Sunday, February 13, 2011

Parallelograms by Linda Perhacs



                                                                                  I usually hate the word parallel or parallelogram because it reminds me of my first TV appearance when the answer was parallel but i didn't get it (see story below 'Back On Top', for more details on that) for months afterwards i would wake up in a cold sweat saying "The answer is parallel".Anyway, that is by the by and nothing to do with this story.
When i was researching a previous story i came across the name of Linda Perhacs who had made one album in 1970 called Parallelograms which had disappeared without trace so i looked her up on wiki which said this-
Linda Perhacs is an American psychedelic folk singer, who released her only album "Parallelograms" in 1970 to scant notice or sales. The album was rediscovered by record enthusiasts and grew in popularity with the rise of the "New Weird America" movement and the Internet. It was reissued on CD and 2-LP in 2005, and again in 2008.
I found it had been released by Sunbeam Masters in a limited numbered edition of 1000 copies so i ordered it and my copy arrived, i am number 0184.It has a very attractive gatefold sleeve and liner notes written by Linda herself.
I must say it is a quite brilliant album and hard to define.I am listening to it now on a rainy Sunday morning.I really like the opening track 'Chinacum Rain'.It reminds me a little bit of the song 'Wind Chimes' on the Beach Boys Smiley Smile album.'I'm Seeing silences between leaves',sings Linda.What does it all mean?.The vocals shimmer like a pebble skimming across a lake in the sunlight, (Pretentious, moi?).I am not so enamoured of the second track Paper Mountain Man which is quite bluesy and featuring harmonica..The third track though Dolphin is quite wonderful.Her vocals are amazing,just accompanied by acoustic guitar.'Call Of The River' is next.The way the vocals are mixed so she harmonises with herself is very clever.'Sandy Toes' is more upbeat and quite brilliant.The title track 'Parallelograms' is next and it is a tour de force that i urge you to listen to.When i first heard it i thought Joni Mitchell meets Pink Floyd.Considering it is 40 years old it is very experimental and avant-garde.How people didn't pick up on this album when it came out is hard to understand because it was in the zeitgeist of the times but apparently it didn't get any airplay or publicity.'Hey,Who Really Cares' is the next track which is ok followed by 'Moons And Cattails'.
I said to Kim,"What do you think of this album Kim?".
"I don't like it,"she replied.
"Why not?",i enquired
"Its wierd".

Thats exactly why i like it,plus her amazingly pure voice.'Morning Colors' is the next track which is supurb,with some beautiful flute playing.I think the flute is an instrument that goes really well with psycedelic music,its so spacey.'Porcelain Baked-Over Cast-Iron Wedding is quite vitriolic about the shallow middle class values of the people where she lives.This is one of the more conventional songs on the album.The last track is called 'Delicious' which is exactly that.There are eight bonus tracks on the album including a BBC interview from 2005 but i can't be bothered to review them as well.Check it out for yourselves.I heartily recommend this album which i have enjoyed listening to this morning and it's even made the sun come out.Also you might enjoy the short filum that i found on You tube which will give you a flavour of how brilliant this album is.