Monday, February 22, 2010

Goodbye Sweet Dreams

As a devout fan of Texas and psychedelic music, Roky Erickson looms large in my book. He's largely credited with the creation of the psychedelic strain of rock and roll in 1966 with "You're Gonna Miss Me," a maelstrom of a song he performed with Austin's 13th Floor Elevators, and he helped put Austin music on the map. His work after the Elevators is nothing to squint at either--oscillating between very hard-edged psych rock and barebones folk. However, his life's been beset by drug problems and mental health issues (he controversially spent time in the state mental hospital), as chronicled in the stunning (and tragic) documentary You're Gonna Miss Me, but Roky has made a bit of a comeback bid recently with a number of live appearances. He also has a new album out April 20 via Anti- called True Love Cast Out All Evil, with Okkervil River as the backing band. The first song released from the album is "Goodbye Sweet Dreams," a haunting ballad that popped up a few times in the documentary and has been continually reworked throughout Roky's career. Credit Okkervil River's Will Sheff with updating Roky's sound but also preserving the man's undeniable soul. Take a listen below, and be sure to check out this bizarre video of the Elevators (with Tommy Hall playing that omnipresent electric jug) performing their manic psychedelia at some corny '60s pool party.

Roky Erickson with Okkervil River--Goodbye Sweet Dreams

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