Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 10.40.09 PMNot many bands stick it out for three decades — and even those who do usually end up as shadows of their former selves. Not so with Eleventh Dream Day. The action-packed Works For Tomorrow isn’t just one of the veteran Chicago group’s best efforts, it’s also one of the best guitar records in recent memory, as Rick Rizzo and James Elkington find the sweet spot between Television’s precise/pristine interplay and Crazy Horse’s wild abandon.

Dig the opener, “Vanishing Point,” with drummer/vocalist Janet Beveridge Bean and bassist Doug McCombs laying down a propulsive, krautrockin’ rhythm as Rizzo coughs up a cluster of righteous fuzz that’d make Neil Young himself stop in his tracks. Or the bracing, Mission of Burma-esque “The People’s History,” a tightly wound number that stutters and spits before launching into a glorious, feedback-laced anti-solo. In short, Works For Tomorrow is the work of a band still inspired by its own powerful noise — a Dream come true, really. words / t wilcox

Eleventh Dream Day :: The People’s History


This Tuesday night, Aquarium Drunkard presents an evening with Kevin Morby and Rodrigo Amarante at The Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles. Tickets are still available, here, and we have several pairs saved for AD readers. To enter, leave a comment below. Winners notified by Monday afternoon.


Dig that leather ‘jacket’ up there ^. Last year we partnered with our pals Tanner Goods to release a free 7″ featuring two two tracks from Foxygen’s 2014 Pickathon performance, which found the group working out material from their (then) forthcoming lp, …And Star Power. This weekend it is available.

The 45s will be available first come, first serve on Saturday July 25th (beginning at 11am) via Tanner’s Los Angeles and Portland stores. The first 20 records we’re giving away this weekend come with a very limited embossed leather sleeve (shown above.)

And if you’re not in PDX or LA, we’re giving a handful of copies away to AD readers via the comment section below. To enter, leave a comment with you favorite record from 1975 and/or ’85.


Some recent, recommended archival releases of (mostly) unreleased material from some jazz giants. 

It’d take a whole lot more than four discs to sum up what Miles Davis was up to onstage from 1955-1975. But the trumpeter’s latest Bootleg Series manages to give a solid overview, collecting performances given under the auspices of the Newport Jazz Festival (some of which take place at the actual festival, some of which take place in Europe and New York City). The names of the players are recommendation enough: Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock. Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Keith Jarrett and many more all contribute to the diverse array of sounds here. Fans will already be familiar with most of the 50s material on disc one — it’s in the 60s and 70s when things start getting more interesting. There are two astonishing sets from Miles’ Second Great Quintet (Hancock, Shorter, Williams and bassist Ron Carter), featuring feisty, free-bop excursions. There’s a pre-Bitches Brew blowout, with powerhouse drummer Jack DeJohnette egging Davis onto some of the wildest playing of his career. There’s an electrifying 70+ minutes from 1971, Keith Jarrett digging deep into unknown zones and bassist Michael Henderson providing an unbelievably rock steady groove. Best of all are the positively tectonic shifts and drifts of the Dark Magus band, captured in full flight in 1973, with guitarists Pete Cosey and Reggie Lucas blazing away. While there’s a seemingly endless amount of Miles Davis live action already extant, the Bootleg Series proves once again that the bottom of the barrel hasn’t been scraped yet — not by a long shot.

Miles Davis :: Directions

Resonance Records has made a name for itself in recent years as a jazz label adept at digging up some true treasures, many of which have never even been bootlegged. Their new Wes Montgomery collection, In The Beginning, is another winner. The two absorbing discs are made up mostly of previously unheard, mid-50s live material recorded in Indianapolis before the pioneering guitarist hit the big time (along with some newly discovered studio cuts, including a 1955 session produced by none other than Quincy Jones). These are amateur recordings, but they’re surprisingly clear for 60-year-old tapes, and the after hours vibe is just perfect — “you can almost taste the smoke in the air,” writes Pete Townshend in the liners. And the music here is far from juvenilia: Montgomery’s unmistakeable technique and cool approach is firmly in place. No matter how casual the setting of these gigs may have been, he always seems to firing on all cylinders, playing dazzling runs that probably made other guitarists want to hang up their axes for good. An invaluable addition to the Montgomery canon.

