psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present

Episode Archives

Episode   Description
Sep 25

Among this week's highlights:

In mid-00s Seattle, just before Amazon rid the city of what little culture remained, there was an enigmatic sound artist named Dialing In, who released a few rather intriguing albums (including one I've played on the show) and then promptly vanished. Her music was reminiscent of Muslimgauze, but even gauzier, with looped samples - often of Middle Eastern origin - buried under mountains of fuzz. Now, roughly a decade later, she's re-emerged with a new album on Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, recorded in collaboration with label head Campbell Kneale. Her sound remains the same, here stretched into two noisy, repetitive side-long drones. And this being C.P.P., known for its fanciful packaging (I have a few of their CD-R releases, issued in wallpaper-patterned, printed cardboard sleeves), the album comes on a hot-pink cassette featuring a paisley print. Were I not averse to tapes (they degrade to the point of being unlistenable with alarming speed... trust me, I came of age with them in the 80s and 90s) I might consider ponying up to have one mailed to me from The Hobbit Isles.

I've never understood musical purists, perhaps least of all those preoccupied with deciding what is - or, far more often, to their thinking, isn't - jazz. Leaving aside the fact that jazz itself is an amalgam of several other genres (which you'd think would render any discussion of its purity moot), it's so inherently anarchic that I fail to see how it's tainted by the inclusion of - for instance - elements of rock or electronic music. British jazz label On The Corner (named for perhaps the most radical of Miles Davis's fusion-period albums) shares my attitude, demonstrated by a new two-disc compilation featuring a host of their most out-there artists. Appropriately, I've selected what I consider the most spaced-out of the lot: the (actually pretty traditional) bleepy-bloopy fusion jazz of Edrix Puzzle, the hypnotic minimalism of Petwo Evans, and the Andean folk-fusion of Peru's Dengue Dengue Dengue.

It's become somewhat trite at this point for American non-believers to aver, after touring a European cathedral or two, that were our houses of worship as impressive, they might be inspired to attend services. While I do concur somewhat with this sentiment, what would move me to show up for mass, more so than a flying buttress or towering pane of stained glass, is a bone-rattling organ of the sort played by Anna Von Hauswolff on her stunning new record All Thoughts Fly. Sitting at a Swedish replica of the Arp Schnitzer, the world's largest organ tuned in Quarter-comma Meantone temperament (whatever that means... I'm just quoting from the press material here) she unleashes moody, Philip Glass-ian arpeggios reminiscent of the score to Koyaanisqatsi. And while you'd think a collection of songs performed with a single instrument would blur together into an undifferentiated whole, the creativity of her songwriting averts this. A strong candidate for one of my albums of the year, for sure.

Plus, the electro-shoegaze of MJ Guilder, a noisy freakout by the aptly named Sly and the Family Drone, the otherworldly ocarinas of Oliver Leith, and the retro-synth ambience of Jonathan Fitoussi (from another album of the year candidate).

Go To Episode 202 Playlist
Sep 18

NOTE: The station's equipment ate this week's show, so I'm afraid it's Spotify-only. All the rock, none of the talk.

Among this week's highlights:

I've speculated before about what Julian Cope's follow-up to Krautrocksampler and Japrocksampler might be: Swederocksampler or Italorocksampler are my educated guesses. But an overview of Germany's and/or Japan's psychedelic/avant-garde scenes of the 80s/90s (which are now as far in the past as the 60s/70s were when the original "sampler" books were written) might be in order. Even if that era didn't produce another CAN or Flower Travelin Band, it was still rather fecund, creatively speaking. This is made evident in the catalogs of Bureau-B and Black Editions, which document, respectively, the latter day Krautrock and Japanrock scenes. In the opening set we hear samples from two new releases by Black Editions, both short-lived side projects of Acid Mothers overlord Kawabata Makoto originally released in 1995: the distorted free-rock experimentation of Musica Transonic and the lo-fi, folk-influenced, avant-garde weirdness of Toho Sara. Each retains the scuzzy, lo-fi freakiness of the hippie era, despite being recorded in the midst of Japan's glitzy, digital-age boom years.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith (originally from Orcas Island, which every summer quarantines bored middle-school-aged kids from mainland western Washington in its many sleepaway camps) is responsible for two of my favorite albums of the year: her own, and the new compilation Breathing Instruments, out on her Touch The Plants label. Since the press material for the album is particularly well-written, I'll let it explain: "The directive for the composers featured on Breathing Instruments was, in effect, to accentuate the ways in which instruments sound like they are breathing. Some have recreated the literal experience of feeling or hearing the human breath. Others take a more abstract approach, where 'breathing' is more motif than object of emulation." I play three tracks: an 80s-Japanese-ambient-influenced number by Fools; some classically new age-y ambience by Constant Shapes; and the Kosmische-y pop ambience of Bana Haffar.

An interesting development in the ongoing 4th World revival has been its hybridization with other genres, particularly Kosmische. In fact, the two go so well together it kind of amazes me that there wasn't really anyone blending the two in the early 80s, when both of them were originally in vogue. One of the knocks against Kosmische is that it's a bit homogenous, texturally, a problem solved by incorporating the field recordings, hand drums, indigenous instruments, and other earthy, wholly analog elements of 4th World. The Russian synth wizard X.Y.R. is one of the artists in the vanguard of... 4th-smische? Kos-world?... and has recently given us a new EP, from which I play a track that sounds like a relaxing trip down a tropical river on a boat with someone who fortuitously brought along a portable modular synth.

Plus, a head (sleepily) nodding new single by dronelords Carlton Melton; the Iranian dark ambience of Siavash Amini; the avant-electronic meandering of Lucrecia Dalt; and recently reissued by Superior Viaduct, the French Kosmische one-off Fluence, featuring Richard Pinhas.

Go To Episode 201 Playlist
Sep 4

Among this week's highlights:

As their lineup is sax/bass/drums, the obvious and at least somewhat apt comparison to OZO is Morphine. But, like, Morphine on acid. In fact, "Morphine On Acid" would actually make for a better name than OZO, I dare say. Nothing wrong with OZO, but it just makes me think... "so what happened with Matli? Things go south?" But maybe "Morphine On Acid" is just a little too clever, since you'd always have to be explaining "well, it's a play on the lazy music critic construction of 'band' on 'some drug' as a description. And there's another level to it, in that morphine is itself a drug..." I used to be in a band named after a Ride song (not my idea) and even having to go over the rather simple reasoning behind that decision got tiresome really fast.

There's a moment in the song Cosmic Allison, by Portland indie darlings Hazel (from their 1993 album Toreador of Love, which I had on cassette - not dubbed, but actually purchased new (yeah, they still sold albums on cassette that far into the CD era) - in high school) in which singer Pete Krebs mentions, as a very "meta" aside, "I've always hated that word, 'cosmic'". That's to what a degree hippies and new agers had ruined the word "cosmic": indie rockers, who retained a lot of the anti-hippie sentiment of their punk forebears, felt the need to add disclaimers to its use in a song. It's why I suspect "kosmische" music never became "cosmic" music when it reached English-speaking countries (well, that and almost everything sounds more badass in German: what's scarier, a "poltergeist" or a "playful ghost"? What's more menacing, a "blitzkrieg" or a "lightning war". You get the idea.) Anyhow, Portals: A Kosmische Journey through Outer Worlds and Inner Space - from which I play three tracks, by Polypores, Steve Roach, and Nigel Mullaney - gives you just what its wordy title describes.

Maybe someday I'll figure out how to appreciate the spaces between the notes or whatever it is that's necessary to "get" regular old, non-freaky jazz. But until then, I'll stick with listening to free jazz weirdos like François Tusques, whose La Chasse Au Snark (or "The Hunting of the Snark", a nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll that gave us the overused 00s-era word "snark" (it was the "gaslight" of its day)) was recently reissued by Finders Keepers. The track I play, Sa Triste Histoire Il S'Offrit à Dire ("His Sad Story He Offers To Tell") should appeal to fans of the raw, minimalist, extremely early version of Steve Reich's Drumming which was unearthed by Superior Viaduct a few years back.

Plus, the psychedelicized late-80s industrial sound of Deafkids & Petbrick; the goofily named (though since they're from a non-English-speaking country I give them a pass) Sex Blender, with a motorik epic; Spanish 4th World pioneer Suso Saiz collaborates with Dutch producer Suzanne Kraft; and Zoviet France co-founder Robin Storey's solo ethno-ambient project Rapoon has one of its best albums reissued.

Go To Episode 200 Playlist
Aug 28

Among this week's highlights:

I haven't been to San Diego in a number of years, so this might have changed, but it seemed to me a city stuck - in the best possible way - in the 70s. The fact that the centerpiece of UC San Diego is the Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel Library, a brutalist masterpiece which looks like a locale from a 1970s dystopian sci-fi film is testament enough to this fact. Look anywhere, however, and you'll find the city has never totally shed the 101 shades of brown, all-lowercase logo, pop-psychedelic aesthetic of that era (and which contrasts directly with its northern neighbor, L.A., which seems similarly trapped in the neon glare of the 80s). Appropriately, its music scene is one of the last redoubts of 70s-era psychedelic RAWK, which is reflected in the San Diego Sessions, by the Ellis/Munk Ensemble. The album pairs El Paraiso label head Jonas Munk with Brian Ellis (of Astra and various other bands) and a who's who of local musicians, for an album of Mahavishnu Orchestra-ish psych-prog (sorry, but it's not quite Bitches Brew, despite the comparisons of the press kit).

This is all-but forgotten now, but there was in the 90s something of a remnant of the reactionary anti-disco sentiment of the early 80s, which, since disco had in the intervening years morphed into "electronica" (as it was known then), was directed at that genre. In particular, I remember a proliferation of buttons and bumper stickers taking aim at drum machines, as though they were threatening to entirely usurp human drummers. God knows how many Ford Econolines (the official touring van of that era) I saw with a "Death to Drum Machines" decal wedged between a K Records shield and a Matador pennant. Anyhow, I don't have any compelling reason for bringing up this little footnote from the recent history of popular music other than I'm reminded of it whenever I encounter an electronic artist who eschews drum machines in favor of real drums, as is the case with Russia's Coral Club.

Why does Europe get all the good psychedelic/avant-garde festivals? There's no lack of music festivals in the U.S. (well, in non-pandemic years, anyhow), but the majority are devoted to either a blend of pop music and whatever passes for indie rock these days or blues (every U.S. city with a population of at least 50,000 is required by federal law to have an annual blues festival, so that their resident Baby Boomers have at least one concert a year they feel comfortable attending). I'd kill for something like the U.K.'s Tusk Festival, so that I could see performances like that of Konstrukt & Otomo Yoshihide's, an epic free fusion-jazz freakout that, like the Ellis/Munk Ensemble, evokes the psychedelic tail-end of jazz's post-war heyday.

Plus, White Manna's latest, ARC, is probably their best (and Krautiest) album to date; Anthroprophh take us on a neo-garagey toilet circuit (whatever that is); Vestals makes lovely avant-pop; and the ridiculously prolific Bill Laswell has an album from his 90s ethno-ambient period reissued.

Go To Episode 199 Playlist
Aug 14

As long-time listeners to this show know, I very rarely play "the hits", i.e. songs by psychedelic or psychedelic-leaning bands that get mainstream radio airplay (e.g. Zep, Sabbath). But it isn't that I don't like or listen to that stuff. It's just that I don't want to use up any of my precious airtime on music you could hear nearly anywhere else when I could be playing field recordings of repetitive, ritual chanting, say. However, just this once (though it might become a periodic feature, like my all-vinyl shows - which this also is, by the way) I'm breaking from the norm, and giving you jerks a set full of "melody" and "hooks" and the like.

A few notes:

Black Sabbath - Hole in the Sky: I've made the comment before, regarding the Brown Acid series, that it documents what happened to Nuggets-era bands in the 70s, when they replaced whimsy with sleaze. You can see this phenomenon in other 60s-era bands, too, including Sabbath, who slowly shed their initial pagan, ritualistic dark magic affectations and replaced them with references to drugged-out, disco-era hedonism (starting around Vol. 4 - see "Snowblind" for a particularly overt example). By Sabotage (their last great album), Ozzy was on the cusp of his "snort a line of ants" phase of drug use, and the band had locked into the fuzzed-out, heavy-lidded groove that would come to define the phrase "stoner metal." And while the highlight of the albums is probably the decade-before-its-time ripper "Symptom of the Universe," my personal favorite is "Hole in the Sky," which just oozes Me Decade decadence. I can almost taste a Harvey Wallbanger and feel shag carpeting beneath my feet while listening to it.

David Crosby - Cowboy Movie: Despite appearing on dozens of albums during the 60s and 70s, David Crosby only released one solo record during that period, 1971's If I Could Only Remember My Name (which he wouldn't follow up until 1989). It's a fascinating album, full of nearly Eno-ian sound sketches (including the haunting closer, I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here, an a capella number that prefigures Grouper, Lichens, and other vocal-centric avant-garde acts) and intimate, delicately-textured folk elegies. Probably the only proper rock tune to be found is Cowboy Movie, the best Neil Young song not written by Neil Young (who appears elsewhere on the album).

Graham Central Station - Earthquake: Graham Central Station are known mostly for their slap-bass heavy (Larry Graham being a pioneer of the style) dancefloor-ready funk, so I have no idea what inspired this feedback-drenched psychedelic monster. Perhaps it was meant by Graham as a shot across the bow of contemporaries George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, to remind them that, as a former member of Sly & The Family Stone (whose There's A Riot Going On is one of the druggiest albums of the era), he would take a backseat to no one, when it came to spaced-out burners.

Go To Bonus Playlist
Aug 21

Among the highlights of this week's show:

As someone who came of age in that decade, I think I can state fairly assuredly that there is something ineffably 90s about Brent, the latest album from Saskatoon, Canada's only band (I mean, I'd assume), The Switching Yard. It's not just the cover art, either, a blurry photo (a staple of 90s indie records) decorated with an MS Paint signature/doodle. I think it's the sort of "end of history" survey of styles so common at that time: a little garage rock, a little space rock, a little shoegaze. There are even a few "skits," (one of which cleverly mashes up Cheech and Chong's "Dave" routine with 2001: A Space Odyssey) which were more a 90s hip-hop thing, but whatever.

Hibiscus, the second album by J. Zunz (aka Lorena Quintanilla of Mexican psych duo Lorelle Meets The Obsolete) which, if I didn't know better, could easily believe was a lost avant-garde minimal-wave album from the early 80s. But not the mechanical, herky-jerky synth-punk exemplified by Bureau B's Sowas Von Egal series. More the dubbed-out, space-y meanderings of Pop Group/Slits supergroup New Age Steppers.

Three sleepy-eyed titans of ambience - Laraaji, Ariel Kalma, and Bill Callahan - join with Texas ASMR-core trio Dallas Acid for the first single from a collaborative album they're calling The Bubble Club, Vol. 1. There are a few other notables from the ambient/avant-garde world involved (including members of the Pixies and Gang Gang Dance) and all proceeds from its sale (you name your price on their Bandcamp page) go to charity. It's our era's answer to the Concert for Bangladesh, I guess.

Plus, the potentially Star Wars-referencing Spaceslug with some proggy stoner metal, the sitar-rock of New Zealand's Lamp of the Universe, the Kraut-y strangeness of Spiral Galaxy, and the MIDI-fied minimalism of Montreal's Markus Floats.

Go To Episode 198 Playlist
Aug 7

If you've listened to this show long enough, you probably have heard me reference "long psychedelic jams" which is something of an in-joke between myself and (periodic show guest) my brother regarding my taste in music. Well, British Hawkwind acolytes Psychic Lemon have recently released not one, but two volumes of long psychedelic (studio) jams, a track from which leads the show. We also get sunglasses rockers Nest Egg with a song named for Northwest legend D.B. Cooper (who, as I mention on the show, I believe was eaten by another Northwest legend, Sasquatch), yet another recently-unearthed album by Buchla synthesizer maestro Suzanne Ciani, and an extended piece of avant-electronic drone from Conrad Schnitzler's reissued late-70s masterpiece, CON.

Go To Episode 197 Playlist
Jul 31

Opening the show is Black Helium, with some rather heavy (ironic, given that they're named for a lighter-than-air element) psych-metal, followed a little later by a new single by the great John Carpenter (is there a better time to watch his "apocalypse trilogy": The Thing, Prince of Darkness, and In The Mouth of Madness?), a song that... has nothing to do with any of his cinematic endeavors, the first such in four years. There's also a bevy of great ambient tunes this episode as well, including the field-recording-augmented drones of Kenya's KMRU, the 4th-Worldian pop-ambient of Shackleton & Wacław Zimpel, the neo-kosmische of Autotelia, and the ultra-lo-fi buzz of Ashtray Navigations (from a retrospective of their twenty-seven year(!) career spanning four discs, each individually curated by a "celebrity" fan of the band, including Henry Rollins(?!))

Go To Episode 196 Playlist
Jul 24

This week's opening set includes long-running 70s-horror-soundtrack-inspired duo Zombi (the length of time they've existed (~20 years) is now equal to the span between the era whose sound they've strived to recreate and their founding (ca. 2000)... a fact that makes me feel rather old), Portland doom-metallers LáGoon, and three tracks from the most recent installment of the Brown Acid series, which documents the 70s aftermath of the Nuggets era, in which garage bands replaced whimsy with sleaze. There's also the country concrète of Daniel Bachman (from a release of archival material), the lovely guitar drone of Bhajan Boy (on a track featuring the Pacific Northwest's own Prana Crafter) and the lo-fi Kraut-funk of Taiwan's Mong Tong.

Go To Episode 195 Playlist
Jul 10

This is somewhat a "lost" episode in that something happened to the HoS recording (it just disappeared about a week after I recorded it) though it lives on, without my commentary, on Spotify. The opening set is bookended by a pair of singles: one a nineteen-minute-long (eat your heart out Iron Butterfly) Euro-prog epic by France's Cannibale, and the other a 4:20 (duuude!) neo-garage gem by L.A.'s Frankie and the Witch Fingers, which exhibits the Afrobeat influence first demonstrated on last year's ZAM. But the heart of the show is the middle set, which I give over entirely to the music of the late, great Ennio Morricone, who passed away the week the show aired. This includes some deep cuts from the excellent, Alan Bishop-curated compilation Crime and Dissonance, as well as a track from my own vinyl copy of the soundtrack to The Thing (not on Spotify, sadly).

