Archive for 13th Floor Elevators

Record Store Day Buyer’s Guide

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2011 by 30daysout

Okay, this may seem really half-assed but today we’re going to piggyback on (steal?) a great article in Goldmine magazine where they rate the best and worst of the exclusive vinyl available on Record Store Day. That’s Saturday, at your friendly neighborhood record store.

You can read the Goldmine story here, but we just want to touch on a couple of their top picks … keep in mind, this is highly subjective. You really ought to check out the complete list of exclusive vinyl available on Record Store Day, and if something really appeals to you then plan to get up early on Saturday and line up outside your local record emporium so you have a better chance of getting your hands on what you want. There will be some music aficinados like you, but there will be a lot of jerks who just want to get hold of this rare stuff so they can put it up on eBay.

Goldmine is salivating most over a Jimi Hendrix 7″ single, “Fire”b/w”Touch You.”  The 45 has an alternate version of “Fire,” which appeared on the West Coast Seattle Boy box set. The real find is on the flip side: “Touch You,”  a previously unreleased 1967 studio recording made by the original Experience during sessions for what would become Electric Ladyland. Very cool, indeed.

The other cool stuff the magazine is anticipating seems mostly to come from vintage acts – a live LP from Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, unreleased Derek and the Dominos, live Roy Orbison, live Bob Dylan. It’s a record store nut’s dream come true.

A word here, too, about the “lost” single from the 13th Floor Elevators, which we in Houston can partially claim as our own (they cut many of their songs in Houston, at the famed Gold Star Studios). The record available on Saturday is a limited-edition green vinyl 7″ single – “Wait For My Love” b/w “May The Circle Remain Unbroken.” Roky Erickson and the group planned this as the band’s sixth single in 1968 but never released. The two tunes are remixed by ‘Sonic Boom’ (Pete Kember of Spacemen Three & producer of MGMT), and the single will come packaged in an International Artists Records label house bag.

Another choice cut is a complete LP by the Foo Fighters, performing 12 covers including “Band On The Run,” Baker Street,” “Darling Nikki” and others. There are many, many more releases, by the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, R.E.M., ZZ Top, Phish, the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and more. The newer crop of artists will be represented by Peter, Bjorn and John, Regina Spektor, The Joy Formidable, Wild Flag and many more. Now keep in mind, these records are going into general release on Saturday and some of ’em may be available after Record Store Day but many are limited-edition releases and will likely get snapped up pretty quickly. Then, on Saturday afternoon, you can find ’em on eBay at double the retail price.

Goldmine singles out a handful of exclusive releases that disappointed them.  One of their offenders is the Bruce Springsteen offering, a 10″ LP featuring “Gotta Get That Feeling” b/w “Racing In The Street,” which will appear on his upcoming DVD Live From The Carousel. The magazine says “The ‘easy way out’ on Record Store Day: selling a sample from an upcoming release. This isn’t a special item for the fans. It’s nothing more than a promotional piece!!” Yeah, but we’ll probably buy this if we can get our hands on it.

Our suggestion to you for Record Store Day: Check out the list of exclusive releases, show up early (before opening time) and know what you want to buy when you get into the store. And please, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on an exclusive release: take it home, remove the wrapper, take out the record and play it. Call your kids into the room and play it for them. Dance if you want, or just listen to the music. Share it, talk about the memories conjured by this great old and new music and let somebody younger listen to it again and again. Don’t be one of those assholes who forces them to go find this stuff on eBay.

Record Store Day official website

Goldmine magazine “Top Ten Record Store Day” vinyl 2011 article

Our Guide to the Essential Texas Party Albums

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2010 by 30daysout

More than once someone has asked, “If I wanted to throw a party at my house and I wanted that Texas sound, what should I play?”  Well if your house is in Buffalo, New York, then you can play the Goo Goo Dolls and probably half the crowd would say “Yeah, that’s Texas.”  Hopefully the other half would correctly recognize the Goo Goos are a local band from Buffalo.

And unfortunately that’s sort of the situation here in Texas.  This state has many transplants who really couldn’t identify a true Texas artist outside the obvious (Willie Nelson, Dixie Chicks).  So I’m stepping up to your service, a native Texan with a working knowledge of our state’s great artists, with a collection of albums made by our native boys and girls.  And true to Texas, you can ask someone else from around here and they’ll come up with a completely different list – and want to kick the ass of the guy who came up with this one.  So let’s party and forget where you got this list:

1. Texas Tornados Live From Austin TX – Recorded for the venerable TV show “Austin City Limits” in 1990, by the supergroup featuring Doug Sahm, Freddy Fender, Augie Meyers and Flaco Jimenez.  A brilliant gumbo pot of blues, country, Tejano and rock and roll with memory-tugging versions of Fender’s “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,” the Sir Douglas Quintet’s “She’s About A Mover” and a rollicking “96 Tears,” this single CD spans the incredible breadth of Texas music.   It’s worth the price of admission just to hear Fender sing “Baby What You Want Me To Do.”  This CD is a party all by itself.

MP3: “Who Were You Thinking Of” (live at Austin City Limits) by the Texas Tornados

2. The “Chirping” Crickets – When four Lubbock boys cut this album way back in 1957, they had no idea how much this music would transform the world.  Songs like “Oh Boy!,” “Not Fade Away” and “That’ll Be The Day” made their writer and singer Buddy Holly a star and the latter would become a hit.  This is the birth of rock and roll as we have come to know it – written and performed by members of a rock band.  In fact, the record caught the ears of four young musicians in Liverpool, and in a few more years the world would change yet again.

