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16 Jul 2016

Kim Fowley "The Day The Earth Stood Still" 1970 US Psych Rock

Kim Fowley "The Day The Earth Stood Still" 1970   released in MNW records Sweden

Kim Fowley "Night Of The Hunter"1970 {HQ}

Kim Fowley"Long Live Rock n` Roll"1970

While looking amidst my ever-aging record collection for long-ignored favorites I pulled this forgotten classic outta the pile and voila, my actions immediately transported me into strange musical vistas that I don't think I've traversed in quite some time. Yes, I must admit that even though I still swear allegiance to and honor the glory of Fowley as laid down on his Norton Records collection of rare and offbeat single sides, I have been ignoring his "proper" releases to the point where I even had ANIMAL GOD OF THE STREETS pulled out and ready to play only to pass it up once again just like I always seem to do whenever an MC5 album catches my eye. And yeah, I know that the entire subject of Mr. Fowley is one to get even the most faithful BLOG TO COMM reader all frothy and foaming at the mouth with blasphemous utterances of "lecherous carpetbagger", "phonus balonus no-talent" and other epithets of that nature so akin to the meek and gentle amongst us but hey, have I ever been the one to shy away from controversy or hold my tongue in the face of a raging tide of anti-BTC sentiment? Have I? HAVE I??? You bet I have!!! 

But not this time, because THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is whatcha's call a true underground rock masterpiece, another winner from a guy who was always there on the sidelines developing and nurturing budding talent but never really in the spotlight himself. Recorded while The Master was holidaying in Sweden (probably on the lookout for those loose women over there I've always heard about), THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL ranks amidst Fowley's best, a record that only proves to all of us that the man was (and probably still is) capable of taking whatever move and groove there is on the scene at the time and twisto/changeo-ing it in his own seedy image. Throughout the years Fowley has been in on the teen pop, garage, surf, glam and punk games and although his takes on such seemingly disparate styles have never really made any true inroads with the record buying populace they have captured a certain fun, enjoyable aura that's part teenage exploitation, part serious observation and part obvious put on. That always made for a strange magic in the man's work in which, even when he is attempting new terrain in rock that go all over the boards aesthetics-wise, his special imprint remains, an imprint of quality that tells ya this ain't just another cheap commercial ploy, it's a FOWLEY commercial ploy! 

But better he, than onetime colleague Zappa f'r'example, to act as the snide satirical jester of rock & roll. From the late-seventies on Zappa was just floating from one feeble album to another and his disco and punk spoofs weren't anything to sneeze about, making him come off like just anudder snide old hippie who put his subject matter down without giving us a good explanation as to why. And for a guy who defended (more or less) his generation from the elders who did JUST THAT you'd think Zappa woulda learned something about satire like the kind we all used to think he produced! Like DOONESBURY Zappa was way way out-of-touch with any new goings on since his heyday, and perhaps obviously confused about them just as much as any member of the "establishment" was confused about the sixties generation. 

Nothing bad about that natch, but the music Zappa was releasing sure reflected a puzzling dismay that almost ranked with Joe Pyne's bewilderment over the same era of youthful exuberance that Zappa sprung forth from. (An aside, I've heard that Zappa's infamous "you have a wooden leg so you must be a table" comment on the Pyne show was never uttered, and for that matter Zappa was never even on the Pyne show! Can anyone [dis]prove any of this?) In contrast, Fowley seemed knew how to take whatever was young, fresh and exciting from sources such as Iggy to the late-seventies El Lay punks and pretty much did his best to osmose it and soak up all of the good influences into his work. That's probably why I can come back to an album like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL while Zappa reminds me of a disapproving prude no matter whether "Mudd Club" or "Disco Boy"'s bellowing forth from your long-suffering speakers. 

THE DAY THE WORLD STOOD STILL proves that Fowley's antenna were perked up and that he was more that rarin' to go with regards to making his opinions on the twisted state o' America 1970 political/social affairs known. Thankfully for all of us, Fowley didn't succumb to the vulgar sloganeering that was oh so common nor did he go the folkie introspective route of a James Taylor or Carole King. Fowley was beyond all that so you don't have to worry about feeling like some Red Book-toting bomb maker nor some confused rich kid holed up in a mental ward while you're listening away! 

