Tag: Grateful Dead

New Audio: Possum Returns with a Trippy and Expansive Jam

Toronto-based psych rock act Possum — Brandon Bak, Tobin Hopwood, Christopher Shannon, Patrick Lefler and Bradley Thibodeau — can trace their origins to their involvement and eventual meeting through their hometown’s psych rock and garage rock scenes, bonding over a mutual love and appreciate of acts like CAN, Grateful Dead, Fela Kuti and Ty Segall. Possum’s full-length debut Space Grade Assembly and the Toronto-based quintet crafting a hypnotic sound that drew from and meshed elements of garage rock, kraurock, psych rock and Ethio-jazz, centered around expansive arrangements full of shifting time signature changes.

Possum’s self-produced, sophomore album Lunar Gardens is slated for a July 2, 2021 release through Ideé Fixe Records, and the album reportedly finds the band further cementing their sound while pushing their songwriting into new, unchartered territory for them. Thematically, the album touches upon telepathy, ESP, thought transference, Ley line riding and the like; it’s a a psychic exploration of the collective cortex, the capture of cosmic energy and the alignment of astral flux. Trippy shit, indeed. 

“While Space Grade Assembly dealt more with space in a cold literal sense, Lunar Gardens’ approach is more ‘space as metaphor for consciousness in all of its infinite expanding fractal forms’, a surrealist escapist space fantasy of impossible spaces — the type of place you might go when the things are too heavy here in 3D,” the Toronto-based quintet says of the differences between their debut and forthcoming sophomore album. “If we were talking movies, one might say Space Grade Assembly is 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lunar Gardens is The Holy Mountain.”

In the buildup for the album’s release next month, I’ve written about two of the album’s single:

“Gala at the Universe City,” a languorous song centered around a slithering and musty funkiness that to my ears brought  Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and CAN to mind.
“Clarified Budder,” a song that acts as a bridge between their debut and sophomore album that begins with a languorous intro before quickly exploding out the gate, featuring rapid-fire drumming, a hypnotic motorist groove, wah-wah pedaled guitars and punchily delivered vocals. And the end result is a song that actively evokes the sensation of being weightless and floating away from your surroundings.

New Audio: Possum Releases a Hypnotic Cosmic Jam

Toronto-based psych rock act Possum — Brandon Bak, Tobin Hopwood, Christopher Shannon, Patrick Lefler and Bradley Thibodeau — can trace their origins to their involvement and eventually meeting through their hometown’s psych rock and garage rock scenes. Bonding over a mutual love and appreciation of acts like CAN, Grateful Dead, Fela Kuti and Ty Segall, the act’s full-length debut Space Grade Assembly found the act crafting a hypnotic sound that fused elements of garage rock, krautrock, psych rock and ethio-jazz centered around expansive arrangements full of shifting time signature changes.

The Toronto-based psych quartet’s self-produced sophomore album Lunar Gardens is slated for a July 2, 2021 release through Ideé Fixe Records, and the album reportedly finds the band crafting material that meshes elements of jazz, komische/krautrock, funk and psych rock while pushing their songwriting into new, unchartered territory for them. Thematically, the album touches upon telepathy, ESP, thought transference, Ley line riding and the like; it’s a a psychic exploration of the collective cortex, the capture of cosmic energy and the alignment of astral flux. Trippy shit, indeed.

“While Space Grade Assembly dealt more with space in a cold literal sense, Lunar Gardens’ approach is more ‘space as metaphor for consciousness in all of its infinite expanding fractal forms’, a surrealist escapist space fantasy of impossible spaces — the type of place you might go when the things are too heavy here in 3D,” the Toronto-based quintet says of the differences between their debut and forthcoming sophomore album. “If we were talking movies, one might say Space Grade Assembly is 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lunar Gardens is The Holy Mountain.”

