While the public—and even myself, years ago, if I’m going to be honest—can still seem prone to dismissing psychedelia as nothing more than idiot hippies getting high and wasting their lives, the true reality of the situation is that the psychedelic rock movement of the 60s was arguably one of the most important times in the history of modern music. It was the first time that experimental musicians from the classical tradition and “pop” artists were able to cross over and shake metaphorical hands, and the experimentation from that period created music that was (arguably) years ahead of its time. The crazy colors, spirituality, and sociopolitical tension of the 60s overshadowed its music, because, when you really dive down deep into bands like The Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and The Doors, you come back up with musicians that were incredibly forward-thinking and still unique to this day, that upended what we considered “normal” in favor of artistic discovery and individuality.
Which brings us to our album this week: The Parable of Arable Land by experimental rock/psych band Red Krayola, made in collaboration with “The Familiar Ugly”—a group of the band’s friends. RK consisted of Texas art school students, and this “outsider” influence (i.e. not trained musicians) shows up in their music in the best way possible. Lo-fi? Check. Tons of tracks that sound like noise (referred to as “Freak-Outs”)? Double check. If you like your music psychedelic, experimental, and given to flights of all-out, Brötzmann-esque free jazz, this is your record.
This Week’s Episode:
This Week’s Album: