Aquarium Drunkard - SIDECAR (TRANSMISSIONS) - Podcast

Our guest this week is Jerry David DeCicca. Perhaps you know him best from Black Swans, or maybe some of the great albums he's produced by so called "outsider" songwriters like Ed Askew, Larry Jon Wilson, and Chris Gantry, among others. Since 2014, he's been putting out great records under his own name. His latest is called The Unlikely Optimist And His Domestic Adventures. Jerry describes it as “an anti-Hallmark ode to positivity." Who couldn’t use some positivity this year? In advance of its release on October 16th, Aquarium Drunkard correspondent Chad DePasquale joined Jerry to discuss Texas, his pets and social services work, and of course,  Bob Dylan’s Rough and Rowdy Ways, which JDD idiosyncratically reviewed for Aquarium Drunkard. 

Direct download: jerrydaviddeciccatransmissions.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Our guest this week on Transmissions is Jerry Williams Jr., but if you know your musical cult heroes, you probably know him by the name Swamp Dogg. Since the early '50s, he's lived as a true record man—writing songs, producing artists, self-releasing music, and putting out major label flops that have gone on to achieve lost classic status. He’s always walked the line between R&B and country, making a joke of the music industry’s intentional segregating of white and black audiences. He managed Dr. Dre early on, and he's been sampled by Kid Rock and Talib Kweli. The country pop classic, Don’t Take Her (She’s All I’ve Got)?” He co-wrote it. 

 

The line where Jerry ends and Swamp Dogg begins is transitory. In the early '70s, after a career of singing under his own name, Jerry needed Swamp Dogg to serve as an outlandish avatar who could satirically tackle societal mores. His provocative jokes about civil rights and politics earned him hangs with Jane Fonda and the anti-war crowd and put him afoul of J. Edgar Hoover and the Nixon administration.

 

These days he puts out records on Joyful Noise. His latest is called Sorry You Couldn’t Make It, and it pairs him with producer Ryan Olson, Bon Iver, Jenny Lewis, and the late John Prine, who sings “Memories” and the beautiful “Please Let Me Go Round Again.” Over the many years, Swamp Dogg has embraced auto-tune, twang, and ambient flourishes. He’s a world class adapter, a weirdo hero who refuses to yield to expectations, sometimes at the expense of good taste, but remember: it’s never Jerry doing the offending, that’s Swamp Dogg. Let that be your content warning: this episode contains language some listeners might find objectionable. 

 

Need more Swamp? Check out his 2013 Aquarium Drunkard interview.

 

This week’s episode was written and produced by Jason P. Woodbury and Michael Krassner, Andrew Horton edited and engineered. Justin Gage, executive producer. Video production by Jonathan Mark Walls. Imagery by D. Norsen and Heavy Hymns. 

 

Does Aquarium Drunkard make your listening life better? If so, you can support us through Patreon. Help continue to produce mixtapes, podcasts, radio shows, audio visual presentations, interviews, features, and much more. 

Direct download: Swamp_Dogg_Transmissions.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Our guest this week is Chris Forsyth, guitarist, bandleader, composer, and DIY lifer. His studio albums evoke the punk psychedelia of Television, balancing ‘70s rock grooves the loose, exploratory feel of the Dead. But as good as his studio LPs are, it might be live recordings that best showcase his sound. His latest is called First Flight. On it, he’s joined by guitarist Dave Harrington, drummer Ryan Jewell, and bassist Spencer Zahn on stage at Nublu in New York City on September 20th, 2019. 

 

Who knows how long it will be before we can safely cram into a room to take in some live jams, but in the meantime, the 40-some minutes of First Flight should help those missing the thrills of unexpected and immersive live music. Forsyth joined Transmissions to discuss his roots, time spent studying with Richard Lloyd of Television, and his motivations in opening a DIY space in Philadelphia, Jerry’s on Front. 

 

Does Transmissions make your listening life better?  Help us continue doing it by pledging your support via our Patreon page. Doing so will get you access to our secret stash—including bonus audio, exclusive podcasts, printed ephemera, and vinyl records—and help us keep an independent publication going. 

Direct download: ForsythPodcast.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

This week on Transmissions, we're joined by songwriter, Dr. Dog drummer, and noted Twitter personality Eric Slick. His new album of classic pop songcraft is called Wiseacre. Best known for his work with Dr. Dog and his wife, songwriter Natalie Prass, Wiseacre was inspired by the golden-hued melodies of Harry Nilsson, Haruomi Hosono, and a general '70s gloss. It's a deeply personal record, one that explores contentment and domesticity, as well as unpacking no small amount of personal weirdness and trauma.

 

Eric joined Aquarium Drunkard contributor Ben Kramer—you might know him from Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard’s The Tonight Zone, as featured on the Adult Swim live stream to get into it all: how his marriage to Prass influenced the lyrics of the record, how his meditation practice informs his songwriting, and what it's like to get into a real songwriting groove. 

Direct download: ericslickpodcast.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

On Mama You Can Bet, her new album under her Jyoti alias, Georgia Anne Muldrow embraces her jazz roots. Born and raised in Los Angeles, her parents were immersed in the city’s jazz community. Her father Ronald Muldrow worked with Eddie Harris; Rickie Byars-Beckwith, her mother, worked with Pharoah Sanders. And there’s the matter of her spiritual lineage: the Jyoti name was bestowed upon her by Alice Coltrane at her ashram. “I’ve had many experiences in that woman’s force field, and I’ve never forgot any of them,” Muldrow says, discussing how Coltrane’s work felt like “music from her home planet.” Mama You Can Bet leans into Muldrow’s jazziest tendencies, incorporating two remixes of works by Charles Mingus, whose influence is palpable. But Muldrow is her own creation, and her love of electronic funk, ambient, and hip-hop colors and shades the album. Ahead of what would have been Turiya Alice Coltrane’s birthday  on August 27th, Georgia joined Transmissions host Jason P. Woodbury via Skype to discuss the new record, the West Coast jazz tradition, and maintaining a long running creative partnership and independent label with her husband, Dudley Perkins.

 

Mama You Can Bet is available wherever you get music August 28th. 

 

This week’s episode of Transmissions was written and produced by Jason P. Woodbury and edited by Andrew Horton. Executive producer Justin Gage. Art and imagery by D Norsen and Heavy Hymns. If you dig what we do at Aquarium Drunkard, share our podcasts, features, interviews, mixtapes, radio shows, and sign up for our Sidecar newsletter. If you wanna take your support a step further, head over to Patreon and look us up. We appreciate it. Music heard in this episode includes “Mama, You Can Bet” and “The Crowrie Waltz” from Mama, You Can Bet (SomeOthaShip Connect). 

 

One more note: On August 29th, get to your favorite independent record store to get your hands on our vinyl release with ORG Music, The Lagniappe Sessions Vol. II. 13 performances from your favorite artists covering songs they’re inspired by on beautiful clear vinyl. Listen to the entire album now at Aquarium Drunkard. 

Direct download: GeorgiaAnneMuldrowTransmissions.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Our guest this week practically invented kosmische guitar. As a member of Neu!, Harmonia, and an early incarnation of Kraftwerk, Michael Rother's fluid, emotive playing helped define the sound of krautrock, as the music came up out of Germany's avant-garde underground in the late '60s and headed for the cosmos in the '70s. In 2019, he released of Solo, a multi-disc boxed set that documented the first part of his solo career and on September 4th, the Forst-based guitarist and composer follows that collection up with Solo II, which includes 1983's Lust , 1985's Süssherz und Tiefenschärfe, 1987's Traumreisen, 1996's Esperanza, 2004's Remember (The Great Adventure) and a brand-new album, Dreaming, which finds him returning to the spaced out pastoral drift of his classic albums.

He was kind enough to join us on Transmissions to discuss his musical youth in India, his days as a conscientious objector, his collaborations with Klaus Dinger, Roedelius, Moebius, and his experiences with younger musicians who were inspired by his sound, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth.

Direct download: transmissions-michael-rother.mp3
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Our guest this week is Colin Dickey, author of The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession With The UnexplainedBigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, phantom islands like Atlantis and Lemuria…the paranormal haunts our collective imagination. In his new book, Dickey smartly explores the lore woven into these topics, and along the way, he describes the way occult literature, pulp magazines, pop culture, and media myth-making influences and shapes our perception of these damned subjects. 

It’s a book packed with ideas, but easy to read, thoughtful, good humored, and sharp. Dickey determinedly engages with the currents of nationalism, colonialism, hucksterism or outright ill-intent, and racism that often accompanies these topics. This stuff is no longer confined only to the fringes. With the weirdness of our age getting ever weirder, the need to know how to navigate the strangeness is clear and present. Colin Dickey steps up to the task with your host, Jason P. Woodbury, this week on Transmissions. 

Direct download: transmissionscolindickey.mp3
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Since the late '90s, Phil Elverum has remained at work on one of the strangest and most beautiful discographies in independent rock. As The Microphones, he created genre-defining records like 2001's The Glow Pt. 2, which has been hailed by critics like Heather Phares, who praised its "kaleidoscopic sounds...pastoral folky ballads, playful symphonic pop, and gusts of white noise," and Elverum's "strangely hymnal lyrics." In 2003, he abandoned the name The Microphones and embarked upon a series of records under the Mount Eerie moniker. They not only retained that sense of spaciousness, but greatly expanded it, incorporating the influence of black metal and extended song lengths. In 2016, Genevieve Castree, and illustrator, musician, and cartoonist, and also Phil’s wife and the mother of their daughter Agathe, passed away from pancreatic cancer. Phil recorded a set of harrowing, beautiful, and extraordinarily human albums about the experience, including A Crow Looked at Me, Now Only, and Lost Wisdom Pt. 2, recorded with Julie Doiron. Along the way, he married actress Michelle Williams and moved to New York City, though that relationship has ended and he and Agathe are back in the Pacific Northwest these days. It’s hard to sum up Elverum’s story, but in a weird way, that’s kind of what he does on his new record, The Microphones in 2020, which features one, 44-minute long song. It’s his first time using the Microphones name since 2003, and to hear him express it, it’s kind of an album about identity. While it’s no less autobiographical than his recent records, it’s a step in a different direction, temporal poetry about transience and the way a person becomes a different person—but somehow, it's also how they stay the same person. Once again, we’re dabbling in paradox and contradiction. Elverum created a film to go along with it, in which he displays decades worth of personal photographs, occasionally brushing them from the frame, where they are replaced by new images. And that’s where we find Phil: in the midst of trying to figure out how time shapes and creates us, and how we shape and conceive of time. This week on Transmissions, he opens his (virtual) door and invites us in to discuss the new album, personal history, identity, and Weird Al.
Direct download: MicrophonesTransmissions.mp3
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This week on Transmissions, we’re joined by songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Jenn Wasner. She had planned on spending a fair amount of 2020 on the road playing guitar, keys, and singing with Bon Iver, but instead she’s spending it in a manner probably familiar to readers: watching TV and drinking coffee, thinking about the potential end of the world. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t kept busy: this week, her duo with Andy Stack, Wye Oak, releases its new EP No Horizon, a collaboration with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. And she’s got another EP out too, the recently released Like So Much Desirefrom her solo project, Flock of Dimes. Both projects are great showcases for her progressive songcraft, which pairs oblique and exploratory lyrics with swooning avant-pop. Wasner has never settled comfortable into just one mode—scanning through her discography reveals folk, synth-driven art rock, and guitar epics—but her inquisitive, intricate lyrics serve as a throughline. 