Wes Montgomery :: After You’re Gone

In The Beginning gives us a look at a musical genius in his pre-fame days. Duke Ellington’s Conny Plank Session, recorded in 1970, gives us a look at a musical genius in his twilight. You read that name right: this is the same Conny Plank who would go on to become one of the primary architects of the 1970s Krautrock/Kosmische sound, producing groundbreaking albums by Neu!, Kraftwerk and Cluster, to name just a few. Don’t let your imagination run too wild, though; if you’re hoping for a “Take the A Train” / “HalloGallo” blend, you should look elsewhere (perhaps in some other galaxy). But The Conny Plank Session is still fantastic. What we’ve got here is a beautifully recorded, all-too-brief example of the Ellington Orchestra in its latter days, with Duke sounding fit and fiery, leading his band through several takes of two tunes. By the end of the session, they seem just about ready for blastoff. Maybe that other galaxy wasn’t too far off…  words / t wilcox

Duke Ellington :: Afrique (take 3 vocal)


Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can now be heard twice, every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 397: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Kevin Morby – Harlem River ++ Destroyer – Chinatown ++ David Bowie – Win ++ Jullian Lynch – Terra ++ Atlas Sound – Another Bedroom ++ Atlas Sound – Recent Bedroom ++ David Bowie – TVC 15 ++ Talking Heads – I Get Wild/Wild Gravity ++ Blur – Blue Jeans ++ The Clash – The Call Up (AD edit) ++ Pylon – Cool ++ Deerhunter – Fluorescent Grey ++ Lower Dens – Tea Lights ++ Deerhunter – Dr. Glass ++ Lower Dens – Holy Water ++ Deerhunter – Leather Jacket II ++ Disappears – Gone Completely ++ Viet Cong – Static Wall ++ Women – Eyesore ++ No Age – Neck Escaper ++ Fugazi – Cassavetes ++ Rodrigo Amarante – Hourglass ++ Little Joy – Don’t Watch Me Dancing ++ Sandro Perri – Everybody’s Talkin’ ++ Here We Go Magic – Tunnelvision ++ Benoit Pioulard – Shouting Distance ++ Little Wings – Eyes Without A Face ++ Julee Crusie – Floating

*Listen for free, online, with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.


Though she retired from regular public performance decades ago, Shirley Collins’ influence on today’s musical landscape seems to grow with every year. That’s a very good thing. Her classic LPs, either alone, or with Davy Graham, her sister Dolly, and Ashley Hutchings, among others, are master classes in traditional English folk forms (with plenty of trips into other folk forms as well). They’re also just fantastic records, with Collins’ unmistakeable vocals and pristine delivery bringing age-old songs to miraculous life. She’s one of our great voices.

That voice and legacy is paid well-deserved tribute to on two worth-your-time recent releases. First up we’ve got For Shirley Collins, with visual artist Emily Sundblad playing Collins to Matt Sweeney’s Davy Graham on an LP of spare and lovely tunes drawn from Shirley’s repertoire. It’s a melancholy beauty of a record, as Sweeney’s fingerpicked acoustic sensitively complements Sundblad’s high, fluttering vocals. Sweeney is certainly one of the most versatile musicians out there; it’s kind of hard to believe this is the same dude who plays with Endless Boogie and Chavez. Covers of Michael Hurley and the Everly Brothers round out For Shirley Collins — they don’t fit the concept, but they fit the vibe.

Next, there’s the sprawling Shirley Inspired from Earth Recordings — three LPs worth of Collins-derived English trad-folk tunes interpreted by the likes of Lee Ranaldo, Angel Olsen, Josephine Foster, Graham Coxon, Meg Baird and many others. As might be expected from its sheer size, Shirley Inspired is a mixed bag, with some of the performers nailing their chosen songs, and others missing the mark slightly. But there’s more than enough quality material here, including Baird’s unbelievably good “Locks and Bolts,” Will Oldham and Bitchin Bajas’ haunting “Pretty Saro,” and Sharron Kraus’ hypnotic “Gilderoy (Heart’s Delight).” Good to know: proceeds from the album go towards the production of an in-the-works documentary about Collins. words / t wilcox

Will Oldham / Bitchin Bajas :: Pretty Saro
Emily Sundblad / Matt Sweeney :: Dearest Dear

GRRD26_cover_smallThe music of Tucson’s Ohioan, led by songwriter O Ryne Warner, is about many things, but chiefly, it is music about the concept of “place.”

“From Roscoe Holcomb and the ‘mountain minor’ players to the Berber banjoists of Marrakech, Tinariwen’s Tuareg guitar tradition, and the electric reverberation of country music throughout the Sonoran desert: we are bringing these far-flung influences together to reconcile where we come from, where are, and where we’re headed,” Warner writes of his upcoming album, Empty/Every MT, out early next year via Gold Robot Records. Following 2014’s American Spirit Blues, the album is sun-worn and faded, featuring contributions from deep underground heroes Susan Alcorn, Arrington De Dionyso, and Tara Jane Oneil, aiding in expanding Warner’s droning compositions.

