliner and 2008 buzz band White Denim, Lemon Sun aptly proved to be crowd favorites. With natural vocal harmonies playing a role in their country-tinged sound, it’s hard to believe this incarnation of the band has only been performing together for such a short time. By the time White Denim took the stage, most of the people in the crowd were pretty wasted, and it cleared out before they finished their (quite short) set." CRAWDADDY

Indeed. See this and believe:

Let's explore his take on the "10 Questions"..:

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

A sonic mind widening odyssey

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

At the risk of sounding too "hippy", the soul. Its the source.

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?

There are quite a few. A couple that come to mind...

The Doors - s/t The Zombies - Odyssey & Oracle
Pink Floyd - Piper at the Gates...

4. If you could cover one album in its entirety,even though you may be the
only one who ever hears it, what album would it be and why?

Hmmm... Maybe Velvet Underground... but as uncool as it may sound probably their "Best of" album... I'm a sucker for singles. What can I say.

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

Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited. The lyrics paint a kaleidoscopic sense of realism and the musical improv. gives it a swirling feel and subtle psychedelic nuances.

Simon & Garfunkle - Scarborough Fair really trips me out. Creates a whimsical medieval world which I find quite psychedelic. That song is like a portal.

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?

To be honest I lean towards explorers. Of course I am biased. I also think with our options in the technical side we can take the seeds (pun intended) that the pioneers planted and go even further.

I feel as though psychedelic music hasn't really made quite the kind of cultural and long lasting impact that punk or some other genres have. I believe this is because it is still in resurgence. I'm excited and hopeful to be a part of a current and future psychedelic revival.*
America is still quite a conservative place and some people aren't ready to embrace "psychedelic" as part of mainstream culture. Of course some people claim ownership over the genre and would gag at the idea of Joe Blow football player taking mushrooms and getting down to Spaceman 3. I don't see it as such a bad

(* Editor's Note: As am I!)

7. Who are some of your favorite current psychedelic bands?

The Coral, Spindrift, Devendra Banhart, The Raveonettes, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spiritualized, The Growlers, Dr. Dog, Dungen

8. Roky or Syd..?


9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

These come to mind: (But they may be different in a year)

The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows
Electric Prunes - I Had too Much to Dream Last Night
The Doors - Strange Days
Donovan - Sunshine Superman
Pink Floyd - Echoes
Pink Floyd (Syd Barrett) - See Emily Play
Beck - Jack-Ass
Os Mutantes - A Minha Menina
CAN - Don't Say No
Rolling Stones - 2000 Light Years From Home

These are at the moment...

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

Rob: How did you hear of Lemon Sun? If you were gonna make a 15 song mix to turn someone on to psych music that had only heard a small amount (including modern and old tunes...), what would the list be?

-valis: Unsure how I stumbled upon your band. Probably through your MySpace page, or a review read somewhere on the interwebs. Glad I did though!
As to making a 15-song mix..., well, I've been known to dabble in this mix-making thing and here's what I've come up with:

01 The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows 1966 Revolver
02 The Pretty Things - Defecting Grey 1968 S.F. Sorrow
03 The Smoke - High In A Room 1967 It's Smoke Time
04 Traffic - Paper Sun 1967 Mr. Fantasy
05 The Creation - How Does It Feel To Feel 1967 We Are Paintermen
06 The Open Mind - Magic Potion 1969 Single
07 Zerfas - You Never Win 1973 Zerfas
08 Neu! - Hero 1975 Neu! 75
09 Rain Parade - No Easy Way Down 1984 Explosions In The Glass Palace
10 The Shamen - Four Letter Girl 1987 Drop
11 Primal Scream - Slip Inside This House 1991 Screamadelica
12 Coil - Windowpane 1991 Love's Secret Domain
13 Psychic Ills - I Knew My Name 2006 Dins
14 The December Sound - Drone Refusenik 2007 The Silver Album
15 Dead Skeleton - Dead Mantra 2009 N/A

That's what I came up with to help friend's seeking the path. Hopeful it does the trick and helps 'em trip inside this house!Thanks Rob! Best wishes on making more music we can set sail to...

PS Since a list of 15 songs is all well & good, but an actual mix of the thing is you GO!


Cliff. said...

Rob seems like a thoroughly likeable bloke, I'll have to check out Lemon Sun (now there's a perfect name for a band to be included in Solstice 2010 mix!)

I understand exactly where Rob's coming from re 'Scarborough Fair,' I've felt that way since I first heard the song back in the year dot!

Jeez I was reading your 15 song setlist thinking I'll have to burn this (at the same time thinking I need at least 3 tracks from Valis to do so) & lo and behold the Gods smile upon I.

gerryboy said...

Another awesome capture, Valis. The man's tastes mirror mine almost exactly. Who knows, maybe his championing of Highway 61 revisited will finally "turn ye on" to the great man's legacy......

Dr. Schluss said...

Very groovy blog. Come visit my corner of psychedelic esoterica at

I'll be adding a link for your blog there.

sr-71 said...

Nice to see you haven't lost the art of the mix, Mistah V.!

Also, I 3rd the vote for Highway 61 Revisited as a psych classic. They're selling postcards of the hanging, motherfuckers, and that's an actual historical reference from olde Minnesota.....

Lemon Sun said...

Gonna check out that mix! Thanks. It was a bit of a selfish request! haha. Wanted to discover some new tunes. Thanks for the interview. Really enjoyed it!

Terri said...

Another huge THANK YOU to this blog! I finally got the chance to check out Lemon Sun, love them, ordered their album just now :-)