And let me say, even if this makes me sound like an immature sixth grader that big city rockcrits obviously sneer at, this album ROCKS! What else could you say about a platter that opens with a cover of Vince Taylor's "Brand New Cadillac" and goes through such wild permutations (with or without the help of Skip Battin) detailing Fowley's thoughts about Current Events in a oh-so-straightforward way. Fowley even makes Jim Morrison sound inarticulate, while "Visions of Motorcycle" sounds more or less like what Steppenwolf shoulda been laying down (thanks to the appearance of one Mr. Mars Bonfire?) at the time 'stead of the lazy crank out that made up that group's latterday material. Maybe not but, at least through my jaded ears Fowley captures this time and the mood much better'n most of the dated rabble rousers who were making their opines known with volume and perhaps a little bit of ultra-violence back during the 60s/70s cusp. 

Much of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL's straightforward 1969-era punk rock, the kind that was being cranked out in suburban garages across the nation with metallic voracity while parts come off smart, perhaps intellectual and a definite downer with Fowley the hip youth commentator telling it like it was as the old canard goes. The country riff of "I Was a Communist For The FBI", with its great punny vocals, Fowley doing Jagger doing a western twang, puts to shame 99% of the cheap antiwar expression that you couldn't escape during the very early-seventies with one deft swing. In fact all of the lyrics on THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL are actually poetry anthology worthy (and I'm even talking good poesy, like I'd expect Kendra Steiner to put this stuff out!) and power-packed whether Fowley's talking about rock & roll or "revolution", and sometimes I wonder if the man's detractors are really that venomous, or are they just jealous of his deft way with words or his neverending train of thought for that matter. 

My two favorites tracks (if this had only gotten out maybe it woulda fought it out with FUNHOUSE and THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD for best elpee of '70!) are the title track and platter closer "Is America Dead?" The former shows an especially tender side in the midst of all of this raucous punkitude, with ol' Kim uttering some of the most heart-wrenching lyrics of his career which I would love to see reprinted anywhere as a celeste-driven dulcet melody (not unlike "Sunday Morning" or "Stephanie Says") underline one of the few pleas for peace in this world that doesn't make me wanna upchuck. More dramatic, but no less mandatory comes "Is America Dead?", a track so good that it even re-appears on ANIMAL GOD OF THE STREETS which deserves a post in itself dontchaknow... A free-for-all encapsulating more of the radical rumble of '70 (and doing it a lot better'n the Guess Who with their baiting "American Woman"), Fowley rattles and angsts on and on about the sorry state of USA affairs that he's observing from afar as a temporary expat, rambling on about the Generation Gap and whether or not there will be an America when he eventually gets back. Fowley's final take on the entire matter, after musing about and singing his way through about seven minutes of twisted social commentary is that yeah, they like Fowley over there and well, there ain't any toilets or vitamins or stuff like that, but eh, like that's OK! Brilliance that I know will swoosh past a good 75% of anyone willing to devote their time to this album so pride yourself for not being DENSE at least this one time. 

Oft chastised as a charlatan, pervert, exploiter of scenes and general about town loudmouth, Fowley has been able to survive using his wits and talent and yes, he has succeeded (at least aesthetically) these past fiftysome years while many others have flopped about even if they have been commercially successful. And an album like THE DAY THE WORLD STOOD STILL only goes to prove, especially after a good four decades of studious hindsight, that it wasn't all of those strange peaceniks and pseudo-Marxist America-haters who really had a handle on what it was to be a teenage American blob cum sacrificial lamb but a guy who I guess was closer to the taproot of it all than any of us would have believed. When it all came down to the bared wire truth those people couldn't care squat about lower-class midwestern farmboys getting blown to bits overseas. In fact, do they really care now? At least Fowley along with the Stooges and dare I say even Lou Reed had more of a thumb on these kids' pulsebeat, and a rec like this 'un sure proves that undeniable fact. 

(PS-If you wanna read another hotcha take on this album pick up Bill Shute's article-length writeup which appeared in the twentieth issue of my unfortunately capitulated fanzine BLACK TO COMM. That particular issue, as we say in the publishing business, is long gone but if you don't have a copy you can always find somebody who does and rip if off them if you so desire! If you can't maybe they'll let you borrow theirs, that is after a few swift kicks in the groin! But all kidding aside, any similarities between that review and this one just might not be coincidental since I do have an active backbrain and well, sometimes certain bits of information buried in my cranium does tend to surface to the top leading me to believe such facts, opinions and whatnot are of my own but creation! Later on I usually recall the original source of my various opines which doesn't always lead to catcalls of plagiarism mainly because the doofs I ripped off have forgotten they gave me the ideas in the first place! How lucky can an uncreative sub-hack like myself get anyway? 

