Aquarium Drunkard returns to Berlin presenting Kevin Morby with Meg Baird at the Columbia Theater on Sunday night, November 13th. We’re giving away tickets to local AD readers…leave a comment below to enter – winners notified at the end of the week.

Related: Catching Up With Kevin Morby :: The AD Interview


Our ongoing collaboration with record collector and dj Daniel T (see: Skateland / Douala By Night) and Panamajack continues with Heat Wave – a 14 track medley of international funk from the 70s and 80s spanning Trinidad to Japan.

Heat Wave – A Mixtape

**playlist / provenance after the jump . . .


Allow us to join the resounding chorus in praising the remarkable new film Moonlight.

Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, it’s an undeniable work — soulful, crushing, and moving. Jenkins’ deft hand hovers over each scene, guiding terrific performances by Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, André Holland, Janelle Monáe and Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes, who play the protagonist, Chiron, at three different points in his life. We watch Chiron grow and navigate a world set against him, struggling with his mother’s addictions and the emergence of his own sexuality, but the film never becomes merely representational — every character is viewed as a whole, complex human — and the movie lingers with hard and beautiful truths.

In the world created on screen, music plays a vital role. The film’s striking score comes from composer Nicholas Britell, whose “Little Theme,” filled with gentle piano chording and a lonesome trumpet melody, feels still and tentative, contrasted by the sweeping “The Middle of the World,” which soundtracks one of the movie’s most gorgeous scenes, Ali’s Juan teaching a young Chiron to swim in the ocean, its strings floating like the waves Chiron crests above.

Likewise, music supervisor Maggie Phillips fills the film with incredible songs. Opening with Boris Gardiner’s “Every N****r Is a Star” (as heard on Kendrick Lamar’s “Wesley’s Theory”), the film mines soul, R&B, tropicália, and gospel vaults, featuring Goodie Mob’s “Cell Therapy,” Caetano Veloso’s “Cucurrucucu Paloma,” a chopped and screwed version of Jidenna’s “Classic Man,” the Supreme Jubilees’ “It’ll All Be Over,” Edge of Daybreak’s smoldering “Our Love,” and more.

But no moment hits harder than the reunion of Chiron and Kevin at a diner, scored by a gently glowing jukebox playing Barbara Lewis’ 1963 single “Hello Stranger,” a song selected specifically by Jenkins. Over a humming organ and gentle doo wops, Lewis sings with an aching voice.

Barbara Lewis :: Hello Stranger

“How long has it been?” she asks, her background singers responding, “It seems like a mighty long time.” Chances are after seeing the film, listening to Barbara sing her haunting song will cause tears to well up in your eyes. Likewise, the eloquent grace of Moonlight will inspire similar devotion. words / j woodbury

The following playlist is a celebration of Robyn Hitchcock’s first 20 years of recordings; specifically ones that, while they may be ‘accessible’, still showcase the singular nature of his creativity.

Hitchcock spent his university years in the early 70s busking while seeking a band that fit his vision. The pieces were in place when he formed Dennis & The Experts, a group which then morphed into The Soft Boys in 1976. The Soft Boys were a vehicle for Robyn’s psychedelic vision, and their earliest recordings exhibit a noisy chaos that is equal parts Barrett and Beefheart (see: 1977’s Give It To The Soft Boys EP). “Hear My Brane” showcases the guitar chemistry of Robyn and Kimberley Rew, and matches a very Beefheartian vibe with a bridge that foreshadows the shape of melodicism to come.

The band’s debut LP, A Can Of Bees, was released two years later in 1979, and while the element of chaos was still present in tracks such as “The Pig Worker”, Robyn began to allow his gorgeous (and quintessentially English) melodic sense to come to the forefront on such tracks as “Human Music”. The Soft Boys split soon after their 1980 masterpiece, Underwater Moonlight. As a record its sound was incredibly influential within the alternative rock scene of the 1980s — “Queen Of Eyes” alone works as a blueprint of jangly college rock, and the title track stands as one of the most unique and imaginative tracks of the decade; an ode to the ocean falling in love with a human being and the ensuing drowning.

While The Soft Boys may have been finished in name, all of the members soon appeared on Robyn’s solo debut from 1981, Black Snake Diamond Role. Here, Hitchcock went full bore into psychedelia for the LP’s classic track, “Acid Bird”, itself one of the artist’s most enduring tracks and a staple of live shows. 1982 saw the release of Groovy Decay, which was perhaps an effort to ditch the psychedelic elements in order to be more “contemporary”. Whatever the motives, Robyn wasn’t happy with the record and re-envisioned it a few years later by substituting several demo versions billed as Groovy Decoy. Both editions contain the brilliant “America”, a stand-out composition that succeeds in its dense, synthesizer and horn driven production.

Perhaps it was the distaste left behind in the wake of Decay that sent Robyn inwards for what is perhaps his greatest record — 1984’s I Often Dream Of Trains. While the album’s strongest tracks clearly channel Hitchcock’s heroes (Syd Barrett, John Lennon), they also match the excellence of those legends. “Flavor Of Night” pairs a Lennon-like lyric and melody with a piano line that sounds downright classical. The title track, sparse as it is with only voice and lone electric guitar, is completely satisfying in its poetic brilliance. “I Used To Say I Love You” (inexplicably left off of the original vinyl LP) deftly captures of the feel of heartbreak, one that is both universal and incredibly real.


For over a decade, Anthology Recordings has revived and unearthed rare album collections and reissues for the good of vinyl hounds and culture junkies near and far. Their Surf Archive Series focuses in on the left-of-center golden days of surf, which manifests itself today through touch points like fashion and board design, to the aesthetic at corner surf shops and, of course, current surf docs and their accompanying soundtracks.

These iconic films and their ‘of-the-moment’ soundtracks include: Morning of the Earth (Falzon), Crystal Voyager (Greenough/Elfick), Litmus (Kidman) and more… And – through the work of the Brooklyn label house – they’ve justly seen the light of day and received the proper outlet for consumption up and down the coasts (and beyond).

We recently caught up with label founder, Keith Abrahamsson, on the heels of two new reissues (the Witzig directed Sea of Joy and Evolution), and got the general scoop on what they’re all about.

Aquarium Drunkard: Give us a brief bio… Where you at? What are you up to? I believe you’re in NY – how’s the surf?

Keith Abrahamsson: I’m here in Brooklyn…transitioning into Fall, waiting for the swell to show up. We had a little taste this past weekend.

AD: Let’s get to the root of the Surf Archive Series. How did you get interested in these soundtracks…was it the films? The artists? Inspired by the surf? Lay it all out from inception to where we’re at today.

Keith Abrahamsson: I suppose it was all part of my evolution as a music fan. I was pretty OCD about the fuzzy, heavy jams for awhile there…maybe 12 years ago or so, and dove deep into the more ‘collectible’ end of the spectrum. You can’t really get outta that world without bumping into bands like Tamam Shud, Sky Oats, Peter Martin & Finch, etc. Once I got hip to those bands, I just kinda let myself fall further in and I discovered my love for many of these soundtracks. Once I hit upon Morning of the Earth, I was just completely melted (in a good way).

I didn’t think to start reissuing them until 3 or 4 years ago and knew MoTE had to be first along w/ the Greenough/Elfick classic, Crystal Voyager. We’ve had some strong support and enthusiasm from lots of folks in the surf community and beyond, which has allowed us to continue with our vision of getting as many of these great soundtracks back onto LP as we can.


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. Chris Robinson guests on the second half of the show, his mixtape can be found here.

SIRIUS 455: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Kikagaku Moyo – Green Sugar ++ CAN – I’m So Green ++ The Everly Brothers – Lord Of The Manor ++ Blossom Dearie – Somebody New ++ Bernard Chabert – Il Part En Californie (He Moved To California) ++ These Trails – Garden Botanum ++ Pete Ham – Without You (solo demo) ++ Big Star – Mod Lang (Alternate Mix) ++ The Velvet Underground – Sad Song ++ Emitt Rhodes – Promises I’ve Made ++ T. Rex – Lean Woman Blues ++ John Williams – Flowers In Your Hair ++ Lee Hazlewood w/ Suzi Jane Hokum – Califia (Stone Rider) ++ Bedlam’s Offspring – I’ll Be There ++ The Emperors – I Want My Woman ++ The Chocolate Watchband – It’s All Over Now Baby Blue ++ The Blue Rondos – Baby I Go For You ++ The Graham Bond Organisation – Early In The Morning ++ Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley ++ Cat – Do The Watussi ++ Vichan Maneechot – Dance, Dance, Dance ++ The Shangri-Las – How Pretty Can You Get (Radio Spot) ++ William Sheller – Exitissimo ++ Fleur De Lys – Circles ++ Michelle’s Menagerie – Stay Away ++ The Worlocks – I Love You ++ Blue Condition – Coming Home ++ Lil’ Ed & The Soundmasters – It’s A Dream ++ Black Rock – Yeah Yeah (AD edit) ++  Africa – Paint It Black ++ Junior Parker – Tomorrow Never Knows ++ Yaphet Koto – Have You Ever Seen The Blues ++ Kukumbas – Respect ++ Tim Maia – Nobody Can Live Forever ++ Johnny Thunder – I’m Alive ++ The Kinks – Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin’ Bout That Girl ++ Rob London – Gloria ++ Grateful Dead – Cream Puff War ++ The Seeds – Can’t Seem To Make You Mine ++ The Electric Piano Underground – Good Vibrations ++ David Bowie – Let Me Sleep Beside You (BBC Session) ++ The French Church – Slapneck 45 ++ Bill Deal & The Rhondells – Hey Bulldog ++ Steve Hillage – Talking To the Sun ++ Amon Düül ll – A Morning Excuse ++ Todd Rundgren – The Spark of Life ++ Gong – A Sprinkling of Clouds ++ Daevid Allen – Crocodile Nonsense Poem ++ Parliament – (You’re a Fish and I’m A) Water Sign ++ Leon Russell – Acid Annapolis ++ Tim Blake – Last Ride of the Boogie child ++ Mort Garson – Leave the Driving To Us

*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 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)


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.”


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