Worth Hearing: If I Could Only Remember My Name

Maybe it’s the Vineyard, but, man, I’ve been deeply into, for lack of a better term (and, Dear Lord, please give me a better term), stoner rock this summer. I’m not talking about faux Stoner Rock like QOTSA (which seems more like mushrooms-laced-with-LSD-rock to me). Nah, what I mean is best summed up by the blissed out work you hear on David Crosby’s debut solo record, “If I Could Only Remember My Name.”

Sort of unceremoniously shit upon when initially released (Christgau gave it a D-; but do consider the time (1970), and what “The Dean” was digging at that point), it’s held up remarkably well, and, to my thinking, no IICORMN = no Devandra Banhart, no Fleet Foxes, no Joana Newsome (dig the harp on “Traction in the Rain”), maybe no Elephant 6, etc.

The record is particularly cool because it not only captures the bliss of the stoner vibe (“Laughing” – amazing use of dulcimer), but also the deep (justified?) paranoia of the times (check out “What Are Their Names”).

I can’t recommend it enough. And, lest you think I’ve gone all hippie on you, I was reminded to go back to this record by reading the excellent Sonic Youth biography, Goodbye 20th Century, in which Jim O’Rourke waxes eloquent on the album.

Try this out:
“Laughing”
04-laughing-lp-version

For more, check out this from one of several outstanding concerts on Wolfgang’s Vault from around the same era:

And, if you want to sort of follow the narrative to its (perhaps) logical conclusion, here’s a song from the Fleet Foxes Daytrotter session:

[Disclaimer, I’m delighted to work for Wolfgang’s Vault and Daytrotter.]

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  1. ian lyles’s avatar

    i’ve been carrying this one around in my bag since march. not just for the listening value but to show off the cover art. i love the parallel between dc’s nostrils and the setting sun..

    ian-

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  2. George’s avatar

    So funny you mention the nostril/sun parallel, Ian. I was just thinking that the sun’s reflection on the water looks a lot like tears streaming down his cheek; lots going on.

    George

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