Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vancouver Psychedelia!

(Editorial note: looks like we've more or less survived Blogger's Big Outage of 2011. I say more or less since the cool/lame/kitsch votes seem to have disappeared for the time being, or... or... maybe forever!)

In the late 60s, Vancouver's hippie scene was probably as buoyant as that of San Francisco. I can imagine that it attracted US kids who objected to the war in Vietnam. Also, the local winter weather was good and the weed potent... And, last but not least, the Afterthought on 4th Avenue hosted many great live acts such as Jefferson Airplane. Yet, I'd never heard of a corresponding local music scene. Of course it turns out that there was one, it's just that they never managed to have a commercial breakthrough like their Californian counterparts. So here's a few things I've managed to find.

I'll start with my favorite one. It's a song from a band called Mother Tucker (oh well). This song was included in a compilation that was made in 1970 in support of Cool-Aid House, which was some sort of hippie shelter in Kitsilano (these days some traces of counter-culture in that area can be found at the excellent Zulu Records). The original vinyl is extremely rare and could fetch you some decent amount of skunk. Luckily, it has been reissued by Regenerator Records, a cool bunch of music preservationists.

Another name from that scene is Seeds of Time. I don't know anything about them, but I just was lucky to find something on YouTube and I'm sharing... It's just cool that they performed on CBC at the time!

And here's another one for the road. Apparently this one was quite successful at the time, but to be quite honest I don't see why. However, the vintage photos of Vancouver in the 60s make the video well worth watching:

If you're curious about Vancouver's hippie scene, there's an entire book dedicated to it. If you like psychedelic concert posters like the one I included at the top of this post, pay a visit to BC artist Bob Masse's web site.

Vancouver's indie music scene has come a long way since. Black Mountain or New Pornographers (and offshoots thereof) ring a bell?