Yesterday morning I woke up with a strange and sudden urge to listen to Strawberry Alarm Clock, a feeling I had not experienced in a very long time, specifically since my freshman year of high school. My freshman year of high school I was heavy into The Beatles. Not just Abbey Road-owning, graphic tee-wearing, I-watched-A-Hard-Day’s-Night-once-on-TV Land heavy into The Beatles. I mean Really Heavy. For a brief time, I was caught with that all too righteous bug of Beatlemania and soon my whole life started to change in ways that are too long to explain.
One of the unintended effects of this Beatles phase was my sudden urge to devour all things psychedelic, which led me to groups like Strawberry Alarm Clock. I may shudder at it now, but you know what? It might be time to embrace it. In fact, just to show the kind of person I was then, I’ll start this week’s playlist off with a list of things I liked my freshman year of high school: The Beatles, The Beatles, The Beatles, solo albums from Pink Floyd, sitars, Moogs, the Alan Parsons Project, Indian culture appropriated by white musicians, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, novelty music, outer space, music inspired by Alice in Wonderland, pretending to be into transcendental meditation, protesting the Vietnam war years after it had ended, romanticizing the 1960s, deluding myself into think another time was more important than my own.
All of these things and more make an appearance in this week’s smash cuts playlist, in which I explore some of the good and not-so-good psychedelic and prog rock I dug my freshman year of high school. At the same time, I attempt in this playlist to draw a line between the music of those artists and of ones I’m into today. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that what we like doesn’t really change, it just appears a little differently over time. Whether I’m listening to Strawberry Alarm Clock and Arthur Brown or Kishi Bashi and Animal Collective, it’s my experiences that reflect how my taste manifests itself. Other than that, I guess I’m still that same Beatles fan at heart.