Released in May 1982, Urgh! A Music War is one of the most salient artifacts from the musical movement that would later be dubbed “new wave.” Clocking in at just over two hours and featuring over thirty live performances, the anthological concert film showcases artists in their prime as well as their infancy.
Meg Duffy talks about their process, the liberating effect of working with an out queer artist like Perfume Genius and the way that the meanings of songs shift over time. “One of my favorite things about making records is that I learn about what the meaning is, later, after it’s out,” they confide.
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
In 2019 the LA based Joy Guerrilla dropped their debut full-length, Skyline, a record sonically indebted to Headhunters-era Herbie Hancock, George Duke, and esoteric European prog — all with an assist from elements of modern electronic music. Rooted by core players Magda Daniec and Adam Grab, the group returned earlier this year with the release of its sophomore LP, The Park Is Closed. If Skyline‘s intent was to capture the idyllic West Coast atmosphere through a musical lens, this new effort casts its gaze at the dark, bizarre, and pensive. Or, as evidenced by “No Late Fees”, the Steely Dan side of Los Angeles.
Sonic Youth played its last shows just over a decade ago. But the band’s legacy lives on thanks to an ever-expanding archive available on Bandcamp. Curated by drummer Steve Shelley and longtime sound engineer Aaron Mullan, the archive swells with live tapes stretching back to the mid-1980s, crucial rarities collections, and stray tracks rescued from out-of-print singles, internet mixes, and random comps. Aquarium Drunkard spoke with Steve Shelley to get his thoughts on a few gems that await listeners.
We mentioned Eola’s Dang upon its initial release, and the new Tonstartssbandht record has us revisiting the 2016 album with fervor. Self-described ‘a capella DIY gospel’, Eola is the solo vehicle of Tonstartssbandht’s Edwin White. Laced in woozy reverb, vocoder and f/x, Dang’s nine tracks play out like a sub rosa summoning stick. Alternately leaning into spiritual drones, warbling pop, and cosmic chamber gospel, its a gorgeous record of singular vision.
Despite his success working with other musicians, Mosdell’s experimental solo album, Equasian (1982, Alfa Records), remains a relative obscurity outside the borders of Japan. In this conversation, we spoke with the lyricist about his early career with Yellow Magic Orchestra and how his eclectic album of musical concrete poems came to be.
Zenjungle and Valiska straddle jazz, drone, and ambient on Years From Now. A sequel to the duo’s 2014 album A Changing Light, it’s an album about “uncertainty, coping, dreams, memories, and connections.”
A highlife and proto-disco delight from Cameroonian singer Marthe Zambo, “Ebele Minga” radiates in marrying more traditional West African roots music with early leanings into electronic and synth-based rhythms. It’s difficult to put a particular date on this 7”, but it seems to perhaps just precede Zambo’s 1980 debut lp, Bikola, a record which also finds her just dipping her sonic toes into a more modern style of dance music …
Released in 1981, the 28 minute instrumental piece “Carnage Visors” was originally conceived as the score to filmmaker Ric Gallup’s (brother of the Cure’s Simon Gallup) animated short of the same name. The piece was used in lieu of an opening band during the Cure’s 1981 tour in support of the group’s Faith lp. The film has since disappeared, the only known copies belonging to Robert Smith, Gallup, and the Cure’s Lol Tolhurst.
Fusing its eastern base with latin rhythms, de rigueur flourishes of psych and a second helping of sinuous funk, Temiz’s polyrhythmic stew effortlessly bends/blends myriad modalities. For a taste, tuck into “East Breeze”, a tune that immediately sets the table with a sinister bağlama riff (courtesy of Arif Sag) that floats above all manner of percussion… in addition to berimbaus, talking drums, zithers, finger bells, woodwinds, and a rather nasty synth line. Bon appétit.
We catch up with Phil Cook on the eve of the release of his beautiful new instrumental record, All These Years. Through an unwavering smile, he talked about the importance of a fertile cultural landscape, how the label he just started is anything but, and why he decided to release a solo piano album now.
Tradition runs rampant around Thanksgiving: generations of old recipes, football, Alice’s Restaurant, The Last Waltz, and, of course, a parade of balloons shutting down NYC. What else do you need? If you thought you were covered in the Thanksgiving tradition department, we did too…until a few years ago, when someone blew the dust off a long lost tape — Doug Sahm’s Thanksgiving Jam.