More tasty tidbits from the West Coast Psych sound. I've mentioned before that I have a predilection for this subset of psychedelia and happily it gives me a chance to mention one of my favorite records, the often overlooked Electric Music for the Mind and Body. A record that to this day encapsulates the sound of psychedelic America perfectly and in its most cohesive form.

Country Joe and The Fish - Electric Music For the Mind and Body
Ask most survivors of the sixties about Country Joe Macdonald and they'll babble on a bit regarding his most well known song, "I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag" which is
featured on the Woodstock compilation and was a barebones anti war rant. This is an incredible shame that this is how such great musician is remembered because though politics would always remain a part of the band's work the music was some of the most original to come out of the scene. The band's debut crystalizes a time and a place with such coherence that it should be issued to any one interested in the period musically. The songs range from politically pointed jabs at LBJ to country rock California classics to the albums core of dark psychedelic masterpieces. The best of these were acid fueled burners that seethed with the energy of the generation. The guitar work alone on this record leaves me speechless. Some songs it feels as if the strings are being attacked by those playing them to the point that you can feel them gasp for air. Death Sound is pure psych-blues fury and Bass Strings remains as the band's personal ode to LSD. A commanding record considering that this was the bands debut, utterly essential.
[MP3] Country Joe and The Fish - Death Sound
[MP3] Country Joe and The Fish - Bass Strings
Buy Country Joe and The Fish

Ultimate Spinach - Ultimate Spinach
Ultimate Spinach was hyped at the time as being part of the emerging Bosstown sound, but quite honestly their influences are pure West Coast. They are also known for having quite possibly one of the
most ridiculous band names in history. Ian Bruce-Douglas was a passable songwriter who just had a habit of possibly idolizing those who tread before him a bit too much. This album has a split of jangly upbeat rockers and Country Joe dark psyche homage moments. The latter being a point of contention among some critics as "Baroque #1 comes a little uncomfortably close to Macdonald's "Masked Marauders" sound. Bruce-Douglas also borrowed heavily from The Doors' Guitar sound. Nonetheless this album remains a nice mixture of politics and bits of the psychedelic era. The derivations while notable don't make the whole of the album any less enjoyable; not as classic as some but definitely worth checking out.
[MP3] Ultimate Spinach - Baroque #1
[MP3] Ultimate Spinach - Plastic Raincoat/ Hung Up Minds
Buy Ultimate Spinach

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posted by dissensous at 9:54:00 AM


Blogger marty said...

I keep looking for (The Ballad of) The Hip Death Goddess . . . thanks for these too!

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably one of the worst, most ridiculous bands to have ever existed. Zero originality, horrible songs, even more horrible singing. Junk music, that had about 1 minute of fame about 40 years ago.

9:21 AM  

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