PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Music

The Source Family: Original Soundtrack

Outsider music that delivers on the promise of being unique. You've really never heard anything quite like God's house band.


The Source Family

The Source Family OST

Label: Drag City
US Release date: 2013-05-21
UK Release date: 2013-05-20
Amazon
iTunes

The skinny: The Source Family was a religious organization that came together in the 1970s, thriving on the Sunset Strip with a popular vegetarian eatery that drew celebrities (Steve McQueen, for one), rockers (members of prog titans Yes), and a little bit of heat. Led by ex-con Jim Baker, the group lived together in a big commune in the Los Angeles area, first in a roomy mansion, then in much closer quarters. Baker, known as Father Yod to his flock, preached some wild sermons, which often landed somewhere between the Sermon on the Mount and a Lenny Bruce routine. As happens, a few of the youngsters who joined the Source Family were musicians and, as also happens, Father Yod recognized the power of rock music to convey a mighty message. For a few wild years in the 1970s God had His own rock ‘n’ roll band, an outfit that appeared in several permutations and is rumored to have recorded something like 60 albums worth of material.

Thanks to Yod’s desire to chronicle virtually every moment that family spent together, the almost unbelievable story can be relived in great detail as it has been in the recent documentary, named for the Family itself. This soundtrack captures a quick sample of the music that Yod and his children recorded in their time together with acts such as Ya Ho Wa 13, Father Yod and the Spirit of ’76, and Children of the Sixth Foot Race. These records have garnered a cult following, attracting fans such as Billy Corgan, and this sampler shows that, like most outsider music, the Source Family’s songs transform limitations into assets.

“How Long in Time” (from Children of the Sixth Foot Race’s 1973 release Sons From the Source) sounds like cabaret for the devout, with Cinderella’s (Staci Altman) charming lead vocals and the powerful rhythm section of Sunflower (Patrick Burke) and Octavius (Chris Johnson). The Family had a groovy thing going on there as well in the bluesy “Man the Messiah”, which may or may not sound like a Cheech & Chong outtake, “Godmen” (like Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell on LSD), and an excerpt from the piece “Penetration”.

There are some excerpts of raps by Father Yod, including one from a 1974 gig at Beverly Hills High School during which he rambles like an adolescent Jim Morrison with one too many in him. The ballad “Every Morning” is an eerie little number of praise and worship, featuring a pretty and freaky vocal from Ahom. Sadly, there’s less than a minute of a groovy little gem of a jam from Father and the Original Source Family, but if you root around in the expanded discography you can more than make up for that.

This is just a sample of what’s in the archives, and the folks at Drag City have seen fit to unleash, in the truest sense of the word, albums such as Contraction (Yod with the Spirit of ’76), and Penetration: An Aquarian Symphony, recorded by Ya Ho Wha 13.

This is pretty much a must for any lover of outsider music and even a few who are usually skeptical of such recordings. If you were to set a bunch of pros loose in a studio with a bunch of cash, some topnotch instruments, and a detailed outline of what a band like this should sound like, they’d never come close. Beyond your wildest imaginings and all the better for it.

7

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.

Books

Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.

Music

'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.

Music

Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.

Books

The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.

Books

'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.

Music

1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.

Film

'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.

Music

The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.

Music

Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.

Music

15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.

Books

'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.

Music

20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.

Film

Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.

Film

The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.