Subscribe: The Always Blue Society
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
album  albums  band  download  guitar  listen  love  moon  pop  pretty  psychedelic  release  song  songs  sound  time 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: The Always Blue Society

The Always Blue Society

Specializing in (but not confined to) psychedelic music from the past five decades.

Updated: 2018-03-02T11:23:12.156-05:00


Tom Zé - Todos os Olhos (1973)


Tom Zé might be from outer space. Of the Tropicalistas, Zé was probably the most avant garde and prone to Dadaist urges, and his first album was a clattering, messy masterpiece of the late 60s Brazilian movement. Then Tropicalia proper lost momentum and its two main figureheads (Gil and Veloso) were exiled. However he continued to explore musically into the 70s but, while many of his contemporaries essentially became pop stars, Zé fell out of the public eye which, to be frank, he was never really in to begin with.

Todos os Olhos contains some of Zé’s most experimental arrangements. Polyrhythm, polytonality, some wild time changes. You get the idea he’s making it up as he goes, but at the same time the music is exceedingly deliberate. Zé takes established Brazilian forms like samba and bossa nova and adds and subtracts until they become something totally his own. Yet for all the musical sophistication going on here, Zé makes it sound effortless, not to mention like he’s having a hell of a good time making it. It’s a lot of fun to listen to, too. I’m told he’s quite the lyrical surrealist as well, so I’m sure if I understood Portuguese there’d be a whole ‘nother level of subversion going on, but I can’t really comment. Needless to say, you should listen to this album. Oh, and also, the cover’s a photo of a marble in somebody’s butthole.

Listen to "Augusta, Angélica e Consolação"


Pete Dello And Friends - Into Your Ears (1971)


First off, shout to all the loyal readers. Your continued patronage to this blog is very appreciated. Now if we could just get those damn Russians to quit trying to sell us penis pills or whatever, we'd be A-OK. Anyway...

Pete Dello was the founder and leader of Honeybus, a former next big thing in 1968 with the single “I Can’t Let Maggie Go”. Really, they released quite a bit of good material (there are any number of compilations available on the innernette) but the band never really lived up to the commercial promise of their hit. Dello left the band after pressure to tour behind the single.

This release pretty well exemplifies Dello’s sound. At times overly precious, the songwriting and arrangements are solid and the production on point. The melodies are impressive, even incessantly catchy. Sillier songs like “Harry the Earwig” and “Uptight Basil” make the album memorable. Choice cuts like “It’s What You’ve Got” and “Do I Still Figure in Your Life” make the album great. And there’s just something about Dello’s breathy vocals that’s just so appealing. None of the songs surpass the three-and-a-half minute mark, making Into Your Ears a relatively quick listen. The songs ensure you’ll want to do so often.

Listen to "Harry the Earwig"


Download Into Your Ears

The Incredible String Band - Wee Tam (1968)


I think this blog is haunted.I don’t know why I haven’t posted about the Incredible String Band yet. I think I maybe thought they weren’t “obscure enough” or some bullshit. For those of our readers - if we still have readers and not just robot ghost posters - who aren’t familiar with the group, check here. Not to be lazy, I just think this is a better history than I could give without shark biting the entire entry.Wee Tam was originally released in a two LP set as a companion piece to The Big Huge in the U.K. but, in true fashion, the U.S. record industry saw fit to release them both separately. Which is just as well I guess, because Wee Tam is the more solid of the two in my opinion. It’s hard to fuck with the one-two punch of The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion and The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter in the ISB catalogue, but I think Wee Tam comes closest. This album hits that sweet spot just before Mike Heron and Robin Williamson became complete and utter space cases. The album starts with “Job’s Tears” which, in rather typical ISB fashion, contains more amazing melodies in one song than many of their contemporaries in the British folk scene would have across an entire album. As in past albums, they don’t just stick to folk of the British Isles. “Log Cabin Home in the Sky” is a pretty straightforward slice of Appalachian folk with just a touch of lyrical trippiness (trippyness?). Mike Heron is on top of his sitar game throughout the album, nowhere more evident than on “The Half-Remarkable Question,” arguably the album’s best track. The album closes on “Ducks on a Pond” which again borrows from American folk traditions, complete with Woody Guthrie quote.While it may not be as strong as the two albums that came before it, Wee Tam is definitely worth the time. The more you listen to it, the more you’ll like it.Also, check this video out. The sound is out of sync a little, but peep the tunics.Listen to "Job's Tears"Download Wee Tam[...]