She joined us to discuss the role of imagination in creating the future, staying sane, what’s keeping her company on the turntable, working with Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver collective and what she’s learned from producing singer/songwriter Madeline Kenney.

Direct download: Jennwasnerpodcast.mp3
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Lots of records evoke a place. But Mossy Kilcher’s 1977 lost folk gem Northwind Calling does more than that: it welcomes the listener into the spirit of her treasured place of origin, Alaska. Born to homesteading parents who’d fled Switzerland  during World War II, Mossy was raised near Homer, Alaska, and her beguiling songs are filled with references to the land, paired with field recordings she made there. At 76, Mossy is experiencing a late career rediscovery following Tompkins Square Records reissue of the album, which earned her a great story in the New York Times by Grayson Haver Currin, who praised her “soft, welcoming voice,” which “floats over delicately picked acoustic guitar and an occasional banjo or fiddle, or her own recordings of birds.”

This week on Transmissions, Mossy joins host Jason P. Woodbury to discuss returning to her masterpiece more than four decades after its release, the utopian dreams of her parents, her relationship with the land, and the work of Jewel, her niece. Oh yeah, did we mention Jewel is Mossy’s niece? Northwind Calling is available now from Tompkins Square Records. 

Direct download: MossyTransmissions.mp3
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Our guest this week is Johnathan Ford of Unwed Sailor. For more than two decades, he’s led the post-rock band Unwed Sailor. In that time, Ford has steered the band—an ever-evolving collective that’s included members of Pedro the Lion, Fleet Foxes, Danielson Famile and more—through a searching string of albums, incorporating the influence of ambient music, shoegaze, new age, math rock, and drone into its body of work, which constitutes one of the great under-recognized discographies in all of indie rock. 

 

Unwed Sailor’s latest is called Look Alive, and it showcases the collective’s more driving side, marrying Peter Hook-inspired basslines to rumbling soundscapes that evidence the early influence of groups like Bedhead and Tortoise. I caught up with Ford to discuss his history in American indie rock, and how he made his way from the grinding math rock of Roadside Monument to the slow-core folk of Pedro the Lion, and Unwed Sailor’s vast genre-diverse tapestry of sounds—and all zones in between. 

Direct download: unwedpodcastfinal.mp3
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Welcome back to another episode of Transmissions podcast, our weekly talk show. Our guest today is Don Bryant. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Bryant was one of the premier songwriters at Hi Records, where he wrote material for Al Green, O.V. Wright, Syl Johnson, and his wife, Ann Peebles. He released Precious Soul under his own name in 1969, but mostly kept behind the scenes, baring a few gospel records he released along the way, but in 2016, he returned to making records under his own name with Don’t Give Up On Love, released by Fat Possum Records. 
 

He’s got a new one, too: You Make Me Feel. Produced by Scott Bomar, it’s a raw, live feeling record, but it also showcases the subtle lyricism and sophistication of Bryant’s songwriting chops. He joined host Jason P. Woodbury to discuss highlights from his massive songbook, his marriage and creative partnership with Ann Peebles, and his return to the stage.

Direct download: TransmissionsDonBryant.mp3
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Our guest this week: Joe Casey of Protomartyr. One of the most exciting rock bands of the last decade, the Detroit-based post punk band will release its fifth album, Ultimate Success Today via Domino Records July 17th. The word prophetic isn't a stretch. With its references to disease, institutional brutality, and gross inequality—symptoms of “a cosmic grief, beyond all comprehension”—the new record matches the apocalyptic mood of the US, and much of the world, in 2020. But it also speaks to the continued growth of the Protomartyr aesthetic, pairing guest vocals and contributions by players associated with free jazz and experimental music with reverb-drenched guitars and brittle rhythms. Writing about the album, Ana da Silva of the Raincoats says: “Our world has reached a point that makes us afraid: fires, floods, earthquakes, hunger, war, intolerance..there are cries of despair. Is there any hope?” For this episode of Transmissions, Jason P. Woodbury asks Casey to answer that question, as well as Protomartyr's artistic growth, the uncanny influence of Robocop, and other doomed and damned topics. A reminder: Transmissions relies on our supporters on Patreon. Everything at Aquarium Drunkard does—so if you enjoy this show, our mixes, the Lagniappe Sessions—where your favorite artists cover their favorite artists—our weekly Sidecar newsletter, and the rest of our efforts, consider helping us by pledging your support of our independent outfit. 

Direct download: protomartyrpodcast.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

We're back. This week, we’re featuring Jesse Locke’s interview with Jack Cooper of Modern Nature. The band’s new mini-album, Annual, is the follow up to the band’s debut, 2019’s How to Live. Inspired by the group’s time on the road in support of that album, this new one demonstrates the way live performance and improvisation has informed Cooper’s continually more expansive approach to Modern Nature.  

 

Drifting, seasonal, and often focused on the subtle saxophone work of Jeff Tobias of Sunwatchers, the album also features percussionist Jim Wallis and Kayla Cohen of Itasca, who’s been a guest here on Transmissions as well. That talk’s available in our archives, like all our past episodes. This show is sponsored—like everything at Aquarium Drunkard—by our listeners, who support us directly via Patreon. Supporters receive access to bonus audio, notes, special mixes and other projects. 

 

Direct download: Jackcooper.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Welcome to another episode of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast, our weekly interview series. Our guest this week is Lisa E. Harris, whose new album with Nicole Mitchell is called EarthSeed. It was recorded live at Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago and features the Black Earth Ensemble—an all-star collection of Chicago improvisers and free jazz artists—backing up the two composers.  

Presented alongside a gallery of artist Cauleen Smith’s Human_3.o Reading List, EarthSeed was inspired by the work of Octavia E. Butler and will be released June 22nd, on Butler’s birthday. It’s the third album from Mitchell to draw from Butler’s work. It also represents a return to the ideas of Butler for Lisa Harris. An interdisciplinary artist, composer, and activist from Houston, Texas, Harris had been at work on an opera called Lilith before even learning of Butler’s work—but says that learning the author’s pioneering science fiction opened her up to new worlds of thought. 

Direct download: EarthSeedPodcast.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

Welcome to another edition of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast, our weekly interview show featuring artists reflecting on their creative process, history, and work. This week, counter culture icon David Crosby. Anyone familiar with his Twitter feed knows Croz is a fount of opinions and insight, capable of immense warmth and good humor, but never one to pull punches. On July 31st, he’s reissuing the catalog of CPR, his cheekily named late ’90s and early 2000s supergroup with guitarist Jeff Pevar and Crosby’s son, keyboardist James Raymond. Alongside the trio’s two studio albums, 1998’s CPR and 2001’s Just Like Gravity, two live albums, Live at Cuesta College and Live at the Wiltern (featuring guest musicians Graham Nash, Marc Cohn, and Phil Collins) round out the overview of the group that set Crosby off on a late career renaissance that continues with recent albums like 2018’s Here If You Listen.

A quick note. Crosby spoke with Transmissions co-host Jason P. Woodbury as the mass Black Lives Matter that began in late May were beginning. The conversation does not reflect the remarkable events of the last few weeks. The latest issues of our Sidecar newsletter is dedicated specifically to the inspirational struggle for justice happening in the streets of America right now.

Direct download: Transmissions_-_David_Crosby.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

And we’re back. Welcome to another edition of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast, our weekly series of conversations with artists, writers, and creators. This week: a discussion with sitarist and ambient composer Ami Dang, whose new project is called Meditations Mixtape, Vol. 1. Dang is a multi-instrumentalist from Baltimore, and we reached her there to discuss her particular fusion of sounds and the way she explores the middle ground between what’s considered sacred—and what isn’t

You can her her new album wherever you listen to music—we recommend heading over to Bandcamp to support Dang and Leaving Records directly by purchasing it digitally or on cassette. We'll be back on Wednesday with a conversation with David Crosby. Thanks for listening.

 
We'll be back on Wednesday with a talk with David Crosby.
Direct download: Ami_Dang_Podcast.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

And we’re back. Welcome to another installment of Transmissions. For this episode, we’re bringing you one from the Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard’s archives: a live conversation with Ben Kramer and our founder Justin Gage, discussing 15 years of Aquarium Drunkard. Though RFAD is on pause, keep your eyes open for the eventual return of the Tonight Zone, Kramer’s late night call-in show. For now, tune in and drift as Kramer and Gage discuss the evolution and vision behind Aquarium Drunkard.

Direct download: 15_Years_of_Aquarium_Drunkard_Live_on_The_Tonight_Zone.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 10:15am PDT

And we’re back. Welcome to the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast—our series of strange conversations for strange times. My guest this week is pedal steel player Luke Schneider. He’s got a brand new album out this month called Altar of Harmony, released by the venerable Third Man Records. Luke is best known as a sideman for country artists like Margo Price and Orville Peck, but he takes the pedal steel for a cosmic ride on his new album, conjuring up uncanny sounds that seem to bend the ear, recalling Robert Fripp guitars one moment, or the shapeshifting keyboards of Harold Budd the next, but all fashioned from raw pedal steel performances. It’s a gorgeous record—another example of Cosmic Pastoral aesthetic Schneider’s friend and collaborator William Tyler has discussed here on Aquarium Drunkard.

The new record could be “justifiably be described as ‘new age’ in the most essential sense,” writes previous Transmissions guest Douglas Mcgowan in his bio. It “represents a radical new approach to the versatile and cosmic instrument of the steel guitar…This is something new under the sun, a total reinvention of an iconic instrument. Quite literally, there has never been anything else quite like it.”

But we’ll let Luke describe what he’s done on this record himself via this interview we recorded back on Mother’s Day. Thanks for tuning in. A reminder that you can rate and review us on Apple Podcasts—and that you can use the handy share buttons on Spotify, Stitcher, and Tune In to put our show directly into the various feeds of people who might enjoy it. Aquarium Drunkard is funded by our supporters on Patreon, so if you like what we do—this podcast, Justin Gage’s weekly two-hour show on Sirius XMU, our mixtapes, our 24-hour pirate radio stream, the Lagniappe Sessions, where your favorite artists cover their favorite artists—consider chipping in a couple bucks over there. We do appreciate it. We’ll be back next week with a special archived broadcast from Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard’s The Tonight Zone—a longform interview with AD founder Justin Gage. But first, Luke Schneider, exploring his Altar of Harmony.
Direct download: LukePodcast.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Were joined by singer/songwriter/producer/guitarist Steve Gunn for this episode of the Transmissions podcast—completing our round of talks with the participants of the Gunn/Lattimore/Tyler canceled tour. But there’s much more to hear here than another pandemic rap. Topics of conversation include the new Livin’ In Between EP, which pairs Gunn’s last Lagniappe Session with a brand-new cover of Neil Young’s “Motion Pictures,” Steve’s hardcore youth, immersion in the experimental Philadelphia scene, and his longstanding creative partnership with drummer John Trucinski.

