Song Of The Day 6/12/2016: Kali Bahlu – “How Can I Tell My Guru?”
I'm currently in the midst of preparing Mixtape #23, which is going to be as big a group effort as I'm ever likely to produce. Shooting for a release date of June 26. I have to keep some details secret, but I can play you one song -- well, "song" is a generous descriptor -- that I auditioned but ultimately decided to drop from the mix. It's so bizarre that I think it would have taken away from the flow of Mixtape #23, which is going to be somewhat bizarre to begin with.
Kali Bahlu. There is not much on her except for her 1967 album Kali Bahlu Takes the Forest Children on a Journey of Cosmic Remembrance. I remember her from her appearance on one of the most personally influential compilation albums of my life, the first volume of RE/Search magazine's Incredibly Strange Music series. Cosmic Remembrance is a 4-track album released perfectly in the middle of the hippie epoch, to steer the young dudes away from defining their lives in degrees of hedonism and fussy intellectualism, and into the arms of all the religiosity you can eat. But man, does it sound like she's on a lot of acid.
"How Can I Tell My Guru?" is the flippiest artifact of the ecumenical movement, the origin of those "COEXIST" bumper stickers you see on cars. In this -- the shortest track on Cosmic Remembrance -- Bahlu offers you Tindr profiles of five prophets from hot religious thought: Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius and Moses. (I didn't realize how big Moses was in Judaism. I can't really think of a bigger Jewish figurehead, I guess. I was gonna say David, but maybe he was just an ultimate fighting champion with some hit songs.) Bahlu lays out all the cosmic colors, symbols and planets for each of the five in patient, very stoned cadences. You're supposed to pick one.
Most interesting nugget: Apparently Jesus' symbol is the skull and crossbones. Pretty bad-ass, King of Kings. Oh, wait: was that David?