Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar/December 9, 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.
Frozen Fingers: An American Primitive Holiday Meditation
John Fahey kicked off a long-running micro-tradition of American Primitive holiday efforts way back in 1968. Frozen Fingers is playlist of wintry music in that mode, featuring classic and emerging guitarists—an alternative to the treacly seasonal music that is inescapable this time of year.
Blanks And Postage: San Francisco Radical Laboratory and the Mysterious Moogist of Altamont
Jesse Jarnow's latest "Blanks & Postage" column, profiling the mysterious Moogist of Gimme Shelter, Doug Mckechnie, the co-founder of the San Francisco radical laboratory and still an active electronic musician.
RIP: Carroll Spinney (Sesame Street)
A true hero, beloved by kids and parents alike. From the Sesame Street workshop: "Caroll Spinney’s contributions to Sesame Street are countless. He not only gave us Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, he gave so much of himself as well. We at Sesame Workshop mourn his passing and feel an immense gratitude for all he has given to Sesame Street and to children around the world."
RIP: DC Fontana (Star Trek)
Another passing: Star Trek writer DC Fontana departed this week. Alongside a handful of other creatives, she deserves credit in helping to shape Star Trek into something far more nuanced and hopeful than "Wagon Train to the stars." Beyond adding depth and history to the character of Mr. Spock, she established the world(s) of The Next Generation with "Encounter at Farpoint" and helped to shape Dax, one of Deep Space Nine's most fascinating and beloved characters. And speaking of DS9, RIP René Auberjonois. His Ode was an all-time great Trek character, but he’s also fantastic in a string of early Altman classics (M*A*S*H, Brewster McCloud, McCabe & Mrs. Miller) and Kelly Reichardt’s 2016 film, Certain Women, which we've recommended in the newsletter before. Auberjonois, what an ace actor. Looking forward his performance in Reichardt's forthcoming film First Cow, out in 2020.
The Lagniappe Sessions: Marco Benevento
We first caught Marco Benevento on a makeshift stage deep in the old growth woods of the Pacific Northwest. It was around 1 AM. Donning a top hat that would have made Dr. Teeth envious, Benevento and his band were just easing into a two-hour set. If you’ve ever ventured to New Orleans for Jazzfest and partaken in the midnight-6 AM circus of the after-after shows, imagine that —but under a harvest moon and towering century-old hardwoods. For this installment of the Lagniappe Sessions, Benevento takes on Spector’s famed Wall of Sound, Jackson Browne and America’s favorite Canadians, The Band.
Maggot Brain: Third Man Records
Now here's some news you can use: Mike McGonigal—the guy behind legendary publications Chemical Imbalance and Yeti, as well as some of the finest gospel compilations you could ever hope to hear—has teamed with Third Man Records for Maggot Brain, an exceptional looking quarterly covering "art, music, literature, and unpublished archival stuff + more." Our copy is en route, get yours pronto.
NPR: Songs In An Emergency
Essential read. Grayson Haver Curin with a look at how many of AD's favorites—among them Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Joan Shelley, and Blake Mills—are reflecting the emotion of the climate crisis through music.
Pan•American: Catching Up With Mark Nelson
Though largely instrumental, Pan•American's A Son wrestles with the concept of home, the influence of the past, and the frightening shifts in American culture and discourse. Mark Nelson spoke to Aquarium Drunkard about his new album, the music and events that shaped it, and the challenges of removing clutter from already serene and uncrowded sounds.
Aquarium Drunkard: Decade 2019-2019
Our 2019 list will drop soon, but before it does, dig our look at the decade behind us, an unranked sprawl of 100 records that stuck with us, managing to break through the noise of an increasingly distracting age, and stick around in our heads.
Grey on gray. December edition – the Aquarium Drunkard Show. SIRIUS/XM radio ~ Channel 35. Wednesdays / 7pm California time + on-demand.
SIRIUS 592 (December 4): Intro ++ Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Rings of Saturn ++ Kings of Convenience – Toxic Girl ++ Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan ++ Felt – Magellan ++ The Clientele – Reflections After Jane ++ Ryley Walker & Charles Rumback ++ Arthur Russell – Come To Life ++ Deerhunter – Timebends (edit) ++ Electralane – You Make Me Weak At The Knees ++ Destroyer – It’s Gonna Take An Airplane ++ John Scofield – Kubrick ++ Stereolab – Spacemouth (Demo) ++ Yo La Tengo – Autumn Sweater ++ Maston – Infinite Bliss ++ Cotton Jones – Some Strange Rain ++ Julien Gasc – Luke Howard ++ Shannon Lay – Nowhere ++ Anna St. Louis – Fire ++ Wilco – One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend) ++ Whitney – Red Moon ++ Vetiver – Los Pajaros Del Rio ++ Sibylle Baier – Softly ++ PAINT – Heaven In Farsi ++ Ty Segall – Every 1’s A Winner ++ Damaged Bug – Gloves For Garbage ++ A. Savage – What Do I Do ++ John Maus – Hey Moon ++ Vincent Gallo – Was ++ Devendra Banhart – Für Hildegard von Bingen ++ Megabog – Diznee ++ Electralane – Birds ++ Tindersticks – Marbles
Listen for free, online, with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.