Six Organs of Admittance

The Manifestation

(Strange Attractors Audio House)


The Manifestation is Six Organs of Admittance's (Bay Area six-string sorcerer Ben Chasny) sincere, gorgeous ode to the sun. The 22-minute title track originally came out in 2000 on limited edition, one-sided vinyl. It begins with kinetic bongos, shaken belltrees, and stoned-monk chants, conjuring the most intense scenes in Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 acid-trip existentialist film The Holy Mountain. Four minutes in, Chasny's acoustic guitar churns into earshot, and the music shifts onto a more terrestrial plane, but the mood remains entrancingly eastern and shamanistic. The track alternates between soulful, swirling drones that spur microcosmic reveries and rambling Tyrannosaurus Rex-style folkadelia. On "The Six Stations," Chasny looses a stream of crystalline chords on his acoustic (accompanied by stylus-on-etched-vinyl static) that empties your mind of the world's horrors and transports you to a place of natural beauty. It's as healing as the actual sun is harmful. DAVE SEGAL

Little Wings

Magic Wand



Kyle Fields is one wispy, whimsical dude. He's also probably stoned quite a lot. And this is just speculation, too, but I betcha he loved The Last Unicorn when he was a kid. The result of his hippied-out, boyish dreamer brain is earthy, hicky folk music about pine trees, caves, and mountains that look like whales. Kyle's last record, Light Green Leaves, was sparse, warm, and felt like back porch sunset, stress case meltdown jams--the kind where you put your feet up on the deck railing and stare off into Mt. Hood's misty, purpled distance and chill the hell out. Magic Wands is a little denser, with more piano, sighing lap steel, tangled up backup vocals, and lyrics full of great, evocative mind pictures. Put this on a summertime mix-tape with M. Ward, Jolie Holland, and Neil Young and you'll be golden. ADAM GNADE

John Cale




Let's forget about the history of this crucial figure in New York's minimalist-composition mafia, former Velvet Underground member, producer of The Stooges and Horses, and distinguished solo artist. What has this dulcet-voiced Welshman done for us lately? Not much of interest since 1990's Songs for Drella. But HoboSapiens shows Cale in robust form for a sexagenarian. With production help from Nick Franglen of Lemon Jelly (quirky, sampladelic chillout specialists), Cale updates his somberly beautiful, Euro art-pop for ears attuned to digital signal processing--but without sounding desperate for au-courant brownie points. Strip away the tasteful electronic touches and you're still left with sparkling melodies that wear their old-world elegance lightly. Sure, HoboSapiens is a creaky-jointed Wire critic's idea of pop, but you--with your refined aesthetics--may like it, too. DS

**** The Lizard

*** Hobgoblin

** Venom

* Mysterio