If Dylan Moon’s Only The Blues was released in the 1960s or ’70s, it could have been a gorgeous private press loner obscurity like Dave Bixby’s Ode To Quetzalcoatl, discovered by waxidermists decades later. If it was released in the ’80s, it could have been a proto-synth-pop masterpiece like Nick Nicely’s “D.C.T. Dreams” that magically caught the ear of a major label. If it was released in the ’90s, it could have landed on K Records, Shrimper, or maybe even Flying Nun.
If Juan Wauters didn’t exist, New York would have to invent him. The Uruguayan-born musician moved to the city with his family as a teenager and has called Queens his home ever since. As a songwriter — first with his punk band The Beets, and, since 2014, as a solo artist — Wauters exemplifies a strange kind of charm that seems distinct to New York: His work is smart, flinty, and not naive to the worst ways of the world. His records are recorded quietly and with sparing instrumentation, as if he’s trying his best to respect a sleeping neighbor.
Journeyman bassist Rob Stoner has played with nearly every rock & roll legend you could name, from Bob Dylan to Chuck Berry and Link Wray. Today at AD, he shines a light on the fact, fiction, and myth of Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story. “He’s always trying to put people on, to put people off his trail.”
We recently caught up with singer-songwriter Ruth Garbus to delve deeper into the gorgeous, greyscale world she spins on her new lp, Kleinmeister. Garbus’ hyper-specific lyrics are rendered timeless when delivered in her expressive mezzo-soprano and supported by the thrum of her signature rhythm guitar playing. This latest record highlights these two forces at their most bare, and draws upon a diverse array of influences.
Tinariwen’s eighth album, “Amadjar,” was conceived on the road. Following an appearance Taragalte Festival in the Moroccan Sahara, the group traveled to Mauritania trailed by their French production team, in a camper van. Songs were put together during this road trip in a traditional Tamasheq manner, built up via conversations and playing around campfires.
June 14th marked the return of Bill Callahan, via his latest record — the double lp, Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest. One of our favorite listens this year, we asked singer/songwriter Jerry David DeCicca to catch up with the artist on our behalf as they embarked a short west coast tour together. Their conversation, below …
Speaking with Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer of Olden Yolk feels like a great conversation with friends where one alleyway of thought leads into another. It’s a feeling similar to their latest album, Living Theatre, a gorgeous record that funnels a broad collection of musical influences, but also ends up sounding like some of the best of Yo La Tengo’s gentler moments.
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…
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.
But Froom is also a musician in his own right, and earlier this year he released an album and an EP, both projects designed to help revisit and develop his sense of the studio. The Monkeytree EP features a handful of compositions put together with David Boucher, and the Ether full-length took Froom on a working tour of his synthesizers, exploring a past sense of the future. “There’s a layer of plastic over it,” Froom says, describing the alternate-timeline vision of what lay ahead […]
Aquarium Drunkard spoke with Jennifer Herrema via Skype back before the tour was canceled and in an hour-long interview discussed returning to Royal Trux after an eighteen year hiatus, the somewhat contested recording story behind White Stuff, their almost unbelievable stint on Virgin Records in the 90s, intense bargaining over streaming their back catalogue, and the proclivity of Burger Kings in the U.K.
Upon first learning that Khruangbin’s next album would be a dub version of their last album, I was confused. I already imagined Khruangbin as a dub version of some imaginary, intermediary group. That’s how otherworldly they seemed. But aside for some atmospheric overdubs, the entirety of their recorded output was recorded live as a trio in a barn in Texas. They’ve fixed that with this latest release, Hasta El Cielo, which finds their most recent album receiving a thorough dub-oscopy with no amount of echo, reverb or heavy low-end spared.
On Eraserland, Timothy Showalter dismantles the rock & roll mythology he’s devoted much of his Strand of Oaks discography to celebrating. He joins Aquarium Drunkard to discuss ego construction, omniscient narrators, and how the new album both ended and began a new chapter for his longrunning band.
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.
When I call up the reggae legend, Lee “Scratch” Perry, The Upsetter, to talk about his new album Rainford I reach him on a grainy WhatsApp audio connection. He’s in Jamaica and he’s in bed, “looking at the lights. looking at the day, and looking at the night.”
Perry’s in his eighties and when he gets going he speaks in limericks, but he doesn’t come across as wacky, just joyful. The first thing I notice about Perry is the giggle that roils through the conversation and punctuates his sentences. It’s disarming, a Buddha-like by-product of a lifetime of producing joy by way of deep and heavy rhythms, and meant for killing egos.