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.
Mod out. Released in 1967 (and penned by Marc Bolan), this proto T. Rex nugget found itself banned by the BBC due to the lyric, “lift up your skirt and fly,” How quaint! A high watermark of the short lived Leatherhead, England art/pop outfit John’s Children, the eccentric charms of "Desdemona" continue to refrain. And though Bolan departed shortly thereafter, he would soon rework the group’s “Mustang Ford” and “Hot Rod Mamma” for the nascent Tyrannosaurus Rex
2022 beckons. Thursday, February 24th, Aquarium Drunkard presents Cate Le Bon with Mega Bog at the Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles. Tickets on sale now…
Welcome back to the stacks. It’s Aquarium Drunkard’s Book Club, our monthly gathering of recent (or not so recent) recommended reading. Your librarians this month are Justin Gage, Tyler Wilcox, Jarrod Annis, and Kyle Fortinsky.
Chicago kosmische collective Bitchin Bajas covered Sun Ra’s “Angels and Demons At Play” back in 2017 on their brilliant Bajas Fresh double LP. And it was so good that it left the band’s fans clamoring for an encore. Well, here it is: Switched On Ra: eight awesome Sun Ra interpretations, a fitting tribute to a composer whose stature seems to grow with each passing year.
A two-piece from Melbourne, Australia, Sleeper And Snake is the nom de tune of the collaboration between Al Montfort and Amy Hill. Sans obvious pastiche and post-punk in approach, last year’s sleeper lp, Fresco Shed, is comprised of a low-stakes charm not unlike The Raincoats, The Way of The Vaselines or the Breeders’ 4AD debut, Pod. High praise, indeed.
Matt Lajoie has been a wellspring of cosmically attuned guitar explorations under a multitude of monikers since co-founding the uncannily prolific Flower Room label with Ash Brooks in 2017. The sprawling automatic compositions of Red Resonant Earth spring like mycorrhizae from the groundwork laid by kosimiche forerunners like Gottsching, Fricke, and Rother, reaching simultaneously toward realms both celestial and terrestrial.
Nick Saloman of the Bevis Frond first began banging out psychedelic guitar riffs as a schoolboy, starting out on his instrument at age six and immersing himself in an exploding U.K. and American rock movement. His latest album, Little Eden, is his 30th full-length, a roaring, raging triumphant double album that Saloman recorded almost entirely by himself during the COVID lockdown. We talked about Saloman’s early musical fascinations, the pros and cons of recording alone, the state of psychedelic music, his substantial collection of singles, and the ways in which ageing—he’s nearly 70—has and has not had an impact on his music.
Via Los Angeles, Bondo is a four piece riffing on a vibe something like Spiderland floating in a quarry with Fugazi’s latter era instrumental explorations. 77, their five song ep, is the first taste. Out November 16.
It’s a classic case of the ignored “contractual obligation” album. By late 1971 (fifty years ago this month), the Mamas & the Papas had all but fizzled out. Casting a looming shadow over their (intentionally curated) sleek public image, it frankly seems like a bit of a minor miracle that their final offering (the result of legal pressure by the label) offers such a fascinating and rewarding listen. John Phillips wrote all of the songs on People Like Us, making its uber relaxed, soft pop nature more akin to Wolfking of L.A. (his countrified solo record from the previous year) than the group’s traditional repertoire.
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