Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Babe Rainbow – The Babe Rainbow 2017

After releasing a flurry of colorful summer-of-love reminiscent music videos to accompany their EP and handful of psychedelic and ear-candied singles, the Byron Bay natives holed up at Flightless Records with King Gizzard’s own Stu Mackenzie to record their debut album. 

With Mackenzie producing the album, the result was a project with a much wider spectrum of instrumentation, more varied song styles and structures, deeper experimentation, and a rawer sound that was slightly more akin to a King Gizzard record.

Psychedelic Rock

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Angus Stone (born 27 April 1986) is an Australian folk singer-songwriter and record producer-engineer. He is one half of the musical sibling duo Angus & Julia Stone, with whom he has released four studio albums. His debut solo album, Smoking Gun, was issued in April 2009 under the pseudonym Lady of the Sunshine, and reached the top 50 on the ARIA Albums Chart. His second solo album, Broken Brights, was issued on 13 July 2012 and peaked at No. 2.

Psychedelic Lunch

San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENTperformed their new song “Night Of The Witch” live for the first time this past Thursday (February 6) at the opening show of “The Bay Strikes Back 2020”European tour at Amager Bio in Copenhagen, Denmark. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.

“Night Of The Witch” is taken from TESTAMENT‘s upcoming album, “Titans Of Creation”, which will be released on April 3 via Nuclear Blast. The long-awaited follow-up to 2016 album “Brotherhood Of The Snake”was produced by singer Chuck Billy and guitarist Eric Peterson while Juan Urteaga of Trident Studioshandled co-producing, recording and engineering. Andy Sneap was responsible for the mixing and mastering of the album. Eliran Kantor stepped up once again to create a new masterpiece of artwork for the cover of this release.

Billy comments: “It has been months since the final mixing of ‘Titans Of Creation’ and we are eager for fans to hear it. We feel that we put a lot into this record and at the end of the day it is a TESTAMENT record that stands on its own. We are very proud of ‘Titans Of Creation’.”

He adds: “‘Night Of The Witch’ uses old-school lyrics about witches chanting in the moonlight and casting spells. The beauty of this song is that I worked Eric‘s vocals into the chorus. I wanted to incorporate him as he does DRAGONLORD and this song was a perfect match. It is a heavy song and a great way to introduce everyone to ‘Titans Of Creation’.”

“Titans Of Creation” track listing:

01. Children Of The Next Level 
02. WWII 
03. Dream Deceiver 
04. Night Of The Witch 
05. City Of Angels 
06. Ishtars Gate 
07. Symptoms 
08. False Prophet 
09. The Healers 
10. Code Of Hammurabi 
11. Curse Of Osiris 
12. Catacombs

In a recent interview with Heavy New YorkBilly was asked if the band’s new disc is a musical continuation of “Brotherhood Of The Snake”. He responded: “You’re always trying to top your last record, and I thought ‘Brotherhood’, up to that point, was a pretty strong record. This one, it definitely stands on its own — all the songs have their own identity. Eric [Peterson, guitar] somehow came up with a way to make it be TESTAMENTbut feel fresh and new still TESTAMENT, so that’s pretty awesome.”

He continued: “It was a quicker process than the last time, but I think at the end, the mix is awesome, the songs came out awesome, and the process wasn’t as painful as it was the last time. So, it’s a good record. I can’t wait for everybody to hear it.”

Asked if he waits for music for new TESTAMENT songs to be completed first before he starts working on lyrical ideas or if he has lyrics in mind before even hearing a note of music, Chuck said: “I have some concepts before I hear music and apply ’em to what I feel when I feel the song. So usually, a lot of it, the riff is first — it’s a riff; it’s not even a song yet, so it’s usually just a riff. And then, from there, I just kind of feel it out and just kind of find my way through it.

