Tonight & Monday: Take a ride on Psychic Handbook’s ‘really mellow rollercoaster’


Photo: Sean Carnage

Former Denverite and current Oaklandian Alejandro Archuleta is psyched about music, and his enthusiasm is contagious.

As Psychic Handbook (who plays Los Angeles today and tomorrow—see the info after the jump) he makes music “to relax the body and mind to make it easier for the listener to travel with me through the sounds that I construct.”

Besides Psychic Handbook, Archuleta is also a magically talented DJ. His playlist of pop and New Age-ish obscurities is unique as far as I know.

“I like making people feel as if they are about to get onto a really mellow roller coaster,” explains Archuleta. “One that spans the depths of the human imagination.”

Archuleta once made a mix CD for me of his favorite tunes. I decided to see if his soothing/ennervating musical aesthetic could turn a potentially contentious 45 minute car ride with both my current and former boyfriends into a genuinely fun and stimulating journey. Against the odds it worked!

This guy is a genius.

Photos: Sean Carnage

Alejandro Archuleta, aka performer Psychic Handbook, will be performing Sunday and Monday in Los Angeles. Tonight at Synchronicity he will be joined by DJ Goblin Glasses on visuals.

Alejandro is also a phenomenal DJ (he has in the past used the monikers DJ Ceviche and DJ Big Gulp). He’s one of the few who I am consistently asking “What was that you were playing? And before that?” What can I do? As I mentioned, Archuleta’s positive energy is infectious and his depth of musical knowledge—impressive.

Archuleta will be DJing and playing at Pehrspace as part of my Monday Night show tomorrow. Get the full info at the end of this post.

But in the meantime sitback, relax—and fasten your psychic seatbelt. We’re about to take a ride…

How old are you?
I am 22.5 years old and totally digging it! I just celebrated my half birthday a couple weeks ago.

Where were you raised and where do you currently live?
Denver, Colorado is where I was born and raised until the winds from the east came in like a gentle wave and swept me away to California and eventually to Oakland.

You lived in L.A. for awhile. Did that not work out?
On one hand, L.A. rules! I loved every minute of my time there. The streets are on fire, all the time, and it’s such a powerful feeling! But on the other hand, it’s just not where I could see myself settling down for the longterm. I had always been drawn to northern California just as much as LA but I never really had the opportunity to spend too much time there. My original plan was to move to San Francisco but my little Oakland detour turned out to be more of a long term situation, which I am very thankful for. Oakland reminds me a lot of Denver in so many ways and I feel that is one reason why I love it here so much.

What city has the best music?
Denver, duh! Everything I learned about how to not be afraid to create , I learned from my friends and family in Denver. There is this certain fearlessness there that makes it pretty easy to be stoked on something and have all of your friends fully support you and be equally psyched as well.

Please explain what inspired you to create Psychic Handbook?
I used to be in a band back in Denver with all of my best friends called Slight Harp and it was a very beautiful and intense part of my life that I shared with so many people. So, once I knew I was going to be moving away from all these amazing people it occurred to me that I had to step it up and figure out how to make all these things happen by myself in a brand new place. So, Psychic Handbook is pretty much my way of documenting my lone journey into the world with room for whatever the universe had in store for me. The name comes from The Psychic Handbook which was a gift given to me on my 21st birthday by my good friend and soul sister Taylor McFadden.

What effect are you trying to have on listeners?
Transcendence, for me, is one of the most important roles that music can have on a listener. I want to take people on a journey to anywhere their mind takes them, somewhere beyond the everyday world. I only provide the soundtrack.

What’s the perfect audience?
Ideally, my perfect audience would have people in it. It doesn’t matter how many, as long as the people were fully ready to buckle up and take a ride on the magic Psychic Handbook carpet. Once the ride is over we can all take a deep breath and acknowledge that we just shared this experience and hopefully it was something that can bring people closer together.

Do you like bands?
I love bands! Like, way too much sometimes, but it’s cool. My favorite bands to play with are my friends bands and so far I’ve had the pleasure of playing with most of them at one time or another, like Married In Berdichev, MMCIII, Bongo Fury, Pictureplane, Night of Joy, Hideous Men/BDRMPPL, Modern Witch and my awesome brother’s band called Skully Mammoth. As far as bands that I would love to play with, I think Kitaro and La Dusseldorf are at the top of my list. They both have the most ethereal and powerful synthesizer sounds I have ever heard! They are both very gentle and soothing to the ears and the mind and that for me is something that I am striving for with my music.

You’re also a DJ—what kind of tracks are you going to be spinning for us? I’ve been picking up some crazzzzy records lately, like, some Enigma singles, this super sick Kitaro LP (his record covers are mind blowing!!! check them out!), more dub stuff like Earth, Roots & Water and New Age Steppers (anything with a groovy melodica solo), heavier jammier stuff like Magic Lantern and Black Elf Speaks.

Where are you most likely to find music for DJing? What’s high up on your “want list” and why?I don’t really do any shopping on the internet so the only way I find records is the old fashioned way, many zoned out hours getting my fingers all dusty. I have recently become totally obsessed with Psychic TV so I am always looking for any of their records wherever I go. Their music spans so many different genres while maintaining a distinct sound unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Especially their psych and acid house stuff, so good!

Who are your favorite DJs?
The last person I saw DJ who totally blew my mind to pieces was Christelle Gualdi from Stellar Om Source. If I could just hear the world through her ears for one day, woah man, what a crazy day that would be! Her live sets are even more amazing to see/hear/experience.

What’s your favorite song or songs on the radio right now and why?
Everytime I hear Toto I crank it up, way up!

You are playing two shows this weekend—how will they be different (or the same)?
Both shows are going to be the same in that, they will RULE! I always have tons of fun at Pehrspace because the bands always seem to be very different in sound but still fit very well together, in a weird but awesome way! I feel like the Synchronicity Space show might be a little more cohesive as far as the overall vibe of the evening. Without really realizing it, all of the bands playing on Sunday or one person bands which I think will maintain a certain continuity throughout the evening. Also in between sets DJ Green Bean from SFV Acid and I will be playing records to keep the freaky flow going and my friend Miko aka Goblin Glasses will be doing some far out live projections! It’s going to be a full sensory experience that I can’t wait to share with everyone!

Airhorns: thumbs up or thumbs down?
Thumbs up, only if used responsibly.

Hear/download “Cool Beans” by Psychic Handbook

See Alejandro Archuleta perform as Psychic Handbook tonight, May 16, at Synchronicity

Hear Psychic Handbook perform and DJ Monday, May 17, at Pehrspace

Don’t miss these shows!

Syndrome WPW (Lausanne, Switzerland)
Psychic Handbook (live + DJ set)
Back to the Future the Ride
Foreign Cinema (SF)

*This show is made possible thru the kindness of Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

Starts 9:30pm / $5 / all-ages

Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd., in Historic Filipinotown

See you there?

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