Not having read that particular ish in quite some time I might be treading upon some of the same territory ol' Grampa Shute had a good seventeen years back [I do recall his comparisons twixt Fowley and Zappa as well as some commentary regarding the closing lines of "Is America Dead?"] so Bill, if you do read this and think that I basically ripped off your old review please don't whomp me! Sue me perhaps, but you know how I abhor physical violence, especially when it is directed against ME!)....


A1 Cadillac
A2 Pray For Rain
A3 Night Of The Hunter
A4 The Frail Ocean
A5 Visions Of Motorcycles
A6 The Man Without A Country
B1 Prisoner Of War
B2 I Was A Communist For The FBI
B3 Birth Of A Nation
B4 Long Live Rock N' Roll
B5 The Day The Earth Stood Still
B6 Is America Dead? 

Dino Valente "Dino" 1968 US Acid Folk

Dino Valente. "Dino" 1968 US Acid Folk

Dino Valente website...

Chester William Powers, Jr. started out as part of the Greenwich Village folk scene, earning himself a reputation performing in clubs alongside other names such as Fred Neil, Karen Dalton and a young Bob Dylan. He had moved to L.A. by 1963, where folk and rock music were soon to begin fusing together, and started performing with the stage name Dino Valenti. It was during this period that he wrote the song he is best remembered for - “Get Together”. It was recorded by all sorts of artists, including Jefferson Airplane, The Kingston Trio, and The Youngbloods, who had a hit with it.
He was involved in an early line-up of San Francisco band Quicksilver Messenger Service, but was fired after one too many drug busts. Eventually his drug troubles got him sent to Folsom State Prison, and he was behind bars whilst QMS were becoming one of the biggest bands of the burgeoning San Francisco psychedelic rock scene. On his release, he recorded his only solo album (the cover giving an alternative spelling of his name, as Dino Valente), a heady mix of folk and psychedelia, where he took on the identity of the rambling singer-songwriter revolutionary.
Despite having his own album out, he was still a relatively unknown character outside the west coast rock scene. Even though “Get Together” was now an anthem of the counter culture, the identity of its writer remained hidden, as he had been forced to sell the song’s publishing rights to pay for his court defence. Soon after the album, Valenti spirited his old bandmate Gary Duncan away from QMS. They went to New York, planning to form a band called The Outlaws, but nothing ever happened. So Duncan returned to QMS, and Valente went with him. At last he was back as lead singer in the band he had left years ago, and they had become famous during his absence. He stayed with Quicksilver until they disbanded in 1975. He never relesed another solo album, and died in 1994..

 Dino Valente ain't everybody's cup of tea, some complain his voice was a nasal whine, but being a huge fan of both Sky Saxon and Sonny Bono I like it just fine. Dino's real name was Chester Powers and was born in Danbury,Connecticut (about 25 miles from my home turf of Bridgeport,Connecticut) he sadly died in the mid 90's after a long illness. 

Chester underwent a name change in the mid 60's and became Dino Valente (sometimes spelled Valenti). Dino hit the New York folk scene in the mid 60's and became fast friends with Richie Havens among others like The Youngbloods, in fact he wrote The Youngbloods classic peace anthem "Get Together" which the "bloods" recorded for their splendid 1967 debut album ("Get Together" became a worldwide hit in 1969 when re-issued to tie in with a UNICEF campaign.)

Dino had a restless spirit and he also had a talent for telling "tall tales", one of his best known stories was that his parents ran carnivals and that he grew up traveling with the circus, which may just be a story, who knows?. Somehow Dino made it to the West Coast by the mid 60's and wound up in the San Francisco bay area. He took his lone folkie act onto the coffee house circuit along with others hopefuls like David Crosby, Paul Kantner, and David Freiberg. Around this time (1966) many West Coast groups began playing a song called "Hey Joe" which many like Love credited to Dino Valente, whether he wrote it or not is unknown but it did help to build Dino's reputation as an ace songwriter.

