Thursday, November 7, 2013

The East Village Other, Electric Newspaper, 50th Anniversary Reissue

The East Village Other (ESP 1034) LP was always something I wondered about in my proto-vinyl days, partly because it was listed on other ESP liner sleeves from time-to-time, also because a tantalizing minute of it was on the first ESP Sampler. With the 50th Anniversary CD reissue of the disk I now get a chance to experience the full album.

It is much a document of the period and the realms that ESP situated themselves in. The East Village Other was one of the first underground papers of the heady sixties. This album was the aural equivalent. It's a collage of many disparate strands, media coverage of the Nixon and Johnson childrens' weddings, recorded off a plastic clock radio, music by Allen Ginsberg, Steve Weber, the Velvet Undergound, Marion Brown, Tuli Kupferberg and some oddball interview segments conducted by Ed Sanders and Ken Weaver.

I won't tell you that this is indispensable in any sense. Some of it may not translate to our era because it was, face it, experimental in all senses. And that was the import and impact of the underground scene then. Some of it has frankly ribald contents, so keep the kiddies out of the room. If you are into Fugs-related things this has a fair deal of it. And it captures part of an an age long gone but still very much worth exploring.

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