Weird prompt, but a TV ad last night for the forthcoming Formula One coverage reminded me that I’d been sat on Pocahaunted a bit too long. Specifically, it was the snatch of the BBC’s old theme tune, Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”, which Pocahaunted covered to mesmeric effect on their “Chains” album last year.
As far as I can tell, Pocahaunted released about half a dozen albums last year – a home-baked frenzy of productivity that seems typical of the Not Not Fun label scene in LA they’re a part of. I’m indebted to Simon for introducing me to this stuff, to the batch of smogged tribal jams emanating from the label and associates.
I’ve already blogged a couple of times about Sun Araw, and he (Cameron Stallones) has a new split vinyl here that needs writing about; the other act on this one is Predator Vision, who I think is/are more or less the same as Ducktails. Stallones is also part of the band Magic Lantern, who also have a new split vinyl with some unit called the Hop Frog Kollectiv; that’s good, too. Oh, and there’s a band called Vibes who seem to be ostensibly yet another configuration of the same folks. Not heard that one yet.
To continue the insane Pete-Frame-goes-feral family tree-building for a little longer, Pocahaunted have an amazing new album out on Troubleman called “Passage”, in collaboration with Bobb Bruno and, yep, Cameron Stallones. It is, I think, wonderful: sadly, none of the tracks seem to be playing at the Pocahaunted Myspace, but the stuff there’s all good anyway.
On the Myspace, the band – Bethany and Amanda – describe their music, perhaps not entirely seriously, as sounding like “the earth’s period”. A bit daft, but it does go some way to articulating the trancelike, female-positive potency of their music. Essentially, the four long jams on “Passage” are much in the tradition of what they’ve been doing for the past year or so: thick Popol Vuh drones, dirge funk grooves, intricate threads of guitar and organ dropping in and out of the mix; and the pair’s trademark harmonious moans, far in the distance. This one has a tighter focus, a greater clarity, though, as if they’re really nailing the concept now.
One of the many great things about these bands, especially Pocahaunted, is that they manage to be at once intense and pranksterish: fairly predictably, judging by the Myspace, it seems like Sonic Youth are onto them, and that band’s capacity to make serious noise art with, when the need arises, a kind of irreverent spirit, is something that that sometimes goes missing in what appears to be a still-expanding new psych underground.
Another weird parallel this morning, in that before Pocahaunted I played the new Julian Cope/Black Sheep double, “Kiss My Sweet Apocalypse”. Some shared vibes there, perhaps, but also a final song whose title and mantra works nicely as a banner for Pocahaunted and this whole movement: “HEATHEN FRONTIERS IN SOUND.” Maybe I should change the name of my blog?