Wednesday, August 03, 2011


I'm in a train station in Martinez, California waiting for a delayed train to Sacramento. They have WiFi here. So I thought I'd try and answer one of my frequently asked questions, which is, "What music do you listen to these days?" People expect me to rattle off the names of a couple dozen current punkrock acts. But I don't listen to that much punkrock these days.

However, I'm well pleased because I've been discovering a lot of really cool new bands recently. Many of these bands are even current! This is very cool for me because I'd begun to fear that nobody was making music I enjoyed anymore.

I think there must be a name for this genre. Maybe it's "stoner" music? I'm not really sure. Perhaps somebody can tell me.

I don't know a whole lot about any of these bands, unfortunately. And I've never seen any of them live except OM.

Here goes:

I just discovered these guys a few days ago! I was in a record store in Arcata, CA and their album cover just leapt out at me. Amazing. Much of their stuff is far mellower and more Pink Floyd-like than this example.


Another band whose album cover caught my eye. The blurb sited such influences as Blue Cheer and The Stooges. I checked out their videos, liked what I saw and bought the CD.


Yet another band whose album covers I liked. Their music did not disappoint. Their new album Phosphene Dreams is their best, if you ask me. Very Revolver-like. Among their three releases, their second album Invitation to See a Ghost is the runt of the litter, but still has some terrific songs. They only know one chord! Hooray!


Heavy rock that I heard at a record shop in Dallas. Blue Cathedral is the best album if you ask me. Their new one is still amazing, but not quite as great as Blue Cathedral in my view.


I heard this playing over the speakers at a record shop in Atlanta a couple years ago and immediately bought it. I know nothing about the band except that I like them a whole bunch.


These guys are sadly no longer playing. At least as far as I know. They're a British band that I somehow missed out on when they were active in the early to mid 1990s.


Another defunct band. But this song is so wonderful! And sleazy too!


I saw these guys at the Echo Plex in Silver Lake (Los Angeles) a few years ago and I was totally floored. Who needs guitars when you have a bass player and drummer like this? Nobody, that's who!


Anonymous said...

Yeah baby!

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Sit down and shut up.

The Date Detective said...

I like Black Angels and have seen them live. They don't disappoint in person. I also have some Dead Meadow cds. I've never heard of the other bands but I'll check them out.

john e mumbles said...

Hmmmnnnnn....I'm #?

Khru said...

This is probably the worst comment thread I've ever seen on Bradley's blog...

Dave Wilcher said...

Dead Meadow is all kinds of wonderful. Nebula rocks; saw them in Columbus a few years back. Two of these I haven't heard, so thanks for that. Stoner rock it is, althought some bands and fans don't like that name much.
I would suggest Bardo Pond. Usually grouped with these bands, they earn a couple extra cool points: female singer, and she plays flute. Beautiful noise.

sillymian said...

The Green Pajamas reminded me of The Three O'Clock. Remember them?

TerryW said...

Appreciate you sharing these links, will have to listen to them all. New music is always so much fun to discover.

Anonymous said...

Om rules.

Brad Warner said...

Dave, I'm listening to Bardo Pond now. Definitely cool!

Brad Warner said...

The 3 O'Clock! Yeah! They were cool. Sixteen Tambourines!

Anonymous said...

Nice music, man, but...
Oh God, the acid is kicking in!

PostLibyan said...

Brad -- check out Jesu when you get a chance. Heavy guitar rock -- i think you'd like it. They have a lot of releases...

Seanieeemac said...

A bunch of the music you posted could be classified as "Shoe Gaze". Live musicians in this genre remain relatively still and concentrate on pedals and instrumentation. The live shows can also be mellow and powerful for listeners. Kind of Buddhist I think.

leoboiko said...

What Japanese bands do you like?

Anonymous said...

Hi Brad,

I can see why you went down this road. It was the easiest solution to your 'nightmare'. Easiest isn't always best but it can be too I guess. Now I'm wondering what took you so long to consider shutting people up after years of admirable toleration. You said, "I have complex feelings about censorship. I have to say that I'm not 100% against all forms of censorship." Yeah, I get those complex feelings. But censorship offends me more than any idiotic comment ever could. But, I can see where it might be necessary in some situations. I just can't see where it was necessary in yours.