Direct download: A_Conversation_With_Steve_Gunn.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 4:48pm PDT

On this episode, we caught up with guitarist and songwriter Buck Curran. Formerly one half of the psychedelic duo Arborea, Buck is currently situated in Bergamo, Italy, in one of the areas hit hardest by COVID-19. Though he’s quarantining with his family, he decided now was the right time to release his third solo album, No Love is Sorrow

It’s a gorgeous and comforting record. Writing about it for AD’s Bandcamping feature, Tyler Wilcox said the lp was full of “melancholy but uplifting folk visions” from Curran, whose label Obsolete has also released tributes to Jack Rose and Robbie Basho, as well as archival works by the latter.  “There are traces of both Basho and Rose in No Love Is Sorrow, of course,” Wilcox. writes, “But Buck has his own thing happening, too, managing to expertly balance ominous vibes with heartfelt devotionals.” We connected via Skype to discuss his journey from Maine to Italy, how the new album came together, quarantining with family, and of course the episodes of Star Trek he’s been watching. 

Aquarium Drunkard is powered by Patreon, which will allow readers and listeners to directly support our online magazine as it expands its scope while receiving access to our secret stash, including bonus audio, exclusive podcasts, printed ephemera, and vinyl records. Your support will help keep an independent cultural resource alive and healthy in 2020 and beyond.

Direct download: A_Conversation_With_Buck_Curran.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:49am PDT

Welcome to the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast, and this episode, we’re encouraging you to watch UFOria, a 1985 science fiction comedy starring Cindy Williams, Fred Ward, and Harry Dean Stanton. At once sweet, earnest, silly, and wry,it was a flop upon initial release and has subsequently slipped through the cracks of cinematic history—but thanks to an enterprising YouTuber, you can join AD’s Jason P. Woodbury and Chad DePasquale in falling under its strange spell.

“This is one of those movies in which you walk in not expecting much, and then something great happens, and you laugh, and you start paying more attention, and then you realize that a lot of great things are happening, that this is one of those rare movies that really has it,” Roger Ebert wrote in his review. “UFOria is not just another witless Hollywood laugh machine, but a movie with intelligence and a sly, sardonic style of humor. You don’t have to shut down half of your brain in order to endure it.”

Aquarium Drunkard is powered by Patreon, which will allow readers and listeners to directly support our online magazine as it expands its scope while receiving access to our secret stash, including bonus audio, exclusive podcasts, printed ephemera, and vinyl records. Your support will help keep an independent cultural resource alive and healthy in 2020 and beyond.

Direct download: UFOria.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:00am PDT

And we’re back. For this episode of Transmissions, we’re joined by author, WFMU DJ, and historian of all things “heady,” Jesse Jarnow. His writing has been published by Relix, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times, and in addition to his beautifully written and deeply researched books, which include Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock, Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America, and Wasn’t That a Time: The Weavers, the Blacklist, and the Battle for the Soul of America, Jarnow pens a recurring column for Aquarium Drunkard called Blanks and Postage, where he covers the intersection of psychedelics, art, and technology. His weekly WFMU program, The Frow Show, is an essential listen. With society in a state of monumental flux, it felt like the perfect time for Transmissions co-host Jason P. Woodbury to ring Jesse up to discuss the radical possibilities of the current moment, science fiction, various dystopian and utopian happenings, jam culture’s ahead of the curve embrace of live streaming tech, and his next book, which will document the alternate history of the recording industry via bootlegs and grey market releases.

Direct download: A_Conversation_With_Jesse_Jarnow.mp3
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Direct download: A_Conversation_With_Mary_Lattimore.mp3
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Direct download: A_Conversation_With_Patterson_Hood.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:42pm PDT

For the last decade, William Tyler’s widescreen guitar epics have told wordless stories, about forgotten histories, American myths, backroads, and mystic visions. On this episode of Transmissions he discusses traveling to Nashville as the pandemic spread and the art he’s been enjoying while hunkered down.

Direct download: A_Conversation_With_William_Tyler.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:45am PDT

Social distance dispatching. Some background, to start. In recent weeks, we've been assembling elements—interviews, readings, scripts, segments—for the next season of the Transmissions podcast. But the onset of global pandemic has caused us to consider: What feels important right now? Would discussing it help? To that end, we're taking the Transmissions podcast weekly for now, and featuring check-ins between AD founder Justin Gage and editor Jason P. Woodbury. We have a lot of plans for the podcast in the coming weeks, from guest interviews to audio collages, but expect it to be loose. Stay in, wash your hands, reach out to those who need you. Remember you need them too. Stay in touch.

Direct download: Strange_Days_-_A_Conversation.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 9:36am PDT

New year, new decade. Welcome to the future, it’s 2020 and you’re tuned into Transmissions, Aquarium Drunkard’s monthly podcast, featuring, as always, sounds and ideas that inspire us, the team behind Aquarium Drunkard. Your hosts are founder and editor Justin Gage, and editor Jason P. Woodbury. Our guest this episode, is guitarist and composer Jeff Parker.

Parker is best known for his work with Tortoise, the Chicago Underground Quartet, and Isotope 217, and he’s worked with a wide cast of notable players, including Brian Blade, Bill Callahan, George Lewis, Makaya McCraven, Joshua Abrams, Rob Mazurek, Joey DeFrancesco, and many, many more. In 2016, he released The New Breed, a tribute to his late father, and now, a record for his mother: Suite for Max Brown. Like The New Breed, the new LP blends deep, Dilla-Inspired grooves, clipped R&B samples, and Parker’s beautiful guitar—often languid, occasionally frenzied, but always powerfully soulful. 

The record is yet another winner from Chicago’s International Anthem, which has established itself as one of the key labels in underground jazz, and it’s released in collaboration with the legendary Nonesuch imprint.

Episode playlist: William Tyler-Four Corners + Jeff Parker-Go Away + Jeff Parker-Fusion Swirl + Jeremy Cunningham featuring Jeff Parker-1985 + 「ゴドメス星人」より侵略者のテーマ

Art via D. Norsen

Direct download: Transmissions____Jeff_Parker_on_Suite_for_Max_Brown.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 2:52pm PDT

Welcome to the final 2019 episode of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast. On this episode, we sit down with educator, synth pioneer, and all around genuine soul Don Muro. Earlier this year, Flannelgraph Records continued its archival dig into his treasure trove of sounds with a reissue of Anthology, his 1981 LP featuring jazzy funk, synth pop, and progressive fusion rock. Back before synth culture was a thing, Muro and his compatriots adhered to a DIY ethic. I sat down with Don to talk not only about how he got his hands on advanced musical tech, but how he started his own label to distribute his music, and what it’s been like to see a whole new generation embrace it. Then, Josh Neas offers a personal reflection on Dead Man's Pop, the 2010 Replacement boxset that creates a kind of alternate timeline version of the band's 1989 lp Don't Tell a Soul.

Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast_-__Don_Muro___The_Replacements.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 1:12pm PDT

Boys and girls, All Hallows’ Eve is here, and you’re tuned into the October edition of the Transmissions podcast. The veil is thin and we’re back with another round of discussions and digressions. On this episode, Chicago’s Whitney discusses Forever Turned Around, the group’s sophomore lp. Then, New Age pioneer Don Slepian takes us back to the early ’80s. And to close out, a long ramble about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ haunted instant classic, Ghosteen.

 

Whitney’s second new album, Forever Turned Around, is out now on Secretly Canadian records. Like their debut, Light Upon the Lake, it’s a balmy, breezy record. Produced by Brad Cook of Bon Iver and Johnathan Rado of Foxygen, it sees the duo of Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich expanding and deepening their sound. Sitting down for a backstage interview with AD, Kakacek says “more of our own true emotions” made it into the new songs, which were informed by the constant touring that followed the band’s first album. “We knew better what it felt like to play them every night.”

 

You might recognize Don Slepian’s name from Light in the Attic’s I Am the Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America 1950-1990 compilation, where he appeared alongside Laraaji, Joanna Brouk, Iasos, Steven Halpern and other early practitioners of cosmic devotional music. Two of his early ‘80s works have recently been reissued—Sea of Bliss by Numero Group and New Dawn on Morning Trip—and he had plenty to tell guest interviewer Jesse Locke about those heady, early days.

 

Earlier this month, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released their 17th studio album, Ghosteen. A double album, ambient in nature and featuring two longform spoken word performances, it’s one of Cave’s most tender, centered on the loss of his son, and the idea of “a migrating spirit.” Marty Sartini Garner, longtime Aquarium Drunkard writer and a frequent guest on this podcast, wrote a review of the album for AV Club, praising its “otherworldly and spiritual quality.” He and co-host Jason P. Woodbury got together to discuss.

 

Direct download: Whitney_Don_Slepian_Nick_Cave_s_Ghosteen__A_Discussion.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 3:00pm PDT

Welcome to the September edition of our monthly Transmissions podcast, our series of conversations with musicians and artists about why—and how—their art exists. On this episode, Aquarium Drunkard founder Justin Gage sits down at AD HQ with Devendra Banhart to spin selections and discuss his new album, Ma. Then, Jason P. Woodbury joins Throwing Muses founder, solo artist, and writer Kristin Hersh backstage to discuss future sounds from Throwing Muses and Don’t Suck, Don’t Die, her book about her friend, the departed Vic Chesnutt. And to close out, Jason rings up Bill Orcutt, whose latest release, the sparse electric guitar noir, Odds Against Tomorrow, sees release October 11th.

Direct download: Devendra_Banhart_Kristin_Hersh_Bill_Orcutt.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Welcome to a late summer edition of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast. On this episode, we’ve got two talks taped at AD HQ in Los Angeles. Up first, Lower Dens’ Jana Hunter. On September 6th, Lower Dens releases its fourth LP The Competition. The conversation reflected on Hunter’s solo beginnings, the formation of Lower Dens and the project’s subsequent sonic evolution over the past ten years. Also discussed were the intervening years between 2015’s Escape From Evil, Hunter’s experience with gender dysphoria, and coming out the other side. And on side B: Rain Phoenix, musician, actress, and host of the LaunchLeft podcast, which returns for its second season soon. Rain founded Aleka’s Attic in the late ‘80s with her late brother River Phoenix, and has recorded as paper cranes and with the “galactic country” band Venus and the Moon. On October 31st—the same day River passed away in 1993—she releases her debut solo album, River.

Direct download: Lower_Dens___Rain_Phoenix.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 3:56pm PDT

You’re tuned into the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions broadcast…welcome back. We’re happy to launch the third season of our out-there conversations about art, culture, and whatever else gets our imaginations going. Glad to have you along for the ride. This month, we bring you the uncut edition of Justin Gage’s conversation with comedian, musician, actor, songwriter, and all-around creator Tim Heidecker. Heidecker put together a playlist of the classic rock that inspired his latest, What The Broken Hearted Do, and walked us through it, noting what turns him on about tracks by Joni Mitchell, Warren Zevon, Judee Sill, Songs: Ohia, and more. Then, Marty Sartini Garner reviews the recent John Coltrane boxset, Coltrane ’58: The Prestige Recordings. Compiling every song Coltrane cut as a bandleader in that pivotal year, and captures him at a crucial stage in his journey, his first true attempt to will his sax into new territory. And to close out, Justin sits down with poet and songwriter Jonathan Rice live at Gold Diggers, to discuss both his haikus—optimized for the social media age—and new album, The Long Game.

