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.
“We were influenced by literature and the use of words. We realized the world was a complex place. We were interested in the complexity of human beings, so we sang about the human condition.” Sitting down with Aquarium Drunkard, Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks reflects on the band’s legacy of existential poetry and punk pop.
Kevin Morby doesn’t feel at home in this world anymore. The songwriter joins Aquarium Drunkard to discuss the holy and profane elements of his latest album, the double lp “Oh My God,” detailing how the lens of religion allowed him to “tell a story of humanity.”
Lou Barlow has turned the last decade into something of a renaissance period. After the successful (and really good) reunion of the original Dinosaur Jr. lineup, Barlow also reignited the long dormant Sebadoh in 2013. Now the trio is back with their second album since reuniting, Act Surprised.
Craig Leon spent the ’70s helping define the sound of New York City’s punk and experimental explosions. His new album, The Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 2: The Canon, features new recordings that return to the celestial focus of his album 1981 album “Nommos,” blurring distinctions between minimalism, electronic folk, and New Age.
Cate Le Bon joins Aquarium drunkard to “reconcile all of the people and places that played into her most glamorous (and best) work to-date,” Reward, “a musical product that was informed and fueled by what she learned from “working with her hands, becoming comfortable with just focusing on the physical product in front of her.”