Forget everything you think you hate about New Age music. I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950-1999 is a stunning compilation of beautiful, chill, complex, psychedelic, trancy, spacey, and surprisingly deep music that was self-published and self-distributed, mostly on cassette tapes in a 1970s and early-1980s heyday of experimentalism. Of course, this was before major labels saw gold beside the crystals, wrapped the worst of the music in truly bad (as opposed to good bad) cover art, and unleashed marketing magick that forever stigmatized the genre. But the music on I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950-1990 is something else entirely.
This is the music of Laraaji (excerpt above), who Brian Eno discovered in Washington Square Park playing for spare change. It's the music of minimalist composer JD Emmanuel who could be easily be filed with Oneohtrix Point Never and Emeralds. It's the sound of Steven Halprin's "anti-frantic alternative" music from before he became a rock star of "healing music." Curator Douglas Mcgowan is the audio archeologist behind the collection and wrote the terrific liner notes. The beautiful cover art is by Gilbert Williams. I picked up my absolutely stunning 3LP vinyl copy at San Francisco's Aquarius Records. Check out the trailer below! The CD is also available from Amazon: I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950-1990.
For more background, don't miss this excellent episode of the Expanding Mind podcast with Erik and Maja talking with Douglas Mcgowan about the compilation and "the hidden sublimity of a reviled genre."
From Hamilton, Ontario, it’s The Vaudevillian, an old-timey ragtimey troupe! Below, a clip from last week with the band now as a duo. They say that “as well as performing at festivals and theaters around Canada, they host interactive Washboard Workshops and interactive Musical Spoon Workshops all across the country and to date have taught […]
To paraphrase one YouTube commenter, innovative acoustic guitar maestro Luca Stricagnoli is the only guy permitted to play a Zeppelin song at Guitar Center. Don’t miss his manipulation of the tuning pegs during the song.
From an interview with Gil-Scott Heron: “The first change that takes place is in your mind. You have to change your mind before you change the way you live and the way you move…It will just be something you see and you’ll think, “Oh I’m on the wrong page.” “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” […]
Father’s Day is June 21st, otherwise known as the roughest shopping day of the year. Don’t get us wrong, Dad deserves an awesome gift for all the great things he gave you. But let’s be honest — buying for your father is often a chore. Your gift has to take into account what he already […]
Even in horrible economic times, a few simple rules hold unshakably true. And one of those rules is that if you possess an in-demand skill, you’ll always find work — and often, at a top market salary, to boot. If you understand Big Data and how to find order from the chaos of massive stockpiles […]
We live in a disposable era. If you can’t fix a broken item with a wrap of duct tape, there’s a very strong likelihood that its next destination is the trashcan. However, that probably leads to a trigger-finger death sentence for many household items that could be saved with just a bit more ingenuity. Before […]