Wooden Shjips, the bay-area quartet led by Moon Duo’s Ripley Johnson, release their fifth album, V., via the stalwart Thrill Jockey Records today. As the shadows cast begin to lengthen out here on the east, this new disc’s heavy dose of warm shoegaze psych is a more than welcome companion. Embodying the psychic spectrum of a nighttime desert drive, a lost weekend in the valley of beyond, the band alchemizes atmospheric ripples of ragged glory guitar, sorcerous waves of synth, free jazz skronk, and blissed out boogies. It’s a summer-tinged collection, emitting its freak out transmissions across high noons and blood moons alike. Drink it in, man. words/c depasquale

Catch Ryley Walker one day, and he may be forecasting his future as a bald, ponytailed guitar shredder; catch him another, and he’s sketching out a scene from the mid-2000s, scheming to pick up a book of pop theology and some blog rock. But somehow, his new lp, Deafman Glance, makes space for the whole of Ryley, a young dude whose early records felt like lost Britfolk artifacts, but whose ubiquitous social media presence feels pretty damn modern.

A proggy, intricate, and often deadpan chunk of jazz-folk, it’s also Walker’s most personal record, one that finds the singer/songwriter opened up in unexpected ways, obsessing over debt, bus fare, and the lack of a master plan. “It’s not very fun/Being a fun person,” Walker sings on “Can’t Ask You Why,” and then as if acknowledging a tendency for overthinking, adding “And I can hear you sigh.”

Recently, AD caught up with Walker on the road, to discuss how Chicago influenced the new album, honing a poetic voice, and why saying “stupid” things online can be a folk-rock boon.

Aquarium Drunkard: In the notes that accompanied the release of Deafman Glance, you wrote about how making it stressed you out. How do you feel about it now?

Ryley Walker: Like any other paranoid, fucked up artist, I loathe what I do one minute and love what I do the next. I like it, yeah.


Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can now be heard every Wednesday at 7pm PST with an encore broadcasts on-demand via the SIRIUS/XM app.

SIRIUS 522: Jean-Michel Bernard – Genérique Stéphane ++ Tinariwen – Tenere Taqqim Tossam ++ The Ify Jerry Krusade – Everybody Likes Something Good ++ Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson – Lovin’ You ++ Fatback Band – Goin’ To See My Baby ++ We The People – Function Underground Darondo – Let My People Go ++ Los Issufu & His Moslems – Kana Soro ++ Moses Dillard – Tribute To Wes ++ Clarendonians – You Won’t See Me ++ The Three Degrees – Collage ++ Gene Boyd – Thought Of You Today ++ Johnny & The Attractions – I’m Moving On ++ Andersons All Stars – Intensified Girls ++ The Ify Jerry Krusade – Nwantinti/Die Die Michael Kiwanuka – Bones ++ John Rydgren – Hippy Version of The 23rd Psalm (edit) ++ Damon – Don’t You Feel Me Loving You ++ Whitefield Brothers – Rampage ++ Elmer & Brenda Parker – Got To Get Me Back To Louisiana Pt. 1 & 2 ++ Marian Anderson – Scandalize My Name ++ Nina Simone – To Love Somebody ++ Serge Gainsbourg – Requiem Pour Un Con  ++ Johnny Thunder – I’m Alive ++ Dion – Baby, Let’s Stay Together ++ The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation – Watch ‘n’ Chain ++ The Electric Piano Underground – Good Vibrations ++ Darwin Teoria – De La Ceca A La Meca (Sally’s Uptight) ++ Ike & Tina Turner – Cussin’, Cryin’ & Carryin’ On ++ Lee Moses – Got That Will ++ Black Velvet – Is It Me You Really Love ++ Patrizia & Jimmy – Trust Your Child Pt 1 ++ Penny & The Quarters – You And Me ++ Billy Lamont – Sweet Thang ++ The Mighty Hannibal – I’m Coming Home ++ Brenton Wood – Baby You Got It ++  Simon & The Piemen – Cut It Out ++ Ike & Tina Turner – Bold Soul Sister ++ The Equals – Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys ++ Nolan Porter – If I Could Only Be Sure ++ Les Surfs – Tú Serás Mi Baby (Be My Baby) ++ The Upsetters – Taste Of Killing ++ Collage / Michael Hentz.

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


“If he plays a gig in some club, it’s the talk of the town for the whole year. Who can afford to pay for so much entertainment?… Well, for those who do not know Dudu Pukwana, he is the heaviest of the heaviest alto saxophone players and for many of us coming from South Africa… THE TEACHER. Go on doing the BOOGIE Bra Dudza.” – Joe Malinga (liner notes, One For Dudu)

Here now, “Some For Dudu,” a celebration and glance at Pukwana: the teacher, the exile, the saxophonist, the front man, the collaborator, the pianist, the singer and shouter; two hours of calm, frenzy, jazz and beyond.

