Somewhere Beyond the Cosmic Sea

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 27, 2020 03:45pm | Post a Comment

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show

"And in the lonely chanting of the sea, I heard the echoes of eternity.
And in the fantasy of cloud and sky, I saw the one who lives, while all things die.
And I was swallowed by the sea, and lost in the deep, and washed up on the shore."
~ "La Mar" by Eden Ahbez

When I was a young lad in my 20s, I remember driving to the beach on a rainy day to eat fried chicken Mystic Moods Orchestraand watch the waves crash from the window of my rusty 64' Dodge Dart (with a push-button transmission and a butter knife for an ignition key) that I bought for $200 bucks. The ocean has always been a primordial comfort to me, as it is for so many. Those born under the sign of Pisces gain extra daydreaming superpowers through water, and I too find a recharge to my creativity with the sound and sight of the sea. Even if you are not a "water sign," I hope to introduce you to some unknown abilities you may possess with the help of these musical suggestions that all incorporate the soothing sounds of waaah-taaah.

The Mystic Moods Orchestra released their first album, One Stormy Night, in 1966. It is a beautiful mixture of 60's orchestra pop with thunder and rain (and even a train) throughout the entire album. If you have not heard a Mystic Moods Orchestra album, let me just say they are unique, often with "environmental sounds," and were made to be played while "primitive nocturnal love rituals" were being preformed on your living room sofa as your upstairs neighbor covered their ears in jealousy. The true hit for me on the album is the song titled "Fire Island."

In 1973, the Mystic Moods Orchestra would release their album Awakening. Upon first hearing it, many Generation X-ers may recognize that they used the back music from the song "The First Day of Forever" for the theme song on the 1978 English dubbed version of Spectreman, a Japanese tokusatsu tv series about a super cyborg who must battle the diabolical Dr. Gori who was banished from Planet E.

However, it is the track titled "Cosmic Sea" on the album that makes you move to a smooth groove. When you close your eyes and listen to it, imagine Chaki the Funk Wizard driving the Unarius Space Brothers Cadillac through the Mojave desert on a moonlit night to a private Venusian dance party at the Integratron.

And to make the "Pretzel of Destiny" twist even more, here is Chaki's new galactic funk hit, "The Water." (with Lars Nylander from The Boars on organ...and really, who doesn't love Lars?!?)

The Detroit Emeralds were a Rhythm & Blues group from the early '70s made up of two brothers and a childhood friend. My friend Walrus introduced me to their song "I'll Never Sail the Sea Again" and I still remember asking him to play it over and over again in his little apartment in Honolulu one afternoon, many moons ago. In fact, I think I've put this song on every single homemade compilation I've made for friends over the past 20 years.

The Detroit Emeralds

Now that you are drying off your tears of regret from loves lost in the past, let me take you away to the islands with some whistling, ship bells, and, of course, more waves. "The Enchanted Sea" was a hit single from The Islanders in 1959. It would be covered the same year and be the album title by Martin Denny. I really still do not know which version I like better, but must I have a favorite when I can love them both? Perhaps I have listened to The Islanders' version more because it reminds me of "The Green Leaves of Summer" from The Brothers Four...and that song I could listen to all day long.

Martin Denny

Other favorite dreamy oceanic songs I would like to recommend to listen to are Korla Pandit's "Tale of the Underwater Worshippers," the session outtake version of "Ocean" from The Velvet Underground (Lou Reed is also a Pisces), and "Sea Cruise" by Frankie Ford, which was used in the opening of Les Blank's 1978 documentary Always for Pleasure...

"Share your fried chicken with me." - Oannes, the wise merman of Babylonian lore


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Kai Wada Roath (43), Eden Ahbez (8), The Mystic Mood Orchestra (1), Chaki (2), Unarius (2), Unarians (1), The Boars (1), Lars Nylander (1), The Detroit Emerald (1), The Islanders (1), Martin Denny (8), Korla Pandit (7), The Velvet Underground (10), Lou Reed (19), The Sea (1), Frankie Ford (1), Les Blank (1), Oannes (1)