Friday, May 07, 2010

10 Questions

Hello again Psych' fans! Ready for another installment of "10 Questions"? Sit back, strap in, and prepare to fly. Here: 44°N 72.7°W. Maple syrup & Lake Champlain. Our guest today comes from the green mountain state, Vermont. Please welcome Jared Artaud of The Vacant Lots!

I came to know them-and enjoy their brand of psychedelia, through their self-released According To The Gospel album. Now, hot on the heels of a new album, Hypnotized, (Ancient Hills Music),they're about to set out for a multi-city tour of the Eastern U.S. in support of Spectrum.

As the reviewer, Dan Bolles, states, as a succinct description of The Vacant Lots sound, here :

" Album closer “Revolution” is a gruesome, 21-minute epic. While not for the faint of heart — or the short on time — it reduces the material to its most basic elements: pulsing percussion, dizzying guitar and visceral, almost unintelligible howls. It is seductive and hedonistic and, of course, hypnotizing. "

Indeed. Let's see where Jared's thoughts are, shall we?

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

Stepping in/outside your mind attaining an experience thru Art.

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

The Mind. It's where doors open.

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?

Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators. That record can be listened to over and over again. And every time you can still hear something new.

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

The Stooges, Fun House. When one hears of The Stooges I don't think people conjure up the term Psychedelic at first.

To me, Fun House is a psychedelic album. It's also the perfect album to get stoned to.

5. What current bands playing psychedelic music do you think more people
should be aware of?

Trad Gras Och Stenar (sweden). This band has been around since the 70's. I was fortunate enough to see them play live a few years back and they blew my mind. Ever since I have consulted their records religiously.

Screen Vinyl Image (washington d.c.). SVI is one of the most arresting and sonically assaulting groups out today. Their live set can melt minds. They are without a doubt one of our favorite groups alongside The Vandelles from New York City.

6. What is your favorite rock or music movie of all time?

Blank Generation by Ulli Lommel

7. Name an album that you associate with a powerful memory every time you
hear it.

Love's first Album. That record was spinning during so many high and low times in my life that it evokes so many different emotions for me every time I hear it now. "Message To Pretty" is one of the most beautiful songs I ever heard.

8. You can go back in time and see any band play for one night; what band,

in what year are you going to go see? ..and what song do you most want them to play?

John Coltrane in the 60's or Suicide in the 70's.

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

William Blake- "The Sick Rose"

Love- "The Red Telephone"

Spacemen 3- "Mary Ann"

Brian Jonestown Massacre-"Bring Me The Head Of Paul McCartney On Heather Mills' Wooden Peg (Dropping Bombs On The White House)"

The Black Angels- "18 years"

The Vandelles- "Swell To Heaven"

Television- "Venus"

The Doors- "The End"

The Velvet Underground- "Venus In Furs"

Ravi Shankar- "Raga Ramkali"

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

Jared: How do you feel Analog vs. Digital has influenced Psychedelic music today?

-valis: Unsure if "influenced" is the correct term here. I believe what the digital age has done has leveled the playing field so most anyone who's dream is to be creating psychedelic music has opportunities to do so, relatively cheaply, versus prior generations. (As an example I'd once again direct readers to the "Homemade Lo-Fi Psych" Blog in the Outbound Flights section, Sidebar Right.)

Much like the cassette opened up possibilities for "DIY" on a spectacularly massive scale, so, too, does this current technological advance. Even moreso.

As for the "analog vs. digital" debate, well...I've some great ears, thank Pan & Dionysus, and I "get" the entire "warmth & depth" argument praising analog, in the end....I just wanna' hear some great music. Period. I typically don't care how it's delivered. As long it goes through my Sennheisers...

(Oddly enough, this whole "analog vs. digital" laughably goes both ways: you have "classic, long-lost psychedelic albums" being reproduced as "digitally remastered" and albums only released digitally getting the "180 Gram vinyl" treatment. Bottom line? Does it sound good? Yes..? I'm playin' it!)

Thanks Jared! Best to you & Brian, The Vacant Lots , on the tour!!!


Cliff. said...

Once again you introduce me to something new Valis, never even heard of The Vacant Lots before, sure like Jared's Top 10, so I'll have to check his band out. Furthermore, never heard of Trad Gras Och Stenar so I'll be investigating them further too.

sr-71 said...

I concur that the Vandelles are tits. Well formed magical tits that spray an ambrosia-like milk upon my mewling infant ears.

@ Cliff: Trad Gras Och Stenar are like the hippie love child of VU and Can. Very tasty schtuff!