The Darker Side of Psychedelic Music

My interest in darker psychedelic music was reignited a few days ago when I heard The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” on the radio. I think it’s such an incredible song. Now I’m desperate to find more bands similar to The Doors, but it’s proving to be much more challenging than I had anticipated. Of course there are plenty of well-known psychedelic rock bands from the ’60s and ’70s, but I’m not just looking for the average psychedelic band. I think I’ve always been more drawn to The Doors than any other psychedelic band of the “hippie days” because they had a more somber, gloomy, and mystical side. It’s been said that Jim Morrison had an obsession with the dark side, particularly death, and I think that came across in quite a few of their songs.

The first time I really got into The Doors I was about 17 years old, and then I came across Mazzy Star’s music, which was heavily influenced by The Doors. I began searching more for this darker style of psychedelic music and discovered a genre of music from the ’80s that was influenced by 60’s psychedelic bands called Paisley Underground. This led me to discovering musicians like Rain Parade, Opal, Kendra Smith, and The Dream Syndicate. While all those music discoveries were enough to keep me satisfied at the time, now I’m back to wanting more. I want something as dark and mystical as The Doors, and maybe the closest I have come to it is a band called Phantom’s Divine Comedy. The lead singer of this band sounds so similar to Jim Morrison that I now understand the conspiracy about Jim Morrison faking his own death.

Here are some of my favorite psychedelic songs that lean toward the gloomy, dark side. If you can think of anything similar to these bands (besides the obvious psychedelic bands like Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, etc.), please leave recommendations in the comments section below. If you don’t know of any, hope you enjoy these!

Twenty 90’s Fashion Trends I Miss

Today’s post is a little more superficial and carefree than usual. Just wanted to take a minute here to step back on memory lane and comment on the 90’s fashion trends that I miss. Maybe I’m biased since I grew up in the ’90s, but I think it was such an awesome decade when it comes to music, fashion, and movies. My boyfriend tends to be a bit more nostalgic than I am, but we both enjoy reminiscing about “the good ol’ days” from time to time. We believe there was something special about the ’90s, and we’re grateful that we got to experience a time when things seemed simpler and technology hadn’t advanced far enough yet to the point that it consumed our lives.

In the past five or so years, lots of 90’s trends have been revisited, but there are some 90’s trends I won’t revisit because I feel that they simply look a tad too dated. When I’m out thrift store shopping, sometimes I have to refrain from buying those items that scream over the top that they were made in the ’90s. Not saying there’s necessarily anything wrong with looking that way, but I aim for a balance between timeless and vintage.

Now, onto those amazing trends I miss most.

1.) The ultimate 90’s trend that I miss most is velvet. Anything velvet. Velvet shirt, velvet dress, velvet blazer, velvet shoes, velvet purse, velvet leggings…I LOVE velvet! Fortunately, velvet has made a comeback, and there are still plenty of velvet things I can wear from the ’90s without feeling that my look is overly dated.

90s2

2.) Colorful, shiny pleather was so fun and awesome! I remember a blue-violet pleather coat from Limited Too that I used to wear in 5th grade (close to the same color as the dress that Mira Sorvino is wearing below). I thought I was so cool, but then I got incredibly annoyed when another girl at my school started wearing the same exact coat.

90s

3.) Plaid miniskirts and cropped angora sweaters were staples in a teen girl’s wardrobe in the ’90s. Done the right way, I believe a similar look could be pulled off today. I bought a couple of plaid skirts from the ’90s a couple years ago, but I’ve never worn them since I haven’t been able to put together the right outfit.

90s7

4.) I went through a phase about 3 years ago where I was obsessed with 90’s vests. These little babies are harder to find than I expected. Unfortunately, every thrift store I went to was overflowing with those hideous vests designed for grandmas, teachers, and crazy cat ladies.

90s1290s4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.) Though satin dresses should be considered timeless, I often associate them with the ’90s, especially collared, button-up satin dresses like the one pictured below.

