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Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar/March 16, 2020

Welcome to (an extra-sized) 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.

Newslettering in the time of pandemic. As we all adjust to the need for social distancing, it's important to remember that even if we're physically apart, we're in this together. Here at AD HQ, that's meant looking to connect with you all more—and keeping art close at hand. Here's some of what's been working for us, from the site and beyond.

Shabaka & The Ancestors: We Are Sent Here By History

We Are Sent Here By History, the latest album by Shabaka Hutchings, one of the leaders of the progressive jazz movement  in London, is a spiritual awakening and an homage to African and Caribbean traditions. Recorded exclusively in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with a collective of South African musicians, Shabaka says this of the album, “We Are Sent Here by History is a meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning. A questioning of the steps to be taken in preparation for our transition individually and societally if the end is to be seen as anything but a tragic defeat.”

John Martyn: Rockpalast 1978

John Martyn recorded his 1978 masterpiece One World with a cast of characters that included Lee “Scratch” Perry, Steve Winwood, Pentangle’s Danny Thompson and Fairport Convention’s Dave Pegg. But when it came time to promote the album live, the songwriter went out solo – and this selection from his appearance on the German Rockpalast show is a dazzling document of the era.

Rachel Grimes: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview  

Part family memoir, part investigative fiction, part historical exploration, Rachel Grimes’ The Way Forth is a multi-layered Southern epic that digs below the foundational myths of the country to uncover the true experiences of people often left out of the historical narrative. 

The Color Out Of Space (2020) 

A veritable bouillabaisse of Cosmic horrors, this movie’s got it all. Errant alien meteorites. Family-man Nick cage. Howling, raving mad Nick Cage. A body-to-body fusion scene not witnessed since the likes of John Carpenter’s The Thing. A remote farmhouse. A “crazy” yet prophetic hippie. A teenage witch. Alpaca milking. A boy in a well....and much, much more. From quixotic director Richard Stanley and the folks who brought you the psychedelic horror that was 2018’s Mandy, it’s Lovecraft time, so cozy up!

Oh, the flick also makes use of Ultimate Spinach’s “Ballad of The Hip Death Goddess”—an AD favorite.

African Head Charge: Drumming Is A Language 1990-2011

As a sequel to their early album collection Environmental Holes & Drastic Tracks 1981 – 1986, African Head Charge have compiled the later years of their On-U Sound recordings in this 5CD, 9LP set. Alongside expanding their classic ’90s albums Songs of Praise and In Pursuit of Shashamane Land with bonus tracks, they have pressed 2005’s Vision of a Psychedelic Africa and 2011’s Voodoo of the Godsent on vinyl for the first time. 

The Lagniappe Sessions: Ben Watt

“Shed a skin, it’s no big thing,” Ben Watt sings on “You’ve Changed, I’ve Changed,” one of the 10 songs that makes up the Everything But The Girl co-founder’s new album, Storm Damage. Watt’s long career has demonstrated his ability to shift approaches, but no matter the format—glistening electronic music or autumnal Britfolk—his thoughtful voice remains constant. For his first ever Lagniappe Session, he brings two gorgeous covers of Sharon Van Etten’s “Comeback Kid” and Ten City’s “That’s The Way Love Is.” 

Mosses: T.V. Sun

A collaboration with Danette Bordenkircher, it’s a kaleidoscopic trip, encompassing a wide swathe of psychedelia. We’ve got Barrett-era Floyd mayhem, Can-y jams, Espers-esque folk (Meg Baird even drops in for a guest spot), OG Modern Lovers boogies and much more…

Until The End Of The World (1991) 

Sitting around with five hours to kill? Sink right into Wim Wenders' long, expansive, and drifting sci-fi "ultimate road movie," soundtracked by incredible songs by U2, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Can, R.E.M., Crime & The City Solution, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Patti Smith and Fred "Sonic" Smith, Neneh Cherry, and more. Criterion Channel has it streaming—if your local video shop has it, go pick up a copy (as long as your are safely able to do so). 

The Comeback Kids: The Wrens and Their Long-Awaited New Album

When the four members of the New Jersey-based band The Wrens set to work on the follow-up to their 2003 record, the critically-lauded The Meadowlands, Wrens guitarist and vocalist Charles Bissell promised himself things were going to be different. This is that story...

Sam Gendel: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview 

We caught up with Sam Gendel to learn more about the spontaneous production of Satin Doll, his friendship with Louis Cole, touring with Ry Cooder, collaborating with indie rock veterans, and navigating his peculiar relationship with jazz. 

Radiohead: Live From The Basement (2008) 

Masters at work. 

Mark Neeley/Yohei Shikano: Fragments

The human mind is an intriguing place, especially in the way we enforce patterns and structure on to the world around us. This includes the way we conflate events, even if they don’t technically connect. This idea is at the heart of a short animation by artist Mark Neeley called “Fragments”…

Blake Hargreaves: Improvisations On The Pipe Organs of Europe

Blake Hargreaves’ musical resume is unusual, to say the least. He is possibly best known in subterranean circles as the founder of Montreal’s Cool Fest, a mind-scrambling sound and art gathering numbered by year (the first edition, Cool Fest 7, occurred in 2007). Over six years, it welcomed such titans as Bill Nace, Jenny Gräf, Sick Llama, Mouthus, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, and the almighty Fat Worm of Error...Recent years have found him trekking across Europe to explore an altogether different form of improvised music. Hargreaves’ pilgrimages brought him to historic churches in Genova, Höchst, Den Haag, Paris, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, and Frankfurt. Unlike the funereal pace of Kali Malone’s contemporaneous pipe organ album The Sacrificial Code, Hargreaves’ spontaneous compositions captured on this collection from Belgian label Ultra Eczema are downright jaunty. “Minuet at Justinuskirche, Höchst” is the album’s standout with its vampiric splendour that could soundtrack an episode of What We Do In The Shadows.

Black sand blues. Transmitting via satellite somewhere off the coast of Los Angeles. SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7pm California time, Wednesdays.

SIRIUS 605 (March 11): Intro ++ Sun Ra – This Song Is Dedicated To Nature’s God ++ Ranking Ann – A Slice Of English Toast ++ Wayne Smith & Prince Jammy – Synchro Start ++ Fela Kuti – Unknown Soldier (AD Edit) ++ Juan Pablo Torres – Son A Propulsion ++ Cochemea – Maso Ye’eme > All My Relations ++ The Whitefield Brothers – Sad Nile ++ Michael Nau – No Quit To It ++ Damon Locks / Black Monument Ensemble – The Colors That You Bring ++ Don Cherry – Brown Rice ++ The Budos Band – Ghost Walk ++ Antibalas – Dub Je Je ++ Dwight Sykes – In The Life Zone (Instrumental) ++ Tommy Guerrero – Sidewalk Soul ++ Daisuke Kuroda – Meditation (In Tribute) ++ Rob – Forgive Us All ++ The Poets Of Rhythm – Discern Define ++ Scientist – The Voodoo Curse ++ (Interlude) ++ Fela Kuti – This Is Sad ++ Joe Tongo – Dig It Babe ++ The Psychedelic Aliens – Okponmo Ni Tsitsi Emo Le ++ The Lijadu Sisters – Bayi L’ense ++ Georges Happi Hello Friends ++ Rikki Ililonga – Fire High ++ Bohannon – Save Their Souls ++ Annette Peacock – I’m The One ++ Ranking Ann – Moonlight Lover ++ William Onyeabor – Body And Soul

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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