This is Sidecar. Stories, cultural recommendations, ephemera. Do you appreciate our weekly show on Sirius/XM, the Transmissions podcast, The Lagniappe Sessions—where your favorite artists cover their favorite artists—and our deep dive interviews, monthly radio broadcast on Dublab, mixtapes, and audio/visual joints? Support us on Patreon to take part in it all happening.
Spirit Of ’70, Robert Walter’s 1996 solo debut–and collaboration with sax legend, Gary Bartz–was issued on vinyl for the first time this month. To commemorate, Walter steps up for his third Lagniappe Session in eight years. Inspired as ever, this third round finds the artist dipping into exotica, reggae, nascent rap and the jazz of Silver Cycles.
This fascinating documentary (featuring friends and collaborators Gore Vidal, Bernardo Bertolucci, John Waters, Edmund White, William Burroughs, Francis Bacon and scores of others) can be streamed free, via your library card ID, through Kanopy.
"When Paul Bowles moved to Tangiers, Morocco in 1949, it was a sanctuary for artists, writers and the wealthy to do as they pleased without fear of prosecution. Soon, his friends from America began visiting: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and many others. The Beats and the Hippies all searched him out, lured by the mysterious, exotic world he depicted in his books, notably The Sheltering Sky. But that was only one side of the story."
Two new albums from the Natural Information Society demonstrate Joshua Abrams & co.'s unrelenting groove. By the time descension whirls and swirls to the finish line, you may feel exhausted by its sheer intensity. But a few minutes later you’ll likely find yourself pressing play on it again. Less intense, perhaps, but no less spellbinding, is Mind Maintenance, the new collab between Abrams and ace drummer Chad Taylor, best known for his work with the Chicago Underground Duo (though his résumé is a mile long).
As far as 70s private-press albums go, Ted Lucas’ sole self-titled long player sits high atop the summit. A truly eccentric outing, the music has proven timeless, healing, and beloved, and NJ-based label Perpetual Doom honors it with It’s So Easy (When You Know What You’re Doing): A Tribute to Ted Lucas, featuring covers of the album’s nine tracks from artists such as William Tyler, Julianna Barwick, Anna St. Louis, Shannon Lay, and more. One of our favorites? Amelia Courthouse's take on "Robin's Ride," eschewing pastoral drift for motoring, out for trouble mischief.
Six tracks, mc toasting supreme, with the crew spitting right out the gate, riffing on Sister Audrey’s “English Girl” on the the near ten minute title track. Ease back proper, as the entirety of the session is soaked in echo and reverb courtesy of Mad Professor.
Our latest guest on the weekly Transmissions podcast is guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson. One of the founding fathers of British folk rock, he’s the author of a new book, Beeswing. It chronicles the early days of his band, Fairport Convention, the launch of his solo career, run-ins with Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, a lost jam session with Led Zeppelin, and his collaborations with Linda Thompson, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake, John Martyn.
On previous albums, Sarah Louise exposed the arbitrary nature of genre. On her new album Earth Bow, she creates her own. What you hear on the record is an artist riding the currents of a far-reaching and unrestrained creative freedom, alchemically transmuting influence into novel self-expression—exactly what you should expect to hear on great albums.
A heavy dose of California chill beaming out from New Hampshire, John Andrews and his “band” The Yawns return with Cookbook, their follow-up to 2017’s Bad Posture, and an airy collection of laid-back country rock, gentle AM ballads, and breezy cantina instrumentals with more than a dose of Guaraldi-imbued jazz. Andrews is a communal artist: drumming in Quilt, playing keys in Woods, and generally lending a hand in projects such as Hand Habits, Cutworms, Widowspeak, and Kevin Morby. As such, his sound emits a close-knit, homespun warmth, not unlike the familial coziness that the album’s title suggests. Gather around the table and dig in, you’re amongst friends.