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Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar/November 16, 2020

Welcome to Sidecar, Aquarium Drunkard's weekly newsletter, featuring stories and cultural ephemera. A reminder, we're supported directly by our patrons. Do you appreciate our weekly show on Sirius/XM, our podcastThe Lagniappe Sessions—where your favorite artists cover their favorite artists—and our deep dive interviews, monthly broadcast on Dublabmixtapes, and audio/visual excursions? If you do, the best way to support AD is to contribute funds via Patreon. Pledge, get cool stuff, and support independent media.  



How The River Ganges Flows: Sublime Masterpieces of Indian Violin [1933-1952]
The music on Third Man Records new collection of Indian violin isn’t just beautiful, it’s often awe-inspiring. Beautiful in a way that verges on the scary, grasping at the divine. The 14 performances here are virtuosic in the technical sense, but also emotionally virtuosic, if that makes sense. The players here are almost surgical in their veil-piercing evocations of loss, longing, joy, sadness—the full spectrum of humanity somehow translated into breathtaking sound. 

Luka Kuplowsky & the Starddust Players: Live at the Golden Lion
Back in January, Luka Kuplowsky assembled an all-star band from the city’s jazz and improvisational community (whose members have performed with U.S. Girls, Martha Wainwright, and Beverly Glenn-Copeland) for a three-song performance embedded inside an atmospheric short film. Collaborating with filmmaker Colin Medley, who also directed Kuplowsky’s video for “Stardust (Reprise)”, the 12-minute mood piece captured live at The Golden Lion dining club is inspired by the minimalist movies of Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki.

Adrianne Lenker: "Dragon Eyes"
Adrianne Lenker’s songs is not concept album per se, but there is an overarching tender spirit unifying Lenker’s riffs and distinctive lyrics, which string together examinations of time and nature, contrasting the way a jagged coastline is shaped by the wind and the effect a lover has on their partner as the days drift by. 

Elskavon & John Hayes: Du Nord
The collaborative debut of ambient-classical composers Elskavon & John Hayes, the pair’s intent was to frame the sonic strata of their home state of Minnesota’s overong winter months. They’ve succeeded. This installment of Diversions catches up with Elskavon and Hayes as they run us though a sampling of the art (and atmosphere) that informs their debut.

Transmissions: William Basinski & Preston Wendel
This week on the show, we’re joined by ambient hero William Basinski and his collaborator and engineer Preston Wendel. They’ve got two wildly divergent projects out this year. In July, they released To Feel Embraced, a collection of saxophone-laden lounge and electronica under the name Sparkle Division. Now, Lamentations, which assembles more than 40 years of archival tape loops and studies from his archives. The dual albums encompass the ecstatic highs and dread-soaked lows of this strange year. 

Lambchop: The AD Interview
Late in 2019, when the world was just starting to hear rumors of a new flu in China, Kurt Wagner of Lambchop had an idea. He was short on material and wanted to bring the band together. Why not make a covers LP? As November wore on, the song titles drifted in—a couple of Motown tunes, a George Jones classic, an A-side from an obscure garage band, an unreleased tune from James McNew (Yo La Tengo/Dump) and finally, the Wilco song “Reservations.”

Josh Kaufman: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview
Guitarist, producer, and journeyman Josh Kaufman joins Mike Behrends for a talk about hanging with the best record makers in the business—and recording music for Taylor Swift in his closet. 

Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Danger Birds (A 40-Minute Megamix)
Two notable Neil Young dates last week—the man’s 75th birthday today and the 45th anniversary of his classic Zuma LP. To celebrate, dig into a 40-minute live megamix of “Danger Bird,” one of Zuma’s most thoroughly awesome cuts. It’s primarily a Crazy Horse showcase, but there’s also room made for an exceedingly rare solo piano outing. “Danger Bird” is the sound of massive wings flapping, tectonic plates shifting, mountains forming. In a live setting, it’s only grown in stature, as the Horse soars like a shadow in the sky… 



The Narrative Is Always a Broken Narrative: Rob Mazurek on Dimensional Stardust
On November 20, Rob Mazurek returns with Exploding Star Orchestra and a new album of sci-fi poetry and avant-jazz, Dimensional Stardust, via Nonesuch and International Anthem. Aquarium Drunkard’s Jason P. Woodbury reached Mazurek to correspond via email over the last few (eventful) weeks to discuss occult science fiction mysteries and the desert.



Jerry Garcia Family: Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard
Freeform transmissions from Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard on Dublab. Our four-hour broadcast aired from 4-8 PM Pacific, featuring Topical Malady in the first hour, Range and Basin in the second, Doom and Gloom from the Tomb, and to close, One Kind Favor: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders, our collaboration with the Jerry Garcia Family. 

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