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Old 07-20-2009, 11:33 PM   #1
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If You Shout... vs. Late '60s Psych, Garage, Surf, etc.

So. Last year, I listened to a few thousand reggae (and "Caribbean," for lack of a better term) songs, and taught myself everything there was to know about the music of that area. From big band to ska to rocksteady to rudeboy to reggae to Calypso, to Nyabinghi and on down the line to and past dub and toasting and pan and etc., I devoured them shits. It was a wonderful year, musically. Rarely have I dedicated myself so zealously to learning about and discovering new music, and rarely has my listening proved so rewarding and fruitful. This year, I am tackling psych, garage, surf, and other related forms from, roughly, the late '60s.

Last year, my general umbrella of reggae led me all the way to field recordings of steel drum ensembles and Rastafarian tribal chants, so there's plenty of wiggle room, here. What I am hoping to do with this thread is provide a place where people can make recommendations and, if I'm not too lazy to hold up my end of the bargain, see what I have to say about the stuff that I'm listening to. I have no idea whether or not I'll actually be able or willing to do this, but it seems like it'd be worth a try, no?

To start, I should mention The Monks, who have rapidly risen to the upper echelons of my favorite acts of all time. Like many of the greats, The Monks leave behind precious little music for us to enjoy. But what little they have left us (their debut, Black Monk Time, and an outtakes and demos compilation called many things, but most recently The Early Years: 1964-1965) ostensibly created krautrock, allowed bands like Can and Faust to exist, presaged genres as wide-ranging as psychobilly and NY punk, and (perhaps most stunningly) created the sound of The Velvet Underground before there was a The Velvet Underground.



This record is fucking ridiculous. The Monks was made up of five GIs, stationed in Germany during the 1960s. When the war ended, these guys who had come together simply to pass the time while playing in a cover band, decided to stick to it. They made something of a name for themselves as The Torquays, in Germany, and were taken in by some Warholian types in the German scene to be stylistically refashioned as...The Monks. Weird robes, weird haircuts, and weird-as-shit music spilled out. The shocking thing is that they created almost exactly the same kind of music as The Velvets without either band knowing as much as a whisper about the other and (here's the important part) without a lick of musical training. All they had was a gutted, restrung, shucked banjo which served more as percussion than melodic accompaniment and, of course, a maniacal organist. Unlike Reed, et al, who were on speaking terms with luminaries like LaMonte Young, The Monks had never even heard of LaMonte Young or John Cage. Their story, and most of all their music, is truly amazing.

Listen:

YouTube - The Monks - Oh, How to Do Now

YouTube - The Monks Live in Germany - Complication

YouTube - The Monks Live in Germany - I Can't Get Over You
(this is basically a reggae song, especially on record)

YouTube - black monks time - 14 cuckoo - the monks
(there is performance footage of this, but this song is fucking crazy enough for you to need the studio version to grasp it...unreal, this shit)

Again, people...this was 1964 and 1965. Unfuckingbelievable.

More to come later. I hope. Again, recommendations are not just welcome. They are demanded. I am really loving so much of what I'm hearing, and I want to discover more.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:15 PM   #2
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How is it possible for a, like, 9000-word post to double up? Whatever.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:16 PM   #3
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So it's going to be a one-man show, eh? Ye bastards.

Even though it looks like nobody really cares, I'm going to keep at this for at least this one more post. Perhaps more. Time alone will tell the tale.

I'm here to talk about Nuggets, a pscyh comp (and now a series) that was started way back when psych was still a relatively new thing (originally released in 1972 in a far less ornate package than we can now get on CD). Lenny Kaye put it together with Jac Holzman, called it Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968, and wrote the still-classic liner notes which possibly contained the first mainstream print use of the phrase "punk rock," which we've all subsequently come both to know and to love. That last part is hotly contested, in some circles, but it's good context.

