YaHoWha 13

Pub date December 16, 2008
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

PREVIEW It’s hard to know where to begin or end when it comes to telling the story of the Source Family, the commune out of which YaHoWha 13’s recordings emerged. The Source — an organic, vegetarian Los Angeles restaurant founded in 1969 by the group’s leader, Father Yod — had a distinct, documentable existence, but as these things go, the spiritual family that gathered around it was considerably more amorphous. YaHoWha 13 released nine LPs, all of which were improvised and recorded in one take. Listening to the music now, it’s clear that we lack the full transcript for what went on behind the scenes, as most of the group’s philosophy remains a secret. But we can rest assured that the members of the re-formed band — Djin, Octavius, and Sunflower Aquarius — now find themselves in a similar position musically: "For the most part, we’re going to be playing spontaneously," Djin says by phone from Mount Shasta. "But we’ve had requests to do tunes that came out of improvisation on the albums, and that requires us to learn them since we don’t know how we played or even what key we played in."

It’s an unlikely reunion not only due to the nature of the material, but also because of the forces bringing the group together. Considerably more popular with the folks who read the Forced Exposure catalog than, say, Pitchfork followers, YaHoWha 13 don’t hang their reputation on a single, easily communicable musical achievement — they don’t have a Loveless, but they do have Penetration: An Aquarian Symphony (Higher Key, 1974). "It almost seems like there was a divine plan in this entire resurrection," Djin says. "Billy Corgan and his friend Carrie Brown were tripping out at the Bodhi Tree metaphysical bookstore, saw the Father Yod/YaHoWha 13 book, and he just contacted us, in the midst of all of this. Devendra Banhart is another one — he had already been in contact with Sky Saxon. There’s just so many outrageous coincidences, you might say, but not by accident. Really, there’s some organic thing going on here."

YAHOWHA 13 Thurs/18, 8 p.m., $16–$20. Slim’s, 333 11th St., SF. (415) 522-0333, www.slims-sf.com