psych Archive

Asheville’s Top 10 for 2018

2018 has brought forth a bumper crop of superb albums in every genre from artists local (or with strong connections) to Asheville and the surrounding region. Any of these 10 could arguably claim the top spot, and I can immediately think of at least 10 more that would easily warrant inclusion on the list. The

No Way Out: The Curious Case of The Chocolate Watchband (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two… “I can’t think of too many bands that manage to build a reputation through as small a body of work,” says Palao. “When anybody looks at ‘60s garage, ‘60s punk – whatever you want to to call it – the Chocolate Watchband is always going to be one of the first

No Way Out: The Curious Case of The Chocolate Watchband (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… The punky ethos of Watchband songs like “Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love-in)” and “Let’s Talk About Girls” was no put-on; the band could be wild. Aguilar relates one of many tales from the era. “We played for Hollywood producers on this big ship. We emptied out the trophy

No Way Out: The Curious Case of The Chocolate Watchband (Part One)

(Note: An edited version of this feature appeared in Record Collector Magazine.) Throughout the history of popular music, certain managers, producers and promoters have been wiling to engage in a kind of sleight-of-hand to further their commercial prospects. If that meant sending a bogus version of a group out on the road; they’d do it:

Hundred-word Reviews for January 2019

The backlog is threatening to get unmanageable once again. As a kind of editorial pressure release valve, here’s a quick look at ten worthy albums that have recently crossed my desk. All new music. Paul Kelly – Nature Some artists accumulate a body of work that all ties together in a neat fashion. Paul Kelly

Hundred-word Reviews, December 2018

This will almost certainly be my last roundup of new releases – capsule review style – for 2018. Lots of great music came out this year; don’t let anyone tell you differently. As always, each of these albums deserves more coverage than I’m able to give here, and each warrants a spin (at least) by

Album Review: All India Radio — Space

From the outset, All India Radio is all over the map. The name suggests a group from the Indian subcontinent, and the music draws clear inspiration from British late-period psychedelic/space rock (most notably Pink Floyd) and late-late-period American psych revival (specifically Flaming Lips). After all that, All India Radio is actually an ambient/chillwave group from

Utopia’s Adventures Continue (Part Four)

Continued from Part Three… Redux ’92: Live in Japan (1993) Six years after disbanding, Utopia surprised most onlookers by regrouping for a run of concerts in Japan. The shows were well-received, and a live recording was released on compact disc and video the following year. “I look at that video,” Sulton says, “and I think,

Utopia’s Adventures Continue (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two… Utopia (1982) Meanwhile, Rundgren, Wilcox and Powell had continued without Sulton, adding bassist Doug Howard as they began work on a new album for Network Records. The new-wave flavored Utopia featured some of the band’s strongest songwriting to date. “It was a very collaborative period,” says Wilcox. Once Sulton came back

Utopia’s Adventures Continue (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Ra (1977) The most durable Utopia lineup now in place, the band made a concerted effort toward internal democracy. Or at least as much of a democracy as possible when the group included Rundgren, a star with his own separate record contract. “It was as democratic as any marriage is democratic,”