Rhino now makes the new, super-expanded versions of the set, and they're something to behold. Here's the first one:



Really well done, and the set has something like 100+ pages of liner notes (including all the original track annotations in the CD inserts; there are new annotations included in the book-size liner notes) to keep you busy and help you root out things with which you may not have been so familiar. There's a lot more than just psych here, though, and a lot of garage or hybrid garage-psych bands wind up making appearances. A good collection of songs, you couldn't ask for a better top-to-bottom introduction to this era for these kinds of music. Some good tracks/bands:

YouTube - Davie Allan & The Arrows - Blues Theme

YouTube - Electric Prunes 'To Much To Dream Last Night'

YouTube - 13th Floor Elevators 'You're Gonna Miss Me'

YouTube - Chocolate Watchband 'Are You Gonna Be There'

That first track, by Davie Allan & The Arrows, exhibits strong surf inclinations, and I oughta point out that surf has been a lot tougher to find grouped in with psych and garage music than I'd at first anticipated! If anybody has any advice, on that front, please do let me know!

In subsequent years, Rhino has unleashed a few more of these compilations. I only have two of them: Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond, 1964-1969 (2001) and Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970 (2007). The former has a whole lot of UK stuff (mixed in with some cuts from not too many other regions as far-reaching as Japan and Peru...two countries I hope to talk about, in the future), which normally isn't quite my cup of tea--for example, I never got too into The Pretty Things or The Small Faces or even The Who's more psychedelically inclined early stuff (and believe me, I've fucking tried). Nevertheless, the compilation is a treasure trove of information, and easily a worthwhile purchase (I found a brand-new copy for around $20--for over four hours of music and, again, 100+ pages of liner notes, that's stellar). I have come to appreciate a lot of music I'd only known (and ignored) by association, really come around to The Pretty Things, and also gotten a lot more context for just what it is I do or don't like about the UK psych/garage scenes. Here's the set, in all its considerable glory:



Here're some highlights from both the UK and elsewhere:

YouTube - I'll Keep On Holding On - The Action

YouTube - First cut is the deepest - The Koobas



YouTube - downliners sect - why dont you smile now

Finally, there's my copy of Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965–1970 to discuss. Here's another set I was at first pretty sure I should just ignore. While it is easily the most beautiful of all three of these Rhino releases...



...it's a scene that I generally consider myself not only indifferent to, as is the case with a lot of UK stuff, but also generally anti-. The whole Haight-Ashbury sound never did very much for me, and I've openly hated on a lot of the music in the set--Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, and Santana all come immediately to mind--but even a quick look at the tracklist shows a shocking variety of tracks and styles getting some representation.

From soft psych-pop...

YouTube - We Five - You Were On My Mind (Live On Hollywood Palace)

...to psych-funk...

YouTube - Sly & The Family Stone - Underdog

...to the obvious standards...

YouTube - Blue Cheer - Summertime Blues

YouTube - Omaha-Moby Grape-1968

YouTube - Somebody To Love/White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane

...the set provides a really kaleidoscopic view of what was, to me, a pretty insular, homogenized style, sound, or whatever else you'd like to call it. I'm still very conflicted on what we generally understand as the late '60s southern California sound, but I can't deny how much good stuff was going on, in and around the Summer of Love. Anyway, the packaging here is superb, and the musical choices far-ranging (even my nemeses The Grateful Dead and Santana, not to mention Joplin, get plenty of respect). My only complaint is that, in comparison to the other two sets, this one offers less information. The liner notes are long, but not very notated--instead, the emphasis is about 50/50 text/photographs, if not slightly more in favor of the pictures. Some really great looking stuff is in here, yeah, but do I really need another glamor shot of Janis Joplin? Why don't you tell me about Blue Cheer, instead? Mine is a minor complaint, especially considering how beautifully done it all is, but it does sort of sting, since this set was pricier than the other two, given both its relative newness and considerably more lush production values and presentation.

Anyway, there's some more for you kids to or (more likely) not to chew on. Again, I openly welcome any and all recommendations. I've heard so many great records already, by following advice, so I'm open to whatever. And if you listen, share your thoughts! Discussions are key.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:03 PM   #4
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YouTube - derule

So. Turkish music. Barış Manço. Erkin Koray. Gruff Rhys. Er...anybody else? Preferably, you know, a Turk rather than a Welshman? Well, perhaps some context:

YouTube - Super Furry Animals - Into The Night

You see, this SFA song was my first exposure to Turkish-tinged music outside of, for example, a Turkish or Indian restaurant. Generally speaking, my only exposure to any music from the Middle East has come in such settings--as background music, as curiosity, or simply as a very secondary accompaniment to whatever it was on which I was focusing my effort or attention or appetite. I've heard plenty of cool tracks on whatever compilations were playing at these restaurants and fairs and so forth, but never was I able to get any solid leads on anything. For that matter, I never really cared to press the matter. Conversations usually went something like this...

