RSTB Radio: WGXC – August

Starting in August I’ll have a new monthly radio show on local freeform station WGXC here in Hudson. The station has a long history of great programing and I figure it gives a nice rundown of what’s been on Raven over the month, plus a few old and new surprises. This month I gathered up a whole host of new favorites including the radio edit of the brand new Garcia Peoples’ jam “One Step Behind.” The first show aired last night. Check out the full playlist below and you can listen to the archived show HERE. If you’re in the Hudson and surrounding area you can listen live every second Tuesday of the month on 90.7 FM.

::Playlist::

Paisel – Cause Yourself To Rise, Gong /// Cochemea – Mitote /// De Lorians – A Ship of Mental Health /// Al Doum & The Faryds – Weed & Love /// 75 Dollar Bill – Tetuzi Akiyama /// Major Stars – Out in The Light /// Ty Segall – I Sing Them /// Purling Hiss – Naut /// Traffik Island – 17 /// Olden Yolk – Grand Palais /// Dylan Moon – Hope Dog /// Cool Sounds – Around and Down /// The Reds, Pinks and Purples – Living on Sunday /// Crepes – Life is Fast /// Rat Columns – Astral Lover /// Moon Duo – Stars Are Light /// Doug Tuttle – Fade /// Hans Chew & Garcia Peoples – Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave /// Garcia Peoples – One Step Behind (radio edit) /// Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears – Time Has Grown a Raspberry /// Teddy and the Rough Riders – Goldmine /// Edgar Broughton Band – Piece of My Own /// Allah Las – In The Air /// Rose City Band – Fear Song /// Wet Tuna – Goin’ /// Jeffrey Alexander – Beowulf’s Trip /// Ash & Herb – Salt Lick /// Elkhorn – To See Darkness

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Nothing On Semble

Another low-profile stunner out of the Feeding Tube camp today, Nothing On Semble is largely the work of Curtis Godino, a member of fellow FT band Worthless. For his work in the “On Semble” he’s exploring a spacey prog that borders library soundtracks, borrows from Floyd-esque wide-eyed psychedelia, and feels wholly displaced from any current song cycles going in 2019. With mellotron upfront, forging the kaleidoscopic path, Godino’s songs riffle through the more outre edges of prog’s academic pomp. The balletic, delicate keys creep into most of his songs with a wary trepidation that begins to warp and bubble like oils over glass or sheets of tin wound and warped in the light. There’s wonder at the heart of his pieces, but in equal regard, a kind of horrific fascination with the macabre. This comes to the forefront most prominently during the sampled psychological examination that takes the forefront on “Careful With Those Keys,” but musically its in the DNA of all of the tracks.

The Library vibes take over fully by the time the listener is onto “Full Theme 1,” which sews baroque psych with a thread of funhouse delirium. It quite rightly sounds like its lost its way out of a Jean Rollin score and the feeling that there are sure to be naked vampires descending at any moment is hard to shake. The queasy unease on the album is battling against a somewhat ever-present campiness and the combination is delightfully disorienting. There’s been a revival of plenty of pockets of psychedelic sounds lo these past few years – from Jam’s resurrection to the instrumental prowess of Frank Matson, but Godino’s got a lock on the kind of off-kilter weirdness that feels like its about twenty years out from showing up as a reissue on Finders Keepers.

This one’s been issued digitally and on limited cassette (sadly no vinyl) and it’s a welcome addition to any collection of DMT-twisted psych classics out there. Recommended that you slide gently down whatever eiderdown Godino is leading us all towards.



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Allah Las – “Polar Onion”

Allah Las give another peek behind their new LP with a video for “Polar Onion,” a darker, more solemn track than the previously released “In The Air.” Instead of their usual shaggy jangle and touch of surf, “Polar Onion” captures the other edge of jangle-pop, the bittersweet pang of The Go-Betweens, or the quiet anguish of R.E.M. The band’s definitely explored this side before, but never quite as effectively as they do here. The video is animated by longtime Las and Mexican Summer designer Bailey Elder and it works blocks of swirling color into California motifs, balancing the cloudy strum with a palette of hazy colors and hand drawn rough edges. The band’s latest is out October 11th, from Mexican Summer.

