Music freaks world-wide know now know Michael Yonkers as one of the most
exciting sounds in psychedelia. However, although Michael Yonkers has
been making music since the early 1960s, until the release of
Microminiature Love by DeStijl Records in 2002, he was a relatively
obscure figure in the Minneapolis music scene. That might have been
different if Sire Records would have released his psych classic
Microminiature Love in 1968, as planned, but that was not to be. Shelved
for decades, the world - or a small handful of the world - got to hear
folk offerings like Grimwood.
Things changed when Clint Simonson of Destijl stumbled on one of
Michael’s records - Border of My Mind - in the late 90s. Brothers Jim
& Mike Blaha also lucked their way into Michael Yonkers world by a
chance encounter with a 7” put out by Get Hip Records. All three set off
to find this fascinating musician...and they did. While Simonson heard,
fell in love with, and finally released Microminiature Love, the Blaha
brothers and their band The Blind Shake chanced into a jam session with
Yonkers. That jam was to lead to a fantastic collaboration by Michael
Yonkers with the Blind Shake entitled Carbohydrates Hydrocarbons.
Carbohydrates Hydrocarbons is not only a great collection of
punk-induced psychedelia, as heavy as anything can be without sludging
to death; it was also the best thing Yonkers had done since
Microminiature Love, and a high point of the Blind Shake. A few years
later Yonkers and the Shake got together for a brief split/collaborative
album on Learning Curve Records. Good stuff but not quite as powerful
as the two aforementioned monsters. Now comes Period, Michael Yonkers
and the Blind Shake’s first full album together since Carbohydrates
Hydrocarbons and their best yet.
Like Yonkers and the Shake’s previous work, Period is tuneful and heavy
and punk and psychedelic, but there is also something more. The album
has an energy which is dark but not sinister. Yonkers’ lyrics are
intense, even painful, but his voice is strong. The swirl of sound
created by his homemade guitar is other worldly, and when woven into the
guitar/baritone guitar/drum throb and punch created by the Blind Shake,
Period is nothing less than great. Seriously, after six straight months
of listening to Period, I think it is a classics of heavy weirdness - a
melding of Von Lmo’s Future Language, High Rise II, and Monoshock’s
Walk to the Fire. Period is even worthy of a listen next to Blue Cheer’s
Vincebus Eruptum. Yeah, it is a pretty good record.
Vinyl copies of Period are housed in a Stoughton “old style” tip-on
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 21 March, 2012.