Or: Psychedelia is dead, long live psychedelia.
“You can go to Jupiter, you can go to Mars, you can go right to hell in all your fancy cars”.
Batton down the hatches, buy bigger locks for bigger doors and bigger guns to shoot through them. Shop-window-dummy whores clog the airwaves and corporate goon malaise has spread from the adverts to the deejays. Bloodthirsty gangs of yuppies in pastel shirts with foaming mouths roam the streets looking for people to preach to and Priuses to agree about. Chelsea Manning goes away for longer than murderers and Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush and Blair get to wring their hands of their crimes, if not all the blood that’s on them. Dare I say, we’re all in a pretty dark place. What we need is a new revolution. The whole world is in a desperate situation. And last week’s Pussy Riot repeat revolution didn’t help as much as we thought here in the bunker. We’re going with a slightly different tone this week. Totally in fact, re-cross the iron curtain to Echo Park Los Angeles and meet 5-Track. We like to say we cover new-ish music, and the word ‘ish’ is doing even more work than usual today. His greatest work, Backatcha Pod People is looking kinda old now, but it’s still damn good so you ought to go out and say ‘gimme! gimme! gimme!’. It was only fairly recently in a particularly tough bout of existential angst that I realised what a Neil Young distortion piece it was on top of the psychoDylan overtones. So while you contemplate the personal existential horror of your own bleak existence, and these modern times of universal crisis, it seems appropriate to take a break and contemplate 5-Track’s nouveau psyche.
It took many years for a complete understanding of 5-Track to emerge for hundreds of listenings. Out of the gate I dug his Dylanism, his Neil Young emulations and all the other classic nods, mainly to Henry Flynt and the Insurrections, but it took a lot of meditations on other crossover acts to see that the distortion flamethrower 5-Track keeps ticking over always, but sometimes turns full-force was not just a stylistic quirk but more akin to the core of his artistic soul, if he would accept such a gross over-intellectualisation of his method.
|5-Track currently performs as part of the Walking Faces.|
When lines like “there are thirteen sheep standing on a thumbtack with guns” echo out over the back porch Arizona bay deluge of desert guitar at the beginning of 13 Sheep it’s clear that the surrealism inherent in psychedelia is central to 5-Track’s meaning. His thorough decisiveness to set himself apart from anything resembling success or ease of understanding indicates a deep love in the music for something approaching perfect form. 5-Track’s is music much more pointless and by that tone much more profound. It’s raggedy and lost and difficult, never workmanlike or lazy; there is no point on Pod People that isn’t precisely crafted. Just like our own lives, the empty, lazy Sunday afternoons are what matters. Those, not our working moments, but the seconds between toil in which we gaze up at the sky; it is then that holes in pieces of paper momentarily allow us to see the infinite, which is hid. In a week in which the fucking Wand Erection hits cinema screens, and popular music looks set to be in a fateful screaming death dive forever (at last), remember that a single iconoclast will never puncture that envelope, as 5-Track sings: you are all dead, I am alive. Winter is coming, and like all before it it shall be a winter of discontent. Vicious backbiting, self-aggrandisement and fearful trembling. But the summer will come again. Open up your bunker. We are all one, dude.
Still unsure? Howzabouts totally free jam sesh? Maybe the Cosmic Dead could give this guy a call?
Written under duress by Steven.