Todd Tamanend Clark | Nova Psychedelia

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Nova Psychedelia

by Todd Tamanend Clark

Double disc anthology of poetic proto-cyberpunk from the years 1975 to 1985 culled from highly collectible vinyl.
Genre: Rock: Psychedelic
Release Date: 

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1. March Of The Legion
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12:51 album only
2. Flame Over Africa
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4:18 album only
3. Two Thousand Light Years From Home
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4:15 album only
4. Deathguard
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3:18 album only
5. Dream Intro/The Loner
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2:14 album only
6. Origin
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7:22 album only
7. Visions Of My World
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2:26 album only
8. Strange Forces
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3:01 album only
9. Core
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2:34 album only
10. Phosphoresence Is The Chamber
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6:39 album only
11. Within The Zodiac Zone
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4:32 album only
12. Last Day As A Whole Person
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2:27 album only
13. A Dozen Eggs
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4:28 album only
14. Brain And Spinal Column (Including Animalism)
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8:02 album only
15. We're Not Safe!
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4:02 album only
16. Hungry
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3:12 album only
17. Rumor Has It
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1:47 album only
18. Mathematics Don't Mean A Thing
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2:49 album only
19. X-ray X-tasy
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3:51 album only
20. I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night
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3:18 album only
21. The Grim Rider
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14:03 album only
22. Secret Sinema
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3:37 album only
23. Nightlife Of The New Gods
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2:51 album only
24. National Anthem/Nova Theme
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3:32 album only
25. Another Climate
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4:54 album only
26. Stars In Heat
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3:40 album only
27. Unknown Syndromes
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3:08 album only
28. Death Hovers
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3:31 album only
29. X-rated X-tasy
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3:16 album only
30. Brain And Spinal Column (#2)
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5:19 album only
31. Into The Vision
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8:37 album only
32. Flame Over Philadelphia
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4:22 album only
33. Oceans Of She
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3:56 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Before there was Al Jourgensen or Nivek Ogre, before there was Trent Reznor or Marilyn Manson, there was Todd Clark, the missing link between hard core underground psychedelia and modern gothic industrial cyberpunk. To buy all of the original vinyl recordings that are included on this two disc set would cost something in the neighborhood of one thousand dollars at rare record conventions, if you could even find them.

Todd Tamanend Clark was born on August 10, 1952 in Greensboro, Pennsylvania. He was raised in the home of his maternal grandparents: Price Harvey (1883-1968) and Mona Gabler (1895-1962). Price taught him the culture of the Onodowaga and a love for poetry, and Mona passed on her considerable keyboard talent, her keen sense of social justice, and her incredible culinary skills. After the deaths of Mona and Price, Clark lived full-time with his Lenape father and graduated from Waynesburg-Central High School in 1970.

Clark has been obsessed with electronic music ever since first hearing theremins and oscillators in 1950s science-fiction films during his childhood and finally decided on a
career in the field after seeing Micky Dolenz play an analog modular Moog synthesizer on The Monkees television show in January of 1968. Then in March of that same year, Joseph Byrd and Dorothy Moskowitz released their groundbreaking United States Of America album, and Clark's future was sealed.

Clark first went to college in San Francisco (where he participated in the Native American occupation of Alcatraz) and then later finished with a Bachelor Of Arts degree in Communication at Slippery Rock University. He went on to graduate school at Indiana University.

Clark is the multiply divorced father of one daughter: Lyric Winona Clark (1976), and five sons: Neolin Chaska Clark (1977), X Tecumseh Clark (1984), Shaman Manitou Clark (1986), Sachem Orenda Clark (1988), and Traven Nemacolin Clark (2000).

Clark is a long-time activist with the American Indian Movement and is the former president of the West Virginia Native American Coalition. He currently resides in rural Fayette County, Pennsylvania, near his beloved Monongahela River, where he practices his indigenous spirituality.

