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Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar/August 26, 2019

Welcome to Sidecar, 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. Want to support AD? Here's how: Patreon. Pledge, get cool stuff, and support independent media. Let's dig in. 



Bill Callahan: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

June 14th marked the return of Bill Callahan, via his latest record—the double lp, Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest. One of our favorite listens this year, we asked singer/songwriter Jerry David DeCicca to catch up with the artist on our behalf as they embarked a short west coast tour together. Their talk is illuminating and open, and worth it for this photo of Callahan playing Guitar Hero alone.



Aquarium Drunkard Presents: A Tribute to Talk Talk 

Tonight (Monday, 8.26), Aquarium Drunkard presents a tribute to the music of Talk Talk and its late founder, Mark Hollis. The evening will be a showcase of the group’s work led by Mirror Man–a group comprised of the members of Derde Verde and friends. The collective put this on several months ago downtown, and it was fantastic, demanding an encore performance. And here we are. Free and open to the public. 8pm at Gold Diggers in East Hollywood. Aquarium Drunkard djs.



Akira Toyoda: Benkei

Recorded in New York City, smack in the middle of the 1980s, Benkei deftly sidesteps the era’s too frequent production woes. In sharp contrast, the record presents aesthetically perennial. As a piece, Benkei emanates a presence, an atmosphere that in no way feels ad hoc, but one more befitting a group of serial collaborators. This is both a testament to Toyoda as a bandleader and the players innate communion and agility throughout.



Big Ruth: Calming Signals

Calming Signals is the latest ambient offering from promising Nashville, TN-based composer, Rich Ruth. On the album’s mesmerizing opener, “Coming Down,” a squall of guitars and bleary synthesizers weave in and out of hypnotic swells of bass and escalating saxophone. Eventually, the groove crumbles and the roar intensifies, though there is still serenity to be found amidst the clamor.



Star Trek: The Motion Picture 40th Anniversary

Star Trek: The Motion Picture is returning to theaters to celebrate its 40th anniversary. September 15 and 18,  drift into consciousness with Kirk, Spock, Bones, V'Ger and the whole gang. Director Robert Wise's 1979 film, Trek's first foray onto the silver screen, is certainly slow, but viby and trippy as hell. 



Lower Dens: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

Earlier this summer, Lower Dens’ Jana Hunter stopped by AD hq in Los Angeles as the guest selector on our SIRIUS/XM show. Several months out from the release of the group’s fourth LP (The Competition, September 6th), the conversation reflected on Hunter’s solo beginnings, the formation of Lower Dens and the project’s subsequent sonic evolution over the past ten years. Also discussed were the intervening years between 2015’s Escape From Evil, Hunter’s experience with gender dysphoria, and coming out the other side…



Aquarium Drunkard (Sidecar) Transmissions

Welcome back...we just re-upped the first dozen (sonic) AD transmissions (which began in 2012). Half hour sound collage / mixtapes emanating from the digital ether. Take a listen.



Blanks & Postage: How to Weird Your Mind

Welcome to the inaugural entry of Blanks & Postage— author Jesse Jarnow’s monthly column for Aquarium Drunkard highlighting the fringe…and beyond. His first installment rounds up recent books by Erik Davis, Mike Jay, and Brian Blomerth, which offer psychedelic counterpoints to Michael Pollan’s best-selling How To Change Your Mind.



AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order


A lot can happen in twenty years. Two decades ago, in the autumn of 1999, the world braced for the Y2K scare, or The Year 2000 problem. The memory almost feels quaint now. Part of the challenge of keeping up with technology is how exponentially fast it moves in the 21st century. With that caveat, in regard to machine learning, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee's book AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order feels about as up-to-date as the curious novice (waves hand) can hope for. Avoiding a "Skynet" approach, Lee tackles the very real geo-political realities of emerging Artificial Intelligence -- a sort of arms race between historical industry leader Silicon Valley, and China - a country presently employing a "brute force" approach in an attempt to rapidly close the gulf between the two.The Taiwan-born Lee believes China will soon emerge as the reigning technological superpower, and his basis for such conclusions are well thought out, insightful and convincing (if sometimes bordering on nationalist-leaning rhetoric). 

...one thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the computers will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new synthetic overlords.

Pacific rim bivouac. 34.1090° N, 118.2334° W ~ The Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XM radio. Channel 35. Wednesdays / 7pm California time + on-demand.

Intro ++ Songs: Ohia – Farewell Transmission ++ Richard Buckner – Lucky ++ Megafaun – The Fade ++ Lions In The Street – Lady Blue ++ Bonnie “Prince” Billy & The Phantom Halo Band – Roki For Now ++ Kamikaze Hearts – Defender ++ Dogme 95 – Kingdom / Garden ++ David Vandervelde – Nothin’ No ++ Old Light – Gone Again ++ Wolf People – Village Strollin’ ++ Howlin’ Rain – In Sand And Dirt ++ Sam Cohen – Pretty Lights ++ Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Afraid Ain’t Me ++ Silver Jews – The Right To Remain Silent ++ Silver Jews – Smith & Jones Forever ++ The Handsome Family – Weightless Again ++ Jim White – Still Waters ++ Neko Case – Furnace Room Lullaby ++ Howe Gelb – Paradise Here Abouts ++ Bill Callahan – America! ++ Natural Child – Out In The Country ++ Grateful Dead – Althea ++ J.J. Cale – Cherry ++ Cotton Jones – Chewing Gum ++ Cass McCombs – Dreams Come True Girl ++ Amen Dunes – Splits Are Parted ++ Angelo Badalamenti – Dark Spanish Symphony (AD august mix /w katydids) 

*Listen for free, online, with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.


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