Levy, Alison Faith & Mushroom - Yesterday, I Saw You Kissing Tiny Flowers
Year of Release: 2007
Label: Four Zero Records
Catalog Number: FZ003
Total Time: 67:20:00
With a title like Yesterday, I Saw You Kissing Tiny Flowers, song titles that include the words "Kraut" and "Sun Machine," and a bunch of musicians coming from San Francisco, it's a safe bet for anyone concerned that Alison Faith Levy and retro-groovers Mushroom are dishing out music as acid-laced as Timothy Leary would have liked it. Considering, however, that Leary would have also thought that Heaven's Gate was cool if he had gotten enough magic cookies and attention from the infamous cult, that might not be such a comforting thought. So set your comets and tabs aside, land on your seat for a sec, and let's dig into this baby.
Never mind the sexual drench and curtains of smoke that "Josh Pollock" and "You Laugh At Me Because I'm Different, I Laugh At You Because You're All The Same" conjure - although one minute of them could pretty much constitute all the sex, drugs, and rock n' roll of Oliver Stone's The Doors condensed into one minute and made much better. The true meat is in the more delicate and infinitely more memorable celesta playing on the sweet "Clay Alison" and the gorgeous chill happiness of "Ocean Beach," a trippy but beautiful sojourn into late sixties Zen. Zen, that is, until Alison Faith Levy [of Loud Family] comes in.
If one were to describe Faith Levy's contribution to this paean to hallucinogens, there would be no better way than this: imagine a bunch of dudes playing extended jams under a veil of drugs so thick that the DEA would stay out of Colombia for the rest of its existence just to get a piece of the action. In the middle of every jam, some super-high chick from the audience jumps on stage and starts mumbling vocal lines above the stuff - in tune (most of the time) and with pretty cool ideas sometimes, but you can't help but notice that the music would probably be way better by itself. Especially when the tune itself starts to get annoying, as in the 20-plus minute "Kraut Mask Replica," which really takes way too long to start doing anything.
Now, set that against the sexually drunk charge and the crystal prettiness of the tracks already mentioned, the goofy appeal of "The Sun Machine Is Coming Down And We're Gonna Have A Party" and the energetic drive of "Gas, Grass, Or Ass - Nobody Rides For Free" and one gets a pretty mixed bag of results. On one hand, these guys do manage to get inside one's brain with an appeal that slowly sneaks into the subconscious and hooks its tendrils there ? mostly, that is. On the other, eight jams without much structure are something better experienced live than on record, and Faith Levy's vocals get kind of tiresome after a while. The result? Either this is your kind of thing, or you've had enough of being back in your seat and need a soundtrack for your space travels - otherwise it might be a good idea to wait and see these guys live instead.
Electric Muse (2:25) / Josh Pollock (11:05) / Clay Alison (6:00) / Gas, Grass, Or Ass - Nobody Rides For Free (5:19) / You Laugh At Me Because I'm Different, I Laugh At You Because You're All The Same (7:07) / Kraut Mask Replica (22:37) / Ocean Beach (5:54) / The Sun Machine Is Coming Down And We're Gonna Have A Party (6:53)
Alison Faith Levy - vocals
Pat Thomas - drums
Michael Holt - Rhodes piano, Oberheim
Michael Clare - bass
Daniel Schacht - bass
Ned Doherty - bass
Tim Plowman - guitar
Ralph Carney - saxophone, clarinet, percussion
Emery Dora - organ, piano
Matt Cunitz - celeste, Moog
Marc Capelle - trumpet
Erik Pearson - guitar, flute, vocals
Dave Mihaly - percussion
Josh Pollock ? guitar, megaphone
Seth Augustus - Igil
Gas, Grass, Or Ass - Nobody Rides For Free (ep) (2007)
Yesterday, I Saw You Kissing Tiny Flowers (2007)
Genre: Progressive Rock
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