Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kendra Smith- Five Ways of Disappearing (1995) MP3 & FLAC

"Down to the sea in a drunken boat, no one can get to her tearing up the words she wrote."

Kendra Smith was a key figure in the "Paisley Underground" scene that flourished in and around Los Angeles during the 1980s, first as a founding member of The Dream Syndicate, and later teaming with ex-Rain Parade guitarist David Roback in a little-known but quite brilliant psych-rock venture, Opal, which would eventually permutate (after Smith's acrimonious exit) into Mazzy Star. By the time Smith recorded the appropriately titled Five Ways of Disappearing, she had retreated to the woods in Northern California, taking up the life of a recluse that she continues to this day. Her final album is an engaging mixture of the kind of psychedelic drone-rock that was her stock and trade in the eighties and some subtle World Beat elements that make Five Ways of Disappearing a much more varied album in terms of mood than her previous work allowed for. On "Valley of the Morning Sun," the album's lone single, Smith's trademark laconic vocals sound almost upbeat, though this is only relative to her earlier work. Much more in line with Smith's penchant for the darkside is her cover of Mimi and Richard Farina's "Bold Marauder," which sounds like an ominous sea shanty wrapped in a psychedelic drone. A lost gem by a lost artist, both being worthy of rediscovery.

Five Ways of Disappearing
 1. Aurelia  (6:01)
 2. Bohemian Zebulon  (4:44)
 3. Temporarily Lucy  (4:42)
 4. In Your Head  (4:25)
 5. Space Unadorned  (5:01)
 6. Maggots  (4:03)
 7. Drunken Boat  (3:46)
 8. Interlude: Dirigible  (0:42)
 9. Valley of the Morning Sun  (6:26)
10. Judge Not  (3:21)
11. Get There  (5:04)
12. Interlude: Saturn  (0:38)
13. Bold Marauder  (5:33)


  1. Though a big fun of all the above bands Kendra took part, never heard of this one , I'll give it a try

  2. This is new to me too. Though most of the 80s are foggy anyway......

  3. CoCo the Electronic Monkey WizardMarch 1, 2011 at 7:45 AM

    Eye have Dream Syndicate, Opal and Mazzy in flac so might as well check this out. Opal is on SST better use numbers and leetspeak naming on those releases. Danke Schön.

  4. ranxerox & scurfie, Kendra put out two albums, this one and one with a band called The Guild of Temporal Adventurers. The latter is quite good, super rare and impossible to find in lossless, but guess what? I happen to have a copy from the old days! I will post it in the near future. I was caught in the middle of the Paisley Underground (I lived in the LA area at the time), and saw a lot of these bands in their heyday. There will be a series devoted to the movement late spring or early summer.

  5. CoCo, I will heed the SST warning, though only one of Opal's albums is on that label. The other, super rare, one is Rough Trade

  6. you'll need something good to impress me from the paisley. I guess it was a lifetime experience if you watched some of the bands at their peak. I only had the chance to watch Steve Wynn a couple of times solo and at the Danny & Dusty reunion.

  7. ranxerox, I was lucky enough to catch Opal, early Mazzy, Three o'clock, Green on Red, Long Ryders, Thin White Rope, and some others that my brain can't come up with right now. I had a girlfriend at the time who was very into that scene, Club Lingerie, The Anti-club, etc. I actually had a Paisley series in mind when I started the blog. It will also include the elusive "Rainy Day" compilation that is so hard to find in lossless

  8. draziw yeknom cinortcele eht oc-ocMarch 1, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    Didn't know there was an Opal rarity. A couple tracks on this one reminded me of a not so rockin' Concrete Blonde. Just found one called Abecedarians in flac it is loadin down. It is not really the paisley underground but from the same era.

  9. Opal's "Early Recordings" can be hard to find, but I'll post it eventually in my Paisley Underground series down the road. I have some Mazzy bootlegs cued up, just haven't found the right moment

  10. the grappling caballeroMarch 2, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    check out his Abecedarians err if you don't have it already. It is like an American Joy Division/New Order. It is here: http://norecordshopsleft.blogspot.com/

  11. interesting. Haven't heard this, thanks much mr. grappling!

  12. Totally looking forward to Opal's Erly Recordings in flac. Fantastic blog, btw :)

  13. Anon. There are two volumes of Opal's early recordings, one officially released and another bootleg (with varying sound quality). I have them both in FLAC and will post them at some point


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