13th Floor Elevators
(International Artists; 1993)
In 1969, Rocky Ericson, the lead singer of the 13th Floor Elevators, was arrested for marijuana possession. He pled not guilty by reason of insanity. The court sent him to a mental institution where he underwent electroshock therapy until he actually was insane.
Beautiful, psychedelic, tragic, garage, rock, they draw on the earlier sixties psychedelia but they turn it up a notch. Plus they’ve got a jug. Seriously listen for the jug in some of their songs, it really is there.
The band’s second album, Easter Everywhere, released in 1967 before Ericson’s brain was fried, is a masterpiece. Slightly more restrained than their ’67 debut, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators, Easter is more polished and somber than its predecessor. From the eight minute epic, “Slip Inside This House’ to a heartbreaking cover of Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue,’ this is a solid slab of southern-fried psychedelia.
Trial track: “Slip Inside This House”