18 May 2009
SETI League
PriUPS Project

Add to Technorati Favorites

Listen to or download MP3 version of this blogitem

Psychedelic, Dude!

Musical tastes, I have read and observed, tend to be developed in one's teens and twenties.  That would, if true, put me squarely in the hippie/psychedelic era that started with the British invasion, and ended as progressive rock fell to the evil but energetic battalions of disco.  Of course this doesn't imply exclusivity; I enjoy music from many eras.  But the Jeffersons (of the Airplane and Starship persuasions), the Grateful Dead, and the other usual suspects from that area still form a substantial moiety of my listening pleasure.  Imagine, then, my delight when I discovered a "radio station" that plays music exclusively from that era!

Of course it's not a "station" and it's not "radio."  It's an internet stream, as is Pandora.  Unlike Pandora, it doesn't pandor to my individual likes, but rather to those of my taste group.  Also unlike Pandora, it has a much wider selection of music of that particular age.  A random 20-song segment and the psychedelic, or at least continuous-spectrum logo appears a the left.  I, who fancy myself something of an expert in the genre, nonetheless keep discovering "new" bands on this not-station.  I'd never heard of "The Iveys" before discovering The Technicolor Web of Sound, or TWOS as they style themselves.  I think it's likely that you are unfamiliar with as many as five of the performers on that list.

They are heavily "into" the Blues Magoos, the James Gang, The Beatles, the Who, Deep Purple, and many lesser known bands such as the fantastic but almost-ignored H.P. Lovecraft and the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, and they play "cuts" from Love albums other than the stunning Forever Changes.  Notice how easily the ancient jargon flows from my keyboard?

Perhaps you've noticed that my "NP" at the bottom of recent blogitems has been weighted a bit to this genre.  Listening for hours a day as I am doing now, my impression is that they're about 1/3 "standards" that you'll hear on "classic rock" stations, 1/3 music from the bands that brought you those standards but that you've never heard unless you're a big fan, and 1/3 music obscure and occasionally bizarre.  But it's not so bizarre as to be unlistenable.  For example, all the Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention material possesses real melody.  Adding up those 1/3s, you'll assume that there's no advertising.  You're almost right:  The "advertising" that they do have comes from a seemingly inexhaustible archive of old radio ads for products and performances of the proffered musical era.  Old Coca Cola ads share the internet waves with ads for Blues Magoos and Beau Brummels concerts.  I wish!

Their web site is a little rough and I have no idea either how many "customers" they have or how long they will be around.  Their "guestbook" seems to garner about one entry per day and I have no reason to believe that this blog entry will hasten its expansion.  Rough or not, it's a pleasure to listen to, largely because I keep discovering artists who were contemporaneous with the old psychedelic standards and yet are totally ignored or even unknown today.  Skip Bifferty, anyone?  It's very hard for me to criticize a site that has and continues to give me so much listening pleasure.  If I were in charge (and had all those "records") I'd make two tiny changes.  First, I would add the "album" name to the Now Playing list.  I often hear songs by bands for which I thought I knew all the material.  Tell me more!  And I would lose the "Acid Talk" feature, or reduce it to once per day.  This is a voice that interrupts the music every hour or so and sounds like a pompous and stentorian parent of the age inveighing against the perils of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.  Once a day would be less tedious.  Finally, (yes, three tiny changes), I would expand the playlist.  Despite the wonderful variety already present, they play only certain songs from most of the records.  Their editorial judgment is good but not perfect.  There are, amazingly, even more obscure songs from some of these unknown artists worthy of "airplay," which, I continue to emphasize, has nothing to do with air.

I think this blogitem is more rife with quotation marks than any previous.  I'll eschew asterisks even though I'm sure a few are warranted.

A Couple of Follows-Up and An Irresistible News Item

Helium Baloons "While You Wait" sign

Part Of The Problem

Maybe it's our national obsession with instant gratification that's causing the helium shortage.  If we had to order helium balloons in advance instead of being able to get them instantly the problem would be less serious.  We're too efficient.

Nigerian Children claiming not to be witches.

No Word on Whether they Float

'Witch children' beaten and tortured, group says [From CNN 18 May 2009]

Christian Eshiett was a rambunctious pre-teen. He would skip school and run away from home, frustrating his grandfather, who took care of the Nigerian boy. "I beat him severely with canes until they broke, yet he never shed a tear," said Eshiett Nelson Eshiett. "One day, I took a broom to hit him and he started crying. Then I knew he was possessed by demons. ... Nigerian witches are terrified of brooms." From that day, Christian was branded a witch. [Full story, emphasis supplied.]

Mailbox Redux

Maintenance Budget

Maybe the owners of the majestic abode read my blog and were inspired to find a screwdriver.  Or perhaps they needed to recycle the tape.

1990 Corvette ZR1 - FOR SALE

Special Advertising Section

Please buy this lovely blue Corvette ZR1

Now, with Collector's Kit

Currently on eBay, with 4 bids, now at $15,600

Corvette ZR1 1990 Quasar Blue FOR SALE

"Expecting to Fly"
Buffalo Springfield




When we first started manufacturing logging recorders, we used DAT (Digital Audio Tape) for archival storage.  These tapes were initially 1GB, and would typically store a week's worth of data.  DIC, the provider of the T-shirt, also provided one brand of tape that we used and sold.  Not any more.

Now 1GB fits in RAM, and archival storage can be terabytes, or conceivably a lifetime of recordings.

Richard Factor

Yesterday  |  Tomorrow