Monday, February 9, 2009

Crystalized Movements - This Wideness Comes

What the hell am I going to say about this?  I am not worthy to describe it accurately, but I will try anyway.  Crystalized Movements was the first in a long succession of bands led by underground psychedelic guitar icon Wayne Rogers. Eric Arn (of Primordial Undermind, and an underground guitar icon in his own right) played second guitar in earlier lineups of Crystalized Movements.  Prior to releasing This Wideness Comes in 1990, Arn was replaced by longtime Rogers collaborator and partner Kate Biggar.  The rest, as they say, is history.  

Most songs start out as melodic psychedelic rock, dive into one or more heavy freak-out rabbit holes, and occasionally splash around in the quicksand of Sonic Youth style noise.  Like I said, I cannot describe this accurately.  Take my word for it, this record is pure joy.  

I have never seen this album in any of the usual blog circles.  Why not? I would say that This Wideness Comes set the tone for the next eighteen years (and counting) of Rogers-Biggar creations.  After one more Crystallized Movements LP (Revelations From Pandemonium, 1992) the pair continued to expand their mind-altering vision of rock music in Vermonster, Bongloads of Righteous Boo, Magic Hour, and - currently - Major Stars.  

For fans of Twisted Village, Forced Exposure, rock music, and w33d.

Some Velvet Sidewalk - Whirpool

Some Velvet Sidewalk were contemporaries of Beat Happening in the late 80s/early 90s Pacific Northwest scene.  Not surprisingly, K Records released most of their recordings.  They shared Beat Happening's minimalist approach to rock, but Some Velvet Sidewalk were a bit more... there is no way to candy coat this... talented.  

Even then, it took SVS a couple albums to really get their stride.  Whirlpool is my personal favorite album of theirs.  It was certainly heavier than their earlier releases, but it was also more sprawling in its sound and tighter in its performance.  No doubt this was thanks in large part to production by Steve Fisk.  

If you like slightly atonal, sometimes noisy and droning, occassionally childlike, but ultimately melodic indie rock typical of the early K Records persuasion, check it out.

Monday, February 2, 2009