From The Desk Of Brother JT: Psychedelicized Radio

For a good stretch during the late ’80s/early ’90s, the John Terlesky-fronted, garage-rocking Original Sins were poised to be one of indie rock’s next big things. Despite a string of excellent LPs, that never happened for the pride of Bethlehem, Pa., who disbanded in 1999. Prior to the breakup, Terlesky started releasing more experimental records as Brother JT, and they, too, have been stellar. JT keeps his winning streak alive with the new Tornado Juice (Thrill Jockey), produced by Ray Ketchem (Luna, Okkervil River), who also manned the boards for 1996 Original Sins classic Bethlehem. The good Brother will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week, tornado juice not included.

JT: I try to listen to a pretty wide range of music. With YouTube, Spotify, etc., there’s really no excuse not to, having most recorded sounds available to you in a matter of seconds. But after exploring what’s been going on in Norwegian sadcore and British nerd hop, I seem to keep returning to the late ’60’s/early ’70s for my, uh, weekend listening pleasure.

That’s where Psychedelicized Radio fades in. Available to stream from their website, Psychedelicized operates as a kind of lysergic wayback machine for those inclined toward that paisley-eyed era, providing a diverse soundtrack for whatever your excursion might be: a trip to the Other Side or just to the store for some juice. The playlist is varied, including some standards of the genre, but concentrating mostly on material culled from obscure psych compilations that only true believers would recognize. I’m consistently surprised at how often I hear something new to me, and I’ve been diving deep into this gopher hole for decades. As a nice atmospheric adhesive, songs are often linked by vintage ads that complement the immersive experience.

That said, sure it’s gets a little tired after a while. A lot of psychedelic music is kind of psilly to modern ears, and for every deeply felt Skip Spence or 13th Floor Elevators tune there’s something like “I’m Allergic To Flowers” by the Jefferson Handkerchief. And so I drift away for a while. But 30-plus years on, I still keep returning, partly out of sentiment and comfort, but also because there’s something coded into psych’s DNA that feels like home to me; a strange combination of idealism and otherness that both welcomes and isolates the listener.