Dear Brent Burton or Scott Seward (I honestly can’t remember which one of you it was): Thank you for introducing me to Earthless all those years ago, back when our magazine still had its original logo. Not only have I been able to spend the intervening time enjoying the trio’s first two full-lengths and various live recordings, but I’ve been fortunate enough to witness the band’s incredible live show up-close and personal. Needless to say, when I found out the San Diegoans were finally putting out another record (it’s been six years since Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky), it made perfect sense to have them participate in this little series. I hope shredmaster Isaiah Mitchell’s playlist of songs about spaceships and outer space (which you can feel free to listen along to here) brings you a fraction of the joy you’ve brought me. I’d say you should pick up a copy of From The Ages here, but I’m pretty sure you’re already on it. Godspeed (“Trajectory”).
Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention’s “Inca Roads” (from 1975’s One Size Fits All)
Great Zappa song about a “spaceship” landing high in the mountains of Peru at the height of the Inca civilization. Zappa asks if someone built a space for a spaceship to land. His question really never gets answered. So instead he goes on and lays down one of his most beautiful guitar solos ever. Then the Guacamole Queen shows up.
Daniel Lanois’ “Rockets” (from 2004’s Rockets)
Daniel Lanois’ pedal steel playing is jaw dropping. He gets over the top sonic with the thing. It’s great when you hear someone take an instrument that you’re so used to hearing played in a certain style like country or island music, and they throw all the initial assumptions on how to approach the instrument out the window and just make it their own. This song sounds like an onslaught of rockets taking off and exploding, then finally as things mellow out, all you hear is the smoke and the decaying crackle. Brilliant.
Pink Floyd’s “A Saucerful Of Secrets” (from 1968’s A Saucerful Of Secrets)
I loved the way Pink Floyd thought and saw making music. They were masters at the art of the “soundtrack”. This song paints a wonderful picture, to me, of the inside of a spaceship for the first time and how completely foreign everything inside is, then all of a sudden aliens see you lurking around their vessel and start chasing you, and you’re doomed because you don’t know how to escape.
Brian Eno’s “An Ending (Ascent)” (from 1983’s Apollo: Atmospheres And Soundtracks)
This song is from his album Apollo, which to me is all about outer space. Not much needs to be said about Eno and his gift of “describing” outer space with synthesizers, etc. Such a beautiful song. To me this song represents how small we are in the grand scheme of things. If we had to introduce ourself to an alien race by a song, this would be my choice.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice” (b-side to 1967’s “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp” single)
Great song that I wish I heard a lot more out in public or on the radio. The outro is a bunch of people hanging out on a spaceship and Jimi Hendrix is your tour guide. How awesome is that?! Wailing solo with some of the best Hendrix feedback on record. He screams at someone telling them to “Don’t open that door! Don’t open that door!” They open the door and get sucked out into space. “That’s the way it goes…”
*Photo by Camilla Saufley
**Earthless tour dates:
10.17.13 Alex’s Bar, Long Beach, CA
10.18.13 Harlow’s, Sacramento, CA
10.21.13 El Corazan, Seattle, WA
10.22.13 Rotture, Portland, OR
10.24.13 Bottom Of The Hill, San Francisco, CA
10.25.13 The Royal Dive, Oceanside, CA
10.26.13 The Casbah, San Diego, CA
***Order From The Ages here.
****We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here.
Past entries include:
God Is An Astronaut
Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
All That Remains
A Life Once Lost
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)