Sky Picnic — Her Dawn Wardrobe
(Mega Dodo DODOLP7 and DODOCD7, 2014, LP and CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-09-22Sky Picnic is a neo-psychedelic rock band from Brooklyn, NY, but you would hardly credit this after listening to them. Their vocals are a bit accented and resemble UK’s Crystal Jacqueline, so I naively thought they were from Europe. Sky Picnic is the trio of Chris Sherman (guitar and vocals), Leah Cinnamon (bass guitar and vocals), and Pete Meriweather (drums and percussion). Their debut release (2011) and second album, Paint Me a Dream (2012), were released on the German label Nasoni Records. They then joined the Fruits de Mer team and had tracks on four compilations: Keep off the Grass (2011), “Sorrow’s Children” The Songs of S. F. Sorrow (2012), The Crabs Sell Out (2012), and Re-Evolution: FdM Sings the Hollies (2013). Sky Picnic has continued to refine their style and have now signed with Mega Dodo Records for their third album, Her Dawn Wardrobe, to be released on October 13, 2014. This is a pretty cool retro sounding slab of dark psych music. There are hints of The Smell of Incense, Crystal Jacqueline and The Honey Pot, and even King Crimson. “June Sunshine” recalls to my mind the spring/summer of 1969, the end of my first year in college. Kind of a magical psychedelic vibe with outstanding trippy guitar. The one low point on the disc for me is “I See You Saw,” which is too long at seven minutes, but it does end with some interest in the final minute. “Lady of the Moon” is a great acoustic guitar and Mellotron dark folk song along the lines of fellow FdM teammates Us and Them. “Most of a Box of Winter” is an amazing instrumental. And then there is “Earl Grey.” Normally when you read about comparisons to King Crimson, the references are to Fripp’s harsh and complex songs like “21st Century Schizoid Man,” “Red” etc. The difference here is that “Earl Grey” sounds amazingly like “In the Wake of Poseidon.” I do like this recent trend of Gothic psych and the cover art does a very good job of expressing the feeling as well.
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more