Jodorwsky’s ‘El Topo’ was a brilliant melange of spaghetti western, buddhist and Zen philosophy, psychedelic surrealism. I’m not sure whether the myth that Jodorwsky cast the film with unknowns and then set about dosing his cast with LSD is true, but the film is majestic and inspiring.
EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROES
These are a new band that really excited me when Phil from Rough Trade played me them. They look serious and uncannily similar to Charlie Manson’s “disciples”. You can tell when a band are serious when they all look like they have grown their hair given up washing and joined a cult. In places they sound like Arcade Fire filled with late 60s acid – Desert Song sounds like Bauhaus’s _ Bela Lugosi’s Dead_ with added swirl, romance and peyote. Genius.
GENE CLARK – ‘NO OTHER’
I only recently stumbled across this album and it really really shook me up with how under-the-radar it was and its total brilliance. Gene (formally of the Byrds) on ‘No Other’ weaves elements of funk, soul and graceful psychadelia with complete originality. The album could have been recorded by Isaac Hayes or even Gram Parsons. Gene Clark was fond of saying that his dream was to create “cosmic American music”.
MANFRED MANN – CHAPTER THREE)
This is an album I bought a couple years ago – and paid too many $$$ for – but it was a record that once I had heard it, I had no choice but to find it on original pressing and take it home to cherish. It has this voodoo quality that I talk about a lot. amazing sax , funky psych drums – and the seediest vox from Mike Hug on the delicious Snakeskin Garter – this is without the swirl of your meat-and-potatoes psych of the time this just drips with atmosphere and magic – as the best psych records should.
SPACEMAN 3 / SPIRITUALIZED
For me Jason Pierce and Sonic Boom created the first psychadelic band and wave of this music for my generation.. with their “minimal is maximal” aesthetic. taking in their love of bands such as The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, Sun Ra, the Silver Apples, krautrock bands Kraftwerk and Neu!,13th Floor Elevators, Electric Prunes and the Beach Boys, The band eventually split and Jason formed the headbending and beautifully honest band spiritualized fusing gospel choirs with his heady sound. The only band who I will and have gone to watch again and again… and never ever not been blown away. Jason pierce for me is the wizard and hero of his era – understated and sometimes misunderstood – as every great star should be. Shine on Mr .Spaceman.
FUNKADELIC – ‘MAGGOT BRAIN
Maggot Brain is the 1971 album by the American funk band Funkadelic. The music travels effortlessly through psychedelia, hard rock, gospel and soul. Eddie Hazel who is one of my favourite guitarists of all time, and, on the mindblowing lead track was rumoured to have been sat inbetween a circle of amps and told to play a piece as if he had just been told his mother has just died. How true that rock folklore is, I don’t know, but but the leadtrack carries so much soul and emotion that it always makes my knees go a little wobbly.
Another band that have made amazing work with a keen awareness of the rock canon is THE DRUMS.