valis's Posts


valis's Photo Welcome to my KDHX Blog. As a volunteer KDHX DJ, I spin all manner of psychedelic and experimental rock and pop music on Trip Inside This House, every Tuesday morning 5 to 7 a.m. CT. Follow my blog for a wide-ranging exploration of the sounds of the inner landscape of my (and maybe your) mind.

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Psychedelic Spotlight: Ten Questions with valis from Trip Inside This House

I recently held an e-mail conversation with the great music blog Head Full of Snow. Thanks to Nick for allowing me to cross-post it here. –valis

The blog Trip Inside This House is…a cornucopia of psychedelic goodness, taking its name from the 13th Floor Elevators track “Slip Inside This House” and overseen by the encyclopedic mind gone high that is valis Hertel. A fairly regular series on the Trip Inside This House site is Ten Questions, where valis grills someone currently active on the psych music scene (playing, writing, bloody great fan), so the rest of us can discover what makes these polychromatic peoples tick.

Being the crusading force of originality that HFoS is, we decided to nick this idea wholesale and turn the technicolour tables on the man who poses the questions, valis himself.

The man knows his stuff and isn’t afraid to wax lyrical on all things mind-expandingly musical. One of the many thoroughly interesting, kaleidoscopic troubadours writing on the genre today.

Those adverse to infectious enthusiasm and the desire to share it with others need not apply.

1. In ten words, or less, define “psychedelic music.”

Brain-analogue triggering devices to trip inside this house…

2. When and where did your love of psychedelic music arise?

As far as psychedelic music it’s been nearly 20 years now. My readings in the late ’80s were leading me further and further “down a rabbit hole,” with Robert Anton Wilson leading, and showing, the way. I’d copy his bibliographies and always had those on hand when going to used book stores or the library. When I felt stymied enough over the course of a few months I’d request an inter-library loan and get a book that way as my only recourse. (I’d get some strange looks, too, when requesting some of those titles.)

That was a prefatory to music exploring the same things I was reading about, i.e. “explorations of inner space.” This culminated in late 1991 with a friend loaning me a copy of the Spaceman 3 cassettes and the Roky* tribute, Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye. That compilation was a true eye opening experience! No pun intended. I sought out further music from the bands contributing and haven’t been the same since. (I do enjoy power pop, too. But my main focus and obsession is psychedelic music. It fills that human desire which Ronald Siegel has termed “the Fourth Drive.”)

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Trip Inside This House Top 50 Albums and Top Ten EPs of 2009

2009. Come and gone. For the psychedelia niche the past year proved to be another with highlights aplenty as we saw several veteran bands — Flaming Lips, Outrageous Cherry, Super Furry Animals, and perhaps the oldest running psych’ band, The Green Pajamas — all come out with strong albums. In my mind 2009 has to be noted for the sheer volume of great EPs which came out: Spectrum, Strangers Family Band, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Anton Barbeau, and my favorite of all the ’09 EPs: The Chemistry Set’s triumphant return to recording. Here’s a couple of lists of some of my favorites of the year that was.

It was a very good year. Tune in to Trip Inside This House, my show on 88.1 and streaming at KDHX.org every Tuesday 5 to 7 a.m. CT, for more great psych’ music in 2010.

Top 50 Albums of 2009

A Place To Bury Strangers – Exploding Head (Mute)
A’dam Sykles – Out Of The Circle Game (Teensound Italy)
Amazing Baby – Rewild (Hostess)*
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)
Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound – When Sweet Sleep Returned (TeePee Rec.)*
Baby Woodrose – ST (Bad Afro)
Bavarian Druglords – 205 (Kill Art Movement)
Black Hollies – Softly Towards The Light (Ernest Jenning)
Black Ryder – Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride (The Anti-Machine Machine-EMI.)*
Capsula – Rising Mountains (BCore)*
Circulatory System – Signal Morning (Cloud)
Dead Mellotron – Ghost Light Consatellations (SVC Records)
Deleted Waveform Gatherings – Ghost, She Said (Rainbow Quartz)
Dolly Rocker Movement – Our Days Mind The Tyme (Off The Hip)*
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below (Vagrant)
Entrance Band – ST (Ecstatic Peace)
Flaming Lips – Embryonic (Warner)*
Floorian – More Fiend (Drigh)
Fresh and Onlys – Grey-Eyed Girls (Woodsist)
Ganglians – Monster Head Room (Woodsist)
Gliss – Devotion Implosion (Cordless Rec.)
Green Pajamas – Poison In The Russian Room (Hidden Agenda)
Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest (Warp Rec.)
Harlem Shakes – Technicolor Health (Gigantic)
Hopewell – Good Good Desperation (TeePee)

Read the rest of the list, plus my Top Ten EPs, after the jump.
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