Fear is the foundation of every government’s power. Whether its composed of a warfare state or a welfare state, a government without fear would not last more than one day. When you make peace with authority you’ve sold out! Music has always been the beacon of hope. The progeny of politics and music is Rock and Roll. Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Jim Carroll were American music’s  urban poets.. But none, I mean none was greater than Jim Morrison of the Doors. A breech baby who came into the world feet first. The family doctor was off on a bender and showed up drunk just in time to do the delivery.

As a  young boy while driving with his family on a quiet road in New Mexico  they witnessed a terrible accident. A young Native American boy was thrown out of a car onto the highway…dying. The young Morrison claimed he saw an apparition of the Indian’s soul leave his body and soar into his own…  Over the years the story morphed from one Indian injured on the side of the road to a number of Indians scattered all over dawns highway bleeding and dying. It twas’ then that the injustice to Native Americans leapt into his consciousness and from then on he would refer to himself as “The Lizard King”.. Morrison believed this to be the most formative event of his life and made repeated references to its imagery in his songs, poems and interviews.

Morrison rose to prominence amidst the tremors of a cultural earthquake when the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War had triggered a whole generation into political activism. Rock music and psychedelic drugs were signaling the dawn of  the American counterculture. Morrison was the front man of L.A.’s most influential rock band..the Doors. The media claimed  he was rock and rolls’ biggest  sex symbol  since Elvis Presley. A self-anointed shaman.. The press loved to write about him… “a Native- American serpent king”.. America’s Oedipal nightingale.. a “demonic vision out of a medieval Hellmouth” and “The Acid-Evangelist of Rock and Roll”. Morrison brought poetry to the medium of rock music and attracted legions of reckless fans. As well as a fierce backlash from the conservative establishment. He was the ultimate persona of a romantic rebel. Doors’ concerts became a “religious catharsis”. A ritual where fans would feed  their souls with rock and roll.

Shamanism ..In its own way is like art. It gives form to energy and it’s based on repetition; a habitually recurring plan. At times it may appear to be pagan, but for the most part its all about the Plague Life

Ten miles east of the L.A. river is the city of Whittier.. with its Quaker ethics and Latino ethos comes the rock band, Plague Vendor…When so many L.A. rock and roll bands are no more than “flaccid cockteasers”.. P.V. will assure that your pre-natural instincts are all there!  Their first two albums on the Epitath record label… “Free To Eat” and “Bloodsweat” with connotations of finality, pansexuality and electromagnetic perversity are disturbingly brilliant! From start to finish they are far more gnarly and potent than any of their L.A. contemporaries. Metaphoric garage .. “a la Dick Dale surf reverb rock” that’s obsessed with sex, death and moral  rigour.

Prophecy doesn’t happen very often, especially when it comes to music. But if you are a believer of reincarnation (And I do believe!) then P.V. singer, Brandon Blaine is rock and roll’s newest shaman… He was greatly inspired by his grandfather who was a Pentecostal minister…It twas’ there as a young boy he was taught the power of the Holy Spirit and how to receive supernatural gifts..The ability to prophesy, to heal and to interpret speaking in different tongues. Faith healing is part of the Pentecostal tradition. Shamanism is  based on the threat of hell, fire and damnation. At times unable to resist the lure of the devil’s own music. The dogma of heaven and hell appears countless times in Blaine’s words. Song titles.. “Ox Blood”…”My Tongue Is So Treacherous”…”I Only Speak In Friction”..

Their newly released song, “New Comedown” from the June release album.. “By Night” is produced by John Congleton (Sharon Van Etten, St. Vincent)..  descends into a world of doleful shades, horrifying tortures and unending lamentation. We at Rock Bands of L.A.com can’t wait for the new Plague Vendor album…Just a bit of notice… Go see them live… your soul will be cleansed..

I want to thank Shaz and Lisa of Grandstand P.R.