Monday, January 4, 2010

Psychedelic Australia

buffalo - freedom

some lost heavy-psych wildness from Australia's Buffalo, from their 1973 LP Volcanic Rock. If "Freedom" by Buffalo off of Volcanic Rock isn't the most testosteronic-sounding song listing ever, I don't know what is. Personally my associations with Australia are that it is as if you made Texas an entire continent, which Texas already believes itself to be. Australia is like Texas' fantasy version of itself: an entire continent where you drive around in the wilderness, drink too much, and have psychedelic visions in the outback while jamming songs about "Freedom." You'll note as well that this song is a dead ringer for Soundgarden. When you hear dude sing try and not think about Chris Cornell.

Two years after Volcanic Rock, Peter Weir directed Picnic at Hanging Rock, which is also about psychedelic aussies, except instead of brawny biker types it's about boarding school girls who go into the wilderness and have a group freak-out. Here's the film's central scene.

Australia reminds me also of course of mi madre, born in Taree, New South Wales, north of Sydney. She lived there until she was nine, when her family immigrated to the United States. My mother was personally not very psychedelic, although she did have a pet kookaburra as a child. Having weird pets is kind of psychedelic, especially if it is an unusual species that only exists in one part of the world.

We visited Australia for a month when I was twelve, which was the coolest thing ever. I got to feed kangaroos and hug a koala bear. On my birthday, my father took me up in a private airplane, which he flew, over the Great Barrier Reef.

At one point we stayed at a bed & breakfast that was on a ranch. The family had a daughter about my age who took me around on a four-wheeler. At one point my father and the owner of the ranch were talking about the owner's dogs. "Yeah, they're bitches." He remarked, and because I was twelve I was like whoa can he say that?? Later the daughter explained to me and my brother about weird prepubescent Australian sex rituals, which involved wearing and then breaking a bracelet called a "nigga-band" and then "rooting" each other (not making this up).

The history of Australia's colonization involves the Brits taking all their unwanted denegerate types and then leaving them on a beautifully trippy, completely unique unexplored continent where the indigenous tribes have psychic powers. It's basically an episode of "Lost."

1 comment:

Michaella said...

happy australia day!