Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 513: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Ty Segall – Every 1’s A Winner ++ Omni – Wire ++ Wire – Feeling Called Love ++ Parquet Courts – Careers In Combat ++ Pavement – Baptist Blacktick ++ Ought – New Calm Pt. 2 ++ The Fall – The Classical ++ Ought – Disgraced In America ++ Main – Black Moon ++ Loma – Black Willow ++ Art School Jocks – Nina ++ Girls Names – I Lose ++ Spiritualized – Cool Waves ++ Omni – Cold Vermouth ++ Cate Le Bon – Duke ++ Drinks – Real Outside ++ Brian Eno – Third Uncle ++ Ty Segall – Music For  A Film ++ England’s Gloy – Shattered Illusions ++ The Only Ones – The Whole of Law ++ Felt – Something Sends Me To Sleep ++ Jack Name – New Guitars ++ Jack Name – Pure Terror ++ Lace Curtains – Kali ++ Amen Dunes – Blue Rose ++ OCs – On And On Corridor ++ Slint – Breadcrumb Trail ++ Slint – Nosferatu Man ++ Slint – Good Morning, Captain ++ Fugazi – Lusty Scripps ++ Parquet Courts – Instant Disassembly

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.


So many records, so little time. Here’s one from 2017 we weren’t hip to until the tail end of the year, Hollow Hand’s “A World Outside”. Recorded in mono straight to a Tascam 4-track in their home studio in Brighton, England, Hollow Hand deals out sunny psych-pop in the vein of contemporaries Jacco Gardner and Ultimate Painting, with a reverent nod to Billy Nicholls, Roy Wood and Emitt Rhodes. Highly recc’d.

Hollow Hand :: A World Outside

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Despite a notoriously terrible memory, I’m really good at remembering hearing things for the first time, and I have always been able to associate my initial encounters with certain records with times, places, and people.

When I go on tour with other musicians, I rarely bring music from my own collection, preferring instead to expose myself to the various CDs and playlists of my traveling companions. Over the years, I’ve discovered a lot of music this way, and I often return home from such trips with notebook pages full of new records to seek out. Sometimes if I hear something in the van I really like, I’ll ask about it, but more often I prefer to play it cool. To be overly inquisitive in such situations can be a buzzkill, like commenting on how and why a just-told joke was funny instead of just laughing.

Because I am sensitive to this fragile dynamic of the shared band-space, I’ll often use discretion, making a little note of a song lyric that stands out, with plans to identify the song later via Google. (I’m not a smartphone guy, so Shazam is not an option).

The first time I heard Pat Ament was during a tour with Simon Joyner and his band. I was sitting in the back seat of the van with Kevin and Megan, with Simon at the wheel and David Nance riding shotgun. Someone selected from their iPod an album I’d never heard before, and I liked it immediately. It reminded me, in mood, of certain private press Doors worshipers like Gyp Fox and Faction, but with a much stronger emphasis on songwriting. The songs were great.

“What is this?” I finally asked. “Paddamin,” answered David. Hmm. Into the notebook. P-A-D-D-A-M-I-N.

A few songs later, I had to know more. “Has this been reissued anywhere?” I was told it hadn’t been, with Simon adding, mysteriously: “This is kind of an Omaha secret.” Omaha, I remember thinking. Paddamin from Omaha. Probably early 70s, from the sound of it. This shouldn’t be too hard to find. I didn’t think about it again until I was home a few weeks later.

It took a while to discover that “Paddamin” was actually “Pat Ament,” and he hailed not from Omaha but from Colorado. The album had only been sold on Discogs once—for the princely sum of $150.00. I checked my other usual online sources to try to locate the record, and turned up nothing. This rarely happens; there’s always at least the opportunity to buy a desired record, even if that record is out of my price range. But this Pat Ament album didn’t seem to exist outside of our tour van and a lone Discogs entry that didn’t even include a photo of the album sleeve. My most creative Googling only provided info on some rock climbing dude (see interview below), with no results for ‘“Pat Ament” and “private press” and “music” and “LP,”’ or any variation thereof.

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Bong-rattling riffs, Cream-y vocals, a ridiculously locked-in rhythm section and killer covers of “Morning Dew” and “Last Train To Clarksville”? The Damnation of Adam Blessing should’ve been bigger than Grand Funk! Things didn’t work out that way, of course, but now we can dig back into the Cleveland band’s two stellar LPs, which have been lovingly reissued on wax by Exit Stencil (the first editions to have been drawn from the master tapes).

