- Jan 21, 2010
I have a strange fascination with the insane. It's a wonder that I didn't end up becoming a shrink, though its probably has to do with the fact that I'm more curious about the experience, not how to treat those so afflicted.
About a month ago, I was browsing the documentaries on Netflix when I saw something that caught my eye. It was a documentary called You're Gonna Miss Me, about Rocky Erickson, a founding member of what is considered to be the first ever psychedelic rock band; the 13th Floor Elevators.
My first thought was, "How the hell have I not heard of this guy?" As I watched the documentary, I really began to feel sorry for him. Here's a guy-with all the talent in the world- now living at home, with his mom, in absolute squalor.
Thankfully, toward the end of the documentary, you're allowed to see what was the beginning of his recovery.
Fast forward to today. I'm in the record store and out of the corner of my eye I see a face that appears to have a story to tell.
As I approach the album, I notice it's Roky Erickson's latest album, True Love Cast Out All Evil.
Without hesitation, I buy it.
Once I get home and hit play, I'm treated to this low-fi garbled up mess of a track. Great, I think to myself, I've just wasted $15. Before the song even finishes I hit 'next' in order to see if the entire album is going to be like this and I'm relieved once I hear the clear strums of an acoustic guitar.
Anyways, I restart the album and pull out what I'm guessing could be considered the liner notes and I'm treated to a story of Roky's life. Now I had already seen the documentary, but I kept reading as I listened to the album.
What ensued was just an amazing experience. This album is fantastic. Coupled with reading about the life of the man whose voice you are listening to is a really powerful experience. I almost started to cry at points; his story is truly remarkably sad, yet endearing at the same time. He really is a martyr for the hippie generation.
My three favorites so far are Good Bye Sweet Dreams, Please Judge, and the title track True Love Cast Out All Evil.
So far I've only got to listen to this album three times through, and its already one of my favorites, if not my absolute favorite. Other than the first and last track, it's fairly well recorded and Okkervil River do a fantastic job with the background instrumentation.
I highly recommend you check this out.