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Major Stars

There’s no great exploration of East Coast psychedelia without inclusion of Major Stars. Grown out of a connection formed when Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar shared time in the short-lived, but critically loved, Magic Hour, the band sprung to life with a ferocity that can be felt through to the marrow. The band incubated in famed record store Twisted Village (owned by the pair) and they have been a fixture for going on twenty years. Their latest in a run of great LPs for Drag City, Roots of Confusion, Seeds of Joy, shows no signs of the band turning away from their heavy shred prowess tempered with elegiac vocals. Rogers and Biggar burn through runs that would put a blush in the cheek of Munehiro Nirita and the fact that they’ve shared many stages with Acid Mothers Temple ought to be some indication of what’s at play here.

The sound that simmers in the veins of Roots… seeps right out of their last hard charger, Motion Set, though they swap out vocal duties from Hayley Thompson-King to Noell Dorsey this time around. Her delivery soars above the fray, turning the tumult into alchemy in waveform — a guiding light above the three-guitar attack the band metes out over the course of seven songs. Dorsey’s vocals tense and roll away from the dexterous guitar army thrashing behind her. Her style moves seamlessly from the kind of coiled, but coy ‘90s indie to soaring psych-folk forays. Though, admittedly, the band never quite meets the folk half of that equation, playing calm occasionally, but never quite taking the intensity below a simmer. But that’s not why we’re all here, is it? Major Stars have always had their teeth in an artery delivering both adrenaline and feedback in equal gushes. On Roots of Confusion, Seeds of Joy they continue to do what they do best — burn down the walls and collect the ash for next year’s rites and riffs.



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Thigh Master – “Mould Lines”

Brisbane’s Thigh Master issue their second LP on Goner and its a bright shot of jangle for 2019. Their debut had a great deal of promise and Now For Example clearly makes good on it. The first taste of the album is the rollicking jangler “Mould Lines,” which jumps off from The Bats and Clean footprints with some kind of wicked glee. Spinning its hooks ‘round and ‘round in the sun, the song’s underpinned with the shaggy split ends of post-punk, but more often it’s reveling in the indie-pop tangles that run wild at its heart. The record hits the shelves September 27th.



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Oh Sees

At this point in their career, nobody’s gonna tell Oh Sees not to be free. The band’s entering their fifteenth year, give or take (if you count the OCS material), and Dwyer and his consortium have been consistently building psychedelic pyres only to torch them each season. Not a band can yowl through an Echoplex without the “Oh Sees Sense” going off these days, yet somehow the band still manages to push their sound further from those initial seeds of garage with each record. This time the band delves further and deeper into the waters of prog than they ever have previously. Sure, there’s always been a touch of the exploratory crawl and plenty of psychedelic jetsom, but this time the band’s cradling their jams in a fog of organ ripple ripped right from Greg Lake’s cutting bin. They’re tossing in a space ooze that’s sliced clean out of the Miles/Ra/Cherry vein, letting drops of scattered noise sluice through the cracks of their shredded sensibilities.

Over the last few albums the band has embraced longer runtimes, but here they close out both LPs with crushers that push in excess of 14 and 20-minutes respectively. They don’t waste the space, either. Both tracks push Oh Sees out of their panicked pacings, layering in downtempo modes of Gong and Amon Düül II between the flashes of freaked-out guitar, punk sputter, and motorik pounce. It is, admittedly, a lot of album. The full runtime clocks in around an hour twenty, so this is more of an undertaking than a light listen, but Oh Sees embrace the journey, pushing the listener through chapters and changes – a prog mindset without necessarily ascribing an overarching theme. Sometimes the harder hitters pull away from the squirrelled weirdness. I’m always going to cue up a track that squirms or seethes like “Together Tomorrow,” or “Scutum & Scorpius” over the frantic fangs of “Heart Worm” but they make it all stitch together without missing a seam. Overall, another set of cavernous crawlers from Dwyer and co. that cement their status among the top-tier psychedelic pantheon.



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Pelt – Pearls From The River

VHF records has a wealth of greatness in their roster, but quite a few have never been under the needle due to timing. They’re kicking out a couple of new reissues this year and one of the best up is Pearls From The River by Pelt. Featuring the classic lineup of Jack Rose, Mike Gangloff, and Patrick Best, the record is a sister album of sorts to their LP . The record never made it onto LP at the time of its release in 2003. It’s a proper Pelt drone-out, exploring Indian ragas, drones and clangourous fingerpicked guitar. Around the same time the members began to splinter in various directions, with Jack beginning to work solo more often, The Black Twig Pickers emerging, Gangloff and Best both working with Dredd Foole, etc. Still the band gives this record their all, haunting the strings with a spiritual sobriety that’s meditative, engulfing the listener in a womb of sound. Its a record that’s not quite gotten its due, but deserves a second look.

