Monday, May 24, 2010
Dance Party Album Review
Back in the early 1970's I had a friend named Mike Evans. He was from Austin but he and his wife, Paula, were living in San Francisco. I met them though my friend Larry Brown, who met Mike when he was going through a psychological evaluation to leave the Coast Guard (one hella long story). We used to go to Mike and Paula's and, er, ingest stuff. Two things always happened while we were at their typical SF apartment: late at night, while things were really spinning, we would watch Creature Features on Channel 2 (and it always seemed to be showing Godzilla VS the Smog Monster) and we would listen to THE album by the Thirteen Floor Elevators and listen to Mike's rant about how they were the greatest band that ever existed. The thing is, I agree: the Thirteen Floor Elevators is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Roky Erickson is one of my heroes, right up there with David Bowie, Andy Partridge, and James Brown. I mean, how can you NOT love a band with a crazy singer/guitarist/harmonica player and a jug player? I'm sorry, you can't. If you don't like the Thirteen Floor Elevators, you don't like psychedelic rock.
Over the years, my love for Roky's music grew. During the Punk/New Wave days he released Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer), which has remained one of my all-time favorite songs.
So the other day I was listening to my favorite radio station in the world, KFJC-FM, when the DJ, Holly Golilghtly, played some Roky. But I'd never heard this rocky before. It was brand new stuff! I was very pleased to learn that Roky had released a new album, entitled True Love Casts Out All Evil. I was also shocked that, instead of singing about demons and zombies and aliens and two-headed dogs in the Kremlin and stuff, he was singing about God! YOW!
So I went to the iTunes and downloaded the album. It is a great album; he has really matured as a song-writer and, it appears, as a human being. Roky took a lot of acid back in the old days and was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, and has also spent time in Mental Hospitals, and much of his music reflects this aspect of his life (I DO like them crazy musicians; sometimes I think Jack White in headed in that direction). But this stuff is really well produced and pleasant. There is the stuff which reminds one of the old Roky, especially John Lawman: "I kill people all day long, I sing my song, 'cuz I'm John, John Lawman!"
The Lovely Mona, who is also a fan, joins me in recommending this album to everyone who loves Roky and some cool music. Padre dice: "Check it out!"
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