Aphrodite's Child - End of the World (1968)


So yeah, we’ve fallen off but hey, what can you do? Anyway here’s another sporadic post.I’ve been meaning to post about this one for a long time. Aphrodite’s Child was made up of London-based Greeks Lucas Sideras (drums), Demis Roussos (vocals, bass), Anargyros "Silver" Koulouris (guitar) and Vangelis Papathanassiou (keyboards). The latter went on to fame as, what else, Vangelis.End of the World is probably not everyone's cup of tea. There is some seriously schmaltzy stuff on here (“Rain and Tears”, a hit in Europe, is probably the biggest culprit). But, in a way, that’s what makes it so charming. Vangelis does most of the composing/arranging, employing the mellotron pretty heavily, but Roussos’ raspy croon makes the album if you ask me. Standout tracks include “Mister Thomas” and the droney “Grass is So Green.” The closest touchstone might be the Moody Blues, but that comparison only goes so far. Aphrodite’s Child definitely brings their local flavor to things, especially on “The Shepherd and the Moon.”Aphrodite’s Child would go on to make more adventurous and progressive music, with Vangelis at the helm (and to the chagrin of the rest of the band). This is probably best exemplified on 666, a concept album adapting the Book of Revelations. It’s a pretty tough listen, however. End of the World is better.Tracklist:1. End of the World2. Don't Try to Catch a River3. Mister Thomas4. Rain and Tears5. Grass is So Green6. Valley of Sadness7. You Always Stand in My Way8. The Shepherd and the Moon9. Day of the FoolListen to "Grass is So Green"Download End of the World[...]

House of Nimrod EP (1967-68)


Coming out of Auckland, New Zealand, House of Nimrod were Bryce Petersen, Johnny Breslin, Billy Lawton, Tony Pilcher, and Larry Latimer. All songs, from what I gather, were written by Petersen, a children's songwriter. That's about all I know. This EP gathers all four songs recorded under the House of Nimrod moniker and they're good as hell. Some serious phasing used, to great effect I might add, on "Slightly Delic". All four songs are concise nuggets of psych-pop.
I think you'll like it.

1. Slightly Delic
2. Reflections of Our Time
3. Psychothartic
4. Ragged Patch

Saturday Night Double Feature


First of all, you're probably wondering what a man with such social equity as myself is doing at home on a Saturday night. The short answer is none of your business. The slightly longer answer is eating ice cream and trying to remember how to make blog posts. So, in what I believe is the first double album post on The Always Blue Society and is even more certainly the first themed double album post on The Always Blue Society, here we have two albums by a couple of artists who hit it big in the early '60s, fell off, presumably took some drugs, then made some pretty sweet psych albums.First up is Del Shannon's The Further Adventures of Charles Westover. You probably know Del, born Charles Westover, for his hit 1961 single "Runaway". That damn organ solo seriously gets in my head for, like, days at a time. Often. Anyway, this 1968 outing finds Shannon exploring the more baroque side of American psychedelia. That means strings. Lots of them. And if you've ever read any of my other posts, you probably've gathered that's kind of my cup. The 1-2 punch of "Silver Birch" followed by "I Think I Love You" is probably the highlight of the album for me, but the album overall is really strong.Tracklist:1. Thinkin' It Over2. Be My Friend3. Silver Birch4. I Think I Love You5. River Cool6. Colour Flashing Hair7. Gemini8. Runnin' On Back9. Conquer10. Been So Long11. Magical Musical Box12. New Orleans (Mardi Gras)Download The Further Adventures of Charles WestoverSecond is Chubby Checker's Chequered!. Chubs is most known for the single/dance craze "The Twist" that white people loved so much. I'm not totally clear on the details of this one, released in 1971. Something about Amsterdam, a shitty record exec on a shitty record label. Apparently Chubby's not keen on talking about it. The good news is it's a pretty good album. If you're a fan of psych-blues-gospel-rock stuff in the vein of Sly and post-Love Arthur Lee, you'll probably like it. Lots of organ. "Goodbye Victoria" has an earwig of a chorus. "Stoned in the Bathroom" is pretty funny. I like "He Died" also, some really satisfying chord changes.Tracklist:1. Goodbye Victoria2. My Mind3. Slow Lovin'4. If the Sun Stopped Shining5. Stoned in the Bathroom6. Love Tunnel7. How Does it Feel8. He Died9. No Need to Get So Heavy10. Let's Go Down11. Ballad of Jimi12. Gypsy (Bonus Single)Download Chequered!There's probably a bunch more albums in line with this post's theme. I was considering including The 4 Seasons' The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette and The Tokens' Intercourse, but I wasn't sure they were really worth writing about, although Gazette has its moments. Unless we get readers clamoring for these albums, you should be able to find them pretty readily on the innernette.[...]

