Tripping Through Vanguard’s Vaults

Tomorrow, April 16, is the fifth annual Record Store Day, so be sure to run out and support your local record store whether it’s a.k.a. Music in old city, Repo on South St, tequila sunset or milkcrate records up on Girard, or whatever.

To celebrate the occasion, Vanguard Records has dug deep in its vaults and come out with Follow Me Down: Vanguard’s Lost Psychedelic Era (1966-1970), a two-disc compilation of mostly single album artists from that golden, paisley age.

Tracks range from the Hammond-soaked agnosticism of Listening’s “Stoned Is” (It’s a mean life / I mean, you don’t even know why you scream / but someday I’ll find out what I’ve got to say) to the more experimental, thirteen minute raga-rock vision-quest (complete with electric banjo) of Serpent Power’s “Endless Tunnel,” a personal favorite that exchanges the blue bus of The Doors’ “The End” for a mysterious passenger train headed for death or conformity or something.

Here is “Stoned Is” for your enjoyment. ┬áIf the bass sounds a bit familiar (solo starts at 3:20), it’s because Walter Powers would later be known to hold the groove for the (moderately more successful) Velvet Underground.

Listening, “Stoned Is”

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