Green Pajamas — Book of Hours
(Green Monkey GM1004, 1986/2010, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2010-12-31
With a bit of effort, I can take myself back mentally to when Book of Hours came out. I was quite familiar with the Green Pajamas by that time, with their single "Kim the Waitress" stuck in my head for days at a time. Their debut album, then only available on cassette, was also a favorite. This was in Seattle before Nirvana, Sound Garden, and Pearl Jam; Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone were around, but weren't my scene — I was more inclined towards the eccentric, melodic music found on the Green Monkey and Pop Llama labels, not to mention the crazy, unpredictable beast that was Variant Cause (AKA Koo Dot Tah). My musical background lay in the same music as the Pajamas: 60s psychedelic rock. From the very first listen, Book of Hours was stunning, capturing an adventurous 60s vibe without sounding dated, contrasting fuzz guitar with beautiful touches like horns, sitar, strings, keyboards, bagpipes, and a children's chorus, nailing every detail but not coming off as overproduced and clinical. And in spite of the obvious 60s inspiration, Book of Hours doesn't sound like a pastiche, sounding more natural than the Dukes of Stratosphear (whom I also love, but their recordings, while brilliant, seem a little artificial compared to the PJ's). Listening to it many years later, the sound is slightly marred by some dated keyboard patches, but that's a very minor complaint when compared to the album's many fine points. Book of Hours is definitely one of the finest examples of psychedelic rock from the 80s, worth seeking out for fans of the genre.
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more