“On this record, we didn’t get to work and do any demos, so a lot of it was a lot of riffs going into the studio with ideas and then fine-tuning it, which I think put the pressure on ourselves,” he explained. “Sometimes when you’re under pressure, I think you work a little harder and you give it a little more. So I think, again, us forcing ourselves in the studio — ‘Let’s go. We’re gonna record this record now’ — it paid off, ’cause the record came out great. Everybody’s performance — Steve [DiGiorgio, bass] and Gene [Hoglan, drums] just killed it on this record. It’s an awesome record. TESTAMENT fans, I think, are gonna dig it.”

Last year, Billy told the WSOU radio station that the new TESTAMENT album would “definitely” contain “some different elements. I think Eric definitely stepped back into little of his — I don’t know — maybe, MERCYFUL FATE shoes,” he said. “There’s a lot of MERCYFUL FATEkind of stuff. Eric does some black metal stuff. There’s some blast beats, which he’s kind of mixed in there, which that’s not the norm for us. So it’s a little different again. I think all the songs definitely have their own identity and stand on their own.”

Chuck said that he is using his “melodic tone of a voice and less of a death metal voice” on the new TESTAMENTLP. “It’s just kind of where the songs took it,” he said. “There’s a song on here that was kind of one of the last ones that came around — it’s one of the slower-tempo songs. And I kind of was shying away from it ’cause the pace of the rest of the record was pretty quick, so I wasn’t sure it was the right fit. But in the end, once we wrote it and finished it, it turned out to be a great song. But I’m doing some stuff on there — I’ve never sang a three-part harmony on a TESTAMENT song ever. And on this one, there’s a situation where I tried it and did it, and it sounds really cool for the song. So it was just something different — challenging again that was different notes to use and different challenges, and I kind of dug it. And it actually was cool, and it actually made the experience on those songs, of creation, just kind of fun.”

Billy went on to discuss two of the tracks that will appear on TESTAMENT‘s new disc, saying: “On this record, there’s a song called ‘Children Of The Next Level’, and that’s one that really came together, musically, and came together lyrically. There’s another one on the record that, actually, the first time I heard the song, I kind of mimicked the vocal pattern and actually we wrote it the next day. So that was a song that was, like, ‘Wow!’ I got inspired and laid down the first gut feeling of what it felt like. And it ended up being a keeper, and we ended up molding it right into a killer song. And lyrically, the timing, the melody, the lyrics — everything just really kind of fell into place.”

“The Bay Strikes Back 2020” European tour features TESTAMENT alongside EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL. The trek will hit 25 cities before concluding on March 11 in Hannover, Germany.

TESTAMENT Performs New Song ‘Night Of The Witch’ Live For First Time (Video)

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are a psychedelic rock band from Perth, Australia. The band formed in 2014. They have been compared to Australia’s psychedelic Tame Impala and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Their music is described as created with “dazzling multi-layered harmonies, chunky, fuzz-laden riffing, and delicate ambient passages”.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Mushroomhead – are one of the most unique and adventurous alternative metal bands working today. Known for their stunningly theatrical live show and artsy masks, this innovative band has forged new ground in the rock world and influenced many other bands to push the envelope and bring art into rock. Formed in the early-1990s in Cleveland Ohio, the band’s combination of metal, rock and atmospheric elements has struck a chord with thousands of fans worldwide.

Mushroomhead have been performing incognito since 1993, when drummer Skinny founded the band. The band was meant to be a side-project so they wore masks to go unrecognized, but after only a few shows they developed a rabid and loyal fan base in Cleveland. Mushroomhead released their 1995 self-titled debut album independently and it went on to became an underground hit. This was history in the making because the band really had no proper distribution. Superbuick followed in 1996 and M3 in 1999, all released via an underground street effort.

