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The year has 16 months: November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, November, November, November.” Danish poet, Henrik Nordbrandt

The days become shorter and the summer heat gives way to crisp nights. Autumn is the mellowest of seasons, a time of introspection and reflection, a slowing down before the transition into another year. Below: UK folk and acid folk from England, Scotland and Ireland, especially of the late 60s/early 70s variety — all of which mine this often bittersweet season particularly well.

Farewell Green Leaves – Autumnal UK Folk (A Mixtape)

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A fitting title for the recently released long player from The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel features original members Chris Robinson, Neal Casal and Adam McDougall along with the recent addition of drummer Tony Leone. Since their humble beginnings in 2011 The CRB, as they are fondly referred to, have recorded 4 studio albums and a soon to be released 5 song EP, If You Lived Here You Would Be Home By Now. All this while maintaining a tour schedule that fills the majority of the calendar year, something parallel to Northern California touring giants the Grateful Dead.

A worthy comparison considering the melting pot of influences and inspirations both bands have successfully conjured during each of their tenures. The sum of these parts include elements of 60s and 70s psych, touches of prog, funk, soul, country, doo-wop, gospel, and beyond. All these ingredients trailblazing a wonderfully refreshing slice of “Rock N Roll’ music. Not the “Rock’” music that has been diluted to a commodity or pushed down a hole of nostalgia. This is never more evident than on “Forever As The Moon”, a rollicking number that hearkens to Goats Head Soup era Stones, with Robinson singing “Let’s open the door to tomorrow’s hidden charms and gaze in the wonder.”

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With New Bums rolled up and tucked away, Donovan Quinn returns to the streets of new weird America with Dad Was Buried In His Leather Jacket – his first solo outing since 2012’s criminally underrated Honky Tonk Medusa. Albeit a 4 song EP, the fun loving, yet slightly nefarious, characters within spin a dark lyrical web in the twilight hours…as questionable decisions begin to wear off and daybreak begins to rear its ugly head.

Here, Quinn is backed by a longtime loyal band of miscreants including his Bummer brother Ben Chasny, who shreds heavy on “Game With No Rules” as Glenn Donaldson (the other half of Quinn’s long-running duo Skygreen Leopards) adds synths and vocals. Magik Marker’s Elisa Ambrogio and Papercuts’ Jason Quever round out the band, one whose sweet racket would make even Thurston Moore blush. Like jamming your hands in your jeans the next morning and finding a $20 dollar bill, an unnamed phone number and one last cigarette, Dad Was Buried is 13 minutes of pure incendiary bliss. Rinse and repeat and you may have found yourself a new ragtag soulmate – even if your trying to find a way to ditch him. words / d norsen

Donovan Quinn :: Game With No Rules

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As one third of Dirty Three and on performances with Cat Power, Bill Callahan, Will Oldham and countless others, Jim White has long been known as one of the most powerful and distinctive drummers on the scene. But he outdoes himself on the title track of Xylouris White’s sophomore LP, building the song into a righteous gallop that’s thrillingly thunderous and devastatingly precise all at once. A tour de force that’ll make other drummers hang their heads in shame.

White’s partner here, George Xylouris, is no slouch either, delivering nimble lines on his eight-string laouto, and singing in the voice of an angry, old god. Xylouris comes from Greek music royalty, and the music he’s making here with White does have its roots in traditional sounds. But more and more, it seems the duo are inventing a new musical language, one based on deeply telepathic interplay and pure, transcendent abandon, whether it’s on pulsating numbers like “Forging,” or dark, slow droners like “Hey Musicians.” Xylouris White is an acoustic affair (pristinely captured by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto), but make no mistake — this is some of the heaviest music you’ll hear in 2016. words / t wilcox

mm“Mistress” Mary Afton’s sad ‘n’ sultry “And I Didn’t Want You” was one of the (many) highlights on Numero Group’s fantastic Cosmic American Music collection of private press country rock released earlier this year. Now, Companion Records has conveniently reissued Housewife, her lone LP, in full so we can check out Afton’s unique musical vision — “country-western, some soft-soul, some what-ever,” she writes in the liners.

