An album by John Coltrane it would be his last, made in 1967 just a few months before his death.

Track listing:
1. Mars
2. Venus
3. Jupiter
4. Saturn
5. Leo
6. Jupiter Variation

This album marks the most experimental of Trane's music. Here he has disregarded his quartet and has decided to instead opt for a duo with drummer Rashied Ali. The entire album is essentially Trane and Ali soloing with little or no structure. If you want to know what very late Trane was like, buy this album, if you want to redefine what music is, Napster a track, if you want to listen to easy-listening Jazz, stay far away.

Interstellar space (note the lack of caps on the word "space") is also, simply, the space between stars/solar systems. Where, exactly, a solar system ends is not well defined*; does the Oort cloud billions of miles from our sun count? It is, after all, held in place by the same gravity that keeps us whirling round and round.

Here in the sunless voids can be found wandering clouds of freezing molecular hydrogen, errant space probes, cascades of radiation and vanishingly weak television programs from the 1950s, and possibly dark matter. Should you choose to colonize hypothetical planets around Alpha Centauri, you'll spend most of your journey out here.

Bring a book.


*Turns out that it appears to be defined pretty accurately. czeano sez: "most people (err.. most astronomers) consider the edge of a solar system to be the heliopause, where the solar winds become overpowered by interstellar ones." My waxing semi-poetic on solar borders should not be used for school reports, kids.

There is an enrapturing tone to John Coltrane’s sax, it seems deeper, more guttural –- but not a baritone, still a tenor, but with this muffled quality and he’s blowing it up and down as if it were his very life inside each note. The trap kit is trilling and twisting, free jazz beating on each and every hit, cymbals all akimbo and just John Coltrane tooting his horn to insanity. After a moment, something resembling distinct melody begins coming out, but is quickly usurped by the all-powerful chaos from space. Squelches, surfaces, imagining Mars, and its doings with this. Given that this world—Earth, is a itself a living creature (which one may or may not believe), one may also follow that Mars itself is one. This is what I would think that Mars, if it could sing, would pronounce. He has these effects produced solely with his instrument of this pulsating entrapment, all raspy and spilling out of the bell, vibrating and staying within these three or four notes, unstably going through an arpeggio but playing inside/outside the notes, and tearing it all up, and then the ouch and pain of imploding volcanoes and twisted torrents of interstellar spirituality.

Sometimes, when I’m on this world I feel like the aliens have been here. I keep forgetting that we don’t know of any alien cultures who may be observing our rather laughable attempts at getting on in the world like we have here on Earth. I’ll be thinking, doesn’t the marketing of beer in aluminum cans with the entire catalog of every alcohol commercial ever made appear so absurd to them? But, that is a rather arbitrary example of what I really mean, the weight of my words being on that in this way of theorizing about aliens, I arrive at myself being alien, apart, separate, divided, observing, dissecting, turning away, wanting to rise the spirit in my body, leave it behind, and head for a world more like paradise. I’ve said it before, I’m still of a "Go Earth!" philosophy. Something about my mind long ago set up a stateless existence, where--as I have no desire to root for "my" school, city, county, state, or country, whether in sporting events, economy, so-called enlightenment, in war, in peace, in chaos, in pieces, in destruction—-because I’m just hoping that we make it at all. I go to the zoo, and I see all the animals, and they, too are so alien to me, but simultaneously somehow, the simple gestures of animal-kind can be revelatory to this whole mad society’s problems--to my own.

Leo is the second song on here, and I’ve been listening to it for awhile. It is more craziness. It is certainly thinking music. It almost sounds like John Coltrane has to take these cosmic spits into his saxophone, sputtering out the universe in hocked loogies of devotion and torment. Soul coughing as M. Doughty would put it, a particular kind of interstellar vomit. Terence McKenna talks about it too, on his DMT adventures to South America, this purple, thunderous sublingual matter that all the curanderos were soul coughing from there chins, it was purple/pink in this psychedelic way and the thoughts (true thoughts, predating our oral language) were coming right out, freely communicating and twisting and turning around each other, and these experiences are just incredible. See William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg with their the Yage Letters for more on this. Wicked stuff, and still, on topic with this album: Interstellar Space.

It was recorded in 1967 but not released until 1974. It sounds totally immortal, belonging to the stars themselves. Venus looks from above to below, surveying the madness, a twinkling of bells, the first song yet to start quietly. Coltrane comes in playing a melody that slides into a barrel—the good barrel. The Barrel of Love and Other Good Things. The rewarding moments of our mass movements, those parts of me, of all of us, that realize that all of this is somehow necessary, to facilitate the commentary on it at the very least (smug grin) and otherwise to support the art, the love, the sweet matrimony of things in juxtaposition. Marriage, but in its most broadest sense. Coltrane, would say, as we all know-—A Love Supreme. God in a bucket—-one can imagine ordering it from KFC or some such 12-piece buffalo god wings bucket.

I can’t do the rest of the album justice by talking about it. Just know that it is great, and f'n fantastic. Rashied Ali, the percussionist never lets go, pounding and pounding on and on--the only other musician to participate. It was produced by Mr. John Coltrane. Pick it up sometime, it's the one with the beautiful clouds and sun on the cover.

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