Dino's frienship with David Freiberg led to the duo forming the original Quicksilver Messenger Service. Yet just before Quicksilver were to get into action Dino was busted on a dope charge and went to jail, he was replaced briefly by Jim Murray. Quicksilver had an agreement with Dino that he could re-join the group as soon as he got out of jail and as a show of strength they recorded Valente's "Dino's Song" for their debut album in 1968.

Dino did hit the streets again in 1968 but instead of joining Quicksilver he signed to Epic as a solo act and recorded this spectacular album which quickly faded into obscurity. This album really justifies the tag of "unsung" and is a winner from beginning to end. It remains Dino's finest ever work. Dino would later rejoin Quicksilver in 1970 after a failed attempt to get together a group called The Outlaws with QMS guitarist Gary Duncan. Oddly enough due to a contractual problems Dino's new songs with QMS would be credited to Jesse Oris Farrow! Whew!

Anyway now to the record Dino Valente opens with a spacey acoustic ballad called "Time" which features just harpsichord and light percussion, Dino's guitar and his eerie multi-tracked voice, in fact much of this album follows this formula with smashing results. "Something New" is a longish jazzy piece that looks forward to QMS numbers like "Gone Again" it's well played and well sung, a knockout. "My Friend" adds some tasteful flute and piano and trumpets, Dino plays some icy solos on guitar and as usual his vocal is out of sight!. "Listen To Me" is a truly spooky mellowed back Death Valley acoustic ballad that brings to mind Tim Buckley's "Lorca" album.

Up next is "Me and My Uncle" written by John Phillips and also recorded by The Fortunate Sons and The Grateful Dead. Dino's version knocks the spots off The Grateful Dead version, Dino really brings the song to life with a passionate vocal and some dazzling guitar work. "Tomorrow" could have been selected as a possible single it has hit written all over it, it's a beautiful romantic song which is aided by some lovely strings.

"Children Of The Sun" is a tripped out psychedelic trance ballad where Dino sounds a lot like Marty Balin circa "Comin' Back To Me". The next track "New Wind Blowing" follows suit and is also superb. "Everything Is Gonna Be OK" is absolutely killer!, Dino's voice has loads of echo on it which makes it sounds like 5 people are singing with him, and he plays aggressive guitar lines similar to "Me and My Uncle". The final song is a total psychedelic freakout called "Test" this one has a bizarre Skip Spence ring to it, it features flute guitar and a really way out vocal, it's a great way to end the album it just leaves you hanging there.

The good news is Sony (USA) have actually re-issued "Dino Valente" on CD with 2 great bonus tracks "Shame On You Babe" and "Now And Now Only". So I would suggest you jump on this baby quick before it's deleted. This is a warm and beautiful record that deserves to be in any serious record collection. God bless you Dino! and thanks for the wonderful Julian Cope...

Good one on getting this one into the store guys! This is the re-issue of Dino Valente's eponymous debt, and only, lp from 1968. His story reminds me of that of Philamore Lincoln, a singer/songwriter whose debut 1970 lp was also his last. Both have a psychedelic tinge within albums of mixed genres including, in Valente's case, latin, country and jazz. Both are linked to musicians who made it to the big time. Was Philamore Lincoln a member of The Yardbirds, even having a stint as the drummer of The Who? We may never know. Valente may or may not have hanged around such musicians as Richie Havens or Bob Dylan but he write the song 'Get Together' which gave hits to The Youngbloods and Jefferson Airplane while he faded to obscurity. 
Both Lincoln and Valente's original lps now go for some big bucks which is why this re-issue is welcomed by those who'd love to own this wordsmith's work on a budget. Avoiding the comparisons that may arise with Bob Dylan, Valente's ballads are riddled with swooning guitar giving many of the songs a latin jazz feel, overlayed by Valente's passionate and deep voice and lyrics. 
It kicks off with 'Time', a psychedelic slice of emotional guitar tinkering. It should be a classic of psychedelic music with an emotion which can be hard to find in the genre. The rest of the songs are powerful however they seem to have little to differentiate between them musically as Valente keeps to his simple guitar and occasional piano format. Songs like 'Children of the Sun' however really stand up and get noticed. This is a song which really tugs at the emotions, a truly raw 7 minutes which pins you in place and makes you contemplate. This album is the kind of album to listen to late at night, lights down, lying still on the bed to let it caress over you. Its emotion is overpowering, I just wish that there was maybe another instrument in there to give some needed variety to an otherwise beautiful album. It's time to give Dino Valente some recognition......