Last month, I wrote about album single “Gala at the Universe City,” a languorous and slow-burning song that brought  Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and CAN to mind but centered a slithering and musty funkiness. Interestingly, the album’s second single, album opening “Clarified Budder” acts as a bridge between their debut and sophomore albums’ beginning with a languorous intro, the song explodes out of the gate, featuring rapid-fire drumming, a hypnotic motorik groove, wah-wah pedaled guitars and punchily delivered vocals. The end result is a song that evokes the feeling of floating away from your surroundings.

New Audio: Chris Robinson-led Green Leaf Rustlers Release a Gorgeous Rolling Stones Cover

Marin County, California-based act Green Leaf Rustlers, comprised of Chris Robinson (a.k.a, the most soulful white guy on the face of the earth), Barry Sless, Greg Loiacono, Pete Sears, and John Moro have developed a reputation for being one of the area’s live music scene staples, for their re-imagining of classic, cosmic country and country rock — in particular the work of artists like Gram Parsons, Waylon Jennings, The Byrds and others. “Green Leaf Rustlers are a Marin County hippie hayride,” the band’s Chris Robinson says in press notes. “Rockin’ and rollin’ through our favorite classic cosmic country covers and keeping the good people dancing the night away under star-filled western skies.”

Although the band has seldom performed outside of Northern California, their debut album From Within Marin, which is slated for a March 6, 2020 release is a double LP live album, recorded by Grateful Dead archivist Betty Cantor Jackson at a handful of Green Leaf Rustler shows across Marin County last year. The album sees Robinson and company work there way through renditions of Gram Parsons’ “Big Mouth Blues,” Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” JJ Cale’s “Ride Me High,” Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s “That’s Alright Mama” and the album’s second and latest single — a shimmering and twangier take on The Rolling Stones’ “No Expectations” that’s expands upon the lonely honky tonk vibe of the original in a loving fashion. 

Last month, I wrote about the Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based psych rock quartet Possum, and as you may recall the band, which is comprised of Brandon Bak (guitar, vocals), Tobin Hopwood (guitar), Patrick Lefler (bass) and Bradley Thibodeau (drums) met within their hometown’s psych rock and garage rock scenes. The members of the band bonded over their mutual love and appreciation of acts like of CAN, Grateful Dead, Fela Kuti and Ty Segall — but the end result is a sound that can be loosely described as a fusion of garage rock, krautrock, psych rock and ethno jazz, complete with rapid tempo and time signature change, hypnotic riffs and chugging, motorik grooves.

Live, their shows are an immersive experience in which the band pairs high energy performances and trippy sounds with lysergic visual projections by The Oscillitarium. And as a result of their live show, the members of Possum have shared stages with the likes of the aforementioned Ty Segall, All Them Witches, Shannon and The Clams, Bombino, L.A. Witch and Chad VanGaalen.

Interestingly, the Canadian psych rockers have maintained a steadfast and ardent DIY ethos in which they’ve independently recorded, mixed and produced their material using old analog tape machines — and they’ve packaged their music themselves. In fact, Possum’s full-length debut, Space Grade Assembly, which is slated for release later this month continues the band’s DIY ethos with the material recorded almost entirely live and mixed by the band’s Brandon Bak and Tobin Hopwood. Album single “The Hills” was an expansive and heady mix of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin power chord-fueled riffing, thunderous drumming, Afrobeat and Latin-tinged percussion that found the band’s production nodding at shoegaze, classic psych rock and krautrock simultaneously.

Clocking in at a little over eight minutes, “Worms Hollow,” Space Grade Assembly‘s latest single is a mind-altering and expansive track that’s one part 60s inspired garage psych, one part motorik groove-driven krautrock and one part space rock centered around a focused and urgent performance.

Possum is currently on a lengthy North American tour. Check out the remaining tour dates below.

