Parable of Arable Land

Parable Of Arable Land

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Parable of Arable Land

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The Parable of Arable Land (1967) is the first album by the Red Krayola, then known as the Red Crayola. The album is self-described as a “Free Form Freak-Out,” and remains one of the most infamous in their catalogue. A “Free Form Freak-Out” segues each of the actual songs, often resurfacing again elsewhere within the songs. The songs introduce mainstay Mayo Thompson’s signature style of abstract lyrics wed to minimalist (and often avant-garde) melodies and rhythms. The album is also notable for instrumental cameos by label mate and 13th Floor Elevators frontman Roky Erickson.

The Familiar Ugly

“The Familiar Ugly” refers to the fifty or-so friends of the band who provide the “Free Form Freak-Outs” (of which Erickson is a member). They were instructed by the band to play whatever they pleased. To demonstrate, the liner notes from one “General Fox” (presumably producer Lelan Rogers, as he was present for the session) describe “...a young man made his music by striking two match sticks together....His girlfriend kept time by blowing in a pop bottle.” Roky Erickson plays organ throughout, and allegedly plays the solo on the album’s first “song,” “Hurricane Fighter Plane.”


The album was allegedly recorded in a single session, featuring the band (then consisting of Mayo Thompson on guitar and vocals, Steve Cunningham on bass and Rick Barthelme on drums), playing live with the Familiar Ugly. A recording purporting to be a demo which...
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