New podcast made by Matt Adams of The Blank Tapes. You better check them out if you want to have desert psych blasting out of your loudspeakers.
Keith West "On A Saturday"
I first heard this while I was on acid at my friends' wedding in Joshua Tree a few years back. It blew my mind then and still does every time I hear it. Aynsley Dunbar does some of the best drumming I've heard with the most insane drum fills. I love the vocal melody too, especially during the verses.
Ted Lucas "It Is So Nice To Get Stoned"
Eric D. Johnson of The Fruitbats and The Shins turned me onto Ted Lucas's one and only album a little over a year ago. Obviously he knew the subject matter in this song would connect with me. Aside from that, the music, melody and Ted Lucas's voice is amazing. There's something so tropical and soothing about it.
NRBQ "Just Ain't Fair"
Eric turned me onto these guys as well. Some of their production and keyboard solos are a little whacky but they have some seriously solid songs and singers. This one in particle reminds me of the way my friend Alan Siegel from Dirdy Birdy* would write and sing. The verses are just as catchy as the chorus. This one got stuck in my head for quite a while while I was on tour in Europe last Winter. "Magnet" is another good one. (*Dirdy Birdy is one of my old side projects)
Rolling Stones "Citadel"
Her Satanic Majesties Request was such an obvious copy of Sgt. Peppers it's ridiculous. Regardless, there's some amazing psych rock nuggets on here. Like some of the Beatles trippy stuff, listening to this album when I was 15 or so made me feel as if I knew what being on psychedelics was like. I wish they would've gone in this direction for a bit longer as much as I love what followed.
I was obsessed with Beck for a bit in the 90's and sent a cassette to another Beck fan on the internet with hopes he'd sent it back filled with Beck's early, rare albums. It came back in the mail with "Harvest Field By Moonlight" and "Fresh Meat & Old Slabs" recorded on it. Over the years I played the shit out of it and learned a ton of songs on the tape including the surreal, story-telling song "Mexico." I loved this style Beck was doing in the early days with songs like "Satan Gave Me A Taco" and "Steve Threw Up." Weird and funny stuff.
John Lennon "Mind Games"
One of those songs I've played on repeat at full volume many times before. That violin/slide repeating melody is so infectious. I remember reading how John was particularly proud of that part too. Plastic Ono band's a great record too.
Little Wings "Shredder Sequel"
I first heard this nostalgic song about skateboarding in a 90's skate video that I can't remember the name of. My friend had the album "Wonderue" that the song was from and after listening to it, I quickly became a fan of Little Wings AKA Kyle Field's slacker, surfer vibe. I was also hugely inspired at how well he was able to merge his music with his drawing as well as his DIY approach at touring and recording. As a teenage skateboarder, this song relates to me in so many ways. Brings me right back to those suburban streets.
Frank Zappa "Peaches En Regalia"
I went through a serious Zappa phase in my art school days. Even though his music is extremely uncommercial and anti-pop I was still fascinated by his creativity and output. I'd buy his CDs just to listen to them once and then I'd get rid of them. A few of his albums had little nuggets that stuck out of the mountain of jam/fusion/cartoon/orchestral insanity, this song being one of them. It's a little pocket symphony kinda like what Brian Wilson was doing but way more progressive and bizarre. I love how the guitar and flute solo together in unison. After hearing this, I started experimenting a bit with pairing odd instruments together.
Leonard Cohen "So Long Marianne"
I first heard Leonard Cohen on a mix tape a friend gave me back in the late 90's and was instantly drawn to his voice and his lyrics. It was like nothing I had ever heard. The production on his first two albums is so sparse and appropriate too. I'm also a big fan of his album Death Of A Ladies Man produced by Phil Spector.
Velvet Underground "I'm Set Free"
Everyone loves the Velvet Underground, there's no way around it. This one sets a great mood and the chorus just soars considering how sparse the recording is. Such great, powerful lyrics. Rad solo breakdown too. I've always loved their guitar tones.
Jimi Hendrix Experience "Third Stone From The Sun"
I'm throwing all the obvious ones out there but these were artists I listened to growing up. This track's a little more obscure than the mega hits on this album but a psych-gem nonetheless. I cover this from time to time, even recording a version of my own back in high school.
Nirvana (UK) "Life Ain't Easy"
Burger Records reissued the 60's UK Nirvana's amazing (forgotten) double album Cult, and gave me a copy last year. It took me a while to dig into it but as soon as I did it was on repeat for months and I was turning everyone I could onto it. The whole album is a McCartney/Zombies-esque style masterpiece. This track was one I connected with for a bit, playing on repeat at full volume while tripping on acid in the desert.
Special thanks for mixing goes to Mara B. Stones.