90s56.) Chunky, platform boots just look too dated these days, but I still think they’re better than the boots with super thin stiletto heels that many girls wear today.

90s97.) A complete opposite of the chunky platform boot, the strappy heel was also extremely common back then. Though I’m more drawn to chunky heels, I think the 90’s strappy high heel was quite flattering on women. It helped create more of an elegant, dainty look.

90s11

8.) Wow, my head nearly exploded when I first saw these! They are a perfect combination of so many awesome 90’s fashion trends–velvet, strappy, and platform heels! I had a pair similar to these when I was young, except they were faux snakeskin.

90s109.) I’m guessing this look originated in the ’50s or ’60s, but I also associate plaid pants with the ’90s. I once had a bright green pair when I was in 4th/5th grade that I would only wear on Fridays since I reserved that as my dress-up and feel extra awesome day.

90s13

10.) Who didn’t love when Drew Barrymore wore daisies in her hair?! Of course people still go for that hippie chic look today by wearing a halo of flowers around their head, but it’s still not the same as this 90’s look. Drew pulled it off so well.

90s611.) Here we are, back to velvet again, but this time it’s velvet duster jackets. When I saw this particular episode of Sex and the City where Carrie was wearing a velvet duster while out on a date with Aleksandr, I immediately wanted one just like it. It screams late ’90s, but I frickin’ love it! I eventually found a black one off eBay that fits perfectly.

90s1712.) Zig-zag parts were a lot of fun, and this is a trend that I’ve not been willing to give up. I still sport the zig-zag from time to time because a straight part just gets boring after a while.

90s1813.) Remember when Madonna and Gwen Stefani w0re Indian art like bindis on their forehead? Or TLC’s video for Unpretty that was inspired by Buddhist and Indian culture? I’m attracted to Indian culture and their fashion, so this is one trend that I truly miss.

90s2090s19

 

 

 

 

 

 

14.) Some of my favorite jewelry from the ’90s were yin and yang pendants and choker necklaces.

90s2290s21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15.) Butterflies became insanely popular back then! How predictable that my bedroom became butterfly-themed at one point. The only thing I don’t really miss are butterfly tattoos since they became so popular that they eventually turned into something totally predictable and generic.

90s2316.) One thing I really miss about the ’90s was that people seemed to be more interested in aliens and UFOs, or at least they were more comfortable expressing their interest by wearing those “I believe” t-shirts. It became part of our pop culture. There were tv shows like The X-Files, Roswell, and a few specials that aired on FOX that focused on alien encounters and the possibility of life existing on other planets.

90s26

17.) I’ve always been a big fan of the 60’s/70’s hippie style, so it’s awesome that we experienced a hippie revival in the ’90s that included everything from lava lamps to mood rings to peace signs and smiley faces on everything.

90s2518.) Pretty much everyone I knew who grew up in the ’90s owned a pair of Doc Martens at some point. The 2 or 3 pairs I owned look hideous when compared to these cute electric blue patent leather mary janes.

90s27

19.) Part of the ’70s revival, those groovy polyester shirts were back in style for a little while. My favorite was a short-sleeved brown one with blue and white daisies all over it.

90s2820.) I’m still a fan of crocheted clothing, including cropped crochet halter tops.90s29

 

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane! Are there any 90’s fashion trends that you miss? Or is there another decade that you prefer when it comes to fashion?

More Shoegaze Music for Fall Weather

I’ve been a bit slack with blogging lately, so I thought I’d ease back into it by sharing another song list. Now it’s finally beginning to feel more like autumn. The temp has fallen, the NC state fair begins today, and I’m about halfway through my first semester of grad school. 😀

For anyone who’s craving more shoegaze, here you go:

1. Watersong – Windy & Carl

2. Ferris Wheel Blackout – Rumskib

3. Cellophane – Swoon 23

4. Stars – The Vera Violets

5. Lazy Calm – Cocteau Twins

Shoegaze Music for Fall Weather

Now that September is already here, I’m actually looking forward to the cooler weather and crisp, colored leafs that will soon arrive. There really won’t be any signs of autumn in my neck of the woods until maybe mid-October, but I’m in the mood for a change. Late spring and summer is actually my favorite time of the year, so the transition into fall is often bittersweet. While I anticipate the change, I know I must let yet another wonderful summer end.