Go To Episode 194 Playlist
Jun 26

The show starts with a motorik synth-blast by Mexico's Par Ásito, followed by another band (a la Hibiscus Biscuit) with a ridiculously twee name - Marmalade Knives - making 70s-ish psych-prog, the Annette Peacock-inspired, jazzy art-rock of Brigid Dawson and The Mothers Network, and the frenetic afrobeat of Australia's Bananagun. Then, later on in the show, we get three tracks from a compilation released by National Geographic (who actually have put out music, off and on, since the early 70s) consisting of field recordings of bats (specifically of the sound waves they generate for purposes of echolocation) manipulated by all your favorite young avant-garde composers, including Christina Vantzou, John Also Bennett, and Noveller.

Go To Episode 193 Playlist
Jun 19

Leading off the show are the twee-fully named Hibiscus Biscuit (which sounds like a late-90s Belle & Sebastian side project) with some organ-driven early-70s-ish psych-prog, followed by the similarly fancifully named Aunt Cynthia's Cabin with some Witchcraft-ian early-Sabbath worship. Later on is one of the Spacemen 3, Sonic Boom, with a track from his first album in thirty years(!) Then, in the final set, we have some pandemic-inspired music (of which there will be much, I'm certain), a lengthy piece of ambience, from Carmen Villain.

Go To Episode 192 Playlist
Jun 12

Among the highlights of the obligatory, opening rock and/or roll set (you'll have to pry rock from my cold, dead stereo - I'm like Bruce McCulloch in this, one of my all-time favorite KITH sketches) are Norway's Undergrünnen, with a psychedelic, Scandinavian take on afrobeat, and Mexico's Linda Guilala, with some saccharine-sweet shoegaze. A little later, we hear an excerpt from a 40-minute-long EP by Grand Veymont, which, if you can get past the fact that it sounds EXACTLY like early Stereolab, is actually some pretty great Harmonia-ish neo-Krautrock. Also appearing are Uganda's Nihiloxica, a band comprised of four percussionists and two synth players, which I guess makes them bleepy-bloopy...bangy?

Go To Episode 191 Playlist
Jun 5

This show begins with a song from Mos/Fet, the French band Orgöne's hour-plus opus of prog-metal (but not contemporary prog-metal a la Tool or System of a Down; more like freaky 70s prog - Magma, specifically - gone metal). Plus, you have Portland's own Moon Duo, doing their early-90s trip-hoppy version of Black Sabbath's Planet Caravan, from an album of Sabbath covers forthcoming on Sacred Bones (although the greatest Sabbath cover ever remains 1000 Homo DJs version of Supernaut). And there's a track from the recently reissued Colossus, by the 70s Australian avant-garde electronic group Cybotron (not to be confused with the Detroit techno Cybotron, who though I've never played them on the show - too dance-y, I'm afraid - are actually pretty spaced out in their own right)

Go To Episode 190 Playlist
May 29

This episode features not one but two Sun City Girls-adjacent projects: the mysterious Ak'chamel, The Giver of Illness, which I don't think actually involves either of the brothers Bishop, but may as well because it basically sounds like Torch of the Mystics-era SCG; and Dwarfs of East Agouza, who include Alan Bishop as a member, and whose new Middle Eastern-inflected, free jazz/avant-garde freakout The Green Dogs of Dahshur is another of my album of the year candidates. There's also the recently reissued Technodrome, by Motohiko Hamase, which is an approximation of the album Jaco Pastorius never lived to make with Jon Hassell in the early 90s.

Go To Episode 189 Playlist
May 22

I hate to get all early-00s Vice Magazine when it comes to record reviews, but I think Banshee's Livin' In The Jungle merits a FUCK DUDE THIS RIPS. A sweaty, funky, heavily psychedelic synthesis of pretty much everything great about 70s rock and a strong album of the year candidate for sure. There's also a fairly solid new single from Kikagaku Moyo, and Portland's own Golden Retriever teams up with avant-folk guitarist Chuck Johnson for some electro-acoustic ambient bliss.

Go To Episode 188 Playlist
May 15

Among the highlights of this week's show:

I've said before on the show that if I'm torn about what song to play off of a given album, and one of them has a motorik beat, that'll be the one I pick, more often than not. This decision-making process is undone, however, by the self-titled debut of Mexican band Sei Still, on which EVERY track has a motorik backing. I actually had a difficult time selecting a favorite, as their decision to use the same rhythm (more or less) for every composition, rather than rendering their sound one-note (or one-beat, as it were), appears to have sparked their creativity. When you can't rely on tempo as a way of distinguishing your songs (and I can't tell you how many mediocre bands I've played in where this would happen: "hey, that song sounds just like one of our other songs... maybe if we just sped it up a bit...") it forces you to diversify other elements of your sound: melody, texture, mood, etc. They aren't exactly NEU!, but they are among the better pretenders to Dinger and Rother's syncopated Teutonic throne.

A few weeks ago, I watched for the first time the documentary Junun, by Paul Thomas Anderson, about the Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur and Radioheaded guitar dude Jonny Greenwood traveling to India to record an album with a bunch of traditional Rajasthani musicians. I'd definitely recommend it, as - like any good music doc should be - it's light on talk, heavy on rock (or, Indian and Middle-Eastern influenced, rock-adjacent world music, as it were) and shows off the rather impressive chops of everyone involved (as a Radiohead-disliker (hate is maybe too strong a word) I also chuckled at the eye-rolling from the Indian band members at Greenwood's contributions, which largely consisted of farty, distorted beats produced on his laptop). Why do I bring this up? Because Portuguese band HHY & The Macumbas have an oddly similar - if a bit more minimalist - sound, involving multiple percussionists, a horn section, and a clear affinity for the sounds of the Near East. They're almost a non-NPR-friendly version of the ensemble assembled for Junun, in fact.

Speaking of music documentaries, if you've ever seen I Dream of Wires, about the history of modular synthesizers, you're likely aware of the rivalry between Moog and Buchla, which came to something of a head in the late sixties, with the release of Switched-On Bach, performed on the Moog by Wendy Carlos (credited to Walter Carlos) and Silver Apples of The Moon, performed on the Buchla by Morton Subotnick. As the pro-Buchla talking heads of the film note, the former album consists solely of classical compositions reproduced electronically, while the latter is a wildly creative, avant-garde freakout. But, despite - or quite likely owing to - its near-complete lack of originality, Switched-On Bach was exponentially more successful (to this day I see copies of it and its numerous sequels in thrift stores) and was chief among the reasons Moog wound up crushing Buchla commercially. Anyhow, Subotnick's early-electronic masterpiece was given the deluxe vinyl reissue treatment a couple of years ago for its 50th anniversary, and now it's been re-reissued, for all the bleep-bloop-heads out there.

Plus, the sunglasses rock of the unfortunately named Alien Mustangs, the percussion-heavy psychedelic folk of Mamiffer, the recently reissued, Brian Eno-produced, psych-funk-tinged highlife of Edikanfo (an album I found in a thrift store - in Wisconsin of all places - on a cross-country road trip ages ago) and the abstract electronics of Echium, a self-described "archipelago of interlinked microcosmos", whatever that's supposed to mean.

Go To Episode 187 Playlist
May 8

Among the highlights of this week's show:

Apparently, the musical inclinations of U.K. psych/avant-garde stalwarts Gnod rubbed off onto Dutch space rockers Radar Men From The Moon during their recent collaboration (as Temple OV BBV), since they've subsequently adopted a similar 80s proto-industrial sound, a la early Swans, Cop Shoot Cop, or Caspar Brötzmann Massaker (who just had another of their albums reissued by Southern Lord, a track off of which I play in this episode). I never really dug this sort of stuff when I was younger - a little too screamy and harsh for my taste. But, as many of the bands, such as RMFTM, involved in its revivification are psychedelically-inclined, they tend to smooth over the more jagged edges that kept me away before.

Just in time for summer, the return of Swiss group L'Éclair and their psychedelic, retro jazz-funk stylings. The yacht-rock revival was somewhat lost on me, but not because I don't enjoy music that evokes late-70s, post-hippie decadence. I just prefer to imagine myself strolling down a garbage-strewn New York City street on a muggy, mid-summer evening en route to a disco than lolling on the deck of a pleasure craft, sipping on a Harvey Wallbanger or a Tequila Sunrise or some other noxious, Carter-era cocktail.

Drawn from an album meant to accompany an exhibition of art by the late Moki Cherry (wife of Don Cherry, and mother of Neneh and Eagle-Eye Cherry), a track of glistening, minimalistic, avant-garde drone by composer Maxwell Sterling. Embedded within it are samples of Don Cherry discussing his youth in Watts, Los Angeles, and his early interest in "primitive," hand-made instruments (which would of course be reflected in his music, on albums like Brown Rice or in the Organic Music Society project)

Plus, the spaced-out, Turkish-folk-influenced, synth-heavy drone of Anadol, the very-late-period Kosmische of Lapre, the twee, retro-synth song-sketches of Green-House, and the reissue of Jan Jelinek's second-best album (the best being Kosmischer Pitch).

Go To Episode 186 Playlist
May 1

Special All-Vinyl Mix Show

Once, in the Before Time, I used to periodically DJ at bars around town. This is an attempt to recreate one of these sets, both for the enjoyment of those trapped at home by the pandemic, and as an audition tape, of sorts, for when (if?) we return to "normal."


Spacemen 3 - Losing Touch With My Mind: My favorite song from what is perhaps the most literally-titled album of all time, "Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To." Six minutes of the Spacemen at their best, churning out variations on a theme, centered around Pete Bain's chugging bass.

The Jimmy Castor Bunch - L.T.D. (Life, Truth & Death): Taken from their most successful album, It's Just Begun, which I found sealed(!) in a thrift store when I was in college. Jimmy Castor is best known for his novelty songs (e.g. The Bertha Butt Boogie, King Kong), but he turned out some pretty legitimate jams as well, including It's Just Begun's title track (a staple of early hip-hop DJ's sets), and this number, a Latin-inflected, psychedelic burner.

Muddy Waters - She's All Right: I am convinced that if you figured out a way to remove Muddy Waters' voice and dub in Damo Suzuki's, you could convince the less-musically-aware that this is a lost CAN track. Neither the snaky, noodling guitar, the minimalist bass, nor the thumping, caveman-style drums would've sounded out of place on an outtake from Ege Bamyasi, say. Also, if someone can offer an explanation as to why the band plays a few bars of "My Girl" during the coda, I'd love to hear it.

Go To Episode 185 Playlist
Apr 24

Among the highlights of this week's show:

The pulsating, chanting outro (which I have chosen to use as an intro) to the most recent album by neo-Krautrock outfit Die Wilde Jagd, which is one of those Built To Spill/NIN/Smashing Pumpkins-type bands where it's technically just the work of one dude.

Some more Kraut-ish type rock (it reminds me more of Krauty Swedes Harvester than any German Krautrock band) from Michiganders (one of my favorite state demonyms) Dire Wolves.

That VU/JAMC/BRMC-ish sunglasses rock that I can never say no to, from Germans Pretty Lightning. It has a distinct Southern-rock twang to it, however, that makes it sound a bit like Cosmo's Factory played at 16 rpm.

Plus, the latest from seminal dronesmiths Windy & Carl, more world music-influenced guitar picking from Portland's own Sir Richard Bishop, and the dark, new-wavey shoegaze of This Is Nowhere (who everybody knows, at least according to Neil Young).

Go To Episode 184 Playlist
Apr 17

Special All-Vinyl, All-Drone 4/20 observed show

As has been the case the past few years, I'm observing 4/20 (the closest thing we have to a national psychedelic holiday) with an episode dedicated entirely to longform droooooooooooooones, played exclusively from vinyl.

The highlight for me this year is the Ramayana Monkey Chant, which I've been dying to play for years, but that I didn't want to inflict on any of my less-adventurous listeners (I alluded to this on air, but I didn't want the station to get besieged with complaints the way WFMU did when they played Ritual Mouth Organs of the Murung, another notoriously challenging field recording) I try to save the truly far-out stuff for this particular episode, and it doesn't get much freakier than twenty-plus minutes of repetitious chanting. Those interested in either a preview, or a visual accompaniment, should check out this clip from the (must-watch) film Baraka (which I got to see in glorious 70mm in January, during the last months of the Before Time, at the Hollywood Theatre here in Portland)

Plus, an excerpt from a very early performance of Steve Reich's seminal percussion piece Drumming, the obscure protest fusion-jazz album Love Cry Want (performed in a park across from the Nixon White House - I fully support any attempt to do something similar for the benefit of that building's current occupant) and drone episode (and Space Program) mainstay, Expo 70.

Go To Episode 183 Playlist
Apr 10

Among the highlights of this week’s show:

A new single from the band Maserati who... I think (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here) draw quite a bit of inspiration from late-90s/early-00s post-rock/electro-revival trio Trans Am. They have the same latter-day, circa-80s Krautrock (e.g. Zero Set, Neu! 86), sound, with the same veneer of 80s hard rock cheese, and even share their name with a car strongly associated with that decade (although Maseratis were more of a yuppie car, while Trans Ams were sort of the working man's Corvette).

The recently-reissued Population II (don't bother looking for a Population I, by the way. The title is a reference to the number of musicians involved) by early-70s hard-rock iconoclast Randy Holden. When I first seriously started getting into psychedelic music in college, this was one of those out-of-print, whispered-over holy grails ("yeah man, it's this guy who got kicked out of Blue Cheer for - get this - bein' too fuckin' loud!") that didn't quite live up the hype when I finally heard it, but that's still a worthwhile listen for any true head.

A really lovely, longform avant-garde piece by Felicia Atkinson, featuring a bit of low-end rumble by Sunn O))) dude Stephen O'Malley. I think I described it on air, jokingly, as being "for fans of ASMR" and then came to find out that Felicia Atkinson is now referring to herself as an "ASMR auteur." There's got to be a compound German word for joking about something and then finding out it's true, like jokenundfindenaufdasistreal, or something.

Plus, new psychedelic punk by Flat Worms, a reissue of doom metal supergroup Shrinebuilder's (including members of The Melvins, Sleep/Om, and Neurosis) sole album, and some jazz-inflected French avant-garde by NWW collaborator Jac Berrocal.

Go To Episode 182 Playlist
Apr 3

Among the highlights of this week’s show:

The latest - salvo, fusillade, blast… choose your favorite eruptive metaphor since metal albums are always likened to explosions in the music press - from the UK’s Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. They’re the rare contemporary psychedelic metal band that doesn’t sound like they take the majority of their cues from either Sabbath, Sleep/Om, or (increasingly) Tool. But, if I can use Sabbath, the band that created a genre template perhaps more defining than any other, as comparison, I’d say that if Uncle Acid is Volume 4 then Pigsx7 are Sabotage: a bit rawer, a bit more adventurous.

An album that isn’t a new release, or even a reissue, but rather just one I’ve been listening to a lot lately that I’ve never played on the show before: the late, great Tony Conrad’s 2012 team-up with Canadian avant-garde duo Hangedup. It’s the same Kraut-y, psychedelic drone as found on Outside The Dream Syndicate, his 1973 album with Faust, but in a slightly more discrete form.

More spaced-out, minimalist avant-jazz from Australia’s The Necks. I don’t know if live music is going to exist after the pandemic, but if it does, I’d like to see a combined tour by The Heads, The Necks, and The Body. The Complete Anatomy Experience, they can call it.

Plus, a new, more synthified Sun Araw, the avant-metal of Spotlights, and the drowned-in-German Oak-levels-of-echo sunglasses rock of Davi Rodriguez de Lima.

Go To Episode 181 Playlist
Mar 27

Among the highlights of this week’s show:

An absolutely incredible, nearly twenty-minute long dirge by Sweden’s Kungens Män that sounds like Hawkwind if, after they had kicked out Lemmy for doing a little too much speed for their taste (there’s a great clip from the BBC Hawkwind documentary in which he says something like “I didn’t get kicked out for doing drugs. I got kicked out for doing the wrong drugs.”), they had brought in someone equally as dependent on quaaludes. Space rock at a glacial pace.

Ariel Kalma, one of my favorite avant-garde artists, teams up with Australian weirdo Gilbert Cohen to make some… 4th World IDM, is the best way I can think to describe it, I guess. It’s also quite 90s-sounding (I can easily imagine an early Friends episode in which we see Phoebe meditating in her room with this on in the background) which will either diminish or enhance your enjoyment of it, depending on how you feel about that decade (as listeners know, I am not a fan).

A track from Jon Hassell’s recently reissued debut album, Vernal Equinox, which bears more resemblance to the quieter moments on Don Cherry’s Brown Rice than to his later, slightly busier 4th World work. This minimalism, combined with ample use of reverb, gives its music a psychedelic tenor not nearly as pronounced in his subsequent material.

Plus, the Swiss, Krauty post-punk of Massicot, the electro-acoustic doom of Helen Money, and the Neil Young-ian Chris Forsyth teams up with the Grateful Dead-ian Garcia Peoples for an album of avant-freedom rock!

Go To Episode 180 Playlist
Mar 13

Among the highlights of this week’s show:

A brand new, orchestrally-accented, ten-minute-long “single” from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, providing a sample of her forthcoming album. To my relief, her minimalist Buchla stylings don’t get lost amidst the additional instrumentation (including a small choir). Reminiscent of Alice Coltrane’s later work, on which the synthesizer was her primary instrument, and she was backed chorally by members of the ashram at which she served as Swamini.

An incredible seven minute staccato guitar workout by Horse Lords, an avant-garde-leaning post-rock group from Baltimore. This is what Tortoise might’ve sounded like if they had completely set aside their pop sensibilities. There’s the same jazzy, rhythm-centric, world-influenced sensibility, but screwed down as tight as the bolts on a NASA rocket. One of my favorite albums so far this year.

