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Kula Skaker

Peasants, Pigs, and Astronauts

(Columbia)

I always have two CDs that stand out for each season. Its sort of a ying-yang thing. One CD represents the love, mystical experiences and accomplishments of that season and the other voices the rage, fears, and anxieties of the same period (yeah that’s right I’m a moody •••••••). Well Kula Shaker’s sophomore effort was the perfect CD to represent the lighter side of the summer of 1999 (in case you are wondering the superb band Pineal Ventata expresses this summer’s darkness).


The only problem is that I’m writing this review without my copy of Peasants, Pigs, and Astronauts. Let me explain. I was visiting my family in San Diego and we decided to head up to Lake Tahoe. Driving through the Mojave Desert is always a hallucinatory experience (ranks up there with the Utah Canyonlands). The temperature was blazing hot and tempers were starting to break in the confines of our RV. To escape I plopped on this new disc by Kula Shaker (having missed out on their freshman effort K) and was instantly transported to a new plane of consciousness. As the first two songs “Great Hosannah” (a song that for some reason inspires religious feelings in this agnostic) and “Mystical Machine Gun” (truly one of the best songs of the summer) fired into my brain I started writing this highly charged love letter to my friend back home. Kula Shaker’s music is truly transcendental and has the power to move you to other planes of reality. Its great to hear a band that travels back in time borrowing earlier music styles and claiming influences from other lands without turning into a boring imitation, or, even worse, a colonialistic rip-off.


On my flight home it became obvious that my airline employs workers with discriminating taste, because, out of the piles of CDs in my bags, they only stole my new Kula Shaker and the Golden Palominos’ Dead Time. I hope they enjoy them—anyone got extra copies of these? I heartily recommend Kula Shaker’s newest CD to everyone (should definitely appeal to Radiohead fans). I even bought their worthy debut effort K.

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