Dig into the latest episode of Al Lover’s ELEVATED TRANSMISSIONS, exploring the psychedelic underground of the past, present and future.
You can tune in via your preferred format below, subscribe on Spotify, check out Al’s track by track below.
Cosmonauts – Crystal
It’s always a struggle to know how you sound in a shitty sound system, at a DIY venue where the sound guy could care less about his job because his crust punk band hasn’t taken off yet and he’s not allowed to drink on the job anymore. A few months ago he got shit faced and spilled PBR all in the soundboard and they had to have a vegan chili cook off to raise money for a new one. Paired with the bullshit Peavy stage monitors it’s hard to tell what you sound like to the crowd of twenty people who are just there to see their friend’s band play anyhow. I feel like Cosmonauts may have ran into this type of situation in their past. But with record this slammin’, I doubt it will be something they’ll be dealing with in the future.
Galaxie 500 – Listen, The Snow Is Falling
I miss the snow. I think it snowed once when I was in Austin and now that I’m back in California, there’s not a trace in the greater Los Angeles area. I saw it on the mountain tops behind Pasadena once and I almost cried. G5 must have had a lot of snow back when they were all going to school at Harvard. Lots of nights in, hitting the books, looking out on the white campus lawn and dreaming of staring at their shoes under the warm glow of red stage lights.
The KVB – Live in Fiction
So here we are in 2019 and we live in a goddamn Sci-fi movie. The exponential rate at which technology is growing is mind-boggling and while everyone watches Black Mirror and acts like that shit isn’t right around the corner. Every day we get closer to a John Connor-esque reality. Gloom and doom aside, I think The KVB should try to get some of their music licensed to Black Mirror. I think it would fit the romantically dystopian vibe of the show. Plus that Netflix check ain’t no joke. Get money, y’all!
Chrome – Walking and Looking for You
Speaking of dystopian futures, Chrome was on that shit early! That could have been because they were doing a lot of drugs and living in SF in the 70’s and 80’s when the Tenderloin was anything but tender, but I think they were on to something. They could smell the tech overlords peering out from the caverns below the bay, the entry point that leads to the lizard race dwelling in the center of the earth.
Pere Ubu – Street Waves
Godfather of the art punks. God bless Pere Ubu. What the fuck was going on in Cleveland in the 70’s?!? There was so much amazing rock ‘n roll coming out of there at that time. I try to grill my Pop’s about it because he went to art school there but I’m pretty sure, like most college experiences, the memories are hazy. Plus, none of the bands from there at the time were really established yet and who cares about the losers playing a shitty house show with bad sound when you’re trying to talk to the cute punk chick in the corner about your sick motorcycle.
David Byrne – Angels
David Byrne in the 90s? Hmmmmm. A little sketchy, I know, but this track does sound more like a lost Talking Heads song then his quirkier world music of that time. I will say, I like this one because it’s got that “I’m David Byrne and I’m really unsure of the world” vibe. Like the lyrics are questions and much as pronouncements. It’s a weird style but personally, I don’t go to David Byrne for “normal”.
black midi – Speedway
Ahhh, the new darlings of the internet music journalist, and for good reason. These dudes have hit on something meta and intriguing. Now, maybe I’m just missing some obvious references but to me they are extremely unique and refreshing. Minimal prog / post math / what the fuck? I love it and they also rip live. I saw them play in Copenhagen in February before having any clue as to who the were, but I dug the name. Later I found out that it’s a reference to some extreme form of Japanese internet music. I don’t think I’ll be going down that rabbit hole. God damn I’m old, just take me out back, Old Yeller style.
BRONCHO – All Choked Up
I’m digging this one. It’s got an off kilter, bratty glam vibe to it. Solid cow bell presence. Good stuff.
Mexico City Blondes – Planet Caravan
Who doesn’t love this cut? And with a trip hop, down tempo twist! Sign me up. I really think trip hop is on it’s way back, and I hope y’all are ready. These cats are definitely ushering it in and with the Burger Records co-sign no less. Get ready to see a lot more Kangols at the shows, y’all.
Brigitte Fontaine – L’Eternel Retour
Is Avant Garde music better if it confuses us? Are we, as perplexed listeners, just part of the joke? Applauding the self-indulgent in the name of art? Is the deconstructionist just the hand that holds the knife to it’s own throat? The throat he purports to abhor and lusts to destroy, yet allows them to breathe? I say yes! Death to the artist and the self obsessed, self-righteous pursuits of trickery and delusional profundity! Death to art!
