Monday, May 11, 2009


Here's a tale that readers of The Driftwood Singers may find familiar: a curious writer takes a trip into the sub-basement of heavy metal and lives to tell about it. A look at Boris and Sunn O))) in this week's New York magazine.

Meanwhile, Dewey Dell and I saw the Japanese psych rockers Ghost over the weekend. We're too old to be standing on our feet for that long, but I have to say, they were really sensational. They had the cello player/singer from freak-folkers Espers with them, a woman who looks like a hollow-eyed Gilda Radner in an Edward Gorey skit. They played all manner of Japanese wood instruments and also clarinet and saxophone to build these expansive psychedelic suites that sounded like Fairport Convention and Jefferson Airplane and Can, but all of it off by whatever subtle number of degrees that Eastern culture is off from Western. The singer/shaman, Masaki Batoh, was a quiet force of mysticism, swinging what looked like a wooden lantern on the end of a rope and producing a ghostly drone, swaying about like he was in a trance. And when guitarist Michio Kurihara, who I discovered through his work with doom metallurgical stars Boris, went into his off-the-chain solos, it was like you were driving through an electrical storm at night, except later you realize you're in that submarine in Fantastic Voyage and you're actually inside the nerve center of a wizard's brain. Here's some hazy pictures I took using my new iPhone (click through for larger versions).

Ghost - Hazy Paradise

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