1.  Time
2.  Something New
3.  My Friend
4.  Listen To Me
5.  Me and My Uncle
6.  Tomorrow
7.  Children of the Sun
8.  New Wind Blowing
9.  Everything Is Gonne Be OK
10. Test

Howard Nishioka "Street Songs" 1979 Hawaii private Psych

Howard Nishioka "Street Songs" 1979  Hawaii private Psych


If I had to distill the essence of this album down to one word, I would go with Maelstrom. If I've got two words to work with then it's Shit Storm. Howard Nishioka, who plays electric and acoustic guitar and bass guitar (and vocals on a couple songs), sounds like a man tearing holes in the atmosphere to get at those bright stars shimmering above his secluded Hawaiian compound deep in the woods.
In truth, I don't know if he really recorded this out in the trees but that's how I imagine it. On the other hand, he called the record "Street Sounds" and the colors bordering the rather incongruous street scene could cause one to mistake this for a reggae record, instead of the uncompromising fried improvised pyschedelic folk masterpiece that it is. Maybe the disconnect between the cover and the music are what kept most psych afficianados off the scent for nearly 30 years (the album was released privately by Nishioka in relatively small numbers in 1979).

As ferocious and chaotic as this record gets at points, there's also an underlying calmness and gentleness and some mellower tracks that balance things out nicely. Howard is joined on two long songs by drummer Byron Kitkowsky (who compliments Howard's shambolic style expertly), and recording engineer Richard Kon contributes washboard and shouts. On the back cover, one finds a concise summation of Nishioka's approach to sound (and life?): "Screw Limitations!!!"

Tracklist :
1. Incresha 3:45
2. Ladies of the Seventh House 6:27
3. No Money, No Honey 4:05
4. Carnivourous Dogaramus 4:18
5. Fool's Paradise 5:09
6. Maria 8:21
7. Island Carol 6:27
8. Odyseas Over Seas 3:51
9. I'm a Pilgrim 3:33

$27 Snap On Face “Heterodyne State Hospital” 1977 US Garage Psych Rock

$27 Snap On Face “Heterodyne State Hospital” 1977 US Garage Psych Rock

$27 Snap On Face released one album in 1977 called ‘Heterodyne State Hospital’ on the independent label Heterodyne Records. Their sound was actually fairly straightforward prog/rock with a few alternative gems thrown in for good measure. Sounding like an early Frisco hippie act fronted by Frank Zappa, the focus here is sublime and not so much about musicality as it is lyrical content. If weird cult bands are your thing, then you’ll surely find something to love about $27 Snap On Face. This elusive piece of west coast psychedelia is, if anything, something you’re not likely to ever forget. ….

Sonoma County weirdos, $27 Snap On Face, rank among the strangest of west coast cult acts from the 70’s. Formed sometime early in the decade by guitarist Bob O'Connor and vocalist David Petri, the lineup was soon complete with the addition of bassist Steve Nelson, guitarist Jim Doherty, keyboardist Frank Walburg and drummer Ron Ingalsbe. Almost immediately, O'Connor and Petri knew they wanted to create something truly bizarre. Though the other members were resistant at first, soon the band were making waves in Sebastopol and its surrounding cities. With over the top performance art integrated into their shows, the band seemed destined for cult status from the get go. The band’s history goes blurry from this point onward, though I am aware of at least one single issued in 1975, prior to the “Heterodyne State Hospital” album.
As for this album, well, let’s just say it’s an acquired taste. Some get it and others don’t. I suppose I’m with the latter, though I can appreciate the band’s desire to do something unusual. With Zappa flourishes penetrating the music presented here, the album comes across like an inside joke that only a select few were intended to understand. This being said, the listener might often feel a bit alienated by the material here. Sounding like an early Frisco hippie act fronted by Frank Zappa, the focus here is sublime and not so much about musicality as it is lyrical content. The band self-issued 1,000 copies of the album in 1977, though it sounds like it may have been recorded considerably earlier. The band continued for a short time, doing mostly union gigs in the Sonoma County area before eventually calling it a day. O'Connor now lives in Hawaii, Petri is a realtor in Cobb, Walburg runs a vacation community in Santa Rosa and Ingalsbe’s whereabouts are unknown. Doherty passed away in 1993.
If weird cult bands are your thing, then you’ll surely find something to love about $27 Snap On Face. This elusive piece of west coast psychedelic is, if anything, something you’re not likely to ever forget. Enjoy this re-up from 'Gumby’! …….