Included in this set is a twenty-page booklet designed by graphic artist John Yates, who has done book and album covers for Angela Davis, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, The Dead Kennedys, and Ward Churchill, among others. The inside of the jewel case tray insert is a wild Doctor Strange type portrait of TTC drawn by John Byrne. Here is an expanded edition of the song notes that TTC wrote for the booklet:

DISC ONE:

01. March Of The Legion (12:50)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Don Ostrow]
Recorded: June 1975 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This lengthy instrumental was created to be used as background music during a costume competition at the late Phil Seuling's comic book convention in New York City. Our segment of the presentation was introduced and narrated by Jim Shooter, and I was dressed as Brainiac 5. Photos from this event were published in Amazing World Of DC Comics #10. We recorded this as a trio with Don Ostrow on an RMI keyboard, Jeff Ganaposki on fuzz-wah bass guitar, and myself on theremin and echoplex.

02. Flame Over Africa (4:18)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: September 1975 in Cleveland, Ohio

"Our room was hot; we could not sleep,
Outside a sight beyond belief.
There in the sky, one mile on high,
Suspended fire let midnight die forever."

This was the A-side of my first single. I usually concentrate my efforts on specializing in commenting on cultural events from the American continents, but this atypical composition was inspired by a Salvador Dali painting entitled "Impressions Of Africa", which was seen while visiting a museum in Cleveland with my manager at the time, Charlie Godart, who was aware that Mexican surrealist Frida Kahlo was my favorite painter and wanted to show me the works of another genius of the same genre.

03. Two Thousand Light Years From Home (4:15)
[Mick Jagger & Keith Richards]
Recorded: September 1975 in Cleveland, Ohio

This was the B-side of my first single. Doing this spooky slowed-down proto-industrial remake was also suggested to me by Charlie Godart. The drummer (Kevin Valentine) went on to work for Donnie Iris. My punked-up verse vocals and
theremin usage anticipate The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
by several years and my synthesizer outro does likewise to the one Trent Reznor plays at the end of the Nine Inch Nails' song "Closer". The female chorus vocals were executed with just the right degree of dissonance to simulate an outer space near-vacuum atmosphere.

04. Deathguard (3:18)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Don Ostrow]
Recorded: November 1975 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"The ache it leaves behind my chest,
Still pounds on, refuses to rest.
Analogy conceptual, executioner official,
Every room becomes a graveyard
In the presence slow of Deathguard."

This was intended to be my second vinyl single, but only came out on eight-track tape cartridge. This song was recorded live, and unfortunately, the instruments are too low in the mix compared to the vocals.

05. Dream Intro/The Loner (2:15)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: November 1975 in Cleveland, Ohio

"As night was about to fall,
One lone youngster stood up,
His eyes as wide as the horizon,
And staring the blood red moon in the face,
Asked why?"

This avant-garde intro is played by Tom Herman from the group Pere Ubu on guitar, followed by one of my electronic soundscape poetry readings.

06. Origin (7:22)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: August 1977 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Moon with pupil arms and the half-man in the sky,
Adorned silver, rushing climate passed me by."

This was the set opener for my 1977 tour. Seventeen year old guitarist Tim Rimer really cuts loose with me on a guitar and theremin duet during the bridge.

07. Visions Of My World (2:26)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & John Bruno]
Recorded: August 1977 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Where all my dreams are full of screams,
I hear echoes of dark doomsday."

This was composed in collaboration with my high school friend John Bruno from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. I ran lights, did stage and poster designs, and occasionally performed songs with his band The Velvet Myst.

08. Strange Forces (3:01)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: August 1977 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Dreamers of a heaven (1967),
The warm summer lying like a shroud."

My tribute to the melancholy memory of the summer of love upon the occasion of its tenth anniversary.

09. Core (2:34)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Randy Headley]
Recorded: August 1977 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Rainfall,
Keep your tireless pace;
Wash clean my face
Before the shadow leaves the tower."

This was composed in collaboration with another high school friend: Randy Headley, also from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.

10. Phosphorescence Is The Chamber (6:39)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: August 1977 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Beneath the surface lurks another reality,
Clawing to break free."

A frightening glimpse into the heart of San Francisco darkness. The robot crickets that mutate over the course of the drum solo by fusion master Mark Cosco were created on a Maestro ring modulator.

11. Within The Zodiac Zone (4:32)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Dan Stewart]
Recorded: August 1977 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Wild alchemy islands eclipse vague voices
In the amber palace on the water
Where sleeve and shoulder meet no space.
Vivid ways extend the cold creation
From almost here to across the nation
While she whispers with hideous gravity:
The slaughter..."