Ladies W.C. (1969)


The toilet motif is no secret from the start. W.C. stands for wash closet, the album art is a painting of a toilet, and the very first and last thing you hear on the album is a toilet flushing. But it doesn't go any further than that, as not much else has anything to do with toilets or toilet humor for that matter.

Ladies W.C. consisted of Venezuelan-born American bassist/vocalist Steve Scott, two Venezuelan brothers named Mario and Jaime Seijas, and Venezuelan guitarist/organist/artist Adib Casta. Casta, who produced the album art, would become more famous for his paintings. Scott and Costa co-wrote most of the songs, which were inspired by the likes of Paul Butterfield, early Steve Miller and Cream. This was their one and only album, which is mostly upbeat blues-based psychedelic rock. With that said, it does drift into more gentle territory quite often, with some choice ballads and introspective songs.

The harmonica is used heavily, usually in a raucous blues-style but sometimes in unexpectedly creative ways. In "To Walk on Water," as the vocalist sings "Gonna hear the sound of the moon in the trees," the harmonica suddenly breaks into a peculiar melody and rhythm that increases in pace and intensity as the lyrical phrase ends. It's as if the harmonica is imitating whatever sound the moon might make in the trees, and it's actually quite convincing.

Featured just as heavily as the harmonica is Casta's blistering acid lead guitar. Sometimes the guitar is in a typical blues style, but just as often it ventures into heavy wah-wah and fuzz madness. The rhythm section is on point, providing thick, rhythmic bass lines and head-bobbing beats. The vocals are pretty solid, with an admirably loose and simple approach. The songwriting is never exceptionally brilliant, but there are many gems and not one bad song to speak of. One element that's consistent throughout the album is the use of various sounds to segue between songs, like crowds, babies crying, orchestras tuning, etc. While it's not all that groundbreaking, it does provide another level of interest and occasionally supports the themes of the songs. Ladies W.C. took a while to grow on me, but I sure am glad I gave it a second chance after shrugging it off during my initial foray into psychedelic music.

"And Everywhere I See the Shadow of That Life"
(object) (embed)

Download Ladies W.C.

Popcorn Blizzard - Explode (1968)


From the little information I've been able to find about the Popcorn Blizzard, I have determined they have no connection to Meat Loaf's first band of the same name. Possibly from New Jersey, Popcorn Blizzard's album Explode is just over a half hour's worth of catchy, light psychedelic pop. Apparently it's quite the rarity, as I've seen the LP going on eBay for $94. Sometimes upbeat and cheery, sometimes somber and reflective, and often treading between the two, Explode deals almost exclusively with typical love song subject matter. Although it is excessively sappy at times, there's an earnestness that comes through. Plus, the arrangements, instrumentation, and catchy harmonies do more than enough to make up for the sometimes overly-syrupy songwriting. Unfortunately, this copy isn't the best of quality, sometimes starting up in the midst of the introduction or cutting off before a song's end. If I come across a better version, I'll be sure to replace this one.

"Missing You"
(object) (embed)

Download Explode

The Rolling Stones - We Love You/Dandelion (1967)


"We Love You" / "Dandelion" was a typically glib response to The Rolling Stones ongoing legal struggles following Mick and Keith's drug bust in February 1967. The authorities threatened the future Glimmer Twins with huge fines and harsh prison sentences following the discovery of small amounts of marijuana and a few amphetamine tablets during a suspiciously well-timed raid on Keith's Sussex home. Despite the Stones' habitual anti-authoritarianism, the most staid and conservative of British newspapers, The London Times, came to their aid, sensing the whole situation a setup, and eventually, through its influence on public opinion, the charges against Mick & Keith were dropped."We Love You" manages to be both a sincere "thank you" to the Stones' fans and supporters and a mocking attack on the establishment. The song opens with the sound of footsteps and a jail door slamming shut before Nicky Hopkins' begins to weave a tight piano web over more ominous concreté gaol sounds. Brian Jones incredible musical versatility is evidenced once again with his deft mellotron backing that gives the song a woozy psychedelic wash. Notice how the Stones' harmonies here are a little higher and sweeter here than in any other song, and with good reason too, as Paul McCartney and John Lennon added their talented throats to "We Love You" in a show of solidarity with their friendly rivals. The song eventually collapses down to Charlie Watts' strangely distant drums and the stumbling mellotron riff, and Lennon is just barely able to toast to "your health!" before the tape runs out...The instrumental foundation of "Dandelion", was originally written by Keith during the sessions for Between the Buttons, but as evidenced by the available bootleg of the song-in-progress, lyrically, he couldn't get past the proposed title line, "Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Blue", instead singing non-sense syllables in place of the as yet unwritten words. The song would remain unfinished until after Between the Buttons was released and the Stones' were in need of a compatible B-side to "We Love You". As released, "Dandelion" is mostly based on nursery rhymes, with bits of 1960s "mind games" philosophizing tossed in. Though a seemingly light-hearted psychedelic trifle, "Dandelion" held a special significance to Keith, who would name his daughter, born during the accursed sessions that would eventually culminate in Exile on Main St, Dandelion, after this song.As an added bonus, I've included an early backing track for "We Love You" without vocals and Keith's demo for "Dandelion", "Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Blue". The single is sourced from the pristine 2002 ABKCO remaster, but the backing track and demo come from the bootleg netherworld...Tracklist:1. We Love You2. Dandelion3. We Love You (backing track)4. Sometimes Happy, Sometimes BlueListen to We Love YouDownload We Love You/Dandelion[...]

