Thursday, March 26, 2009

reelin' in the years, part 1

1969: Joe Byrd & The Field Hippies - The American Metaphysical Circus (listen)- At a Mardi Gras party I was talking music nerd matters with two friends who are impossibly even older than I, and we got into a debate about whether the person we were talking about was Joe Boyd or Joe Meek, and due to the astuteness one of the said elders had with a Blackberry it was determined I was wrong; we were talking about Joe Boyd. Then, the whole reason I brought this up because I thought this was Joe Boyd instead of Byrd. I'm so awesome at this some times. Reaserch, that handy manservant of the ignorant, reveals that Byrd was a founding member of electronic music mavericks The United States of America and was, according to him, John Cage's last composition student. The American Metaphysical Circus is a wide-eyed parade of hippie idealism run through the atom smasher - reverbed, ring modulated, pield-up with strata of alternating surprise and obviousness. If I may, it is groovy as hell. Were you new to the scene, as I was in 1969, you'd have found this very exciting. The less out among the tracks, however, is my favorite:

1970: Jeff Simmons - Lucille Has Messed Up my Mind (listen) Solo album of onetime member of The Mothers of Invention and produced by Zappa, bearing the marks of that association with fuzzed-out winking irony. Like most Zappa albums I can find a lot to like about this, sitting right next to a lot I don't like about it.
1971: Eugene McDaniels - Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse (listen) Fuck yes! This is why I peruse oddball quests; they reveal untold wonders like this. I loved this album on title alone, but the doped-out jazz/funk/soul cooked down to a thick gravy is the reason to come here. dig this Dr. John-esque hoodoo number

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