Yeh, yeh, but in my defense, I've been either in New York, pathetically drunk, or in New York and pathetically drunk almost every moment since the last post. Let us be righteous together (in a really sort of, uh, post-righteous milieu, you know?):
Paul Parrish, "Dialogue of Wind and Lover," Forest of My Mind (1968)
It's difficult for me to suss out my affinity for the most hippie-naïf baroque-folk stuff when actually having to sit through the 'philosophical' discourses that either provoked or have been provoked by such material are the very substance of my stomach acid, and yet here on the floor in front of me (you know, the digital floor) are Of Grammatology and Sunshine Superman, and I have as yet only made spurious and fearful little gestures toward their reconciliation. (Donovan as proto-post-colonial self-deconstruction mechanism? Yehr ... ). I know virtually nothing about Parrish or his rekord: the just-this-side-of-rococo arrangement and trust-fund Los Angeles vocals are the sort of thing that I nightly whip myself for enjoying.
Millennium, "I Just Want to Be Your Friend," Begin (1968)
Speaking of that which barely avoids Swingle Singers territory (but oh, the importance of that margin), Millennium may well remain the most noteworthy of producer Curt Boettcher's string of strange, sometimes-paradisiacal, sometimes-godawful vanity projects. Boettcher was an unusual balance of studio-rat hack and orchestral-pop genius, a mercenary who concocted pseudo-psych confectionary (in fairly obvious bids for mummy & daddy's teenbeat-funding dollars) that nonetheless was sometimes some of the best pop music of its era. When it works, as it does here, it works; when it doesn't, the result is something like The Psychedelic Guitar of Friar Tuck, a record that I've combed a half-dozen times for any scrap of even the most tenuous conceptual worth and have on each occasion left with my already-meager hope for the world shaken and cheapened.
Sagittarius, "My World Fell Down," Present Tense (1968)
Another of Boettcher's, and bar-none one of the finest pop singles ... well, ever. If Pet Sounds had been shorn of the lingering Four Freshman after-effects and given a stark shot of Brian Wilson's steadily decomposing Weltordnung, it may well have come out something like this: the chorus is instant-classic material, and that eerie clockwork piano intro is unfathomable and gripping.
Them, "I Can Only Give You Everything," Them Again (1966)
Such a good slice of White garage R&B that I'm even willing to countenance Van Morrison's existence for 2'32" (okay, unfair, right). Sample-spotters and people who remember the '90s will no doubt recall the opening riff as the centerpiece of Beck's "Devil's Haircut" (he and the Dust Brothers must've been bumping this LP at the time: "Jackass" is based on the spectral tremolo-piano from Van and the boys' take on "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"). I'm far too tired for more erudite and penetrating commentary at the moment, so gawdammit, let '66 Belfast speak fer itself (you know, that self that's never itself).