Van Dyke Parks- Song Cycle (1968)



Van Dyke Parks, known to the kids as the that other guy from SMiLE, makes his own musical statement with Song Cycle. This album is undeniably American. It explores every corner of American music from Appalachian folk and blues to vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley. At the same time, Park's swirling orchestration and distinct vocals throughout take these styles out of context and presents them as something wholly unique and personal. The album opens with "Vine Street," penned by Randy Newman, flowing into "Palm Desert" and on through the rest of the album, practically smashing one track into another. However, that's partly what makes this album great. It's a progressive musical experience.

Song Cycle is at times a bit overwhelming. Being a classically-minded work, there are no shortages of dramatic changes in time and mood. However, there is a cohesiveness, it's a song cycle, doy. Certainly too complex for someone with such limited musicality like me to effectively critique, I nonetheless find this album really interesting. Get at it.

1. Vine Street
2. Palm Desert
3. Widow's Walk
4. Laurel Canyon Blvd.
5. The All Golden
6. Van Dyke Parks
7. Public Domain
8. Donovan's Colours
9. The Attic
10. Laurel Canyon Blvd.
11. By the People
12. Pot Pourri

Listen to "The Attic"
(object) (embed)

Download Song Cycle

Bobak, Jons, Malone- Motherlight (1970)


The one and only album by Bobak, Jons, Malone. The group itself was composed of Mike Bobak and Andy Johns (Jons), both recording engineers/producers, and Wil Malone, former figurehead in Orange Bicycle and principal songwriter in this endeavor. The album itself was recorded in 1970 in England for the Morgan Blue Town label.Motherlight is full of elastic basslines and heavy riffs coupled with seemingly incongruous piano leads ranging in influence from ragtime and blues to classical. The songs themselves don't really follow any pattern stylistically or thematically. The title track draws more from late sixties/early seventies American rock than from late period British psychedelia. Standout "On a Meadow-Lea" employs a pulsing organ throughout the song, tying together a song that progresses from folky and pastoral to pretty hard rocking, with Malone showing off his chops on guitar at the song's end. "House of Many Windows" has hints of prog with its subtle time shifts and classical leanings. A little tape manipulation on "Chant" and a little country-rock (however silly the execution) on "Burning the Weed" round out the album. A pretty decent venture for an album whose final pressing was under 100. Tracklist:1. Motherlight2. On a Meadow-Lea3. Mona Lose4. Wanna Make a Star Sam5. House of Many Windows6. Chant7. Burning the Weed8. The LensListen to "On a Meadow-Lea"Download Motherlight [...]

This is sweet



Pärson Sound (1968)


Inspired by minimalist composer Terry Riley, Pärson Sound was a 10-piece Swedish band who experimented with droning, repetitive jams. Their music is exceptionally dense, with huge guitar sound, bass, organ, flute, piano, saxophone, sparse vocals and drums by three different members. They also made use of tape manipulation, sometimes during live performances letting a tape pass two tape recorders, one tape recording and the other playing back with distortion, creating progressively layered noises and tones. Pärson Sound is not for those lacking patience for extended jamming, with two songs clocking in over 20 minutes—"Skrubba" nearly approaches half an hour—and no song under five minutes, besides the short intro. Although largely chaotic, repetitive and loud, Pärson Sound was also very capable of creating melodic pastorales. This becomes evident towards the end of "10 Minutes," as noisy jamming gradually segues—seemingly through the use of tape manipulation—into a pleasant baseline with airy vocals and nice chord changes. This lighter side of the band doesn't resurface again until the final two tracks of the album. The understated "On How to Live" consists of strummed acoustic guitar, flute and singing birds, while "Blaslaten" layers beautiful wind instruments and saxophone. One highlight of the album is the menacingly sparse "A Glimpse Inside The Glyptotec -66," which also makes use of tape manipulation. Ambient sounds dominate the track, but towards the end, haunting, breathy vocals close the song out on an eerie note. Pärson Sound would eventually change their name to International Harvester, releasing two albums, Sov Gott Rose-Marie—named for a song also included on Pärson Sound—in 1968 and Hemat in 1969. The more accessible and famous Träd, Gräs och Stenar would later form from the remaining members of International Harvester.

