Put your transport settings on “Taos” (and don’t forget to bring ‘shrooms to this new festival,,,)
By Jonathan Levitt
The maiden Monolith on the Mesa music festival will take place on May 17 and 18th in Taos New Mexico. When I saw the lineup, I immediately booked my flights and started listening to some of the bands I thought I would never have a chance to see like Om, Dead Meadow, and Woven Hand.
Having grown up in the southwest, northern New Mexico was often a favorite summer destination for my family. Psychedelic music has often drawn inspiration from the desert southwest, with its dramatic thunderstorms and intense heat as well as certain mystical elements mythologized by folklore and druggy culture. Two years ago when I was living in Santa Fe it snowed on April 29th and then a few days later hail storms hit the area. Taos experiences even more unpredictable weather from what I hear, so things might get interesting! Festival founders Dano Sanchez and Roman Barham (we’ll be running an interview with them soon) have curated what looks to be the festival to beat in 2019.
There will be plenty of local vendors selling their wares, and according to the festival, both the indoor and outdoor venues should allow for a more intimate interaction between band and audience. I will attempt to film some of the festival for our readers in the hope that some of you will be similarly inspired to make the trek down to New Mexico. Anyway, on to a few of the bands.
OM, whose album Advaitic Songs has been on constant rotation in my life, manages to seamlessly blend Indian musical elements and their heavy narcotic churn. Check out this amazing clip from 2013
Dead Meadow, who hail from Washington D.C., have seven amazing albums of psychedelic brilliance under their belt and this show from 2017 suggests what a blistering set they can deliver:
Let’s also not forget that Jason Simon is also a part of the band Old Mexico, whose brilliant album was reviewed in these very pages just a few months ago.
David Eugene Edwards’ band Woven Hand takes the fire and brimstone of 16 horsepower and blends it with widescreen mysticism. This show that was performed at a Synagogue in 2011, shows the incandescent transitory nature of their music.
There are also bands that I only recently discovered, such as Canadian band Weeed who bring the heavy on this titanic tune “Rainbow Amplifier Worship”—check out this live version:
And then there’s Green Druid with their sludge version of “My Sharona”:
Not to mention Pinkish Black with this epic track entitled “Loss of Feeling of Loss”: