The Letter People. Those three words either mean something to you…or they don’t. If they do, you most likely have a fuzzy half-remembrance of the vinyl / 8-track set or the accompanying companion PBS children’s puppetry show. A sort of poor-man’s Muppets, these primitive creations were tasked with schooling the youth of the 70s/80s on the alphabet and its 26 accompanying sounds. Sounds boring, right? Actually, no, far from it.

Playing off contemporary sounds of the time (funk, country, r&b, top 40 pop, acid rock) each letter had its own character with its own, often bizarre, backstory (check out Tall Teeth).

Which brings us to Mr. S., the grooviest of consonants. First, that bassline – slow and low, I wore out the grooves on this one. A furtive tale of kid fears, one of being scared of the dark, Mr. S is a story of empowerment. In it, our narrator transforms from hiding under his bed sheets to slipping into his super-socks becoming “a super-sonic streak across the sky”… all thanks to his trusty super-socks. All this aided by the aforementioned bass line and blasts of brass straight out of Blood Sweat & Tears’ practice pad.

Additional letters weirdos: Mister C (sleazy lounge lizard named Cotton Candy — ALSO: Mr. S cameos playing a mean blues guitar solo)Mister H & his horrible hair / Mister T (country & western cowboy romp about his giant chompers) / Mister M (funk jammer about guy likes who likes to eat)


As anyone who tuned into the Aquarium Drunkard Show on Sirius/XMU last Friday is well aware, Endless Boogie’s Paul Major knows private press. A longtime record dealer, his catalogs, including Feel the Music and Sound Effects, helped establish much of the vocabulary associated with rare psych, folk, rock, and outsider records. Now, working with Anthology Editions, he’s compiled the book on the stuff: Feel the Music: The Psychedelic Worlds of Paul Major.

In addition to scans of the rare original catalogs, which featured Major’s hallucinatory, illustrative music writing, the new book gathers essays by friends and compatriots Johan Kugelberg, Glenn Terry, Michael P. Daley, Stefan Kery, Patrick Lundborg (The Acid Archives) and more, all of which help illuminate not only the music that has defined Major, but also his unique character and ethos.

“It’s this crazy full circle vibe,” Major says. “Before I started playing music, I wanted to be a writer and a journalist. So that’s what I got my degree in…I got sidetracked by music and finally a book comes out [featuring] all that crazy writing I did for the catalogs back in the day.”

Endless Boogie :: Vibe Killer

While Major’s deep knowledge sets him in a league of his own among record aficionados, it’s his enthusiasm and dedication that truly define his work. 20 years ago, he formed Endless Boogie, and the long-running rock band is still choogling along. On Boogie’s new lp, Vibe Killer, Major sounds ever at home along the cyclical riffs and bone-grinding  fuzz, his voice ragged and sneering. “We have probably rehearsed ten times since 2013, but it just doesn’t matter, the Boogie never stops,” writes his Boogie bandmate Jesper Eklow in Feel the Music. “I mean, it should be stopped, but it can’t be.”

Likewise, when Major speaks, you get the sense you could spend hours listening to him, his conversation style free flowing and punctuated by belly laughs. He’s still jonesing for new tunes and far out sounds. The book, the new record — it all feels like part of some cosmic, unplanned event he’s just happy to have shown up for.

“The universe kind of all came around,” Major says. “I’ve got some kind of harmony that I don’t understand.”

Aquarium Drunkard: You write in the intro of the book that there was some “magic power in the actual physical object that enhanced the experience.” Early on, that’s what hooked you. After all these years, do you still feel that way?

Paul Major: Oh yeah, I do. I think the thing that’s changed is my need to own them or not. [Laughs] I used to have to have them all. That changed. Records became a currency for me to survive, my way of making money. But I still get the thrill when there’ll be something I never saw, one of these legendary records. I get a charge of the actual artifact. “This is the actual thing that exists, the historic object.” But I can just listen to the music now — I don’t have to have an original pressing. I guess I burned out on that after decades of doing the catalog. But oh, I love when I see one of those records. A lot of them are 40 or 50 years old now. That’s another head twister, that these early psychedelic records are half a century old now.

lydon_big youth

It’s heating up out there. The seventh installment of the Bomboclat! series is in the works — look for it in two weeks. Until then, let the following choice selections from volumes 1-6 simmer . . .

Download: Bomboclat! Island Soak / Volumes 1-6 Retrospective (zipped folder)


Lagniappe (la·gniappe) noun ˈlan-ˌyap,’ – 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.

Best known as the leader of the Texas cum Oakland psych outfit The Gris Gris, Greg Ashley has been gracing the pages of AD since its 2005 inception — the year he released Medicine Fuck Dream, a record we likened to “swimming through a pool of hot jello…slow, heavy, fuzzy, druggy, dense and sticky sweet.” Still apt today. Ashley’s new album Pictures of Saint Paul Street, out June 30th on Trouble In Mind Records, marries his influences into one giant middle finger to the jerks of humanity — resulting in one of the most raw and honest albums of the year.

Below, Ashley interprets a trio of covers — from the honky-tonks of Texas, to late 70s Marianne Faithfull and beyond. The artist, in his own words, below.

Greg Ashley :: Dreaming My Dreams (Marianne Faithfull)

“Dreaming My Dreams” was written by Allen Reynolds. Waylon Jennings does the most famous version as it was probably written for him. I first heard the song on the Marianne Faithfull’s 1978 record Faithless (originally released in 1976 as Dreamin’ My Dreams). I love both versions and I kind have always played it a bit more like Marianne than Waylon.

Greg Ashley :: London Homesick Blues (Lost Gonzo Band)

“London Homesick Blues” was written by Gary P. Nunn who was in the Lost Gonzo Band – a 1970’s Texas country rock n roll group with Jerry Jeff Walker and some other folks. The version I have heard is from Jerry and the Lost Gonzo Band’s 1973 album Viva Terlingua. It’s a live record recorded in Luckenbach, Texas. There is another hit on the record is by Ray Wiley Hubbard called “Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother”. Used to do a version of that one too.

Greg Ashley :: Boy Can I Dance Good (The Pagans)

Denny Carleton is the correct author for “Boy Can I Dance Good”. The Pagans were from Cleveland but Denny never recorded with them apparently. I had the displeasure of seeing them play at a Horizontal Action Black Out Fest maybe ten years ago – they had been at the Cubs game all day getting drunk. But shit I can’t really judge them for it, as I have blown plenty of shows being too drunk…it happens. Anyway, they are maybe my favorite punk band.

Lagniappe Sessions Archives / imagery via d norsen


From the casually curious to the autodidact, the information imparted by the voluminous youtube can be (at its very best) transformative / enlightening — nitpicky criticisms aside, of course. Which brings us to the two documentaries featured below; one on the American composer, theorist, philosopher and artist John Cage, and the other concerning itself with the classical avant-garde movement as a whole.

As documentaries go, the two work well in tandem. In The Ocean focuses on composers Philip Glass, John Cage, Steve Reich, Elliott Carter and their contemporaries as it examines and unpacks various motivations and influences. And as this in the Internet, the comments section is well worth perusing for infighting concerning everything from opinions on sound object music, the filmmakers (audacious!) inclusion of Frank Zappa, post-modernism and more. Bring some popcorn.


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

SIRIUS 484: Jean-Michel Bernard – Générique Stéphane ++ Stonewall – Outer Spaced ++ Clap – Out of the Shadows ++ Marcus – In The Innetween ++ Jade Stone & Love – Reality ++ Damon – Song of a Gypsy ++ Fraction – Come out of Her ++ New Dawn – Life Goes On ++ Morgen – Begging Your Pardon (Miss Joan) ++ Aguaturbia – E.V.O.L. ++ Traffic Sound – Simple ++ Cerebrum – Eagle Death ++ Crash Coffin – Alone Together ++ Michael Farnetti – Movie Star ++ Arcesia – White Panther ++ Dennis The Fox – PiledriverDark – Maypole ++ Cold Sun – Here in the Year ++ D.R. Hooker – This Thing ++ Raven – Raven Mad Jam ++ Pussy Plays – Comets ++  Stack – Everyday ++ Cosmic Michael – Cosmic Michael Theme ++ Darius – I Feel The Need To Carry On ++ Mystic Seva – Supernatural Mind ++ Top Drawer – Song of a Sinner ++ Endless Boogie – Back in ’74 ++ Sorcerers – A Dog Life

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


The so-called ambient music movement was kicked off sometime in 1975 when Brian Eno heard a tape of eighteenth-century harp music. More than four decades later, Mary Lattimore is connecting the dots, creating beautifully becalmed settings for the harp. The prolific player’s latest release, And The Birds Flew Overhead (recorded live by the NYC Taper crew last year at Three Lobed Records’ “Sweet Sixteen” concert in Raleigh, NC), sees Lattimore forming a Heavenly Music Corporation (to borrow again from Mr. Eno) with keyboardist Elysse Thebner Miller. And the music is definitely heavenly, with the duo stretching out over the course of two sidelong pieces that ebb and flow in hypnotic fashion. But it’s not just heavenly. Like the best ambient, there’s an underlying tension and restlessness throughout that envelops the listener, as Lattimore and Thebner lock in and zone out. Boundaries are broken, new territories discovered. words / t wilcox