Direct download: Tim_Heidecker_John_Coltrane__58_Jonathan_Rice.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 8:31pm PDT

Direct download: Foxygen_Rozi_Plain_Juan_Wauters.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

Welcome to the March edition of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast, our monthly collection of audio esoterica and conversations—superbloom edition. We’ve got a pretty interesting collection of talks this month.

First up, actor, writer, and covert ethnomusicologist Jason Mantzoukas joins co-host Jason P. Woodbury at Gold Diggers Sound in East Hollywood to discuss the ways improv comedy and jazz inform his work on shows like The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Big Mouth, and Parks and Recreation.

Then, an audio version of the postscript Josh Neas wrote for the late Sara Romweber, who passed away earlier this month at 55. As a member of Let’s Active, Romweber was a pivotal part of the Chapel Hill indie rock scene—as a North Carolinian, Josh brought his ground-level view to her legacy and impact on the world of independent rock & roll.

And finally, we join Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low at the Valley Bar in downtown Phoenix, to discuss the band’s 12th album, Double Negative, a noisy, some times claustrophobic look at our present moment. Perhaps no record has more accurately captured the confusion and tension of the current digital and societal moment.

Direct download: 01_Jason_Mantzoukas_Remembering_Sara_Romweber_LOW.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Greetings from the rainy west. Welcome to the February episode of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast. This episode, we’ve got a duo of musicians whose art blurs the lines between minimalism, the avant-garde, and Americana (whatever that word means in this fractured age). This episode, we’re joined by guitarist William Tyler. You might recognize him from our podcast’s theme song, “Four Corners,” or the essay he recently penned for Aquarium Drunkard, “Cosmic Pastoral,” which drew lines connecting the tranquil sounds of Windham Hill to cosmic new age, the modern jazz and classical sounds of ECM, and William’s own music. Your host Justin Gage sat down with him at Gold Diggers in East Hollywood as part of our recurring Talk Show series, to discuss and hear live selections from his most new record, Goes West.

But first, we head to Wickenburg, Arizona where Jason P. Woodbury sat down with Bruce Hornsby to discuss his brand new, just announced album, Absolute Zero. It’s out April 12th, and like everything he does, it’s hard to put it in a box. Self-produced, the record features collaborations with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Brad Cook, ECM veteran Jack DeJohnette, guitarist Blake Mills, yMusic, Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, and others. There are moments inspired by jazz, others inspired by classical, some which draw on Hornsby’s folk and roots influences.

Direct download: Bruce_Hornsby___William_Tyler.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 8:01pm PDT

The owls are not what they seem. In fact, maybe nothing is exactly what it seems. Welcome to the January 2019 edition of Aquarium Drunkard’s Transmissions podcast, our monthly audio digest of the strange, fascinating, and out there. In this episode— the first of the new year—your hosts Justin Gage and Jason P. Woodbury pay a visit to the Washington town of Twin Peaks, with a conversation about the cult TV show, its many mysteries, and its 2017 revival. Then, a talk with guitarist North Carolina-based guitarist Sarah Louise, whose beguiling new record, Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars, will see release this week via Thrill Jockey Records. To close, Desert Oracle creator and editor Ken Layne joins us to discuss the cosmic vastness of the desert, and of course, Oumuamua, the first interstellar object detected passing through the Solar System. Does it signal the arrival of some faraway intelligence? What does it say about the unknown? And more pressingly, what does it say about our collective imagination?

When David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks premiered on CBS in 1990, there was nothing like it. The saga, which veered from comedy to psychic drama to cosmic horror, sometimes within the same episode, hailed the beginning of an era during which television would become a format fit for auteurs. While it only ran two seasons—plus a film, Fire Walk With Me, released in 1992—the mythology it established proved an enduring one, the subject of spinoff books, audio tapes, and discussion in secretive corners of the newly established World Wide Web. In 2017, Lynch and Frost finally made another trip with Twin Peaks: The Return, a meditation on age, trauma, and possibilities. Here, co-hosts Justin Gage and Jason P. Woodbury discuss the show’s influence and impact, on the world of television, fiction, and music.

On January 25, guitarist Sarah Louise returns with Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars, a spectral collection of electronically-treated guitar music. Louise is rooted in Appalachian roots music, but her approach is not restrained, folding in elements of spiritual jazz and new age. Most of all, her music is situated in the concept of wilderness. These are ecological compositions, born from the soil and inspired by the flora and fauna of North Carolina. Nature is really the one continuous thread in my life,” Louise says, and with this record, “[I’ve realized] this is my life’s purpose: I want to share the possibility of connection with the Earth with other people.”

Just as 2018 ended, author Ken Layne published an article on Popula titled “Happy Year of the Alien Invasion!” Layne is the host of Desert Oracle, a weekly radio show and podcast as well as a pocket-sized field guide to the American Southwest. He’s interested in the idea of extraterrestrial life. We hooked up with him to discuss Oumuamua, the subject of his article as well as the idea of the desert as sort of a spiritual beacon for seekers and people interested in the unknown. “Lawrence of Arabia had this great answer for the inevitable question you’d get in England, you know: ‘Why do you love the desert so much?’ His answer was, ‘Because it’s clean.’ It’s a very heavy answer,” Layne says. “It’s this kind of stark landscape that you can project yourself upon…”

Episode Playlist: William Tyler – Four Corners ++ Angelo Badalamenti  – Dance of the Dream Man ++ Angelo Badalamenti – Montage from Fire Walk With Me ++ Angelo Badalamenti – Freshly Squeezed ++ Julee Cruise – Floating ++ Julee Cruise – Mysteries of Love ++ Angelo Badalamenti – Night Life in Twin Peaks (excerpt) ++ Angelo Badalamenti – The Pink Room ++ Julee Cruise -Into the Night ++ Angelo Badalamenti – Audrey’s Dance ++ Angelo Badalamenti – Don’t Do Anything I Wouldn’t Do ++ Angelo Badalamenti — Love Theme From Twin Peaks ++ Angelo Badalamenti – Laura Palmer’s Theme ++ Thought Gang – The Black Dog Runs at Night ++ Sarah Louise – Daybreak ++ Sarah Louise -Journey in Satchidananda (Alice Coltrane) ++ Sarah Louise – Floating Rhododendron ++ Sarah Louise – Late Night Healing Choir ++ Alice Coltrane – Hara Sira ++ Sarah Louise – R Mountain ++ Mary Lattimore – Remember When Your Mom Wore Big Glasses and Played Her Harp

Direct download: Twin_Peaks___Desert_Oracle___Sarah_Louise.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Dip into this nog. Welcome to the December edition of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast. We just published our massive and overstuffed Year in Review feature, and to celebrate, members of the AD crew —including your hosts, Justin Gage and Jason P. Woodbury, plus Tyler Wilcox and Marty Sartini Garner, to discuss the year in music. Touched on: some of our favorite albums, essential reissues and archival sets, and what music the AD team is planning on spending time with in the new year.

Then, Aquarium Drunkard veteran Joe Crosby cozies up by the proverbial hearth to discuss A Charlie Brown Christmas, a 1965 special based on Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts characters. Featuring the music of the Vince Guaraldi Trio, it’s not only a hallmark of the season, but a truly radical exploration of spiritual authenticity. In a world of cheap glitz, it remains a work of genuine, heartfelt art.

Direct download: Year_In_Review___A_Charlie_Brown_Christmas.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 2:03pm PDT

Welcome to the November edition of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast. It's nearly the end of the year, and we're looking back on 2018's Lagniappe Sessions. Launched in 2011, the Lagniappe Sessions is an audio series that features artists covering songs that mean something to them.

Hailed as "an amazing deep cut creation factory" by Jesse Jarnow, author of  Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America and Wasn’t That A Time: The Weavers, the Blacklist, and the Battle for the Soul of America, the series is one of the most popular elements of Aquarium Drunkard. This episode, we discuss sessions by the Mountain Goats, Kevin Morby, the Raccoonists (Jeff, Spencer, and Sammy Tweedy), Mountain Man, Sarah Louise, and many more. Then, Aquarium Drunkard's Jason P. Woodbury speaks with Lola Kirke. The Mozart in the Jungle and Gemini star just released a new Christmas single, "Cross You Off My List/Little Drummer Girl."

And rounding things out: an interview with CAN founder ç. A pivotal figure in the world of experimental music, Schmidt recently co-authored a book with Rob Young, All Gates Open: The Story of CAN, and he's got a new album out of minimalist piano pieces, 5 Klavierstücke. Aquarium Drunkard contributor Kyle MacKinnel brings us a talk that finds Schmidt reflecting on his creative process and modern sounds by the Wu-Tang Clan. 

Direct download: Irmin_Schmidt_CAN___Lola_Kirke___Lagniappe_Sessions.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 4:19pm PDT

Happy Halloween and welcome to the October edition of the Transmissions podcast. Hope you enjoyed our bonus podcast episode, featuring AD’s Halloween mix. If you haven’t heard it, check your feed or MixCloud. It’s essential listening. Our topics today aren’t quite as spooky, but they’re good nonetheless. First, Kurt Vile. Earlier this month he released his seventh lp, the beatific Bottle It In via Matador Records. He swung by the AD HQ to sit down with Justin and discuss the new record, recording with Dean Ween of Ween, the influence of Sonic Youth, working with Kim Gordon, and how collaborating with his “sister” Courtney Barnett helped shape the new album. The edited version of our talk is up now, but here’s the full spiel, uncut and undiluted. Then, we’re dive into the ECM Records vaults to discuss the first installment of the AD guide to the long-running jazz, classical, and experimental music label. And finally, we sit down with Aquarium Drunkard contributor Jay Steel of General General to discuss his label and Vinyl Me Please’s recent reissue of New Orleans pianist James Booker’s Lost Paramount Tapes.

Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast____Kurt_Vile_ECM_Records_James_Booker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:08pm PDT

AD Halloween Intro ++ Eartha Kitt – I Want To Be Evil (AD Halloween Version) ++ The Munsters – Munster Creep ++ Bob McFadden & Dor – The Mummy ++ Danny Ware – The Zombie Stomp ++ The Sound Offs – The Angry Desert ++ The Blue Echoes – It’s Witchcraft ++ The Tomko’s – The Spook ++ Scotty Macgregor And His Spooks – I’m A Monster ++ Screaming Lord Sutch – She’s Fallen In Love With A Monster Man ++ The Gories – Casting My Spell ++ Baron Daemon & Vampires – Ghost Guitars ++ Elvira – End of Side One ++ The Five Blobs – The Blob ++ Vincent Price – A Hornbook For Witches (AD Halloween Version) ++ The One Way Streets – Jack The Ripper ++ The Swamp Rats – Louie Louie ++ Oma Liddie – J. J. Jackson and the Jackals ++ Bill Buchanan – Beware ++ Ronnie Cook & The Gaylads – Goo Goo Muck ++ Frankenstein – This Is The Fiend ++ Donovan – Wild Witch Lady ++ The Frantics – Werewolf ++ Radio Spot – I Was A Teenage Werewolf ++ The Cramps – I Was A Teenage Werewolf ++ Donovan – Hurdy Gurdy Man ++ Evariste – Connais Tu L’animal Qui Inventa Le Calcul Intégral ++ The Frantics – The Whip ++ Charles Bernstein – Jail Cell ++ The Vault of Horror ++ Lee Kristofferson – Night of The Werewolf ++ Steve King – Satan Is Her Name ++ Kip Tyler – She’s My Witch ++ The Madmen – Haunted ++ Don Hinson & The Rigamorticians – Riboflavin-Flavored, Non-Carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood ++ Bobby “Boris” Pickett – Monster Mash (AD edit) ++ Billy Lee Riley – Nightmare Mash ++ Wade Denning & Kay Lande – Halloween ++ Los Holys – Campo de Vampiros ++ Otis Redding – Trick or Treat ++ Monsters Crash The Pajama Party ++ Bobby Bare – Vampira ++ The Sonics – Strychnine ++ Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages – All Black & Hairy ++ Chance Halladay – Deep Sleep ++ The Weirdos – E.S.P. ++ Leroy Bowman – Graveyard ++ The Frantics – Werewolf ++ The Dynamic Kapers – Alligator Wine ++ The Surfmen – Ghost Hop ++ The Connoisseurs – Count Macabre ++ The Poets – Dead

Direct download: Aquarium_Drunkard_Show_Halloween_Edition.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 4:46pm PDT

We’re back. The weather is beginning to turn. We’re almost there. Welcome to the September edition of the Transmissions podcast. On this episode, we sit down with three legends of independent music: psychedelic singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock, Giant Sand leader Howe Gelb, and Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate. Since emerging in the ‘80s, they’ve amassed incredible catalogs, and they’re all still making vital and poetic records. We spoke earlier this month at HOCO Fest, a multi-day festival in Tucson, Arizona. Sitting down at the KXCI studio at Hotel Congress, the three riffed on their years making music, how their sounds have evolved over the years, and what a lifelong commitment to making art looks like. But first, our conversation with Matt Sullivan of Light in the Attic Records, one of our longtime favorite reissue labels. We spoke live at Gold Diggers in East Hollywood as part of our Talk Show series – a set of live conversations centered around the worlds of music, art, film and beyond. LITA has released records by Rodriguez, Betty Davis, Lee Hazlewood, Jim Sullivan, Serge Gainsbourg, and has launched expansive archives like the Native North America and Japan Archival projects. How did Light in the Attic get started? Live on stage at Gold Diggers, Sullivan explained it all.


Welcome to the August edition of the Transmissions podcast, just under the wire. We’ve got a great episode this month. First, Aquarium Drunkard’s Mary Sartini Garner sits down with Nate Chinen, author of a new book, Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century. A longtime New York Times critic and scholar, Chinen’s new book explores the shape of modern jazz, examining how the art form has incorporated new genres, how jazz education has shaped a new generation of players, and where jazz is headed.

Then, hosts Jason P. Woodbury and Justin Gage discuss Justin’s experiences in Japan’s kissa bars — small, intimate bars/coffeehouses where the music selection isn’t just incidental — it’s essential to the identity of the place. The concept is gaining traction in the US as well, so we ponder what makes such a dedicated listening space so appealing. Then, Jason sits down with visual artist and musician Kyle Field. For 20 years, he’s played under the Little Wings banner. He’s got a new split 12” out now with Maher Shalal Hash Baz, which we discussed, along with a look at his history and what life on the road looks like for a DIY artist in 2018.

Direct download: Nate_Chinen___Kissa_Bars___Little_Wings.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 7:49pm PDT

Humid funk out there, but we’re keeping cool. You are tuned into the July edition of the Aquarium Drunkard transmissions podcast, our monthly series of features interviews, and audio esoterica. On this episode, Justin Gage sits down with crate digger and producer Yosuke Kitazawa, to discuss Light in the Attic Records’ Japan Archival reissue series, which kicked off last year with the essential rock/folk/and pop compilation Even a Tree Can Shed Tears, picks up next month with a grip of Haruomi Honsono reissues, and will eventually feature Japanese new age, AOR, ambient, and electronic music.

Then, we crack the spine on author Jason Heller’s new book, Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded. Focusing on the 1970s, Heller explores the myriad ways science fiction influenced music across genre lines, from the rock of Bowie to the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra, and examines the changing ways we continue to conceive ideas about “the future.” But first, Gage and co-host Jason P. Woodbury sit down to reflect on the passing of Richard Swift. A prolific producer and sideman—known for his work with Damien Jurado, the Shins, the Black Keys/Dan Auerbach, Laetitia Sadier, Foxygen, David Bazan, the Pretenders, Starflyer 59, Kevin Morby, and countless more—Swift also proved himself one of the most idiosyncratic voices in indie rock on his own solo LPs. Recorded at the beginning of the month, just after the news had broken, the talk focuses on his legacy, history, of course, his songs.

Last year, Los Angeles-based label Light in the Attic issued the first installment in its sprawling Japan Archive series, Even a Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973. “In compiling these artists, the compilation shares the output of a national scene and time, as well as the struggles and triumphs of a generation that forged its own identity and opened their collective minds, and culture, to new forms of expression,” wrote our own Ben Kramer, reviewing the set. The compilation signaled the start of an ambitious project spanning the music of Japan, featuring everything from Japanese rock & roll to new age. For this episode of the podcast, Justin sat down with producer Yosuke Kitazawa to discuss what’s to come.

Early in July, word broke that Richard Swift had passed. A beloved musician and artist, Swift’s history with Aquarium Drunkard is extensive. In addition to posting his collection of covers with Damien Jurado, Other People’s Songs, here on the site, Swift was responsible for one of our all-time favorite mixes, Playing Dumb, sourced from 45s at his National Freedom studios. Swift was an American original, and we’re deeply saddened by his loss. On the off-chance you’re unfamiliar, we put together a playlist featuring some of our favorite cuts from his solo work, Richard Swift: Try To Write a Book Each Time I Speak. In addition to this talk, it’s our tribute to Swift. Godspeed, Dickie.

Author Jason Heller exists with one foot in science fiction, one in the world of music. In his new book, Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded, he unites them. Focusing on the 1970s and featuring a wide cast of characters including David Bowie, Samuel Delany, Sun Ra, George Clinton, Hawkwind, Michael Moorcock, Michael Jackson, and dozens and dozens more, the book posits that science fiction helped give musicians a framework for some of their most forward ideas. The stars looked very different, and the continue to shine in fascinating ways.

If you enjoyed our show, please feel free rate and review on Apple Podcasts. Even better? You can personally tell a friend to check it out — by sharing the show via Spotify, Stitcher, MixCloud, or the TuneIn app. As always, tune into the weekly two-hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, which can now be heard every Wednesday at 7pm PST with encore broadcasts on-demand via the SIRIUS/XM app. Follow AD on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Collage image by Michael J. Hentz.

Dig into the podcast archives, which include in-depth looks at the Voyager Golden Record and the Jesus People psychedelia movement, Laraaji’s new age public access show Celestrana, how Numero Group revitalized the natural sound series Environments for the app age, and how Art Bell’s late night conspiracy theories on Coast to Coast AM influenced broadcasters all over the world.

We’ve recently resurrected the bi-monthly Aquarium Drunkard email newsletter. Every two weeks, get interviews, mixtapes, cultural ephemera, and more delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to receive it, here.

Direct download: Yosuke_Kitazawa___Remembering_Richard_Swift___Strange_Stars.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 3:10pm PDT

And we’re back. Welcome to the June edition of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast, our monthly series of features, interviews, and audio esoterica. This month, we have two in-depth conversations. Up first, Jim James of My Morning Jacket and singer/songwriter Cornelia Murr. They’ve both got new records at the ready. On June 29, James releases Uniform Distortion, a collection of celebratory and clamorous rock & roll jams, via ATO Records. And on July 13th, Murr releases Lake Tear of the Clouds, a spooky set of songs produced by James, featuring guest vocals from Lola Kirke of Mozart in the Jungle and a stunning cover of Yoko Ono’s feminist anthem “I Have a Woman Inside My Soul.” Though the records sound vastly different, they also feel connected and of a piece. Together, the two had fascinating insights about the worlds of social media, David Lynch, and the act of creating — and sustaining — the proper mood on a long-player record.

Then, painter and photographer Robbie Simon. Our conversation was recorded live at Gold Diggers in East Hollywood as part of our new monthly series of conversations there called Talk Show, centered around the worlds of music, art, film and beyond. You’ve likely seen Simon’s work with the former Transmissions guests the Allah-Las, and their Reverberation Radio series. His images are bold — referencing the geometric shapes of Alexander Calder — but soft too, evocative of ‘60s West Coast pop art and jazz album illustrations.

“Music has been my gateway to everything. Playing music, I did every poster, every record, everything I could possibly do for the bands I was in, my friend’s bands…that was always the most creative and interested I could be for myself.”

“I develope work singularly and decide if it should be a painting or a design. It’s not an exact process…I do 30 versions of every piece, in every color possible…it’s just this really tangible piece of work that can go in any direction.”

If you enjoyed our show, please feel free rate and review on Apple Podcasts. Even better? You can personally tell a friend to check it out — by sharing the show via Spotify, Stitcher, MixCloud, or the TuneIn app. As always, tune into the weekly two-hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, which can now be heard every Wednesday at 7pm PST with encore broadcasts on-demand via the SIRIUS/XM app. Follow AD on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Collage image by Michael J. Hentz; design by D Norsen

Dig into the podcast archives, which include in-depth looks at the Voyager Golden Record and the Jesus People psychedelia movement, Laraaji’s new age public access show Celestrana, how Numero Group revitalized the natural sound series Environments for the app age, and how Art Bell’s late night conspiracy theories on Coast to Coast AM influenced broadcasters all over the world.

We’ve recently resurrected the bi-monthly Aquarium Drunkard email newsletter. Every two weeks, get audio esoterica, interviews, mixtapes, cultural ephemera, and more delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to receive it, here.

Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast____Jim_James___Cornelia_Murr___Robbie_Simon.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

And we’re back. Welcome to the May edition of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast, our recurring series of conversations and audio esoterica. On this program, we’re joined by singer/songwriter Gillian Welch. Along with her partner David Rawlings, Welch has tapped into the wellspring of American vernacular music. Her albums — including 2001’s Time (The Revelator) and 2011’s The Harrow & the Harvest — are part of one of the strongest bodies of work in modern folk music. Welch is about to hit the road with Rawlings, embarking on a series of “An Evening With” dates June through October, and this summer sees the vinyl reissue of her 2003 LP Soul Journey. We spoke to Welch via phone about her attention to the long player, album-length statement.

Then, we have a review of the release by the Shinya Fukumori Trio, For 2 Akis by writer and head of Footfalls Records Leah Toth; released by the stalwart ECM label, the new release unites players from France, Germany, and Japan for a quiet, but subtly immersive new album, produced by ECM head Manfred Eicher.

And we close out this month’s episode with a conversation recorded live backstage with Marisa Anderson. She’s one of the most engaging solo guitarists in the field today, blending blues, folk, and country forms into political and personal statements. On June 15, she releases her debut for Thrill Jockey Records, Cloud Corner. A meditative and peaceful record, the record serves as a respite from the constant noise of our modern times. We spoke with Anderson about the need for those kinds of musical spaces, the influence of science fiction on her work, and her subversive reinterpretation of traditional and public domain music.


