A TRIPPY SITAR SEXTRAVAGANZA!
• A shockingly good sitar, percussion & trippy spoken platter accompanied by the schlockingly horrific film!
• Super bizarre hippy trip from the SW vault on LP or CD both with a bonus DVD!
• Cut by Warren Defever (His Name Is Alive) and pressed on white vinyl at Third Man!
NOW EXPLODING!! Dig It!!! The Universe is NOW!! This is the essence of PSYCHEDELIC SEX KICKS, a peeka-boo sleazealogue about the sex and drug crazed San Francisco hippie underground in 1967, when this psycho-delic celluloid trip was produced. Unearthed by the beloved genre film saviors at Something Weird, this is a psychotronic artifact from the underbelly (and a flabby belly at that!) of the Love Generation.
With U.S. censorship laws relaxing in the late ‘50s, independent filmmakers began to churn out a cornucopia of naughty exploitative fare. Beginning with the “Nudie Cuties” of the late ’50s and through the nasty Noir-infused “Roughies” of the ‘60s, hundreds of “Adults Only” Sexploitation reels were projected onto the screens of once majestic but now decrepit inner city movie palaces, known today as Grindhouses. Counterculture was an easy topic that filmmakers could exploit to entice into theaters the so-called “Raincoat Crowd,” denizens of the demimonde where Scum Cinema, Adult Bookstores, Peepshows and Dive Bars intermingled on the mean streets of decaying downtowns.
By 1967, the sensationalist media frenzy over LSD, free love and free-loading hippies hit mainstream mags like Life, Look, Time, as well as TV news exposés which all piqued the interest of those too old or too corporate to participate. Hippie Culture first made waves in smut paperbacks like Hippie Harlot, Sex Pot & Acid, and Sex Happy Hippie (with Frank Zappa portrayed on the cover art) and even in a Flower Power era stroke mag called Poorboy, festooned with pix of naked hippie chicks. While drive-in theaters focused on bikers, psych-outs, and Love-ins (dig It’s A Revolution Mother on Modern Harmonic, MH-8077). As the day-glo film poster for PSYCHEDELIC SEX KICKS proclaimed - “Up-Tight Squares Join The Hippies and their Hip Chicks…This Trip Is For Real!” Just to teach the Squares how it could be done!
But let’s Turn On, Drop Out and Tune In to the platter at hand. Psychedelic Sex Kicks, like so many no-budget productions, was filmed with no synchronous audio track.…meaning it was a silent movie with sound added in post production. Anyone who’s watched classic perv fare like Doris Wishman’s Bad Girls Go To Hell or Russ Meyer’s go-go dancing epic Mondo Topless knows that voiceover narration is the key element of these films. And so it is here. Listening to the soundtrack we hear the thoughts and hallucinations of the film’s protagonists. You’ll follow the action at hand (or perhaps I should say in hand?) as our stoned paladin decides to leave his safe suburban home (after all, his hair is getting good in the back!) and drives his VW bus to Golden Gate Park in search of Hippie poon. Which he finds. Playing a seductive melody on his pan flute, he lures his amorous companions back to his pad, where the pot and acid are happening NOW!
Music plays behind these heavy inner monologues (“No two trips are alike. Even if you can’t fly now and pay later, you don’t need to book a round-trip fare…because you never come back the same way.” I mean, like wow, man!). But rather than the tawdry wah-wah-ified funk most folks think of as Porno Music, we’re treated here to that groovy ‘60s psychedelic sound of classical Hindustani music. But trust me, our performers here - Mark Ewdy on “Zitar,” as the film credits spell it, with Jim Mullins on tabla - well, let’s just say no one will mistake them for Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha. That said, there’s a certain primitive charm to their way out Indian improvs. Groovy late ‘60s Sitarsploitation recordings by Lord Sitar, Balsara & His Singing Sitars, 101 Strings, Vinnie Bell et al., held a fascination with record buyers at the time, and sitars and tablas brought a mystical sound to many top pop tunes. Listen closely here to “Coming Down,” as you’ll hear some musical quotes from The Beatles “Within You Without You” and the Broadway showstopper “If I Were A Rich Man,” a tune that was also covered by Lord Sitar.
The acid really starts to kick in on “Happening Inside You Now,” when backwards tape loops and delay effects saunter into the experience. The film credits Oboe Reed (what a fantastic pseudonym!) as the electronic effects and music engineer (an oboe is a woodwind instrument that utilizes wooden reeds to make sound). Other film crew members like cinematographer Iris Shutter and editor Slash Knife also hid behind humorous false identities. The record continues to get trippier throughout the second side: “Lysergic Sitar Delusions” explodes with heavily reverberated piano and sitar, backwards vocals, heavy breathing and satanic flutes bathed in tape delay. The flutes continue on “Sonic Spiraling” recalling the work of Sun Ra, who wrote numerous compositions for dueling flutes (“Star Bright” from the Exotica compilation on Modern Harmonic, MH-8012, is one example) as well as experimenting extensively with tape echo effects beginning in the early ’60s. “Sitar Sit Ra” has elements that compare to the “organized noise” of Edgard Varèse or Pierre Henry’s musique concrète, replete with creepy reverberating whispers.
Put all these wigged out sounds and visuals together - especially during the nude dancing scene with Ariel Meredith & The Happy Hippies - and you’ve got a full blown Psychedelic Freak Out. Don’t take the brown acid! Otherwise, you may never get off this trip, man. Just sit back and enjoy a spin through the wayback machine to a time when hucksters made cheap skin flicks calculated to pickpocket a rube for a buck.... same price as a tab of blotter! No bummers here, man. Cool it with a banana skin and you’ll be down. The universe is happening NOW! — Brother Cleve
Like, Preview Time • A Thin Pad • LSD: The Last Plateau • Mind Bending Imagery • Universe Me Now • Happening Inside You Now • Sonic Spiraling • Lysergic Sitar Delusions • Sitar Sit Ra • Uptight And Hungup • Coming Down
Also available on CD!
Part of our partnership with Something Weird Video!