Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar/January 2, 2019
New year, new issue of Aquarium Drunkard's weekly dispatch of audio esoterica, interviews, mixtapes, and cultural ephemera. As always, we're presented by Gold Diggers boutique hotel, bar, and recording studios in East Hollywood, Calif. 2019 is going to be a big year for AQD. Want to chip in? Head over to our Patreon, pledge, get cool stuff, and support independent media. OK, let's begin.
Susumu Yokota’s Acid Mt. Fugi 赤富士
Originally released in 1994, and reissued last year via the Berlin-based Midgar Records, Acid Mt. Fuji marked debut lp of the late Japanese producer Susumu Yokota. Atmospheric and awash in a myriad of electronic, ambient, textures, the record more than earns its title. Buoyed by an atypical amalgam of numinous field recordings, drones, drum machines, and samples, Fuji’s hour and 14-minute runtime is very much indeed a trip. Its pulsing push, pull and ultimate flow were made for headphones.
Sarah Louise: Chitin Flight
The first taste of guitarist Sarah Louise's forthcoming Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars. A beautiful piece of music rooted in the soil but bound for the stars.
Makaya McCraven: Universal Beings
Makaya McCraven does one thing, and he does it extremely well: he edits. On his third release in the past two years, the Chicago drummer and producer recorded live improvisations with stars of the London, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles jazz scene, then processed them all into mostly unplayable soundscapes of beats, horns, and grooves – preserving both the sanctity of live improv and that of computer music at the same time. Universal Beings is his sharpest release yet, proving McCraven’s ear for sonic detail and erasing any speculation that the scenes pushing jazz forward at the moment might be more interested in competing than cooperating.
Wah-Wah Cowboys, Volume 1 and 2 (A mixtape series by MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger)
MC Taylor made the first Wah-Wah Cowboys mix a decade ago, in 2009, "as a way towards bit of mental calm after my wife and I had our first kid..." At the time, Taylor "was looking to collect in one place some music that seemed to share a distinct shaggy, swinging aesthetic." Featuring JJ Cale, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Jesse Ed Davis, and more, this double-shot is the perfect way to kick off the new year.
Night Call with Molly Lambert, Tess Lynch, and Emily Yoshida
A weekly bi-coastal dip into the weirdest corners of pop culture and conspiracy theory, hosted by three writers with vast takes about music, film, and the world wide web at large. Dig that vintage Moroder-style intro too, a knowing nod to the C2C heads in the audience.
Richard Lloyd: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview
Richard Lloyd didn’t set out to write a rock & roll memoir. While his debut book, Everything Is Combustible: Television, CBGB’s and Five Decades of Rock and Roll: The Memoirs of an Alchemical Guitarist, rarely skimps on musical detail, his philosophical aim stays clear. As Lloyd recounts his run-ins with Keith Moon, Buddy Guy, Keith Richards, and dozens more, details his youth, early days in Television, work with Matthew Sweet, and documents his considerable struggles — with drugs, the music business, and murky areas in-between — his sharp, spiritual eye remains trained on deeper meaning of it all. Think less Keith Richards’ Life, and more Patti Smith’s Just Kids. Or maybe, Lloyd suggests, Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections.
Steely Dan: Live at the Record Plant (Los Angeles, March 20, 1974)
Cut live at the Record Plant and broadcast over the air by KMET on March 20, 1974, this set finds Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Denny Dias, Jim Hodder, Jeff Porcaro (double drummers!), Royce Jones, and Michael McDonald in electrifying form.
Secret Life of the Love Song and the Flesh Made Word: Nick Cave
If you haven't already signed up for Nick Cave's weekly Red Right Hand Files dispatches, do not delay to do so. In the meantime, stream this set of lectures written for the Vienna Poetry Festival in 1998. Personal and revelatory, a glimpse into Cave's process and heart.
Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton – Music And Poetry Of The Kesh
Made to accompany Le Guin’s faux-ethnography, Always Coming Home, and originally released on cassette in 1985 with some versions of the novel, Music And Poetry Of The Kesh is the musical document of an imaginary Pacific Coast people. With her friend and collaborator Todd Barton, Le Guin offers a journey through gorgeous instrumental pieces, field recordings, folk songs, and poetry in invented languages. No matter its source material, the music truly speaks for itself—the album’s highlight ”A River Song” is effortlessly its own sublime version of the very best avant-garde and minimal music.
Ginger Baker: Dust to Dust
From 1986's Horses & Trees. Produced by Bill Laswell, who backs the former Cream/Fela associate up on bass alongside L. Shankar on violin, organist Bernie Worrell, guitarist Nick Skopelitis, Daniel Ponce on bata, and Aiyb Dieng on chatan. A peaceful fusion, and just one of the choice cuts released by the pioneering Celluloid Records.