Some dealers have portrayed this one as a deranged acid-tinged psych classic. Like most things in life you should take that description with a grain of salt. Not intended to diss the album, but to my ears these guys sound much more like an above average '60s garager band with an occasional fascination for ghoulish Captain Beefheart weirdness.

Biographically I can’t tell you much about this outfit, though I’d bet my next paycheck they weren’t really asylum inmates (perhaps quite a damaged crew, but not certifiable). The liner notes credited the line-up as rhythm guitarist Joe Doherty, drummer Ron Ingalsh, bassist Steve Nelson, lead guitarist Bob O'Conner and singer David Petri. Elsewhere some of the reference materials I’ve seen indicated these were from Sebastopol, California (slightly north of San Francisco).

The group debuted with a rare and collectable, self-financed single:

- 1975’s 'Let’s Have an Affair’ b/w 'Kicking Around’ ((Heterodyne Record Co. catalog 0001)

Two years later the band released an independent, self-produced album. “$27 Snap On Face In Heterodyne State Hospital” featured all original material, with O'Connor, Doherty and Petri each contributing to the writing chores. In addition to the earlier single, sonically the set was pretty basic, with much of the mix sporting a distant, kind of echo-ish sound. 'Course I’d argue that didn’t really hurt the proceedings. Petri’s snarling voice (with his short blonde hair he looked like a Sting wannabe) and O'Connor’s chunky guitar (love the unique $ shape - see the inner cover for a picture of it), propelled most of the album giving tracks like 'Turn To Glass’, 'Kicking Around’ (the most conventional and commercial song) and 'Let’s Have An Affair’ a unique garage-cum-punk sound. Strange liner notes coupled with tracks like 'Tie Your Boots Tight’, 'Sleeping in a Technical Bed’ (don’t ask since I don’t have a clue what the lyrics were about) added in a healthy dose of weirdness. Still, the results were actually quite energetic and entertaining. Mind you, this wasn’t an album you’d play all the time, but it’s got a place in my 'keeper’ collection (I’m selling a duplicate copy). The band apparently pressed 1,000 copies and all were pressed on clear blue vinyl.

“$27 Snap On Face” track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Tie Your Boots Tight (Jim Doherty - David Petri) - 6:28 rating:*** stars
How to describe this one ? Freaked out blues-rocker ? Beefhear/Zappa wanna be ? Powered by Petri’s Beefheart-styled vocals, 'Tie Your Boots Tight ’ was a good example of why the album was an acquired taste. The song actually had a likeable melody and kudos to lead guitarist Bob O'Conner for turning in some of the album’s best work, but it was … well, it was definitely different. In fact, for years I wondered what the world it was about and then I stumbled on to something co-writer Petri had added to a YouTube clip of the song: “One of my favorite set of lyrics from the album. I wrote this song about a 5 year old kid who couldn’t tie his own shoes. That is the chorus. The verses are about me. I taught the kid to tie his shoes and then wrote the song. Very popular song "live”.“
2.) Turn to Glass (Bob O'Connor - 3:34
Showcasing O'Connor’s fluid Allman Brothers-styled guitar work and espousing kind of a surf-rock feel, 'Turn To Glass’ was one of the album’s more commercial tunes. Nice. rating:*** stars
3.) The Decadents (Jim Doherty - David Petri) - 6:37 rating:*** stars
Nice slice of bar band boogie with the spotlight seemingly on drummer Ingalshe. Have to admit that I liked Petri’s growling voice on this one.
4.) Two Timer (David Petri) - 4:00 rating:*** stars
Exemplified by the cover art, the hype surrounding the album centered on the supposed fact it had been recorded in California’s Sonoma State Mental Health facility. Seems unlikely, but if there was a tune that sounded like it might have been recorded in a mental health facility, then t was probably the echo-fillled ballad 'Two Time’. Unlike most of the album, this one actually had lysergic element embedded in the sweet melody.
5.) I Guess I Must Look the Type (David Petri) - 5:20 rating:*** stars
'I Guess I Must Look the Type’ offered up a slice of Beefheart-meets–good time country-rock. Another set of bizarre lyrics …

