How To Be One With “The West”- Spindrift @ Amoeba Records, 11/18/2008

Amoeba Records of Hollywood, California is a gifted establishment that relishes in the presentation of auditory sights and sounds to its resident Angelinos and visitors from all corners of the globe. The inherent beauty of the Amoeba vibe lies within the lexicon of a single, solitary word: independent. It’s not just a word, it’s a spirit and Amoeba thrives because of it and has a lot of my money to prove it.

Every ordinary business day Amoeba Records sells music and buys music, but on a fairly regular basis it also acts as a venue and showcases live music and, hey, they do it for free. Now that’s an admission price that I can dig into.

Especially when the music that they showcase runs deep in blown prairie dust and paints pictures of high noon showdowns on the boulevard. Tonight’s in-store show was in honor of the release of Spindrift’s latest proper release, “The West,” somewhat of a companion piece to the spooky 2006 release/soundtrack, The Legend of God’s Gun (a soundtrack that, at the time, had no movie but that’s neither here nor there). Spindrift is many things: it’s a collective born of prior collectives, it’s the cerebral concept of a dreamer, it’s a haunting periodic cosmic trip, and it’s a kaleidoscopic homage to the good, the bad and the ugly. Literally.

What else can I say about Spindrift? Remembering the first time that I saw them in January of this year, I recall being kind of dumbstruck; almost as if something nefarious had been slipped under my tongue or I’d hit off of a peace pipe. I don’t know. What I do know is that there was this hazy, spacey wash of reverb and what was The Key Club had suddenly become a low brow saloon and I can honestly say that I saw stars. Seriously. Lead singer/guitar slinger Kirpatrick Thomas was wearing a jacket strewn with day-glow constellations that caught the light and entertained me right along with the music. Well, I’ve seen them a few times since then and every subsequent time that we’ve met, I’ve liked them that much more.

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In my head, stories that examine the unwritten codes men and women lived and died by out on the plains take color and shape only to leave me struggling not to bust out in a two-step. That could’ve been a little embarrassing on the floor of Amoeba Records but the music, akin to how the soul of the west was blazed yet remained untamed, falls under the category of a rock and roll “psychedelic western revival.” No words are more apropos and it’s an eerily beautiful thing, I say. It’s not necessary that you have a strange love for Italio-Westerns, know who Lee van Cleef was or smoke a cheroot to appreciate this music…it wouldn’t hurt, but it’s hardly a prerequisite. Tracks like the vocalized “The New West” are all encompassing psychedelic trips, but hearing the drowned in blues/beer/whisky harmonica stomping track, “The Wind” alone was worth the price of admission. Oh wait…this was a free show.

Anyhoo, Kirpatrick Thomas, Dave Koenig, Henry Evans, Julie Patterson, Marcos Diableros, Jason “Plucky” Anchondo, and Dan Allaire are the mystical, mystery troupe Spindrift and are unique and, more importantly, inspired. And independent. Remember, it’s not just a word, it’s a spirit and I insist that you get some.

Stay tuned for more from these guys and gal and, in the meantime, free your mind and the rest will follow. Now delve into the music and catch the sounds of the desert emoting from a harmonica and guitar pedal.


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