Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Red Krayola - The Parable of Arable Land (1967)

I rank this landmark record by Red Krayola right up there with the other classic psychedelic standout albums from that era; it might be one of the first "rock" records that was made up of purely free noise experiments. It sits directly in the middle ground between the free jazz of Albert Ayler and baroque folk of Love. More than half of the record is various versions of a Free Form Freak-Out, main Krayola Mayo Thompson basically invited about 50 people back to the studio where they were recording and told them to bang on things, wail like banshees, etc. to achieve the desired effect.

Changing their name from The Red Crayola (for obvious copyright infringements), guitarist/visual artist Thompson, drummer Frederick Barthelme and Steve Cunningham crafted an intense and sometimes scary psychedelic wonderland (they were once paid $10 to stop playing a show in Berkeley, of all places!) that was as much a visual trip as an auditory one, mixing music with art and blurring the line between audience and performer.

If you're looking to get into this awesome band from the psychedelic era; look no further than this- if you like it I'll probably be posting their follow-up records Coconut Hotel and God Bless The Red Krayola and All Who Sail With It. Enjoy!


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