Posts Tagged ‘LSD


Tangerine Dream “Stratosfear”

I’m pretty sure I used to have this 1976 Tangerine Dream record and was not too crazy about it, so it’s worth revisiting—perhaps I have grown mature, or electronic, or German, or mellow, or nostalgic. The front and back and inside images are some photo-collage nonsense that is embarrassingly dated. The first song, “Stratosfear” sounds really familiar, like maybe it was used in a movie soundtrack or maybe soundtrack music has been directly inspired by this. I can see some wintery, European landscape with an expensive car traveling over desolate roads that should be beautiful, but because of this music and the the exaggerated blue color temperature of the scene we understand that something tragic either just happened or is about to. It seems like half, or more, of the movies I see are incredibly, annoyingly blue—and my theory about this is that it’s because of the current pharmaceutical landscape in which we live. I thought about this while working at a recent grocery store job where the workers (the ones who didn’t get “laid off”) worked with a seemingly speed-fueled intensity—in spite of their being NO coffee offered in the workplace—and very little coffee brought in from outside, even. Which led me to think about all the people who are diagnosed with ADHD, etc. and are prescribed Adderall, etc. and are essentially like speed freaks all the time. I don’t know this, but it would explain a lot. So, likewise, I’m thinking, with so many people on anti-depressants, maybe this has caused an overall shift in the acceptable color temperature of commercial cinema—in order to just look “normal”—it has to be very, very blue.

The first side is astoundingly under 15 minutes long (the second is closer to 20, but still…) aren’t these progressive rock guys famous for really long songs and albums? Maybe I’m just thinking of Genesis, whose records were always like 60 minutes long. But come on, it’s not like anyone is working up a sweat here, it’s just kind of programmed and then it trickles along like a 1970s movie (that you can’t believe was allowed to take its time like that, and would never happen today). But come on, guys, a lot of trees died so this album cover could open up to reveal the letters “TD” 24 inches wide (and a photo-collaged, little, black and white, blond, German kid as big as your fingernail). Side two is so quiet and low-key I think it would only work on that original, really good LSD I’ve heard about—and playing through tube amplifiers the size of a VW, and Altec-Lansing “Voice of the Theater” speakers that would turn the 1812 Overture into a weapon of mass destruction—but here functions to expose the subtlety that is necessary for this record to make any sense at all.


The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

I think that’s the first time I actually TYPED “Sgt. Pepper’s…” etc, and it feels kind of weird to think about Dr. Pepper, and Chihuahuas named pepper, and lonely hearts, etc. There could be a public digital counter like the national debt clock that ticks off faster than the eye can see for every time this record is played. I’m sure more people have listened to it than have been served at McDonald’s. I feel a little bit in danger, actually, putting this on the turntable, as if this time might be the crucial spin that reaches some kind of cosmic saturation point and creates a rupture in the universe or something. But I’m trying to be objective. Because you know, as impossible as it is, that is what we strive for here at the “Farraginous Zone.”

I would be happy to never hear again: “A Little Help From My Friends.” “Getting Better.” “Fixing A Hole.” “She’s Leaving Home.” “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite.” Also: The SITAR, in any form. “Lovely Rita” sounds good only because it follows the interminable “Within You Without You.” What was I doing in 1967? Not acid, that’s for sure. I think listening to Motown on my transistor radio. I heard, from my cousin, that The Beatles said they were bigger than Jesus, or something, and I was kind of freaked out. The Partridge Family was bigger than Jesus, for me, and Tommy Roe, as well. Because I was in love. The Beatles didn’t do much for me until years and years later. When I heard that “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” meant LSD, I thought that was one of the coolest things I’d ever heard.

I still kind of like “A Day In The Life” at least. I mean, how can you argue with a line like: “four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire?” If anyone knows what that means, I’ll thank them to please NOT tell me and ruin the spell. But I think I still have feelings about that song mostly because when I had laughing gas for the first time, my dentist, Dr. Verringer, happened to be playing that song. It was no accident; he loved The Beatles, that’s all he played in the office. I think he got some kind of thrill out of the fact that a guy was getting high in his chair while that song was playing. I can’t complain.

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