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.
Joan Shelly :: The Spur
At this point in her career, we would probably settle for a “pretty good” album from Joan Shelley. But no, The Spur continues an unbroken streak of masterpieces for the Louisville-based artist. It’s a record that features some of Shelley’s very best songwriting, bolstered by sensitive and occasionally surprising arrangements, ravishingly lush at some points, spare and spectral at others. The Spur is a wonder, from start to finish.
Lagniappe Sessions :: Mike Polizze
On Dizzy Demos: 2 Tickets to Cheeseburger in Paradise, songwriter Mike Polizze reveals the ramshackle core of his solo debut Long Lost Solace Find, collecting demos and outtakes from the album’s original sessions. The former Purling Hiss frontman’s songs shine in nascent form, tugging at threads that connect to country rock, glam, and classic loner folk. For his first ever Lagniappe Session, Polizze keeps things similarly direct and locked in, with two sparse traditional songs.
Every Mouth Must Be Fed :: 1973-1976
From the archives of Micron Music, Every Mouth Must Be Fed: 1973-1976. Originally released via Pressure Sounds in the spring of 2008, a CD copy of this twenty track compilation soundtracked the majority of that summer, and, due to a recent cop of the vinyl version, it appears to be doing the same some 14 years later. A toppermost three year overview of the Kingston, Jamaica based label, the roots collection highlights selects from the likes of Joe Higgs, U Roy, I Roy, Tommy McCook, Junior Byles, King Tubby and others, featuring an effortless array of early reggae and dub.
Hidden Waters :: Strange And Sublime Sounds of Rio de Janeiro
Hidden Waters, the recent vinyl compilation of new Brazilian music by Sounds & Colours, offers a dreamscape view of the alternative music scene that has recently bloomed around the Audio Rebel studio in Rio de Janeiro. From established icons of ‘nova MPB’ like Kassin and Letrux to up-and-coming artists like Raquel Dimantas and Os Ritmistas, and from the serene soul pop of Jonas Sá and Marcello Callado to the abrasive noise experimentalism of Cadu Tenório & Juçara Marçal and Ava Rocha.
Wax Machine :: Hermit's Grove
Over the course of its first side, Hermit’s Grove answers the question of what a collaboration of Pharoah Sanders, Ian Carr, and Caetano Veloso would sound like. By the time you reach this conclusion, the group launches into a stoney rendition of Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes’s “Canto de Iemanja.”
Arhrodite's Child :: 666
Recorded in 1970, but not released until 1972, 666 was a departure for Aphrodite’s Child. Forgoing the flowery pop of his previous work with the group, the album finds Vangelis diving headfirst into the apocalyptic, reflecting on the end of days and taking listeners along for the transcendent ride.
Transmissions :: Glenn Jones
Welcome to Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions. Our guest today on the show Glenn Jones, who joins us to discuss his new album Vade Mecum, out now on Thrill Jockey Records, as well as touch on and illuminate the complicated legacy of John Fahey. Both solo and as a member of Cul-de-Sac, Jones has been a force of creative energy in the world of solo acoustic guitar, guitar soli, or American Primitive music, a term we discuss in this chat.
Oksana Linde :: Aquatic And Other Worlds
Oksana Linde’s music is where she lets her dual passions of nature and music bleed together. Her compositions are inspired by both the wonder scientific observation generates and the questions it can’t quite answer, playing to imagined and perceived worlds. Treading a line between cognizant experimentation and blissful meditation is a rare craft to witness and it’s here in spades.
Dehd :: Blue Skies
On what is Dehd’s best album to date, the band finds its most full creation: an album of happiness, reflection, and effusive exploration, Blue Skies is the Chicago band’s triumphant entry from out of a pandemic world.
Thanks for opening up another issue of Sidecar. Do you dig it? How about our weekly show on Sirius/XM, the Transmissions podcast, The Lagniappe Sessions—where your favorite artists cover their favorite artists—and our deep dive interviews, monthly radio broadcast on Dublab, mixtapes, and audio/visual joints? Support us on Patreon to take part in it all happening.
The Cure :: Charlotte Sometimes (Soundcheck, 1982)
The bootleg live version of “Charlotte Sometimes” from The Cure’s soundcheck at The Hammersmith Odeon could be considered the definitive version of the song. It’s a perfect concoction of composition and environment, adding an additional ghostly layer to an already haunting song. The lo-fi recording quality and cavernous reverb from the empty venue perfectly plays into the song’s eerie nature. It’s as if The Cure are performing to an audience of phantoms beneath the dim lights of an abandoned theater – is there a better way to hear The Cure than that?