 

Welcome to the April edition of the Aquarium Drunkard podcast, coming in from West of the Rockies. On this program, we explore the late night radio theater of the late Art Bell. The Coast to Coast AM host passed away on Friday, April 13th, and we’ve spent the days since exploring his classic archives. Aquarium Drunkard founder Justin Gage and co-host Jason P. Woodbury sat down to reflect on Bell’s singular voice, dedication to chronicling the unknown, and status as a purveyor of genuine American weirdness.

Also on the show, guitarist Nels Cline joins us to discuss his new quartet, the Nels Cline 4, and “Imperfect 10” from the combo’s new Blue Note Records LP, Currents, Constellations. Maybe you know his playing with Wilco, but here he focuses on the notion of “jazz fusion,” which he’s been exploring since the late ‘80s.

And we begin the podcast with a discussion with Jaime Fennelly of Mind Over Mirrors. The synthesist and composer just released a masterpiece called Bellowing Sun. It’s cosmic in scope but rooted in the earthy reflections of naturalist writers like Henry Beston, whose 1928 book, The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod, served as a guidepost for the new album. Earlier this month, the album debuted alongside a multi-media installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago featuring a light sculpture modeled after an enormous drum. The suggestions — of biorhythms and universal patterns — are in keeping with Mind Over Mirrors’ space-folk.

Though Mind Over Mirrors began as a solo project, it’s very much a group effort now, featuring Janet Bean of Freakwater and Eleventh Dream Day, Jon Mueller of Volcano Choir, and Jim Becker of Califone. The band’s latest, Bellowing Sun, arrives in conjunction with a multi-media installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago featuring an ambitious light sculpture. One of the marvelous things about Mind Over Mirrors is the way the group’s music feels both spacey and earthy. On the new album, which is at turns ecstatic, spooky, and revelatory, Fennelly and company the band maximize that ability, putting the idea of our planet as a cosmic vehicle into context.

“I think about [the cosmos] in relation to my own music as being otherworldly, but I also think of it as being grounded, in the way that the Earth is cosmic,” Fennelly says. “It’s not just about the area beyond us or outside of us, in kind of an exploratory sense as well.”

On his new album with the Nels Cline 4, Currents, Constellations, guitarist and composer Nels Cline reigns in the conceptual mood music of his previous Blue Note Records release, Lovers, in favor of tight, spiky interplay with guitarist Julian Lage, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Tom Rainey. It’s a record fueled by Cline’s energy, incorporating avant-garde, rock, and blues influences. It is, for lack of a better term, jazz fusion music, which explains why Cline’s initial title for “Imperfect 10” was “Jazz Fusion Composition.”

“I definitely chose that term to bother people, particularly people who think they’re cooler than ‘jazz fusion,'” Cline says. “Basically, it’s a meaningless term. It’s a combination of basically whatever. It doesn’t have to mean a combination of jazz and rock and classical and funk…it doesn’t mean the same thing from one person to another, and that’s why it’s a fun word to use. It’s basically a meaningless word that bothers people, which I find linguistically fascinating, but it also, stylistically, does kind of define me.”

If you’ve ever been the sort of person content to sit around the radio late at night or scan the airwaves on a long drive through the middle of nowhere, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the strange radio theater of Art Bell’s Coast to Coast AM. Since Bell passed away earlier this month and since his passing, we’ve been tuned into his archives. Here, we reflect on the impact and legacy of Bell’s pioneering program.

Coast to Coast AM felt like this secret handshake between people,” AD’s Justin Gage says. “Not unlike when you find a record or something that means a lot to you, that might be a little esoteric or obscure. Coast to Coast AM definitely kind of felt like that in the late ’90s, early 2000s.”

Thanks for listening to the Transmissions podcast. Support by subscribing to the Aquarium Drunkard podcast on Apple Podcasts,  Spotify, Stitcher, Mixcloud, Tune In, or via the RSS feed. Please rate and review the show, or even better, share it directly with friends.

Collage image by Michael J. Hentz.

Dig into the podcast archives, which include interviews with Laraaji, Tim Heidecker, Eileen Myles, Daniel Lanois, Hiss Golden Messenger, Ryley Walker, Eleanor Friedberger, Idris Ackamoor, and many more.

Direct download: Mind_Over_Mirrors___Art_Bell___The_Nels_Cline_4.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 9:14pm PDT

Welcome to the March installment of Aquarium Drunkard’s recurring Transmissions podcast, a series of interviews and audio esoterica. This month, we’re centering in on a sense of place. First, we sit down with author and musician Ryan H. Walsh to discuss his new book, Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968. In ’68, Boston was roiling with counter-culture activity. Occult circles were thriving; the underground press was emerging; the Velvet Underground, on loan from New York, was playing transcendent sets at the Boston Tea Party. And through it all, Irish R&B singer Van Morrison was quietly — and often not so quietly — tapping into the vibes that would help birth his soul-folk masterpiece, Astral Weeks. Walsh, best known for his work with the indie rock outfit Hallelujah the Hills, details it all in his personal and poetic new book.

Next, guitarist and writer William Tyler sits down with Douglas Mcgowan of Yoga Records and Numero Group to discuss the process of turning the pioneering vinyl soundscapes series Environments into a functional, immersive app for iOS devices. Designed with relaxation and contemplation in mind — to aurally transport listeners to settings of tranquility — the app recontextualizes sound recordist Irv Teibel’s original aim of providing calm and peace in a noisy world, redefining the notions of a “reissue” in the process.

And finally, we close out the show with a look at our Abstract Truths: An Evolving Jazz Compendium mixtape series, which offers jazz collectors and thinkers a platform for exploring what jazz means in 2018, examining its past, untold stories, modern resonance. Where is jazz going? And what unique role does Los Angeles play in its future?


Welcome to the February installment of Aquarium Drunkard’s recurring Transmissions podcast, a series of interviews and audio esoterica from Aquarium Drunkard. Welcome to the February edition of Aquarium Drunkard’s recurring Transmissions podcast — just under the wire. We’ve got an introspective episode this week. First, we sit down with Kayla Cohen of Itasca, to discuss her new mini-album, Morning Flower. It’s a collaboration with writer and artist Gunnar Tchida, and it focuses especially on Cohen’s lyrical guitar work. Which makes sense: in April, Cohen plays the Thousand Incarnations of the Rose festival, a celebration of the American primitive guitar tradition. I asked Cohen how she made her way into solo guitar music, and explored how the music of Robbie Basho, whose composition the festival is named for as well as a forthcoming compilation via Craft Recordings.

Then, we have a series of poems from Maggie Smith. You might have come across her poem “Good Bones,” for which her latest book is named, but there’s a lot more to her work than that. For the Transmissions podcast, Smith’s reading are paired with instrumental recordings from Jerry David DeCicca’s new album of spacey Texan folk, Time the Teacher. It’s an album that “feels true,” Smith says in her accompanying notes, so it was a pleasure of ours to combine the truth of Smith’s words with the truth of DeCicca and his band’s sounds.

Finally, we close out the show with words from new age/cosmic composer Laraaji, discussing Celestrana, his mid-80s experiment in public access television. Part meditation, part surreal comedy routine, and part ecstatic vision, the show introduced Laraaji to a whole new audience of viewers, many of whom weren’t even aware of his work with Brian Eno or albums like the recently reissued Vision Songs. Select episodes of Celestrana are streaming now on Numero Group’s YouTube channel; Laraaji was kind enough to pull back the curtain with us and explain how he found himself in front of the camera…with puppets.


Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions 1_2018

Welcome to the January installment of Aquarium Drunkard’s recurring Transmissions podcast, a series of interviews and audio esoterica from Aquarium Drunkard. For our first episode of 2018, we explore three unique stories. First, we dive into the story of Ozma Records’ new reissue of the Voyager Golden Record. Launched into outer space in 1977 onboard the Voyager space probes, the Golden Record was a sort of cosmic mixtape, designed by a team led by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan as a representation of life, arts, and culture on Earth. We spoke to co-producer David Pescovitz of Boing Boing from his office at the Institute For the Future about how this new reissue allows us to more fully understand the scope of the Golden Record —and what it has to say to listeners today.

Then, we sit down with comedian, writer, and musician Tim Heidecker. Best know for his work on Tim and Eric Awesome Show — Great Job, Decker, and films like The Comedy, Heidecker is an extraordinarily busy guy: he recently finished The Trial of Tim Heidecker, a part of his meta-comedy saga On Cinema with Gregg Turkington — AKA Neil Hamburger. He’s also got a recent album out, Too Dumb for Suicide, a collection of songs about the president. We dive into his strange, sometimes confusing world.

And finally, we close out the show by shining a light on some of our favorite mixtapes from the Aquarium Drunkard archives, The End is at Hand collections, a four-volume series of super-obscure, often private press, outsider psychedelic guitar and folk music from the ‘60s and ‘70s centered around the Jesus People Movement. We’re joined by BlackForrestry — Josh Swartwood and Doug Cooper — who put these mixes together, to investigate the roots and feral faith of these “Jesus Freaks,” whose apocalyptic visions shimmer throughout these mixtapes — and whose faith still speaks to Josh and Doug.

Direct download: Voyager_Golden_Record_Tim_Heidecker_Jesus_People_Music.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 4:50pm PDT

Earlier this year, we published an interview with Major and he played selector on the Aquarium Drunkard Show on Sirius XM, pulling out rare psych, private press oddities, and much more. He’s the subject of a new book, Feel The Music: The Psychedelic Worlds of Paul Major, and the compiler of an accompanying soundtrack, Feel the Music Vol. 1, both out on Anthology. The book compiles scans of Major’s rare record catalogs, which featured his hallucinatory music writing, alongside essays by his friends, bandmates, and collaborators. In all, the book and soundtrack illustrate Paul’s attraction to “real people” music and testify to his desire to share the weird music and ideas that turn him on.

In the second half of the show, Aquarium Drunkard founder Justin Gage and co-host Jason P. Woodbury explore the sound of ten of their favorite reissues of 2017, including Jackie Shane, Outro Tempo: Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978 – 1992, crucial Pharoah Sanders titles, Acetone’s 1992-2001, Alice Coltrane, and more. Check out the full list of reissues after the jump.

Direct download: Paul_Major___2017_Reissues.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 9:27am PDT

Krano – Mi E Ti
Ryley Walker – Everybody Is Crazy (Amen Dunes)
Kacy & Clayton – The Siren’s Song
Joan Shelley – Over And Even
Meg Baird – Counterfeiters
Jennifer Castle – Sailing Away
Steve Gunn – Way Out Weather
Anna St. Louis – Fire
Jana Hunter – A Bright-Ass Light
Angel Olsen – The Sky Opened Up
Sweet Tea – If I Were A Carpenter
Heron Oblivion – Beneath Fields

Direct download: 01_Transmission___17.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 8:12pm PDT

On Hiss Golden Messenger’s new album, Hallelujah Anyhow, songwriter M.C. Taylor stares down darkness, only to find it’s simply “a different kind of light.” It’s a record about chasing freedom and finding hope in unexpected places: among worn guitars, in clouds of smoke, and in the sound of wafting Caledonia soul music. The record continues Hiss’s evolution from solitary, lonesome folk to celebratory and loose country rock and soul. It’s “music for hope,” Taylor says, and though it doesn’t hide its concerns, stressed, or worries, it’s nonetheless a welcome moment of lightness in these heavy times.