Recorded in 1968, this isn’t your average private press LP; not many private press LPs can boast Byrds guitarist extraordinaire Clarence White as lead guitarist. There’s nothing quite as good as the captivating “And I Didn’t Want You,” but Housewife is still an extremely solid slice of SoCal country rock meets sunshine pop — the kind of thing that would’ve sounded right at home on Lee Hazlewood’s LHI Records, with Afton’s mellow drawl and wry lyrics accompanied by White’s always superb playing. Companion has done a great job bringing Housewife back to life, complete with its tongue-in-cheek glamour girl cover photo, Afton’s handwritten notes, and a handful of excellent digital bonus tracks. Highly recommended. words / t wilcox

Mistress Mary :: And I Didn’t Want You

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David Phillips is an American artist whose work has shown at over 50 galleries throughout the United States. You may also know him as wino-strut. Bold, conceptual, avant garde, I’ve been following his work for the better part of a decade. Multidisciplinary, Phillips medium constantly remains in flux, at any given time, working with canvas, wood, metals, film and beyond.

The following conversation took place over the better part of a year in and around LA — topics spanning Phillips initial arrival in Los Angeles 15 years ago, his inspiration, the cities changing art scene, how oil remains “alive” and his native Oklahoma’s enduring influence.

Aquarium Drunkard: Let’s start from the beginning. What brought you from your native Oklahoma to LA? What year was it?

David Phillips: I moved to Los Angeles about 15 years ago. I had been making a lot of paintings towards the end of school and there was nowhere to show them in Oklahoma. I packed my Honda Prelude up with a bag of clothes, my guitar, a cooler full of Coors Light, turkey sandwiches, Diet Cokes and a shit ton of Camel Lights. I told my family I wanted to visit LA but in my mind I was already gone. I just knew I’d live here. I had never visited Los Angeles. I had never been to California. I had $500 cash, no cell phone, and nothing to lose. I suppose I was chasing the great American West…or at least the idea of it. I don’t know. At this point it’s kind of a blur. All I knew is that I wanted to show my art to a large audience. I knew something drastic had to be done.

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R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck isn’t especially geared toward nostalgia.

Since the pioneering alternative group disbanded in 2011, Buck has operated at a prolific clip. He’s released a string of vinyl-only solo albums on the venerable Mississippi Records label, played with the Baseball Project, and worked with Joseph Arthur. Recently, his band Filthy Friends — featuring Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney, Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5,  Kurt Bloch of the Fresh Young Fellows and drummer Bill Rieflin (King Crimson, Swans, Ministry) — released a rager, “Despierata,” as part of Dave Eggers’ anti-Trump musical campaign 30 Days, 30 Songs. And just last week saw the release of Alejandro Escovedo’s Burn Something Beautiful, which was co-produced and co-written by Buck.

In the middle of all that, Buck helped assemble the 25th anniversary edition of Out of Time, the record that took R.E.M. from a cult Athens, Georgia, rock band to a pop cultural force. Packed with hits like “Losing My Religion” and “Shiny Happy People,” along with meditative songs like “Belong,” “Country Feedback,” and “Low,” the group’s seventh album blended folk, funk, country & western, and power pop influences to help establish the template for what “alternative rock” would become at the start of a new decade. Available November 18th, the deluxe retrospective edition of the album features alternate takes, demos, music videos, and a live set from Mountain Stage.

Buck admits he’s not the most backward looking guy by nature, but still says revisiting the album was “a gift,” representative of a shift in the group’s career and an increasing willingness to blend genres and styles. Speaking with AD via telephone, Buck discussed his interest in hip-hop, taking on Donald Trump through song, and the experience of revisiting Out of Time. The conversation has been edited for clarity and condensed.

Aquarium Drunkard: You seem focused primarily on the present. Was going back and putting the 25th anniversary edition of Out of Time a strange process for you?

Peter Buck: It’s strange but it’s also a gift. Because, prior to the band no longer working together, there was a continuum. Each vignette was  dependent on what the previous thing was, and the later thing, and what happened ten years later. Now it’s history, for better or worse. It is what it is.