"10 Minutes"
(object) (embed)

Download Pärson Sound

Amon Düül II - Yeti (1970)


Even though my familiarity with krautrock is vague at best, that won't stop me from proclaiming this to be one of the most innovative and genre-defining albums of the movement. Due to more ambitious musical aspirations, Amon Düül II grew out of Amon Düül, which was a radical, political and artistic commune founded in Munich. Yeti is their second album, which was originally released as a double album consisting of composed studio recordings on one record and improvisations on the other. The opening track "Soap Box Rock" sets the tone, first sounding like some standard garage rock but quickly transforming into dark, progressive rock with both far-out and melodic instrumental passages. The first half continues with some interesting instrumental pieces, the closest thing to typical rock music in "Archangels Thunderbird," and the intense "Eye-Shaking King." The second half improvisations are impressively tight, setting the standard for experimental music to come. Much of the improvisations—specifically "Sandoz in the Rain"—seem extremely influential to the modern day Japanese experimental commune,
Acid Mothers Temple. Male and female vocals are featured throughout the album, both of which are satisfyingly peculiar and distinct. Amon Düül II also make use of strings, which add another level of interest to their complex sounds. This release features two bonus tracks, "Rattlesnakeplumcake" and "Between the Eyes," but unfortunately the song "Pale Gallery" is missing three minutes of the original song. I guess it was cut short on most CD releases to keep it to one disc. Apparently the Captain Trips release features the full five minute version.

Fun fact: Apparently the chick on the cover brandishing that scythe was one of their groupies.

I just couldn't narrow it down to one song.
(object) (embed)

Check out this mind-altering performance of "Eye-Shaking King."

(object) (embed)

Download Yeti

The Laughing Soup Dish - We Are the Dish (1987) & "Teenage Lima Bean" single (1985)


As far as I know, this is the quintessential lo-fi psychedelic band of the 80s. With an abundance of catchy hooks, ridiculous psychedelic lead guitar, way far-out overdubs, self-consciously trippy lyrics, and a DIY garage rock grittiness, never has poorly recorded neo-psychedelia sounded so good. The Laughing Soup Dish formed in West Long Branch, NJ in 1981 as a three-piece headed by guitarist and vocalist, Wayne Larsen. The band was plagued with frequent inner turmoil, completing their debut album We Are the Dish after undergoing three lineup changes. The album was recorded on a four track reel to reel, which was then layered with two more tracks of sound effects. From 1987 to 1989, LSD (get the name now?) toured, which included shows in New York City with lights by Captain Wizzo, known for his lighting of Big Brother and the Holding Company shows and other San Francisco groups from the original psychedelic era. In 1989, they recorded their second album Overthrow the Underground, (if anyone can hook this up, please let me know!) which proceeded with even more internal conflict. The Laughing Soup Dish called it quits in 1992. This download contains We Are the Dish as well as the "Teenage Lima Bean" single, which includes the B-side "Rainy Day Sponge." Both of these tracks are on point and as good, if not better than the best tracks from We Are the Dish.

Listen to "Seven Seas" and "Teenage Lima Bean"
(object) (embed)

Watch the Laughing Soup Dish mime "Acidland" and make fun of Uncle Floyd's dumb hair (at 9:20) on the Uncle Floyd Show circa 1987:
(object) (embed)

The Laughing Soup Dish's myspace page

Download We Are the Dish & "Teenage Lima Bean" single

Nirvana- The Story of Simon Simopath (1967)


