It's hard to imagine just how much of an impact Greg Ashley has personally had on the current state of modern psychedelic music. But if you reach back before the first rumblings of his most well-known primordial monster, the Gris Gris made their maiden voyage into the cerebral cortex of the "Who Cares? Generation" and think for a second, it all makes perfect sense. With a heavenly concoction of the masters' work (Syd, Roky, and Skip) swirling uncontrollably in his medicated head, Ashley has staked an early claim on the primal resuscitation of the genre and in turn, brought the first years of the new century into a hazy new state of mind. Not that the modern movement was his creation entirely, but as a lone figure of blurred and hypnotic credence in the ever-changing rock'n'roll underworld, Greg Ashley is one of the brightest and most revered souls of the prototypical sound we know today.
Tonight in San Francisco at the Hemlock Tavern, Ashley pulls together his solo set consisting of new and familiar songs that span his current consciousness, and if you're one of the lucky people to have witnessed the enchanting and carefully balanced bag of soft and catastrophic of his previous incarnations, then tonight's show will fill your wilted heart with the technicolor splendor it so badly needs. Even back in his high school lo-fi crash unit called the Strate Coats, you could see how this guitarist/songwriter had in store much more than the budget rock aesthetic could possibly encapsulate. And since the sad announcement of the Gris Gris' break up a couple years ago, this might be your only chance to see the genius songwriter shine in an intimate public setting like the Hemlock. Joining Greg Ashley and opening up tonight's show is Miles Rozatti from San Diego, who creates a similar minimal psyche-folk murmur that incorporates found sounds and woodland creature noises akin to what you'd hear in a secluded life in the forest, and serves as a perfect warm up for the mind-altering evening you have ahead of you tonight.
Do whatever it takes to be there, and pick up all Greg Ashley's stellar releases on Birdman Records (solo album, Gris Gris and The Mirrors) if you don't have them already, and relax with them on a rough Sunday morning for the maximum pleasure effect of his ability to heal the pain of a world with too many rough edges, and not enough real compassion.
check out video clip of Greg Ashley performing "Medication #5" live in Mexicali last year, courtesy of lemarkillos, right here...