Exposé Online banner

Music Emporium — Music Emporium
(Sundazed SC 6166, 1969/2001, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

Music Emporium Cover artMusic Emporium’s self-titled 1969 album is one of the rarest gems of the late 60s LA psychedelic scene, with only 300 copies originally pressed and an elaborate die-cut sleeve. Unlike some ultra-rare items from rock history, this one has musical value to back up the obscurity. The band was formed by accordion virtuoso Bill Cosby playing mostly organ, with a female rhythm section of Dora Wahl on drums and Carolyn Lee on bass, and guitarist Dave Padwin. Cosby and Lee handled the vocals, taking turns on lead and harmonizing with each other. Their primary influence was Iron Butterfly, with great interplay between the organ and fuzz guitar; the male-female harmonies recall a more refined Jefferson Airplane. The sound of folk, classical, and rock elements merged with psychedelia leads to an intriguing style, though the softer moments are less interesting than the heavy side of the band. At their best, Music Emporium could stand with any of the greats of the West Coast scene, and only random chance left them out of the popularity many of their contemporaries enjoyed. Highlights include “Nam Myo Renge Kyo” (imagine an Iron Butterfly version of a Buddhist chant), “Prelude” (with an organ part Rick Wakeman would have been proud of), and “Day of Wrath” (with the great lyric “There is no question that there will be peace on Earth, but will Man be here to enjoy it?”). All the players are very imaginative throughout, with guitar parts ranging from intricate finger picking to fuzzbox freakouts.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 31, 2001 releases, 1969 recordings

Related artist(s): Music Emporium

Latest news

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kantata - Samsara – For background information, go dig up a copy of Expose #14, and find the review where I spent half a page trying to describe a CD by Iwan Fals. Here, the XTC/Sting/Cat Stevens-influenced...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues