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Baker's Dozen

Constellations In The Sky: Jonathan Donahue Of Mercury Rev's Top LPs
Yousif Nur , October 22nd, 2015 10:15

From spooky narrations in the Catskill Mountains to avant-garde masterworks, the New York band's singer and guitarist tells Yousif Nur about the albums and one song that have had a lasting impact on his own music


Bachdenkel - Lemmings
They're a psychedelic rock band from the early '70s. I didn't know about psychedelic rock when we began, but we were often compared to psych music. To be honest, I was completely ignorant of it. People would use quotes like: "Mercury Rev is the new Hawkwind." I had no idea who Hawkwind were! But now, many years later, my girlfriend is introducing me to psych rock from the mid-'60s. Not just stuff like 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' by Iron Butterfly, but also from the esoteric, better defined albums that are wholly obscure.

Not only that, but it also has the idea of a concept record and melodrama, flutes and guitars going on. It was strange when I heard Lemmings when we were recording The Light In You and I thought, wow, nothing new under the sun! The moment you think you're onto something original, all you have to do is listen to something from thirty years ago to see someone was onto this all the while back! So it was really stunning to hear this Bachdenkel record from 40 years prior that was attempting or aspiring to something we were in the midst of.