"Jabs of flute cluster alongside churning organ and splintered Rhodes Piano...clattering drums have an automaton rotary action that sometimes recalls Can” - Q magazine
"Combines the virtuosity of the Canterbury scene and ability to blow like Miles or Coltrane with certain overtones of the great Krautrock bands. At their zenith, they recall the classic acid rock jamming sounds that made their San Francisco home town so famous" - Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine
"Some of the best space jams heard since Loop and The Spacemen 3 glided across the squelchy fields of the Reading Festival in 1989." – Mojo
where: San Francisco
when: the late 1990's
what: inspired by a wide variety of sources, the members of Mushroom (who had previously worked with a wide range of artists including Mr. Bungle, Eugene Chadbourne, Absolute Grey, the Mommyheads, Don Was, Flamin' Groovies, Sneetches, to name but a few).....come together to play original all-instrumental music that recalled everything from the Canterbury sounds of Soft Machine and Caravan to the acid-psych of the Filllmore West to the wide landscape of 1970's German rock.
"Reinventing the magical moments from times is all the rage, but Mushroom are a band living it. These guys are San Franciscan experimentalists who like to indulge in a spot of psychedelic soul searching. Explore." - Straight No Chaser
This collection of previously unreleased vintage live recordings is titled "Really don't mind if you sit this one out" - and drawn from Mushroom's first year and half of their career, from June 1997 to November 1998. Although the band later expanded into different line-ups, including horn players, multi-percussionists and jazz/groove music - this disc really focuses on the psych-space-rock roots of Mushroom and who better to describe those early days of Mushroom - than Steve Wynn, the founder of the legendary psychedelic guitar band, the Dream Syndicate:
"Los Angeles is my place of birth. New York is my adopted home. But, San Francisco is the city I visit when I want to return to the beatnik roots I never had. Dreams of Ferlinghetti, Lenny Bruce and Miles Davis spin around my head as I stomp thru North Beach, crawl thru the Lower Haight, flying on some wild combination of bourbon, sleeplessness and the freaky sounds and sights that beckon from every bar.
”The summer of 1997 was no exception as I emerged from a self-imposed haze into a dark dingy bar called the Make Out Room somewhere in the Mission district. Local hipsters were scattered about like some kind of barometer of a cool yard sale. There was some members of American Music Club in one corner, members of Pavement in another. I think I even spotted Jorma Kaukonen of the Airplane quietly digging the scene..... I knew I was in the
right place at the right time.
”Before too long I was ignoring the hip surroundings, the attending royalty, the trippy lights and focused on the music. Musical references were being tossed so quickly, one minute it was Miles Davis' 'Agharta', the next minute Faust, the next minute 1970's King Crimson, one after another, until the influences didn't matter..... I turned off my mind, relaxed and floated downstream (to paraphrase some other hipster) and then my mind split open (to quote another).
”The band announced that the next number would be 'The Reeperbahn' and before I could rev up the memory machine, of nights spent in Hamburg over the years, my rational mind was put on a cosmic back burner as the band played what seemed like a 10-hour piece (I later learned it was only 52 minutes - the version on this album is a mere 18 minutes, I'm afraid). They followed that with several other songs including 'Kyle Loves a Funny Bunny' - and then after 3 hours and 38 minutes, the band had finished their set."