Some For Dudu :: A Dudu Pukwana Companion

Playlist after the jump . . .


On his second solo album, Morning Haikus, Afternoon Ragas, guitarist Buck Curran assembles a set of peaceful Takoma-style guitar instrumentals, custom built for thoughtfulness and calm. Best known for his work with the psych-folk duo Arborea, Curran currently resides with his family in Bergamo, Italy, and this sublime lp finds him reflecting on familial spirits. Dedicating the album to his children Shylah, Liam, and Francesco, Curran devotes the first half of the album to carefully composed ballads and improvisations, the spiritual nature of his playing referencing Indian classical guitarist Pandit Nikhil Banerjee and Robbie Basho (Curran recently produced an essential live document of the latter’s, Live in Forlì, Italy 1982). But on the second half of the lp, Curran explores more varied textures, dedicating the washing waves of electric guitar on “Taurus” to Peter Green, and collaborating with vocalist Adele Pappalardo on the tender folk song “Dirt Floor.” A moving and generous listen, Morning Haikus, Afternoon Ragas feels generative and expansive, like the best guitar soli can. You can grab the vinyl edition of the album June 15 from Forced Exposure. words/j woodbury


“I’m stoked, man. Back at work after so long.”

This is Stuart McLamb of the Love Language, standing on an L.A. sidewalk having just emerged from a barber shop. It’s a relatively new surrounding for the North Carolina native who took Huck Finn’s advice about a year ago and lit out for the territories. The impetus for our phone call is the first new Love Language record in five years. Baby Grand will see the light of day August 3rd on Merge Records, and it marks a sizeable change in McLamb’s surroundings.

AD spoke with McLamb about what he’s been up to since 2013’s Ruby Red, writing and composing inside a defacto hammock factory, the way album ingestion can affect your own art, and how the new album’s title has its own cheeky fit in the universe of the Love Language. Check out the video for the first single, “Southern Doldrums,” down below.

Aquarium Drunkard: This is the longest time that has elapsed between Love Language records. What’s been going on and what lead to that long of a break?

Stuart McLamb: Well, it’s always kind of been me writing and doing it. I think maybe I just got a little — maybe not burnt out, but you shouldn’t just churn things out to just do it. It needs to come from a spot. So it took a while for me to rediscover my passion and have songs pile up that I thought were good. I spent hours and hours making demos, and there was a lot of stuff I just didn’t feel was honest or real and ended up just scrapping them.

That was the deal with the Love Language, but I did stay busy with several other things. Right after the tour for Ruby Red, I mixed a record by a Chapel Hill band called Last Year’s Men. It was a great record and they put it out, but they’d started a punk band right after that and it never went that far. So I spent a long time working on that and then I had a band called Soon. That was a band I did that was a bit more of a heavy thing. Put that album out. I did a record with a project called Pretty Ponies. Maybe it didn’t seem like it in the public eye, but I definitely felt pretty busy. It probably does appear that way to people who just know me from the Love Language.

On their new collaborative album, Daniel Lanois and electronic composer Aaron Funk, better known as Venetian Snares, make for an unexpected “Canadian team.” As a producer and solo artist, Lanois’s work is dedicated to open, moody space; Funk, on the other hand, populates his soundworlds with near constant twitching and aggressive motion. But Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois makes sense of this contrast, blending Lanois’ slow motion, gospel-informed pedal steel with Funk’s dramatic breakcore.

Often, the record recalls the soundscapes of Lanois’ work with Brian Eno on 1983’s Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, if that record’s spacey ambiance had been punctuated by violent bursts of noise and rhythm. Employing a Miles Davis cut-up style, manipulating “yards” of live recordings, Lanois edited the album together. It’s a testament to his restless creative drive and a daring listen. We caught up with Lanois in LA to ask how the strange team-up came about.

Aquarium Drunkard: A few years ago, after recording an interview in your studio, you played us some of the music you were working with Venetian Snares on. I’ve been anxious to hear it since and it’s turned out to be a wild record.

Daniel Lanois: Oh yeah, well we finally gave birth. [Laughs] It feels pretty good. I’ve been devoted to this for a while now, and I’ll say to my friends, “By the time something comes out,” by the time you get a release date from the label and all this, in a way, the creative peak has already happened. So I’ve actually moved on to some other work now, but hey, listen man, we’re going on tour, Snares and I. I call [Aaron Funk] “Snares.”

It’s exciting. I feel like it’s my first band. The shows feel like, “Whoa, things are so psychedelic.” I’m pretty thrilled about it because we can really pull this thing off live. He’s really a master. We make a pretty good Canadian team.