A few weeks back, at a strange little yard sale down the street from my apartment, I scored a compilation album curated by the once-popular New York disk jockey and concert promoter Murray the K. Featuring a selection of tracks by the bands he’d been playing on his show at the time, the comp includes songs by The Blues Project, Vanilla Fudge, The Shangri-Las, The Rascals and The Bee Gees, along with a pair of tunes by folky singer/songwriter Janis Ian. Thanks to ol’ Murray, I’ve been on a recent trip with Janis’ “Younger Generation Blues”—a rebellious, cigarette smokin’, anti-adult rocker of a tune.
Doggone sergeant, he rolled up in a hearse
And he called me a lousy, no good, juvenile pervert
He gave me a lecture on cancer of the lung
Said, anyone who smokes is a low-down dirty bum
Perhaps the most ideal vision of a hippie paradise is the love scene depicted in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 film Zabriskie Point. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but let’s just say there’s a whole lotta desert lovin’ goin’ on. And who better to score it than Jerry Garcia and Pink Floyd.
Posted on Dead scholar Blair Jackson’s website is Jerry’s commentary on the lengthy solo guitar improvisation. Imagine being in the room for this one…
“There I was on the old MGM scoring stage where they used to do Gene Kelly musicals and The Wizard of Oz — just me and my electric guitar and a little amplifier,” Garcia remembered. “And Antonioni’s back there [in the control room] with one engineer, and the scene is playing on a huge screen, and I’m picking along, trying to get my ideas. “I sat down and just played, and [Antonioni] said, ‘Oh, I like that very, very much. That’s very, very good.’ And I said, ‘Hey, wait a minute. C’mon, give me a chance!’ And he said, ‘Oh no, no. That’s exactly what I want!’ I wanted so badly to do something good because, well, it was Antonioni for chrissakes! He was satisfied so quickly I didn’t know what to think. I was unhappy about it. I was just getting warmed up and, boom, that was it.”
For the past six months or so, I’ve been geeking out on this Philly psych-punk outfit called Purling Hiss. The group first came onto my radar via the now defunct, and greatly missed Arthur Mag, but since then it seems the cloud of chatter surrounding them has grown rather large (which for a home-fi psych rock band means a bunch of vinyl geeks and DIY music blogs have caught on). Led by Mike Polizze, who also plays in Birds of Maya, the group serves up swampy lo-fi recordings filled with tape-bent psych and flanged-out, muddy guitar solos. Over the course of the past year, Purling Hiss put an album on Woodsist, toured with Kurt Vile and has now released a new EP called Lounge Lizards on Mexican Summer. Below, hear the growling “Midnight Man,” and two previously released songs “Porch Dude/Slight Return” and “Run From the City” off the more song-oriented, Woodsist released Public Service Announcement. You’re either going to love it or hate it…