by Jeff Milo
Collecting myself on a soggy, silvery morning. Too early for a Saturday, trying to situate myself, leafing through glossy magazines that call Kanye West some Ameican Mozart for the 21st century, tabbing through blog sites telling me about everything that I'm missing at this year's sanctimonious swelling of scant bodies with disposable income and no scruples against port-o-potties testifying their faith in the Word of Yorke, out there in the desert under the Coachella banner, and I'm shuffling through my iTunes, catching up on all the new music that I've yet to spin...
And suddenly, like celestial sunlight slicing through swampy leaves from dark looming trees, triggering the morning and waking me up - a voice, two voices...from my past...a banjo from my past, a pedal-steel guitar twanging so poignantly from my past, comes shining in - illuminating and reminding me that things seemed so much simpler ten years ago.
Beachwood Sparks are back...
Those syrupy, surf-toned guitars cascading off the rocky slopes of some California highway...and I'm back, back to where I was at just eighteen, drifting along with these wanderlust-evoking troubadors, preservationists of a simpler, purer neo-psychedelia, smacking of the best Byrds-ian moments but girded by their keen sense of sonic sublimity attainable through the simmer of reverb and resonance in a studio setting. Their wispy voices, crackling and dulcite, crooned out ballads for back-porch meditations that coaxed your barefooted body out onto the orangey grass and up, levitating out into a spacey, staticy sea of fuzzy stars, searing feedback comets and droning rings of Saturn.
Pure psychedelicized-lullabies... Oh Beachwood, where ya been?
There's nuanced refreshment in having one of your beloved's come back to you with a whole new album of sweet, swirly ballads. It'd be one thing for me to cower from the white noise of InternetWorld, swear them off as just more inboxed-items of debatable priority, yes, yes, yes, something new from some new band is singing news that's stuck in the collective-head of momentary relevance. It's grumbling mornings like that, that could lead anyone to go back to their "classics" - be it Fugazi, or Television, or the Velvet Underground or, yes, even the Byrds.
But instead of going back to the handful of staggering releases this CA-based psyche/Americana quartet put out at the turn of the century, I can look forward to The Tarnished Gold...arriving at the very start of the summertime, in this ominous year, two-thousand-and-twelve, via SubPop.
June 26th - The Tarnished Gold -SubPop.