The band would take a year off before issuing another album, but this would more than holdover fans. The new issue is a deluxe gatefold by VHF, with an expansive run of liner notes from Byron Coley (who else?). Any later term fans of Rose that haven’t spun through the Pelt catalog would be wise to take a listen to this and work their way backwards. Lots of greats in that discography to be sure.



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Fabulous Diamonds – G.B.H.

This is not a band I’d expected to return to the fore. It’s been seven years since Melbourne duo Fabulous Diamonds issued their sorely overlooked Commercial Music. They’re still crawling through the murk, turning creeping menace into dub-flecked ambient anthems. “G.B.H” is lost in a miasma of haze, pulling bits of twisted John Carpenter synth through a fog of fear and doubt and dread. The band has always threaded the outskirts of pop, finding doors in that no one thought to explore. This album sees the band jump to A L T E R, who are quickly making an imprint picking up all manner of experimental impulses at home and abroad. The band’s last was actually the subject of Ripley Johnson’s Hidden Gems, feel free to check that here. The new LP arrives September 20th.



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Wayne Rogers on The Plastic Cloud – S/T

It’s been a year of greats in Hidden Gems lately and rolling down the list of psych luminaries for contributors, the latest sees Wayne Rogers (Major Stars, Crystalized Movements, Magic Hour) take a turn looking inward for inspiration. This year has already seen Rogers add to his legacy with a solo LP on his own Twisted Village imprint and a new Major Stars on the way from Drag City next week. The guitar work of Rogers can be seen making an impact all over recent accolytes, from the cinder n’ smoke of Feral Ohms to the ragged grace of Wet Tuna. Wayne turns back to his earlier years with Crystalized Movements for a psych nugget that pushed his own boundaries. Check Wayne’s dive into the one-off wonders of The Plastic Cloud.

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Garcia Peoples “One Step Behind (Single Edit)”

It would be disingenuous to say that Garcia Peoples rise over the past year has been anything short of impressive. Following their sophomore LP for Beyond Beyond is Beyond in February they’ve become staples of the live circuit in NYC (a quick dig through Archive.org or NYC Taper will confirm their prowess in the room). They’ve opened a slew of dates with Chris Forsyth and Kurt Vile, fleshed out their sound with the help of new permanent member Pat Gubler (Wet Tuna, P.G. Six), cut a lightning crack studio session with Hans Chew, and now they’re onto their second album of the year. Some might think the second helping would leave the band wanting for material, but it’s a goddamned smorgasbord at the Garcia’s house and we’re all invited. Taking their improvisational prowess from the stage to the reels, the band is issuing a 32-minute epoch of a title track that brings Guitarist Tom Malach’s father, Bob on board for a deep dive through space jazz that upends everything you’d expect going into a new Peoples record.

Diving deeper into the mercurial depths than they ever have before, the band eschews their usual groove to get lost in a bit of the cosmic wilds for a patch. Malach, the elder, used to knock down sessions with everyone from Miles Davis to Arto Lindsay to Stevie Wonder so this is no nepotism knockout, this is a familial team-up for the ages. Ah-ah, but you’re gonna have to wait until the full platter’s out of the oven to hear Bob’s double overdubbed sax goodness. Right here is the radio edit, a line closer to what they’ve been playing live for the track. Heard this the other night when they opened for KV and it hit just as hard — the band workin’ up their own “Playing in the Band’ alchemy. They sync up in full symbiosis, playing off of one another with the veracity of players with twice as many trips ‘round the sun and its a delight to watch.

The band’s Danny Arakaki peels back the curtain on One Step Behind’s origins. “We had a great time recording this track,” grins Arakaki. “Many highlights involved. One being, Tom’s dad, Bob Malach, coming to the studio to lay down the sax tracks (which you’ll hear later on the full-length album version of the song) and after killing it, casually saying, “fooled em’ again.” Great to see Tom and his dad work together. Every time we make the trip out to Black Dirt Studio we end up finding new sounds too. That has everything to do with the way Jason (Meagher) works with us. Positive vibes all around. Enjoy the changes and ride the tune.” The record lands October 18th on Beyond Beyond is Beyond. Best be ready.

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