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Psychedelics
Our series "Psychedelics" starts in the year 1966 with episodes on the The Byrds, The Velvet Underground, The Beatles and Jefferson Airplane. We’ll explore the British psych scene with Pink Floyd in 68 and then roll around in the mud at Woodstock in 69 with Sly and the Family Stone.
In the 80s we’ll enter the surreal world of The Flaming Lips then bliss out to house music with The Orb. The series ends with today’s new breed of psychedelic bands - Spiritualized and Animal Collective.


# 10 Animal Collective

Animal Collective are in the forefront of today's psychedelic rock scene. Some people think they are the most brilliant group in today’s alternative scene. Others just can't get into it. Whatever your opinion, the mix of beats, Beach Boys-type melodies and looping keyboard riffs are undoubtedly trippy.

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Animal Collective - From Myspace

Animal Collective - Poster From Myspace

# 9 Spiritualized

Influenced by The Velvet Underground, Spiritualized’s lyrics, written by founding member Jason Pierce, are intensely personal. They’re also sung with a deadpan delivery, much like Lou Reed’s. So it’s ironic that their stage show seems to try to take the focus away from the band. Flashing lights are aimed toward the audience and the waves of volume are so loud they effect you physically.

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Jason Pierce - Spiritualized - From Myspace

Spiritulized - From Myspace

# 8 The Orb

UK band The Orb started out in DJ world – as part of the electronic music explosion of the late 80s and early 90s. The founding member of The Orb, Lx Paterson, was a DJ who started recording his own samples and changing them into drum beats, or adding sounds like airplanes, animals breathing or footsteps in the snow to the mix of his songs. The Orb’s music quickly became its own genre “ambient house” and these songs were played after raves in back rooms and urban apartments in places called “chillout lounges," where partiers would recuperate after a night of dancing.

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The Orb - Press Photo

The Orb - Dipping Into The Cyber World

# 7 The Flaming Lips

Oklahoma psychedelic band The Flaming Lips create an alternative reality with a stage show filled with confetti cannons, animation, blasts of light, animal costumes and huge balloons.

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Flaming Lips - Photo By Michele Myers

Flaming Lips - Photo By Michele Myers

# 6 Sly and The Family Stone

Woodstock could have been a disaster, and it almost was. In August of 1969 thousands of young people went to an upstate NY farm for the three-day music festival. The nearest town, Bethel wasn't ready for them. Food and gas were in short supply. Rain washed the roads out. But the hippies rolled around in the mud and shared food, staying on for the music. Sly And The Family Stone went on at 3am Sunday morning and woke the crowd with electrifying versions of "Dance to the Music" and I "Want To Take You Higher."

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Sly Stone - From Myspace

Sly at Woodstock - From Myspace

# 5 Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd started out with frontman Syd Barrett, who wrote chart-topping songs unlike any others. When Syd’s experimentations with LSD made it hard for him to perform the band replaced him with guitarist David Gilmour. The new line-up went on to make some of the best-selling records of all time.

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Pink Floyd - From Myspace

Pink Floyd - Piper

# 4 The Beatles

The Beatles made a name for themselves as charismatic teen idols with a wholesome image. Once they started experimenting with marijuana and LSD their look changed drastically. They grew long hair and beards, wore flowered robes and John started sporting those granny glasses. The music changed too, becoming more trippy and introspective.

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The Beatles - Revolver

The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper

# 3 Velvet Underground

While the hippie counterculture was growing in San Francisco, a whole different scene was happening in New York City. The Velvet Underground hooked up with famous artist Andy Warhol to create darker, edgier music and a traveling show called “The Exploding Plastic Inevitable”.

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Velvet Underground - From Myspace

Velvet Underground - Underground Album Cover (1967)

# 2 Jefferson Airplane

1966, San Francisco. Ken Kesey’s parties were called “acid tests” and their house band, The Warlocks, would later change their name to The Grateful Dead. Young people grew their hair long, wore colorful secondhand clothes and danced in the streets. Music moved away from the commercial folk music and doo-wop sound of the 50s and the style was experimental, the lyrics more emotionally authentic. Jefferson Airplane’s “Surrealistic Pillow” would become the soundtrack for the new generation.

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Jefferson Airplane - From Myspace

Jefferson Airplane - From Myspace

# 1 The Byrds

Members of Los Angeles band The Byrds were part of the commercial folk scene, but by experimenting with new instrumentation they helped to pioneer a whole new musical counterculture. Guitarist Roger McGuinn’s 12-string electric Rickenbacker and the sustain effect he used would inspire many other musicians in the style known as psychedelic rock.

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The Byrds - From Myspace

The Byrds - Poster From Myspace


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