Forgotten Album of the Month: Tripping Daisy
This is an article that is long overdue but that’s because the record is so damn hard to find. Upon obtaining a cassette copy of Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb by Tripping Daisy in 2000, I was immediately taken with how weird and bizarre the record was. But that was one of the things that made me so excited by it. As the years moved on and I tried to replace the cassette with CD, I realized it was going to be a lot more difficult than I had thought. Cut to ten years later and I finally found a good copy and upon relistening to it, I was again struck by its bizarreness but I grew to love it all over again.
First off, this album will erase any memory of “I Got A Girl” forever. Songs like the six minute single “Waited a Light Year” and the absolute joyful, euphoric “Your Socks Have No Name” are just swirling epics of power and joy and punch, thanks to the addition of rhythm guitarist Philip Karnats, now of The Secret Machines and teenaged drummer Ben Curtis, now of School of Seven Bells. Their influence and powerful playing beef up the songs in a way that hadn’t been heard on previous Tripping Daisy records.
It’s clear that Tim DeLaughter had been listening to a lot of Captain Beefheart, Pere Ubu and Flaming Lips, even recruiting former Pere Ubu member Eric Drew Feldman to produce the record. But for fans of “I Got A Girl” and early Daisy, the band don’t let them down, including songs like “About the Movies” and “Tiny Men,” which are reminiscent of stuff found on their first album, Bill. For the dénouement, the band tackles Brainiac’s “Indian Poker Parts. 2&3,” from the previous year’s Hissing Prigs in Static Couture album as a tribute to their fallen friend Tim Taylor. While Brainiac were a band that was one of a kind, Daisy are able to take the track and make it a worthwhile tribute to a friend.
When it comes to talking about bad timing, this record was released as the record industry was undergoing a major restructuring as a Canadian liquor company had bought the leading record distributor and merged several labels, including Tripping Daisy’s. It’s amazing the record even got released because by the end of 1998, the band had been dropped and the album relegated to the cutout bin. About a year later, guitarist Wes Berggren died of a drug overdose and the band disbanded, releasing their final album in February of 2000. In the last few years, the album has gained quite a cult audience beyond Tripping Daisy’s fanbase. Some people have said that some of the material found here later helped DeLaughter find the inspiration for his next project, The Polyphonic Spree; one can just listen and judge for themselves as they enjoy one knockout of an album.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GssZV7H5Tw (Sonic Bloom)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUJup5zysNw (Your Socks Have No Name)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg8brvFTYXE (At The Movies)