ISSUE #2          NOVEMBER, 2000
page 5 of 8



Now what I'm thinkin' 'bout is so delicate.......
If I breathe you know, I might lose it.......
It's just a drop of water in the biggest ocean I've ever known....
But at the very same time, it's big enough to drown the whole world.....

  From "Rainin' Babies" by The Flaming Lips, as it appears on In A Priest Driven Ambulance. Wayne Coyne always was good at writing these strangely conversational spiritual aphorisms of surprising depth. Everyone thought he was a major acid head, but as revealed in their recent Magnet Magazine cover story, Coyne has only done acid once or twice, a half-hit each time, revealing his bounteous psychedelic imagery to be mostly just speculation, about "the great acid trips we'd have when we became rock stars" or some such....

She lifts her dress and floats to dreamland,
Makes love to the sky
She lets her hair hang down as the weeds grow around -- Lady
Licking lollipops, catching moon drops,
Bright and Beautiful
Big fat love-inns, groovy be-inns,
For lady Greengrass!
Puff! -- The Trees turn tangerine!
Puff! -- The sky is suddenly green!
Her eyes reveal her state of mind....
....She's beginning to fly!...."

  From "Lady Greengrass" by a German band called The Ones. I haven't heard it, but these lyrics were printed in the book Cosmic Dreams At Play by Dag Erik Asbjornsen. It was the A Side of a single released in 1967, the only record The Ones ever put out. Edgar Froese played "an excellent, wailing acid guitar on this track" but, after The Ones' short-lived career, went on to form the more outward bound and legendary group Tangerine Dream, releasing several great albums in the early 70s before normalizing themselves into doing soundtracks for Tom Cruise movies.

And just when you tell her that you have no love to give her
she gets you on her wavelength and she lets the river answer
that you've always been her lover.....

  From "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen, who probably isn't typically described as 'psychedelic,' but his first album Songs of Leonard Cohen certainly works for me.

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
They slither while they pass, they slip away Across the Universe.
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind,
Possessing and caressing me.

Jai Guru Deva....Om
Nothing's gonna change my world.....

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on Across the Universe.
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box,
They tumble blindly as they make their way Across the Universe

Jai Guru Deva....Om
Nothing's gonna change my world......

Sounds of laughter, shades of earth are ringing
Through my open ears inciting and inviting me.
Limitless, undying love, which shines around me like a million suns,
And calls me on and on Across the Universe

Jai Guru Deva.....Om
Nothing's gonna change my world......

  John Lennon's "Across the Universe." A very nice bit of religious psychedelia.


And how do I define "psychedelic"? Basically, as "intoxicating," meaning that something that is psychedelic is either a drug or something that mimics the effects of drugs. Even Leonard Cohen music mimics drugs through its focus, with each song a dirge of sorts that wends its way softly through one sound, one mood, a metaphor for the flatline of the drug-induced zone-out...or is it a metpahor for the sheer focus of epiphany, drug-induced or, just as importantly, completely sober? I think the latter is just as valid of a definition of "psychedelic" -- the sheer blinding focus of epiphany -- which brings us to the definition Richard Meltzer has used a couple times, "mind-manifesting," which to me means having your personal imagination fully engaged so that it charges you and your surroundings. In the Sixties, when groups of people were all mind-manifesting themselves in the same room, the resulting charge often led to some wild things -- psychedelic rock, folk, jazz, and electronic music, free love, and other radical demonstrations of the politics of being AT PLAY. Which is what I really mean when I say "intoxicating," is to be intoxicated by PLAY, not necessarily drugs, though drugs certainly do induce play in various ways for all ages who use them....just as they often don't induce any sort of play at all for people who dislike them, or are abusing them, or otherwise burnt-out on them, but using them anyway...DRUGS DO NOT ALWAYS GUARANTEE PLAY, OR EVEN PSYCHEDELIA....or even intoxication, for that matter. (cf. "I Couldn't Get High" by The Fugs.) The guy you know/once knew who sits in his living room at home and smokes tons of pot and then just sits there and smokes tons more after a while and just sort of repeats that all his life IS NOT psychedelic, or is he? (Maybe as some kind of zen singularity?)



I am seriously NOT ready to have a column in this issue. Hmm...

Yep, I'm just gonna do this schtick for a while, the good ole 'columnist with nothing to say' schtick.

Oh, excuse me, Marge? While you're in the kitchen, would you mind getting me a beer? Oh, you too..........mmm. Yep. That's better. Mrs. Margaret Sonder, ladies and gentlemen. That's right honey, take a bow....anyway, let's see...

You've heard of "Top 10 of 1998" lists or whatever (how boring?), or "staff picks," (who cares?), but here's something that actually matters a damn in this shill-dense global culture we're all breathing right this 'fucking' second:

No Neck Blues Band A Tabu Two

Either one. (They released two albums by that title at the same time. Vinyl-only, on the New World of Sound label, with catalog numbers NWOS-21 and NWOS-22. For the record, I slightly prefer the second one.) On first listens I passed these off as just random self-conscious 'noise' music -- I thought their previous double CD Letters from the Earth was more of a 'masterpiece.' Now Earth sounds more like random self-conscious 'noise' music (except for that track with the bongo beat). Not every passage on these two LPs is exceptional, but it's never too long before some combination of hushed ambient instrument sound and hushed abstract-percussive rhythm makes the music at hand actually seems to be breathing. (Is that what people mean when they call music "organic"?).