MP3: “Oh Boy!” by Buddy Holly & the Crickets

3. Texas Flood – Okay, we can’t get too deep into the list without name checking the late, very great Stevie Ray Vaughan.  He was perhaps no more electrifying than on his 1983 debut.  Texas Flood was instantly a success, and one of the most popular blues albums ever recorded, but Vaughan was more than a mere blues artist.  His technique and ability on the guitar instantly put him toe-to-toe with legends like Hendrix and Clapton – and since his death in 1990 virtually nobody has even come close to Stevie Ray.

MP3: “I’m Cryin'” by Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

4. Honeysuckle Rose: Music From The Original Soundtrack Yeah, it’s a soundtrack.  And yeah, it has the dreaded “On The Road Again.”   But it’s prime Willie Nelson, recorded in 1980 live as the movie was being made.  It has the hell-raising energy of Nelson’s best Texas roadhouse shows, as he and his rockin’ band charge through classics like “Whiskey River,” “Bloody Mary Morning” and the whacked-out anthem “Pick Up The Tempo.”  Guest appearances by Texas legends Hank Cochran and Kenneth Threadgill are a bonus, and I swear you won’t even notice the songs featuring better-seen-and-not-heard actresses Amy Irving and Dyan Cannon.

MP3: “Pick Up The Tempo” by Willie Nelson & Family

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Song of the Day: “You’re Gonna Miss Me”

Posted in News with tags , , on April 20, 2010 by 30daysout

Psychedelic survivor Roky Erickson has teamed up with Austin-based indie rockers Okkervil River to produce a new album, True Love Cast Out All Evil, out today.  Here’s a video of Roky and Okkervil River performing at SXSW, doing the 13th Floor Elevators’ classic “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”

You can stream Roky’s new album at Spinner.

Anti Records official website

Roky Erickson official website

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Lightnin’ Hopkins

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2010 by 30daysout

Still flippin’ through the stack of records my sister’s boyfriend gave me … they all came from the radio station where he works.  Guess they’re not playing these albums if I have ’em!

Today I have a true rarity: Freeform Patterns, a 1968 album by bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins.  Hopkins, the Texas bluesman, spent most of his life living in Houston and often played nightclubs there as he came up in the late 1940s and the 1950s.  At the peak of the early 1960s folk revival, national audiences began to discover and dig Lightnin’s music, highlighted by his all-time classic “Mojo Hand” which he cut in 1960.

By 1968 Lightnin’ was playing festivals, folk clubs and college campuses around the country then would return home to play beer joints in Houston’s Third Ward.  The Houston-based International Artists label signed Lightnin’ to a contract and producer Lelan Rogers (yeah, Kenny’s brother) hooked him up with a backing band that included drummer Danny Thomas and bassist Duke Davis from the 13th Floor Elevators.  (The psychedelic 13th Floor Elevators were in a state of flux at that time, due to lead singer Roky Erickson’s drug problems.   In 1969, Erickson was committed to the Rusk State Hospital rather than face jail time for a felony marijuana charge, and the group officially broke up.)

The resulting album was Freeform Patterns, cut on one February day in 1968.  It opens with a long spoken word intro to the song “Mr. Charlie,” with Hopkins telling the story of a poor little kid who stuttered so bad nobody wanted anything to do with him.  The story had no punch line, other than the fact that the kid could apparently enunciate clearly only when singing the blues, or something.  Better, and more characteristic, is “Mr. Ditta’s Grocery Store,” about an apparently real store Lightnin’ frequented at the “corner of Bastrop and Hadley,” which is about a block west of Dowling Street, where Hopkins lived.

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Rock Moment: Roky’s Return

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on June 3, 2008 by 30daysout


Roky Erickson is one of the true pioneers of American music.  As lead singer and songwriter for the Texas-based 13th Floor Elevators, Roky helped create psychedelic rock way back in 1966 with “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”   

Along the way, Erickson’s use of drugs caught up with him two years later when he started behaving erratically.  He did a stint in the Austin State Hospital then was confined in the Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane until 1972.  When he was released, Erickson was a fried human being who was convinced that he was born on another planet. 

He had an erratic, on-and-off recording career over the ensuing years and in 2001 Roky’s younger brother Sumner was granted legal custody of his older brother and his business affairs.  That began a late renaissance for this rock master – he formed a new band, The Explosives, and began playing regular gigs. 

Roky Erickson is now a familiar presence in the Austin area.  He has played multiple shows at the past few South by Southwest music conferences and was the subject of a classic “Austin City Limits” episode in 2007 where he performed with admirer Billy Gibbons.

If you’re in Austin and you’re lucky, you might see Roky Erickson at the ice cream shop behind Waterloo Records.  If you’re really lucky you can catch him in concert. 

MP3: “Red Temple Prayer (Two-Headed Dog)”

MP3: “Starry Eyes”

MP3: “You’re Gonna Miss Me” (live)

Video: “You’re Gonna Miss Me” w/Billy Gibbons from “Austin City Limits” (scroll down)

Roky Erickson official website