After the band felt its image and hyper-melodic, heavy style of music was being diluted by other bands jumping into this space, the band started to change their look to reflect nothing out there. After a brief stint on Eclipse Records, a move to Universal Records saw the release of XX (a combination of the past independent releases) in 2001 and XIII in 2003. The band’s last album sold over 200,000 units in the USA alone. Mushroomhead released Savior Sorrow for the pioneering rock label, Megaforce Records (Metallica, Anthrax, Ministry, Warren Haynes, Bad Brains) in 2006. Mushroomhead released “Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children” in the Fall of 2010 and it debuted at #44 on Billboard charts.

It can be said that Mushroomhead’s musical ascendance was a singular, original, aesthetic of eight guys decked out in matching jumpsuits and artsy masks, playing unbelievable, unsettling music. No other band was wearing masks and jumpsuits and purveying this type of ultra-melodic, ultra-dynamic music at the time – Mushroomhead sounded like nothing else. The band’s merging of metal, atmospheric elements, rock, and theatrics mixed with a punk DIY attitude has inspired and spawned other bands. Even though Mushroomhead’s music is rock-leaning in thought, the group remains firmly committed to pushing the envelope and trying new things.

Influences range from the driving rhythms and breakneck turns of Pantera, to the dark melodies of Faith No More, to the atmospheric stylings of Pink Floyd, but all done in Mushroomhead style.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to now. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Guerrilla Toss Album GT Ultra 2017

is no mistake the album is wrapped in vintage blotter acid, created by legendary LSD archivist and artist Mark McCloud and The Institute of Illegal Images, based out of San Francisco. Inner sleeve art by Keith Rankin.

“Skull Pop” is a kaleidoscopic, energetic one that retains some of the epic sprawl that was present on earlier G-Toss material, but it’s just as hard-hitting as their first two singles. “Will there be a warning? When the clock stops moving?” Carlson asks on it, and the track’s careening groove sounds like the persistent doomsday countdown that hangs over our everyday existence. Fun stuff to think about! Listen to it below.

Psychedelic Lunch

Ever wondered about the charming dog gazing curiously into the horn of a gramophone while listening to “His Master’s Voice”? Meet Nipper: RCA’s trademark dog who became one of the most recognizable commercial images in the world.

In 1987, Robert J. Campbell, Vice President of Human Resources for Thomson Electronics in the Americas, distributed a letter to employees who until recently had worked for RCA. That year, Thomson, a French firm, had acquired RCA’s consumer electronics business from General Electric, marking another milestone in the slow demise of American-based corporations’ leadership in this ever-changing industry.

Campbell’s letter, unsurprisingly, sought to strike an optimistic note. Of the new employee handbook Campbell said: “I consider it an important expression of who we are—not RCA, not GE…but Thomson Consumer Electronics: a young, fresh enterprise in this country that isn’t afraid to pursue ideals as it strives for competitive excellence.” Key words highlighted on the cover of the new handbook included “leadership,” “quality,” and “vision.” “These words represent what we believe in and where we must focus our daily activities to be a progressive, successful and attractive company in a dynamic marketplace,” Campbell asserted.

RCA (and future Thomson) plant on New Holland Avenue
in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, ca. 1952.

The vice president’s comments hint at the uncertain situation in which the former RCA found itself upon acquisition by Thomson. RCA was once a paragon of American technological innovation, industrial savvy, and corporate success. From its headquarters at Rockefeller Center in New York, it oversaw some of the most important innovations in media communication of the twentieth century: radio, black and white television, and finally color TV, which was perfected at the company’s Lancaster facility in 1954. RCA’s trademark, a charming dog named Nipper gazing curiously into the horn of a gramophone while listening to “His Master’s Voice,” was one of the most recognizable commercial images in the world.

In a changing corporate landscape, however, RCA slowly lost its leadership position in research, development, and consumer product marketing to international firms such as Sony, Toshiba, and Mitsubishi. Thomson, a company subsidized by the French government, became one of the largest consumer electronics manufacturers in the world with its new acquisition, but profitability in the industry proved elusive. What Campbell called a “dynamic” marketplace was, in truth, viciously competitive and increasingly crowded. RCA struggled to find a niche in such an environment.

