Founded 20 years ago, North Carolina’s Three Lobed Records documents the psych-rock underground. There’s no signature Three Lobed sound or vibe — and that’s a very good thing. To celebrate 20 years of Three Lobed Recordings, we’ve pulled together a selection of noteworthy LPs from the label’s ever-expanding galaxy, with recommendations both from the Aquarium Drunkard crew and Three Lobed-related artists.
Record Store Day (August 29) sees the vinyl release of Volume 2 of Aquarium Drunkard’s ongoing Lagniappe Sessions. The 13 performances gathered here on wax all have one thing in common: they’re all bursting at the seams with love and appreciation for the power of song. We’re in a blessedly irony-free zone here; even if the song choices may occasionally seem unusual, there’s not a trace of mockery to be found. There are ghosts in the grooves here, as well. But don’t worry — they’re friendly…
Loaded has been rightly celebrated plenty over the decades, but what the hell, let’s celebrate it a little more. This latest Unearthed mix cobbles together an alternate version of the LP via some tasty live recordings, rehearsal tapes, backstage jams and other obscurities. Recording quality varies wildly, performance quality is great throughout. Heavenly wine & roses await.
The first of three collections that gather together a whopping 48 songs recorded in late 2002, in between Time (The Revelator)Soul Journey. An astounding cache of previously unheard Welch/Rawlings music, made even more astounding by the fact that these four-dozen tunes were laid down in the space of just a few days.
Now available for streaming: Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard’s July 2020 broadcast, featuring an opening invocation by AD founder Justin Gage, Jason P. Woodbury’s Range and Basin, Tyler Wilcox’s Doom and Gloom From The Tomb, and Marty Sartini Garner’s Personal Sky.
RFAD lives—again! We’re pleased to announce the return of our freeform Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard transmissions via Dublab. Airing as a four-hour block every third Sunday of the month, RFAD on Dublab features Tyler Wilcox’s Doom and Gloom from the Tomb, Marty Sartini Garner’s Personal Sky, Jason P. Woodbury’s Range and Basin, alongside rotating shows and programming from Aquarium Drunkard friends, collaborators, and confidants. Things kick off Sunday, July 19th at 4 PM Pacific Time with a presentation by Aquarium Drunkard founder Justin Gage.
This year has been filled with surprises — most of them not particularly great. But a sneak attack Gillian Welch & David Rawlings covers album? That’s the definition of a nice surprise. Recorded live to tape this spring, All The Good Times is warm and loose, as the duo tackles tunes by Elizabeth Cotten, Bob Dylan, Norman Blake and a handful of trad-folk numbers …
The hammered dulcimer has been played all over the world for more than 1,000 years. But the vast possibilities of the instrument are still being explored. Case in point: Powers/Rolin Duo’s self-titled LP on Feeding Tube Records. Here, Jen Powers uses the hammered dulcimer to create a rippling, reverberant sound, something both minimal and expansive.
A necessary transmission coming to us from the Polvo galaxy. Silver Scrolls features members of that pioneering band, but offers plenty of fresh perspectives and jams.
But however eclectic Songs For John Venn gets, the album is held together firmly by Lou Turner’s singular lyrics and perfectly breezy vocals. She can make even the most tongue-twisted of lines sound as natural as a conversation with friends, blending wry humor with piercing observations, stony wonderings with crystal clear vision. These tunes follow their own weird inner logic but remain altogether accessible for the casual listener — a neat trick, indeed.
Neil Young’s long lost Homegrown is a worthy addition to the songwriter’s famed “Ditch” period, sharing with those other lps a heavy sense of loneliness, loss and heartache (as well as some of the boozy joy). But it’s a distinct effort, too, filled with its own melancholy and mystery.
It’s been almost five years since Zachary Cale’s last full-length (the excellent Duskland) — but he’s made up for lost time with his new double LP False Spring. It’s the songwriter’s best effort yet, understated yet ambitious, polished but never slick. It also feels hauntingly relevant to our current situation, as Cale depicts a chaotic world, confusion around every corner, apocalypse on the horizon.
There are voices. And then there are Voices. With “Wondrous Love,” Shirley Collins reminds us she’s in the latter category, bringing fresh humanity this early 1800s Sacred Harp hymn (with roots stretching back even further to the British isles).
We’ll have plenty more to say about Homegrown proper in the upcoming weeks. But for now, take a listen to a mix of tunes from the album that have made their way into Young’s live repertoire over the years, plus a few added rarities. Let it ring!
Silent Ways offers an immersive submersion into the depths of “In A Silent Way.” Composed by Joe Zawinul and made famous as the title track of Miles Davis’ first all-electric LP, it’s a song that doesn’t attempt to stop time as much as it attempts control time. Speed it up, slow it down, stretch it out, turn it upside down