Top 20 highpoints of 07

1. Mani Neumeier of Guru Guru (literal god of krautrock) playing with Acid Mothers Temple, and subsequent incredibly inspiring interview in my living room.

2. DJ-ing before a brief Zipper reunion in Portland– Fred Cole of Dead Moon’s old Zep-like 70’s uberrock band, aided by members of Danava.

3. Playing guitar with Damo Suzuki network in Chicago, along with John Herndon, David Daniell, Josh Abrams, etc–it went from like space-reggae to total funky noise. Plus Damo cooked us all “asian soul food.” i can basically die happy now.

4. My band, Plastic Crimewave Sound doing shows in Canada with one of my all time fave groups, Simply Saucer–!! They still sound SAVAGELY psychedelic and nice guys of course. Canada spoiled us rotten–Andre/Steve in Montreal, Bijon in Ottawa, SR in Toronto–we love you!

5. Plastic Crimewave Celestial Vision Guitarkestra 1 at Empty Bottle– 57 guitars made people puke, cry, kiss and hand each other guitars to play… it sounded like an endless ocean of “E”….ahhhhhhhhhhhh

6. Exhibiting work in the NY art show “Frock n’ Roll”–haven’t seen so many righteously glammed out folks in one place ever, and had a total blast at the opening.

7. Getting a private concert in Ruthann Friedman’s living room in Venice, CA…the hairs stood up on the back of my neck! She somehow let me strum her $10,000 Martin guitar too.

8. Backing MN fuzz-garage-folk renaissance man/legend/saint Michael Yonkers in Chicago for my GZD release party.

9. Interviewing Vashti Bunyan, such a sweet lady– truly an angel of sorts. I almost wept during the show…the release of the “Some Things Just Stick in your Mind” 2LP earlier stuff is also wondrous.

10. Tracking down and interviewing Chicago experimental 80’s provocateurs ONO, and lead singer Travis chanting for my 3rd Guitarkestra.

11. DJ-ing with Portland’s Maura “Mystic Lady’ Arraj in Chicago–heavy riffs and red wine prevailed! yeaaaaaah!

12. Tony Joe White show at Schuba’s–that man can growl and play lusty wah wah like no one else!!

13. The Source book, at long last–Yod’s legacy explained–i laughed, i cried, i aligned my chakras.

14. DJ-ing with Elvin aka Nobody in LA, before the Entrance Band slayed all with walls of heavy bloozrok.

15. Awesome reissues– Bee Gees box of first 3 albums plus MUCHOS bonus material of unreleased miserable psychedelic ballads and elegaic hymns, Mark Fry’s-“Dreaming with Alice”- transcendent UK acid-folk from a mere teenager, Nick Garrie, Baby Grandmothers, Possessed, Crushed Butler, Michael Yonkers “Grimwood,” Ed Askew “Little Eyes,” “Wall of Soundalikes” Spector-isms, ooh and those COB bonus tracks too….

16. Psychedelic art exhibit at the Whitney–it could have been bigger and less SF/UK focused, but i’m sure i’ve never seen so many sweet posters in one place.

17. Interviewing svengali-extraordinaire Giorgio Gomelsky in NY– it was about 3 hours of the most fascinating stories ever! Magma, the Yardbirds, no-wave, Julie Driscoll, Blossom Toes, Ornette Coleman– he had a hand in it all. Thanks to Virginia Tate for hookin me up…

18. Marissa Nadler at Ronny’s in Chicago, 3 mics of different vocal treatments and incredible songs–plus a classy red evening gown all in a not-so glorified garage. I was also introduced to opener Angel Olsen, who will take the world by storm soon.

19. Playing the Diamond Days fest in NY, commandeering the hot-shit communal drone band (“the PCW Expanse”) of Samara Lubelski, SR Palm, Virginia Tate, Adam La Otracina, and Kathy, Georgia and Taralie of Spires That in The Sunset Rise.

20. Playing that Four Tops record over and over with Libby; picnics on the lawn with special caramel; exploring Chicago music history; watching Son of Svengoolie and reruns of Lost in Space, Night Gallery and Twilight Zone on Me TV….whew i guess 07 was a good year.

Steve Krakow is Plastic Crimewave. He writes, he draws, he edits the magazine Galactic Zoo Dossier, he broadcasts, he organizes, he plays music in his band the Plastic Crimewave Sound. Amazing!

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.

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