Trademark of RCA Victor and disc-playing phonograph, from 33 Years of Pioneering and
Progress (New York: RCA, 1953), p. 24.
RCA logo and “Nipper”/”His Master’s Voice” trademark, ca. 1970’s/1980’s.

Nipper enjoyed a long association with consumer electronics companies, stretching back to the nineteenth century. In 1898, the dog’s owner, Englishman Francis Barraud, painted Nipper listening to a wind-up phonograph. By a series of twists and turns, a modified version of the painting became the trademark of the Camden, New Jersey-based Victor Talking Machine Company. Its use by RCA dated to 1929, when that company acquired Victor. By 1990, however, future use of the iconic image was in question. Would Thomson embrace a trademark so famously associated with a financially struggling American corporation? In a September, 1990 article in Thomson’s employee newsletter Consumer Electronics News, the company announced a new ad campaign centered on the famous fox terrier. “Nipper is one of the best known corporate symbols in the world,” said Thomson advertising manager Bruce Hutchison. “But bringing Nipper back hasn’t been an easy decision. Every year we’ve wrestled with Nipper’s strengths and weaknesses relative to the RCA brand.”

Marty Holleran, Thomson Americas Sales and Marketing Executive Vice President, with “Nipper” and “Little Nipper”/”Chipper”, Consumer Electronics News (Indianapolis, IN), September 10, 1990

In a sense, the “strengths and weaknesses” to which Hutchison referred were one in the same: Nipper’s old age. By the end of the twentieth century, gramophones and a dog born in England in 1884 did not say “high-tech” to the American public. To some, the dog symbolized “trust, quality, reliability, warmth, and friendliness,” but he also seemed “old-fashioned, conservative, and out-of-date.” To solve the problem, Thomson modified the brand image to include Nipper as well as a puppy—“Little Nipper”—in advertisements, staring not at gramophones but instead enjoying new, high-tech electronics. “Little Nipper represents the new breed of high-technology, design and innovation inherent in RCA products,” Thomson proclaimed. The pup embodied youth and vigor: TV advertisements featured Little Nipper (later renamed “Chipper”) skydiving and skateboarding. Ads featuring the dynamic duo ran in the fall of 1990 during one of the year’s most popular television shows: America’s Funniest Home Videos.

“Nipper” and “Chipper” RCA/Thomson advertisement, ca. 1990’s.
“Nipper” and “Chipper” RCA/Thomson advertisement, ca. 1990’s.

Unfortunately for Thomson, the canine celebrities did not secure the company’s long-term financial fortunes. In the face of revenue shortfalls and stiff competition from overseas, Thomson closed its consumer electronics division in 2005. The reign of RCA consumer electronics had effectively ended.

Thomson Consumer Electronics Family Tree,” in “Thomson Consumer Electronics: First in Digital Innovation,” December, 1997

Today, some companies capitalize on the vintage appeal of their corporate symbols. Budweiser’s Clydesdale horses, for example, conjure up an aura of tradition that befits the brand identity of the historic beer brewer. Coca Cola’s polar bear have symbolized the refreshing beverage since 1922. Even industrial giants Ford and GE use logos that speak to longstanding trust and old-fashioned reliability. In the case of Thomson, however, Nipper proved emblematic of RCA’s glorious past, not the French firm’s viable future. Volatility and change are inherent in the technology industry. The fate of RCA and Nipper—once so ubiquitous in the American technology landscape but now subjects of the historian’s gaze—should help us keep the technology giants of our own era in perspective. Will Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have the staying-power that RCA lacked? Only time will tell.

QAlexander Lawrence Ames is the summer 2015 David Sarnoff Library collection processing intern in the Manuscripts and Archives Department of the Hagley Library. He holds an M.A. in public history from St. Cloud State University and an M.A. in American material culture from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in history of American civilization and museum studies at the University of Delaware.