Friday, January 19, 2007

Donovan's Brain "Carelessly Restored Art" {USA - UK}[1998]

Donovan's Brain. Featured on my favourite band's website "MAN". I have like a TON of MAN. I think Spunkrocker gave me the rip (Another MAN fanatic). OK MAn had only 2 or 3 Progressive Rock albums with many Rock releases - They are still a brilliant Prog Rock band - Back Into The Future - Be Good To Yourself (At Least Once A Day) - Man - 2 Ounces Of Plastic (without A Hole In teh Middle) - Do You Like It Here Now (Are You Settling In Alright?) - Rhinos Whinos And Lunatics - Revelation - Well I could go on - But I believe ALL the above are ESSENTIAL albums. They are a head and shoulders above crass acts like Yes (who I cannot understand why they caught so much attention).

Oh yes - this is about Donovan's Brain = Ken Whaley and Richard Treece - Great guys (whom I have met) - Doubt they remember me.


This is just Psych excellence - I have a review from and am copying it here so you have no need to go there.

Some qualifying remarks: Psych is not high rotation at the I-94 Bar. We mostly prefer our drinks shaken vigorously, not stirred. In his younger days The Barman spent considerably more time at parties rolling around on the floor of the garage than hanging in the kitchen, mixing up mushroom omlettes. Plus, the quality of psychedelic bands in I-94 Bar home turf in the last decade or so wasn't that high (even if The Moffs were a Citadel signing). So if it's not namechecked on "Nuggets" it has to be something special to merit much airplay here. That said, these two discs have spent considerable time in the CD player lately, expanding the aural boundaries and freaking out Dr Zachary Smith, the resident Burmese cat.Donovan's Brain is the vehicle for singer-guitarist-keyboardist-producer Ron Sanchez, a well-travelled musical adventurer who grew up on the West Coast seeing, and hanging out with, the likes of the Flamin' Groovies, Chocolate Watch Band, Jefferson Airplane and Love. He now runs a radio program and recording studio in Bozeman, Montana (an isolated place by most people's standards) and visiting collaborators include people as diverse as Ken Stringfellow (of the Posies, who guests on "Carelessly Restored Art") and Scott McCaughey (REM alumni). Both The Nomads and Deniz Tek have recorded or mixed material at Ron's Gods Little Ear Acre (GLEA), the former putting down tracks for a forthcoming single and the latter doing re-mixes of the Passengers demos for a forthcoming release. The "Carelessly Restored Art" band is a floating cast of 15 musicians and much of it is drawn from a rock opera "Shambolic", while "Eclipse and Debris" was put down over a two-year period with a more settled configuration. Vocals are shared by Sanchez, Dave Walker, Paul Rose et al.
Donovan's Brain recall late 60s English psych of Pink Floyd (prior to the genre's defining points becoming laser light shows and inflatable pigs) but with firmer garage foundations. "Carelessly restored..." sprawls in parts, but in a way that draws you back. The guitar playing's exemplary. Stand-out cuts: The chiming trip and martial beat of "50,000,000 Years Before My Time" (also the single), the fuzzed-up drone of "Heavy Water" and the Beatle-esque "Tad's New Cymbal Stand" (reprised to good effect in a different form on the second album.)
I have a feeling guitarist Richard Treece was a big contributor to the way "Eclipse..." sounds. There's a contemporary feel to many of the tracks that sits well with all the sonic weirdness this crew collectively plucks out of the Montana air. The "creeping fear guitars" are well-named in the atmospheric "Central Services", "Moon Shines (Story of the Sticks)" recalls early Died Pretty (with Brett Myers on vocals) and the guitars are positively Stones-like (circa "Exile on Main Street") on "Underdose". The sound concoction on "Helium Eraser Bends" wouldn't be out of place on a '60s sci-fi soundtrack while "Tell Me" is a lesson in distorto-dynamics for that whole generation of SubPop would-be's.There's another album on its way to the plant as you read this (GetHip's release schedule being as it is, you might wait a while to see it on sale, so hunt down these two).

01 50,000,000 Years Before My Time
02 Kew Observatory
03 Everything I Know Is Wrong
04 Tad's New Cymbal Stand
05 Heavy Water
06 Dandelions Are Back
07 Holly Green
08 Anna Lee Page
09 Follow The Shining Path
09 Smothered In Hugs
10 Make A Noise Quietly

@192 with Scans.

If I had a preview option I would send Heavy Water.


ZaXXoN said...

I agree with Naha 100%.
Those who take this - You are going to enjoy.

Love Above Gold.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I love Man and I will going to see them at the Burg Herzberg Festival in Germany next July ! I'm living in France near from Germany.
Thank you.


Anonymous said...

I am so looking forward to this.

Progger said...

Welcome back!!

tucker said...

Thanks so much for this! MAN is a criminally under-known band - I will never understand why they never made it aboveground. It's good to see that there are still people who know and appreciate their talent.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just found your blog and boy am I excited. Thought I'd try Donovan's Brain. I love MAn and am looking forward to this. Thank you!!!


ZaXXoN said...

I will try and post some of the Man Band here as I have Over 100% of their official output.

I worked with Hawkwind and as I ate (and smoked) with them and spoke of Man I know that Hawkwind love Man. (They also Love Arthur Brown).

Love is better than anything else - Love is by far the best thing that goes around - To the DELETER I love you so much that I am uploading the Kevin Coyne again - Maybe I will upload all that you delete of mine. I love you SO SO MUCH. I am going to keep on loving you until my LOVE allows you to be deleted from our world.

Muahh Muahh to the Deleter.

Anonymous said...

"Love above gold". I agree 100%. I wish more women would adhere to this line of thinking! Thanx for yet another fine post Zaxxon :-)

nadia&alberto, Italy said...

Welcome back!!
Thank you!

Karel said...

I think Man is great and very underestimated.
I don't know Donovan's Brain but its Man related so it much be good!
Thanks a lot for sharing!

skaarse said...

I love it! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Just downloaded, looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

The next four Donovan's Brain cds feature heavy involvement from Richard Treece, Ken Whaley, and Malcolm Morley...all from Help Yourself and or Man. Look for some major Man-like guitar workouts...

go to there is a page of music the band has posted for free down load

Meneer said...

Sorry but this is not my cup of tea. Sure it's "funny" music, but not really too proggy imo. To each his own though :)

Lefouauflingue said...

So I take this one, thanks.

chicapercebe said...

Downloading...thanks :)

JollyRogered said...

Here's a gentle reminder to those who promissed to upload some Man - such a great band, and so under appreciated - bring it on!

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