For this episode of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast, AD’s Jason P. Woodbury spoke with Taylor in Oregon at the Pickathon music festival. The conversation — like Hiss’s songs — is frank, earnest, and genuinely warm. It pairs well with Hiss Golden Messenger’s Lagniappe Session, which found the group covering the Faces and Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys. Hiss Golden Messenger’s Hallelujah Anyhow is available now via Merge Records.

Direct download: Hiss_Golden_Messenger.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

On this installment, we sit down with Chris Schlarb of Psychic Temple to discuss Psychic Temple IV, a melange of West Coast pop magic, sophisticated textures, and exploratory rock & roll. It’s a record that finds Schlarb commanding a vast ensemble of players — including Max Bennett (Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, the Wrecking Crew), Terry Reid, current and former members of Cherry Glazerr, the Philip Glass Ensemble, Cryptacize, the Dirty Projectors, and many more. Schlarb is a true journeyman, whose work spans country, gospel, gangsta rap, avant-garde, and jazz, and here he discusses it all, elucidating his unique approach to music making.

Then, M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger explains why 1972’s Bright Phoebus: The Songs of Mike and Lal Waterson is one of his favorite LPs. Recently reissued by Domino Records, the album’s blend of country, rock, folk, and psychedelia, has served as a sort of emotional compass for Taylor, whose new album, Hallelujah Anyhow, due out from Merge on September 22, will be the topic of our next episode.

Direct download: Psychic_Temple___Hiss_Golden_Messenger_on_Bright_Phoebus.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Welcome to Aquarium Drunkard’s Transmissions Podcast, a recurring series of conversations with songwriters, authors, and creators about what drives their art. We’re proud to share an interview with Nick Lowe this week. AD’s Jason P. Woodbury talked with the producer, songwriter, and performer, who’s made records with Elvis Costello, the Damned, Squeeze, Johnny Cash, and dozens more, and penned classic songs like “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding,” “Cruel to Be Kind,” “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass,” “The Beast in Me,” and many others.

On Friday, July 14th, Yep Roc Records releases the first in a series of reissues documenting Lowe’s ’80s era, beginning with 1982’s Nick the Knife and 1983’s The Abominable Showman, with the rest of his catalog through 1990’s Party of One coming throughout 2017. The period saw the British rocker expanding his stylistic palette, exploring the ties between skiffle and country music. While his edges softened some sonically, his lyrical focus remained sharp, and songs like “All Men Are Liars” and “My Heart Hurt” point to the kind of songs that would bolster his late career renaissance in the early 2000s and up to present day. We reached Lowe from Nashville to discuss those records, his marriage to Carlene Carter, the pub rock, punk rock, hanging out with Lemmy’s pre-Motörhead band Hawkwind in the early days, and a lot more.

Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast_-_Nick_Lowe.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

t. For this episode, AD’s Jason P. Woodbury sat down with Timothy Showalter of Indiana’s Strand of Oaks to discuss the band’s latest album, Hard Love, which melds Showalter’s love of dub reggae production with heartland rock and the big beat sound of Creation Records’ heyday.

Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast_-_Strand_of_Oaks.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 8:49am PDT

For this episode, Woodbury sits down with artist and musician Lonnie Holley. His sculptures, assembled from found objects, seemingly align each random component with meaning. In 2012, Holley released his debut album, Just Before Music, on Atlanta label Dust to Digital. Reviewing the record, AD’s A. Spoto wrote, “He sings with an intense, emotional voice and unleashes lyrics without consistent meter or rhyme over gossamer keyboard lines that hang in the ether. His music is a blues nebula, splotched with riffy word jazz that shares in some rappers’ collagist aesthetics as well as the runaway passion of a gospel preacher enlivened by the Spirit.”

He followed it with a second, Keeping a Record of It, in 2013. Both featured improvised music and melodies, drawing on Holley’s personal reserve of gospel, jazz, blues, and folk music. Like his music, this conversation is wide-ranging and freeform, a gentle and inquisitive exploration into how much meaning we’re willing to grant the world around us.

Direct download: Lonnie_Holley.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 10:42am PDT

Welcome to Aquarium Drunkard’s recurring Transmissions podcast. Today, we continue our mini-series in collaboration with the folks at Mexican Summer. In March, AD’s Jason P. Woodbury headed out to Marfa Texas to attend Mexican Summer’s Marfa Myths Festival, a four-day, multi-disciplinary celebration of art and music in West Texas, which resulted in his essay, “There’s No Such Thing As Nowhere.”

For this episode, he sat down with Natalie Mering, who records as Weyes Blood. We’ve long been fans of her sounds — our own Chad Depasquale said her most recent record, Front Row Seat to Earth, “evokes an atmosphere reminiscent of private press psych-folk and progressive exploration.”

This talk dives deep into her religious upbringing and explores the apocalyptic tone that pervades much of her songs.

Direct download: whole.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 2:50pm PDT

For this episode, Woodbury down with poet and novelist Eileen Myles. She came up in the ’70s, at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project in New York. In 2015, her 1994 novel Chelsea Girls was reissued; in 2016, she released a collection of poems written between 1975 and 2014 called I Must Be Living Twice. In this episode, Myeles discusses her process and her next book, Afterglow, and along the way we’ll hear some selections of Myles’ poetry, pulled from her live album Aloha/Irish Tree, paired with recordings by Marfa Myths performers Pharoah Sanders and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Photo by Peggy O’brien.

Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast____Eileen_Myles.m4a
Category:Music -- posted at: 2:01pm PDT

Welcome to Aquarium Drunkard’s recurring Transmissions podcast. Today, we’re launching a new mini-series in collaboration with the folks at Mexican Summer. Last month, we sent AD’s Jason P. Woodbury to Marfa Texas to attend Mexican Summer’s Marfa Myths Festival, a four-day, multi-disciplinary celebration of art in music in West Texas, which resulted in his essay, “There’s No Such Thing As Nowhere.”

While out there, Woodbury hooked up with a number of Myths performers to record interviews. For this episode, he sat down with the Los Angeles-based four-piece the Allah-Las, to discuss the group’s record store roots, sound, and Reverberation Radio, their long-running online radio series.

Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast____Allah-Las.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 10:05pm PDT

On last year’s Golden Sings Which Can Be Sung, Chicago-based singer and guitarist Ryley Walker came into his own. It wasn’t his first great record, but it was his most realized, a work that added shades of jazz, psychedelia, and experimental rock to his soulful folk sound. Writing about the record, AD’s Chad DePasquale said: “On two previous two long-players, comparisons to artists like John Martyn, Bert Jansch, Tim Buckley, and Nick Drake dominated conversations about Walker, but his latest finds him exploring English jazz folk through the unique lens of the Chicago experimental scene he came up in, folding in elements of improvisational jazz and experimental textures.”

We caught up with Walker last fall at Fivethirteen Recording in Tempe, Arizona, to discuss the record and hear a few songs. Keeping with his spirit of experimentation, Walker and band decided the setting was right to try out a few new tunes. We’re happy to debut three of them, “Shaking Like the Others,” “I Laughed So Hard I Cried,” and “Two Sides To Every Cross,” here for the first time, along with our interview.

Direct download: Ryley_Walker.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 7:58pm PDT

Transmissions Podcast :: Daniel Lanois

As a producer, Daniel Lanois has been instrumental in crafting definitive records by U2, the Neville Brothers, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, and more. His productions have a trademark quality -- swampy and percussive, psychedelic but as earthy as the dubs of his noted influence Lee "Scratch" Perry -- that he also brings to his records as a songwriter and composer. His latest, Goodbye to Language, out now on Anti Records, is one of his best. Accompanied by Rocco DeLuca on lap steel, Lanois plays pedal steel, creating a sweeping landscape that spiritually connects to the sounds he contributed to Brian Eno 1983 ambient masterpiece Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.

We joined Lanois following a live performance at his place, Bella Vista in Silverlake, to discuss the new record, his long production career, and his definition of "soul music," exploring how that definition guides and directs his artistic approach.

Direct download: Daniel_Lanois.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:09pm PDT

With the release of the Complete Matrix Tapes last year, you might be wondering: What exactly is left in the Velvet Underground archives? On this, the seventh episode of AD’s Transmissions podcast, we invite Aquarium Drunkard’s VU expert Tyler Wilcox (Doom and Gloom From the Tomb, author of Pitchfork’s Invisible Hits column) to speculate wildly about what’s left out there: songs which may or may not exist, early demos, legendary live performances and more. Along the way, Wilcox spins rare Velvets cuts.

Direct download: The_Velvet_Underground_Archives.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 2:08am PDT

Transmissions Podcast :: Jesse Jarnow's Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America

A decade-spanning look at the Grateful Dead and the culture the band spawned, it's one of our favorite books of the year, one that explores of underground economies, thriving art scenes, cyberspace frontiers, the advent of psychedelia, the birth of the jam band movement, mystically motivated science projects, and much more through the lens of America's home brewed cosmic roots ambassadors. In his review of the book for AD, our own Tyler Wilcox wrote: Heads is an essential piece of underground cultural history, but more than anything it reads like an epic adventure story, with page after page of remarkable stories spinning out kaleidoscope-style, like a second-set Dead improv." He's right, and Jarnow was quick to provide further insight into not only the world of the Dead, but how he himself found his way into it.

Direct download: 01_Jesse_Jarnow___HEADS.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 4:36pm PDT

Welcome to the fifth episode of AD's re-booted Transmissions podcast, our recurring series of in-depth conversations and unexpected sounds. As we did with our last episode, we're halving the show today, speaking with two disparate artists.

Up first, we sat down with singer/songwriter Damien Jurado. Starting off in the Seattle hardcore scene, Jurado evolved with moody albums like Rehearsals for Departure and Ghost of David, full of stark and heartbreaking vignettes. At the start of the current decade, however, Jurado took a turn, teaming with producer Richard Swift to create more vivid, psychedelic templates for his music, which turned toward the paranormal and spiritual. We spoke with Jurado about their latest collaboration, Visions of Us on the Land. We then spoke catch up with a true legend, famed soul man William Bell, author of essential songs like "Born Under a Bad Sign" and "You Don't Miss Your Water (Until Your Well Runs Dry)." His latest, This Is Where I Live, finds him once again on Stax, the legendary label he helped established, and finds his voice and lyrics in fine shape. Alright, let's get into this...

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Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast_-_Damien_Jurado___William_Bell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am PDT

Welcome to the fourth episode of Aquarium Drunkard’s Transmissions podcast, our recurring series of in-depth conversations and unexpected sounds.. On this week’s episode, we’re splitting our time with two unique artists.