“You’ll never know where you’re going unless you know where you’re at,” Warner says. “Any place you are living in, should be engaged with, touched and bled upon and cursed on occasion, but regardless felt as an entity available for dialog. You breathe its air, in and out.” A Midwestern transplant “dusting up” in Tucson since Dia de los Muertos in 2011, Warner says the desert has informed his songwriting, but it’s done so, “Indirectly, via the people around me that are changed by it. Just living here and talking to them, listening. Last year, I had the opportunity to attend a conference on water rights for the Hopi & Diné tribes, and that put a whole lot into perspective.” Environmental themes weave throughout the songs of Ohioan — parallels between the mines of his native Ohio and in Arizona, the clear cut forests he saw in Oregon, the onset of climate change.

The sounds of Empty/Every MT are as connected to the soil as Warner’s ecological themes. “…I grew up on hardcore and ‘90s NYC hip-hop,” Warner says. “I remember specifically talking with Jef Brown of Jackie-O Motherfucker, who was giving me some theory lessons, and saying ‘I think I really like modal music’…. which was just something i had read about in a description of a jazz record. And he took the time to really explain modal music to me and help me make these connections and then it was just the skies parted you know…. all the Sabbath riffs I like, the certain kinds of banjo tunes, the African trance grooves…. all modal.”

With Ohioan, Warner draws lines from hillbilly folk songs to the desert blues of the North African nomads, from banjo players in Kentucky to banjo players in Morocco, separated by geography but spiritual connected by musical approach. “So this is all going on with me musically, combining Appalachian banjo music with African desert guitar music, as I’m simultaneously thinking about these environmental and mining concepts over the years, living in the desert and being from Appalachia….and it all just sort of starts cookin’ into a bigger idea.” words / j woodbury

Ohioan :: Pissing At Will
Ohioan :: Easy Company

Sam Dees Soul Sister

Dig that ominous, hypnotic, and downright menacing groove. When Sam’s vocal begins, it’s all over.

From Birmingham, AL, Sam Dees journeyed to Nashville as a young man to begin recording in the late ’60s. Even though records such as this and the mighty “Lonely For You Baby” are the type of 45s that make soul collectors weak in the knees, these devastating records sold next to nothing upon their initial release. However, considering how whipped my personal copies of these records are, they were undoubtedly loved and partied with by their former owners. Fortunately, Sam Dees saw success as a songwriter – his songs having been recorded by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston (and dozens more) and he remains active to this day. words / d see

Sam Dees :: Soul Sister


Elyse Weinberg is a longtime favorite of Aquarium Drunkard, whose husky voice was introduced to many via folk rockers Vetiver. In 2001, her long lost debut, 1968’s Elyse was reissued by Orange Twin Records, a swooning, mystic effort bolstered considerably by bonus track “Houses,” a laidback but insistent groover featuring searing lead guitar by Neil Young. Now, thanks to Numero Group’s Numerophon imprint, one can hear that song presented in its original context, Weinberg’s unreleased second LP, Greasepaint Smile, to be released September 18th.

Produced by Young’s longtime partner David Briggs in 1969 and featuring Young, J.D. Souther, Kenny Edwards of the Stone Poneys, and a young Nils Lofgren on guitar, the record is a lowdown stunner, loose and funky on songs like “City Of The Angeles” and the winking “Your Place Or Mine,” touched by the spirit on “Gospel Ship,” given to full bore blues rock on “Collection Bureau,” and achingly beautiful on “It’s All Right To Linger.” Over chiming acoustic guitars, fuzzed electrics, and a sympathetic rhythm section, Weinberg’s voice is ragged and sounds far too world weary than her 23 years should allow. Her words follow suit: “It’s all right to linger but it’s no good to stay/when you feel in your heart there’s a better way.”

Tellingly, Weinberg didn’t stay. Following a bumpy ride through the music industry’s back streets — documented beautifully in notes by Jerry DeCicca — Weinberg took leave of Los Angeles, eventually settling in Oregon, where she’s continued to make music as Cori Bishop. “While the 1960’s were closing its doors, Weinberg graduated from Toronto folk clubs to crashing on Neil Young’s Laurel Canyon couch to the Billboard charts within one prolific year,” DeCicca writes. “But within a year, the bright lights began to dim and she quietly walked away. Informed by her astrological study and an awakened spiritual urge, Weinberg left the phony grin she sang about in Greasepaint Smile behind her and, with that, the music business.” words / j woodbury

What she left behind, as is often the case, is worth hearing.