Song of the day – 66: 13th Floor Elevators
This is here, because I was sent a promo of the new Roky Erickson album – his first studio album in 13 years, recorded with pseudo lo-fi stadium rockers Okkervil River. (Did I just imagine that number?) Folk always think I must know and love Mr Erickson much more than I do. I think the line of reasoning goes like this: I like Daniel Johnston, and he’s from Texas (wrong) and he’s crazy, so… Well, no. It doesn’t follow, not at all. If you only love music for the car crash victims then perhaps so. But that’s not why I love music. Not at all.
Truth is, I don’t believe I’ve heard Mr Erickson’s solo stuff before this album. I might have done, but it hasn’t stuck with me. This album is in places just fine: not as good as Howe Gelb (say), whom Okkervil River have clearly modelled themselves on this time around, and not as good as much of Mr Erickson’s former band’s output (although that would be pushing it), but certainly easily better than Death Cab For Cutie (say) or Conor Oberst these days, with a couple of heart-burning stand-outs to offset the Wings-style off-cuts.
‘Goodbye Sweet Dreams’ is an off-key blues stammer played as off-key blues stammers ought to be played; off-key.
‘Devotional Number One’ is like (stammers wildly, looks around clueless) that feller from Big Star (no, not Chilton) duetting with that crazy feller from West Virginia who painted Jeremiah The Frog on a record store wall… which I’m sure is the effect Okkervil River were going for. But yes, it’s really fucking good – it’s the song I wanted to post up here, but couldn’t find a link for ya. So whatever.
Here’s a link to the original of the first song I ever performed live in America, February 1989 borrowing a Girl Trouble guitar so I could smash out my one open chord… another of my “signature” DJ songs, too.