Heartfelt tributes to Tom Verlaine have been pouring in since news broke of his death late last month. A famously enigmatic character, the Television co-founder never went out of his way to make himself lovable — but he was loved all the same. As you’ll see below, Verlaine provided a guiding light for a wide array of artists through the decades. His deeply original approach (to the guitar, to songwriting, to life) went beyond mere influence and inspiration; it seeped inextricably into the DNA of generations of musicians and writers. As a result, this case will likely never be closed …
When Hot Rats came out in October 1969, it showed a new side of Zappa’s music. It wasn’t poking fun at trends or mixing genres in a blender. It highlights his compositions and skill in both writing memorable songs and as a guitar hero. The lengthy guitar solos showed him emerging as more than just the scruffy leader of the Mothers of Invention, while the musicians he surrounded himself with – from session players to heavyweights like Jean-Luc Ponty – pointed to his ambitions as a musician. But when compared to the material within this box, it also shows Zappa as producer, too.
Long time reader, first time caller? Welcome to Mailbag, our monthly column in which we dig in and respond to your questions. Got a query? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. In this month’s bag: Steely Dan haters, scratching that Van Morrison itch, music from the Sonoran desert, bandcamp reccs…
Launching the listener into the aural assault of “Soap Shop Rock”, Yeti wastes no time getting started. The wandering, acid-drenched psychedelia of Phallus Dei is noticeably absent. The Mothers-esque eccentrics traded in favor of tectonic heaviness. As the four-part suite arrives at its second movement, Amon Düül clears a path for denim-clad stoner rockers to follow for the next half century.
In line with the late records of Jovem Guarda, such as Erasmo Carlos’ 1970-1972 trilogy of later-revered proto-indie, as well as with Os Mutantes’ flavorful Brazilian psychedelia, Rubinho & Mauro Assumpção’s only ever release wanders through daring and often humorous experimentations. With bare instrumentation and lo-fi timbres blowing against the grain of the recording, it soon came to be a coveted rarity among collectors. Mr. Bongo’s recent reissue offers a great chance to reexamine this piece of soft-noise MPB.
For the latest installment of Aquarium Drunkard’s VIDEODROME column, we sat down with writer and cinephile, Matthew Specktor, to discuss Shoot The Moon (1982), the Hollywood cycle of divorce films from the eighties, and his upcoming book.
We’re back in the stacks with creative guides from Rick Rubin and Chris Schlarb, looks at the music of The Byrds and Sonny Rollins, and Amiri Baraka’s groundbreaking Black Music.
Minneapolis-based producer and composer Andrew Broder joins us to discuss his soundtrack for Alan Moore’s dream-like detective movie The Show, plus his work with luminaries like MF Doom, Joe Rainey, Lambchop, and Alan Sparhawk and the late Mimi Parker of Low.
First Nation free jazz, drum machine folk, Beefheart-ian scrawls and more. Plenty of killer sounds to get you through the dark days of winter, ranging from vintage Motor City jazz to Iranian tanbur improvs. And don’t forget, the next Bandcamp Friday (during which the platform waives its usual fees) hits on Feb. 3 …
On Today My Friend You Drunk the Venom, Cincinnati’s The Drin, from Cincinnati sheathes unyielding staccato rhythms in the undulating ooze of dub. Stark drum beats push electro-shocked funk/soul vamps into denatured, machine-like fury, while guitars scream and basses rumble and one Dylan McCartney chants blankly about worms and dooms and poisons.
Via satellite, transmitting from northeast Los Angeles — the Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7pm California time, Wednesdays.
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A ripping slice of late 60’s psychedelic Texas soul, Sole Inspiration’s “Life” is a Saturday night jam for Sunday morning sorrows. Recently dug up by Numero Group, the track bursts out the gate with a righteous organ that bellows across the holy blood cries of front man & songwriter Juan Gonzalez’s existential despair.
Nina Persson of The Cardigans and James Yorkston join host Jason P. Woodbury on Transmissions to discuss The Great White Sea Eagle, their low key and homey collection of folk rock, we explore a bevy of interesting topics, run-ins with members of Black Sabbath, Tom Jones, an ill-fated tour with John Martyn, and much more.