Monday, November 07, 2005



BY Wayne Robins

I don't get much time to listen to the radio, and haven't invested in satellite yet. But when I'm goofing around on the home computer, weekends or late at night, checking spam and playing dominos, I've been listening to one streaming channel on iTunes radio: Technicolor Web of Sound. (It's accessible by opening the Classic Rock category and scrolling down).

This is your streaming psychedelic/garage/"Nuggets" headquarters, your place for fuzztone, wah-wah, guitars tuned to sound like cheap sitars, Farfisa and Vox organs, trippy lyrics and the Chocolate Watch Band's instrumental "Dark Side of the Mushroom," followed by "Egyptian Gardens," easily the grooviest raga rock Kaleidoscope ever recorded.

There are some well-known artists, but smartly, the programming leans to the lesser known even by the Jefferson Airplane ("Wild Tyme"), Eric Burdon & War ("Spill the Wine") and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's soulful but delusional "Everybody I Love You."
Then there is sort of the mid-range of semi-obscure, bands mostly known by collectors or those who were dedicated album buyers in the 60s: the Pretty Things (the good music, bad trip of "Walking Through My Dreams") and the early San Francisco blues of the Charlatans "Baby Won't You Tell Me."
Finally, there is the mind-blowing inclusiveness of tracks that may have only been singles released on obscure labels in small towns in states of mind that no longer exist. No-hit blunders of a most fortunate kind. In the same 45 minute set that I heard the previously mentioned songs there were also gems like "City Jungle, Pt. 1," by Beautiful Daze; "Sacred Cows," by Bent Wind; and "Seeing Is Believing," a kind of furry folk-rock fusion by the Golden Dawn.

The set began with an excellent relic called "Time Track" by the band Skip Bifferty, whose roots, according to historian Alex Gitlin were in the Newcastle, U.K. beat scene. Gitlin's Web site is a remarkable resource for information about Brit and Euro bands from the 60s and 70s, with myriad links that I haven't had time to explore: "Nederpop" anyone? If you want to know more about the music on Technicolor Web of Sound, chances are excellent Gitlin will have what you want, if more than you need.

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