Wild Mercury Sound

San Francisco Nuggets, Super Furry Animals, Rilo Kiley and the Boredoms

John Mulvey

A few interesting posts turned up on the blogs these past few days. The Super Furry Animals love continues, and Harri writes, "On first listen it sounded good, but maybe little bland by SFA's lofty standards; by the 4th or 5th listen I realised how much depth it actually has. Another SFA classic then, in my opinion - here's hoping one of the two on the way is the long lost techno record!"

Meanwhile, there's some indie vs mainstream battlelines being drawn over the new Rilo Kiley album. Jess Harris writes, "Rilo Kiley might not be ashamed of "Under the Blacklight," but as a long-time fan of the band, I truly am. Instead of just being distributed under Brute/Beaute Records through Warner Brothers, they've now signed directly with Warner, using Mike Elizondo as a producer - the same Elizondo who has worked with 50 Cent and Jay-Z."

Well I love Jay-Z, so that's a good thing to me (though - easy! - "Under The Blacklight" is far from a hip hop record). More saliently, it's worth mentioning that Elizondo produced Fiona Apple's fine "Extraordinary Machine". And surely Warner Brothers is Warner Brothers? Who cares what it says on the label?

Nick R wants some Boredoms recommendations. I'd start with "Vision Create Newsun", then "Super AE", then "Seadrum/House Of Sun". I also wrote about the reissue of "Super Roots 7" here. "Super Roots 9" is out in Japan - a live album, by all accounts. When I track it down, I'll let you all know.

Since yesterday, we've been pretty immersed in a fantastic 4CD box set from Rhino called "Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970". It's a brilliant history of the city's music, as raw garage bands and folk-rockers gradually evolve into something more psychedelic and outre.

Fabulous music notwithstanding, it's interesting to note how societal change and the birth of the hippies actually outpaced the musical revolution: while their gigs were transcendent events, The Grateful Dead were still recording punchy, economical ramalams like "The Golden Road". Even "Dark Star", customarily a 20-minute quicksilver freak-out, managed to be condensed into an airy, pithy single.

Listening to this amazing comp, it seems as if Grace Slick's Great Society might have been the first band to move into something thicker, eastern-influenced and definably psychedelic, although Country Joe's instrumental "Section 43" is a revelation. We can safely call that one trippy, I think.

It's going to take a while to digest everything here, so I'll try and come back to it in the next week or two. This morning, though, I'm enjoying Fifty Foot Hose's "Red The Sign Post" and Blue Cheer's "Fool", as you might imagine, plus strange new finds like The Vejtables' ghostly, muted take on garage rock, "Anything", and The Otherside's frantic, overdriven "Sidecar". Oh and "Omaha", and "White Rabbit" and "Get Together". . .


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