Me: Excuse me, but what are we listening to? I really liked that last song.
Server (sadly assuming that I've made a mistake, since her music can't be worth my time): Oh! No, it's nothing. Just Turkish music. Nothing you like.
Me: No, really. What are we listening to? That song was baller.
Server: It's just Turkish music. A CD. We play Turkish CD while you eat.
Me: Fine. Whatever. It really is beautiful music, though.

Then I get a free drink instead of the information I want. It has happened too many times to count. Well, recently Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals was featured in a, well, feature in, I think, The Observer. He listed ten interesting items he owns and described each of them. From a "The Very Best of Neil Diamond" banner that he found at some flea market to a Calimero doll and all the way down to a discussion about some interesting musical finds he'd made while on tour in all the corners of the world. Well, ol' Gruff happened to mention this, also mentioning how much of an impact it'd had on the electric saz featured so prominently in "Into the Night":



It's 26 Turkish Beat, Psych, and Garage Delights (2001). The record is pretty fucking fantastic, I must say. The Turkish beat, garage, and psych that I've heard resembles (at least in an abstract sense) lots of the British "psych" from the late '60s in that it really pushes forward (fuzz guitars, psychotic vocals, shrieking organ freakouts, etc.) while, at the same time, sticking very close to what we in the States would call "folk traditions." Relative to the UK scene, this meant that even after 50 years, we still have trouble parsing the differences between Fairport Convention and The Small Faces; there's just something there that connects the two more than casually, and I think we usually just say, "Well, they sound kinda folksy and kinda psych. I dunno." In the States, of course, the garage and psych scene(s) was (were) tied much more to breaking away from what'd come before. There are indeed a few Dylan covers which spring up, in the annals, but at least as far as the vast majority of stuff goes, there was very little tying the covers to the originals either in spirit or in sound (as a side note, it is very important to note that this issue of cover songs gets complicated, in this era--nearly every band, even the major ones, had huge stables of cover songs; even Blue Cheer, in fact, had only one hit, and it was a cover of "Summertime Blues"). In Turkey, it seems to me that things were much more in step with the UK spirit--"folk" traditions (I'm not sure if there's a better Turkish phrase, so I'm just using ours) stay with us, as a good number of the songs that I've heard on this comp and some of the others I'm going to mention are actually heavily doctored takes on very traditional Turkish songs. I find that interesting not so much just because the folk songs are being covered, but because they are being covered so often and so often with original arrangements mostly intact, but augmented with some extra fuzz, and so forth. Even moreso than with the UK stuff, these songs sound simultaneously very folksy/traditional and very fuzzy.

In all likelihood, I'm at least somewhat overstating the case, here. My total ignorance of the details of Turkish cultural history, as opposed to national-global history, has probably helped me to jump to plenty of faulty conclusions, but that really sounds like what I hear--very traditional sounding Turkish music with a hard, acid-tinged edge. I'm stunned by how similar a lot of these songs sound (at least to my pretty virginal ears) to the far less adventurous music which gets played in the background for Westerners to "enjoy." The difference is far more in the attitude of presentation than the composition, and I find this thrilling (not to mention subversive, if that's not going too far...and, now that I read it back to myself, it probably is!).

More important than this more abstract line of thinking, of course, is the music. And the music is pretty fucking awesome. Since I'm so new to it all, so divorced from any cultural context, and since these are compilations, I do feel inclined to think that lots of the music sounds a bit samey, when you listen to two records back-to-back. Taken one at a time and heard with a discerning ear, though, much of this stuff will kick you in the teeth and get you moving. "Derule," the song with which I opened the thread, is fucking brilliant.

