A band called The Pudding heard this song from a Pete Townshend demo that was circulated. The Pudding recorded the first version (see video below), which came and went without much fanfare in 1967…they could have picked a little better name. Their version was a little too smooth for me. I’ve always liked this song […]
Cult Classic: David Axelrod-Songs Of Experience. By 1968, composer, musicians and producer David Axelrod was just about to embark upon a solo career after nine years working in the music industry. Buoyed by the experimental climate of popular music, David Axelrod wrote and recorded what was akin to a suite-like tone poem that was based […]
Rolling Stone Magazine gives a fitting obituary on behalf of Neil Peart, of rock’s most innovative drummers here. Words fail at this point from my end, as I’m grieving the loss of two friends at this point. Losing an icon only adds to what is turning out to be a very rough beginning to 2020. May Neil’s memory be eternal.
I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking a lot about that whole Grunge era in the 90s lately. I think the whole Grunge thing was the last musical movement that I actually got caught up in. On my first date with the Rock Chick, back in my […]
There’s an argument to be made that the origins of mind-expanding folk music date back centuries before the advent of recorded music. There’s an old understanding, popular in Orthodox circles, that the Torah is, itself, one long song—a song handed down from smoked-out Mount Sinai by Moses, where the assembled masses of humanity experienced collective synesthesia, and saw the sounds of the voice of G-d.
Connect the dots: Jews are the people of The Book, and our book is a scroll of sheet music first performed at an ancient psychedelic rock concert. Bob Dylan (whose Hebrew name is Shabtai Zissel) knows it; Chronicles, Vol. One, for example, takes its name from the Hebrew Scriptures.
But there isn’t much scholarship around this heritage. Jeanette Leech’s wonderful book Seasons They Change: The Story of Acid and Psychedelic Folk traces a vast cosmic tree of outré acoustic music from around the world, including many examples of the surprising crossover of entheogenic religious devotional music. But it barely features a mention of a Jewish contribution to the genre. Sure, you could point to “Solomon’s Song” from C.O.B.’s 1972 album Moyshe McStiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart. But that’s one smudged dot on a massive map.
The final chapter of And You Shall Know Us By The Trail Of Our Vinyl, a book about Jewish LPs of yesteryear, dips a few toes into the water, pointing to some examples of frum folk rock—The Stanley Miller Band’s American Simcha or The Noam Singers’ The New Dimension in Hebrew Music. But that’s where the trail goes cold, and many of these documents never made it online. Forget about the ones they didn’t even mention: The Voices Four, Shimon & Ilana, Manguinot Bashira, the Beth Sholom Folk Rock Service’s Chants for Peace. Of these, you might find a clip or two online. Maybe.
And so it seems at least one corner of this day-glo forest remains shrouded in fog. But if you’ll allow, we’d like to guide you on a hidden path toward the world of psychedelic Jewish folk music.
black (w)hole are an Austrian drone-psych band who are covering similar ground to Masaki Batoh’s legendary group Ghost. Don’t think that this is their only influence, however. One can hear shards of Blue Cheer, The Melvins, and other Japanese psych bands like High Rise and White Heaven. This is well-recorded, powerful, and drone-laden enough to let your mind melt for a few moments. Recommended.
How on Earth did I manage to miss Sarolta Zalatnay? She’s the Hungarian Janis Joplin, only funkier to my ears. She had the sound and the look to be an international star, but never quite pulled it off, unfortunately.