Your Host, R. Matthew Booker
Whenever I'm asked what sort of music I prefer, and say "psychedelic," the response I get is nearly always "oh, so... Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd?" (or worse "so... Phish?). To most people, psychedelia is either a relic of the 1960s or noodly, aimless music for neo-hippies to wobble to at festivals. It is, of course, much more than this, although even among fans, it isn't easily defined. The most succinct definition I've ever read, and I'm sort of paraphrasing here, is that it is the music of the modern primitive. Rhythmic simplicity, repetition, subtle variations on a theme, mantra-like lyrics - these are the base elements of psychedelic music. It is no coincidence that what is often considered the first recorded modern psychedelic album, 1962's "This Is It," by the philospher Alan Watts and some of his compatriots, sounds not dissimilar to a field recording of a ceremony of pre-modern peoples.
I came of age in the 1990s, a largely pre-internet era when finding out-of-the-way music was a genuine challenge. I spent many a Friday evening at the local Tower Books, poring over music magazines like Spin (when it was still kind of interesting) and maximumrock&roll, writing down the name of any album that sounded interesting, and then the next day going to the record store, hoping they had what I was looking for. A true resource in those days was knowledable people with similar taste, whether they be record store clerks, DJs at the local college station, or just your friends. Many of my favorite albums were passed to me dubbed onto cassette by high school and college classmates. Thus, I tend to think that finding music shouldn't be done through algorithms designed by a corporate behemoth, but by trusting in the judgment of your peers. Hence my show, to share what I'd like to think is a reasonably well-cultivated taste in psychedelic music with fellow fans.