Seedsmen To The World
"At a sufficient distance over the woods this sound acquires a certain vibratory hum, as if the pine needles in the horizon were the strings of a harp which it swept."-Henry David Thoreau
Today is a very exciting day….it is the day that after a few years of dormancy, my first record label, Birdman Records, is releasing a new record by a band I love. Yes, it is hard to believe, but today marks the debut of a new drone folk combo called Seedsmen To The World. As was always the vision for the label, the music within the grooves is outer-worldly, in this case combining deep, rustic folk traditions with ambient earthy reverberations.
It was just one of those things…a late at night jam session around the stereo system with a trusted fellow problematic record collector. Amid incense smoke-dreams, dying warm candles and some peaty scotch, there came an invitation to listen to a moldy cassette he had found during a vinyl bin dive in the northern parts of the state of California (where he had also snagged a Mono first pressing copy of the Small Face’s first record for $4…the jerk). The cassette barely rotated in the player…containing crumpled tape from a long-ago mishap that must have been manually woven back into the cartridge. It audibly crinkled as it played…but the sounds…the mysterious layers of waves that came from it along with a Roky Erickson-esque omniscient voice that glided atop the ambiance: it was dark and mystical.
I was able to actually get in contact with a Seedsman…and they were still a band. We made a deal for Birdman to put out their record. They sent me their bio, which I will reprint an excerpt from in a second…but having this record to release ignited a momentum for a record label I started in the 90’s that has slowed down since having children. With the help from my friend Leigha Rankin, a new website was created (that went live this morning) and we have a few records we are working for as follow-ups: the Otha Turner record, which is being sent to all of you who are founding subscribers of this newsletter, a reissue of Tom Recchion’s Choatica (the first long-player Birdman ever did), and a release by new noise-ters Infinite River…and there is more bubbling up.
Because of lengthy times in record manufacturing, the new era of Birdman will come slowly. Which makes this new release even more special. The Seedsmen To The World are here. The first single, Blood, is on-line and groovy. And this is who they are:
“The Seedsmen are children of the 1960s utopian minded eco hippies who left the industrial based cities behind for communal life in the hills passed Trinidad California. The Seedsmen have chosen to brave the shattered world once again with their music of healing and hope. Each with a superpower charged by the alpha waves of the ancient redwood groves they grew up around, armed with songs written by the greats who came before them, the members of the Seedsmen exist purely to sow their harmonic gospel through the barren soil of humanity…”
The Sun Ra house was more than just a place of head-resting. It was akin to a commune, where the Arkestra would practice and live. It was where the record label was run. All of what was Sun Ra came from that house…and it has been falling apart which makes this news so incredible.
Finally, a book about the legendary story of the rise and fall of one of the first (and greatest) American independent punk rock labels. Their roster in the 1980s was second to none…diverse….great taste….not only Black Flag but Sonic Youth and the Screaming Trees…and so so much more. And what a fall the label took as founder Greg Ginn became one of the mighty antagonists of the underground (but what a killer guitar player).
“There are some things that I find disturbing, some things that I find very beautiful and strange. And so I say to you, the audience, I’m going to show these things to you and see what you think and see how you react, because I don’t have answers to questions and I don’t have an agenda that I’m trying to place with an audience.”-Cronenberg
“Owsley Stanley, famed Grateful Dead soundman and the first person to privately manufacture LSD, lived in the Poet’s Corner cottage during the Summer of Love.” Wall licking upon inspection is not suggested.
Mother Earth: Her Whales
By: Gary Snyder
An owl winks in the shadows
A lizard lifts on tiptoe, breathing hard
Young male sparrow stretches up his neck,
big head, watching—
The grasses are working in the sun. Turn it green.
Turn it sweet. That we may eat.
Grow our meat.
Brazil says “sovereign use of Natural Resources”
Thirty thousand kinds of unknown plants.
The living actual people of the jungle
sold and tortured—
And a robot in a suit who peddles a delusion called “Brazil”
can speak for them?
The whales turn and glisten, plunge
and sound and rise again,
Hanging over subtly darkening deeps
Flowing like breathing planets
in the sparkling whorls of
And Japan quibbles for words on
what kinds of whales they can kill?
A once-great Buddhist nation
dribbles methyl mercury
in the sea.
Pere David’s Deer, the Elaphure,
Lived in the tule marshes of the Yellow River
Two thousand years ago—and lost its home to rice—
The forests of Lo-yang were logged and all the silt &
Sand flowed down, and gone, by 1200 AD—
Wild Geese hatched out in Siberia
head south over basins of the Yang, the Huang,
what we call “China”
On flyways they have used a million years.
Ah China, where are the tigers, the wild boars,
like the snows of yesteryear
Gone in a mist, a flash, and the dry hard ground
Is parking space for fifty thousand trucks.
IS man most precious of all things?
—then let us love him, and his brothers, all those
Fading living beings—
North America, Turtle Island, taken by invaders
who wage war around the world.
May ants, may abalone, otters, wolves and elk
Rise! and pull away their giving
from the robot nations.
Solidarity. The People.
Standing Tree People!
Flying Bird People!
Swimming Sea People!
Four-legged, two-legged people!
How can the head-heavy power-hungry politic scientist
Government two-world Capitalist-Imperialist
Third-world Communist paper-shuffling male
non-farmer jet-set bureaucrats
Speak for the green of the leaf? Speak for the soil?
(Ah Margaret Mead . . . do you sometimes dream of Samoa?)
The robots argue how to parcel out our Mother Earth
To last a little longer
like vultures flapping
near a dying doe.
“In yonder field a slain knight lies—
We’ll fly to him and eat his eyes
with a down
derry derry derry down down.”
An Owl winks in the shadow
A lizard lifts on tiptoe
The whales turn and glisten
Sound, and rise again
Flowing like breathing planets
In the sparkling whorls
Of living light.
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