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Aquarium Drunkard: Sidecar/July 20, 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 Transmissions, our podcastThe Lagniappe Sessions—where your favorite artists cover their favorite artists—and our deep dive interviews, 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. 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
No spoilers. While there are loads of good things to say about the 2019 drama, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, we’re here to point out the score during the film's bonfire scene; music reminiscent of Steve Reich’s 1981 compostion, Tehillim. Written and directed by Céline Sciamma, the French filmmaker explored countless 18th century folk songs prior to the realization the production would have to wholly create the sounds Sciamma was hearing in her head. "I wanted it to be kind of a trance, I wanted the BPMs to be very high. I wanted no instruments. I wanted just the voice and the clapping of women ... polyphonic, and polyrhythmic." Sciamma penned the lyrics herself in Latin, explaining, "they’re saying, ‘fugere non possum,’ which means ‘they come fly,'” It’s an adaptation of a sentence by [Friedrich] Nietzsche, who says basically, ‘The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.'” 

The results are hypnotic. Check out Indiewire's complete interview with the filmmaker discussing the scene, here, and look for the film via your streaming platform of choice.

Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard on Dublab
RFAD lives—again! Yesterday, the freeform Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard's transmissions re-commenced via Dublab. We'll be back with a four-hour block every third Sunday of the month, featuring Tyler Wilcox’s Doom and Gloom from the Tomb, Marty Sartini Garner’s Personal Sky, Jason P. Woodbury’s Range and Basin, alongside rotating shows and programming from Aquarium Drunkard friends, collaborators, and confidants. Every third Sunday, 4-8 PM PST. Individual shows archived for Patreon supporters! 

Gabriel Birnbaum: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview
A conversation from last winter, had on the eve of Gabriel Birnbaum's solo debut. Over some chili and beer, Birnbaum explains his heartworn highway experiences as a working musician; both as the frontman for Wilder Maker and a touring member of Debo Band. 

Jack Briece: Heterophonious Fool 
Were Jack Briece’s Heterophonious Fool available more widely when it was released, there’s no telling what influence it could have had on electronic music and modern composition. 

Andrew Patterson On the Mythical Frequencies of The Vast of Night 
Writer and director Andrew Patterson joins us to discuss his micro budget sci-fi gem The Vast of Night, a movie about two New Mexico teenagers who encounter a mysterious radio signal: “We made a movie about people being inquisitive and curious enough to accidentally get a glimpse of something rare and mysterious, something special.”

Blanks & Postage: Kyle Barnett and the Record Cultures of the Wild Midwest
Despite a plot that takes place a century ago, nearly every twist of Kyle Barnett’s new scholarly work Record Cultures: The Transformation of the U.S. Recording Industry feels acutely connected to the present. With a big picture historical view, Barnett maps how the unsettled and undefined chaos of American music coalesced into the modern world of record labels and genres with all their racist complexities and romantic myths. 

The House of Stories: Alan Moore
From last year, an interview with comics legend, magician, and creative wiseman Alan Moore on the power of stories in human development and evolution: “If storytelling seems to be a natural human faculty, then I would suggest that is probably because storytelling serves some very important function in the way we build and continue the world and our lives in it.”

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings: All The Good Times Are Past & Gone
This year has been filled with surprises—most of them not particularly great. But a sneak attack Gillian Welch & David Rawlings covers album? That’s the definition of a nice surprise. Recorded live to tape this spring, All The Good warm and loose, as the duo tackles tunes by Elizabeth Cotten, Bob Dylan, Norman Blake, and a handful of trad-folk numbers…

Transmissions Podcast: Unwed Sailor 
For more than two decades, Johnathon Ford has led the post-rock band Unwed Sailor. In that time, Ford has steered the band—an ever-evolving collective that’s included members of Pedro the Lion, Fleet Foxes, Danielson Famile, and more—through a searching string of albums, incorporating the influence of ambient music, shoegaze, new age, math rock, and drone into its body of work, which constitutes one of the great under-recognized discographies in all of indie rock. 

Via satellite, transmitting from northeast Los Angeles—the Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7 PM California time, Wednesdays. 

SIRIUS 621 (July 15): Intro ++ General Echo – Arleen ++ Gang Starr – Daily Operation ++ Makaya McCraven – Above & Beyond ++ Ben LaMar Gay – Music For 18 Hairdressers ++ Kamaal Williams – Broken Theme ++ Moses Boyd – Rye Lane Shuffle ++ Ralf Nowy – Akili Mali ++ Guts – Hip Hop First of All ++ Indian Jewelry – Hello Africa ++ Juana Molina – Cosoco ++ Badbadnotgood – Lavender ++ Gang Starr – The Place We Dwell ++ Axion 117 – Sugar & Molt ++ David Bowie – TVC15 ++ Medium Medium – Hungry, So Angry ++ ESG – It’s Alright ++ Gang 0f Four – Ether ++ Royal Family And The Poor – Art On 45 ++ Omni – Siam ++ Sagittaire – Desert Shore ++ Cave – San’ Yago ++ Liquid Liquid – Optimo ++ Brian Eno & David Byrne – Regiment ++ Dungen – Krona ++ Cal Tjader – Black Orchid ++ Sven Wunder – Black Iris ++ Girma Hadgu – Ene Alantchi Alnorem (I Can’t Live Without You) ++ Hailu Mergia & Dahlak Band — Sintayehu ++ Harry Mudie – Heavy Duty Dub ++ The J.B.’s – Theme From King Heroin ++ Jason Joshua & The Beholders – I Don’t Care ++ Duffy Power – Where Am I

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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Aquarium Drunkard · Hillhust Ave · Los Angeles, CA 90027 · USA