Generally speaking, I don't have a ton of patience for concept albums. I've found that, more often than not, they're overly self-indulgent, meandering messes. Either that or the concept gets totally lost on me. Or both. Likewise, I have a personal aversion to the term "twee", partly because it's gotten so worn-out but mostly because I don't like the way it sounds. Anyway, here's a twee concept album.Nirvana was formed in 1967 by Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropoulos who hail from Ireland and Greece respectively. Originally a six-piece, the band was eventually pared down to the two principal members along with assists from various session musicians. The Story of Simon Simopath was their first LP. The aforementioned concept of the album has to do with Simon Simopath wanting to fly and so he tries to get various things to give him their wings (angels, airplanes, etc.) and he ends up in outer space. Oh yeah, also love. Anyway, who really cares. The point is this album is pretty great from start to finish. Catchy tunes, solid melodies, lush instrumentation, and quasi-baroque arrangements more than make up for the occasionally quaint lyrical content. I'm not going to go into detail about each song or anything, the album's less than 25 minutes long, you should just listen to it. Tracklist:1. Wings of Love2. Lonely Boy3. We Can Help You4. Satellite Jockey5. In the Courtyard of the Stars6. You're Just the One7. Pentecost Hotel8. I Never Found a Love Like This9. Take This Hand10. 1999 Listen to "Pentecost Hotel"Also, here's a video.Download The Story of Simon Simopath[...]

Troyka (1970)



Troyka is a band which justifies our perilous questing across used record stores and spooky abandoned blogs. Although given a major label release (via Atlantic's then new Cotillion branch) Troyka's self-titled 1970 album remains obscure to say the least. Which is pity, because it's truly magnificent. Consisting of Mike Richards (percussion & lead vocals), Robert Edwards (guitar & mandolin) and Ron "Rumor" Lukawietsky (bass) and hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, these fine Canadian gents crafted this album out of a series of jam sessions overseen by Velvet Underground producer Shel Kagan.

This kind of record building can easily result in a schizophrenic end product, each song differing too greatly to give any semblance of cohesion. Though each song is different, ranging from growling biker stomp to lysergic pastorale, fortune favored the bold and the album holds together as a single solid entity. Singer Mike Richards has a "unique" voice but even if you don't warm to him, you'll still find plenty to enjoy, over half the tracks are instrumental.

This is from the 2000 CD reissue put out by Black Rose Records, and there's a bit of noticeable static and hiss in some of the silent sections, perhaps indicating a remastering from vinyl. But don't let that stop you! This is a lost classic.

1. Introduction
2. Natural
3. Early Morning
4. Life's OK
5. Burning of the Witch
6. Rub-A-Dub-Dub Troyka in a Tub
7. Troyka Lament
8. Troyka Solo
9. Rolling Down The Back Road
10. Berry Picking
11. Dear Margaret
12. Go East Young Man Beautiful Pink Eyes
13. Troyka Finale

Listen to Early Morning:
(object) (embed)

Troyka (1970) mp3 320 kbps

Crocheted Doughnut Ring/Doughnut Ring Singles


Thanks again to the It's Psych Forum, I give you a collection of singles from a band known as the Crocheted Doughnut Ring and apparently just the Doughnut Ring at some other point. I'm having trouble finding much information on them, so drop a comment if you can fill me in. A range of sounds can be heard throughout these eight tracks, including some perfectly crafted psych-pop, minimal-far-out-sound-
collage-type-shit, good old rock 'n' roll, a tune with some hispanic flavor and a "cool island song" (to melt your icy heart). The collection starts off with "Havana Anna" which is the cool island song I speak of. It's a catchy tune that has yet to grow old for me... definitely one of my favorites. Another stand out song is the ballad "Maxine's Parlour," although the highlight of the collection is the Crocheted Doughnut Ring's last two tracks. "Nice" is the sound collage, which is a pretty shocking listen considering it was created by a late 60s band with obvious ambitions to write pop songs. Although I'm pretty unfamiliar with musique concrète, I suspect it was heavily influenced by it as well as early electronic music. Modern lo-fi indie bands that get off on occasional experimental sound wish they could make this shit. Just when you think this band couldn't get any sweeter, "Nice" segues into "Two Little Ladies (Azalea & Rhododendron)." Packed with catchy melodies, tinkering harpsichord, swirling psychedelic effects, and frequent shifts in tempo, "Two Little Ladies (Azalea & Rhododendron)" epitomizes 60s psych-pop. I find the song very reminiscent of the Idle Race's debut album Birthday Party, which is no small compliment. The two Doughnut Ring tracks don't excite me quite as much, but I still get dibs on sampling the first eight seconds of "Dance Around Julie." In case you were wondering, that's not the real artwork.

Update: Check the comments of this post for some detailed information about the Crocheted Doughnut Ring/Dougnut Ring.