Here are some other gems:

"Agit" (this song...wow; very psych, not at all garage)

YouTube - Eski Şarkılar-Yabancılar-Ağıt

YouTube - 60s from Türkiye_Mavi Isiklar_The great airplane strike ´69

Lots of these tracks are kinda tough for me to find, on YouTube. I've done my best.

Anyway, moving from Gruff Rhys to the canon, this is the compilation which is regarded as the best, most representative, and most interesting (something I'd have a tough time arguing):



That is Hava Narghile (2001), to my knowledge the first such compilation of Turkish music and artists. I don't know what else to say, so here're some stellar tracks:

"Hor Gorme Garibi" (Erkin Koray & Ter)...a song I don't think you could possibly dislike:
YouTube - Erkin Koray ve Ter - Hor Görme Garibi (1972)

YouTube - Siluetler - Lorke Lorke

YouTube - Koray Oktay - Vefasiz Dost (1969)

Amazing songs, seriously. And there's so much more than that!

I've also picked up this, from the Love, Peace, & Poetry series, a sort of hit/miss compilation series that, as far as I can tell, has gone under within the last few years. Lucky for me, they did get a Turkish compilation out there and gave me another shot of Cheryl Shrode to...uh...look at. This is Love, Peace, & Poetry: Vol. 9--Turkish Psychedelic Music:



I have also uncovered...this. I have no idea what it is. I just downloaded it and cannot, for the life of me, figure out very much information about it apart from the obvious (ie, that it has Turkish music on it). No idea. I can't find it on Allmusic or anything. Anyway, here it is. The copy I found is allegedly called Go Larda: Turkish Beat and Garage, 1963-1969. This is the best "cover" I could find, which leaves more than a bit to the imaginable/to be desired:



Anyway, a few more gems...

YouTube - Moğollar - Diskografi (Hard Work)

YouTube - bunalimlar - tas var köpek yok (1967)

YouTube - Ersen - Sor Kendine
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
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YouTube - derule

So. Turkish music. Barış Manço. Erkin Koray. Gruff Rhys. Er...anybody else? Preferably, you know, a Turk rather than a Welshman? Well, perhaps some context:

YouTube - Super Furry Animals - Into The Night

You see, this SFA song was my first exposure to Turkish-tinged music outside of, for example, a Turkish or Indian restaurant. Generally speaking, my only exposure to any music from the Middle East has come in such settings--as background music, as curiosity, or simply as a very secondary accompaniment to whatever it was on which I was focusing my effort or attention or appetite. I've heard plenty of cool tracks on whatever compilations were playing at these restaurants and fairs and so forth, but never was I able to get any solid leads on anything. For that matter, I never really cared to press the matter. Conversations usually went something like this...

Me: Excuse me, but what are we listening to? I really liked that last song.
Server (sadly assuming that I've made a mistake, since her music can't be worth my time): Oh! No, it's nothing. Just Turkish music. Nothing you like.
Me: No, really. What are we listening to? That song was baller.
Server: It's just Turkish music. A CD. We play Turkish CD while you eat.
Me: Fine. Whatever. It really is beautiful music, though.

Then I get a free drink instead of the information I want. It has happened too many times to count. Well, recently Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals was featured in a, well, feature in, I think, The Observer. He listed ten interesting items he owns and described each of them. From a "The Very Best of Neil Diamond" banner that he found at some flea market to a Calimero doll and all the way down to a discussion about some interesting musical finds he'd made while on tour in all the corners of the world. Well, ol' Gruff happened to mention this, also mentioning how much of an impact it'd had on the electric saz featured so prominently in "Into the Night":



