The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

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pcqgod
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The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby pcqgod » 19 Oct 2016, 19:48

Is The (US) Kaleidoscope's 1968 long-player 'A Beacon from Mars' the most eclectic album released during the course of the 1960's? The first track, "I Found Out," was an advance single and a pretty, if fairly conventional, folk-pop song. Track two is a stark Scottish child-murder ballad, sung over a military beat and a bagpipe (or Union pipe?) drone. Then you get a country waltz featuring beautiful harmony vocals, a 12-minute oud exploration displaying a music scholar's knowledge of Near Eastern music, a Cajun stomper, and a fuzzed out version of the Willie Cobbs classic "You Don't Love Me." The title track is a long atmospheric blues based on "Smokestack Lightning," sung in a near whisper, with an extended interlude of nothing but pulsating feedback. Call it psychedelic or folk, or psychedelic world music, or what you will, but don't overlook when considering the great rock albums of that time.


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Charlie O.
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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby Charlie O. » 19 Oct 2016, 19:54

I love it, as I'm sure you know. Of course, it didn't have a prayer commercially. It's very eclecticism probably creates an impression, for most listeners, of a band that didn't really know what they wanted to be; paradoxically, I suspect it had the opposite effect for those who saw them live (not that I ever had the pleasure myself).
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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby pcqgod » 19 Oct 2016, 21:10

Charlie O. wrote:I love it, as I'm sure you know. Of course, it didn't have a prayer commercially. It's very eclecticism probably creates an impression, for most listeners, of a band that didn't really know what they wanted to be; paradoxically, I suspect it had the opposite effect for those who saw them live (not that I ever had the pleasure myself).


I don't suppose there are any good live recordings available?
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Quaco
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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby Quaco » 19 Oct 2016, 21:17

I like it a lot too.

I wish there were some live things or, even better, film! I've never heard of anything though.
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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby Charlie O. » 19 Oct 2016, 21:21

pcqgod wrote:I don't suppose there are any good live recordings available?

I've got a couple of things - I'll see if I can find 'em. There's one short-ish set from the Newport Folk Festival in... '68, I think?... where they do an utterly hallucinogenic version of "O Death"...
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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby Charlie O. » 19 Oct 2016, 21:23

Actually, both of the shows I was thinking of are on this page (available in mp3 or flac) - scroll down a bit...
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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby Quaco » 19 Oct 2016, 21:24

"You do not have permission to perform this action. Please refresh the page and login before trying again."

Do you have to be a member?
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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby Charlie O. » 19 Oct 2016, 21:25

I didn't think so, but lemme try something else - hang on...
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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby Quaco » 19 Oct 2016, 21:25

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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby Charlie O. » 19 Oct 2016, 21:28

Newport


Ash Grove (actually, forget that one, it's pretty awful - I was thinking it was the Cambridge set that Quaco linked!)
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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby pcqgod » 19 Oct 2016, 21:59

Okay, I'll check those out. Thanks Charlie and Quaco.
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Re: The Kaleidoscope send a Beacon from Mars

Postby billy » 20 Oct 2016, 08:25

I love it that this lot have been a bubbling-under 'BCB band' since day 1.

I am also surprised that they have never really had their day in the outside world. One of my all time fave 60s groups.

My introduction was via the single LP gatefold sleeve 'best of' that came out on Edsel in the 80s. Notably, the sleeve notes (I think they were by John Tobler of Comstock Lode fame?) used Frank Bough as a shining example of bland respectable Britain. Little did they know ....

And thanks for the links to the shows -- never knew of them and will check them out ...
mantochanga wrote:Dave Bartram from Showaddywaddy - on telly every week, but most people didn't even know his name. No burdening us with his issues or personal life, just a straightforward entertainer. Navvy!