(object) (embed)

Gilberto Gil - Gilberto Gil (Frevo Rasgado) 1968


Former political exile and current Brazilian Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil was also — in the interest of this blog — one of the original tropicalistas. Along with Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé and Gal Costa, Gil was a pioneer of the short-lived, albeit highly influential, Tropicália movement. Gil's second album (subtitled Frevo Rasgado), recorded in 1968 during the height of the protest movement against the recently installed military government, is deceptively upbeat. And while my understanding of Portuguese is very limited, songs like "Marginália II" reference the end of the world and I'm pretty sure "Domingo no Parque" is about someone getting murdered in a park. Anyway, politics and pessimism aside, this album is extremely enjoyable. Gil pulls from all types of sources including, but not limited to, native styles such as bossa nova and samba, as well as ideas gleaned from British psychedelia and good old fashioned American rock'n'roll (check the "Hang on Sloopy" reference in "Pega a Voga, Cabeludo"). The product is ultimately something altogether unique. Os Mutantes also make an appearance on the album, as they often did live (see: "Domingou"). Full of upbeat numbers, there are some slow burners like "Pé da Roseria," as well as the obligatory (yet totally dope) freak out "Questão de Ordem " which foreshadows some of Gil's more experimental work to come. Polyrhythmic percussion— see: "Marginália II", "Ele Falava Nisso Todo Dia" "Procissão" — and some deftly arranged strings (reportedly courtesy of Tropicália's resident composer/arranger Rogério Duprat) are the highlight of this album. Long story short, this joint has become one of my favorite albums if for no other reason than the fact that it's so fun to listen to (see: novel idea). While Gil's next album, Gilberto Gil (Cérebro Eletrônico), may be considered more "psychedelic", it's not (in my opinion) as consistently entertaining as this release.For those of you interested in the Tropicalismo movement and the conditions that produced it, check out Caetano Veloso's Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil For those of you interested in YouTube, check out: Listen to "Domingou":Download Gilberto Gil (Frevo Rasgado) [...]

The Always Blue Society Compilation Vol. 4


My fourth and possibly last compilation. I'll be bringing in two new contributors soon, so I'm considering doing away with compilations for now... maybe not. Anyhow, this compilation alternates between British and American psychedelia from the late 60s. I think it's pretty enjoyable.

1. Tomorrow - "Real Life Permanent Dream"
2. Strawberry Alarm Clock - "Birds in My Tree"
3. The Tremeloes - "Suddenly Winter"
4. The Electric Prunes - "The Great Banana Hoax"
5. Les Fleur De Lys - "Circles"
6. T.I.M.E. - "Tripping Into Sunshine"
7. The Smoke - "My Friend Jack" (Demo Version)
8. The Smoke [US] - "Gold Is The Colour Of Thought"
9. Forever Amber - "The Dreamer Flies Back"
10. The Millennium - "It's You"
11. The End - "Cardboard Watch"
12. Moon - "I Should Be Dreaming"
13. Idle Race - "Hurry Up John"
14. Love - "! Que Vida !"

Download The Always Blue Society Compilation Vol. 4

The Electric Prunes - Underground (1967)


This is the second album by the Los Angeles based psychedelic/garage rock/pop group the Electric Prunes. Although it never did as well as their debut record, which included their hit song "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)," it has since become regarded as a classic album of the 60s psychedelic era. While the Prunes did play the majority of the music on their first two records, most of their material was not penned by the band. Producer Dave Hassinger was too busy to contribute much to the recording of Underground due to his success from the previous singles and debut, which allowed the band to write five of the twelve songs on the album. Underground consists of a range of styles that come together to create a strangely cohesive album. The sporadic psych-pop of "The Great Banana Hoax" and "Wind-Up Toys" somehow manages to lead into the tongue-in-cheek country of "It's Not Fair" and the downright strange "Dr. Do-Good." There are a number of solid pop songs like "Children of Rain," "I Just Happen To Love You" and "Antique Doll" that help tie everything together. Psychedelic sounds and textures are abundant throughout Underground, which take otherwise good songs to new levels. It's this attention to detail that has secured Underground and the Prunes' legacy in psychedelic history. Who knows what they could have tapped into had they stuck together and gained full creative control.

Download Underground

A Couple of Singles from 45s


As an admitted conformist to the digital age of music, I've had difficulty getting into 60s psychedelic singles and 45s. iTunes can seem so cluttered filled with tons of single songs by obscure bands. So now I'm finally starting to venture into this territory and have came across some pretty amazing stuff already.

The Gordian Knot - Broken Down Ole Merry-Go-Round
(object) (embed)

My intentions of posting singles is to showcase the work of groups who didn't release albums. As it turns out, Gordian Knot did release an album in '68, but I've just been so into this song that I can't help but put it out here. I love how this song naturally eases from a somber verse to a cheery chorus. There's some great lead guitar that compliments the vocals and harmonies beautifully. In the middle of the song, it deviates into a weird, carnival-esque bridge. I don't really feel this as much as the rest of the song, but it's amusing enough. If you're dying for information on the Gordian Knot, here's a write-up on

The Mass - Without You
(object) (embed)

I'm having trouble finding solid information on this band. This article might be about them, but I'm not sure. If anyone can confirm or disprove this, it would be appreciated. Anyhow, "Without You" is a pretty straightforward R&B tune with great guitar, drums and vocals. It's just an all around good song... nothing more, nothing less.

