Anton Barbeau’s last one, Plastic Guitar, defied most expectations. Specifically, I didn’t expect a pop-monger to get funky courtesy of a few stealth Cake members, and the Jesus thing, while left-field, seemed sincere. Barbeau seems sincere on general principle, which is a good thing, since he covers all the bases in all the big-league stadiums of this great land of ours.
Here he seems beyond our land both literally, with tape rolling on both sides of the Atlantic crossing, and headwise, for what functions does honest psychedelia perform if it does not first dissolve nationalism? The artiste feeds your fractals with wobbling, wavering, echoing, droning, punning — every tripping trope down to Anton’s occasional wobbly-on-the-beat drum work, which features on more stuff from classic San Francisco bands than you may remember. Only sloppiness lies extruded. Barbeau’s a master builder placing every element, even that drumming, confidently into his Girder and Panel sets.
Optimism and togetherness, too, hold scepter over this landscape. Such music necessarily casts back to a time when nothing could go wrong, or, at least, when nobody spoke aloud of such possibilities. That didn’t last, sure, but this set suggests, beyond all its fine funning, the renewable nature of such sentiment. Gently, with humor, it says that we’ve got to get up and dance a little and open our hearts a little more, and things went to shit in a shitbag the last time around, but that doesn’t mean it’ll do that doo-doo this time. And that’s no nostalgia trip.
- Album: Psychedelic Mynde of Moses (2010)
- Artist: Anton Barbeau
- Label: Idiot Records
- Songs: (1) Psychedelic Mynde of Moses (2) Bend Your Mind/The Un-Mothered Stone (3) Fuzzhild (4) Reasonable Freq. (5) Skunk Hungarian (6) The Light Inside (7) M’bira (8) Cosmic Rockery (9) The Old Doctor’s Bag (10) The Well (11) Doctor Don’t Chop My Knee Mama, Ouch Is Another Word (12) Drunk Again (13) Eye And I (14) Know That the Water Is With You