Thursday, June 21, 2007

You Can't Hide from the Psychedelic Sounds of...

This was the first single that Roky Erickson's second band The Thirteenth Floor Elevators released under International Artists, a Houston-based psychedelic record label. There was an earlier attempt recorded by his first band (The Spades) but the second session shot the band into the psychedelic scene's lime light. The single made it to #2 on the local music charts in Austin and #55 on the national charts after being featured on the first Nuggets compilation. This particular copy of this single was found in a record store along with several other IA releases that had been discovered untouched as back catalog in a warehouse somewhere in Houston; i.e., virgin vinyl.

The name of the band came from the superstition that led many buildings to be devoid of a 13th floor.

Part of the unusual sound was generated by the use of the electric jug-playing of Tommy Hall. The auditory fingerprint it leaves is unlike that of traditional jug-playing you might hear in an old blues or string band from the earlier part of the 20th century. This unique sound became the band's trademark. The most interesting review read thus far about this band's aural presence is Piero Scaruffi's comparison of their rhythmic style in this song to that of the rhythms felt when one listens to music with a Tex-Mex bent.

Give it a listen and see if you hear what he's talking about.

Check out the trailer for the documentary about Roky Erickson here.

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