This is a song about how being addicted to the spurious
predictions of Eurocentric astrology holds many women
(and men) in pseudo-scientific bondage.

12. Last Day As A Whole Person (2:27)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: August 1977 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Skyline wagons cry lizard, lizard
To the gnarled vines as mushroom trains ride by."

I recorded the basic track to this backwards and then
overdubbed the sound effects and processed voice.

13. A Dozen Eggs (4:28)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: August 1977 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Dissonance enters stage left!
Chimerical unit factors fly!
Suspended elements disintegrate!
Garnish torment, pivotal hazard,
The womb becomes tomb --
Death's head in a spider's web,
The scope and scale of the crypt!"

A rewrite of this poem would later become the bridge to
"Into The Vision". This version is a cinematic sonic portrait of a mother star that has a miscarriage while pregnant with twelve planetary fetuses.

14. Brain And Spinal Column [Including Animalism] (8:02)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Sheree Clark]
Recorded: August 1977 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Rigid categories vanish.
Surrealists soon get their wish.
Fowls devolve, return to fish.
Air shimmers with lust and fusion."

This is the first of two recorded versions of this song. The poem in the middle of this version was written by my
first wife Sheree after a particularly vivid nightmare she had. This is one of my most expressive vocal performances.

15. We're Not Safe! (4:02)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Chuck Moses]
Recorded: July 1978 - April 1979 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Rock was born here on the dark side of the American dream,
Only now selling your soul is what it's come to mean.
But one day soon - out on the edge and through the nadir -
Art will rise again!!!!"

This a protest against corporate media manipulation and
censorship of rock music. It begins my long-time working
relationship with another precocious seventeen year old guitarist: Chuck Moses.

16. Hungry (3:11)
[Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil]
Recorded: July 1978 - April 1979 in Butler, Pennsylvania

When I was a teenager, Paul Revere And The Raiders were my
favorite rock group until The Doors arrived.

DISC TWO:

17. Rumor Has It (1:46)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Chuck Moses]
Recorded: July 1978 - April 1979 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Rumor has it the rock'n'roll ransom will be paid.
Rumor has it tornados unwind beneath the blade."

This is my shortest released recording but is still one of
the most intense with its accelerated tempo and heavy syncopation.

18. Mathematics Don't Mean A Thing (2:49)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Chuck Moses]
Recorded: July 1978 - April 1979 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"No amount of logic can calm my brain;
Nothing slows these imagination games;
I'm diminished seventy-five per cent;
No one's advice eases this deep torment."

Mathematics may become temporarily irrelevant when one is
experiencing a severe depression from a painful divorce, but otherwise mathematics are essential to the progress of
civilization as made evident in Mayan architecture and
astronomy.

19. X-ray X-tasy (3:51)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Chuck Moses]
Recorded: July 1978 - April 1979 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"We'll surpass every moment you've ever treasured
By a direct connection to your gateways of pleasure.
I wanna learn your biology, explore your terrain,
On a two-way street through our transparent domain."

This is the first of two recorded versions of this song. This version is dominated by the amazing guitar playing of Chuck Moses. Pure Hendrixian sensuality.

20. I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night (3:18)
[Annette Tucker & Nancy Mantz]
Recorded: July 1978 - April 1979 in Butler, Pennsylvania

What can I say? I love 1960s psychedelia, and The Electric Prunes were phenomenal at it. That's Charlie Godart on mellotron.

21. The Grim Rider (14:03)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: July 1978 - April 1979 in Butler, Pennsylvania

"Go trek the canyons along stone roadways.
On each side of them, feldspar forests reach
Up to the jet sky where the diamond stars
Would like to freeze their spreading limbs of light,
But instead drop down like tears from The Eyes."

The second longest song I've recorded to date. (The longest is "Phases Of Trickster" from a 2001 benefit compilation disc for The Humane Society.) My ultimate psychedelic statement, so far.

22. Secret Sinema (3:37)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Bill Capuano]
Recorded: August 1980 in New Brighton, Pennsylvania

"Behind my eyes, I watch an arcane beam,
As it pours your face across the silver screen.
Six times or a thousand, I can't tell,
Haunting me inside my private hell."

This was the A-side of my actual second single and was my most popular song. It got lots of college radio airplay and made me a contender to play Jim Morrison in The Doors movie
prior to Val Kilmer landing the role.

