Now this is a concept I can get behind. On Friday, June 21, Seattle radio station KEXP salutes the summer solstice by playing long songs during daylight hours. What is long, in KEXP's programmers' ears? Tracks whose duration surpass the 6:13 of Bob Dylan's 1965 folk-rock classic "Like a Rolling Stone." That song was the breakthrough which convinced record companies that tracks longer than the standard single length of two to three minutes could captivate radio listeners and scale the upper regions of the charts.
In a press release, Kevin Cole, host of KEXP’s Afternoon Show and Chief Content Officer, said, “All great music matters. Celebrating the longest songs on the longest day of the year is a way to not lose sight of how a three minute build-up, a two-minute bridge, or a four minute instrumental breakdown can get our hearts pumping and our bodies dancing. In a world of short attention spans and instant gratification, this is an aural reminder that some of the most enriching experiences in life take time—sometimes even more than 6 minutes and 13 seconds!”
Hear! Hear! Let's hope this becomes an annual tradition. So, with this notion in mind, I'd like to request some songs for KEXP's DJs to spin for this auspicious occasion. Even if these suggestions go unheeded, as I suspect most of them will, perhaps Slog's readers will get turned on to some music that will build attention span muscles to unprecedented dimensions. Deep breaths, everybody...
Funkadelic, "Wars of Armageddon"
Perhaps the freakiest freakout in this very freaky group's career. Strictly for the headstrong.
Can, "Mother Sky"
The pinnacle of krautrock car-chase musik, at once manic and mantric.
Alice Coltrane, "Journey in Satchidananda"
Holiest of holy music (astral-jazz category), by the Detroit-born harpist/keyboardist, with crucial sax assistance from Pharoah Sanders.
The Chambers Brothers, "Time Has Come Today"
My personal Big Bang of psych-rock. That this charted at #11—albeit in truncated form—remains a marvelous anomaly in pop-culture history.
Definitive motorik efficiency and Teutonic pastoral beauty. One of the most influential pieces of music in underground rock.
Imagine Alice Coltrane remixed by some of the most disciplined and out-there Japanese psychonauts; a mind blown is a mind shown.
Et Cetera, "Raga"
Merely another aural vessel of ultimate peace off of the greatest album of all time, nbd.
Annette Peacock, "Real & Defined Androgens"
One-of-a-kind art funk. This might be too sexy for radio, but what the hell?
Spiritualized, "Cop Shoot Cop"
Epic junkiedelic highlight from Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, with chilling keyboards by the late Dr. John.
Mercury Rev, "Frittering"
A bunch of upstate New York misfits out-Pink Floyd Pink Floyd with this fizzing bliss bomb.
The Velvet Underground, "European Son"
The Velvets at their filthiest and most pitiless. Plus, who doesn't love the sound of breaking glass?
Nico, "It Was a Pleasure Then"
Written with Lou Reed and John Cale, this somber, chamber-pop ballad is for all practical purposes a first-LP VU outtake, and is therefore essential.
Joe Henderson, "Earth"
Alice Coltrane, Charlie Haden, Ndugu Chancler, & co. buoy the soulful jazz saxophonist to spiritual-funk summits.
Julian Priester, "Prologue/Love, Love"
Seattle trombonist orchestrates a master class in cosmic groove science.
Herbie Hancock, "Rain Dance"
A landmark in avant-jazztronica, this might be Herbie's weirdest track—and, oddly, one of his most sampled.
Isaac Hayes, “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymystic”
Primo baby-making music, and a favorite of mine to request by title.
Miles Davis, “Rated X”
Vicious as a motherfucker. Incinerates jazz purists within seconds.
The Chicago post-rockers at their most Can-like.
This Heat, "Health and Efficiency"
A powerful, unique (a word I don't use lightly) rock song that still slays me hundreds of listens later.
LCD Soundsystem, "Yeah"
Yeah yeah yeah, they used to be good before they turned schmaltzy.