The psychedelic afrobeat of Minneapolis’s Black Market Brass. We hear a ten minute long, two-part piece, nearly prog-like in its complexity, that sounds a bit like Fela Kuti and one of his various combos taking on Steve Reich’s Drumming.

There’s also the instrumental, Ash Ra-ish synth-folk of Tucson’s Trees Speak, some spiritual avant-jazz by Shabaka and the Ancestors, and just in time for the pandemic, a track from Gil Melle’s early electronic score to 1971’s The Andromeda Strain.

Go To Episode 179 Playlist
Mar 6

Opening this week's show is some blown-out, Hawkwindian space rock courtesy of Sweden's Yuri Gagarin (named, of course, for the first human to manage to get the hell off this rock... although he foolishly chose to return), with a track named "Oneironaut", a word that means "one who travels through dreams" (and which I've never encountered before, despite doing the NYT Crossword, that font of arcane vocabulary, every day for the past fifteen years). After this is the Uncle Acid/Witchcraft-esque Sabbath worship of Hazemaze, the retro-modern Europrog of Italy's Giöbia, and the avant-garage of Portland's own Lavender Flu. Then, wrapping up the set are Islet, whose spaced-out art rock I enjoy in spite of it reminding me of Radiohead.

A few episodes ago, I mentioned that I will generally play anything that reminds me of The Stooges' Funhouse, and I make good on that vow with the track that leads the middle set, a scorching, sax-heavy slab of improvised rock from the UK's OZO. Following this is the inventive, French-Canadian 70s prog of Franck Dervieux, some 90s-era African Head Charge (whose latter-day career has been anthologized in the form of a new box set), and the minimal jazz-funk of Turkey's Matao.

The final set starts with an absolutely lovely electronic sound sketch by longtime Einstürzende Neubauten percussionist Rudolf Moser, followed by Japanese avant-garde legends Inoyama Land, whose 1983 classic Danzindan-Pojidon has recently been reissued by WRWTFWW. Next is the woozy, slightly-askew electro-pop of Electric Sewer Age, one of umpteen-zillion Coil side projects, the Harmonia-ish (Harmonic?), jazzy, instrumental Krautrock of Holden & Zimpel (another ambient duo that includes a clarinet player, a la Aidan Baker and Gareth Davis), and the West Coast, analog ambience of L.A.'s Celia Hollander. Then, closing the show out is the shuffling, buzzing, early-80s minimal-wave of Canadians Ceramic Hello.

Go To Episode 178 Playlist
Feb 28

This week's show starts with Parisian band Oiseaux-Tempête (which means, literally, "Birds-Storm" in French, but which I suspect translates to either "storm birds" or "storm of birds"... in either case, cool name, frères!) whose Swans-ian dark, orchestral rock provides the soundtrack to a Tunisian film currently making the festival circuit. Following this is UK avant-rock supergroup Sex Swing (featuring members of Space Program favorite Mugstar, and underrated avant-metal group Part Chimp) with the new, evocatively titled single "Valentine's Day at the Gym." Then we get the Melvins-circa-Bullhead, lo-fi weirdo-drone-metal of Philadelphia's Queen Elephantine, the psychedelic punk of the UK's The Soft Walls, and the instrumental, early-Hawkwind-esque, radio-friendly space rock of the also-from-the-UK Japanese Television. Then, wrapping up the rock set are mysterious Swedes OCH (between them and GOAT... are these Swedish bands who disguise their members' individual identities reflecting their nation's collectivist politics?) whose new album of Cluster/Harmonia-inspired instrumental Krautrock I've been listening to non-stop the past week.

Opening the middle set is WaqWaq Kingdom, a pair of Japanese electronic music producers based out of Germany, whose new album is... overall, a little too techno for my taste (I have an aversion to the genre due to the fact that in the late 90s, the mainstream music press was obsessed with the idea that rock was dead, and would soon be swept away by shitty, rock-sampling, European club music, a la The Prodigy) but which closes with the incredible, ten minute long neo-Kosmische/4th World epic heard here. After this is the cinematic avant-jazz of the UK's Pulled By Magnets, an avant-garde keyboard composition by Jon Gibson (who just had a retrospective of his mid-70s work issued by Superior Viaduct - highly recommended if you're a fan of Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, et al.), and some contemporary Middle Eastern post-rock by Beirut's Kinematik. Coming after is underground 90s-era Ukranian duo Svitlana Nianio & Oleksandr Yurchenko, whose sound is reminiscent of a somewhat earthier, Desert Shore-era Nico. Ending the set is Alabaster DePlume with a short, haunting sampling of his new album of spiritual jazz released on Chicago label International Anthem.

The final set begins with a track from John Carpenter collaborator Daniel Davies (who is also Carpenter's godson, as well as the actual son of Kinks' co-founder Dave Davies), which is somehow more John Carpenter-y than his mentor's more recent work (or rather, it's more reminiscent of Carpenter's early, most iconic material, e.g. the soundtracks to Halloween and Escape From New York). Following this is avant-electronic supergroup (two supergroups in one episode... what, am I some sort of musical MCU here?) Wrangler - who include among their ranks retro-synth obsessive Benge and a former member of Cabaret Voltaire - with a bit of burbly, mumbly, electronic/spoken word drone. Up next is the dubby Norwegian producer Carmen Villain, followed by 90s-era 4AD act His Name Is Alive (a.k.a. Warren Defever), with a lovely instrumental from one of the two albums of archival demo material he just released. Closing things out are the freak-folk infulenced Isabella, with an excerpt from her strangely lovely recent song-suite, Magnetica, and Danish duo Loke Rahbek & Frederik Valentin with an electro-acoustic, instrumental avant-pop gem.

Go To Episode 177 Playlist
Feb 21

Leading off the show this week is the slow-burning, instrumental, spaced-out rock (that's not exactly space rock, however) of Sweden's Domboshawa (aka Anders Broström), from the album "Five," one of two albums he released last year, each titled after the number of songs it comprises (the other being "Fyra," Swedish for four). After this is the heavy shoegaze of Scotland's Helicon, the psychedelic folk-rock of Turkey's Ayyuka, the Madchester-y (Madcunian?) pop-psych of Canadians Elephant Stone, and the folksy experimentalism of Six Organs of Admittance. Closing out the set is the freaked-out sound of Middle Eastern supergroup Karkhana (which includes members of Space Program-approved groups Dwarfs of East Agouza, Konstrukt, and Land of Kush) whose recent release, Bitter Balls, is one of the more inventive, genuinely challenging avant-garde rock albums I've heard in some time.

The middle set is given over entirely to the music of Terry Riley, a true titan of 20th Century avant-garde music (in a more just world, he'd be as well known as Philip Glass or Brian Eno, both of whom he influenced), in honor of his playing in Portland the date this episode aired. I was in attendance - it was the first time I've ever seen him perform, despite being a fan most of my adult life - and was suitably awed. Unbelievably spry for a man of 85 (my own grandfather, by contrast, had lost the ability to perform even the most menial tasks by that age), he deftly alternated between a synthesizer and a custom-tuned piano, improvising upon classic compositions (I recognized motifs from Les Yeux Fermés and Songs For The Ten Voices of The Two Prophets) while accompanied on guitar by his son Gyan. Given the inventiveness he's retained at his advanced age, it's easy to see how in years past he was able to stage marathon, ad-libbed solo performances, such as that documented on Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band All Night Flight.

The final set, as usual given over to electronic music, begins with the unexpected but welcome collaboration between Jan St. Werner, of Mouse on Mars as well as his own extensive solo career, and the late Mark E. Smith, of The Fall. Smith, godfather of the "stream-of-sarcastic-consciousness" style of vocal performance that's only ever seemed to take hold in the UK (The Sleaford Mods are probably the most prominent modern exemplars of it), delivers rants as bizarre as ever, while Werner provides synthesized backing. The set and show then conclude with the avant-garde 80s-era synth-pop of Japan's Masumi Hara, recently reissued by Numero Group, the remixed found sounds of Aki Onda, from an album of archival recordings, and the blissed-out ambience of Causa Sui member and El Paraiso Records impresario Jonas Munk.

Go To Episode 176 Playlist
Feb 14

We begin this week with Kanaan, a Norwegian neo-prog trio who are joined on their most recent album by Causa Sui member and El Paraiso label head Jonas Munk, whose presence on guitar complements the somewhat more classically metal-leaning sound on display (it wouldn't surprise me if they were listening to a lot of Captain Beyond, or some other heavier 70s prog, at the time they recorded it). Following this are Finns Meteor Vortex with some stoner prog (and if you're a fan of loo-oo-oong songs, like me, this ten-plus minute epic is one of the shorter numbers from their latest album), and the long-dormant Sunburned Hand of the Man with some ambling freak-folk. Concluding the set is Swiss Krautrock obscurity Kedama, whose early discography (i.e. one album and a whole bunch of unreleased tracks) is being issued as a box set by Castle Face Records. It's not hard to see how they caught the ear of label head John Dwyer, as their frenetic, lo-fi take on 70s European prog mirrors that of many of his garage-oriented imprint's more recent releases.

The middle set is usually reserved for jazz, world, and avant-garde, and leading it this week is a song that, across seventeen minutes, manages to incorporate elements of all three. Amirtha Kidambi is the artist responsible, a composer and performer from NYC, whose sprawling, classically-Indian influenced song-suites I recommend with the following caveat: she has a tendency (unfortunate, in my mind) to stray into Norah Jones-ian easy-listening pop-jazz, using a sultry-voiced scat-singing style that modern advertising has conditioned me, in a Pavlovian manner, to associate with blended coffee drinks. Next is the Snekkestad/Guy/Fernandez trio, the latest export from the free jazz hotbed that is Oslo, Norway (seriously: somehow, the two primary Norwegian musical exports are ultra-grim black metal and ridiculously far-out free jazz), followed by a track from the excellent solo electronic-music-influenced jazz debut of UK drummer Moses Boyd. Ending the set is free-jazz legend Albert Ayler, whose Spiritual Unity has been reissued yet again, so every aspiring young jazzbo can have their requisite vinyl copy of this avant-garde holy grail.

Speaking of necessary reissues, the final, electronic-oriented set leads off with a track from Heldon, the tremendous French synth/prog/Kraut band whose final three albums have been repressed by Bureau B. Aside from their debut, their three record career coda is the most essential part of their discography, as it coincides with Richard Pinhas forming a live band (it had been a strictly studio-based project prior) to give some oomph to his Frippian noodlings. After this is Portugese, former Not Not Fun label artist Pedro Magina with some tropical pop ambience, and Ohioan Jacoti Sommes with a very spaced-out, vintage-sounding analog synth piece. Next is Latvian composer and artist Sign Libra, on whose most recent release, for vowel-hating label RVNG, every song is titled for a lunar mare (and, as I've mentioned before, while giving your music space-related names doesn't automatically guarantee I'll play it, it definitely doesn't hurt). Then, closing the set, and the show, is Kelpe, the alter ego of producer Kel McKeown, with an Another Green World-ian sound sketch.

Go To Episode 175 Playlist
Feb 7

The show opens with the pounding drums of Poland's Lastryko, from their most recent album of Kraut-y post-rock (a little musical semantic hand-wringing here: there's a bit of a post-rock revival afoot (making it... post-post-rock?) and I feel slightly conflicted describing members of this movement as Krautrock-influenced, since a lot of the original post-rock bands, e.g. Tortoise, Trans Am, were in some ways a second, American wave of Krautrock. But at the same time, it can be a useful descriptor, since post-rock is a pretty broad term, and encompasses bands like the Sea and Cake, who are much more influenced by fusion jazz than avant-garde rock). Following this are NYC psych-folksters Elkhorn with a track from their latest album, The Storm Sessions, which they recorded while snowed in to their home studio. After that are Austrian band Johnny and the Rotten with some Stooge-ian psychedelic punk, a bit of proto-doom (predating Sabbath by three years!) from L.A. Nuggets-era band Clear Light, and finally, the legendary Bardo Pond, with a track from their recently reissued 2010 self-titled album, that shows off my favorite of their various musical modes, which is a Melvins-ish wall of sludge leavened by an MBV-ish ethereality.

The middle set starts with another long-overdue reissue (as with the Deep Listening Band's debut, heard last week), in the form of Fourth-World innovator Jon Hassell's 1988 collaboration with Burkina Faso percussion group Farafina. For those of you who enjoy Hassell's work, but sometimes wish, as I do, that it had a bit more forward momentum, this album is for you, as Farafina provide ample amounts of it. Next is Peruvian artist Tomás Tello, who avant-garde-ifies (that's a verb, right?) the traditional sounds of his native land, followed by Nigerian-born, London-based musician LA Timpa, with some spaced-out pop, and the Tara Clerkin Trio, with some dub-influenced jazz. Then, rounding out the set are a couple of Canadians (eh, sore-y, what's that all a-boat, you hoser): namely, Calgary-based, genderqueer artist Cindy Lee, who performs avant-garde pop that leans hard on the avant-y aspects (not a lot of pop songs with minutes-long feedback breakdowns), and the insanely prolific Torontoan Aidan Baker, who combines his trademark doomgaze guitar sound with the clarinet stylings of Gareth Davis (for the skeptical: while fuzzed-out guitar and clarinet don't exactly seem, on paper, like the musical version of chocolate and peanut butter, man do they go suprisingly well together).

The loo-ooo-oong tracks of the week come in the electronic portion of the show, in the form of the neo-Kosmische of Turku, Finland's E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr and Germany's Cosmic Ground. In between them is the palate-cleansing minimal electronics of Japanese avant-garde legend Hiroshi Yoshimura, from his newly-reissued (yet again, by Portland's own Empire of Signs label, run by the members of Visible Cloaks) ambient classic Music For Nine Post Cards. Then, wrapping up the episode is a little pop ambient gem by longtime NIN member Alessandro Cortini and British producer Daniel Avery.

Go To Episode 174 Playlist
Jan 31

This week's show starts off with a track from the most recent album by Kungens Män (which translates to King's Men in Swedish, meaning that they have the same name as the band that put Portland on the map, back in the day) who, like nearly all contemporary Swedish psych bands, have a sound reminiscent of the Pärson Sound/Harvester/Träd, Gräs & Stenar continuum that formed the backbone of the 1960s/70s Scandinavian avant-garde scene. After this is the first contemporary Hungarian band I believe I've ever played on my show, Budapest's Lemurian Folk Songs, who provide an fine example of a somewhat overlooked genre: stoner prog (think Sabbath Bloody Sabbath/Sabotage-era Black Sabbath or Sleep/Om). Then we get some VU/JAMC/BRMC sunglasses rock by Uruguay's Las Cobras, a new single by Space Program favorites Endless Boogie (still boogie-ing, endlessly, to that singular ZZ Top meets Beefheart sound), and finally a sample of the fascinating collage of 70s pop detritus - the influences include, somehow, both early electrofunk/R&B and Neil Youngian ramble-folk - that is Matt Valentine's newest album.

The middle set opens with a song from the recently reissued, self-titled debut (of sorts) of the Deep Listening Band, aka the late, great Pauline Oliveros and her collaborators Stuart Dempster and Panaiotis. It's nothing but the three of them doing their minimal, 20th century avant-garde composer thing in an empty cistern in Port Townsend, Washington (not too far from the land of sparkly teenage vampires) in the late 80s, and is one of my favorite ambient records of all time. Following this is neo-Kosmische act Arp performing live with his very 70s fusion-jazz Ensemble, and the timeless, latter-day Krautrock (from 1983) exercise in electronics and percussion that is Moebius, Plank, and Neumeier's Zero Set. Then we get legendary weirdo Alain Neffe, founder of underground label Insane Music, with some... well, weirdness, of the 80s minimal synth variety (known, contemporaneously, as "darkwave"), featuring his frequent collaborator Bene Gesserit (a Dune-referencing name that you'll all be familiar with after the latest stab at adapting Frank Herbert's Lawrence of Arabia in Space hits cinemas this Christmas). Speaking of which, we finish up the set with numbers from the OSTs to two sci-fi films: Colin Stetson's fantastic, avant-garde synth 'n' sax score to the Nic Cage-starring H.P. Lovecraft adaptation Color out of Space (listen to the show for my less-than-glowing review of the film - the music is the best part, to my mind); and the WRWTFWW release of Tom Raybould's kosmische-y soundtrack to obscure 2013 film The Machine.

Finally, since it wouldn't be an episode of the Space Program without a few ridiculously loooo-ooo-oooong numbers, the last set consists of a mere two songs: the title track from Nihonjin, the freshly repressed debut of Far Out (who would go on to become Far East Family Band, often referred to as "Japan's Pink Floyd"), a great example of early, non-self-indulgent 70s prog; and a cut from Ivar Grydeland & Henry Kaiser's album of minimal guitar stylings, In The Arctic Dreamtime.

Go To Episode 173 Playlist
Jan 24

[Once again, I have to apologize for a technical issue: namely the station's ancient CD player acting up during the first two tracks. There are a few gaps in the first song, and I had to abandon playing the second song entirely with about five minutes still remaining. Because neither is on Spotify, I provide links, as per usual, so you can hear them in their entirety]

Opening the first set is the intentionally stupidly named Oulu Space Jam Collective (I mean, apologies if I'm wrong, and their name is in fact a heartfelt tribute to the movie Space Jam, but, given that their music is very non-stupid, I feel fairly confident in my assertion) with a searing, sax-heavy freakout reminiscent of the last few tracks on the Stooges' Fun House (which I brought up in the last capsule - it's one of my favorite albums of all time and so I'm fairly receptive to any band that seems inspired by it). After that is the minimalist, blues-y drone of Hôpital De La Conception, who sound a bit like legendary Belgian guitar primitivist Ignatz sitting in with Space Program favorites 75 Dollar Bill. Then, wrapping things up are two artists who recently had albums reissued: the unfortunately named Pussy, a late-60s, organ-heavy classic psych group, and Mike Tingley, who put out an incredible album of orchestral psychedelic folk in 1968 and then more or less disappeared.

