Andy Bargerstock's blog

Imagine yourself listening to a deep-tracks (album-oriented) FM radio station around 1975.  Rather than the popular rock music of the time, this station plays seldom-heard yet compelling compositions.  Sometimes, you hear little-known groups (e.g., Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies, Tonto's Expanding Head Band, Lothar and the Hand People, The Third Ear Band, Ultimate Spinach, Curved Air).  Sometimes, you hear obscure tracks of recognizable groups (e.g., "The Shield" by Deep Purple, "Laughing" by David Crosby, and "A Child is Coming" by Jefferson Airplane).

On Wednesday, March 21 from 8-10pm, Andy Bargerstock launches the first of three special shows called, "Lost in the '70s". These three programs will be aired once a month over the next three months.  Exact dates will be announced on Fringe Toast.


Tonight's program will begin with an extremely rare recording of Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies from their 1969 album, The American Metaphysical Circus.  I will be playing the 11 minute composition, "The Subsylvian Litanies" with three sections:

  • Kalyani (3:50) a spacey electronic score that starts like a flying saucer coming to land and morphs into a layered vocal track, "To die and wait" and finally the three voices move into phase (unison) as the transition for the next piece
  • You Can't Ever Come Down (2:58), a driving electric guitar leads into vocals

          "Waiting to die for the 17th time,

            Etched on a mirror in the back of your mind,

            Trapped on a mountain nobody can climb,

            You can't ever come down (repeated)   .... (and on it goes)

  • Moonsong: Pelog (3:47). The bad trip settles, "Come down, baby, come down easy, Onto your lady's satin pillow.  Come fly, angel, come fly gentle, over your lady's heathered meadow..... (and so it goes)

Joe Byrd was a student of the electronic music school at UCLA and Univ of Arizona. He worked in the New York music scene with critic-composer Virgil Thomson.  He recorded an album under the group name, United States of America.  However, the American Metaphysical Circus (1969) continues to stand the test of time as a landmark work in experimental electronic music. 

With great pleasure, we now offer the complete listing of all tracks from weekly Fringe Toast programs. Simply, go to Programs, select Fringe Toast and you will see the dates of shows under the caption, "Playlists". There will be miles and miles of files to share and now to suit the great computer, you can track it all.

In the weeks to come, as host of Fringe Toast (Wednesday 8-10pm and rebroadcast on Sunday from 4-6pm), I will be sharing a lot of new music from the edges of the musical scene. I will be playing some LPs from my personal collection, and my latest discoveries of bluesy, downtempo acoustic/electronica music favoring female vocalists. Soon, I will begin a segment highlighting the works of particular artists/groups. Among the future groups to be highlighted will be Zero 7, William Orbit, Beth Orton, early Fleetwood Mac, Tonto's Expanding Head Band, Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies, 1 Giant Leap,

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