Pipe-eye – 1866
This is a great little quirky instrumental romp brought to you by the Flightless crew, from the land down under. Perfect for a groovy afternoon at home micro dosing and hanging out with your cute, yet profound dog.
Kraan – Luna Park
I’ve been digging on going through what kraut and prog rockers were getting into in the late 70’s and early 80’s lately, when the acid gave way to the coke. Lots of questionable guitar tones, concepts, lyrics, melodies and overall production value, but there’s a couple moments here and there where they hit some serious jazzy, fusion grooves that I really dig.
Haruomi Hosono – Fuyu Goe
Before the genius of YMO, Japanese Harry was up to some smooooooth, yachty grooves. This shit makes me want to grab a Pina Colada asap and get down to the docks for some serious relaxation on the open seas.
Harry Nilsson – Mucho Mungo / Mt. Elga
I can see American Harry and Japanese Harry really vibing out on these island grooves. I imagine a serious friendship montage with them rocking matching Hawaiian shirts, hitting the nearest tiki bar after hours, smoking a million cigarettes while writing and recording their next mega hit. All this while John Lennon is salty and grumpy in the corner of the studio because now it’s Harry and Harry, not John and Harry.
The Kinks – Have Another Drink
I could use a drink. It’s been a couple of days. Ray and Dave have never steered me wrong before. And the lyrics are so practical. You know what, it will make me feel better, goddamn it. Pour up!
Drugdealer & Dougie Poole – Wild Motion
I love this dude, Dougie’s voice. Now, he’s no Doug E. Fresh, but it’s got a great Magnetic Fields thing going on that works perfectly with Drugdealer’s dreamy, 70’s adult contemporary vibe. Two thumbs up.
Donovan – Get Thy Bearings
Now that is some sexy sax. OG sexy sax. Remember when the sexy sax man was all the rage on the internet? Blaring George Michael at people in public places? Hilarious, but late in the game. I’m so thankful my mother played Sade on repeat as a child so now as a fully grown man I can appreciate the true genius and innovation of Donovan.
The Pretty Things – She’s A Lover
Possibly my favorite Pretty Things song and they have countless bangers. Parachute and S.F. Sorrow alone are back to back hits. But this one is just too good. “She’s a lover and you know she’s coming through”. Now that’s a ride or die right there.
CAN – Full Moon On The Highway
I just CAN’t get enough. I don’t think there will ever be a day. The undisputed kings of Kraut. I love this one because it’s so rough around the edges and pretty bluesy for the most part. But of course it wouldn’t be CAN without that added dose of german weirdness we all know and love.
Cosmic Jokers – Der Herrscher
There’s nothing like a conniving producer coaxing musicians with free drugs in exchange for recording live jam sessions at a party. Then, having the audacity to release them without the artist’s permission, only for the artists to discover their pictures are on the LP when record shopping months or years later. Is there no cosmic justice?
Minami Deutsch – Tangled Yarn
Guru Guru Brain label Minami Deutsch (literally the Japanese translation for South Germany) know where their roots lay. Expansive and transcendent locked grooves that will no doubt beam you up to that Kosmische realm within mere minutes.
Kosuke Ichihara & 3L – Yasuki-Bushi
Acid soaked, Japanese jazz fusion. Nuff said. Honestly, I know nothing about this but I’m in love!
Al Green – Light My Fire
I bet Al Green wasn’t singing this tune when he got that hot grease thrown on his back by his old lady for cheating! All jokes aside, I love this version so much. His nonchalant delivery of the verses is too good and of course Willie Mitchell’s production is always a cut above the rest.
Dr. John – Loop Garoo
Damn, R.I.P. Dr. John. I hope you’re walking with the ancestors, humming songs of infinite salvation.
Bo Diddley – Bite You
“Yabba dabba Doo. If you ain’t careful, I might bite you.” Fucking brilliant. Who else could get away with that shit? Well, Dr. John could I guess, but there’s something about the comedy that Bo brought to his music that sets him apart from the rest. Even if we forget about his innovative use of distortion and reverb and the classic “Jungle Rhythm”, the hilarity and fun of his music will never die.
– Al Lover