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Really Don't Mind If You Sit This One Out

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Album Review

Mushroom are one of the greatest space rock/Krautrock/jazz-rock outfits you've probably never heard of. The lineup has changed quite a bit over the years, with the only constants being leader/drummer Pat Thomas aka Patrick O'Hearn (no, not that one), guitar/flute/sax man Erik Pearson, and excellent musicianship. Really Don't Mind If You Sit This One Out is a collection of live tracks that go back to the beginnings of the band, including two tracks from Mushroom's very first gig in 1997. Almost all this material predates their previous live collection, Oh, But They're Weird & They're Wonderful, but where much of that recording took live material as the source for remixes by Dipstick, this one is a straightforward live document that really gives them room to stretch out. The modus operandi seems simple enough: find a groove and work it, but in less capable hands that can be a quick recipe for tedium. The bandmembers know how to play, but they also know how to listen and it's that cooperative dynamic that makes them such a great band. These songs aren't just a series of solos: the players take the solo ideas and turn them into conversation, steering the tunes into new territory like the flow of a river. "Klonopin" starts with a mysterious flute intro before moving into an easy slow groove with great contributions on Rhodes and trumpet. "Kyle Loves a Funny Bunny" bumps up the energy with some really freaky synth courtesy of Graham Connah and some nice feedback guitar. "The Reeperbahn" has a more driving groove with more crazy synth and some outer space guitar sounds. "Phillip Seymour Hoffman" has nice Mellotron and someone playing super-saturated electric guitar à la Robert Fripp. The sound quality isn't pristine and you can hear some audience conversation from time to time, but it's very listenable and not distracting. If you're new to Mushroom, this probably isn't the best place to start (try Analog Hi-Fi Surprise or Glazed Popems). But if you've heard any of their studio albums and wanted more, Really Don't Mind If You Sit This One Out is a nice addition to a solid discography. But don't wait too long; this one is limited to 1,000 copies.


Born: 1996 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The concept behind Mushroom, a band that dabbles in space rock, Delta blues, Krautrock, and jam band-ism, is one of freedom -- never make the same album twice and try to do something different every time you get on-stage. Mushroom are known for known for an ever-changing lineup of players and a great deal of improvisation in their live shows and recordings, and their revolving door of personnel and willingness to experiment have led to guest appearances by many of their influences, including Gong's...
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Really Don't Mind If You Sit This One Out, Mushroom
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