Sunday, March 3, 2013

I Calls It "Hypno-Surf:" Michael Clark's intodown

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

I most likely met Michael Clark through his wife, artist Suzanne Kelley Clark, perhaps a decade ago.

Suzanne Kelley Clark figure drawing.

Through Michael (and  my other friend Larry King) I learned to love the surf guitar genre.

Michael also shared his other musical passions with me -- his appreciation for swing and blues guitarists like Bill Jennings and Tiny Grimes. He opened my ears with his gormet Mosaic Box Set collections of T-Bone Walker, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk, and hipped me to Texas rock legends, the 13th Floor Elevators.

Back in the day, we checked out a few Dallas Guitar shows, a ZZ Top concert, two Dick Dale performances, and even saw Los Straitjackets live -- I always had a great time whenever we linked up.

I saw Michael at the Lakewood Starbucks yesterday, two days after he played a recent live set at a Dallas club. Sadly, I missed that performance -- but I did manage to score his 2007 CD "Brave New World" from him at the Starbucks.

It's an ultra-fab CD -- and for me,  fits nicely into the surf genre we love -- while some might characterize it as perhaps, "psychedelic" -- I prefer to dub it in my true Mango fashion as "Hypno-Surf." I consider Michael's CD as nothing less than a masterpiece, complete with hypnotic power chords, ambient soundscapes, blistering reverb and feedback guitar licks, trance-inducing psychedelic imagery, tasty and haunting horn playing, and those all-important driving surf drums.

What can I say? I'm blown away. Michael has melded his influences with consummate artistry.

Here is Michael's own writing from his old Myspace page:

"Hi. I'm Michael Clark. I am the guitarist and composer for my band, intodown. It is with the help of very talented musicians that I am able to record, produce and present live, the music of intodown.

The latest record is Brave New World. Brave New World can be heard on Facebook, Bandcamp, Myspace and the intodown website and purchased at CDBaby, Bandcamp, iTunes and most of the other legit download sites on the web.

A Big thank you to the 170+ college radio stations that played, and continue to play, Brave New World. And, a Very special thanks to all the reviewers who took the time to listen to the record and write intelligently about the music. Thank you for your time!

Reviews can be read on Facebook and the intodown website.

People ask about my influences. Well, most influencial would be the 13th Floor Elevators who I had the pleasure of sharing the stage in late '60's. Blues, psychedelic, surf, progressive, ambient, stoner, be-bop, classical guitar and some classic rock are influences. Cream, Jimi, Gilmour, Dick Dale, Hollywood Fats, Miles and Theolonious are important influences.

I also work with other artists and bands. Tracking my guitar, sound design, arrangements, ideas, what not. Feel free to contact.

What you hear on BandCamp are "idea jams." These improvisations are one of my compositional tools. It's usually 30+ minutes of raw emotion strapped to an out of control sonic rollercoaster spinning into oblivion. Just how I like it. And, I hope you do, too!

Free to download. Please share these tracks with the right friends. And please play it LOUD."

Genre: Progressive / Psychedelic / Rock

Don says, nah-- it's Hypno-Surf.

A YouTube video:

Nostradomas intodown live at Deep Elum Blues, 2010 ~ Michael Clark - Guitar, Smokin' Dave Vincent - Harp, Fred Harvey - Saxophone, Andy VanHousen -bass, and Carol Dierking - Drums

The intodown homepage:

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