It's 26 Turkish Beat, Psych, and Garage Delights (2001). The record is pretty fucking fantastic, I must say. The Turkish beat, garage, and psych that I've heard resembles (at least in an abstract sense) lots of the British "psych" from the late '60s in that it really pushes forward (fuzz guitars, psychotic vocals, shrieking organ freakouts, etc.) while, at the same time, sticking very close to what we in the States would call "folk traditions." Relative to the UK scene, this meant that even after 50 years, we still have trouble parsing the differences between Fairport Convention and The Small Faces; there's just something there that connects the two more than casually, and I think we usually just say, "Well, they sound kinda folksy and kinda psych. I dunno." In the States, of course, the garage and psych scene(s) was (were) tied much more to breaking away from what'd come before. There are indeed a few Dylan covers which spring up, in the annals, but at least as far as the vast majority of stuff goes, there was very little tying the covers to the originals either in spirit or in sound (as a side note, it is very important to note that this issue of cover songs gets complicated, in this era--nearly every band, even the major ones, had huge stables of cover songs; even Blue Cheer, in fact, had only one hit, and it was a cover of "Summertime Blues"). In Turkey, it seems to me that things were much more in step with the UK spirit--"folk" traditions (I'm not sure if there's a better Turkish phrase, so I'm just using ours) stay with us, as a good number of the songs that I've heard on this comp and some of the others I'm going to mention are actually heavily doctored takes on very traditional Turkish songs. I find that interesting not so much just because the folk songs are being covered, but because they are being covered so often and so often with original arrangements mostly intact, but augmented with some extra fuzz, and so forth. Even moreso than with the UK stuff, these songs sound simultaneously very folksy/traditional and very fuzzy.

In all likelihood, I'm at least somewhat overstating the case, here. My total ignorance of the details of Turkish cultural history, as opposed to national-global history, has probably helped me to jump to plenty of faulty conclusions, but that really sounds like what I hear--very traditional sounding Turkish music with a hard, acid-tinged edge. I'm stunned by how similar a lot of these songs sound (at least to my pretty virginal ears) to the far less adventurous music which gets played in the background for Westerners to "enjoy." The difference is far more in the attitude of presentation than the composition, and I find this thrilling (not to mention subversive, if that's not going too far...and, now that I read it back to myself, it probably is!).

More important than this more abstract line of thinking, of course, is the music. And the music is pretty fucking awesome. Since I'm so new to it all, so divorced from any cultural context, and since these are compilations, I do feel inclined to think that lots of the music sounds a bit samey, when you listen to two records back-to-back. Taken one at a time and heard with a discerning ear, though, much of this stuff will kick you in the teeth and get you moving. "Derule," the song with which I opened the thread, is fucking brilliant.

Here are some other gems:

"Agit" (this song...wow; very psych, not at all garage)

YouTube - Eski Şarkılar-Yabancılar-Ağıt

YouTube - 60s from Türkiye_Mavi Isiklar_The great airplane strike ´69

Lots of these tracks are kinda tough for me to find, on YouTube. I've done my best.

Anyway, moving from Gruff Rhys to the canon, this is the compilation which is regarded as the best, most representative, and most interesting (something I'd have a tough time arguing):



That is Hava Narghile (2001), to my knowledge the first such compilation of Turkish music and artists. I don't know what else to say, so here're some stellar tracks:

"Hor Gorme Garibi" (Erkin Koray & Ter)...a song I don't think you could possibly dislike:
YouTube - Erkin Koray ve Ter - Hor Görme Garibi (1972)

YouTube - Siluetler - Lorke Lorke

YouTube - Koray Oktay - Vefasiz Dost (1969)

Amazing songs, seriously. And there's so much more than that!

I've also picked up this, from the Love, Peace, & Poetry series, a sort of hit/miss compilation series that, as far as I can tell, has gone under within the last few years. Lucky for me, they did get a Turkish compilation out there and gave me another shot of Cheryl Shrode to...uh...look at. This is Love, Peace, & Poetry: Vol. 9--Turkish Psychedelic Music:



I have also uncovered...this. I have no idea what it is. I just downloaded it and cannot, for the life of me, figure out very much information about it apart from the obvious (ie, that it has Turkish music on it). No idea. I can't find it on Allmusic or anything. Anyway, here it is. The copy I found is allegedly called Go Larda: Turkish Beat and Garage, 1963-1969. This is the best "cover" I could find, which leaves more than a bit to the imaginable/to be desired:



Anyway, a few more gems...

YouTube - Moğollar - Diskografi (Hard Work)

YouTube - bunalimlar - tas var köpek yok (1967)

YouTube - Ersen - Sor Kendine
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:02 PM   #6
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Ignore the video. The song. My god, the song...

