Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Milkwood Tapestry" (US Acid Psych/Folk 1969)

Although ostensibly a duo, Milkwood Tapestry's sole album is not, by any means, strictly or merely a folky's record, although folk music certainly instructs its sound, particularly the British Isles strain with its flourishes of medieval instrumentation and Baroque lyricism. Roland Antonelli and Joseph Ransohoff's sound and style would have certainly been quite different had it not been for the example of the Incredible String Band. That band's influence is heard particularly in the later, quite wonderful and idiosyncratic acoustic songs added as bonus tracks to this outstanding Gear Fab CD reissue. Garnished by delicate recorder and cello (and occasionally harpsichord) accompaniment, these previously unreleased songs sound, paradoxically, as if they could only have emerged either from an Elizabethan time warp or out of the strange, progressively antiquated milieu of the late '60s. The original album also has its fair share of dotty acoustic numbers and, as fine as many of them are, they occasionally teeter over the cliff separating the mountain of prettiness from the valley of cute. As often is the case with this sort of thing from this particular era, the lyrics can seem exceedingly twee at times ("Wonderous [sic] Fairy Tale"), a fact that can be as much an attribute as a detriment depending on the listener's mood and perspective regarding these things, either adding a patina of delightful guilelessness, a certain childlike whimsicality, or inducing a troublesome, annoying cavity. Even if you lean toward the latter evaluation though, the music is hardly sickening or too sweet. In fact, at least half the original album is quite hard-hitting, even quite -- yes -- psychedelic, with sharp fuzz guitar solos, acidic ebbs and flows, dark turns of melody, and wildly manic vocals from Ransohoff. "Beyond the Twelve Mile Zone" and "Signs of the Invisible Chalk" are prime examples, rising to and then retreating from electric crescendos before frantically bubbling again just before dramatic halts. "Journey-less-Ride" is also, well, an excursion into exceedingly trippy territory, while "The Window Sill's Song" is positively Left Banke caliber in its stateliness. The rest has a certain heady, swirling quality that makes consistently wonderful listening. ~ Stanton Swihart, All Music Guide

Sample pic: Click


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lizardson, you're the GREATEST !

Many thanks once more &
best regards from Latvia

15 November, 2006 19:41  
Anonymous ibnBatuta said...

Thanks for this Lizardson, one of the better folk-type things I've listened to recently :-)

Could I request 'Bobb Trimble - Jupiter Tranmsission'? I see it in your Upcoming list, but do not have a blog account to formally make an entry in the appropriate section.

Many Thanks

15 November, 2006 22:05  
Anonymous arbor said...

Very nice thanks for this post!

16 November, 2006 08:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You!
oddly enough, the incredible string band once were quoted saying they listened to this album alot, mostly for amusement though.
(from the be

17 November, 2006 05:13  

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