Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar/February 15, 2021
Welcome to Sidecar, Aquarium Drunkard's weekly newsletter, loaded with our stories, cultural recommendations, news, and more. 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, mixtapes, and audio/visual excursions? Support us on Patreon to help it all keep happening.
Milford Graves: Full Mantis
Last week, the legendary free jazz drummer and creative theorist Milford Graves passed away at the age of 79. Best known for his work with Albert Ayler, Paul Bley, the New York Quartet, and others, he was called "a 20th-century shaman" by John Zorn, who said, "He's taken traditional drum technique so far that there's no further place to go, so he's going to the source, his heart." This 2018 documentary, streaming on Amazon Prime and elsewhere, offers a portrait of the percussionist, "exploring his kaleidoscopic creative process and relentless curiosity."
Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Matt Sweeney: Hall of Death
Bonnie Prince Billy and Matt Sweeney return with a fiery new song featuring Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar and announce the long-awaited sequel to 2005’s Superwolf titled, naturally, Superwolves. They are howlin' out there...get a taste and watch the new video now at AD.
Psychedelic Sangha: Sounds from the Bardo Vol. 1 & 2
Holy music for unholy times. Soundscapes and spoken word swirl in Psychedelic Sangha’s Songs From the Bardo series of sonic meditation mixes, featuring Erik Davis, Prana Crafter, and more, pairing guiding words with far out visuals.
With Overstand, Israeli quartet Apifera generate fantastical and otherworldly recordings. Like the dreamy cover suggests, the impossible flirts with the possible in these dreamy fusions of funk, psychedelia, and jazz.
Can't Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World
Apologies if that YouTube link doesn't work, but get digging if it doesn't and you're sure to turn up some place to watch BBC documentarian Adam Curtis' new series, which documents the roots of the current rolling crisis upending modern society. Touched on: conspiracy theory, failed revolutions, A.I., the death of popular imagination, and much more, scored by ambient electronic music, punk, and indie rock, and set to remarkable images and footage from the vast BBC archives.
Painted Shrines: Heaven and Holy
Painted Shrines is the new creative partnership of Jeremy Earl (Woods) and Glenn Donaldson (Skygreen Leopards). While the project sounds fresh and enlivened, the pair are no strangers to collaboration (most prominently on the 2011 Woods release Sun and Shade). The debut lp, Heaven and Holy, is the product of a one week recording session at Donaldson’s coastal, Northern California studio.
Transmissions: Yasmin Williams
On Yasmin Williams’ second lp, the newly released Urban Driftwood the Virginia-based guitarist creates expansive acoustic music. Playing guitar, kalimba, percussion, and kora, she pulls from disparate musical strands—including the smooth jazz she heard growing up—into music that feels spiritually connected to New Age music, Windham Hill guitar, and the work of contemporaries (and collaborators) like William Tyler, Marisa Anderson and Daniel Bachman, who calls her “a guitarist for a new century.”
Transmissions (Bonus Episode): Robyn Hitchcock/Howe Gelb/Steve Wynn
Painting with John Lurie
We drop new episodes of Transmissions each Wednesday, but occasionally we like to throw a bonus in for good fun. Here's a good one from the Transmissions vaults: a roundtable conversation with three indie rock lifers: Robyn Hitchcock, Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), and Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate). The talk was recorded in August 2018 at Hotel Congress in Tucson, Arizona.
It feels off to call John Lurie's new HBO series "ambient TV," but there is something deliciously patient and languid about it. The show specializes in long scenes of his intricate brush work and careful dabs of wet paint, with Lurie's familiar low rumble narrating stories of near catastrophe and run-ins with Gore Vidal and Barry White and music from his Marvin Pontiac and solo projects. A late night Friday treat, reliably.
The Pink Noise: Economy of Love
The Pink Noise’s Mark Sauner has always sounded equal parts totally wired and terminally bored. His latest finds the social media recluse and tinkerer teaming with members of U.S. Girls and The Submissives for a set of deadpan party jams.