Up first is Idris Ackamoor, leader of the intergalactic combo the Pyramids, whose new album We Be All Africans is a potent mix of soul, funk, world music, and spiritual jazz. Next, we hop in the van with singer/songwriter Eleanor Friedberger. As one-half of Fiery Furnaces, she created some of the most challenging and complex music of the 2000s, but on her latest album New View, she continues to ease into the confident, ’70s-inspired melodicism that has defined her solo albums, inspired in part by her move to upstate New York.

Direct download: Idris_Ackamoor__the_Pyramids___Eleanor_Friedberger.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:42pm PDT

On this week’s episode Jason P. Woodbury speaks with Nashville-based guitarist William Tyler. As a sideman, Tyler’s guitar work has appeared on records by Lambchop, Charlie Louvin, Candi Staton, Hiss Golden Messenger, Silver Jews, Wooden Wand, and dozens more, but since the dawn of the decade, he’s focused mostly on his own records, vivid instrumental soundscapes which connect country and folk traditions to kosmische musik and ambient soundscapes. His latest, Modern Country, was released earlier this month via Merge Records, and it’s his most expansive yet. With a full band including Phil Cook and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche in tow, Tyler paints a view of America in all its fractured complexity, evoking beautiful landscapes and forgotten rogue states. The songs act as views from back roads, and even as Tyler eschews lyrics, he nonetheless tells stories with his sounds. Sally forth…

Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast_-_William_Tyler.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:58pm PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Transmissions Podcast - Car Seat Headrest / Replacements

On this episode, we spoke with Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest, whose new album Teens of Denial comes out this Friday via Matador Records. It's a fantastic record, bigger and more fully realized than before, and it reflects the transition from solo project to full band. We also spoke to author Bob Mehr about Trouble Boys, his affecting book on the Replacements. Mehr's one of the best music writers working, and his book dives deep and comes up with even more than one could expect. Onwards . . .

Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast_-_Car_Seat_Headrest___Bob_Mehr.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 10:35pm PDT

It's back. Welcome to the first installment of Aquarium Drunkard's re-tooled podcast. Picking up where the Sidecar (Transmissions) left off, this new show will be an audio companion to the blog proper, a late night broadcast exploring pop culture through an esoteric lens, featuring music, literature, film, and other dispatches from parts unknown.

Beginning now, expect a new episode every other week. Our debut features Jason P. Woodbury's interview with longtime AD favorite Will Oldham, AKA Bonnie "Prince" Billy, discussing two new albums: his collaboration with Bitchin' Bajas, the New Age/ambient LP Epic Jammers and Fortunate Ditties and a collection of sessions he recorded with BBC legend John Peel, Pond Scum. Along the way, Oldham pontificates on a certain sci-fantasy blockbuster and discusses his contributions to the upcoming Day of the Dead collection -- the mammoth Grateful Dead covers project spanning 59 tracks at nearly six hours.

Direct download: Transmissions_Podcast_-_Bonnie_Prince_Billy.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 6:20pm PDT

Intro / Shall We Gather At The River
Gene Clark - Tears of Rage
Chris Darrow - Livin’ Like A Fool
Ian Matthews - Seven Bridges Road
Manassas - So Begins The Task
Ellen McIlwaine - Can't Find My Way Home
David Crosby - I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here
Davy Graham - Both Sides Now (excerpt)
Tim Hardin - If I Were A Carpenter
David Wiffen - You’ll Never Make A Dollar That Way
Michael Martin Murphy - The Lights Of The City

Direct download: 01_Transmission___16.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 4:13pm PDT

Intro
Mor Thiam - Ayo Ayo Nene
Fela Kuti - Lover
Ebo Taylor & Uhuru-Yenzu - Love And Death
The Reggae Boys - Selassie
Willie Dickson & The Playboys - Lickin' Stick
The Fabulous Three - Django's Soul
Ofo and The Black Company - Allah Wakbar
The Dutch Rhythm, Steel & Showband - Down By The River

Direct download: Transmission___15.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 7:43pm PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar (Transmission Fourteen)

Intro / Strung Out
The Soul Inc. - Love Me When I'm Down
Jerry And Jeff - Voodoo Medicine Man
Dion - Baby, Let's Stay Together
Apple & The Three Oranges - Curse Upon The World
T.L. Barrett And Youth For Christ Choir - Like A Ship
Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham - Lover And A Friend
Tony Owens - I Got Soul
Famous L. Renfroe - Introduction
Big Sambo & The House Wreckers - The Rains Came
Alton Ellis - Whiter Shade of Pale
The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You

Direct download: Transmission___14.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 10:30pm PDT

Intro
CAN - I'm So Green
The Everly Brothers - Lord Of The Manor
Blossom Dearie - Somebody New
Bernard Chabert - Il Part En Californie (He Moved To California)
These Trails - Garden Botanum
Pete Ham - Without You (solo demo)
Big Star - Mod Lang (Alternate Mix)
The Velvet Underground - Sad Song
Emitt Rhodes - Promises I've Made
T. Rex - Lean Woman Blues
Charlotte Dada (excerpt)
John Williams - Flowers In Your Hair
Lee Hazlewood w/ Suzi Jane Hokum - Califia (Stone Rider)

Direct download: Transmission___13.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:27pm PDT

Intro
Bedlam's Offspring - I'll Be There
The Emperors - I Want My Woman
The Chocolate Watchband - It's All Over Now Baby Blue
The Blue Rondos - Baby I Go For You
The Graham Bond Organisation - Early In The Morning
Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
Cat - Do The Watussi
Vichan Maneechot - Dance, Dance, Dance
The Shangri-Las - How Pretty Can You Get (Radio Spot)
Fleur De Lys - Circles
Michelle's Menagerie - Stay Away
The Worlocks - I Love You
Blue Condition - Coming Home

Direct download: Transmission___12.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 3:21pm PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar (Eleventh Transmission)

Clover - Mr. Moon
Daniel Moore - May, 16, 1975
Goose Creek Symphony - A Satisfied Mind
Bob Martin - Captain Jesus
Elyse - Houses (w/ Neil Young)
The B.C. Harmonizers - You Ought To Been There
Odetta - Baby, I'm In The Mood For You
Willis Alan Ramsey - Geraldine And The Honeybee
Bobby Charles - Street People
Harry Crews - Everything Was Stories
Ramsay Midwood - Spinning On This Rock

Direct download: Transmission___11.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 2:03pm PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar (Tenth Transmission)

Intro (Bob Brown excerpt)
Lil' Ed & The Soundmasters - It's A Dream
Black Rock - Yeah Yeah
Africa - Paint It Black
Junior Parker - Tomorrow Never Knows
Yaphet Koto - Have You Ever Seen The Blues
Kukumbas - Respect
Son House - That's Where The Blues Start (Vocal)
Tim Maia - Nobody Can Live Forever
Hopeton Louis - Sound And Pressure

Direct download: _Transmission___10.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 4:53pm PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar (Ninth Transmission)

Johnny Thunder - I'm Alive
The Kinks - Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin' Bout That Girl
Rob London - Gloria
Grateful Dead - Cream Puff War
The Seeds - Can't Seem To Make You Mine
(Break)
The Electric Piano Underground - Good Vibrations
David Bowie - Let Me Sleep Beside You (BBC Session)
The French Church - Slapneck 45
Bill Deal & The Rhondells - Hey Bulldog
Mickey & Sylvia - Dearest

Direct download: Sidecar_-_Transmission___9.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar (Eighth Transmission)

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Black Root
Terry Callier - You Goin Miss Your Candyman
Leroy Vinnegar - Doing That Thing / Professor Harold Boggs
The Lijadu Sisters - Bayi L'ense
Henri Texier - Les "là-bas"
Amanaz - Khala My Friend
Wendell Stuart & The Downbeaters - Hey Jude

Direct download: Sidecar_-_Transmission___8.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 4:02pm PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar (Seventh Transmission)

Intro
Max Roach With The J.C. White Singers - Motherless Child
Bessie Jones - So Glad I'm Here
The Staples Singers - This May Be The Last Time
The Rolling Stones - I Just Want Tp See His Face
Mississippi Fred McDowell - I Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down
The Mighty Hannibal - Hymn No. 5
Lee Moses - California Dreaming
Muddy Waters - She's Alright

Direct download: Sidecar_-_Transmission_7.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:25am PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar (Sixth Transmission)

Jim Sullivan - Highways
The 31st Of February - God Rest His Soul
F.J. McMahon - Sister Brother
Gary Higgins - Thicker Than A Smokey
Merit Hemmingson - Brudmarsch efter Florsen i Burs
Arthur Verocai - Sylvia
Alex Chilton - Don't Worry Baby (fragment)
Jessica Pratt - Night Faces
Susan Christie - Paint A Lady
Willis Earl Beal - Monotony

Direct download: Sidecar-Transmission___6.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 4:43pm PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar (Fifth Transmission)

Intro
White Fence - Swagger Vets And Double Moon
CAN - Mushroom
Ty Segall - The Slider (Ty Rex)
Atlas Sound - Recent Bedroom
No Age - Sun Spots
Julian Lynch - Just Enough
Arif Sag - Su Samsunun Evleri
Lou Reed - Perfect Day (demo)
Mac DeMarco - Rock And Roll Night Club
Alan Vega - Jukebox Babe
Calvin Love - Missions

Direct download: Sidecar_-_Transmission___5.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 4:05pm PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar (Third Transmission)

Sidecar - Transmission 3

Intro
Ify Jerry Krusade - Everybody Likes Something Good
Aguaturbia - Rollin' 'N Tumblin'
Sea-Ders - Thanks A Lot
The Olivia Tremor Control - Memories of Jacqueline 1906
The Millennium - I Just Don't Know To Say Goodbye
Harry Nilsson - You Can't Do That (Alternate Take)
Roy Wood - Wake Up
Emitt Rhodes - Long Time No See
Jacques Dutronc - L'Espace D'Une Fille
Jim Schoenfeld - Before

Direct download: Sidecar_-_Transmission___3.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:50pm PDT

Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar (Second Transmission)

Transmission / 2

Intro
Allah-Las - Tell Me What's On Your Mind
The Strange Boys - Should Have Shot Paul (AD edit)
The Zombies - Sticks And Stones
Thee Oh Sees - The Sun Goes All Around
Lantern - Bleed Me Dry
Canarios - Trying So Hard
Screaming Lord Sutch - Flashing Lights
Bob Azzam & His Orchestra - The Last Time
Alex Chilton - Jumpin' Jack Flash
Johnny & The Attractions - I'm Moving On

Direct download: Sidecar_-_Transmission___2.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 8:02pm PDT

Ease back. Eleven track polyglot bouillabaisse of sound spanning 3 continents, two decades, and a dozen time zones.  Introducing Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar - First transmission.

 

Transmission / 1

Intro
Beach Boys - Unknown Harmony
Rob Jo Star Band - I Call On One's Muse
Cisneros & Garza Group - I'm A Man / Welcome
Rolling Stones - We Love You
Music Convention - Sitar Track [From Children of the Sun]
Shin Joong Hyun - I've Got Nothing To Say
The Samurai - Fresh Hot Breeze Of Summer
The Shadows - Scotch On The Socks
Dion - Daddy (Rollin In Your Arms)
Relatively Clean Rivers - Easy Ride
Buffy Saint-Marie - Helpless

Direct download: Sidecar_-_Transmission___1.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:45pm PDT

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