The middle set this week is electronic-focused, and starts out with Pink Purple, a side project of the Flaming Lips (a band that I think I should like, in theory, but that I've never really been a big fan of). It's an odd album that vacillates between Bobb Trimble-ish lo-fi, keyboard-y folk and throbbing, analog synth-heavy rock bangers a la their Jackpot Records labelmates, Portland's own Crock (take a wild guess which of these two modes I chose to showcase). We also get some 60s style keyboard-driven rock by Mr. Elevator; some "new age" ambience, old and new, from Emerald Web and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith; John Carpenter-ish (circa Escape From New York) pop-kosmische by Black Deer; and some uncategorizable weirdness by Pod Blotz.

The last set starts with Bohren & Der Club of Gore, who started off, ages ago, doing dark cabaret jazz, but who in more recent years have adopted a more synth-heavy, Angelo Badalamenti circa Fire Walk With Me sound. Following this are: Jeff Parker, longtime member of Tortoise, with some swirling, psych-influenced jazz; three tracks from a great new compilation of the Uruguayan avant-garde scene of the 1980s; some early, recently reissued dark ambience from the appropriately-named Dark Arts; and the wildly inventive violin stylings of Galya Bisengalieva

Go To Episode 172 Playlist
Jan 17

The first set, as per usual, is rock and/or roll, beginning with a track from the new live album by Mythic Sunship, recorded at Roadburn, the annual European metal/psych festival. I keep reading reviews of this album describing it as "brave," I guess because of the fact that incorporates their new saxophone player. But, are rock fans so still biased against jazz that they won't even tolerate a sax? One of the foundational albums of psychedelic rock, the Stooges' Fun House, has sax all over it! Anyhow, if you're under thirty and listen to this show (given that the median age of my listeners - the ones that get in touch with me, anyhow - seems to be around... 70 or so, I'd guess there aren't many) write me and let me know what your opinion is on jazz elements in rock.

And speaking of jazz, the middle set leads off with one of the greatest psychedelic-leaning jazz musicians ever, Don Cherry (he's on the soundtrack to The Holy Mountain... "nuff said" to quote the late, great Stan Lee), with a cut from the recently reissued (on vinyl, natch) "Mu" Second Part. As I get into on the show, I've never quite gotten why the quotes around "Mu" in the title. My theory is that they thought people were unaware that Mu was a word (or a letter, as it were - a Greek letter, μ, to be specific) and the quotes were to make sure it didn't seem like either a typo or an onomatopoeia (a la WFMU's logo).

The final set (which is usually entirely electronic music, but this week is more "electronic adjacent" in that it's mostly non-electronic groups that prominently feature keyboards) starts with a track from what is already, this early in the year, a very strong contender for my 2020 best-of list: the debut full-length from Craven Faults. It's kind of a perfect album for January (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyhow) in that it seems inspired, tonally at least, by the proto-"dark ambient" of Brian Eno's Ambient 4 and Harold Budd's Abandoned Cities. In execution, though, it's very classically kosmische, reminding me of Irrlicht- and Cyborg-era Klaus Schulze.

Go To Episode 171 Playlist
Jan 3

[Note: Apologies for the capsule being rather late, but I've been battling what I think is the flu (a disease I wish was still called "the grippe"... "the flu" sounds like a mild annoyance, and almost cutesy in a way, but "the grippe" sounds like a deadly wizard's curse). Also, this week's show is a bit of a mash-up (and not of the 2 Many DJs variety, either) in that it's 1/3 new music, 1/3 a guest slot by my brother, and 1/3 some of my favorite reissues of 2019 (the rest of which I'll put up soon as a bonus playlist)]

Leading off the first set is Oiseaux-Tempête, whose new album sounds more like Swans than the most recent, kind of disappointing Swans album. After this we get Montreal's New World Science, who describe themselves as a "sincere foray into forth-world fantasy" (can't argue there); another sincere foray into fantasy, albeit of the 70s prog variety, by the UK's Guranfoe (bonus points for their excellent, very Bo Hansson-ish cover art); some Tortoise-inspired post-rock by the mysterious Temple & Young (give them a google and see if you can find out any more than I could); and the burbling avant-garde electronics of CIA Debutante.

The middle set is supplied by my brother (who, other than for the sake of nepotism, I like to have on the show because he brings the perspective of someone who actually makes music, something I do not) and leads with the opening track to Baraka (which showed in 70mm at Portland's own Hollywood Theatre last week, and did not sell out. Two screenings of Total Recall in 70mm did. Aren't we supposed to be a bunch of cultured, artsy snobs in this town?) by ambient/4th World legend Michael Stearns (and not to step on my bros's toeses, but Planetary Unfolding is my personal favorite entry in his catalog). After that is the spaced-out country of William Tyler; the 70s avant-garde jazz of Henri Texier; Colombian, Latin-influenced strangeness by Meridian Brothers; Dutch ambience from Gaussian Curve; and finally, the psychedelic neo-folk of Chuck Johnson.

And then, the somewhat shorter-than-usual final set (truncated due to banter - if you listen to the show recording, you can hear my story of cornering the band White Hills at a show ten years ago to ask about the origin of the sample at the start of this song (it's Ian MacKaye, btw)) includes some of my favorite reissued tracks from 2019, such as Suzanne Ciani's amazing Buchla-backed spoken word piece (taken from the poetry of Charles Baudelaire) Flowers of Evil, Turkish analog synth wiz Gökçen Kaynatan's Cehennem, and a cut from Martin Rev's 1985 solo album Clouds of Glory.

Go To Episode 170 Playlist
Dec 27

This week’s episode is the best of the 2019 Space Program, and instead of the usual capsule, I give you my favorite 20 albums of the year, which you can read about at the link

Space Program - Best of 2019

And, you can hear tracks from 17 of these albums on the most recent episode of the show, which was recorded without any significant technical difficulties, for a change.

Go To Episode 169 Playlist
Dec 20

[Note: There are far more than the usual number of technical glitches in this week's show, including a long gap in the first twenty minutes due to an internet outage, spotty audio quality due to a cable that needs replacing, and some spontaneous jumping between songs due to an aged CD player (feel free to make a donation to the station's PayPal account, by the way). Sounds great, right! Not only that, but there's no Spotify playlist this week since nothing I played is on there. But what are you going to do? Just read the capsule and find other, better sources to listen to whatever piques your interest? Ha! Just try!]

This week's show opens with Von Himmel, a 2000s-era space rock band that included as a member Rafi Bookstaber, whose absolutely lovely Late Summer I've played several times before (oh, and actually, the show opens with about a minute of Von Himmel and then 12 minutes of silence, but I'll just pretend that didn't happen, which is how we deal with most problems in this country these days anyhow). Following this is French Krautrock (so... Frogrock, I guess, in keeping with the mild ethnic slur + "rock" naming template) legends Heldon with a track from their latter, more proggy period, and then wrapping the first set is a drum-heavy freakout from White Hills' first EP.

The second set starts with Lamp of the Universe, who I suspect, like me, thought upon hearing the Beatles' Love You To for the first time "why can't there just be a whole album of this?" (and who pulled it off better than Lord Sitar). After that is noisy 80s Japanese no-wavers Kousokuya, the ultra-blown-out doomgaze of The Goslings (from Not Not Fun, back before they became an electronic-centric label), the gauzy ambient drone of Secret Pyramid (now that's a cool band name, kids), and the somewhere between Sunn O))) and Expo 70 metallic drone of RST.

The final set is nothing but [hepcat voice] jaaaaahhhuzzzz, daddy-o! And I'm not talking about the kind from Utah, you dig? [/enough hepcat voice] As teased last week, when I played Sounds of Liberation, a band featuring the great vibraphonist Khan Jamal, this week we hear a track from The Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble's Drumdance to the Motherland, one of the single greatest psychedelic jazz albums ever. Then, ending the show are three songs off of Message From The Tribe, a compilation drawn from the mid-70s output of Tribe Records, a Detroit avant-jazz label.

Go To Episode 168 Playlist
Dec 13

This week's show opens with Eddy Current Suppression Ring (because very literal descriptions of mundane objects is the new putting the word "black" or "wolf" in your band name; see also: Car Seat Headrest) a recent signee to neo-garage superlabel Castle Face, who come across like early AC/DC (i.e. staccato bar rock, with a singer who sounds like a less obnoxious Bon Scott) wedded to motorik, Neu!-esque drums. It's a clever merger of avant-garde and mainstream influences, a la Endless Boogie's Beefheart meets ZZ Top sound. Following this is Anton Newcombe's JAMC-y, French side project L'Épée; Afrobeat-influenced, proggy, Kraut-y rock by Hollow Ship; and the phaseriffic, Wooden Shjips-esque space rock of Buried Feather. After that is Seiche, a Chicago band whose ultra-obscure 1981 private press release of ten-years-too-late psych-prog was recently reissued by Portland's own Jackpot Records. Finally, wrapping up the first set are a trio of tracks off of From These Shores: Otherworldy Music and Far Out Sounds from Hawai'i, an amazing compilation that delivers on its title (specifically the faroutitude: dig the track by Richard Reb'll, a sermon on the power of love delivered in the dispassionate monotone of an NPR reporter, backed by an acid-fried lounge act featuring a heavily distorted, echoing organ).

The second set is where things get dark (ambient) with some moody, atmospheric sounds by Petbrick (which, if you're a fan of Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor's score to the surprisingly well-done Watchmen TV show, but wish it had a bit more early-NIN 90s industrial bite, should satisfy), Black to Comm, Luis Fernandes, and Magda Drozd. Also, providing a slight detour to the early 80s is the latter-day kosmische of Franco-German composer Serge Blenner, from his two first albums, reissued last month by German Krautrock (alte und neu) label Bureau B.

The final set opens with the Don Cherry meets Z'ev in the desert, world-influenced avant-jazz of Paisiel, continues with a track from Agitation Free's 1974 concert album At the Cliffs of River Rhine (newly reissued, and easily one of the better Krautrock live recordings), and finishes with the spiritual jazz of Sounds of Liberation (from another recently repressed disc), a group that includes Khan Jamal, of the Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble, who are responsible for what is perhaps the single most spaced-out jazz record ever outside of Sun Ra's discography.

Go To Episode 167 Playlist
Dec 6

[Note: I seldom get sick, but when I do, like right now, I get "don't see death as that unpleasant an alternative" sick, so the capsule is gonna be a bit terse]

Among the highlights of this week's show:

In the opening, rock-oriented set (really there are two rock-oriented sets this week, with the second a bit more nuanced and the first more straight-ahead R-A-W-K-!) we have: Chilean space rock by Los Tabanos Experience (check out the sweet blacklight painting art on that cover); some bludgeoning stoner metal by Holy Serpent; motorik, new-wavey, chug-a-lug by 10 000 Russos; neo-shoegaze by Routine Death; some... I don't even know - industrial-gaze? - by Kill Your Boyfriend; and some very economical (a minute forty - maybe the shortest track I've ever played) psych-punk by Skull Cult.

The middle also-rock-set consists of the proggy psych of Portland's own Weeed; the jazzy funk-rock (or maybe funky jazz-rock?) of Badge Époque Ensemble; Middle-Eastern influenced sounds by Al Doum & the Faryds; some operatic avant-rock by legendary producer (of Sonic Youth, Swans, etc) Martin Bisi; and the vintage-sounding Iberian folk-rock of Bifannah.

The last set includes a rather singular (as I said on the show, it reminds me of a lot of things but no one thing in particular) jazz-influenced, electronic avant-garde piece by Gareth Davis & Scanner; a bit of founding member of CAN Irmin Schmidt's early-80s output, from his recently reissued career-retrospective album Villa Wunderbar; lovely Buchla synth-drone by Shasta Cults; and, finally... well, it's a song called "Blasting Super Melt", you can probably guess what you're going to get (oh, by Shapednoise, by the way).

Go To Episode 166 Playlist
Nov 22

A couple of notes about this week's show: first, once again, due to a technical issue at the studio (namely, the internet going out - you'd think an internet radio station would have a secure, stable internet connection. You'd think.) there's about a five minute gap in the show that occurs around the end of the second song. Second, this week's show is a sequel of sorts to one I did back in April, in honor of 4/20 (about which I said at the time: while I do not think pot or other psychedelic drugs are at all necessary to enjoy psychedelic music (just to enhance it, in the words of Otto Mann), 4/20 is, for better or worse, the closest thing we have to a psychedelic holiday) that celebrates one of the highest (no pun intended) forms of psychedelic and/or avant-garde music: the extended drone. (Also, the earlier show, from April 19, is still available on my show page on the HoS website **UPDATE** And now it's a Spotify playlist, as well.)

The opening set begins with the title track from Church of Anthrax, one of the best avant-rock albums ever made, by two titans of late-20th century experimental music, Terry Riley, and John Cale. It's an record that, given the relative renown of its two composers, you'd think would be more well-known. Yet I have, on multiple occasions, met people who were big fans of both who had no idea it existed (and were subsequently blown away when they heard it). Next we have a staple of The Space Program, Expo '70, with a track from Mystical Amplification, one of their more low-end-heavy, Sunn O)))-ish albums (that was just repressed on vinyl and is available now - Justin Wright, Mr. Expo '70 himself, is still recovering from a rather nasty mishap, involving a power saw and his hand, that he suffered last year, so any cash you throw his way I'm sure is appreciated). The set concludes with another title track, from Ariel Kalma's groundbreaking first album, Les Temps des Moissons.

The middle set starts with maybe the most brilliantly dumb pop song ever written, Faust's "It's a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl." It's a reductio ad absurdum satire of pop music's most noxious elements - insipid lyrics, uninspired instrumentation and structure - that is also, at the same time, incredibly fun and catchy... just like pop music. This is followed by Perde Kaldirma, a piece of Sufi ritual music meant to accompany whirling dervishes, that comes from one of the most psychedelic world music compilations I've ever encountered (other than those released by Sublime Frequencies), called simply Trance 1 (released in the mid-90s, before "trance" became established as a subgenre of electronic music) that I picked up in a thrift store in the early 2000s. Also, if you're looking for a slightly abridged version of this song, Master Musicians of Bukkake recorded one for their 2010 album Totem Two.

Leading the final set is a song that I played for the first all-drone show, The Heavenly Music Corporation, from Fripp & Eno's masterful No Pussyfooting (that, like Church of Anthrax is also oddly overlooked), but, this time it's... backwards. The 2008 CD-only reissue of the album contains completely reversed versions of both songs (and a half-speed version of Heavenly Music Corporation), as a "tribute" of sorts, to legendary BBC DJ John Peel, who accidentally played it that way on his show when it was released back in 1973. The set and the show then conclude with some Gnawan healing music performed by one of Morocco's many musical brotherhoods, taken from Trance 2, which, as you might guess, was the sequel to the above-referenced Trance 1.

Go To Episode 165 Playlist
Nov 15

This week's show starts with a brand new single by the French band Les Big Byrd (a lawsuit-baiting name if ever there was one - they're lucky Disney doesn't own the Sesame Street muppets... yet) which delivers a tidy three minutes of blissed-out motorik pop a la Neu! (the track is called Snö-Golem, which may be a reference to a character from Adventure Time, a show that I, a childless man, would never deign to watch the entirety of). This is followed by the mid-70s bedroom pop-psych of Stone Harbour (who remind me of an ultra lo-fi Bobb Trimble), some incredibly nuggets-era-faithful garage rock from Planchettes (that little guitar-pick shaped thing you use on a ouija board - perfectly apt for a band from New Orleans, that perpetual fount of gumbo and quasi-mystical hokum), Heldon-esque weirdness by Toiling Midgets, JAMC/BRMC-ish dark shoegaze by The Black Heart Death Cult (which, sorry guys, but is a name that's a bit... genre-obvious - to coin a term), spooky psych-folk from Spids Nøgenhat (named for Spuds MacKenzie's non-union Danish equivalent), and 70s-esque prog from the late 2000s by Makajodama.

The middle set begins with a head-swimming seventeen minute sound collage by one of the pioneers of the genre, Carl Stone, and then continues with three tracks from the recent compilation Mathias Modica presents Kraut Jazz Futurism, whose title I'd say is perfectly apt, with the notable exception of one word. The issue I take is with "futurism", which is... not exactly how I would characterize the music contained therein. Kraut-y, for sure. Jazzy, yes. Presented by Mathias Modica... I'll just assume is true. But futurist? Perhaps from the perspective of 1976. There's nothing wrong with sounds strongly rooted in the past (what are classical orchestras if not the high-culture equivalent of a retro covers band), but I fail to see how this album is at all futuristic, or even particularly forward-looking (but is - I should emphasize - my semantic quibbles notwithstanding, quite good).

Opening the final set is Steve Hauschildt (of Emeralds) with a track from his new album of neo-kosmische electronics, which is actually kind of futurist... in a retro sort of way (it's clearly inspired by Klaus Schulzean, 70s-era kosmische, but incorporates beats and synth textures that wouldn't sound out of place on a modern club track) This is followed by Gavilán Rayna Russom, of LCD Soundsystem (a band that exists to remind 90s indie rocker dads of a time when knowing who Brian Eno was conferred upon them some modicum of cultural cachet) with some ice-cold minimal-wave electro, featuring Cosey Fanni Tutti of Chris & Cosey and erstwhile of Throbbing Gristle on vocals. Next is Ryo Kawasaki, with some late-70s reggae-tinged synthy prog, and finishing things up are the bleeps and/or bloops of Sunny Balm, Leif, and TRjj.

Go To Episode 164 Playlist
Nov 8

Among the highlights of this week's show:

[IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to technical issues at the station, the show cuts off halfway through the final song on the playlist]

An opening set of decidedly metal-leaning acts (a few years ago, there was an article in Vice in which the author played a bunch of contemporary psychedelic rock bands for his Boomer parents and their response was "why is it all so heavy? this is just metal", so depending on your perspective, I guess, it's all metal-leaning). This includes British Columbia's own Anunnaki, who give Om a run for their money as a two-man drone unit (which would be a Grammy category, if I had a say in how they were run), and Chile's La Grande Armée with some classic stoner metal riffage (neither of which are on Spotify - see the usual note below for links to their respective Bandcamp pages, however). Also featured are Psychic Lemon, who deliver some instrumental, Hawkwindian space rock, and Have a Nice Life, with some lo-fi doomgaze.