The Damnation of Adam Blessing’s sound is a good example of transitional hard rock — still indebted to the Yardbirds and Hendrix, perhaps, but looking ahead to heavier, Sabbath-style grooves. It’s an absolutely perfect mix, and both the self-titled debut (1969) and Second Damnation (1970) show off the skills of a band bursting at the seams with talent and charisma, whether it’s the psych-ed out “Cookbook” or the ferociously choogling “Back to the River.” And it has to be said — Second Damnation features one of the greatest inner gatefold photos of all time. Damn good stuff. words / t wilcox

The Damnation of Adam Blessing :: Morning Dew

dohertyWatcha gonna do? – often heard when people appear to be shit out of luck or otherwise down and out. But this time it was the title of Denny Doherty’s first solo album after The Mamas and the Papas quietly disbanded in 1968 following the release of The Papas & The Mamas. Mama Cass had found solo success with “Dream a Little Dream of Me” while Papa John released his own country rock opus John, The Wolfking of L.A. and his ex-wife (the band’s other Mama) Michelle began a successful acting career. As for Denny, he said to Rolling Stone’s Ben Fong-Torres in 1971, “I just sat around, and in the interim I got a thing from ABC/Dunhill President Jay Lasker saying I owed this amount of money for no project. So I said ‘Whatever’s right,’ and did an album.” As is the case with most cult albums, Watcha Gonna Do was recorded so the man could get his money.

The big question though was how Denny’s robust voice would fair without his former bandmates rich harmonies? Though a Canadian native, Denny instinctively turned to an American inspiration for his solo debut – country-and-western; which by 1970 was becoming the go-to muse of rock musicians who were going back to the land and finding their roots. Gram Parsons’ famously deemed it “cosmic American music” (though he later infamously denounced country-rock as a “plastic dry-fuck”) and Denny found himself in good company amongst The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Byrds and his former partner John Phillips.

Paired with ABC/Dunhill’s staff producer Bill Szymczyk they gathered an ad-hoc group of Los Angeles’ finest studio musicians including staff writer Eddy Fischer along with Eric Hord on guitars, Gabe Lapano on piano, Bryan Garofolo on bass, Russ Kunkel on drums, and the “Big E” himself: Buddy Emmons on pedal steel. Denny’s label mate Barry McGuire sat in acoustic guitar and harp while Jimmie Haskell added accordion and string arrangements. The band was then complimented by an eight-person vocal chorus giving the group a full and rich sound on the album. Szymczyk later said of the sessions “It was almost like a Grateful Dead thing: ‘Come on, let’s all play and make a record.’”

Denny Doherty :: Watcha Gonna Do 


Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 512: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Die Wilde Jagd – Flederboy ++ Andre Previn – Rollerball ++ One World – Freegate ++ Makaya McCraven – Above & Beyond ++ André Ceccarelli – Gang Progress ++ Digable Planets – Pacifics ++ John Holm – Du E En Stor Grabb Nu ++ Shintaro Sakamoto – A Stick And Slacks  ++ Robert Wyatt – Team Spirit ++ Kikagaku Moyo – Kogarashi ++ Sandy Bull – Gotta Be Juicy (Or It Ain’t Love) ++ Kallabash – Rainbows ++ Sunwatchers – Ancestors  (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++The Whitefield Brothers – Joyful Exaltation ++ Ed Thigpen – Danish Drive ++ John Martyn – Smiling Stranger ++ Electronic System – Skylab ++ Ty Segall – Every 1’s A Winner ++ T. Rex – Sound Pit ++ Queen – Cool Cat ++ Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM ++ Rocket Juice & The Moon – Forward Sweep ++ Indian Jewelry – Hello Africa ++ Tinariwen – Baye ++ Khruangbin – Maria Tambien ++ Brian Eno & David Byrne – Regiment ++ Funkadelic – I Wanna Know If It’s Good to You? ++ Michael Kiwanuka – Tell Me A Tale

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.


On his new record Closer to Stranger, Portland guitarist and singer Ilyas Ahmed picks up the threads that run through his numerous solo records and collaborations with Liz Harris of Grouper and Dreamboat (with Matt Carlson and Jonathan Sielaff of Golden Retriever) and ties them into dreamy new knots.

It represents Ahmed’s “one-man band” ambitions, packed with electric and acoustic guitars, Fender Rhodes, patient, steady drums, and washes of synthesizer (Sielaff shows up to play some gorgeous sax on album highlight “Zero For Below”), which add up to a sound equally rooted in psych-folk lonerism and the avant-garde. It’s a mellow, often comforting album, but there are complicated concerns running throughout, meditations on “uneasy identity politics during times of unreason, seeking peace amidst chaos,” Ahmed’s label MIE states.

Recently, AD caught up with Ahmed to dig deeper into Closer to Stranger‘s unique vibe.

Aquarium Drunkard: This record is mostly just you, but it’s expansive. It sounds like a band record much more than a “solo guitarist” kind of deal. How did you get the album to that place?

Ilyas Ahmed: I certainly listen to a lot of solo performers, but I think the archetype in my head — what I think about when I think about music — is a band. I think almost across the board, my solo records have been this “imaginary band” situation. I listen to a lot of different music and always think, “What would happen if I crossed this with this?” [Laughs]

Ilyas Ahmed :: Meditation On The Split Self