Tour Dates
June 7 – Chicago, IL (Emporium)
June 8 – Kansas City, MI (TBA)
June 9 – Denver, CO (Second City Music Collective)
June 11 – San Francisco, CA (Knockout Lounge)
June 13 – Portland, OR (Post 134)
June 14 – Seattle, WA (Clock Out Lounge)
June 16 – Vancouver, BC (Static Jupiter)
June 17 – Victoria, BC (Copper House)
June 18 – Nanaimo, BC (Nanaimo Bar)
June 19 – Kelowna. BC (Fernando’s)
June 20 – Kamloops, BC (Blue Grotto)
June 21/22/23 – Calgary, AB (Sled Island Muisc Festival)
June 24 – Regina, SK (TA Vinyl and Fashion)
June 25 – Winnepeg, MB (Handsome Daughter)
June 26 – Minneapolis, MN (Terminal Bar)
June 27 – Milwaukee, WI (Cactus Club)
June 28 – Detroit, MI (Kelly’s Bar)

New Video: The Feverish and Lysergic Visuals for Possum’s “The Hills”

Comprised of Brandon Bak (guitar, vocals), Tobin Hopwood (guitar), Patrick Lefler (bass) and Bradley Thibodeau (drums), the Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based psych rock quartet Possum met within their hometown’s psych and garage scenes. And as as the story goes, the members of the up-and-coming Canadian psych rock act bonded over a mutual love and appreciation of CAN, Grateful Dead, Fela Kuti and Ty Segall — with the end result being a sound that’s a fusion of garage rock, kraut rock, psych rock, ethno jazz, complete with rapidly tempo and time signature changes, hypnotic riffs and chugging bass. Their live shows are an immersive experience which finds the band pairing pairing high energy performances and trippy sounds with lysergic visual projections by The Oscillitarium.  As a result of their high energy shows, Possum has shared stages with the likes of Ty Segall, All Them Witches, Shannon and The Clams, Bombino, L.A. Witch and Chad VanGaalen. 

Using old tape machines, the Canadian psych rock act has managed to independently record, mix, produce and package all of their music; in fact, their full-length debut, Space Grade Assembly, which is slated for a June 21, 2019 release through Garment District Records finds the band further establishing their DIY ethos with the material being recorded almost entirely live and mixed by the band’s Brandon Bak and Tobin Hopwood. Interestingly, the album’s latest single “The Hills” is an expansive and heady mix of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin power chord-fueled riffing, thunderous drumming, Afrobeat and Latin-tinged percussion, jowering shoegazer meets 60s psych rock production and kraut rock with a cosmic glow and a muscular forcefulness. As the band explains, “‘The Hills’ came about after our experience at the Frontier Ghost Town – an authentic wild west camp where they once filmed a Charles Manson movie. Sonically, we wanted to travel between the feel of Mylar & Haight-Ashbury era mysticism.”  

Unsurprisingly, the recently released video for “The Hills” is an appropriately feverish and lysergic affair. 

New Video: The Playful and Menacing Visuals for Cool Ghouls’ “(If I Can’t Be) The Man”

With the release of 2014’s A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye, the San Francisco, CA-based psych rock/indie rock quartet Cool Ghouls, comprised of Pat Thomas, Ryan Wong, Pat McDonald, and Alex Fleshman, received a growing national profile for a sound that’s clearly indebted to The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Neil Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival and classic psych rock as their material is generally comprised of jangling guitar chords, simple yet propulsive percussion and layered, multi-part harmonies. Last year’s Animal Races further cemented their growing profile and reputation for crafting jangling guitar rock straight out of 1966-1970 or so; in fact, you may recall that last year I wrote about album singles “Sundial” and “Spectator.”

Currently, the band is on tour to support Animal Races and a limited release, tour-only cassette Gord’s Horse but interestingly enough, Animal Races’ latest single is the twangy, Grateful Dead and Everybody Says This Is Nowhere-era Neil Young–leaning bit of psych rock “(If I Can’t) Be The Man.”

Directed, shot and edited by Ry Pieri, the recently released video for “(If I Can’t) Be The Man” features the members of Cool Ghouls as cheap beer drinking clowns in a park and it’s all fun and games until the drunkenness turns rather dark.