This week's Monday Magick entry comes from an artist who made no secret of his fascination with the occult, Graham Bond. An early proponent of UK Jazz, R&B, Soul, and psychedelia, Bond was known for pioneering the use of the Hammond organ and Mellotron, introducing the world to talents like Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce of Cream fame, a Herculean drug habit, and his experiments with magick.
While his early work was pretty straightforward white guy Soul stuff, he went on to release several albums whose content deals largely with his magickal obsessions. "The Magician", a skronky Free-Jazz meets Psychedelic Soul number, is from his 1970 release 'Holy Magick' which contains direct references to the teachings of Aleister Crowley throughout. The images in the video come courtesy of Crowley acolyte Kenneth Anger's 'Lucifer Rising'.
Sadly Bond's life ended at he age of 36 under the wheels of a London train, an apparent suicide.
Music is magick.
Rap weirdo Busdriver has been repping the underground Los Angeles avant-garde since the days of the storied Good Life Cafe. He seems to have really hit his stride over the last few years though as the Hellfyre Club crew (conmprised of Nocando, Open Mike Eagle, milo, KAIL, and others) has grown up around him.
He's recently signed on with UK stalwart Big Dada and is preparing to release his newest full length, 'Perfect Hair'
, on September 8th. The latest single from the record is smooth-as-butter "Colonize the Moon" featuring Pegasus Warning, which is accompanied by a what-the-eff video clip courtesy of director Mattia Fiumani.
And in case you missed it, Driver did a joint, titled "Ego Death", with Aesop Rock, and Danny Brown, over a Jeremiah Jae beat. They made a video too. Peep it.
We've been big supporters of UK rockers Kasabian here at Imageyenation since their "Clubfoot" single. "Vlad the Impaler"
was another favorite for sure.
Their most recent single "Eez-eh" was a little too "Indie-Dance" for my tastes. But they're back to dropping the block rocking beats with their new one "bumblebeee".
It's still hearkens back to the heyday of British Indie-Dance like all of their output, but it's got a dose of sludgy stoner Psyche-Rock flavor too. And the drums and bass KNOCK!
I was looking for the video for "Magic Mountain", the eerily etheric new single from Brooklyn based indie duo The Drums when I was preparing last week's Monday Magick entry. At that time only the audio was available online though, so they didn't get the nod.
Within a few days the clip, a sort of Anton Corbijn-esque black and white affair with mild supernatural/occult overtones, was online. It suits the song, which is disjointed and jangly in a very early '80s Post-Punk but Prot-Goth way, perfectly.
"Magic Mountain" is the first single from The Drums forthcoming third LP 'Encyclopedia'
, which is out September 23rd on Minor Records.
I recently took advantage of a sale happening on the Puma website to load up on several models of their classic Suede Sneaker.
When the giant box with the Puma logo on it arrived at my door it contained the straight up Puma Suede in "high risk red" and "white", and "green sheen" and "palace blue", as well as a pair of Suede Classic + LFS in "dark shadow" and "black", and a pair of Suede Classic Crafted in "dark denim" and "blue bird".
A few select pieces of gear were also ordered from other retailers in matching colors so I can get my "mushroom belt" on.
This week's Monday Magick entry comes from the grandaddy of mixing black magic with music, Screamin' Jay Hawkins. The 1956 single "I Put a Spell on You" put the Ohio-born Bluesman on the map, while his over the top performing style, complete with macabre props, set the stage for what would become "Shock Rock".
Monday Magick is a new feature here at Imageyenation. I plan to post a "popular" song that makes some allusion, whether straightforward or metaphoric, to magick, the supernatural, or occult, every Monday.
Music is magick.
Yesterday I received the sad news that Rich Nichols, longtime manager of The Roots, impresario of the Okayplayer media empire, and mentor/friend to a whole Noah's Ark of Hip-Hop, Soul, and Alternative acts, had passed away. As you may know, I was a part of the Okayplayer family for a handful of years, contributing content and assisting in my own way with the cultural makeover of the website which culminated in the Okayplayer group of sites as they exist today. That time was special to me for a lot of reasons, and Rich was instrumental in my taking part, so the news of his passing was like a gut punch.
In all seriousness, and without hyperbole, I can honestly say my three-ish years writing the Blogarhythms column for Okayplayer were some of the best times of my entire life, and I wouldn't have been there if it weren't for Mr. Nichols. When I, to my utter surprise, was asked to come on board at Okayplayer, I was told it was at the behest of the boss, Rich Nichols himself, who I was told was very familiar with my work as an amateur writer and wanted to bring me into the Okayplayer fold. Not only was this shocking and extremely flattering to hear, but it was life altering in a lot of ways. Here I was, formerly homeless, flat broke, spinning records on local community radio, and slinging syllables on the internets, being offered the opportunity to do what I loved, break new artists and tell people about music I dug, to a new and much larger audience, and to make a couple of bucks doing it! And I had Rich to thank.
Over the next few years I got to tell the Okayplayer audience about projects that I thought deserved their attention. And they paid attention! I saw first hand how plastering some of these largely unknown artists' faces on the Okayplayer front page impacted them, opened more ears to their music, and improved their sales. I was so
grateful to be doing something that brought me joy, while also providing a helping hand to musicians who I believed in. And yes, it paid my rent too. On the real, while I've made a lot more money at "straight" jobs over the years, I've never felt as fulfilled by the money I was making and what I was able to do with it in my day to day life as when I was putting checks with Rich Nichols' signature on them in my bank account. They may not have always arrived on time, but when they did I felt like they meant something. Something more than a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my stomach. All that too! But it meant so
much more. And I have Mr. Nichols to thank, both for that feeling, and for the memory.
And that's why I felt like I'd had the wind knocked out of me when I got the news that he was gone. I know his passing will be a huge loss for The Roots, and the Okayplayer organization, but receiving that text informing me that he'd departed this plane of existence made me feel like I'd lost something myself. He wasn't my mentor. We didn't chat or text. We may not have hung out, partied together, or had some kind of "industry" friendship. But Rich Nichols changed my life in a real
, tangible way. He changed my life for the better. And all I can do is thank him for that.
So "thank you, Rich" and peace.