Earlier this summer, Lower Dens’ Jana Hunter stopped by AD hq in Los Angeles as the guest selector on our SIRIUS/XM show. Several months out from the release of the group’s fourth LP (The Competition, September 6th), 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…
On The Turntable
Sessa :: Grandeza
On Grandeza, the debut album from Sao Paolo–born artist Sessa, the eponymous lead track swings casually into the frame with lightly strummed nylon-stringed guitar and sparse hand percussion. Sessa’s deadpan tenor nonchalantly weaves in and out of the accompaniment of his heavenly, all-female chorus; setting the stage for the mesmerizing vocal interplay that highlights the set throughout.Read More
Fragments du Monde Flottant :: Compilation
A spiritual successor to 2004’s Golden Apples of the Sun, the recent compilation Fragments du Monde Flottant proves Devendra Banhart’s ears fully intact. Released by the Genève, Switzerland based Bongo Joe Records, Fragments again finds the singer-songwriter in a curatorial role, culling a dozen demo recordings from his labyrinth of friends, acquaintances and musical compatriots.Read More
Julian Lynch :: Terra
Lo-fi traces of eastern raga, drones, Jan Garbarek, Dave Holland…perhaps even a bit of Plastic Soul leaning sax. All of these figure into Julian Lynch’s thing — a thing he does far away from the music biz hype machine. This record, Terra, is of a piece with another one of his albums, Mare. In fact, we engage with the pair as if they were a double album…we’re not even sure which one came out first. No matter, just listen.Read More
Purple Mountains :: Purple Mountains
David Berman is now recording under the moniker of Purple Mountains, and with the help of Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere of Woods, has created an album that encapsulates an entire missing chapter of his life—and, in typical fashion, has revealed quite a lot about that chapter in the process…Read More
Yves Jarvis :: The Same But By Different Means
Genre fluid, Jarvis slips as easily into balmy, if broken, r&b as he does sinewy folk. Traces of gospel and homespun funk permeate the record, as its disparate sounds are spliced, screwed and ultimately recombinant. In regard to atmosphere, imagine happening upon a cache of extremely mellow Shuggie Otis demos; if say, Otis had a penchant for hyper-abbreviated 4-track and ambient field recordings.Read More
The Art Museums :: Rough Frame
Cult new wave band The Art Museums tell sordid tales of artists, lovers, and poseurs. Bay Area psych burnouts Josh Alper and Glenn Donaldson converged in San Francisco in the summer of 2009 to record Anglophile jams on a Tascam 388 tape machine (state of the art home-recording circa ’85). Sometimes the collection sounds like Pete Townshend demos. Sometimes.Read More
Bob Dylan :: The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
Bob have mercy! Just about eight months after More Blood, More Tracks comes another massive Dylan archival haul. The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings weighs in at a hefty 14 discs, giving listeners a front row seat (and a backstage pass) at the traveling road show Bob threw together in the months following Blood On The Tracks’ release. Three discs of rehearsals! Five complete Dylan sets! A bonus disc of curios and oddities! (Oh and hey, there’s that Martin Scorsese doc to absorb as well). The good news? This box is very reasonably priced at just about $80 — a whole lot of bang for your buck. The bad news? Come on, dude, there is no bad news.Read More
Badge Époque Ensemble :: Badge Époque Ensemble
On Badge’s self-titled debut LP, available via Telephone Explosion, they drift through dusted funk moves drawing inspiration from library music records, electric Miles, and the spaced-out hip-hop productions of Madlib, Dilla, and Edan. Flautist Alia O’Brien, from Toronto’s witchy folk-metal group Blood Ceremony, adds signature trills to the grooves laid down by Turnbull on clavinet and Rhodes, while the rest of the group struts in step.Read More
Several recent books provide counterpoints to Michael Pollan’s best-selling How To Change Your Mind. “Psychedelics for normies” in writer Alison Hussey’s memorable phrase, Pollan’s 2018 book almost instantly transformed the dialogue around the substances with its clear and direct arguments about their miraculous power to heal trauma. Only on occasion, though, does it entertain a present or future in which psychedelics might be used meaningfully outside the medical model, or acknowledge the ways that’s occurred in the past. How To Change Your Mind is a skeptical book, and draws some of its power from this, an extension of Pollan’s role as a mainstream journalist, but its tone is also an act of erasure in other ways.
Welcome to the seventh installment of Unearthed, a series of thematic mixes that travel deep into dusty vintage zones to dig up bootleg gold.
For the latest Unearthed, we’ve gathered together a totally eclectic sampling of Mile High sounds, ranging from lowdown blues crawls to futuristic synth-pop, from blazing funk-rock to jangly Britfolk.
TALK SHOW returns tonight – August 15 – at Gold Diggers in east Hollywood. 8pm / Free. Your host Justin Gage in conversation with Timothy Denevi, author of 2018’s FREAK KINGDOM: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism. Gonna dig in deep! Jason Jones (Rhino Records) […]
If you ask me my name, it’s High-Low-Jack in the game. The Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7pm PST, Wednesdays + on-demand.
Covering former Big Star guitarist Chris Bell’s 1978 ballad “I Am the Cosmos,” progressive art-rocker Eamon Fogarty manages to thread the needle, honoring the original’s ache while also tearing it apart via a Sonny Sharrock-style free jazz freakout.
Author’s note: this article originally appeared in 2012 on a now-defunct website called Dead Journalist. It has been salvaged, edited and updated for Aquarium Drunkard. – j jackson toth
AD contributor Tyler Wilcox has spent the last few weeks trying to wrap his head around Oren Ambarchi’s latest, a collaboration with famed Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista. But Simian Angel is slippery — it sounds different every time you spin it. New details emerge, textures shift, grooves come undone. What feels soothing and meditative on one listen seems to skirt the edges of disquieting dissonance on the next.
Two new releases from the Detroit underground, Tyvek’s Changing Patterns of Protective Coating and Deadbeat Beat’s How Far, trade in surrealism and inspired scuzz, showcasing the bruised vibrancy of the city’s experimental punk scene.
August 7th, tragic news broke that David Berman, poet and leader of Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, had passed away. A chronicler of despair and beauty, Bermans’ work casts a long shadow. Here, Wooden Wand’s James Jackson Toth reflects on his singular stature and remembers the man.
It’s Wednesday night, and we’re setting your Penfield Mood Organ for 11. Sliding of the coast of California, weird tales from the pacific rim — The Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XM. Channel 35, 7pm PST, Wednesdays + on-demand.
As Bob Dylan’s swampy and haunted classic Oh Mercy turns 30 years old, producer and musician Daniel Lanois reflects on the strange magic he helped create in New Orleans, driven by a willingness to explore seemingly contradictory spaces: “I wanted to make sure that that the music was trying to destroy the singer at the same time as support him.”
Terry Allen is a maker of things. A sculptor, illustrator, playwright, collagist, and, perhaps most famously, a singer and songwriter who, over the last five decades, has amassed an extensive catalog of avant-country gold. His 1975 album Juarez, a striking and brilliant concept album that plays as a kind of sunburned, southwestern Badlands, and 1979’s sprawling Lubbock (On Everything), a rollicking and wry send-up of Allen’s West Texas hometown, are rightly held up as unimpeachable masterpieces of proto-americana music. Each have recently received extensive reissues by the North Carolina label Paradise of Bachelors, who will also issue Allen’s forthcoming new album.