23. Nightlife Of The New Gods (2:51)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Bill Capuano]
Recorded: August 1980 in New Brighton, Pennsylvania

"When the sun goes down,
The party returns to my open home.
When the sun goes down,
Strange guests dance with the rattle of bones."

This was the B-side of my second single and contains my first use of a vocoder on my vocals.

24. National Anthem/Nova Theme (3:32)
[Public Domain & Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: October 1983 - March 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"Tell me, can you see by the vision's clear light,
What our senses reveal as the twilight's true meaning,
Whose third eyes and rock stars, through some sardonic sight
From the gray room now bring revolution in screaming?
And the big bang's first glare, existential despair,
Gives proof through the void that our selves are still here.
Tell me, does psychedelia ride the new wave
In the phase of the moon and the grass on the grave?"

I wrote new words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" that reflect on the raised consciousness of psychedelic despair over American slavery, genocide, and environmental destruction. The string section on the second verse was created on a Prophet-5 synthesizer with me playing a cello with my left hand, a violin with my right hand, and a viola in the middle literally with my nose. The violin solo
on "Nova Theme" is actually an ARP Avatar guitar synthesizer.

25. Another Climate (4:54)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: October 1983 - March 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"I'll always know an alternative awaits,
And I'll explore dark beauties in search of its gates."

This is an intensive rewrite of "Origin" and was deeply influenced by conversations I had with Laurie Anderson. The keyboard player (Bob Neft) with whom I'm dueting had previously played with Bo Diddley.

26. Stars In Heat (3:40)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: October 1983 - March 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"Avenues are smoldering at dawn
Underneath apocalyptic spawns."

This heavy industrial number was a college radio hit. I played all the instruments except for the talking wah wah guitar by Cheetah Chrome from The Dead Boys.

27. Unknown Syndromes (3:08)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: October 1983 - March 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"Notes from nowhere intrude, persist,
Like holes in time, moments we've missed."

More expressive vocals and heavy Prophet-5 synthesizer.

28. Death Hovers (3:31)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: October 1983 - March 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"The orange October moon fills with menace;
The graveyard delivers the privacy it promised to lend us.
As night creatures chorus their invitation,
Gravel crackles under the gravity of the sitruation."

This is my satirical attempt at writing metaphysical pornography in the purposefully ultraverbose high-brow style of an outrageous poet such as Walt Whitman. Enjoy.

29. X-rated X-tasy (3:16)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: October 1983 - March 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"Come near me, Arlene,
Whisper your secret desires --
I want to fulfill you
With my raging fires.
My fingers grow clever;
My brain screams rebirth;
The strength of this feeling
Shakes the virus of words!"

This is the second of two recorded versions of this song. This version is dominated by the astonishing guitar playing of Cheetah Chrome.

30. Brain And Spinal Column [#2] (5:19)
[Todd Tamanend Clark]
Recorded: October 1983 - March 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"What divides truth from illusion?
It's your brain and spinal column!
What sifts extensive confusion?
It's your brain and spinal column!"

This is the second of two recorded versions of this song. This version features Allen Ravenstine from the group Pere Ubu on analog modular synthesizer.

31. Into The Vision (8:37)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & William Burroughs]
Recorded: October 1983 - March 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"I breathe beyond limits on human potential!
I tap hidden forces, become elemental,
Feel my veins on fire with the spirit of adventure,
Say yes to night by melting into metaphor!"

William Burroughs is my favorite author, and it was wonderful to correspond and collaborate with him. The world lost one of its greatest independent thinkers when he passed away in 1997.

32. Flame Over Philadelphia (4:22)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Bill Capuano]
Recorded: May/June 1985 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"There in the street with overkill heat,
Percussion fire broils human meat."

This was the A-side of my third single and was my second most popular song. It was written as a protest against the government of Philadelphia's fire-bombing of the Move commune. It is dedicated to freedom for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is incarcerated near where I now live.

33. Oceans Of She (3:57)
[Todd Tamanend Clark & Theresa Zronek]
Recorded: May/June 1985 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"This aquatic mistress from a submerged world
Draws me into her like a living whirlpool."

This was the B-side of my third single and many people have told me that it's their favorite song out of all my works. There was a video made by an independent director without my participation.


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