Excellent 60s underground internet radio station

Beyond The Beat Generation is a fantastic Internet radio station that plays obscure 60s rock, from mod to acid rock to merseybeat to psychedelia. The reason I like the station so much is that I've never heard of most of the groups on the playlists. From the "What is this all about" page:
Vernon Joynson Ruined My Life - Jeffrey Lewis

By the time I was about 19 years old I was well obsessed with 60s rock, and I thought I had totally mined the depths of it for cool psychedelic stuff just because I had Syd Barrett's solo albums, the first 13th Floor Elevators album, some Moby Grape and some Love. I even had a radio show at my college which I advertised as being "obscure psychedelic 60s music" although at the time "obscure" meant to me that I'd play Jefferson Airplane songs which were never on regular radio, etc. When I went to London for the first time, doing a study-abroad semester in Ealing in spring of 1996, I spent a lot of time hanging out in the TVU school library - just for fun I typed "psychedelic" into the library search computer and a book called "The Acid Trip: A Complete Guide to Psychedelic Music" written by one Vernon Joynston, came up. Excited at my luck, I located it on the shelves and took it home.

Have you ever had an experience that was so life changing and mind blowing you can't even remember it? I honestly have no recollection at all of what my first thoughts were when I started flipping through this book, a beautiful hardcover 136-page volume, packed with over 200 album cover reproductions, many in full color, and descriptions/comments on all the albums. All I know is that my paltry little world of music knowlege, that I thought was so extensive, was completely exploded - I had no idea WHATSOEVER that there existed a VAST realm of rare and insane albums that were long out of print, were known by nearly no one, and were seemingly beautiful and strange beyond anything I had hoped really existed. I took that book out of the library over and over again, and (after nervously researching the possible penalties for theft, thoughtful wus that I am) I eventually just never returned it and smuggled it back to the States with me when I returned home that May.
Link (Thanks, Ty Nowotny!)


  1. this reminds me of the day at my college radio station I found all these old 60s records I had never heard of. I naively thought — if you have a record out — you must have achieved some degree of fame. Then, I assumed — that these records must be no good, that people did them as vanity projects or something. Wrong again. I played a few and some were very good. Just like now, I’m sure each of can name a great local indie band that none of the rest of us know about. There’s many who missed the fame train, but were very competent artists. And this makes me wonder about swing music — I’ve heard all the classics my whole life, but I would love to know if there’s something like the above resource for undiscovered swing music. With the link above, I can tell a kid who thinks Satisfaction defines rock music about all these other great undiscovered artists. Me, all I know is String of Pearls and In the Mood — what about swing music that escaped popularity but was smart and fun?

  2. I’ve been listing to the BBG stream for months and (unlike Soma, Woxy, 3wk, and other webcasts I listen to) I never grow tired of it. I mean, where else can I here 14 different versions of Hey Joe, or Gloria, or anything by Los Angeles Smog Division? An excellent, excellent web radio station.

  3. I look forward to giving BBG a listen. In the meantime, anyone interested in ’60s music ought to investigate WFMU, either live or archived (check out their Random Archive Generator). Start with “Music to Spazz By,” with host Dave the Spazz, who comes up with hour after hour of quintessential ’60s rock ‘n’ roll without including a single track you’ve ever heard before. Brilliant station.

  4. God! I’m so tired of the 60’s and the stupid psychedelic nonsense. I’m also tired of obscure pretentious music. Just give me a tupid beat and let me be the idiot i want to be. BTW, Where is our 1968 may, 2008

  5. There is definitely a problem among some aficionados to favor the most obscure artists (I have witnessed record collector nerds suddenly hating a long-cherished favorite when it gets reissued on cd), but so what. If you like the music, you like the music; who cares if pretentious hipsters like it or not.

    A lot of obscure collectibles from that era really are sub-par, and a lot are great– it’s a crap shoot, and ultimately all a matter of taste. My first taste of truly obscure 60’s rock as a teenager left me mostly unimpressed, but hearing the same record years later knocked me out; I can’t explain why.

  6. Does anyone know if that blurb was written by the same Jeffrey Lewis of anti-folk and “The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane” fame?

    And if so, what kind of affiliation does he have with BBG?

  7. The hippest people of any generation are the ones who listen to the most obscure music… the hipsters of my generation price themselves on listening to bands that “no one has ever heard of”. Once a band gains some level of fame they lose all interest, as portrayed in Hipster Haiku (the ebooks and audiobooks version), a pretty funny look at the inner workings of a hipster.

  8. #7

    It certainly seems like something Jeff Lewis would say.

    Incidentally, /that/ Jeffrey Lewis is a babe magnet. Ive never met the man, but he dated two of my friends, which seems like a really weird coincidence. I highly recommend his 12 Crass Songs album. Its Crass for people who are angry, but not that angry.

  9. This was a great time for music .
    Lothar and the hand People is my addition to the list of great late 60s music. They were on the Capitol label and released two LPs and 4 45s.
    This was one of the rare periods when music was actually art and was more independent of business and marketing.
    Thank goodness that the internet is around to offer up free interesting music from around the world or everything would be artless rubbish like Hanah Blahtanna, Britney smears or the talentless rap where few can even play any instruments.It is too bad that the fidelity of online music is poor.
    This era of the late 60s also features full fidelity sound instead of the awful MP3 average 128 Kbbs. Low dynamic music like rap and top 40 don’t need more than this .
    Digital sound is good at 24 bits and 96khz but it is rare to get anything like this.
    Thanks for turning me onto this cool web site.

  10. If you like this, you should track down the Technicolor Web of Sound (Psychedelic radio), http://techwebsound.com.

    They replay old radio tapes from the late 60s on classic old LA stations like KJOY. You can hear stuff like 13th Floor Elevators, and more.

    Listening to “hipster” ads for places that are long gone really brings back the memories…

  11. Search Amazon for ‘nuggets’ and you will find the best introductory compilation of garage psychedelia ever put together in one cool box set! This, of course, is just the tip o’ the ice berg ,but it’s a great place to start. For a great feed of totally non-conformist, non-commercial music from the 60s and 70s try ‘Dr Yo’ on shoutcast and even itunes.
    To the fellow who is ‘so tired of the 60s’, I suggest they go work for the John McCain campaign.

  12. Nice of the guy to steal the book so that no one else can make the same discovery. What is it about music dorks that makes them steal from libraries? No section of the library has as many titles listed as “missing” as pop music.

    I’m keener on the soft-pop, lyte-psych stuff myself. There is SO MUCH of it being re-released lately that I’m kind of in paradise. For some reason it’s always Brits or Germans who understand American culture the best — all those amazing Bear Family sets, and Rev-Ola in England is so wonderful for pop. I just got The Merry-Go-Round the other day; I’m in heaven.

  13. Does anybody know what happened to http://www.techwebsound.com/ ?
    Since yesterday (26.03.2009) my browser says “The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.”
    It was my favourite radio station!!
    What other stations play the same kind of music?

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