(side 2)
1.) Let’s Have An Affair (David Petri) - 3:29 rating: **** stars
Maybe due to the song’s retro-'60s garage rock vibe, or the unexpectedly smooth backing vocals, I’ve always thought 'Let’s Have An Affair’ was one of the album’s highlights. I’m usually not a big fan of the instrument, and though I’m not sure who contributed the rocking harmonica solo (the liner notes credited 'David), it was impressive. As mentioned earlier, the song had previously been released as a single.
2.) Kicking Around (Bob O'Connor) - 3:55 rating: **** stars
Originally appearing as the 'B’ side on their debut single, 'Kicking Around’ was a relatively straightforward rocker that showcased O'Connor’s rollicking lead guitar. One of the album’s best performances.
3.) Sally Hitched A Ride (Bob O'Connor) - 4:20 rating: **** stars
Stripped of all the goofiness. 'Sally Hitched a Ride’ was a wonderful '60s tinged garage rocker. Shame they didn’t opt to go down this route more often/
4.) Mr. John (Bob O'Connor) (David Petri) - 4:08 rating: ** stars
Like Jacques Brel styled ballads ? Like a touch of accordion in your rock and roll ? Well if you did 'Mr. John’ might be up your alley. If like me, you didn’t, this was going to be a painful four minutes.
5.) Sleeping in a Technical Bed (Bob O'Connor) - 9:24 rating: **** stars
I’m a sucker for classic '60s garage rock and complete with stabbing Farfisa organ, O'connor’s dirty guitar solo, and Ingalshe’s frenetic drums, 'Sleeping in a Technical Bed’ was another album highlight. Back to '66 … Let’s go to Reno.

The Freak Scene "Psychedelic Psoul" 1967 US Psych Rock

The Freak Scene "Psychedelic Psoul" 1967 US Psych Rock

Fresh from his studio experiences with The Deep and the Third Bardo, Rusty Evans decided to create a psychedelic “happening” which would also function as a recording group. He gathered together a few New York musicians, including three members of the Deep (David Bromberg among them), dubbed them the Freak Scene, and began work on the “Psychedelic Psoul” album, which was released in 1967. The intention was to pursue the Indian-Eastern influence in rock—and this raga rock idea is used to great effect on songs like ‘Grok’ and ‘Rose of Smiling Faces’ (sounds like it could have been the sole inspiration for Damon’s “Song of a Gypsy” album).
As the only true psychedelic band on Columbia at the time, the Freak Scene got decent exposure. No doubt this number would have been much greater had the band been a touring ensemble, instead of a one-time psychedelic event. The album is gritty, tense, subversive, brittle, and yes, psychedelic. Perfect in its own way. Included as bonus tracks are nine demos from the summer of 1966, some of which would end up in quite a different musical context on The Deep “Psychedelic Moods” and Freak Scene albums. These songs, with their P. F. Sloan/Dylan (or even Sixto Rodriguez) vibe deepen the legacy of edgy, insightful songs from Rusty Evans/Marcus Uzilevsky. Comes with a 16-page booklet which includes a biographical portrait of Marcus, printed on FSC recycled, chlorine-free, 100% post-consumer fiber paper manufactured using biogas energy.
The story of pop music in the 1960s is littered with “bands” that were never truly bands, but were, rather, the creation of record companies and record producers anxious to cash in on prevailing trends. This, too, is the story of The Freak Scene.
The Freak Scene was the creation of Rusty Evans, an ostensible folksinger who’d gotten his start recording rockabilly for Brunswick Records. The Kasentez-Katz of psych-pop, Evans was responsible for several albums by “bands” that were, in actuality, Evans and a group of studio musicians. The Freak Scene was the second of Evans’ psych-pop groups, following on the heels of The Deep, and featuring many of the same musicians who’d played on the The Deep’s sole album.
Like The Deep, The Freak Scene was credited with one album before Evans lost interest. Psychedelic Psoul, the lone contribution by The Freak Scene, is a fascinating late-60s curio, made up of songs interspersed with spoken word vignettes that address all the hot-button issues of the time – the Vietnam War, civil rights, the plight of hippies. The result is as much art-rock as psych-pop.
Not surprisingly, the spoken word vignettes have not aged well, but several of the songs onPsychedelic Psoul have lasting appeal. “A Million Grains of Sand,” “Rose of Smiling Faces” and “My Rainbow Life”’ bear heavily the Indian influence that dominated the music of the Summer of Love, with their mystical lyrics and swirling strings; however, “My Rainbow Life” suffers from banal lyrics that make it sound more like a soundtrack entry on an acid exploitation flick than a real song. “Behind the Mind,” “The Center of My Soul” and “Mind Bender” bear a striking resemblance to garage-psych on the level of the Electric Prunes (another pre-fab band) or the Strawberry Alarm Clock.
By far the best offering on Psychedelic Psoul is “The Subway Ride Through Inner Space,” which somehow manages to mash-up the stream-of-conscious lyrical quality of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and any of George Harrison’s sitar-heavy Beatles tracks, all on top of a loping, hypnotic rhythm.
Evans abandoned The Freak Scene after Psychedelic Psoul. Evans worked in A&R for a time, establishing Eastern Productions, which signed both Third Bardo and The Facts of Life, and producing the Nervous Breakdown for Take Six.
Although The Freak Scene was short-lived, Evans wasn’t quite finished with the band’s output; when he re-emerged as a recording artist in 1969 under his given name, Marcus, he recycled “A Million Grains of Sand” as “Grains of Sand,” slowing the tempo, simplifying the instrumentation, and generally going for a more seductive vibe....Rising Stom review....

