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Sidecar (12.13.2021)

It's time for another issue of our weekly newsletter, Sidecar. A round up of this week at Aquarium Drunkard, pop culture recommendations, and more. 

Year In Review :: 2021

Here it is: our Year In Review 2021. Unranked and sprawling as always. A guide to the music that stuck with us through another strange year. 

Videodrome :: Urgh! A Music War

Released in May 1982, Urgh! A Music War is one of the most salient artifacts from the musical movement that would later be dubbed “new wave.” Clocking in at just over two hours and featuring over thirty live performances, the anthological concert film showcases artists in their prime as well as their infancy. Except for a few brief interludes, the film doesn’t leave the sweaty and smoke-filled venues it inhabits.


Color Green :: So Far Behind

With a much-anticipated full-length release slated to drop next year, Color Green primes the pump with a pair of singles that trade dusty boots and ponchos for a little worn denim and rhinestone—and everything’s still comfy as hell. The bleary nocturnal desert visions of 2020’s self-titled EP have given way to daybreak, and we find Color Green on the glide, blazing down the boulevard in the new light of day. Coasting along on warm harmonies and breezy pedal steel, ‘So Far Behind’ is a wistful, windows-down cruiser headed straight into the sunrise, taking it easy and happy to be right where it’s at.


Bob Dylan :: Pretty Good Stuff | Ep. 13

Lucky number 13. Welcome back to Pretty Good Stuff: Dylan historian James Adams’ semi-regular hour-long program diving deep into the depths of all things Dwarf Music. This episode is strictly comprised of performances from the last tour of songs from the latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways.


Miroque :: Botanical Sunset
 
One of the many fabricated genres used to classify the music of Japan’s Miroque is “toy sentimentalism.” That feels like an accurate enough description for the pianist and electronic composer’s 2001 album, Botanical Sunset, freshly reissued by Slow Editions. Twenty years after its original release on CD, the Toronto-based publishing company led by visual artist Eunice Luk and Not Not Fun’s Masahiro Takahashi have repackaged the album as a cassette aimed at ears outside of Miroque’s home country. Patiently unfolding across over an hour of wistful kankyō ongaku (this was the CD era, after all), her music radiates with soft synths, watery textures, and twinkly percussion that could be found in a child’s toy chest. It almost feels like you can grab the sounds out of the air.


The Lagniappe Sessions :: Philip Frobos

OMNI‘s Philip Frobos used a good bit of last year’s lockdown to craft his literary debut, Vague Enough To Satisfy, a novel that moves between Leipzig, Atlanta, and New York chronicling the subtle daily adventures amongst musicians, artists, and barflies. For his third Lagniappe Session (counting two with OMNI), Frobos digs into Lou Reed’s Berlin, along with the ’77 Lust For Life gem, “Tonight”, via Iggy Pop’s hyper-creative stint in the city. 

Emil Amos :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

By his own admission Emil Amos is a workaholic. Holy Sons, his singer-songwriter project that has been active since the late nineties, boasts a bottomless catalogue that runs the gamut from drug-damaged lo-fi artifacts to lush and ambitious records like his last, 2020’s Raw and DisfiguredWe recently caught up with Amos to discuss Neil Young, Wu Tang, the upcoming season of Drifter’s Sympathy, the vinyl manufacturing crises and the shadowy history of his father’s friendship with David Crosby.


Diversions :: Beach Fossils – The Other Side of Life: Piano Ballads

For this installment of Diversions we caught up with Beach Fossils’ Dustin Payseur on the heels of his project’s new lp, The Other Side of Life: Piano Ballads. A stylistic turn, this latest work grew out of the artist’s love for Lester Young, Chet Baker, Bill Evans and Coleman Hawkins – specifically their ballads. As such, we caught up with Payseur to discuss these influences, and how their work plays into the vibe of the new album. 


Ty Segall :: Zebulon Session

Captured in June of 2020, prior to L.A. opening back up, Ty Segall’s absolute incendiary one-man band session at Zebulon in Frogtown. The incredibly tight 30 minute performance finds Segall working up a strange alchemy against pre-recorded backing tracks, recontextualizing seven nuggets from his catalog. Necessary.


Nils Lofgren :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

Multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren was welcomed back into the Crazy Horse fold a few years ago. But even though he jokingly calls himself “the young man of the band,” he’s not the new kid on the block. The latest Neil Young & Crazy Horse record, Barn, was indeed recorded in a barn, high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Mostly captured live, it’s the band at its most elemental and warm, the sound of four old friends who still love making a racket together. Aquarium Drunkard hopped on Zoom with Lofgren recently to get his insight into what makes Young and the Horse tick, even after all these years. 


Radiohead :: Kid A Mnesia

Metamorphosis distorts. In hindsight, the most transformative events only come to seem more unlikely. How could an album like Kid A make its way to the top of the transatlantic charts, in this life or any other? From the vantage of 2021, it seems like a cosmic joke. We can see now, of course, that what appeared to be another tectonic shift in the fabric of the mainstream—hardly ten years after Nevermind—was only a closing of the loop.

Thanks for opening up another issue of Sidecar. Do you dig it? How about our weekly show on Sirius/XM, the Transmissions podcastThe Lagniappe Sessions—where your favorite artists cover their favorite artists—and our deep dive interviews, monthly radio broadcast on Dublabmixtapes, and audio/visual joints? Support us on Patreon to take part in it all happening. 

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Aquarium Drunkard · Hillhust Ave · Los Angeles, CA 90027 · USA