This started as a playlist jumping off a truck driving song and it derailed considerably. I ended up in Grateful Dead territory which led me to jam bands and then psychedelic rock which of course led me to outer space. I think about outer space a lot. Like, what would it be like to have your own spaceship, like Han Solo or whatever to cruise around in? What’s a road trip in outer space like? Are they even necessary with wormholes and hyperspace technologies and all that? Maybe I’m old fashioned but I imagine still cruising and jamming tunes while you blast around the universe with a significant sound system. Clocking in at over two hours with 25 more psychonautical space jams, this list spans a pretty long period of music history and gets me through a lot of drawing and print sessions. Letting my mind wander to those interesting, far away places proves to be useful for weirdos like me. // jump to playlist
The Grateful Dead – I left The Grateful Dead off the list even though I like them quite a bit. They’re a band that I like more for their live shows and a single track on a playlist like this didn’t seem to fit anywhere so before I get to the list… Grateful Dead. Thumbs up.
Pink Floyd – I have a long history with Pink Floyd. My dad liked them quite a bit and played Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall pretty frequently in the house when I was young. Discovering Ummagumma in the record collection was an interesting day when Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict came about. Significantly warped from that one. I’d have to say though that Medle is my favorite album by them. One of These Days, the opening track has always been a favorite as it’s a great jam with one twisted lyric at the end that made me laugh when I first heard it even though it’s kind of scary. I could go on and on about Pink Floyd and the many space truckin’ memories I have linked to them. I’m SO glad I got to catch them live for the Momentary Lapse Of Reason tour in 1988 before it was too late.
Jimi Hendrix – Jimi is another one that I could go on and on about and would probably make a playlist for Hendrix alone if it wasn’t so easy to just hit the This Is Jimi Hendrix playlist on Spotify and jump off of that. Maybe a favorites list is in order. Jimi inspired me to teach myself how to play guitar (poorly). I included Third Stone From the Sun from Are You Experienced because it’s early in his career and I think it’s just so damn smooth and right. The whole album is a masterpiece.
The Beach Boys – I’m not a huge fan of The Beach Boys but Good Vibrations has always stuck in my head. I watched a documentary about the recording of the Pet Sounds album and the lengths Brian Wilson went to match the sound in his head. Pretty damn impressive little nugget there.
The Rolling Stones – While not what one might consider being a psychedelic rock band, I’m a huge fan of the Stones and Their Satanic Majesties Request is definitely a trip. Probably one of my favorite albums by them. 2000 Light Years From Home for your listening pleasure.
King Crimson – Robert Fripp is the mastermind behind the band and Adrien Belew is also in the mix on this album, both of whom are worthy of your investigation. Discipline is the album that Indiscipline is on and I chose this track because it reminds me of myself/my brain all too vividly. You really need to listen to the whole album though, beginning to end. It’s crazy and beautiful. A friend of mine played it for me once in the late 80s and blew my mind significantly. It wasn’t on Spotify for a long time so I stopped looking for it there and hadn’t heard it in over a decade until recently. I found it for $15 in a used record bin and blurted out a solid “FUCK YES!” in the store, then went home with it and blew my mind again. It’s every bit as good as I remembered it.
Wooden Shijips is one of those bands I found on Spotify radio. I can really get lost in their jams while I’m working. Their vibe suits me and I had a hard time deciding what to include on the list. Contact and Other Stars are what you get since we’re talking about space truckin’.
The Black Angels – I had the honor of designing a bunch of gig posters for this band early in their career. You’ve probably heard them in a movie or on TV. I know I have at least a few different times. Their live shows are amazing and I had a hard time deciding what to include here. Their first two albums are my favorite.
First Communion After Party – Featherhead I love these guys and wish they were still together making records. They’re MPLS locals and I did a bunch of posters for them as well as this single that I designed the cover for. It glows in the dark, so groovy it hurts.
Most of the rest of the bands on the list are jams I’ve found and bands I dig that don’t really hold any historical significance in regard to personal storytelling unless you want me to recount hours pulling a squeegee or drawing hundreds of tiny circles. Black Rainbows, Clutch, Kyuss, Kikagaku Moyo, Spiritualized, The Stone Roses, Earthless, Thee Oh Sees, Tame Impala, etc., all solid uses of your precious listening time.