A middle avant-garde/world/what-have-you set that leads with a track from the new album by local (that being Portland, OR) Morricone-esque soundscapers Abronia (for which they will be hosting a release party at Mississippi Studios in a couple of weeks). As well, for whatever reason, I chanced upon a number of Middle Eastern/Saharan African-influenced bands while assembling this week's playlist, which includes: Tapan meets Generation Taragalte, a truly impressive collaboration between a Serbian avant-electronic group and a Tuareg guitar band; Land of Kush (which ranks up there with Bongzilla in terms of band names that let your audience know what substances you prefer), a twelve-person mini-orchestra (orchestrina?) that delivers dizzyingly complex prog epics; and Giraffe, with a minimalist take on Agitation Free-style world-influenced Krautrock.

A final (truncated, due to technical difficulties, as mentioned above) set of electronic and electronic-adjacent sounds that includes the compelling neo-prog of Rich Ruth, the circa-80s, Tangerine Dream-ish sounds of Vernal Equinox (the track I played wouldn't have sounded out of place on the most recent season of Stranger Things, a testament to how faithful to the era its music composers are), and Texas oddballs Shit & Shine mashing up a hilarious prank call to a debt-relief agency with minimalist techno.

Go To Episode 163 Playlist
Nov 1

Among the highlights of this week's show:

Some instrumental, lightly prog- and Kraut-tinged rock from Germany's Acid Rooster (not to be confused with Atomic Rooster, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown spin-off act). I've made it known that I am not a huge fan of vocals (so many rock vocalists just can't sing, and only make things worse by either - if they're male - doing the mumbly, tongue-swallowing "Hunger Dunger Dang" thing, or - if they're female - sing-talking in a breathy monotone) but the problem I have with a lot of instrumental rock bands is that, to compensate for the lack of emotion lent by a frontperson, they give their music this heart-tugging earnestness that makes it sound like the soundtrack to a rom-com. But I want my rock to make me think of people fleeing a zombie apocalypse, or two kaiju battling, or [insert action movie trope here], not two insufferable twits discovering that love is the answer to all life's problems, and thankfully Acid Rooster's sound leans much more toward the former of those two options.

Also from the opening, rock and/or roll-oriented block, three tracks from the latest installment of the Brown Acid series, dedicated to psychedelic (or at least psych-influenced) obscurities of the post-Nuggets era (i.e. the 70s). The fact that the ninth(!) album in this series is quite possibly the best (nary a dud to be found - a rarity for almost any compilation) is a testament both to the crate-diggers responsible (mostly the respective owners of Permanent Records and RidingEasy) and to fact that there's sooooooo much music out there. I hate to harp on this again, but, to everyone my age (old-ish) that complains about how there's no good music anymore: if these guys can dredge up nine albums of forgotten gems from a half-century ago, you can find a band you like that you didn't listen to prior to graduating college (or high school, depending on how early your taste ossified - I'm consistently mortified by the number of people I know who essentially gave up on expanding their pop-cultural horizons when they were seventeen).

A longform, kosmische and musique concrète-informed piece by the London-based experimental synth-pop duo Paper Dollhouse (if you caught Stereolab on their recent North American tour, for which their opening act was Bitchin Bajas, and thought "I like both these bands, but I'd really like one that splits the difference between them" then you're in luck!) that was commissioned by the London Museum of Witchcraft and Magic for an exhibition called The Art of Magic. It honestly doesn't strike me as particularly witchy or magical, but it's a nice solid slab of electronic-oriented drone, something I generally can't complain about.

Go To Episode 162 Playlist
Oct 25

Among the highlights of this week's show:

A track from the debut album of Tunes of Negation, the incredible new project from the electronic music producer Shackleford (known mostly for dubstep, but, as I point out during the show, a variety that sounds much closer to Burial, say, than Skrillex) which takes elements of 4th World and kosmische and... any number of other influences (I even hear a bit of Nina Hagen in some of the operatic female vocals) and re-contextualizes them for a contemporary audience (i.e. doesn't make them sound too overtly retro) in a manner that I find quite singular and compelling. It's so good, in fact, it even made me break one of my rules for the show, whereby if I play a track from an album, I can't play anything else from it for at least 6-12 months (my reasoning, to co-opt a Latin phrase (that I know from the NYT Crossword, like nearly all my highfalutin cultural references) is "music longa, show brevis"). I played the lead-off single on a show a few months ago, but put it toward the end, and after listening to the album itself, and being completely floored by it, wanted to give it the attention I think it deserves.

The most recent album by Ka Baird, a wild freakout that reminds me of NNCK, Finnish outsider noise à la Kemialliset Ystävät or Uton, and even the godmother of avant-garde rock herself, the inimitable Yoko Ono. This style of "freak-folk," as it was labeled by the music press (even though it's not typically all that folk-y) seemed to reach peak cultural relevance about a decade and a half ago, with the success of Animal Collective (who immediately ditched that sound and became the acid house Beach Boys), Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom, and then (to my disappointment) faded almost immediately from view. So it heartens me that it still has a few torchbearers.

A Halloween half-block (which for my show generally means no more than 2-3 songs) of dooooooooooooom, from three of the modern masters of the genre, Sunn O))), Deathprod, and Zonal. The latter two, being more electronic-oriented, tend, for whatever reason, to be classified not as doom but rather as "dark ambient." It's a label that isn't unfair, but that I find slightly inapt, as their sound is not nearly subtle enough to be considered ambience. Hence I tend to think of them more as... just doom. But electronic. (There have, in the past, been attempts to label this genre more precisely, but all the suggested names - electro-doom, doomtronica - make me think of the soundtrack to the original Blade, and other artifacts of the pop-culture of the late-90s, which I consider the aesthetic nadir of the past 50 or so years).

Go To Episode 161 Playlist
Oct 18

Among the highlights of this week's show:

An opening block of rock to knock your socks into... the dock of chalk? (FM DJ patter is not my strong suit) A few times a year, I'll hear someone, usually around my age (about which I'll say: I was a "90s kid"... if by "kid" you mean "teenager," and let you do the math) lament that "rock is dead." To which I say: take these six songs, all from albums released THIS YEAR and cram them into your pipe with walnuts and smoke it, Gramps! (again, not so great with the patter) We've got some Hawkwind-on-ludes low-key space rock from Firefriend, some JAMC/BRMC-ish noisy, noir-y stomp from Rev Rev Rev and The Black Wizards, a bit of stoner metal from Blackwater Holylight, as well as 70s-inspired prog by Bison Machine and 60s-inspired French psych-pop by Fabienne DelSol.

A middle block of jazz and jazz-adjacent (i.e. improvised) tunes, leading off with a track from current fusion-jazz torchbearers The Comet Is Coming, who released the best album of their short career earlier this year, and who have now given us an EP that is sort of the In a Silent Way to its successor's Bitches Brew. We also get Upperground Orchestra channeling some serious Sun Ra vibes (I saw the Sun Ra Arkestra earlier this year, so I know of what I speak) on a track that's not on the Spotify playlist, but that I think is worth seeking out (I mean, all you have to do is click something... not really much "seeking" involved) as it's maybe the most truly spaced-out jazz I've heard in quite some time.

A closing block of electronic music that includes the Negativland-esque plunderphonics (long before mash-ups, there was plunderphonics) of People Like Us, as well as one of the godfathers of contemporary Japanese minimal ambience, Masahiro Sugaya, with a track from the first edition of what is to be a multi-volume retrospective of his work (I mean, I assume - it's subtitled "Volume 1" and the guy has an ENORMOUS back catalog, almost none of which has ever been released outside Japan) released by Light In The Attic sub-label Empire of Signs.

Go To Episode 160 Playlist
Oct 11

Among the highlights of this week's show:

A vintage late-sixties freakout by The Beat of the Earth, the initial musical outing by Phil Pearlman, a multi-instrumentalist whose subsequent projects, The Electronic Hole - a dark, dirgey VU knock-off - and Relatively Clean Rivers - often described (aptly, I think) as a version of the Grateful Dead for people who hate the Grateful Dead (i.e. it's stripped of their most insufferable tendencies e.g. endless noodling) - I've played in the past. I can't say why The Beat of the Earth has never, in nearly four years, found its way onto one of my playlists, but this summer, inspired somewhat by Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood's excellent soundtrack of late-60s-era pop-psych gems, I've been revisiting my albums from the original psychedelic era (~'66-'69), and it, in particular screamed out (and banged on bongos, and wailed on guitar, etc.) to be played.

Neighborhoods, an incredible private-press album from the mid-70s, recorded right here in Portland, Oregon by jazz musician Ernest Hood, that weds musique concrète with new-age synths and zither (and a few other instruments). There are other albums from the original new-age era that incorporate field recordings (Ariel Kalma's Osmose, in which the sounds of a tropical rainforest are almost as much an instrument as Kalma's synths and sax, is an example par excellence) but none that I know of that use the sounds of an urban environment. It's almost certainly the greatest release yet by Freedom to Spend (the Portland-based sub-label of RVNG, Int'l run by Eternal Tapestry's Jed Bindemann and Yellow Swans' Pete Swanson), which is saying something, given their impressive track record so far.

A blast of maximalist drone from Vibracathedral Orchestra (which is out on Oaken Palace a label which donates all their profits to environmental causes), a band that will always have particular significance for me, as one of their albums was the first purchase (of what would be many, many, maaaaaaaaaaaaany more) I made from the late, great Aquarius Records (soon to be the subject of a documentary).

Go To Episode 159 Playlist
Oct 4

Among the highlights of this week's show:

Some super-blown-out space rock by Scotland's own The Cosmic Dead, minimalist Chinese rock from Gong Gong Gong, and since repeating a word three times in your band name is the new repeating a word two times in your band name, we also have Peru's Dengue Dengue Dengue, with some South American strangeness.

Go To Episode 158 Playlist
Sep 20

Among the highlights of this week's show:

Estrada Orchestra, who sadly have nothing to do with the actor Erik Estrada, but who make some freaked-out Kraut-noise, the return of GSYBE!-affiliated weirdos Fly Pan Am, and some vintage psychedelic folk by Third Ear Band.

Go To Episode 157 Playlist
Sep 13

Among the highlights of this week's show:

Some space rock by Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember, one of the odder non-sequitur band names out there, some doom rock by Crypt Witch (not to be confused with fellow Italian doomsters Crypt Trip), and some recently re-issued new-age bliss-out music by Suzanne Doucet & Tajalli.

Go To Episode 156 Playlist
Oct 12

This week's show is a "best of" episode, covering roughly the first 1/3 of 2018, drawing from playlists that, owing to disk-space limitations, have been disappeared from House of Sound's website. In keeping with the spirit of laziness that inspired this retread of a show, I'm skipping the usual pithy annotations (just go back and look at what I said about each track when I originally played them). You might not realize it, dear reader, but the show capsules take FOREVER to write. It's one of the ironies of writing, that succinctness actually requires way, way more effort than florid prose.

Anyhow, I promise that I'll be back next week with a full show, as well as a bunch of razor-sharp bon mots regarding the playlist (mostly about how weird I think the band's name is, or how lazy I think they are for titling their album after a number, or one of my other various comedic takes I return to again and again).

Go To Episode 124 Playlist
Oct 5

We lead things off this week with Mythic Sunship, stalwarts of the El Paraiso label, with a track from their somewhat pretentiously named new album Another Shape of Psychedelic Music. What is this new shape, you might ask? It's pretty much the same as the old one, but it has a new hat... I mean, it involves saxophone. Which I actually really dig! It's probably the best rock album where a saxophonist features prominently on every track since... I don't know, something by the X-Ray Spex, maybe? But I'm not sure that it really merits the highfalutin, jazz-referencing title. This is followed by some scorching psychedelic punk by Sweden's Sudakistan (not to be confused with Sedakistan, the Pakistani Neil Sedaka tribute band I just made up), some extra-sludgy doomgaze from Null, a number from Hooveriii, whose sound is something of a modern take on the MC5, making them neo-proto-punk, I guess, and finally, a bit of spacey minimal electronics from Golden Bug.

The middle set starts with Oh Lord, Give Us More Money, the centerpiece of Holger Czukay's (R.I.P.) recently reissued late-70s solo effort Movies, then continues with the neo-Kosmische of Patrick R. Pärk, the lovely minimal ambience of Andreolina (from an album released in 1990, in the midst of the maximalist late-80s/early-90s), the uncategorizable Icelandic avant-gardiness of Hekla, and the gauzy, washed-out synthesizer of Terekke.

The final set begins with Rimarimba, the avant-garde minimalist musical identity of the artist Robert Cox, which is getting the deluxe reissue treatment from Portland's own Freedom to Spend label. This is followed by the gamelan-centric sounds of Italy's Heith, the Middle-Eastern influenced psychedelia of Jerusalem in My Heart and, once again this week, some South American strangeness (from Peru, specifically) from Dengue Dengue Dengue! (their exclamation point, not mine - I mean, I do like them, but not quite to the point of referring to them quite that enthusiastically).

Go To Episode 123 Playlist
Sep 28

This week's show opens with some good old-fashioned motorik, like Großmütter Neu! used to make, from the somewhat confusingly monikered Teksti-TV 666 (also, they apparently have five guitarists - if each of them played one of those guitars that are like, double guitars then it would be like, ten guitars!). After that, we get some psychedelic pop from Chile's Holydrug Couple (a name that has always sounded to me like an ill-conceived insult: "Oh... you two think you're so great, just because you know where to get the best weed... you think you're like some, holy... uh... drug... couple."), some JAMC-ish sunglasses-at-night Wall of Sound rock (which I will never not be a total sucker for) from Boston's Magic Shoppe, some absolutely phenomenal stoner metal from Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (so good I wrote out their whole name), and some vaguely Madchester-ish electro-rock from The Oscillation (who have been around long enough that I remember playing them on the original incarnation of the show in the late-2000s)

The middle set leads off with a twenty-minute slab of boogie rock drone (which, not surprisingly, should appeal to fans of Endless Boogie) by Wet Tuna, aka Matt Valentine and Pat Gubler. After that, we hear a track from the recently reissued cult classic "Mu", which was the self-titled debut (and finale, as it were) by a band led by Jeff Cotton, guitarist for Captain Beefheart, and including a few other standouts from the 60s L.A. psych scene. The set wraps up with yet another member of Chile's weirdo-music underground, Embassador Dulgoon, from an album that I'd say is worth buying for the fantastic, slightly H.R. Giger-ish cover alone, but that also happens to include some pretty decent tunes.

The last set begins with someone who, in my mind, belongs in the pantheon of 20th century avant-garde minimalist composers that includes Phillip Glass, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, etc: Yoshi Wada. Seriously, if you've never heard of him (and sadly, not many people have) go listen to Off The Wall right now! Go on, I'll still be here when you get back WITH YOUR MIND BLOWN! Anyhow, the vowel-averse label RVNG Int'l has released a collaboration between Yoshi Wada, his son Tashi Wada, and some "Friends" (not Ross, I hope - what a wet blanket, am I right?) as part of their FRKWYS series, that is... maybe my favorite album of the year. And speaking of albums of the year, another candidate, to my mind, has to be Big Bang, the second album by Le Réveil Des Tropiques, which is just pure Expo 70-ish droney neo-Kraut/Kosmische bliss (pretty rad M.C. Escher-ish cover, too). We end with a track from the most recent album by Tim Hecker, which is perfectly OK, but that the twin towers of bourgeois dullard music criticism, Pitchfork and NPR, are furiously stroking their immaculately trimmed homeless-guy beards over.

Go To Episode 122 Playlist
Sep 21

Opening this week's show are Aussies Mt. Mountain (who have a name that's a throwback to early-2000s indie, when every band thought it was the height of cleverness to name themselves [adjective] [noun form of adjective] e.g. Hot Hot Heat, Magic Magicians, etc. To fit this template, I suppose that technically they would have to be the Mountainous Mountains, but Mt. Mountain is close enough) who have a new album coming out in a couple of months, but also had their 2016 debut repressed by Cardinal Fuzz. Their sound reminds me of The Black Angels covering Sleep (a la fellow Australians Buried Feather, who I believe I described as The Black Angels covering Dead Meadow - the Black Angels seem to have a bit of a following Down Under), or possibly the Velvet Underground covering Black Sabbath, depending upon how undiluted by time and reinterpretation you think their influences are. After this we hear some lovely Motorik sounds from Sweden's Orions Belte (whose name needs a [sic] after it, unless it's the case that Swedish doesn't use possessive apostrophes and spells "belt" with a terminal "e") and a compelling take on post-post-rock from Austrians le_mol, the first band played on the Space Program with an underscore in their name. Following this is Jay Glass Dubs, with yet more dub for people who don't necessarily like dub (and for people like me who do like dub but have a tremendous appreciation for his respectful yet novel take on it) and Colleen, whose first EP - which was recorded in 2002 but, like nearly all good avant-garde music sounds like it could have been laid down yesterday - was recently made available to streaming services and online stores.

The second set begins with Popera Cosmic, generally regarded to be France's first psychedelic band, whose debut album, Les Esclaves, considered an influence on Serge Gainsbourg and Magma, was recently reissued by Finders Keepers. We next hear from Os Mutantes, whose mid-70s output I enjoy, despite the fact that at that point they had only one original member and had all but completely abandoned their Tropicalia-heavy sound (also, because when I was in college in the early 2000s, their Luaka Bop best-of album was nearly inescapable, I have heard far more than enough of their early work). Next we get a dose of psychedelic soul jazz by Oneness of Juju, whose much-sampled debut album was recently reissued (with bonus tracks!) by Strut. Rounding the set out are early-80s Spanish minimal synth weirdos Los Iniciados and outsider psychedelic folkie Simon Finn, whose classic Pass The Distance is being reissued once again (since it really should never go out of print) by Superior Viaduct.

The last set starts with a first for the Space Program: some avant-garde (and in my mind, psychedelic-leaning) classical, by German artist/composer/provocateur Hermann Nitsch. As I say during the air break, I would actually recommend it to fans of Sunn O))) (who I would argue are, at least of late, heavily influenced by neo-classical sounds - see the album they recorded with Scott Walker, for instance). The show then concludes with some ambience from Japanese producer 7FO and 90s ambient revivalists (back when ambient music was consigned to the "new age" section of record stores) Heavenly Music Corporation.

