Seventeen years into this site, it does feel like a good time to take a bit of a look back to the years of its origins. Seems I’m not the only one, as friends over at Aquarium Drunkard have spent some time exploring early staples like The Jewelled Antler Collective, and their series on Sunburned Hand of the Man is an indispensable document of the group’s influence. The imprint of CD-r psychedelics along with psych-folk and it’s early aughts resurgence is sewn into the DNA of RSTB and MV & EE may be one of the most consistent to have shaped the scope of what’s become the core of my coverage. Like their contemporaries in Sunburned, the band have amassed an imposing catalog, with the bulk falling to their house label Child of Microtones (a nice mirror to SBHOTM’s imprint Manhand).
Matt Valentine and Erika Elder have been been under the MV & EE banner in some form since around 2000-2001, adopting several qualifiers as the larger group around them swelled and shifted. Records under the names Medicine Show, Bummer Road, Golden Road, Golden Smokehound, and Wolfpack number among their official catalog, and if we’re to get into live recordings the configurations begin to get longwinded. The list of MV & EE collaborators reads like a yearbook of East Coast pscychedelia’s best, finding themselves on stage or in the studio with J. Mascis, Matthew ‘Doc’ Dunn, Coot Moon, John Moloney, Willie Lane, Tom Carter, Mick Flower, and The Doozer, among others. Valentine’s roots lie with legendary psychedelic travelers The Tower Recordings, whose ranks included Samara Lubelski, Helen Rush, Tim Barnes, and longtime foil and collaborator Pat Gubler (P.G. Six), many of whom also make their way into MV & EE recordings from time to time. As an extension, Gubler and Valentine formed Wet Tuna, a band that has now begun to blur and blend with MV & EE in its own cosmic haze.
This mix is as much for myself as it is for those who need a primer. To undertake something definitive would span hours, so here I’ve culled a few favorites largely from studio works. The live releases are a whole other beast, and, at around two hours, this seems like enough to dip in without becoming overwhelmed. The band’s arcs through early COM releases and their stints at luminary labels like Ecstatic Peace, Three-Lobed, DiCristina Stair Builders, Woodsist, and Feeding Tube find representation. The pair are legends who’ve never wavered and continue to blossom with each new year and each new recording. Spend a couple of hours immersed in Matt and Erika’s cosmic stream.
1. MV & EE – Death Don’t Have No Mercy (from Lunar Blues)
2. MV & EE – Offcut Stamp Blues (from Fantastic String Music (Ragas & Rainbow Blues))
3. MV & EE – Losin’ Sorrow (from Total Loss Songs)
4. MV & EE – The Hungry Stones (from Drone Trailer)
5. MV & EE – Get Right Church (from Eye in the Pines)
6. MV & EE – Death Is My Friend (from Liberty Rose)
7. MV & EE – Feel Alright (from Root/Void)
8. MV & EE – Trailer Trash (from Fuzzweed)
9. MV & EE – Feelin’ Fine (from Barn Nova)
10. MV & EE – Bhangra Jive (from Bollywoe)
11. MV & EE – Tea Devil (from Country Stash)
12. MV & EE – Wasteland (from Space Homestead)
13. MV & EE with The Golden Road – Speed Queen (from Gettin’ Gone)
14. MV & EE with The Bummer Road – East Mountain Joint (from Green Blues)
15. MV & EE – No Money (from Green Ark)
16. MV & EE – The Best It Ever Was (from Hick Smoke)
17. MV & EE – Boo Woe (when it’s all gone) (from Alpha Lyrae)
18. MV & EE – Stay High > Milkin’ The High (from Alpine Frequency)
19. MV & EE – Patriot Act (Dub) (from Shade Grown)