PSYCHEDELIA LOVES 'OUR BIT ON THE SIDE'
When Tom and I started Psychedelia some two to three years ago, the thing that really bugged us was that people thought the music we played in the club was a direct reflection of our own musical interests. It’s obviously not. People regularly cussed our choices but it never bothered us too much because it’s a (successful) club night, on a Saturday, in a relatively small city – so that six second Napalm Death tape you acquired in Canada might be the best thing ever recorded, but you have to understand it’s not about rubbing your cultural ego, it’s about getting people off, getting them dancing and keeping them happy (and we maintain integrity while doing so).
Although I no longer work at Lennons or Psychedelia, me and Tom recently got speaking about how it would be nice to show another side to this drunken beast we unleash every Saturday (not Sam Jolly). So every week we will be bringing you our favourite new music and revisiting some of our favourite classic and unsung records. It’s a chance for us to show people that we are not just 60’s obsessed stoners, Tom is not just Bradley Wiggins in a jacket. Whenever a friend tells me of a band they’re digging or a record they’ve become obsessed with, I will listen to that record, because I want to know everything I can about what gets people ticking. I know that if I tell someone about a band I’m loving, chances are they won’t listen to it because people are too proud or think they already know all there is to know. So take some time, light one up, immerse yourself in some of the journey’s we have taken…
New Band Of The Week (number 1) – Melody’s Echo Chamber
This exquisite Parisian beauty studied classical music for 12 years before immersing herself in the dreamscapes of psychedelia. A chance encounter with Kevin Parker from Tame Impala saw her exploration into ethereal melody expand, kicking up clattering of Loveless-style reverb with the etiquette of Cat Power and Mazzy Star.
Her hypnotic self-titled debut is a multi-layered warren, overrun with lush and dreamy waves, and one has to question that without Parker behind the production desk, would it be executed with such flair? The intricacy and density of Melody’s debut is about as textured as it gets, scratch the surface and underneath the bare bones of this are sweet, sweet pop.
Classic Revisited (number 1) – Townes Van Zandt
Steve Earle once said, ‘Townes Van Zandt is the greatest songwriter on the planet, and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and tell him’. So abrasively and passionately put by a man whose adoration for Townes even saw him name is country singer son after the late, great Texan wordsmith.
For those who frown upon Country music or associate it with their parents’ Glen Campbell CD’s (by the way, Jimmy Webb’s ‘Wichita Lineman’, sung by Campbell, is one of the greatest songs ever) should give Townes a go.
Country singers wrote the blueprint for the drug-taking, womanising, out-of-control lifestyle that rock stars of the late 60s and early 70s championed. Townes in particular was a self-destructive addict, obsessed with his own imminent demise; he carried guns, lived in poverty and often sung about coming to terms with his own death, namely in the heart-wrenching ‘Waitin’ Around To Die’ on his self-titled 1969 record. For rich lyrical dexterity, ‘Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel’ rolls and tumbles with elusive phrases and truly wonderful wordplay, and ‘Colorado Girl’ is just one of his devoted lovelorn epics.
While Hank Williams or George Jones, understandably, may be too much to take your Country virginity, Townes could be the start of a new love affair. And once that’s done, give John Prine and Guy Clark a whirl and discover the poets in Stetsons and the scholars in snakeskin, you might even like it.