Go To Episode 121 Playlist
Sep 14

This has been another glorious late summer/early fall week in the Pacific Northwest, made all the better by being able to accompany it with Popol Vuh's soundtrack to Werner Herzog's "Coeur de Verre." One of their best albums, it up until recently was extremely difficult to come by, available only as an expensive import (with even illicit versions somewhat hard to find). So, I lead off the show with my favorite track from it, Hüter Der Schwelle, or "Guardian of the Threshold" auf Englisch. After this we hear from Swedish retro 70s-rockers Svvamp (with the "w" spelled with two v's, a la the film The VVitch or engravings of Latin phrases on buildings), followed by NYC performance art weirdos Hairbone and then another dose of retro from Philadephians Ecstatic Vision with a cover of the MC5's Come Together (my second favorite cover version of a song named "Come Together," the first being Aerosmith's version of the Beatles' Come Together). Rounding out the opening set are Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Bitchin' Bajas with a track from their surprisingly excellent collaboration (up there with peanut butter and chocolate) Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties, recently repressed by Drag City, and Daniel Higgs, with a psychedelic song-sermon from Metempsychotic Melodies, a release of the late, frequently lamented (by me, anyhow), Portland-based Holy Mountain Records.

Opening the second set is TONTO's Expanding Head Band, who, when I was first really diving into obscure music around twenty years ago, was one of those groups that I would always see name-checked in descriptions of retro-sounding electronic artists (Add N to (X) was frequently compared to them), and that when I finally was able to hear them, absolutely lived up to the hype (I mean, they're not mind-blowing, but still pretty terrific, when it comes to (literally) bleepy-bloopy proto-electronic sounds). After this we hear from Bostonian psychedelic new-wavers Guerilla Toss (who stole the font for the cover of their new album from the Doobie Brothers, of all bands), pioneering home-taper John Bender (whose Pop Surgery was just reissued on vinyl by Superior Viaduct), the vaguely Stereolab-ish, Swiss psychedelic popsters L'Eclair, Portugese neo-Fourth Worlders Niagara, and, finally, the sitar-centric drone of Unearth Noise.

Leading off the last set is some absolutely stellar neo-Kosmische (that also has a strong Fourth World vibe to it) from Mike Nigro & Andrew Osterhoudt followed by some similarly excellent original Kosmische (albeit somewhat latter-day, having been recorded in the early-80s) by Lapre. After this, we hear a cut from the Bureau B Records (profferrers of Krautrock both old and new) produced soundtrack to the forthcoming documentary Fly Rocket Fly about OTRAG, a German, 70s-era, privately-held spaceflight company (making them a sort of proto-SpaceX), who found a patron in Zairean dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. We then close with a track from legendary, not-quite-prog jazz rock oddballs Henry Cow.

Go To Episode 120 Playlist
Sep 7

As summer segues into autumn, I like to soundtrack my walks amongst the lengthening shadows and changing leaves with psychedelic folk, and so the first set consists of just that. We open with Six Organs of Admittance (aka Ben Chasny), and a track from one of his last "proper" folk albums, Asleep On The Floodplain, released before he developed his own Oblique Strategies-esque songwriting system and took his music in a significantly more avant-garde direction. Following this, we hear from Ghost (the Japanese psych-folk one, of course, not the Swedish metal one), with the not-quite title track, Rabirabi, from their mid-90s album Lama Rabi Rabi (a bit of an anachronistic record, the mid-90s being not exactly the heyday of psychedelic folk, or music generally) . This is followed by Philly Phreak-Pholkie Fursaxa, some UK folk rock from Voice of The Seven Thunders (via late, lamented Portland label Holy Mountain), and a bit of Finnish weirdo-folk from Islaja (who has since transitioned into making dubsteppy avant-pop) and Kemialliset Ystävät (which, as cool as that name sounds, translates to English as "Chemical Friends"... which is like the name of a 90s-era rave DJ collective). Finally, we close with Hala Strana, the erstwhile Eastern European-influenced folk guise of the hyper-prolific Steven R. Smith.

I preface the second set by telling the story of stumbling across, in the used bin of a downtown record store, an album that I had been looking for a physical copy of for years, Love Cry Want, the wildly psychedelic fusion jazz project of Larry Young, who played keys on Bitches Brew (though he is sliiiiiightly overshadowed in that role by Chick Corea). It was recorded in the summer of 1972 during a concert/protest whose aim was to levitate the White House, by blasting it with some screaaaamin' tunes, maaaan! from a park on the Capitol Mall (the attempted levitation of government buildings being something of a trend at the time) and is absolutely essential listening for anyone into, say, Miles Davis circa Live/Evil or Herbie Hancock circa Crossings. We then hear a live recording from Growing, a band I like to describe as Sunn O))) for people who prefer their drone a little more on the treble end of the tone spectrum.

The final set opens with Emerald Web, who are perhaps the epitome of the late-70s/early-80s "hippies discover keyboards"-era of electronic music. I mean, they went on a tour of planetariums and contributed music to the original, Carl Sagan-hosted Cosmos. You don't get much more "new agier," music-wise, than that. This is followed by fellow hippie-with-a-keyboard (and flute), Iasos, with a track from the album that is generally regarded as one of the first, genre-defining examples of "new age" music, 1975's Inter-Dimensional Music through Iasos. We end with yet another new ager, Manuel Göttsching (as much as I'm averse to the descriptor "new age" I don't see how you can get around being labeled as such when you release an album with that phrase in the title) and a four-part song suite from the album Blackouts (sometimes credited to his alter-ego, Ashra).

Go To Episode 119 Playlist
Aug 31

To mark the last day of August, and the start of Labor Day weekend, the "unofficial" end of summer (there is no U.S. Dept of Seasons, nor any sort of sanctioning body governing seasons, so there is no "official" start or end to any season... but, anyhow, thanks for joining me here on the Language Pedant Program) the opening set consists of a track from the Taj Mahal Travellers classic August 1974 (recently reissued on vinyl by Aguirre Records), a song from August Born (a project of Six Organs of Admittance's Ben Chasny and Fushitsusha's Hiroyuki Usui) and a number from Late Summer by Rafi Bookstaber. I also, during the airbreak, entreat Mr. Bookstaber to make another album soon, as Late Summer is one of my most-listened to records of the past couple of years (this despite the fact that his name makes it sound like he wants to do violence to me... my last name is Booker, if you've never checked out the About Me page).

The next set starts with Mac-Talla Nan Creag (whose name I of course say in a Groundskeeper Willie-ish mock Scottish accent) whose self-titled debut consists, in a somewhat similar vein to August 1974, of a series of droney tracks recorded au naturel, at various historical sites around Scotland. Following this is Pancrudo, with some spaced-out, lo-fi cumbia from his debut seven-inch. Lastly, we hear from master of dark ambience Oren Ambarchi, who with collaborators Konrad Sprenger and Phillip Sollman has produced two songs, each occupying a side of a 12-inch single, dedicated to the world's two great canals, Panama and Suez.

The final set begins with some truly freaked-out free jazz from Turkey's Konstrukt, abetted by Japanese avant-garde legend Keiji Haino, continues with some Argentinian weirdness by Panchasila, delves into improv-drone territory with the UK's Szun Waves, and ends with a bit of 70s Italo-prog (is that a genre? it should be) by Raul Lovisoni and Francesco Messina (taken from the recently reissued album Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo, which has maybe the most late-seventies jazz LP cover art ever: color image framed in white, check; Art Deco-influenced pastel referencing 1920s cafe culture, check; blocky, semi-serif font, check).

Go To Episode 118 Playlist
Aug 24

[Note: due to technical difficulties (specifically, someone at the studio having fiddled about with knobs they shouldn't have touched) the first set this week sounds a little overdriven. If you're a fan of the Iggy Pop-remastered version of Raw Power that came out in the late 90s, which sounded like the original album played on a cheap boombox with blown-out speakers, then you'll love it. Otherwise, you might want to skip ahead to roughly the 35-minute mark.]

The opening set begins with some Astral Social Club-ish blown-out, pulsating noise-drone from RMFTM (née Rocket Men From The Moon) and 10,000 Russos, from their new EP, the creatively titled RMFTM & 10,000 Russos (you couldn't even pull a Trans Am/Fucking Champs name mash-up and call yourselves 10,000 Russo Men From The Moon?). After this, we hear from Träden, consisting of the one surviving core member of the Pärson Sound/(International) Harvester/Träd, Gräs Och Stenar musical continuum, as well as several younger members of the present Swedish psychedelic scene. The set then wraps up with a track from a Causa Sui EP, Vibraciones Doradas, that came out last summer but that I didn't hear until this one.

The middle set leads off with a trio of songs from a recent Numero Group compilation that collects some of the more memorable singles released by Cleopatra Records, a homespun studio/label run from a basement in northern New Jersey during the 1960s. In particular, we hear some Nuggets-esque psychedelic pop from The Hallmarks and The Inmates, as well as some Ventures-inspired instrumental surf-rock from The Centuries. This is followed by some lo-fi strangeness from Eazyhead and Alexander Tucker, as well as some Ruins-esque (but not as frenetic) avant-garde guitar and drum improv by Black Spirituals (and lest any wokelords out there are getting het up to yell at me about "cultural appropriation," yes, the members of the band are in fact black). The set finishes with a guitar raga from Glenn Jones, who I lightly chide during the break for his somewhat whimsical, Raffi-esque album titles and artwork.

The final set also begins with several songs from a compilation, but one... uh... slightly different from the Numero record, to put it mildly. Sucata Tapes is a label dedicated to chronicling "New Weird South America", and the split EP Adzer brings to us the sounds of Argentines Bardo Todol, Úgjü Sectas, and M.M. Peres, all of whom remind me of Avarus, Kemialliset Ystävät, and other members of the Finnish free-folk scene. The set, and show then ends with some neo-Kosmische from Austin, Texas's Sungod, and Brooklyn, New York's (via the Netherlands) Beast.

Go To Episode 117 Playlist
Aug 17

I think I set a new mark this week for the fewest number of songs in an episode with eight! It's nothing but ten-minute-plus songstravaganzas this week (sorry Jello Biafra, I like looooooong songs)! Anyhow, things start off with a track from Cosmic Invention - a mid-90s, retro-70s, boogie-rock-ified side project of Masaki Batoh of Ghost (the Japanese psych-folk one, not the Swedish metal one) - whose one album Help Your Satori Mind just got the deluxe vinyl reissue treatment from Drag City. After that we hear from UK space rockers Black Helium, with a number from their debut album, Primitive Fuck (whose cover, as I mention during the break, reminds me of the psychedelic body-horror imagery of John Carpenter's The Thing). The set concludes with some avant-garde fusion jazz by Swiss group Mouvements, whose sole mid-70s private press LP was recently re-released.

Set the second begins with Space Program favorites The Myrrors, with a near-twenty-minute epic from their new album, Borderlands. As I mention during the break, this release seems almost like a collection of B-sides (not that those really exist any more) and outtakes from their last several records, but I'll still take their throwaway tracks over most bands' A-material. I follow this up with Dead C-gone-space-rock Kiwis The Futurians, and a track from their Star Trek/Hawkwind-referencing record, Spock Ritual.

The final set starts with Los Angeles-based analog synth aficionado LFZ, whose new album Name Plus Focus is out on the largely-garage-rock-dominated label Castle Face. So, take that, everyone who emails to tell me that synth music isn't psychedelic! In your (castle) faces! (I mean, really it's just one or two people, but still, it's a somewhat vexing sentiment). After this we hear from Swedes Kungens Män (Swedish for "Man who is a Kungens") and a track from their new album Fuzz På Svenska (which, I'm not kidding, means "Fuzz in Swedish," in Swedish. Isn't Fuzz, in Swedish, "Füzz"? The entirety of my knowledge of Swedish has been gleaned from Ikea product names, so I might be wrong), and an excerpt from Body, the new, single-song album (and you think I like long songs!) from Aussie avant-jazzists, the Necks.

Go To Episode 116 Playlist
Aug 10

Leading off this week's show are frequent-Space Program-playees Mountain Movers, with the creatively titled New Jam 3, from the similarly creatively titled EP, "New Jam EP" (is it really that hard to come up with song or album titles?) After that we hear from legendary Kiwi noisesmith Roy Montgomery, with a number from his new album, Suffuse, notable for the fact that each song has a separate guest vocalist. The track I play, Landfall, in particular features Portland's own Liz Harris, aka Grouper. This is followed by the Black Angels-esque The Dead Ends, some female-fronted dooooom from Drug Cult (which includes a former member of late retro-rockers Wolfmother), and some classic doom, a la Black Sabbath, from Sweden's Fanatism.

The second set opens with a track from the Hampton Grease Band's one and only album Music To Eat, recently reissued on vinyl, which - as I talk about during the break - was an album that had a somewhat mythical reputation (back in the day when there actually were albums that you couldn't find in some form or another somewhere online) but that's, disappointingly, really just ersatz Beefheart/Zappa, jazz-tinged art rock. It has some decent cuts, including the one I play, but overall doesn't live up to its semi-legendary cult status. Following this is genuinely legendary afrobeat drummer Tony Allen teaming up with Finnish psych-funk weirdo Jimi Tenor for some improvised drum 'n' synth strangeness, as well as Belgian-residing, Venezuelan ex-pat Bear Bones, Lay Low with some lo-fi droniness.

The final set leads off with a bonus track - previously found only in a rare box set - from the newly remastered and reissued on vinyl, Sunn O))) classic (inasmuch as an avant-garde band can really be said to have albums considered "classics") White 1. Following this are a bunch of the bleepy-bloopy tunes I tend to end the show with, including numbers from Jon Mueller, Greg Malcolm & Stefan Neville, and Carl Wingarten.

Go To Episode 115 Playlist
Aug 3

This week's show starts with the opening track from Daniel Bachman's fantastic new album The Morning Star, a record which blends Robbie Basho-esque psychedelic folk ragas with pastoral ambience (crickets chirping, a passing train) and found sounds (metallic scraping, snatches of dialogue) to create a lovely, sprawling, Americana-tinged collage. Following this is Garcia Peoples, with a "song suite" reminiscent of American Beauty and/or Workingman's Dead (the only worthwhile Grateful Dead studio albums, in my book). Concluding the opening set is Futuropaco, the solo project of Justin Pinkerton, drummer for the band Golden Void, with some instrumental Krautrockiness of the Neu!/Harmonia variety

The second set begins with a track from The Faust Tapes, Faust's avant-garde/collage/musique concrète masterpiece that is being reissued on vinyl (with its original artwork!) for the first time in decades by Superior Viaduct. After this is the triumphant return of CAVE, with San' Yago, the lead single from the forthcoming (in October) album Allways, their first in five years (a delay excused by the fact that three-quarters of their members are busy playing in Bitchin Bajas). Following after is Orquestra De Las Nubes, an early-80s side project of Spanish Fourth World pioneer Suso Saiz, the late-80s minimal synthiness of Dwart, and the post-post-rockiness of New York trio Forma.

The last set opens with a track from the also recently reissued on vinyl Disco 3000, an album that showcases late-70s fusion-era Sun Ra at his finest. Then, concluding the show are the aforementioned Bitchin Bajas, with some (appropriately) underwater-sounding ambience from a concept album of sorts, The Encyclopedia of Civilizations, Vol. 2: Atlantis, part of a series of recordings released by Abstrakce Records dedicated to past civilizations both real (volume one was dedicated to Egypt) and mythical.

Go To Episode 114 Playlist
Jul 27

Inspired by the compilation album Prog Is Not A Four Letter Word, the opening set consists of four examples of non-insufferable (sufferable?) 70s-era prog rock. No ELP-esque twenty-minute-long organ solos to be found here. Instead we have Krautrockers Between, the short-lived Spanish "grupo progresivo" (gotta show off those three years of high school Spanish somewhere) Pan Y Regaliz, Dutch acid rockers Group 1850, and a Spanish studio project named Wild Havana with some analog synth-heavy, proto-chillout music off their one and only, proggy disco-lite record (once upon a time, when my show was on terrestrial radio, it used to precede a show dedicated to underground 70s/80s disco and dance music, from which I learned that there are scores of low-key tracks from that era that are as spaced-out as any Kosmische numbers).

The middle set features organ-heavy turned synth-heavy Bay Area psych-rockers Lumerians; Italian trio Crimen, who carry the JAMC/BRMC sunglasses-at-night, cool-as-ice pop-psych torch; Los Angelenos Hooveriii, at one time a solo, Suicide-inspired synth-dirge act that has since transformed into a five-piece CAN-esque outfit; Space Program favorites The Myrrors with a track from their recent Fuzz Club session; and Spanish doom metallers Atavismo, with the title track from their most recent album Valdeinfierno (which, once again showing off my incredibly rudimentary Spanish, means Valley... OF HELL!!!, en Español).

I preface the final set with a somewhat long-winded story about how when I was in high school, and first getting into psychedelic music, I read about concerts like the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream that were these all-night, immersive events where bands would play for hours on end, and could hear, in my head, what I thought that would sound like, but could not actually find an example of, among the (severely limited by the lack of the internet) roster of psychedelic acts I was aware of at the time (and how later on, I discovered, from reading a biography of Kurt Cobain, that he had had a similar experience, but with punk rock). A few years down the road, in college, I did find what I was looking for, in the form of CAN, Amon Düül II, Hawkwind, AMT, etc., etc. But the band that probably best aligns with the (admittedly somewhat amorphous) imaginings I had as a teenager of what psychedelic music sounded like is Kosmose (who are themselves admittedly somewhat amorphous), a Belgian group who, a la Les Rallizes Dénudés, never recorded a proper studio album, but of which there exist a number of (middling quality) live recordings, including a recent release on Sub Rosa, from which I play a track. The set, and the show then concludes with NWW-affiliated act Zu93, and Vancouver, BC Fourth World-y ambient artist Khotin.

