Podcast 2021.26 One Foot in the Grave

As we enter the season of advent, Reality Sandwich outlines the shamanic origins of Christmas. One type of mushroom, Amanita muscaria, has some interesting similarities to Christmas imagery. In our times mushrooms are “finally having a moment,” according to Lucy Jones in The Guardian, and illustrator Brian Blomerth celebrates the history of mushroom lore in a new book.

In the past couple of episodes of Turn Me On, Dead Man, I’ve mentioned that the use of psychedelics has been a topic of conversation for Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and their son, Jaden Smith. It may or may not have been because of their candid discussion of taking psychedelics, but recently a petition has been circulating online to “stop interviewing Will and Jada Smith“. Writing in Psychedelic Spotlight, Emily Jarvie asks the question, “Celebrities: Are They Helping or Harming the Psychedelic Movement?

A number of states (Florida and California among them), as well as the city of Toronto, are discussing or moving forward with legislation to decriminalize psychedelics. The website MDLinx cites “breaking the psychedelic ceiling” as one of the top medical breakthroughs of 2021. Discussions at the Wonderland psychedelic conference were optimistic that psychedelics are to be the next big development in mental health treatment, and the Australian ABC podcast All in the Mind devoted a recent episode to “Psychedelics for mental illness.” Even though barriers against using psychedelics for treating mental health disorders are still substantial, the market for these drugs could be huge. Some worry, however, that if legal psychedelics are dominated by big pharma, it could enrich large corporations rather than a broader community benefitting from these developments.

The music in this episode ranges from psychfolk to lo-fi garage to experimental psych and concludes with an extended jam by Wizard Beast. One of my standard questions for the artists is “What record changed your life?” I’ve been impressed with the wide range of influences the artists cite, but The Velvet Underground and Nico gets mentioned quite often. Here it takes on new meaning through the lens of “Cold Equations”.

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
00:38 Thee U.F.O. – Putrefied Block
03:46 Pancho and the Wizards – Dog With two Masters
07:02 Meatbodies – Reach For The Sun
13:33 Cheval Sombre – Althea
21:14 The Yellow Blackness – Gift of Illusion
24:37 Constant Smiles – Run To Stay
27:07 Sons of Zoku – Lovers Trance
34:40 Anti-Corn League – Let Me Begin
37:25 Alice Tambourine Lover – Forse Non Sei Tu
41:54 Wizard Beast – Pathways of the Magical Mind part 1

Thee U.F.O. – Putrefied Block [single released November 19, 2021]

Thee U.F.O. has been featured on Turn Me On, Dead Man a couple of times already.
TMODM: What’s the inspiration for “Putrefied Block”?
TheeUFO: If I can remember correctly I pulled the drum beat from the start of John Maus’ song ‘Cop Killer’ and I was listening to Frank Zappa’s ‘Hot Rats’ on repeat at the time, I was really tryna get a similar guitar sound ‘cause I wouldn’t normally use that tone. Those two things really speak for why the song sounds like it does; oh and I got the title from Hunter S. Thompson’s ‘Hells Angel’s’ book.
TMODM: What’s next for you?
TheeUFO: Me and Beth have been recording a new album the past few months which I’m hoping to finish and release early next year. We’re also sorting out some more psychical releases but I can’t say too much about that right now.

Pancho and the Wizards – Dog With two Masters [from Residual, released September 24, 2021]

TMODM: How does the place you live — your city, landscape, music scene — feed into the music you make?
P&TW: We live in San Luis Obispo CA, which is about halfway between LA and SF, so I feel like we take a little influence from the scenes in those major cities and get to play with bands from those places every once in awhile, but we also kinda have our own little scene going on in slo that is a lot smaller.
TMODM: What record changed your life?
P&TW: I have a lot of records that made a big impact on me, however one of my favorites that made an impact on me right when I started to get a band together was the first Fuzz album.
TMODM: What’s next for you?
P&TW: We’ve been performing a lot. Going to take a little break over the holidays and then afterwards start rehearsing new material with hope to do a new album hopefully sometime in the first half of next year :^)

Meatbodies – Reach For The Sun [from 333, released August 03, 2021]
Cheval Sombre – Althea [from Althea, released November 05, 2021]
The Yellow Blackness – Gift of Illusion [from The Yellow Blackness, released November 02, 2021]

