Transmigration Macabre

Ravi Shankar Transmigration Macabre LP (Spark, 1973)

Composed in 1967 for a Brit art film called Viola, Transmigration Macabre is not your average Ravi Shankar album. Overtly psychedelic, sometimes closer to Coltrane's mystical free jazz than the Indian classical music Shankar is famous for, Transmigration... is one of those records that gets revealed to you. In the olden days, that revelation would happen in the used record store. Young Timmy would come to the counter with a copy of Black Sabbath's Masters of Reality and one of Ravi Shankar's albums on World Pacific or his East/West record with violinist Yehudi Menuhin. The head behind the counter would shake his head, put aside the Shankar records, reach behind the counter and pull out a copy of Transmigration Macabre. "Here, kid. This is the one you want," he'd say ringing Young Timmy and sending him out the door, not giving him time to object. Young Timmy would go home, smoke a joint on the side of the house, go into his bedroom, listen to Sabbath and then put on the Shankar album AND BLOW HIS FUCKING MIND! That is the way it used to happen. Not anymore. Now we check out blogs or podcasts and do the soulseek thing. We find the dudes with the rapidshare blogs and download psychedelic collections that once took decades to obtain. No sweat, no blood, no stinky record geek loser standing behind the counter playing underground music pusher, sending you away with the idea that not only does every musician have a freaky side, but many of us are secret freaks. The record store guy knew that you were a freak and you now know he is a freak. You speak a secret language. Not a hip language or a lingo that makes you better than anyone else. Nah, just one that acknowledges that you don't fit in. Nowadays, people wear their freakiness or at least they wear some kind of store bought freakiness. Yeah, sure it is great that people can look however they want to look. It is groovy that every flavor is out there to be tasted. But it seems to me something has been lost in this effortless. point/click/download world. Like digital recordings can't capture room ambiance the way analog can; like look at words on a screen doesn't measure up to kicking back and reading a book; like watching two people fuck on yummygirlfuck.com, with your pants around your ankles doesn't quite compare to lying next to the one you love or even kinda like; this instant aural gratification, hell, let me just say that I hope that as far as this blog goes, it inspires you to do something more than play passive consumer of yet another mp3, even if that is only going out and getting your fingers dirty, digging for your own crud. Please enjoy:

No Worries, scottie!

Yours is about the only blog one I still enjoy almost daily,
and God knows how much musicblogs I have encounterd last couple of years...
And how much secondhand musicstores and fleamarkets i'm still attending wherever I go...
Internet is just an extension for my freaky habits.
it are blogs like this one that keep me going
when I browse around.
freaks will be freaks I guess

take care,
Kenny Lust
cool.. shankar sets you up.. oh yeah.. thanks for posting this tasty gem.....derrick
Words of wisdom. I was just talking the other day to a friend about going in to buy X and having the freaky record store guy steer you to Y. In this case, it was X=New Values and Y=Soldier, but whatever.

Love the blog as always and this one sounds a treat. Thanks in advance!

Thank you for the great post and the mp3s. Growing up in the vast vanilla suburb, joining the Navy to escape life in the early 1970s, from the "457 Shades of Grey" that IS Buffalo, NY, travelling over the towering Bridge of Sighs, stumbling across a Soft Parade, and laying down to a gentle Landslide in far Mombasa, Kenya... and so on... ...digital doesn't hold a candle to the warmth of analog. Thank you for the secret scent of earth! And thank you for sharing the music!
Believe me, there is nothing more that I wish than to be able to go to a used record (or, hell, even CD) store and be able to leave with stacks of awesome and cheap albums.

It just doesn't happen, though. Every used record or CD store is the same around here. There are the crappy 90s music that everyone has forgot about by now, and record-wise, it's all the same bad music.

While I'm sure there are great record stores somewhere, there certainly aren't around here. As such, I must resort to finding MP3s and such. It sucks, but it's just how it is.
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