There are a couple things I love about fall, though. One is I get to bring out the boots, jackets, and pretty scarves in my closet that have been neglected for too long. It probably didn’t surprise you I’d bring up the fashion aspect of it. The other thing is all the amazing music I associate with fall weather. I’m wondering, do any of you associate certain songs or styles of music with fall? It makes me think of atmospheric, ambient music, folksy songs, alt-country, or something that’s a bit pensive and sad. Mellow and bittersweet might be good ways of describing autumn music.

I decided to compile a list here of a few songs which always seem to remind me of fall. The reality might be that I’ve listened to some of these songs during a particular fall and now associate the song with the season. I should also point out that only about half this list is shoegaze music, but I hope every one of you will enjoy something here. If any of you have songs that remind you of fall, feel free to share them.

1. Feedback Song – Flying Saucer Attack

2. Drake – Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man

3. Wickerman – Pulp

4. Into Dust – Mazzy Star

5. Crescent Moon – Cowboy Junkies

6. She Is the Daylight – Flying Saucer Attack

7. Catch the Breeze – Slowdive

8. Take It Easy – Air Formation

9. We’re an American Band – Yo La Tengo

10. Painbirds – Sparklehorse

My latest music discovery: Keep Shelly in Athens

Mmhmm, yet another new band has managed to impress me. I stumbled upon this band rather haphazardly on youtube last night. They’re a chillwave band, which isn’t really my favorite genre, but I find myself liking a good amount of stuff associated with chillwave and downtempo. When I first heard A Song To Cheer You Up, I was immediately reminded of bands like Everything But the Girl and Lovespirals. I went ahead and downloaded their latest album. My ears are pleased. 🙂

Hope you enjoy this lovely tune.

Shoegaze isn’t dead, and dream pop isn’t, either!

I’m kind of excited to make my very first music related post on here. I couldn’t resist because I was recently chatting with an old online friend who often recommends new music to me, and he shared a particular song with me that pulled me in almost instantly. It’s already become an addiction (which involves me just playing it on repeat until I become absolutely sick of it), and this happens pretty infrequently to me these days with modern songs. I’m always looking for a new song that’s special and magical that captures the true essence of dream pop music. In my opinion, a true dream pop song is one full of ethereal, angelic voices and lush, swirling melodies that temporarily takes you away to a beautiful, imaginary land every time you hear it. I hear so many modern bands who aren’t necessarily bad, but their music is so lacking of originality that I feel absolutely no desire to hear them again. But now it looks like I finally found that one song that’s got me hooked!

I’ve been a big fan of shoegaze and dream pop music for the past six or seven years, so I’ve uncovered a lot (though certainly not all!) of music that falls into these genres. Shoegaze and dream pop music reached its peak back in the early to mid-1990s. There was so much good stuff released back then from bands like My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Cranes, The Sundays, Lush, Pale Saints, and many others. So sometimes I feel like I’ve already heard the quality stuff and don’t expect most of the newer bands to match up to those old gems. I’m not denying the fact that are some fantastic shoegaze/dream pop bands who’ve come together in the past decade. I just haven’t been blown away by a song like this in a while, and I’m relieved to know that some of the newer artists are still creating dream pop that’s incredibly ethereal and breathtaking just like that of the ’90s yet sounds new and fresh at the same time.

So without further ado, here’s the song that makes me swoon. Thank you again, Amir, for sharing this with me! The official music video for La Rose by Sleep ∞ Over: