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Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar/March 9, 2020

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. 

Jon Hassell: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview 

Vernal Equinox introduced a new form of music, which Hassell and others who followed him called “fourth world,” a mix of classical Indian music, electronics, jazz, field recordings and ambient music. More than 40 years later, the record still feels timeless and fresh, floating in a liminal space between the age-old traditions of raga and the innovations just beginning in electronics and tape manipulation. Aquarium Drunkard talked to Hassell recently about the web of influences that led him to Vernal Equinox, the people he worked with and the impact it had on Eno and many other musicians that followed.

First Cow (2020) 

Visionary director Kelly Reichardt returns once again to the Pacific Northwest. Set in the early nineteenth century, First Cow follows the arrival of the first cow in the region, and two enterprising men who seize on an opportunity to claw their way out of the underclass. Focused on the power of human connection and friendship, it's a haunting western a la Dead Man or McCabe and Mrs. Miller, with a gorgeous and sparse soundtrack by William Tyler. 

John Coltrane: Joe Brazil Bootleg (Detroit, 1958)

Recorded September 25, 1958 in the basement of Detroit-based saxophonist Joe Brazil, this bootleg finds John Coltrane in a loose, sentimental, and as always, spirited mood, and its dissemination online adds new wrinkles to the folklore of Trane. 

Searching for the Sound: My Life With the Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh (2005)

Enter the Phil Zone! Look, Lesh is no less self-aggrandizing or prone to mythologizing than most folks who tripped long and strange with the Dead—"OK cosmic boomer," you might occasionally find yourself saying with a loving smile—but he's the most thoughtful, mystical, and self-deprecating, too. This sweet book articulates the core of the Dead's spiritual aim, and Lesh is a true believer. Though he's quick to point out the group's failures and his own personal missteps, he never loses sight of the radically transformative idea of the Dead and the counter culture of the 1960s itself: “If, as some savants of consciousness suggest, we are actually agreeing to create, from moment to moment, everything we perceive as real, then it stands to reason that we're also responsible for keeping it going in some harmonious manner.” 

Blanks And Postage: The 21st Century Cosmicomics of Jesse Jacobs

“Psychedelic but readable” is how the proprietor of my local heady art emporium, Desert Island Comics, introduced Blanks and Postage columnist Jesse Jarnow to the work of Jesse Jacobs a few years ago. While an accurate blurb, it only barely covers 2017’s Crawl Space, the Canadian artist’s breakthrough full-length book as a sequential narrative-maker…

Kearney Barton: Architect Of The Northwest Sound

With last month’s release of Kearney Barton: Architect of the Northwest Sound, we asked Light In The Attic Records founder Matt Sullivan to share two of his favorite selects from the compilation, along with some context per the ongoing relationship between Barton and the label… 

In an era when the most popular musicians were the most outrageous, Duncan Browne and his Spanish guitar offered something entirely different – sensitivity, sophistication, artful baroque and progressive leanings. Browne’s foundation was that of classical training and with it, the ability to chart his own arrangements, buoyed by a flair for melodies so sweet and sad that they almost hurt to hear. At a time when most of his fellow countrymen desperately tried to sound American, Browne dared to embrace his British-ness, and although he favored unusual tunings, finger picking and classical guitar flourishes over power chords, don’t call him a folkie; as he explained to Strange Days magazine, “my music isn’t folk… I want to take it further afield.” 

ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas (2020)

Now streaming on Netflix, this slight by enjoyable doc about a group of three genuine American eccentrics. Though a deeper dive would be better—and the animated segments don't quite work—That Little Ol' Band nonetheless unpacks ZZ Top's mythic Tejas spirit, at once down-home and oddly avant-garde. 

Santana: Caravanserai (1972)

Communing with the Astral. 1972.

“The Body melts into the universe
The universe melts into the soundless voice
The sound melts into the all-shining light
And the light enters the bosom of infinite joy.”

Streaming via Apple Music & Spotify. 


No static at all. The Aquarium Drunkard Show. SIRIUS/XM radio ~ Channel 35. Wednesdays / 7pm California time + on-demand. 

SIRIUS 604 (March 4): Tom Zé Dulcinéia – Popular Brasileira ++ Cochemea – Maso Ye’eme > All My Relations ++ Akiko Yano – Funamachi-Uta Part 2 ++ Helado Negro – Paz a Ti ++ Devendra Banhart – Carmencita ++ Juan Wauters – Camdombe ++ Adanowsky – Me Siento Solo ++ Rodrigo Amarante – Hourglass ++ Juana Molina – Cosoco ++ The Beets – Preso Voy ++ Destroyer – Del Monton ++ Juan Wauters – Letter (feat. Maxine) ++ Julien Gasc – Canada ++ O Terno – Eu Vou ++ Robert Wyatt – Yolanda ++ Michael Nau – No Quit ++ Badge Époque Ensemble – You Can Build A Palace, Or You Can Please People ++ Gilberto Gil – Léguas E Meia ++ Mario Molino – Traffico Caotico ++ Brigitte Fontaine w/ Areski – C’est normal ++ ZNR – Solo Un Dia ++ Jacks – Where ++ Os Mutantes – Bat Macumba ++ Tricatel RSVP – Dernier Métro (feat. Fuzati) ++ Little Joy – No One’s Better Sake ++ Sessa – Dez Total (Filhos de Gandhy) ++ Tim Bernardes Recomeçar ++ Maston – Italian Summer ++ Tomorrows Tulips – Roses ++ Stereolab – Jenny Ondioline (demo) ++ Jean Pierre Mirouze – Lovers Party

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