Louisville and the Melwood Arts Center was the site of Terrastock 7, a four-day event that boasted a packed line-up of the world’s most intriguing psychedelic musicians. Your Agit-staffers on the ground felt like strangers in a strange land from the beginning, drifting Saturday and Sunday (June 21 and 22) amongst the drone weirdos, dancing townies, acid casualties and collector freaks—though we could perceivably fall into each category. The former industrial compound was the perfect backdrop for a weekend of out-sounds and the Derby City’s southern bohemian charms were complementary surroundings for extracurricular exploring.
Highlights include a blistering set from Oneida, who in addition to playing one seemingly endless locked primal groove, rode through the peaks and valleys of their new album, a singular statement with enough twists and turns to confuse and delight. It was then time for the Wooden Shjips to crest beneath the sweltering midday sun. The lax security of the event made sure heads could be heads. Later both Kinski’s and Bardo Pond’s lysergia drenched sets were accompanied by Acid Mother Temple’s Makoto Kawabata on guitar, who was the unspoken mayor of this year’s Terrastock. He was seen taking in just about every performance, looking like a furry holy goblin and smelling like opium heaven. There was certainly a cloud of mysticism following him wherever he went.
Those of a more rockist bent were floored by Norway’s Motorpsycho. With their elongated solos and generally hypnotic psych-thrash, they made up for rarely playing in the States. They dominated like the ultimate arena dinosaurs. Likewise a reformed Simply Saucer didn’t let a rain delay hinder the resurrection of their Cyborgs Revisited space-wonk. Though skeptical that the band might not have the fire they once possessed, the abstract sonics were kept intact, as was the trashy ‘70s junkie shuffle of the tunes.
If volume wasn’t your thing (you’d likely to have been advised to avoid Mono’s pummeling quiet/loud monoliths as well) there was plenty of softer, gentler folk that was still saturated in color you could taste. MV & EE with the Golden Road put on a quaint late-afternoon hootenanny that showcased plenty of rambling jams, while Jack Rose traversed a wood more traditional, picking delicately through the Fahey modal like an astral surgeon.
And that’s just the tip of a long weekend coasting and combusting, wet and dry, sobering up and drinking down. Much like the peaceful meditative prayer performed by Pelt on gongs and medicine bowls, I could go on and on.