This is quintessential extreme example of early experimental psy. Very obscure, so information is sparse but I’d guess it came out quite early in 67. The bass playing is original and unusual and dominates the mix in an album dominated by lyrics and bass. The vocals and vocal production (thin, nasal and processed) is the albums main weakness. Despite its faults and lack of good songs, its still somehow works and remains a fascinating and unusual micro-selling psy gem. [ mykepsych ]

Having enjoyed some success with their 1966 studio project The Deep, the following year the song writing/performing team of Mark Barkan and Rusty Evans decided to take another stab at making some money off of the public's growing interest in psychedelia and political activism. Signed by Columbia, the duo pulled together most of the studio pros who'd worked with them on the earlier project (reportedly including guitarist David Bromberg), resulting in the release "Psychedelic Psoul".
A lot of critics have labeled this as nothing more than a sophomore The Deep release. There are clearly similarities between the two albums, but I'll tell you that (contrary to popular opinion) I think The Freak Scene project is the stronger of the two. Material such as 'The Subway Ride Thru Inner Space', 'Butterfly Dream' and 'My Rainbow Life' offered up a great mixture of over-the-top psych lyrics, stoned vocals and wild studio production effects. The biggest difference with the earlier album was that tracks such as '... When In the Course of Human Events (Draft Beer, Not Students)' and 'Behind the Mind' added a bit of social and political commentary to the acid-drenched mix. It may be an exploito offering, but it's first rate exploito and is actually better than 75% of the non-exploito competition. [ RDTEN1 ]

at first listen i thought this one was a sham. it sounds slapped together in a drug-fueled weekend, using sound effects and flower power poetry/messages to make it stand up as psychedelic.
one day i was in such a mood that this was the only album i felt like listening to, and so i did over and over, and that is where it happened. i realized that i really enjoy this one, despite it's usually half-assed songwriting and slapdash feel/recording.
one thing about the sparse instrumentation is that the excellent bass playing practically carries the whole band. guitars usually stay in the background, and everything else, sans vocals & feedback/sound effects, take a back seat to the always prominent bass playing.
i can't give this more than 3 and a half because for every great tune ["a million grains of sand", "behind the mind", "butterfly dream"] there are one or two throwaway tunes ["subway ride thru inner space", "mind bender"] though the whole thing whizzes by quickly, 12 songs in a half an hour, so i'm more intrigued by the record as a whole, rather than being disappointed by a track i don't like. i love these kind of albums.
for those who like the pop in their sike, ideas, rather than some poorly recorded garage band content to just thrash away at "hey joe", this one may be of interest to you. [ a owens ].......

1 A Million Grains of Sand
2 "When In Course Of Human Events" (Draft Beer, Not Students) / Interpolation: We Shall Overcome
3 Rose of Smiling Faces
4 Behind the Mind
5 The Subway Ride Thru Inner Space
6 Butterfly Dream
7 My Rainbow Life
8 The Center of My Soul
9 Watered Down Soul
10 Red Roses Will Weep
11 Mind Bender
12 Grok

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