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November 2013
Wooden Shjips
"Back to Land
"
mp3

Hailing from San Francisco, psychedelic group Wooden Shjips, has just released their newest album Back to Land. The album brings together a sound crafted from inspirations that range from psychedelic music to classic rock.

The album is an entire trip in itself.  One can hear hints of 80s music, classic rock, and modern garage rock styles in the record, but they always resolve back to their classic psychedelic sound. With tracks like “In The Roses,” which brings a very spacey, low volume vocals, and a lo-fi sound that is not too cheesy or under produced. to “Ghouls,” which is a much faster, much more psychedelic rock sounding song that takes influences from classic rock guitar chords, while still utilizing classic psychedelic synthesizers.

Most songs on the album carry a jam-band sound, without becoming too abstract or getting too carried away. And in some cases, the music is so vast in genre diversity, one is surprised at the resulting sound, such as in the track, “These Shadows”, which starts off with an extremely catchy intro guitar riff and carries a vague David Bowie meets Velvet Underground sound.

“Back to Land” is a great piece of work that utilizes the potential of each member of Wooden Shjips effectively and thoroughly.

Most importantly, “Back to Land” is an experimentation of how far the psychedelic genre can stretch while still successfully staying true to its roots.


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New Bardo Pond Album Available for Streaming

Local psych-rock legends Bardo Pond recently shared their new album Peace on Venus, which officially drops on October 28 via London indie label Fire Records. You can stream the LP in its entirety over at Pitchfork Advance. Enjoy!

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Trippin' Balls w/Brother JT Live Taping at Underground Arts Oct. 23

I'm a big fan of Trippin' Balls with Brother JT! It kind of conjures up the feelings that I used to get when MTV first aired Wonder Showzen. "What the fuck is this? Am I on drugs? This is awesome!" Well, tonight you'll have the opportunity to attend a live taping of the YouTube series at Underground Arts. I'm not really sure how this will all play out without the addition of Woodshop Films' brilliant studio magic, but Brother JT rules, they need heads to fill in the audience, admission is FREE, and the bar will be open! Also replacing Flip McNair (a.k.a. Mr. Unloved) as the house band will be St. James & The Apostles. "COME OUT AND BE APART OF THIS ONCE IN A LIFETIME PSYCHEDELIC HAPPENING!" Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 7pm, Free All Ages - Q.D. Tran

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NYC Record of the Month: Hot Sugar's "Moon Money"

We were quite late in discovering this album, but it's so good that it deserves to be our NYC Record of the Month, even if it was released in 2012.

“Moon Money,” the second album by Nick Koenig (a/k/a Hot Sugar) continues the stylistic mashup introduced on the artist’s intriguing debut, “Muscle Milk” (2011). Merging elements of trip-hop, dub-step and electro-funk, Hot Sugar reignites the tone of ‘90s post-rock acts like Mouse on Mars and Autechre. Even the cover design of “Moon Money” is unabashedly retro, as in SO very 2010, with its indie-rock-meets-new wave layout. Incongruity rules the day here. Take “The Kid Who Drowned at Summer Camp,” which effortlessly crosses the dark/urban simplicity of a Mobb Deep backing track with the jammy melodicism of the Eagles’ “Hotel California” coda. Similarly, “#Mindcontrol” (streaming) boils Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” down to its bare elemental structure by employing a ping-pong pizzicato style common to early analog synth LPs, which then allows the song to capture the ephemeral nature of its Twitter-like title in satirical strokes. Later, “Addictions” draws melodically on Martika’s soaring 1989 hit single “Toy Soliders.” Yet here Hot Sugar submerges both melody and rhythm in much the same way that L.A.‘s Moog Cookbook had in 1996 by covering Nirvana and Green Day material with antique keyboards. The difference being that Hot Sugar, by plotting such well-known anthems as a jumping off point (as opposed to direct covers), is able to get at the core of electronic songcraft in a completely conceptual and mind-bending way. The strange cohesiveness of “Coconut Powder” best exemplifies the cavalier aesthetic by transforming a backing track straight out of the Lady Gaga playbook into an intimate cut-and-paste affair at once both cold and bouncy. Time becomes something of an extravagance in this music’s presence. Enjoy the trip. - Brian Chidester

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Discovered at CMJ: Prince Rupert's Drops

When I think of music from the sixties, I think of three main genres: folk, psychedelic, and hard rock (hard rock in its original meaning). Of course a lot of bands blurred those genres and they were not so easily definable; in fact, that’s exactly what Prince Rupert’s Drops did at Union Pool on CMJ Friday, in front of a long-haired, heady crowd that danced and jammed along to their insanely unpredictable, Barrettesque psychedelic songs. The band has a really jam band feel as well, and it's definitely the kind of act you’d have to see live to experience properly. - Read more about John's CMJ Music Marathon here.

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best psych songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

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Grandkids on Sofar Chicago

Sofar Chicago released a new video this week with the Urbana-based group Grandkids. The band, featuring Vivian McConnell of Santah, released their debut full-length, Timeshare, earlier this year.

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