Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar June 3, 2019
It's June. Already. 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.
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Be And Bring Me Home: Remembering Roky Erickson
This week, psych innovator, master songwriter, and genuine myth Roky Erickson of the 13th Floor Elevators and a long solo career passed away at the age of 71. In 2010, Erickson released his first album in 14 years, True Love Cast Out All Evil, backed by fellow Texans Okkervil River. Now at Aquarium Drunkard, Okkervil’s Will Sheff reflects on the iconoclast and his time spent backing him.
Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson's Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism
“I’m really in the way as a person. The myth has taken over. I myself am an appendage. I’m no longer necessary. I’m in the way. It’d be much better if I died.” - HST, 1978
The above succinctly sums up the conundrum Hunter Thompson found himself in for much of his professional career. A place where caricature threatened to derail and devaluate the actual work. Still, style never trumped substance — no matter how outlandish the modus operandi. Last year author Timothy Denevi released Freak Kingdom, an exploration of the most intense decade of the iconoclast's life. Spanning 1964-74, over six chapters, Denevi focuses on Thompson the writer, the thinker -- the American idealist. Thompson famously railed against what he saw as increasingly blatant fascism taking root in America; something he fought tirelessly, both via his IBM Selectric and through overt political action. In these increasingly strange times, Denevi's dive into this era and aspect of the journalist's life feels incredibly timely.
Further Exploration: Peruse the collected works of Hunter S. Thompson's ESPN column, Hey Rube, in their entirety.
Tim Maia’s Seroma Years (1972-1977)
Now at AD, Allen Thayer, author of the 33 1/3 book covering Tim Maia's Racional Vols. 1 & 2, offers a deep dive into the Brazilian legend's “Seroma” phase, named after the rehearsal space and production company of the same name. Plus, an exceptionally kinetic Maia playlist,
Andrew Wartts & The Gospel Storytellers
Egon at Now Again hipped us to the Gospel Storytellers at his office, shortly after the label set up shop on York Boulevard in Highland Park. At the time the record was a rarity, and a curious one at that. Drop the needle on the platter cold, and you’d swear you were dipping into gritty vintage from the early-mid 70s. But no, these grooves to the one true lord and savior were laid down by Wartts and his Storytellers in 1982. Gospel-soul, yes, but with a weighty undercurrent of considerable funk.
Under the Silver Lake
Over the top, obsessed with a mythic Hollywood and lost West Coast dream, deliriously conspiratorial, and absolutely overstuffed, David Robert Mitchell's follow up to It Follows, Under the Silver Lake, is one of the most confounding films of the year. Released with little fanfare by A24 (it's available to stream now on demand), the film blends Kenneth Anger (for better and for worse) with Chandler via Altman, warping and twisting into progressively weirder shapes as it goes.
The Lagniappe Sessions: Sinkane (Covers Peter Gabriel / Beatles)
For this installment of the Sessions, Sinkane renders a bit from Abbey Road as if it were an elastic footpath outside a cottage in Negril, plus a super humid take on Peter Gabriel’s 1986 commercial smash, Sledgehammer.
Catching Up With Lou Barlow
Lou Barlow has turned the last decade into something of a renaissance period. After the successful (and really good) reunion of the original Dinosaur Jr. lineup, Barlow also reignited the long dormant Sebadoh in 2013. Now the trio is back with their second album since reuniting, Act Surprised. It’s an extremely strong album that finds Barlow and fellow songwriter Jason Loewenstein at the peak of their powers. Aquarium Drunkard recently caught up with Barlow to discuss the new album’s title, unconsciously channeling oldies, yearning for resolutions, and learning to care less.
The Lagniappe Sessions: The Dream Syndicate
For this installment of the Lagniappe Sessions, the Dream Syndicate tears into songs by Pere Ubu, John Cale & the Stylistics: "This song fits what we do—mostly just lay into one chord until it starts to vibrate, shake, and turn into 100 chords at once. ”
Los Fabulosos Festivals: El Mensaje
The soulful “El Mensaje”—delivered in English (complete with requisite grunts)— leans heavily into the archetypal funk emissaries from north of the border transmitted south, via radio. Here, amidst its three and half minute workout, the Fabulosos Festivals eagerly extol the mantra “everything we do is goin’ to be funky.” It begs the question: did Lee Dorsey ever make it to the Panama Canal? No matter. At the very least his music did.
Black sand blues. Transmitting via satellite somewhere off the coast of Los Angeles. SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7pm California time, Wednesdays.
SIRIUS 567 (May 29): Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Los Fabulosos Festivals – El Mensaje ++ Juan Wauters – Disfruta La Fruta ++ Ibliss – High Life (AD edit) ++ Juan Wauters – Camdombe ++ Sinkane – Sledgehammer (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Sinkane – Come Together (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Michael Nau – No Quit ++ Shintaro Sakamoto – In A Phantom Mood ++ Akiko Yano – Funamachi-Uta Part 2 ++ Yo La Tengo – Esportes Casual ++ El Guincho – Marimba (With Adrian De Alfonso) ++ Helado Negro – Running ++ Gilberto Gil – Léguas E Meia ++ CAVE – Beaux ++ Caribbean Gay Torpedoes – Tropical Fever pt. 1 ++ Jean Pierre Mirouze – Lovers Party ++ Rotary Connection – I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun ++ Stevie Wonder – Jam (Musikladen German TV, 1974) ++ Vanessa Paradis – Paradis ++ Serge Gainsbourg – Javanaise Remake ++ The Congos – La La Bam-Bam ++ Andrew Wartts & The Gospel Storytellers – Peter And John ++ Sinkane – Jeeper Creeper ++ Polisario – Untitled ++ Francis Bebey – Savanah Georgia ++ The Pink Mountaintops – Atmosphere ++ The Velvet Underground – All Tomorrow’s Parties (Single Version) ++ Frankie And The Witch Fingers – 6,000 Horns (edit) ++ Tim Presley’s White Fence – Phone ++ Dion – Purple Haze ++ Peter Green – Hidden Depth ++ Cian Nugent – Lucy