YouTube - Hallo Gümüşhane Trailer

Sounds weirdly British, I know, but it's straight out of Turkey. Absolutely fantastic, too. Not too garagey, to these ears--much more British psych-folk inspired, though obviously delivered with Turkish instrumentation. Either way, I hope that at least somebody is lending his or her ears to this stuff. It's really great, I assure you.
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:09 AM   #7
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I don't really have any info of use on this topic
but i checked out the black monk album and thoroughly enjoy it

will definitely check out some of the turkish stuff too

otherwise unrelated to this thread and therefore prolly not what you're looking for, but you might enjoy checking out the following bands if you don't know them already:
- Kaizers Orchestra
Norway alernative rock at it's best with Tom Waits-inspired melody and lyrics + oil barrels as percussion
definitely check out Ompa til du dør and Evig Pint
- De Kift
art-folk-punk band with an extensive brass section
though not all that punk their album "Hoofdkaas" is a must
- Alamaailman Vasarat
Finnish band influenced by Klezmer and other forms of European folk music but play it with the energyy of a punk band (I'm especially enjoying their album Huuro Kolkko at the moment)
- Mulatu Astatke
Ethiopian musician who combines jazz and Latin music influences with traditional ethiopian music
- Krang
Dutch experimental band that have been described as a crossover between Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits
love their album "Brussel"
- Volapük
French avant-garde band
"takes inspiration from a large number of Eurasian ethnic traditions, from Spain to the Balkans to Mongolia ...... Unlike other avant-garde bands that make heavy use of various noises, Volapük’s music is highly harmonious, always retaining a folkish warmth and accessibility."
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:02 AM   #8
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I'll check out the Monks album as well.

I'm nearly fully through Moby Grape's S/T right now, and it's pretty fucking amazing, I have to say.
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
The Pretty Things - Midnight to Six Man
well, i always knew it was a reference to something, but i never knew (or bothered to look up) exactly what. now i know. oh. i'm talking about the first line from "white man in hammersmith palais." i feel enlightened. that's the song, apparently. cool. now if only the sound on this computer would work so i could get to checking this shit out. a friend of mine is really into psych stuff, particularly that string you posted with the 13th floor elevators in it. i've never been a huge fan, but maybe i'll see what he has to say on the subject.
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:41 PM   #10
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Doesn't seem to be too much interest, here, so I've not quite kept on going. Still, this song at least deserves a post:

YouTube - The Ceylieb People-Changes

I found it on this AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING (if partly scattershot) and ingeniously titled comp, Beyond the Calico Wall:



Holy shit. The song's by some band called either The Ceyleib People or The Ceylieb People, depending on which records you consult. Either way, this song is outrageously great, and is over way, way, way too quickly! I hope that somebody listens and loves it even half as much as I do.

Also, oneblood, what'd you think of The Monks?
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:07 PM   #11
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...And holy shit, it looks like Ry Cooder played on this. Wow. I'm going to have to try to track down a copy of their record, it seems. Should be fascinating.
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by If you shout... View Post
Doesn't seem to be too much interest, here, so I've not quite kept on going. Still, this song at least deserves a post:

YouTube - The Ceylieb People-Changes

I found it on this AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING (if partly scattershot) and ingeniously titled comp, Beyond the Calico Wall:



Holy shit. The song's by some band called either The Ceyleib People or The Ceylieb People, depending on which records you consult. Either way, this song is outrageously great, and is over way, way, way too quickly! I hope that somebody listens and loves it even half as much as I do.

Also, oneblood, what'd you think of The Monks?
My eyes and ears were fucked at the same time. Sweet deal.
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:52 PM   #13
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Also, oneblood, what'd you think of The Monks?
I'll have to go back and give it another listen, since it's been nearly a month since I heard it, but I do remember enjoying Black Monk Time quite a bit.
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:21 PM   #14
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So. Last year, I listened to a few thousand reggae (and "Caribbean," for lack of a better term) songs, and taught myself everything there was to know about the music of that area.
i lol'd
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:37 AM   #15
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i'd be more interested if i could get the friggin videos to actually play sound. don't know why, but my computer sometimes hates youtube.
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