The Uncle Steves – Stargathering
Not to be disrespectful, but I always wanted to ask people whether they considered Charles Manson a songwriter or not? I mean, sure, he sang words and played chords on an acoustic guitar. Those tended to ramble a bit and didn’t exactly reach a conclusion. However, for all intents and purposes, those could be considered songs. Not something that the Beach Boys might want to spend the rest of their career recording, but still.
Music is, on occasion, simply a tool for mind travel. And, I would wager that the folks operating under the name of The Uncle Steves often find themselves trading their hours of transcendental meditation for similar work involving guitars.
Stargathering is, much like the rest of their work, a 60-styled-journey through a nonexistent land of wonder and colour. They feature the kind of titles that would make Timothy Leary chuckle in pleasure, like Kaleidoscopic Honeycomb and Catnip Meadows. It’s the kind of music that requires a fair deal of fate in the artist. The patience and willingness to let yourself flow down this musical river will certainly be rewarded.
Emperor Slow – Strange Times
I sort of hope that everyone gets to hear this song, but I also have second thoughts and think maybe it’s better if nobody hears it. Emperor Slow makes losing your mind on acid in a foreign town sound like sharpening your chakras in a Rishikesh ashram, or having a beer with your favourite rock star while watching a great football game. In other words, he makes it sound pretty nice. Word of advice though, you might seriously lose your marbles trying this.
If anything, we need more realistic anti-heroes. Sure, there have been a few in music, but those either died, got cancelled, or retired to playing the bars in Vegas. There were some on television and in movies as well. However, for the most part, they outstayed their welcome, lost their charm, gained weight, and started selling insurance in adverts.
Nah, Emperor Slow’s Strange Times is the kind of anti-hero we need. “‘Cause you don’t know anything until you do“, he sings with immense confidence. It’s a lyric that, let’s face it, means absolutely nothing, but it is delivered with such confidence and nonchalance that’s it’s difficult not to fall in love with this song and artist. Jim Morrison never got around to write meaningless poetry about the I-phone or taking acid in a modern city, but we may be in good hands.