Much thanks to Sir Psych and others from The It's Psych Forum for posting 45s.

Moon - Without Earth and the Moon (1968/1969)


This is a CD release that features psych-pop supergroup Moon's two albums, Moon Without Earth and Moon. Moon was most remembered for featuring ex-Beach Boy David Marks on lead guitar. At just 14, Marks filled in for Al Jardine who left the Beach Boys to attend dental school. After leaving the group around the age of 16, he formed two bands prior to the formation of Moon, including Dave & the Marksmen and Band Without a Name. Marks would form Moon with pianist/vocalist Mathew Moore who wrote most of Moon's songs. Bassist David P. Jackson and drummer/producer Larry Brown completed the line-up, although bassist Andy Bennet played on Moon and session drummer Jim Keltner contributed as well. The band actually moved into Continental Recorders in Hollywood and recorded Moon Without Earth in 1968 and Moon in 1969 for Imperial. Marks has since admitted that they recorded both albums under the influence of LSD. Moon would disband sometime shortly after the release of these albums, neither of which had any successful singles. Although relatively unheard at the time of their release, they have since become favorites of psychedelic collectors. Both albums are composed of catchy tunes with dense instrumentation, liberal use of vocal harmonies and occasional psychedelic effects. Moon is less focused on creating psychedelic sounds as the debut, and more focused on pure songwriting. I tend to prefer their debut for this reason, although Moon is a quality album nonetheless. This release also features five bonus tracks, three of which are recordings of Matthew Moore Plus Four.

Download Without Earth and the Moon

Les Fleur De Lys - Reflections (1965-69)


This is a compilation of the British mod-psychedelic band, Les Fleur De Lys. Besides drummer Keith Guster, the band's lineup was in constant flux. Forming in Southhampton, Hampshire in 1964, they released a cover of Buddy Holly's "Moondreams" produced by Jimmy Page, which never took off leading to every one but Guster leaving. Guster revived the band with some musicians from London and released a cover of the Who's "Circles" which was also produced by Jimmy Page. Combining catchy hooks, driving rhythm guitar, and ridiculous psychedelic lead guitar, "Circles" is what Les Fleur De Lys is most remembered for today. Despite it's accessibility, the single flopped. The band then picked up a new lead vocalist in Chris Andrews, who had been a child actor that worked in the 1964 production of Oliver in London. They were signed by Polydor in 1966 but more lineup changes ensued and they became a three piece. Soon a young female vocalist named Sharon Tandy joined the band and they toured Holland with Aretha Franklin. After working on a short lived project called Rupert's People with guitarist Rod Lynton, Chris Andrews left the band and they became a three-piece again. They continued to release singles and began working on an album for Polydor that never surfaced. By 1969, the band disbanded for good. Reflections captures the various phases and styles Les Fleur De Lys explored. There's some classic mod-psychedelia, straight up pop like "Stop Crossing The Bridge," and more ambitious rock songs like "Liar." I also enjoy the compilation for it's mixture of male and female vocals.

Download Reflections

T.I.M.E. - Time & Smooth Ball (1968/1969)


T.I.M.E. (Trust In Men Everywhere) were a 60s band from Los Angeles that combined pop, blues, and psychedelia. This is a CD release that includes their self-titled debut and it's follow-up, Smooth Ball. Originally known as The Hardtimes, T.I.M.E. featured future Steppenwolf guitarist Larry Byrom as well as bassist Nick St. Nicholas on Time. Recorded in 1968, T.I.M.E.'s self-titled album is a more poppy record than Smooth Ball. Although there are many psychedelic elements like fuzz guitar and mild acid leads, Time is more pop than psychedelia. With Smooth Ball, T.I.M.E. became more ambitious with longer songs, less straightforward pop, and an overall heavier sound. Lead guitar plays a much larger role with frequent acid lead guitar by William Richardson and Larry Byrom prominently mixed. New bassist Richard Tepp also adds to the heavier sound of Smooth Ball. The connection to Steppenwolf becomes more apparent on this record as well, with occasional "Magic Carpet Ride"-esque organ. Despite remaining relatively unknown, both T.I.M.E. albums have their own brand of the late 60s West Coast sound.

Download Time & Smooth Ball