Via satellite, transmitting from northeast Los Angeles — the Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7pm California time, Wednesdays.
34.1090° N, 118.2334° W
While tracing the collaborative history of Iggy Pop and David Bowie, you inevitably end at Iggy Pop’s 1986 album, Blah-Blah-Blah and its third single, “Shades.” According to the liner notes, the album was produced and co-written by Bowie, but the larger story – the one dipped in gossip and swirled in rock ’n roll folklore – is that Blah-Blah-Blah is a repurposing of throwaway material from Bowie’s ill-fated Tonight sessions, calling into question the classic Bowie/Pop paradox: is it Iggy Pop singing a David Bowie song? Or is it David Bowie producing an Iggy Pop song?
I’m The Sky: Studio and Demo Recordings, 1964–1971 collects parts of Norma Tenega’s first two albums as well as two songs from her unreleased 1969 album, and a healthy chunk of demos. Listening to this 2-lp collection and reading Erin Osmon’s excellent liner notes (which include interviews with Tanega shortly before she passed in late 2019), Tanega’s life and music feel inseparable. Her voice, guitar, and autoharp laugh off the hardships of living and lean into the comic details, embracing self-amusements, aphorisms, and minuscule mysteries.
On Joan Shelley’s fantastic new album The Spur, the singer/songwriter reaches out from a place of solitude, seeking connection. Rooted in Britfolk aesthetics, it’s an album that feels intimate but spacious too, all finger picked acoustic guitars, Richard Thompson inspired electrics, and sparse percussion.
The latest from JJ Toth of Wooden Wand and One Eleven Heavy, Dunza opens up new sound worlds, mutated drone funk, Popol Vuh-style devotional psych, and time-bending zoner rock. Check out the video for “Disowned” for a taste, conceived and edited by collaborator Jason Meagher of Black Dirt Studio.
Drifting in under the radar of psych collectors and enthusiasts alike are The Smubbs. They may have the worst band name in the history of modern music, but those willing to overlook this will revel in psychedelic folk that goes toe to toe with most of their freaked out peers.
Omertà is comprised of five musicians from a handful of projects that line the interior of France’s experimental underground, notably La Société Étrange, releasing limited edition pressings on labels like Standard In-Fi, Desastre, and La Novià. Each of the members, and their associated groups, possess krautrock’s stealthy octave climbing and open feel, dub’s intimate incorporation of analog electronics and generally hazy air, and a bit of post-punk’s willingness to try anything out.
For better or worse, there is something within us that won’t give up. For better, that is what Matt O’Keefe does with his music. We recently caught up with O’Keefe in his front yard to discuss three songs that will be released off his debut solo record, Warm Infinity.
A deeply pleasing sensation arises when terrific cover art not only fully delivers on the music, but also bears a distinct resemblance to it. Ryo Kawasaki’s 1976 jazz-funk album Juice is one such record. Bright and refreshing like a piece of citrus, peel the skin back and you’ll find an electric fantasyland of traversing wires and circuits. Over the course of its seven tracks, the visually sci-fi-tinged world of Juice feels at once perfectly of its time, yet remains delightfully vital in 2022.
Guitarist Pat Metheny recently described music as a “carrot”, “I am still figuring out what the stick is,” he concluded to Ross Simonini in The Believer. That idea of constant investigation permeates Metheny’s nearly 50 year music career as well as his first s/t LP with his Pat Metheny Group.
Depending on your entry point, Andy Paley’s body of work might be familiar via a number of unique gateways. Recording with Phil Spector and the Wrecking Crew. Producing the Shangri-Las. Writing with the Ramones. Sharing the stage with Patti Smith. And, of course, Brian Wilson’s proclamation of Paley being “the greatest musical genius I’ve ever come across”. Now residing in Vermont, Paley connected with us to discuss his long trajectory traveling all avenues of music, as well as current projects still rooted in the Spector-inspired tradition of the sixties “girl group” and French yé-yé sound.
Originally released in 1975, El Gusano’s Fantasia del Barrio was given a second life in 2010 via the Austin, TX based Heavy Light Records. It too soon found itself out of print. Described as the missing link between Texas psychedelia and the chicano soul and funk of the late 1960s and early 70s, the record’s ten instrumental tracks pivot between zeitgeisty rock and humid groove.
Via satellite, transmuting from northeast Los Angeles — the Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7pm California time, Wednesdays.
34.1090° N, 118.2334° W