Conor Oberst has never shied away from the apocalyptic, but on the new Bright Eyes album Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was he sings about the end of the world like an eye witness reporter. “I think we all, to some degree, are dreaming the same dreams and we’re fighting the same internal battles in our minds and hearts.”
Via satellite, transmitting from northeast Los Angeles — the Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7pm California time, Wednesdays.
Tonight: During the first hour, a preview of The Lagniappe Sessions, Vol. II out August 29 via Record Store day.
23-year-old Wyatt Waddell wrote, performed and recorded “FIGHT!” in 24 hours after witnessing the protests sparked by the brutal killing of George Floyd. That urgency presents itself both lyrically; “There’s already so much pain / And there ain’t nothin else we can do / But to fight,“ and musically; sparse church rhythms keep a fierce pace as the Chicago native’s gritty tenor transforms into a sea of otherworldly voices. Wonderful funk breakdowns help release (or it increase?) the tension, while Waddell’s vocals climb higher and grow more exasperated with each passing verse. By the end of the track, he’s levitating above the masses that he’s instructing. This is a distinctively inspiring voice that we would all be wise to follow.
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).
Guest contributor David Obuchowski shares the story of Runnin Bare and Lil White Dove, an independent printing house that serviced CB radio enthusiasts. A story of connection, tragedy, and the complicated legacy of skewed Americana.
Brigid Mae Power returns with her third long player, Head Above the Water, on June 5th. The first taste from the record—the lush “On a City Night”—is an organ and pedal steel-soaked country shuffle. Plaintively furtive in its imagery, the tune plays like a deceptive still life; its characters in a state of suspended animation while the world blurs in motion.
“Jazz Harmonie” French television performance. Recorded March 23, 1972 at Studio de Joinville le Pont in Paris, France.
Ernest Hood’s 1975 proto-ambient masterpiece Neighborhoods is a reminder of what happens when quiet makes space to really listen. Combining idyllic field recordings and washes of synth and zither, the album illustrates the relationship between the specific and the universal.
A new collection from Real Gone Music, “Screamin’ Jay Hawkins: The Bizarre Years,” plucks selections from his albums for the imprint, confirming that right up until the very end, Hawkins was interested in theatrical provocation, gross-out humor, and wild antics.
Experimental pop producer Tōth joins us to examine a few of the items in his emotional and mental toolkit, and his observations reveal that his album’s title—Practice Magic And Seek Professional Help When Necessary—is more than a clever comment on the self-care movement we all find ourselves considering, but rather, a code of openness and directness that finds careful application in his life and creative work.
Primal Boogie! This necessary collection from No Quarter brings together the first two Endless Boogie albums: four sides, six glorious jams, recorded on two mics straight into a cassette deck. To call them “out of print” isn’t quite correct – they were barely ever in print at all. Self-released in minuscule pressings in 2005, the LPs both been longtime collectors’ items (and for those of us without deep pockets, passed around in low bit-rate mp3 versions). Now they’re back, and with a totally sweet gatefold, to boot.
On his latest, a lean, seven-song release entitled New Miami Sound, Davidson shows leaps and bounds in his songwriting, embracing piano-driven rhapsodies found in the unlikeliest of places; nostalgia-tinted folk for long casted shadows just beginning to fade. Branching off some strange lineage of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Harry Nilsson, his warbly, rustic vocals and subtly profound prose seem to sneak up on you. Often, it feels as though you might turn around to find it gone.
Listening to Jay Bolotin’s mysterious songs, it’s easy to hear why people like Mickey Newbury, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, and other Music City luminaries lauded the Kentucky native’s work.
A “science fiction album about the present,” Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? finds Deerhunter at the mesa of their dream pop playground.
As anyone who’s ever seen him live can attest, Glenn Kotche is an inventive player, not beholden to typical rock & roll tropes and unafraid to interject left of center […]