The Yellow Blackness is a brand new project by poet/songwriter A.J. Kaufmann and singer/songwriter Michalina Łuzińska.
TMODM: How did the Yellow Blackness come about? When did you start working with Michalina Łuzińska?
YB: I met Michalina in the summer of 2021, when she was looking for a guitar player for her band to help her play a gig in Warsaw. I did that, and later on she visited my home studio to record some tracks as a special guest on the Fairyport Convent material. Around September we realized we have enough material for a whole album of songs with Michalina’s vocals. So, we thought about a name for the new project, and decided to name it after the colors of our hair. We released the album on Swamp Records, which is also the home for Fairyport Convent and recently for my solo material as well. Michalina is a very talented singer, and I hope she will also start writing her own songs soon.
TMODM: Tell me about “Gift of Illusion”. What was the inspiration for it?
YB: I wrote “Gift of Illusion” after listening to some forgotten 60s psych compilation. It had slices of mostly British psych on it. So, I wrote the lyrics inspired by this compilation, and also Hawkwind’s “Mirror of Illusion” was an inspiration. Musically I don’t think it’s very special, it’s just psych rock, with a classic chord progression, but Michalina’s vocals add to the ethereal quality of this number. Michalina doesn’t like this track at all to be honest, it was an experiment for her, because she normally doesn’t perform or even listen to psychedelic music at all.
TMODM: What’s next for you?
YB: I start off 2022 quite busy: there’s the Fairyport Convent CD (with poster) coming to Swamp Records in January, and also my solo album titled “Your Existence is Revolt”, which will be coming to TIBProd. Italy also in January. But even before that, my solo LP called “Fairyport Convent” will be released December 6 2021 with Swamp Records. So, I keep myself really busy with music and poetry. I think 2022 will be a very nice year! Oh, I also have an album of experimental ambient/noise music under my Adam Majdecki-Janicki project, coming to Snow in Water Records early 2022 as well! I remember the great Maurizio Bianchi complimented my 2020 “Eimi” album for this label, so hopefully the new one won’t disappoint as well.

Constant Smiles – Run To Stay [from Paragons, released November 12, 2021]

TMODM: What record changed your life?
-Guided By Voices – Bee Thousands
-Drawing Guts – Zombie Tapes
-Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – House Arrest
TMODM: What’s next for you?
CS: I have a new record that I am trying to wrap up but I am also working on a second one that I also would like to finish soon.

Sons of Zoku – Lovers Trance [from Sun, released December 12, 2021]

Sons of Zoku are from Adelaide, Australia. I corresponded with Jordan but the answers below are from the main man Ricardo.
TMODM: How does the place you live — your city, landscape, music scene — feed into the music you make?
SoZ: Adelaide is an empty canvas in regards of what you feel like doing. I grew up next to the ocean in Portugal and where I live now I can smell the sea breeze on my front door. I feel very connected to the sun and water and the hills are just around the corner. There’s always the perfect scenery for every mood. You could say our music suits this landscape, you can go for long walk with a pair of headphones and allow your mind to wonder. Guess that’s the sound of our music in a way, the sound of someone trying to figure things out, how to be more connected to the moment and nature.
TMODM: What record changed your life?
SoZ: So many but if I had to pick one from the top of my head probably “Grace”- Jeff Buckley.
TMODM: What’s next for you?
Soz: Release new debut album “SÜN”, finish writing 2nd album, have a few laughs and good meals along the way, share it with loved ones and friends, travel, see the world up close…try and embrace any struggles along the way and just write until we die. Maybe reincarnate as a tree (haha)

Anti-Corn League – Let Me Begin [from Ghosts, released November 18, 2021]

TMODM: How does the place you live — your city, landscape, music scene — feed into the music you make?
ACL: Living in Pittsburgh, PA and growing up in the surrounding area there’s always been a really great punk and indie music scene. My friends and I have played in each other’s bands since we were kids because there wasn’t a lot to do living in the lonely old coal mine towns. The loneliness of these areas always made me turn to creating music as a way to have fun with my friends and to explore new ideas.
TMODM: What record changed your life?
ACL: Velvet Underground and Nico because it changed the way I thought about music in terms of fidelity and lyricism. I also enjoyed how melodic their songs could be like with Sunday Morning, to how dissonant and raw they could be with Heroin.
TMODM: What’s next for you?
ACL: Next we plan to play as many shows as possible in 2022 and do a few tours on the east coast and hopefully country wide.

Alice Tambourine Lover – Forse Non Sei Tu [from Forse Non Sei Tu, released October 13, 2021]

TMODM: How does the place you live — your city, landscape, music scene — feed into the music you make?
ATL: We live on the hills around Bologna. While we play our mind travels to unknown lands.
TMODM: What record changed your life?
ATL: Led Zeppelin II, Deja Vu (CSNY) and many others
TMODM: What’s next for you?
ATL: We are working on new songs for the next album.

Wizard Beast – Pathways of the Magical Mind part 1 [from Pathways of the Magical Mind, released August 20, 2021]

TMODM: How does the place you live — your city, landscape, music scene — feed into the music you make?
WB: We are an old group of friends outside of Richmond Va gathering together to make musical journeys through improvisation. We let the group dynamics sculpt the sound into what we call jazz metal.
TMODM: What record changed your life?
WB: We were inspired by And Justice for All by Metallica at an early age.
TMODM: What’s next for you?
WB: We look forward to translating the drudgery of the work week into a magical experience that opens us up to new directions.

One thought on “Podcast 2021.26 One Foot in the Grave

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.