Magicistragic Mix for the Advent of Autumn

http://www.mediafire.com/?a8lhnyrtcwj1bwd

Time is tight here at my homestead, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for a serene soundtrack to make a moment feel like a mellow millennium. Yeah, fall seems a bit distant if you look at the calendar, but the temperature is dropping day by day and an orange tinge has tainted the trees in my neck of the woods if you look closely enough. Therefore, here is a haphazard collage of bruised and melancholy sounds to prepare you for your personal hibernation.

Julia Holter-Marienbad

The Magic Numbers-Mornings Eleven

Bridget St. John-Nice

Tony, Caro and John-The Snowden Song

Paul McCartney-Coming Up

Johnny Rivers-Midnight Special

Dadamah-Replicant Emotions

Bobby Jameson-Vietnam

The Ex-Caitkin

Wild Nothing-Nocturne

Here We Go Magic-Alone, but Moving

Pond-Sorry I Was Under the Sky

Leo Kottke-Vaseline Machine Gun

Goldfrapp-Eat Yourself

King Dude-Lucifer’s The Light of the World

Chrism-Mandoia

Lemma Demissew-Lezelalem Nuri

Epic Soundtracks-She Sleeps Alone/Love Fucks You Up

Hoapili-Home Grown, Hawaii’s Own

The Lilys-Kodiak (Reprise)

Royal Trux-Stop

 

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

Lick My Decals Off, Baby (Bizarre/Straight 1970)

http://www.mediafire.com/?mnbxzmulmne

Throughout my life, I have chosen small purgatories instead of making wild leaps. Sometimes it just seemed more prudent to ponder before making an action that may directly impact my path in this wooly wilderness. Please do not typecast me as a 99 pound pantywaist since I’ve also acted rashly to both my benefit and detriment in the realms of love, money, profession and mental well-being. Most of these stationary moments have lasted weeks or maybe months, but there is one in particular that lasted an entire year. I had graduated from my Western Pennsylvania college and decided to take a job as a record store manager and see where my long-term relationship would lead this old sap. I spent most of my days listening to Yes and Neil Young and occasionally laid on the floor while soaking in Everybody Knows This is Knowhere or Yessongs as if they were my current gospel. The other manager used to drive around with a mannequin of skeleton in the backseat of his car and pull a string to make it wave during Halloween, but many times it was in July. He also fantasized about jumping into the trash compactor while setting himself ablaze, so it is pretty certain that this purgatory deviated more towards a personal hell instead of a heaven. However, there was a numb calm to these days spent opening albums and listening to them while folks fawned over Princess Di and her sappy anthem.

During these moments of malaise, I was thoroughly embiggened every time that the truck arrived with the latest batch of cut-out cassettes. For every Front 242 disaster and emasculated Iggy Pop disaster, there was my virgin experience with Skip Spence, Hawkwind, United States of America, Flaming Groovies as well as the album highlighted here–Lick My Decals Off, Baby. My only experience with the Captain was in a vague appreciation of Trout mask replica that never went past second base. It was all maneuvering and weaving and bobbing without pathos. I still like it, but Lick My Decals was dense, but there was a melancholy about its songs that became addictive.

Many may disagree, but Lick My Decals is far superior to anything Captain Beefheart ever recorded. It is a close cousin to Trout Mask Replica and some songs fall victim to the chops and noodling of its predecesor, but this one is really touching if you listen to it as much as I have. “One Rose That I Mean” is one of my favorite tracks as it echoes John Fahey and early Leo Kottke, but there is so much hurt in this instrumental. Its meager crescendos seem crippled by the emotion involved in its creation.

For example, “Petrifed Forest” starts off with a kaleidoscope of stuttering riffs, poetic rants and rhythmic acrobatics, but there is a break in the storm and he gets it suddenly turns into a romantic coda and he makes a cryptic claim that he “only wants to rumble through your petrified forest.” It lasts only twenty seconds, but the complexity suddenly becomes a simple plea for a chance at love with someone who isn’t willing to accept his intentions.

I also love the weird eroticism and playfulness at work on this album. On the title track, the old Captain is kind of a love starved soul that devotes his time to “licking you everywhere it’s pink” and to “lick his decals off, baby.” There is more than a perverse tale at work as the Magic Band drives the song along its own peculiar manner. Yes, the the image of Captain Beefheart licking every inch of you may inspire disgust or an idiosyncratic explosion of the sexual kind, but one must admit that his paean to hedonism is quite an image to have lodged in your noggin.

Overall, Lick My Decals Off, Baby is the last we would see of the unhinged and somewhat insane side of the band before they became a bit more polished and bluesy. More importantly, his later songs fail to touch me like Decals, Mirror Man, Safe as Milk and much of Trout Mask Replica. This is his peak, but his slide is infinitely more entertaining than most musicians’ best compositions.

Ted Lucas-s/t

August 13, 2008

Ted Lucas

s/t (Om 1976)

http://www.divshare.com/download/5166781-daf

Since this was sent to me earlier this year, I have listened to this album incessantly. It sort of is an imaginary link between the beautiful bummers of Skip Spence’s Oar with the nimble fingerwork of the Takoma label, especially John Fahey and early Leo Kottke. It is a fantastical description, but an apt one in my incredibly biased opinion. I love how the beginning of the album leads you to believe its all gonna be some fell good instrumental folk jamboree, but then he gets into some really spooky pop songs that sounds like some dirty backwoods drugs and heavenly harmonies. Raga folk gets married to some really emotionally devastating shit that makes me want to know a lot more about this guy’s life and what led him to create such a gorgeous, but emotionally damaged album. There seems to be a desire to get away from it all and retreat into himself and his odes to drinking and smoking weed aren’t celebratory, but kind of a plea for a better place.

On a purely musical and puerile level, I get a big old kick out of the slow-motion bliss of his pot smoking anthem “It’s So Nice to Get Stoned.” On one hand, it’s an angelic ode to the joys of smoking weed to get away from the daily grind, but within the context of the album, it can also be interpreted as an ode to sedating your personal demons with weed. I guess the dark side of the song mated with the bleary-eyed lyrics of flying into the heavens like an eagle make it somehow perfect to me.

The next song “Baby Where You Are” is another mixed message. It is a romantic sentiment about a wish for a reunion with a lover, but there is a creeping sense that obsession is somehow involved in the relationship as he wants to see, think and be wherever this beloved baby may be in this godforsaken world.

Man, I could ramble about this one for a lot longer, but I feel very bad about not posting for a week due to my thesis and I want to post some more music tonight. However, this is what all “forgotten” albums hyped to the heavens should sound like. I also love how he is tapping into Skip Spence and After Bathing at Baxters era Jefferson Airplane and Takoma in 1976. It probably was an anomaly at the time of its release, but really deserves the simple action of a download so he can get some of the respect he deserves.