Monday, 26 September 2016

Linda Perhacs - Parallelograms (1970)

The story of how this album came about never fails to fascinate me.  Dental hygienist to Hollywood royalty happens to mention to a patient (film composer Leonard Rosenman) that she writes songs; gives him a tape and is excitedly asked to record an album straight away; album vanishes without trace but becomes a cult classic, then records another album after a 44 year gap.  All the while keeping her day job.  I haven't heard the 2014 album, The Soul Of All Natural Things, yet, and I really should sometime; but for now here's the wondrous Parallelograms.

You might be able to guess what kind of album would result from a bucolic Laurel Canyon lifestyle in 1970, but in this case you'd only be part right.  Sure, there's sunny, hazy odes to dolphins, rivers and sandy toes, all of it gorgeous in its own right, but there's other forces at work here too.  Perhacs channeled her synaesthesia into the complex, multi-layered title track, penned late one night on the road by capturing it not in simple words but in geometric shapes.  The undercurrent of strangeness on this album in fact reveals itself within its first two minutes.  After establishing a pastoral scene straight out of the Ladies Of The Canyon playbook, Chimacum Rain twists into a hallucinatory soundscape full of effects-laden xylophone tones, and, to quote the liner notes, "amplified shower hose for horn effects".  Highly, highly recommended.

Quadrahedral, Tetrahedral

8 comments:

  1. Towering work of genius. Her new album is OK - parts of it are brilliant as well, but it doesn't have the concentrated sense of weird that Parallelograms has. My fave track on the new one is Immunity. Great tune.

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  2. woah, this is great!

    and ladies of the canyon is quite dear to me. any more music for a joni lover is appreciated!

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    1. no worries - make sure you don't miss my Judee Sill post from 20 July, if you haven't listened to her yet.

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  3. I never cease to be amazed at the depth of your listening library. Pretty obscure stuff. I haven't downloaded everything but it's all very interesting indeed. Well done Alan. Great info on everything you post!

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    1. many thanks Chico! trying to keep things as varied as possible.

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  4. Este disco está empezando a ser casi un éxito gracias a internet.

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  5. Stunning release. And kudos on a fantastic blog Alan-- I'm discovering so much fantastic music from it!!

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