psych Archive

Chicano Batman: It’s Playtime

The style of music known as “psychedelic soul” enjoyed an all-too-brief heyday in the late 1960s. Deftly fusing elements of African American soul and the dreamier end of psychedelic rock, the genre was exemplified by artists such as Sly & the Family Stone and The Chambers Brothers. But the incredibly rich and varied musical landscape

Quick Takes, Part Three

Today I take a quick look at ten archival releases of note. Tim Buckley — Wings: The Complete Singles 1966-1974 The music of Tim Buckley (yeah, late father of the late Jeff Buckley) has earned a reputation as difficult. And while I’m not here to flatly counter that impression, I must say that this collection

Album Mini-review: Pink Floyd — The Early Years, 1967-1972, Cre/ation

File next to: Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Yes Unless one is both the hardest of hardcore Pink Floyd fan and wealthy, The Early Years Box Set probably isn’t under consideration (it retails for more then $500). But for those with an interest in the band that goes beyond their best-selling albums, this new 2CD set is

Best Music of 2016: Reissue/archival Releases

I love new music, but I’m also attuned to keeping up with the latest in reissues and archival releases. Sometimes those feature some of my favorite artists; other times they turn me on to music of the past that I’ve never even heard. In 2016 I’ve been able to select my Top Ten reissue and/or

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 3 of 10

Five more quick reviews of archival/reissue material. Three of today’s five are from Grammy-award winning label Omnivore Recordings. One of these days I’ll write liner notes for one of their fine releases; I just know it. Meantime, I’ll review the ones that I dig (which, as it happens, is nearly all of ’em). The Beach

A Belated Hello to “Farewell Aldebaran”

In 1969 a husband-and-wife duo made a record that sounded little like anything either had done previously. Judy Henske was a critically-acclaimed folk singer with an impressive range; after performing and cutting records with folk groups, she released four solo albums between 1963 and 1966. Producer Jack Nitzsche called Henske “Queen of the Beatniks.” Jerry

Elephant Stone’s Rhisi Dhir: Sitar Man

There aren’t many rock bands that feature the sitar as a primary instrument. But Montreal-based Elephant Stone does, and the band incorporates the Indian classical acoustic instrument into its modern sound. The 18-plus stringed sitar first entered Western pop culture in the mid 1960s via the Beatles, and is most often associated with that era

Album Review: C.A. Quintet – A Trip Thru Hell

It’s likely overstatement to assert that there’s never been another album like C.A. Quintet’s spooky psychedelic masterwork A Trip Thru Hell, but it’s fair to say that the hit parade has never featured anything similar. Released in 1969 on a tiny label called Candy Floss, A Trip Thru Hell sold only locally; fewer than 1000

Album Mini-review: Cool Ghouls — Animal Races

File next to: Moby Grape, The Byrds, Mystery Lights The name should be your first clue: San Francisco’s Cool Ghouls are unabashed acolytes for rock’s bygone garage-psychedelia era. What sets them apart from similarly retro acts is their well-honed ability to craft earworms: those tunes that stick in the listener’s head like bubblegum on a

Into the Wayback Machine with the Allah-Las

The Allah-Las‘ sound has clear antecedents in the garage and psychedelic rock scenes of the mid 1960s. But the band is careful not to make too much of that connection. “I think there’s a certain shared musical consciousness,” says bassist Spencer Dunham. “But the 60s were a very different time period. I wouldn’t say that