At the worst the comments had gotten very boring, even annoying. But they always have been in part here and things don't seem all that different now. Love the new music BTW.. There's just a long delay and disconnect to the flow of things as the shameless volunteer 'censor' pours over the comments looking for BAD thoughts..

I know I must be in the minority, but I find those kinds of thoughts interesting, even helpful if taken in with the right attitude. Even the most unbalanced comment is saying something that just has to be said.. Those are precisely the kind of troubled comments that should be allowed IMO. I know it's difficult.

Besides, I always kind of liked it when people aimed stupid, often funny criticism at you. I thought, He doesn't even care. He knows the truth and that's all he needs.

john e mumbles said...

I dug Nebula, thanks for the head's up!

Anonymous said...

Did someone say shoegaze?

Dude, your music makes one wanna
drop a few hits and smoke a few bowls
and, uh, like, get lost gazing at shoes.

Strange irony that the music you love
would not exist without the drugs you hate.

Sorta like saying you love lightbulbs
but hate electricity.

ator said...

Lower Dens

check em out. the bass player has a lame-lookin bass, but a great style

good album cover too

Jeff said...

Om are pretty incredible I say. Not familiar with any of those other bands.

Anonymous said...

"the French scientist du Noüy points out that the image man has built up of the universe rests on reactions determined in him by less than one trillionth of the vibrations surrounding him – that less than one vibration in a trillion leaves any trace in his consciousness."

Brad Warner said...


I've told the guy who is monitoring the comments to only get rid of the really obviously off target stuff. So people can still stupidly criticize me all they want. It will get through as long as it's on topic -- even vaguely.

It's funny, tho. A lot of that stuff has vanished now that people know their comments will be read by someone before being let through. Maybe this will pass.

I just thought the comments section was being overrun by things that made no sense at all. This, I thought, was making people who actually wanted to comment afraid to do so.

Brad Warner said...

Like Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips, I love druggy music but not drugs themselves. As trippy as the Lips are, Wayne's only done acid as many times as me (4) and he hated it just as much. I'm guessing this may be true for some of the other bands.

Unknown said...

om is the rhythm section for sleep if y'all were unawares. Holy Mountain is my fave (60 min track!)..the group i played bass with ( Lords of Falconry) opened for them here in Portland, Oregon...Al had wall to wall orange amps...Epic lerics as well..

Anonymous said...

Shoe gaze? I thought that was spelled "shoe gays". I would put Phish in that category but not any of these bands. I would say that these bands play "ersatz hippie rock" which is much heavier than shoe gays.

Anonymous said...

I saw Hendrix without any chemicals
because I didn't want any
distortion other than what he

I saw Frank Marino's notes leave
the guitar and float into the air,
each a different color and shape.

A fiction hallucinating in a dream.

Paul said...

Brad, there is an excellent full length documentary on the genre which covers most of the bands you mentioned. It's called "Such Hawks Such Hounds" and the full docco is on YouTube:

On another note, I wanted to send you an email but did not find an address on your blog. Is there an "email" link somewhere? (assuming it should not be posted in the comments to avoid spam!)

Cheers, I enjoy your books and blog. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sun Dial! Great! Ironically, one of their last releases was called "Zen for Sale"....

Steve said...

If you like Om, check out Sleep. Om is basically the rhythm section from Sleep; they have a 63 minute dirge called Dopesmoker which you don't have to be one to enjoy...

Zen-nesty International said...

A couple other under-rated bands to consider are Why?, Modest Mouse, and Mike Doughty (including his earlier stuff with Soul Coughing). All have great lyrics...clever, poetic, ironic, introspective, and with just the right amount of cynicism (enjoy in moderation).

Why?'s "Alopecia" album is the one I'm most familiar with...most of it is great.

I think Modest Mouse likes to sprinkle their genius a little more conservatively...but they're consistent because every album seems to have 4 or 5 great tracks and maybe 6 or 8 that are mediocre at best. ("In my humble opinion" as the kids say).