Harmonies

Just as much as swirling guitars and Hammond organs, vocal harmonies were an integral part that defined the 60’s psychadelic pop sound. This flashed in my mind this as I watched this episode of I Dream of Jeannie a few days ago, featuring future girlfriend-killer Phil Spector. I had to watch it just ’cause of the title.

Aside: Don’t you just love that multi-colored scalloped dress? In another scene she wears a leopard print cap with a green dress – normally I hate animal prints, but it was nice to see one paired with a different color than the usual red, black or pink. and in the whole episode she wears a mannish wide-strapped watch along with her super-feminine outfits.I love the band’s clothes too. The peasant smock shirt that one dude is wearing is totally far-out!Anyways. Enough fashion-gushing. The psychadelic sound has never really gone out of style since the 90’s with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dandy Warhols, Kula Shaker, and thousands of other non-top-40 bands all over the world – but the choral vocal tracks seem to have died in the 60’s along with Mama Cass. Now we have The Black Angels droning on a la Jim Morrisson. Well, I’ve always thought they’ve sounded more like The Doors than The Velvet Underground since I first saw them play a Fishcherspooner listening party with a very young band called Ghostland Observatory some years ago back when The Mohawk was The Caucus Club, or was it The Velevet Spade, or was it…? Not that there aren’t bands out there trying it out, but the idea of choral vocals now seems kind of is limited to The Polyphonic Spree shouting at the top of their lungs or the atmospheric glass-shattering cooing of Arcade Fire.

Then yesterday I was listening to Pig Radio when I heard a very pleasant and highly vocally-layered track called “Ships & Clouds” by U.K. singer and multi-instrumentalist Jim Noir, that really got the BeachBoysMamasPapasJeffersonAirplane sound right. “Don’t Worry” especially sounds like sucking on some groovy mj rock candy, and it’s a little more trippy Stereolab-esque. I look forward to more rock bands trying this out. Now if someone like Duffy or even Amy Flophouse could find a trio of killer ladysingers to be a singing group, and not a Girlicious striptease, that would add an interesting layer to the current pop Motown re-hash. Even though I don’t even pay attention to that kind of music. Just sayin’ is all.

P.S. I’ve added a music section to my Categories. Definitely not trying to turn this into a music blog, but it’s been a huge influence on my thoughts, art and clothing designs of late. I think I’ve downloaded more music in the last two months than I have in the last two years! It’s nice to finally have time to enjoy music, what with my studio and workplace all in my house and not having to waste time driving all over town to do the things I need to do. I missed it.

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