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.”
Rickie Lee Jones joins Aquarium Drunkard for a career spanning conversation, from her self-titled debut to forthcoming album Kicks.
“This thing with music,” Jones says. “It’s like working with magic.”
A.A. Bondy is back with Enderness, his first album in nearly eight years. Forsaking the minimalist folk of his previous records, it embraces synths and digital textures, demonstrating Bondy’s willingness to keep driving at new approaches: “…Joy Williams…talks about once you figure out how to produce an effect as a writer, you have to discard it, every time.”
I Need a New War brings to end the trilogy Craig Finn started in 2015 with Faith in the Future and continued with 2017’s We All Want the Same Things, a triptych sidestepping the hard rock glory of Finn’s band the Hold Steady in favor of quieter, more introspective sounds and stories. Finn’s always written about hard luck characters, but increasingly, his lens centers more on the aftermath of the action than the action itself.
Soul singer Lee Fields reflects on five decades of making music for and with people, discusses the line between the sacred and the secular, and offers up cosmic advice: “The truth isn’t hard. A lie is hard. You have to catch yourself every time. People get caught up in lies, but when you’re dealing with the truth, man, it’s easy.”
Author and artist Dmitry Samarov’s new book, Music To My Eyes, was released last month via the Chicago based Tortoise Books. A 264 page love letter to independent music, Samarov’s words and minimalist illustrations flow in tandem, presenting a portrait of fandom and appreciation, from Nick Cave to Bill MacKay. Below, Samarov catches up with one of the subjects of his new book, Mission of Burma’s Peter Prescott.
2019 marks 25 years that Lambchop has been releasing albums. The incredible quality across that stretch is even more impressive when compared to the relative restlessness in the group’s sound and size. Their latest, This (Is What I Wanted to Tell You), is one of their finest albums yet and marks another push forward – an examination of a sound started on 2016’s FLOTUS.
“Some of these songs have this kind of ramshackle rhythm first of all, and it’ll kind of get into something and then kind of fall apart a bit.” This is Stephen Malkmus talking with me […]
Chicago guitarist Bill MacKay returns with another winningly eclectic solo LP for Drag City. Fountain Fire sneaks up on you; its songs are unassuming at first, with a loose, conversational feel to them. Ahead of the album’s release, MacKay joined Aquarium Drunkard to discuss his shifting approaches, cinematic inspirations, and establishing his own musical language.
Can prank calls be an art form? It isn’t hard to answer “yes” once you’ve heard Longmont Potion Castle. A new documentary, Where In the Hell Is the Lavender House, seeks to offer a glimpse at this obscured figure.
During a recent set with the Nels Cline 4 at the Musical Instrument Museum, guitarist Julian Lage couldn’t stop smiling. It was a repeated sight. Whether aggressively dueling with Cline or offering supportive chords, Lage appeared to be having the most fun. That joyful spirit is also audible on his latest record as a bandleader, Love Hurts. Working with drummer Dave King (of the Bad Plus) and bassist Jorge Roeder, the set was cut mostly off-the-cuff at the Wilco Loft, and it’s a beautiful, layered testament to spontaneity.
With Kraftwerk, Neu!, and Harmonia, guitarist Michael Rother was instrumental in developing Kosmische Musik, or Krautrock. A new boxset charts his often pastoral and filmic solo trajectory.
While Starflyer’s early, reverb-drenched albums, named Silver and Gold for their monochromatic album covers, fit neatly into the shoegaze movement, it didn’t take long for Martin and assorted company to outgrow that mold, blooming into one of the truly essential—if largely unknown—forces in American indie rock. Young In My Head is a vital edition to that catalog.