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Terrence, American Buddhist
Brought to you by THE BETA BAND

Greetings all! It is I, Terrence, American Buddhist back with an all new review for you, my loyal fans.

I have decided to only surround myself with positive people and positive energy, so if you are an insecure, negative person, please do not surround my reviews like that.

Life in the monastery has been going very well since I last reviews an album for USOUNDS. Lately I have altered my daily regimen by walking twice around the lake as I eat my daily bowl of barley seeds. This practice is good for digestion as well as for the soul.

I no longer feel longing for the soothing calm brought on by gentle puffs of fine marijuana buds and herbs. Although marijuana is a harmless plant, for the sake of achieving zen nothingness it is very harmful. It has a tendency to booth soothe and excite my mind at the same time, making me lose concentration. No, a good Buddhist does not need the special delights of god's weed, however pleasing they may be.

Instead I have been listening to several excellent albums in my spare time. Lately I have been especially fascinated with a small album called: The Three EP's, by The Beta Band.

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The album is a miraculous blend of the intriguing and the funky, the sexy with the cerebral. The mind is both attacked and massaged by strange noises, familiar guitar hooks, catchy vocals, house and hip-hop beats and more. Anything that makes rhythmic sound is used on this record.

The Beta Band is the best thing this Buddhist has heard for quite some time. They kind of bring together all the elements of music I have been into as I prepare myself for the spartan and fulfilling life of dedication to zen Buddhism: hip-hop, dance, funk, disco, post-rock, kraut-lab, ambient, garage, and others that I probably didn't know the names of.

The record had me walking for hours around the monastery, enjoying the ambient sounds as they meshed with the simple pleasures of nature's beauty. A robin, redbreasted and belligerent. A fallen tree with spiky limbs pointing towards a conflicted sky. A six foot-high cannabis plant topped with golden buds drenched with sticky, fragrant resin.

Somehow the power of the music had guided me into a field I had planted several months earlier, before my rededication to my studies.

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I briefly thought of smoking some of the delightful weed, but quickly remembered that until the buds had been dried they were of no use for me.

As I sat down to watch the plant and listen to The Three EP's, I noticed that a few large buds had fallen from the top of the plant and had dried to perfection in the shade of the great weed. Without hesitation, I produced a packet of Rizla+ Blue King Size Slim rolling papers from the folds of my robe and rolled a slim cone full of sticky green cannabis weed.

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I put on a track called "she's the one," and drifted back into a sonic dream wave of 60's and 90's garage folk. As my eyes stiffened and the sun shone freely upon my face, a concert of birds, both real and on CD, gave way to slow piano and layered vocals, which in turn became chaotic noise, which became xylophone with layered vocals, and back to slow piano. It is that kind of album.

I entered a different plane of zen, with my mind and the music in perfect disharmonious concert. The Beta Band became as essential to me as the very air I breathed, the water I drank, and the delicious weeds I smoked.

And then the album ended and the magic was lost to the earth like the last raindrops in a storm. But I knew it was just a play button away if I wanted it again.

USOUNDS | 6.25.1999

BETA BAND FAN PAGE very complete site

more reviews by Terrence, American Buddhist:
Yoshinori Sunahara
Source Material Compilation


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Belle and Sebastian
Smith and Mighty
Fantastic Plastic Machine
Club 8
Peanut Butter Wolf
Curtis Mayfield
The Beta Band
Takako Minekawa
Boards of Canada
Stereo Total
The Roots and Goodie MOb