Go To Episode 113 Playlist
Jul 20

The show this week starts off with some Magick Markers-esque, sprawling, improv noise-drone by Locean (pronounced, as far as I can tell, like "lotion"), some King Gizzard-y hyper-kinetic space rock from Slift, and some VU-inspired minimal drone by Alien Mustangs (which... woooooof what a trio of terrible band names. Slift? What the hell is that? Alien Mustangs? That's like a middle school P.E. team name: "yeah, us Alien Mustangs are gonna cream you Samurai Eagles at kickball!")

Opening the center set are, appropriately enough, Center Pieces, one of roughly 137 side projects of the members of Eternal Tapestry (they rival maybe only Bardo Pond for number of affiliated acts. Also, roughly 7-8 years ago, their pub quiz team beat mine at the citywide championship of one of Portland's numerous trivia associations). After that are Irish drone-folksters Woven Skull, followed by some lounge-psych (not really sure what else to call it) from Portugal's Fumaça Preta (any band name with a cedilla, my favorite diacritical mark, earns my approval. Hear that Slift? Rename yourself Çlift and you won't have me complaining) and, finally, some surf rock from the U.K.'s Beach Skulls.

The final set starts off with some minimal electronic sounds from Kutiman, a bit of ambient drone by Kareem Lotfy (taken from another Quiet Time Tapes album, following upon the one from X.Y.R. heard last week), some bass-heavy avant-garde-itude from Bleed Turquoise (a side project of Emptyset), a choral/organ dirge from Father Murphy, and some bleepy-bloopy-ness from The Subdermic and Portland's own LWW.

Go To Episode 112 Playlist
Jul 13

Returning after a week's absence, I start off the show with a set of summery (by the standards of the show, at any rate) tunes, beginning with some tropicalia-influenced post-post-rock (that's what we're calling the post-rock revival, right?) from Tigue, followed by some NEU!/Harmonia-ish neo-Krautrock from the oddly named Free/Slope (who join AC/DC and Yamantaka//Sonic Titan in the "bands with a slash in their name" club), a bit of avant-pop from Routine Death, a psychedelic folk number that I think is fair to describe as "ramblin'" from Hamish Kilgour of The Clean, and a piece of gorgeous dark ambience from longtime Swans member Norman Westberg.

The middle set leads off with a song from an extraordinary, recently-reissued album of outsider 70s rock by K.S. Ratliff and Black Magic (if you pay attention to the chorus, you'll note that in lieu of a delay pedal to create an echo effect, he simply repeats its final word, "night," with decreasing volume, a la "fear of the NIGHT... Night... night...") After that, we hear some early-80s post-kosmiche from Konrad Kraft, some avant-garde drone by Delphine Dora & Sophie Cooper (that I admit might be a little too weird for the show - though it's an excellent album if you're into that sort of thing), some drone-folk by Olympic Peninsula-dweller Prana Crafter, several tracks from the most recent edition of 70s post-Nuggets compilation series Brown Acid, and some low-key space rock by Cosmic Fall

The last set begins with a somewhat "Faust Tapes"-esque sound collage by CVX, a bit of jazz-adjacent improv by Michael Beharie & Teddy Rankin-Parker, and concludes with mysterious Russian dronesmith X.Y.R.'s recent recording for Quiet Time Tapes (a label similar in both its musical and visual aesthetic sensibilities to Not Not Fun).

Go To Episode 111 Playlist
Jun 29

The show starts off with some good old Hawkwind/The Heads/AMT-style blown-out space rock from Weeed (who depending on what bio material is to be believed are either from Seattle or Portland), followed by the heavily Middle Eastern-influenced sounds of French duo Oiseaux-Tempête, the oddly named, vaguely Harmonia-esque Sherpa The Tiger, and longtime NWW associate Colin Potter.

The middle set begins with a track from the recently reissued, late-70s collaboration between Klaus Schulze and Arthur Brown (of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown), named Richard Wahnfried (a reference to Wagner, apparently, and also one of the first instances of a band having a "people name"), then continues in the "post-Kosmische with guy ranting" vein with the title track from Michael Bundt's oddball electro-sleaze album "Neon" (check out the Spinal Tap-esque, cartoonishly garish cover), and wraps up with some bleepy-bloopiness from Patricia Kokett (yet another band named like it's a people).

The final set begins with a sampling from the most recent offering in the WRWTFWW label's ongoing Midori Takada reissue series (that began last year with the phenomenal "Through The Looking Glass" and continued with the not-quite-as-good "Lunar Cruise"), "KI-Motion," one of two albums released by her early-80s experimental jazz group, MKWAJU Ensemble. We also hear from 90s Australian 4th-worlders Waak Waak Djungi, Steven R. Smith's latest project, Ulaan Markhor, and some psych-folk from Pumice and Matthew De Gennaro.

Go To Episode 110 Playlist
Jun 22

This week's show begins with tracks from two recently compiled reissues, namely "rkt!", which includes all of the late-90s Rocket Recordings singles and EPs released by UK space rock legends The Heads, and "Remains," a five-LP box that contains the albums "Sov Gott Rose-Marie" by International Harvester, "Hemåt" by Harvester, and three LPs of unreleased material by... I would say "both" bands, but it's really a Jefferson Starship/Starship type thing, where it's essentially the same group with a slightly different moniker (the same musicians went on to form Träd, Gräs Och Stenar). Also in the first set is some Nick Cave-esque country gothic from Jaye Jayle, some minimalist weirdness from Brian Case, and a bit of Morricone-influenced folksy-rock from Italy's Lay Llamas.

In the middle set is the Andean-folk-tinged space-drone of Peru's Culto Al Qondor, some recently unearthed analog synth-heavy psych-funk by Argentina's Cusares, some fuzzed out Afrobeat by L.A.'s Here Lies Man, and a classic cut from African outsider music legend Francis Bebey.

I kick off the last set with a new song from my favorite neo-Kosmische artist, Cosmic Ground, taken from his recently released fourth album, the creatively titled "Cosmic Ground IV" (hey, if it worked for Led Zeppelin...). This is followed by the avant-garde instrumental stylings of Arp, the post-post-rock sounds of Australia's Tangents (recommended if you like fellow Aussies The Necks) and some minimal, jazz-adjacent weirdness from Slowdive's drummer, Simon Scott, from an album he recorded in Portland with Marcus Fischer during Slowdive's fall 2018 North American tour.

Go To Episode 109 Playlist
Jun 8

This week's first set begins with an epic, Amon Düül II-inspired folk-rock freakout from neo-Krautrockers Datashock, continues with the incredible, Molam-influenced new single from GOAT, and then wraps up with a two-song mini-suite of synth-heavy psychedelic post-rock from Rickard Jäverling (I culled the two most "for the heads" type tracks on the album - the rest isn't quite as spaced-out, but still enjoyable, if you're into, say, Tortoise circa the albums Millions Now Living... or TNT.)

The middle set continues with a long, Hawkwind-y blowout from prolific Swedish/Danish rock collective Øresund Space Collective (the slash through the "Ø" means "not pronouncable by non-Scandinavians"), Ex Canix, with another Amon Düül II (or maybe International Harvester, since they're also Swedish) style folk-rock jam, and ends with a cut from the most recent album by Circle side-project Pharaoh Overlord.

The final set begins with a brand new track from Fourth World pioneer Jon Hassell, returning with his first new album in a dozen years, presumably prompted by the inexplicable but welcome renewal of interest in what used to be called, disparagingly, either "new age" or "world" music in the 1980s. It continues with more of the bleepy-bloopy style music that I always like to end the show with, including Monopoly Child Star Searchers (probably one of my favorite word-salad type names), Jimi Tenor (with a Sun Ra-inspired jazzy singalong), Manos Tsangaris, and Nadine Byrne.

Go To Episode 108 Playlist
Jun 1

[Note: due to technical problems at House of Sound, there are a few noticeable gaps in the audio of this week's show]

After a two-song opening set, featuring a track from "In O To ∞", Acid Mothers Temple's follow-up to their version of Terry Riley's In C, and a feedback drenched blowout from Burnt Hills, I welcome my brother back to the show, to introduce an individually curated set of his own favorite spacey music.

This guest set includes Earthless-esque German power trio Colour Haze, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, known primarily for that one song that's been in every other tech commercial since the 90s, Bay Area organ-heavy retro-rockers The Lumerians, The Sight Below, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the ambient pop sounds of Poolside, and Portland's own psych-sludgesters Grails.

I then end the show with a quartet of Space Program mainstays: Circle, Barn Owl (accompanied by The Infinite Strings Ensemble), Expo 70, and Master Musicians of Bukkake (with a vinyl-only bonus track from the reissue of their first album, "The Visible Sign of The Invisible Order").

Go To Episode 107 Playlist
May 25

The first set opens with a near-twenty minute rager from the UK's Mildred Maude, taken from their debut album CPA (which stands not for Certified Public Accountant, but Cosmic Pink Alignment - still, I sense a theme, since they named themselves after two of the dullest ladies' names ever conceived, and their album after a certification granted for accounting, perhaps the dullest profession), and continues with Aussies Buried Feather (who to my mind sound like a hybrid of Black Angels and Dead Meadow), Italian sludge-rockers Atomic Mold, the highly recommended avant-garde stylings of Finnish one-woman band Tsembla (also a member of the Kemialliset Ystävät collective), the psychedelic yacht-rock-y pop of Sugar Candy Mountain, and a song from the most recent album by Bay Area/Portland based mainstays Wooden Shjips.

The middle set leads off with Caudal, a side project of Aidan Baker, the man best known as one half of doomgazers Nadja, and also includes the MV&EE-inspired lo-fi stylings of Gosh! and some solo Tuareg guitar from Mdou Moctar, a featured artist of Portland's own Sahel Sounds label.

The final set includes the Annette Peacock-ish avant-jazzy sound of Japan's Ché-SHIZU, whose late-80s album "A Journey" was recently reissued, and an excerpt from the also recently reissued, sole one-song album from Krautrock obscurity Pyramid.

Go To Episode 106 Playlist
May 18

The show opens with some psychedelic doooooooooom (I'm sure that the dear departed Aquarius Records, who used to rate the doominess of doom metal bands by the number of "o"s in the descriptor "doom", would've given them at least a ten "o" doooooooooom) from Father Sky Mother Earth (better known as Uranus and Gaea, in Greek myth, though I waste about a minute during the show pondering aloud whether their name is an oblique reference to the song "Mother Sky" by CAN) and then continues with a track from maybe the freakiest freakout act to come along in a good while, Girl Sweat Pleasure Temple Ritual Band. I use the term "freakout" perhaps too often, and I'm definitely going to have to rein it in, until a band comes along that can match GSPTRB's manic furor.

The all-female Japanese psych-punk-y trio Kuunatic start off the second set with a song from their debut album Kuurandia (check out its nifty cover), which continues with the garage rock sounds of Hot Knives, the lovely instrumental psych of Dead Sea Apes, the "guitarless guitar music" (their words) of Wax Chattels, and concludes with a slightly-proggy-but-in-a-good way track from the most recent album by Bonnacons of Doom (a bonnacon is a goat-like beast of medieval myth that sprays its enemies with a plume of caustic feces).

The final set has as its centerpiece some avant-garde jazz (sorry, jazzophobes) from a recently reissued team-up between Steve Lacy, Yuji Takahashi, and Takehisa Kosugi, the latter of whom is probably best known to Space Program listeners as the man behind legendary Japanese spaced-out noisemakers Taj Mahal Travellers.

Go To Episode 105 Playlist
Nov 17

In this week's first set, I play the title track from The Myrrors most recent album, Hasta La Victoria (as well as a couple of bands I think are likely influences on their sound: Sweden's own Harvester and Hills) as a way to preface my review of their recent Portland show. In short, I enjoyed it, but thought it was a little on the short side (it lasted only about forty minutes, which is kind of paltry for a headlining band - especially one with a penchant for sprawling improvised freakouts).

In the middle set, I play Portland's own Wooden Indian Burial Ground's blown-out take on Dead Moon's Dead Moon Night. As you're probably aware, dear listener, Fred Cole of Dead Moon passed away recently, and since pretty much every other DJ on HoS has this week exhausted their catalog paying tribute to this local legend, I thought I'd join in with this rather "spacified", if you will version of their signature song.

Also thrown in to the mixed bag of the middle set is Bitchin Bajas, the band that has emerged from the (I assume) now-defunct (or on extended hiatus) CAVE, and a song from their new album Bajas Fresh, named for my favorite Mexican fast food chain restaurant (pretty much entirely due to their salsa bar - a throwback to the 80s, when Wendy's and numerous other fast food places had fresh bars of some form or another, until the Rajneeshi cult had to go and ruin things by poisoning a salad bar in the Dalles with anthrax).

Go To Episode 83 Playlist
Nov 10

The first set this week, after a new live track from Sweden's GOAT, is given over entirely to singer/songwriters, namely Angel Olsen, Tracy Bryant, Bobb Trimble (who I played because of Tracy Bryant's resemblance to him, intentional or not), John Maus, and weird old Gary Wilson. When I lived in NYC, I went to the premiere of You Think You Really Know Me: The Gary Wilson Story (a pretty decent documentary that's long out of print on DVD and not available for streaming anywhere as far as I can tell) and after the screening saw the reclusive Mr. Wilson himself, appropriately enough, standing alone in a rear corner of the theater.

In the show's middle set we hear from Gregg Kowalsky, of Date Palms, with a track from his new solo album L'Orange L'Orange, which of late has become my go-to reading music, a role that over the years has been held by, among others, Miles Davis's Sketches of Spain (in high school), Boards of Canada's Music Has The Right To Children (in college) and William Basinski's Disintegration Loops (in grad school).

Leading off the final set, I play what I presume must be Acid Mothers Temple's sequel to their Anthem of the Space, which I played several episodes back: Anthem of the Outer Space (it's even further out than just space, see). And then I end with Suzanne Ciani's recently reissued soundtrack to the children's operetta (how many people can say they've scored an operetta, let alone one made for children?) Help, Help, The Globolinks!

Go To Episode 82 Playlist
Nov 3

First up this week is Papir, a Danish band that has managed a feat that Led Zeppelin nearly achieved but fell just short of: naming their first five albums after Roman numerals (Zeppelin stopped at IV) (Also, while the Fucking Champs made it to V as well, they cheated by naming their first album III). But, if you can ignore their unwavering commitment to uninspired album and song titles (all their songs are numbered rather than named, as well), they make some pretty darn pleasant instrumental psych rock.

Later on in the show we hear a new single from Texas's Khruangbin, who seem to be augmenting their heavily Southeast Asian-influenced sound with some Turkish inspiration, a track from Silver Apples' second album Contact, recently reissued by Portland's own Jackpot Records, and a song from Muddy Waters's great rock album Electric Mud, that I've long maintained could be passed off for a lost CAN number if you removed Muddy's vocals and replaced them with Damo Suzuki's.

Finally, in the last set, we hear from the UK's The Belbury Circle, whose new album, Outward Journeys, features lovely retro electronic sounds, and what might be one of my favorite covers of any album of the past few years, as it manages to look like the packaging for a piece of educational software from the 1980s. You could easily imagine it sitting on a shelf alongside The Oregon Trail or Carmen Sandiego, just waiting to be played on a Commodore 64 or an Apple IIe or a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A (yep, even beloved-of-nerds calculator manufacurer Texas Instruments got in on the 80s home PC craze).

Go To Episode 81 Playlist
Oct 27

This week starts off with a track from one of the greatest musical team-ups in history: Not Lennon and McCartney, not Page and Plant, not even Duran and Duran, but John Cale and Terry Riley, and their amazing 1971 album Church of Anthrax. This is one of those rare greater than the sum of their parts musical collaborations (a real peanut butter and chocolate, if you will, for those old enough to remember 70s/80s-era Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ads), as this album ranks up with the best of either of their impressive discographies. If you are a fan of either Terry Riley or John Cale (or the Velvet Underground, for that matter), it's worth seeking out.

The show's middle set features three tracks from a compilation of about a year's worth of singles put out by Sweden's Höga Nord Rekords, a label dedicated to blurring the lines between psychedelic and dance music. Years ago, in fact, back when this show aired on Bellingham, Washington's KUGS, it was slotted just before a show dedicated to 70s/80s-era underground disco, whose host and I would often discuss the similarities between dance music and psychedelic music, and how the two influenced each other.

Finally, the last set includes another musical team-up, this one between Stephen O'Malley (of Sunn O))) and Southern Lord Records), Keiji Haino (of Fushitsusha, Sitaar Tah! and assorted other projects) and Oren Ambarchi (of Oren Ambarchi). Nazoranai, as it is known, isn't quite as fruitful a collaboration as Church of Anthrax, but its moody atmospherics are perfect for a mid-fall late afternoon.

Go To Episode 80 Playlist
Oct 20

For any of my listeners who are tired of the bleepy-bloopy electronic music I often play, this show is for you, since it is wall-to-wall R.A.W.K. (OK, there's one bleepy-bloopy song toward the end, but that's it, I swear). Yep, for Rocktober, I give you enough rock to knock your socks so far around the clock that the government will have to set up an committee, ad hoc, to block the... uh... you get the idea. Anyhow, the first set features a retro-garage track by Frankie & The Witch Fingers, a neo-garage track by Flat Worms, and some... I don't know how to describe it exactly but it's great by Gökçen Kaynatan, who in the mid-70s was responsible for most of the interstitial music on Turkish state-run television.

The middle set is for fans of dooooooom metal (the Black Sabbath-y sort of doom metal, not the Sunn O))) variety) with some heavy, heav-y, heavvvvy offerings from Fvzz Popvli (so heavy their "u"s are sharp and pointy like "v"s, old Latin style), Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats (from the recent reissue of their first album) and ORB (not to be confused with bleepy-bloopers The Orb). Also, there's some heavy shoegaze from New Candys and some heavy minimalism from Emptyset. Heavy, man, heavy.

The last set features some near-Krautrock-ish psych-prog from obscure sixties Bay Area group Fifty Foot Hose (whose name sounds like the punchline to a dirty joke), some Middle-Eastern influenced weirdness from Boredoms offshoot Saicobob, and a visit from show stalwarts Expo 70, with a track called Moon Raga that... pretty much delivers on its title.

