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8 April 2009

13th Floor Elevators - 'Easter Everywhere' (Radar)

Source: Can't really remember but my gut tells me I got it from Ross for a couple of bucks around January 26, 2003.

Roky Erickson talks to zombies now but back in '68 he and Tom Hall combined for that rare perfect moment and they recorded this cornerstone. It's one part scraggly thumping psych-rock and one part underwater gurgling, held together by a glue that hasn't dried yet. Roky sings as if trying to move his mouth as little as possible, just keeping it opening and letting it rip. The back cover has a drawing of Chef Boyardee reaching englightenment, flanked with band photos and a big logo of International Artists, the original label that Radar licensed this reissue from. Stacy Sutherland takes lead for his shimmery "Nobody to Love" (the darker mirror to Jefferson Airplane?) and they end side one with (a marvelous, sprawling) "It's All Over Now Baby Blue". Dylan covers were mandated by law in '68 I guess, but I'd stake on this one outdoing the original, as it's well-roasted in Texas sun. The epics are what I always go back to - 'Baby Blue', 'Slip Inside This House' and especially 'Dust'. There's a desperation baked into every note and every lyric - a desperation that won't be realised for years to come - but its promising in '68, enough that I don't trust him when he sings 'I'm feeling fine' on the hippie-dippie 'I Had To Tell You' (which sounds like a Yahowa 13 outtake). When it's over, if you look at the picture of Tommy Hall, he seems to be saying "Sssh - don't tell anyone about how much acid I made Roky take."

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