Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar/August 31, 2020
Welcome to Sidecar, Aquarium Drunkard's weekly newsletter, featuring AD stories and cultural ephemera. A reminder, we're supported directly by our patrons. Do you appreciate our weekly show on Sirius/XM, our podcast, The Lagniappe Sessions—where your favorite artists cover their favorite artists—and our deep dive interviews, monthly broadcast on Dublab, historical features, mixtapes, and audio/visual excursions? If you do, the best way to support AD is to contribute funds via Patreon. Pledge, get cool stuff, and support independent media.
Really Do The Change: Angel Olsen on Whole New Mess
Offering a glimpse at an alternate take of a classic album is something we’ve seen more and more of in the modern era. But with her new album Whole New Mess, a fraternal twin to 2019’s All Mirror, songwriter Angel Olsen didn’t have to wander too deeply into the vault. But it’s not merely a “demos collection.” It’s something more compelling and stranger, a document that illustrates the way songs change and morph over time in a creator’s hands.
Sven Wunder: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview
Following Sven Wunder’s Lagniappe Session from July — with his interpretations of traditional Japanese songs — we had the opportunity to catch up with the enigmatic musician. Dig in as we discuss the ideas behind the beguiling project, including working under a pseudonym, the unexpected success of the albums, how Sweden funds music projects, how their musical journey became a learning experience, and the endlessly complicated debate over cultural appropriation.
Orions Belte: The Scenic Route
Like countless others, Norwegian trio Orions Belte were forced to conjure up new ways to reach audiences when 2020 capsized. Going beyond a simple livestream, Øyvind Blomstrøm (guitar), Chris Holm (bass), and Kim Åge Furuhaug (drums) devised a mini “tour” concept and dubbed it The Scenic Route. Five audience-free shows in five days, broadcasting live from unique western Norway locations.
The Roses Won't Tell Your Secret: An August Mixtape
Blown out garage pop & lounge jazz exotica. Chambered folk & only one Dylan cover. With humidity and paranoia at an all-time high, it only felt right to re-visit to the foggy August mixtape. Tranquility is always tempting as an aural axis, but these things always seem to land somewhere in the middle of a torrid zone hypnosis.
J.H. Guraj: Introspection/Migration
Under his J.H. Guraj pseudonym, Dominique Vaccaro crafts guitar music that skitters along the margins. His latest, Introspection/Migration, was composed and assembled over a long five year stretch, but the lp’s feel isn’t labored or excessively overworked. Like Basho, Bull, and the Bishops before him, Vaccaro pulls from disparate strands—blues, drones, and Eastern modalities—to assemble a work that resonates long after the needle has lifted from the platter. Instead, these blues visions, skeletal ragas, and smokey drifts retain an ephemeral quality: they’re here and then they’re gone.
Transmissions: Georgia Anne Muldrow
On her new album Mama, You Can Bet! Georgia Anne Muldrow leans into her jazziest tendencies, incorporating two remixes of works by Charles Mingus, whose influence is palpable. But as Jyoti, a name bestowed upon her by Turiyasangitananda Alice Coltrane,
Muldrow is her own creation, and her love of electronic funk, ambient, and hip-hop colors and shades the album. Georgia joined Transmissions host Jason P. Woodbury via Skype to discuss the new record, the West Coast jazz tradition, and maintaining a long running creative partnership and independent label with her husband, Dudley Perkins.
Dublab Presents: Alice Coltrane's Ashram Tapes
Living In Oblivion (1995)
Speaking of the incredible Alice Coltrane, Dublab has launched a tremendous feature in honor of her birthday, presenting her televisual work alongside a cosmic exploration of her Ashram Tapes and essential mixtapes drawn from her discography.
Ned Lagin: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview
Experimental composer Ned Lagin began composing Seastones during his time at MIT, building off of his love of free jazz and his studies of Renaissance music. But it took firmer shape through jams and recording sessions with various members of the Dead (Garcia, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh) and other Bay Area luminaries like David Crosby and Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick. Originally issued by Jerry Garcia’s Round Records, it’s being reissued by Important Records. Lagin joined us to discuss the triumph and heartbreak of this pioneering electronic work.
Currently streaming on Hulu: director/writer Tom DiCillo's indie movie satire Living In Oblivion, starring two greats—Catherine Keener and Steve Buscemi—and a remarkable supporting cast (behold Dermot Mulroney in a beret and eyepatch, Kevin Corrigan at his space cadet-iest, and a young Peter Dinklage threatening to steal the whole show). Bolstered by occasional dips into the surreal, it should feel intimately relatable to anyone who's ever struggled creatively.
Chris Frantz: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview
With his new book Remain In Love Chris Frantz continues his search for different approaches. It’s a look at his time in Talking Heads and his marriage and creative partnership with Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club bassist Tina Weymouth. He doesn’t entirely shy away from rock bio requirements—if you want dirt, it has enough of a dark dusting to satisfy—but it’s more a document of extraordinary shows, recordings, and the early days of punk when he, Weymouth, singer/guitarist David Byrne, and Jerry Harrison cracked open the template, building one of the most expansive discographies in all of art-rock history.