Go To Episode 79 Playlist
Oct 13

This week starts off with a song from the unusually monikered UUUU, a supergroup of sorts featuring a member of Coil and two members of Wire (who, though I've never played them on my show, since I just don't think they're quite space-y enough, I do like a great deal) off their excellent self-titled debut out this week. We also hear Jay Glass Dubs echo-riffic reworking of Guerilla Toss's Skull Pop, which is, as I explain during the break, about the closest thing I'll get to playing anything reggae-related on the show, as while I consider quite a lot of reggae, especially the dubbed-out variety, rather psychedelic, it remains a somewhat divisive genre among music fans.

In the middle set, we hear a track by Super Static Fever,from their one and only early-90s self-released album, Silent Dynamic Torture, recently unearthed and reissued by Numero Group (who, since there no longer are any obscure soul records to reissue have apparently moved on to reissuing obscure shoegaze records). One of the Sick Burns™ that I like to deploy against bands I don't like is "they better hope their fans never find out about [band they sound like]." And, in the case of Super Static Fever (who I do like, albeit with reservations) I have to imagine the band they hoped their fans never found out about was Swervedriver, as, to put it verrrry mildly, they sound almost exactly like them. The thing is, too, in the pre-internet era, it was highly likely that a lot of their fans hadn't heard of Swervedriver, and so they could've gotten away with shamelessly aping them, at least for a time. I'd like to think that the reason they only released one album is that someone called them out at one of their concerts, a la the way that Jesse Eisenberg's character in the Squid and the Whale gets called out for trying to pass off a Pink Floyd song as one of his own.

Finally, we end with a set of spaced-out ambience, including Necro Deathmort, who, in spite of having a ridiculously black-metal-ish name, are in reality more on the dark ambient side. The track of theirs that I play even reveals that they have some Krautrock-ish leanings, as it includes a motorik beat that suddenly appears about two-thirds of the way through.

Go To Episode 78 Playlist
Oct 6

We start the show off this week with the song Sunburst, by Loop, my favorite band of the shoegaze era (sorry, My Bloody Valentine), in honor of the fact that, per weather forecasts, this weekend will see the last burst of sun here in the Pacific Northwest before we settle in for our annual nine month rainy season (or, rather, drizzly season). We also hear, in the first set, from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, native of Washington state's Orcas Island, and her latest album of synthesizer stylings performed on a Buchla, the much, much less-well-known rival to Moog (I highly recommend the documentary "I Dream of Wires" for a thorough rundown on the Moog/Buchla competition of the late 60s).

The middle set is largely taken up by side one of the recently reissued Anthem of the Space, an album-length song by Acid Mothers Temple, who I still enjoy in spite of their reputation as being "entry-level" psych. They are the band that, to my mind, comes closest to carrying the torch of Kings of the Space-Rock Freakout borne previously by Hawkwind (who... are kinda, sorta, technically still in existence, but in that prolonged, depressing, "we'll keep at it until every original member is dead" senescence that seemingly every single band that started in the 60s is going through. Didn't think the Temptations or Three Dog Night existed anymore? Check the listings for your local casino).

Finally, we end with German Oak, and their one and only album Down In The Bunker, a Krautrock obscurity that I've wanted to play on the show for some time, but have refrained from due to its tendency to be misinterpreted as pro-Nazi. It's a concept album about the rise and fall of the Third Reich, which, save for the song titles (e.g. "Swastika Rising," "The Third Reich," "Shadows of War") and a few samples of Hitler speaking, you'd never know, since it's entirely instrumental. Anyhow, for its most recent reissue, the songs have all been retitled ("The Third Reich" is now "Bear Song", for instance - the band also claims, in the liner notes, that the whole story-of-the-Nazis framework was created by the label as a marketing ploy), so hopefully it can be appreciated for what it is: an extended, lo-fi proto-boogie-rock jam session, and not pro-Hitler agitprop.

Go To Episode 77 Playlist
Sep 29

After two very special episodes, we're back to just boring old regular episodes like this one, which starts off with Andrew Weatherall (producer for Jah Wobble, the Happy Mondays, and Primal Scream, among others) and the first track off his new album Qualia, whose cover is an homage to/ripoff of (depending on how you view imitative art) the album Tarot, by Walter Wegmüller. This is followed by some absolutely ripping hard psyche from Brooklyn's Honey, some spaced-out post-punk from Detroit's Protomartyr, and some... neo-proto-industrial, to coin a new genre descriptor (think more recent Gnod, for instance) from White Wine (a name that, as I mention on the show, I'm surprised wasn't already taken by some Italians Do It Better, retro-80s type band with a breathy female singer backed by shimmering synth tones)

In the show's middle set (if you haven't caught on by now the show always has three sets, interrupted by me blathering about what I've played but then often going off on tangents about, say, my least favorite day of the week, as I do in this episode) we hear two exemplars of the Japrocksampler list, Les Rallizes Dénudés, and Speed, Glue & Shinki, as well as an amazing bit of unbelievably fuzzed out 60s-retro psych rock from Portland's own White Manna, off their terrific new album Bleeding Eyes. We also hear a slab of psychedelic funk from Billy Preston: the theme to the blaxploitation cult classic Slaughter, starring Jim Brown - hall-of-fame running back, activist, actor, and... unfortunately, occasional beater-upper of women.

Finally, we end with The Breathing Effect, who I can only describe as psychedelic yacht rock. If you wish that, in the late 70s, Boz Scaggs had teamed up to record an album with Pink Floyd, then, well... I think this is a pretty accurate approximation of what may have resulted. And at the very, very, for real end of the show, we have 17 minutes of blissed-out motorik loveliness in the form of A Ride On The Bosphorus by Peter Broderick.

Go To Episode 76 Playlist
Sep 22

Another very special episode this week (and again, not in the 80s/90s sitcom "an older man touched me in my private area" kind of special) as it's the 75th episode of the Space Program's current incarnation, and for the occasion, I've... revamped this website, which I actually created a year ago, but, because I'm a Gen X slacker type who doesn't care about your fame, or your money, or any of your bourgeois B.S., maaaaan, I let lay dormant until, well, now. You still have to click through to House of Sound to listen to my show, due to technical and legal limitations (I don't have an ASCAP license for my site, so I can't host any of the music I play) but for each episode you have my delightlfully droll commentary, and a playlist that's a bit easier to read than on HoS. Plus I've added a bunch of new links to the Resource page, and if you go to the Contact page you'll find ways to contact me virtually or otherwise.

Musically, it's the same-old-same-old (I mean, I'll probably do something special for my 100th show, but the 75th isn't thaaaat big of a deal) starting with Khan Tengri (named for the tallest mountain in Kazakhstan. Shouldn't that be Mt. Borat? "My wife!" Oh, that never got old...) and a track called Ashoka (not to be confused with Ahsoka, the Star Wars character - hey, they have a track on the album named Minas Morgul, which is a LOTR reference, so they're just as geeky as me) followed up with German space rockers Zone Six and a song unfortunately named... ick... "Love Monster." As I mention on the show, I can only hope that a "Love Monster" is in fact a creature from Germanic folklore similar to the Krampus, who, rather than punishing naughty children at Christmas, punishes cads on Valentine's Day.

Later in the show we hear several tracks from the latest edition in Numero Group's Warfaring Strangers series, Acid Nightmares, a musical document of the angry, bitter, late-70s end of the hippie era. We also hear a version of Shakin' All Over (another version of which, by The Texas Gentlemen, I played last week) by the Space Lady, the unrequited love of the Space Program (and who played a sold-out show at the Hollywood Theatre the night this show aired, attended by yours truly). Finally, I play a track from erstwhile Portlander and Yellow Swans member Gabriel Saloman, from Movement Building, Vol. 3, the latest in a series of albums he's released of compositions intended to accompany modern dance performances.

Go To Episode 75 Playlist
Sep 15

This week's episode is very special (and not in the 80s/90s "dedicated to a 'serious' issue like stranger danger" sort of sense) as for the first time, I am joined by a guest: my brother, who I have frequently referenced on the show, often as the coiner of the phrase "looooong psychedelic jams" to describe my taste in music. We get into the etymology of that expression (which, as it turns out, may have been originated by me) as well as a few other subjects during the first episode break.

As for the music, we have some shoegaze-influenced psych-pop from Beaches, some drum-heavy drone from Ninos Du Brasil (whose recent album, Vida Eterna, is worth seeking out if only for its amazing cover art - a nightmare-inducing painting of a fruit bat) and several "trax" from Trax Test (Excerpts From The Modular Network 1981-1987) a compilation of songs released by the Italian new wave/minimal-synth label Trax (which has no affiliation with the Chicago house music label of the same name).

Later on in the show we hear from Facteur Cheval, a French group who seem to be challenging the British monopoly on The Fall-inspired bands that feature a guy drolly ranting over avant-garde noodling, and we end with the, uh, chemically named, 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyl: (5-MeO-DMT) from the recently reissued on vinyl (even though the original was released on CD, and presumably recorded on digital equipment, an issue I get into) Time Machines by Coil.

Go To Episode 74 Playlist
Sep 8

This week's show begins with a ten-minute-long burst of psych-rock clamor from Headroom (one of nine(!) artists with that name, per Discogs - and not, sadly, Max Headroom's re-entry into popular culture, omitting the "Max" a la MC Hammer reinventing himself as "Hammer") the new side-project from guitarist Kryssi Battalene of The Mountain Movers. This could be entirely my imagination, but they, along with The Myrrors (a frequenter of Space Program playlists, of late), both seem strongly influenced by the Parson Sound/Harvester/Trad Gras och Stenar collective. Could Swedish Krautrock (Swederock?) be influencing the psychedelic bands of the 2010s the way German Krautrock (yes, I know, redundant, but there are Swedish, Swiss, Italian, and French bands - among other nationalities - that get labeled "Krautrock") influenced psychedelic bands of the 1990s?

The middle of the show gets a bit dark (which I ascribe to the smoky darkness Portland has been engulfed in this week due to the massive forest fire twenty miles to the east of town) with doom metal from Sons of Otis, some 80s 4AD Records-inspired minimal synthiness from one-woman band Stacian, and some slightly-pretentious but not-insufferably-so art-rock from L.A. one-man band Violence.

The final set is taken up largely by a twenty-two minute piece of absolutely lovely keyboard-based, avant-garde drift-and-drone from Kara-Lis Coverdale.

Go To Episode 73 Playlist
Sep 1

We start off the first show of the not-quite-fall that is September with a bit of drone from Teleplasmiste, followed up with some psychedelic electronica from Robert Leiner (from an album called Melomania, whose title I take to mean he's a real Carmelo Anthony fan), some African-inspired minimal techno from Kondaktor, and some "Afro-fusion" from Msafiri Zawose (the term "Afro-fusion" I put in quotes because it's how his label describes his music, and entirely new to me) who hails from Tanzania, which is, as a country, a result of Afro-fusion, being an amalgam of Tanganyika and Zanzibar (I'd have gone with Zanzitang or possibly Tanzibar as the resultant name, but that's a whole different issue.

Later on, we hear from The Doomed Bird of Providence with a long track from an concept album exploring the troubled colonial history of Australia. How this is reflected in the music I haven't the slightest idea (there are no didgeridoos, or sounds of shrimps being thrown on barbies, or Jacko, the guy from 80s Energizer battery commercials, shouting "Oi!")

The show ends with a piece of, uh... doom jazz, I suppose, from Massimo Pupillo, and a song from Klaus Schulze - off an album recently released in honor of his 70th birthday -that in the 1980s was used as a pre-loaded demonstration track for keyboards

Go To Episode 72 Playlist
Aug 25

The show starts off with some good-old, blown-out, heavy psychedelic rock and/or roll from Domboshawa, The Odyssey Cult (the lastest project of Ethan Miller, of Comets on Fire, Howlin Rain, Heron Oblivion, and Feral Ohms), The Diaphanoids, Secret Saucer (who are technically more prog than psych, but whatever), and Joseph Shabason.

In the middle of the show, we get a new, looooong, motorik-ish jam from Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band and a track from one of my favorite albums of last year, Rafi Bookstaber's "Late Summer", to commemorate the fact that it's... a specific time of year.

Finally, we end with some spaced-out free jazz from Zeitkratzer, the latest blast of noise from Jan St. Werner (of Mouse on Mars and other assorted projects) and a track from the original soundtrack to the new film "Good Time" (which is not, to my great disappointment, a prequel to the TV show "Good Times") by Oneohtrix Point Never.

Go To Episode 71 Playlist
Aug 18

This episode, at least the first third or so, is themed to commemorate a certain upcoming astronomical event - try and see if you can guess what it is. First we have the late Michael Garrison, long-time denizen of Bend, Oregon, with a track from his 1982 album Eclipse, then we hear from, in order, Moon Duo, Sun Araw, Radar Men From The Moon, Sun City Girls, Moon Phantoms, and Sunn O))). Figure it out? Write down the answer on a 3"x5" notecard and mail it to:
The Space Program, 123 Space Avenue, Space, SP 99999.

Later we hear from Pikacyu*Makoto, which thankfully has nothing to do with Pokemon, but is a project of Pika from Afrirampo and Kawabata Makoto from Acid Mothers Temple. We also hear a new track from Housewives, a This Heat-inspired kraut-noise ensemble, and an excerpt from the ever-prolific Sula Bassana's soundtrack to a movie titled, curiously, "The Ape Regards His Tail" (a notable characteristic of apes is that they have no tails).

Go To Episode 70 Playlist
Aug 11

The episode opens with a track from the latest release by Carlton Melton, who of late have been a little less (face) Melton, and a little more (George) Carlton (George Karl, of course, being an NBA coach known for his laid-back approach. Also, when he coached the Sonics back in the 90s, his daughter went to my high school and I used to sometimes see him in the morning, dropping her off - NBA Coaches: just like us).

Later in the show I play Franco Battiato, in honor of the fact that several of his early albums are receiving long-overdue reissues this fall from Superior Viaduct, and John Cale, my favorite member of the Velvet Underground, in honor of the fact that Portland resident Todd Haynes has announced he is making a documentary about the VU, which, given that only two of the four founding members are still alive (and Mo Tucker is a right-wing headcase) and there's almost no archival footage of them, might be a bit of a challenge.

Finally, we end with Taj Mahal Travellers, and a track from their gorgeous album August 1974, recorded 43 years ago this month. From Julian Cope's Japrocksampler review: "Underplaying the deep theta meditations of the first record, here the Taj Mahal Travellers fuss with their primitive electronic gadgetry and Ur-babble like endangered species seeking collective closure, this album's refusal to dwell in deep ponds of reverb ensuring that the first clawing steps towards the individual are forever approaching, and all achieved with such a remarkable sense of orchestration that a strangely syncopated universal funk develops between the six." Couldn't have put it better myself.

Go To Episode 69 Playlist
Aug 4

In the first set of this week's show, we hear from Spectre Folk, the long-running psych-folk-drone ensemble helmed by Pete Nolan (also of Magick Markers (a band that, in an alternate universe with better musical taste would have occupied the role of artsy, garage rock trio with a dynamic frontwoman that successfully crosses into the mainstream filled by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in this one) and GHQ) that in its current incarnation includes Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and Mark Ibold of Pavement.

In the middle set, I delve deep into Julian Cope's seminal Krautrocksampler list, past CAN and Neu and Amon Duul II, to play Lord Krishna Von Goloka, an album of spoken word from dissident Czech writer Sergius Golowin backed with instrumentation from an assortment of Krautrock notables, led by Klaus Schulze and including the duo of Witthüser & Westrupp, whose album Trips & Träume (also on the Krautrocksampler list) I subsequently play a track from.

The final set includes a track from the excellent new compilation "Space, Energy & Light: Experimental Electronic And Acoustic Soundscapes 1961-1988" out on Soul Jazz that focuses on albums from the likes of Michael Garrison (Bend, Oregon's own!) and Stephen Halperin I used to snap up for a dollar a piece from the "New Age" bins in vintage record stores in the 90s/early 2000s. We then wrap up with an excellent piece of Schulze-esque neo-Kosmische from Cosmic Ground, the solo project of Dirk Jan Müller of the band Electric Orange.

Go To Episode 68 Playlist
Jul 28

This week's show starts with Squadra Omega, an Italian psychedelic free-improv group whose new album, Materia Oscura (Dark Matter) seems almost tailor-made for the Space Program. Spaced-out, Krauty clatter, with a space-themed title (and track names)? How could I not play it?

We also hear in the first set from Cosmic Jokers, who feature rather prominently on the oft-referenced-on-the-show Krautrocksampler list, but who I didn't really ever get into until somewhat recently, largely because I loathe the name Cosmic Jokers, which I think is largely a result of having come of age in the 90s, when joker hats were all the rage among anyone who fancied themselves "wacky," "zany,"... "kind of different." They were kind of the ear gauges of the 90s, but less permanent.

The show ends with a track from a new album from a pair of Krautrock legends, Harald Grosskopf and Eberhard Kranemann. And while this album is a perfectly serviceable effort, I would be remiss to mention Grosskopf without recommending his 1980 album Synthesist, which was reissued a few years back and played on this show numerous times.

Go To Episode 67 Playlist
Jul 21

The show starts with some Hawkwind-esque blown-out spacerock jams from Cosmic Fall and Earthling Society, but also the dark, minimal, tropically-tinged (yeah, I know, weird) drones of the odd-yet-aptly-named Heroin in Tahiti. I have never done heroin, nor been to Tahiti, and yet, somehow, this album I think captures what it might be like to combine the two. Mostly, I congratulate them on coming up with a name that isn't merely a creative non-sequitur, a seeming rarity in recent years.

Later on in the show, I play not just one... (slight murmur)... not just two (slightly louder murmur)... but three, yes three (murmur transforms into cascade of angry shouts) from the excellent new compilation Outro Tempo: Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992 out on Music From Memory records, an excellent companion piece to last year's Soul Jazz-released compliation of electronic music from Venezuela from the same era.

The show finshes with a loooong track from Curanderos, the latest side project from Bardo Pond (of which there are a seemingly infinite number, and all of which are essentially indistinguishable from Bardo Pond itself) and Xordox, the alter-ego of J.G. Thirwell, of Foetus, but, more importantly in my mind, composer of music for the Venture Bros.

Go To Episode 66 Playlist