No Neck Blues Band Letters from the Serth
And this one is probably even better than the Tabu LPs, and definitely better than the double-disc it almost has the same name as. Just a rock solid 60 minutes of dark psychedelic groove music. Oh shit, that makes it sound cheesy. It's not cheesy at ALL. It's the best white Sun Ra music I've ever heard. CD only. Warning to shoppers: I don't think the band name appears anywhere on it

No-Neck Blues Band live, photo by John Allen, scanned from the great zine  50 Mile of Elbow Room (try
Doug Snyder and Bob Thompson Daily Dance.
Two rockers from Ohio, jamming in their kitchen in 1972. "Doug plays a mean distorto-chop guitar inspired by James Williamson, while Bob smashes out the cascading, enveloping melodies on his drums; Daily Dance lies somewhere between rock and jazz, in a place you've never been before (no "fusion" licks in evidence). Abstract, but terribly immediate music, plus class song titles like "Teenage Emergency." Highly recommended." -- Richard Reigel, Creem, September 1977. Warm O'Brisk Records.

Miles Davis Get Up With It
Another great double LP from Miles Davis's 66-75 'electric' period, this one is worth inclusion for side one alone, a 30-minute tour de force of dazed melancholy called "He Loved Him Madly." A eulogy of sorts to Duke Ellington, it really sounds nothing like his music, instead creating a shadowy late-night feel that eventually simmers into a slow funk groove thanks to drummer Al Foster. Miles's (uncredited) organ playing on the first half really deserves to go into the pantheon of atmospheric psychedelia.

to h*ck with label addresses, if you wanna connect with any of this shit just go to and do a search on the band name and title too if its different (using "__" + "__" format) . that's honestly your best chance of buying any of this stuff, it's just not economically feasible to stock it in most record stores..

There's a killer new country song out that attacks one of the most heinous forms of crap pop yet to come down the pike: Nashville's "new country." It's recorded by Dallas Wayne (co-written with Robbie Fulks). Haven't heard of Mr. Wayne? Well, he's big in Finland. (That is not a joke, he actually moved there from Chicago because that was where the sales were.) With lyrics like these, it's easy to see why the average American dumbo, intensely terrified of any aesthetic challenge whatsoever, wouldn't be interested:

There's a certain song that's got my local station stuck
It's got a steel guitar and I believe that it mentions a truck
But the singer don't sound like he ever worked a stick shift
It sounds more like bad Phil Collins with a hip face-lift

It reminds me, just a couple days ago I was overhearing these two co-workers talk about music. Even though I'm thinking of music 24-7-365 I couldn't bear to join in on the conversation. One was trying to convince the other one that some song by somebody was pretty good: "Yeah, I like that song! Hey, it's all music! I can appreciate all types of music, I've got an open mind about it." Oh great, I'm thinking, you've got an open mind! Well, I've got some shit you can borrow by Caroliner Rainbow Stewed Angel Skins, or about some mp3's by The Laundryroom Squelchers? Or no, no, you've gotta check out this Ilhan Mimaroglu record my friend just lent me....What's that, you're not familiar with the 1960s Turkish 'compositions for magnetic tape' scene? Well, it should be perfect for an open-minded music lover like yourself!
         He continued: "I'll even listen to some country! There's actually some country that I like!" I'm thinking, hell yeah, like The Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Hank Sr., Buck Owens, Marty Robbins....but of course he has to go and say "Like that one Garth Brooks song...." Jesus God, why is it always Garth Brooks? Just because he wears a cowboy hat on his album covers, are people really believing that he's any more 'country' than Billy Joel and Phil Collins? "Yeah, I'll listen to some country, some rap...but really these days I've just been getting into good old rock and roll, stuff that really jams, like Godsmack, Buckcherry...." Okay, that's it, you get the GONG, muh-fuh....

LITERATURE MANIFESTO (like anyone really NEEDS one): I recognize the beauty of texts, and my texts I mean pieces of writing, stories, essays, comic strips, poems, songs, and any performance thereof, that DO NOT DEMAND TO BE READ FROM BEGINNING TO END. I hereby declare these OPEN TEXTS. Just reading the first few lines should be enough to inform the reader that this is an OPEN TEXT, and that he or she is free to dip into the text randomly and enjoy its word-power that way. These are TEXTS THAT DO NOT RELY ON BEING SEQUENTIAL. (Like a performance of music in which you watch some of the time, listen some of the time, play pool in the other room some of the time, and go to the bathroom some of the dip in and listen when you feel like swimming, and the water feels good, but pretty soon you feel like getting out and putting the water back into the background so you can go sun yourself. You do not have to experience the music performance sequentially in order to have an experience of it.) Have you read every word of Finnegan's Wake and Absalom, Absalom? Two of my favorite books -- I've read about ten percent of each. OPEN MOTHERF***ING TEXTS.....(see also the oft-discussed-by-Blastitude Aesthetics of Rock by Richard Meltzer, as well as the Wandering Archive One anthology reviewed earlier in this issue...)

                                      Brad Sonder is a writer who lives in Lincoln, and presumably does nothing but sit at his computer and listen to records -- no one knows anyone who has seen him. Don't miss his dense 'new records' column, So Much Music, So Much Time as published in Nougat. Brad also writes a column about the Lincoln music scene for


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