Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar/December 7, 2020
Welcome to Sidecar, Aquarium Drunkard's weekly newsletter, featuring 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, 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.
God Is Not Your Fault: An Interview with Alabaster DePlume
A week or so prior to the US election our pal (and International Anthem founder) Scottie McNiece and I were discussing the nuances of one of our favorite albums of 2020 — Alabaster DePlume’s To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1. A sort of audio balm, the lp’s tones and textures have been a constant companion throughout this pandemic. As McNeice helped birth the project, we asked him to check in with the artist on our behalf…
Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983—1987
Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983 – 1987 gathers 28 gemlike tracks from bands that are mostly now forgotten. Some of the artists went on to commercial success, but that was clearly never the goal. We caught up with the comp’s curator, Mike Sniper, to learn how he found this music, what it means to him and why the world needs more bands, even now in the age of isolation and self-recording.
Cosmic Pedal Steel Situations :: Winter 2020
Pioneers like Daniel Lanois and Chas Smith paved the way in the 1980s, but the past several years have seen a very welcome pedal steel ambient scene emerging from the underground. Here are just a handful that have caught our ears from artists like Susan Alcorn, Barry Walker Jr., North Americans, Heather Leigh, and more.
Freelove Fenner: Shoulder Season
Lagniappe Sessions: Jack Name
In their hobbit hole crammed with tape machines and fussy vintage gear Canadian DIY pop group Freelove Fenner create mellow miniatures that sparkle with Broadcast-lite beauty and never outstay their welcome. Here, a taste from their upcoming 2021 lp.
Transmissions: Masma Dream World
On her new lp Play at Night, Masma Dream World blends electronics and ritual to build a shadow world of sound. She joins us to discuss her global history, DJing, and the spiritual qualities of frequencies.
How To with John Wilson
Calling self-described "anxious New Yorker" John Wilson's HBO docu-comedy series "funny" is accurate, but it barely scratches the surface. Each episode starts with a simple "how-to" conceit—how to make small talk, for example, how to put up scaffolding—but from there Wilson and his subjects make sure things get disconcerting, embarrassingly human, and deeply strange. The approach ends up landing somewhere between Les Blank and Joe Pera.
Jack Name moves in the shadows. Born John Webster Adams, the perennial chameleon’s fourth album, Magic Touch, breaks in stark contrast from his previous solo work. Dialing back the multi-layered production, yet eschewing none of the soul, this latest offering finds the artist naked and at the fore. The following, his first Lagniappe Session, only compliments this approach.
I Got My Irons In a Fire Down in Texas
The impact of Jerry Jeff Walker’s first decade in Texas is still reverberating around the state. Consider the following mix, a compendium, both a primer and a celebration of the late artist.
Bill Callahan & Bonnie "Prince" Billy featuring Dead Rider: "Our Anniversary"
Continuing their incredible and varied series of collaborations, BBP and Bill Callahan excavate Smog's "Our Anniversary" with the help of Dead Rider for a genuinely shredding performance. Suitable for air guitaring!
Frozen Fingers: An American Primitive Holiday Meditation
Fingerpickers can't seem to resist uncovering (or just plain inventing) the folk-blues roots of these timeworn melodies. Whatever the motivation, it's always nice to have an alternative to the treacly seasonal music that is inescapable this time of year. Frozen Fingers is playlist of (mostly) acoustic wintry music that'll put a little wonder into the most wonderful time of the year...