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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 467: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Bob Dylan I Don’t Believe You [She Acts Like We Never Have Met] (Live, 1966) ++ Bob Dylan – Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (Live, 1966) ++ Van Morrison – Astral Weeks ++ Robert Stillman – Ruthie In May ++ Ryley Walker – Shaking Like the Others (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Ryley Walker – I Laughed So Hard I Cried (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Ryley Walker – Two Sides To Every Cross (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Heron Oblivion – Beneath Fields ++ Yo La Tengo – Autumn Sweater ++ Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Cursed Sleep ++ Kevin Morby – Harlem River ++ Chris Cohen – Optimist High ++ Silver Jews – I’m Getting Back Into Getting Back Into You ++ Dion – Only You Know  ++ Arthur Russell – Instrumentals: 1974, Part 4 ++ Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms ++ Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Madeleine-Mary ++ Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Stagger Lee ++ Cate Le Bon – Rock Pool ++ Psychic Ills – Another Change ++ Spiritualized – Cool Waves ++ Cass McCombs – County Line ++ Dirty Three w/ Cat Power – Great Waves ++ Amen Dunes – Green Eyes (Music Blues)

*You can 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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lee-hazlewood-cowboy-in-sweden-cdHey Cowboy. In my experience listeners first encounter the orbit of Lee Hazelwood in one of two ways; either via his work with Nancy Sinatra, or by way of 1970’s Cowboy In Sweden – his opus.

Beginning with the release of their 2012 compilation The LHI Years, Light In The Attic Records have been faithfully reissuing Hazlewood’s discography and, in turn, reinvigorating his legacy. The latest in the series, a reissue of Cowboy In Sweden, is arguably the most significant release in the series yet.

Alternately recorded in the spring of 1970 in Stockholm, and a house on the island of Gotland (where the album covers for 13 and A House Safe For Tigers were shot), the lp was one of several fruitful collaborations with Swedish filmmaker Torbjörn Axelman. In terms of atmosphere, Cowboy is both defined and augmented by the dual vocals of Suzi Jane Hokom and Nina Lizell, who collectively offset Hazlewood’s baritone, imbuing the collection with an air of levity an grace.

Speaking to Aquarium Drunkard of the records import, label founder Matt Sullivan notes “Cowboy In Sweden is Lee’s undeniable masterpiece. It’s that moment when he’s running from American ladies and the law (praying his son wouldn’t be drafted), trying desperately to create a hit after so much success in the 60s, all while trying to keep his struggling label afloat. CBIS ultimately marked the final album released on LHI.”

The LITA reissue boasts a pair of bonus tracks, alternate versions of “Easy And Me” and “Pray Them Bars Away”. Below, check out both a taste of the former and stream the Axelman/Hazlewood film Cowboy In Sweden — a project lovingly resuscitated via Light In The Attic as part of the deluxe edition of the lp.

Lee Hazlewood :: Easy And Me (Alternate Version)

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Been revisiting this one since our Deep Folk 6 mix (via Ben Watt) last spring — Marine Girls second lp, 1983’s, Lazy Ways. For those unfamiliar, prior to her teaming up with Watt to launch Everything But The Girl in 1982, Tracey Thorn co-founded this short lived post-punk outfit; a group whose entire recorded output consists of two full-lengths and a handful of singles. Less is, indeed, sometimes more.

Released in 1983, and clocking in under thirty minutes, the album feels at once singular in execution and of a piece with then contemporaries, the Raincoats, et al. While the group’s influence has evaded name-checking in the way that, say, Young Marble Giants (or the aforementioned Raincoats) have in recent years, Lazy Ways fingerprints can be acutely felt over the past three decades – from the Breeders debut lp, Pod, to the now defunct Yellow Fever.

Ethereal in a swaying manner that befits the lp’s title, this is “A Place In The Sun”.

Marine Girls :: A Place In The Sun

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In 2007 I invited the California duo known as Clutchy Hopkins to guest DJ my radio show. These were the days of MySpace and flip phones. At the time (still?) there was little known about who was behind the moniker, or the origin of their music.

And now they are back. According to a press release this morning, aided by producer/DJ, Fat Albert Einstein, there is a new collaborative album in the can entitled High Desert Low Tide, which promises to “take listeners on a journey through psych folk caverns of cactus dust to bloodshot rust-covered marine layer funk.”

I’m game, and the funk is indeed real. Here’s the first taste, “Zero Gs”.

Oh, and for those wondering, Clutchy Hopkins did accept my invitation. They came by the studio that March morning fully disguised in hoodies, ball caps and bandannas covering their faces – which they did not remove for the entirety of their hour-long set. A set they kicked off with the following, the aptly named, “Track 1”.

Clutchy Hopkins :: Track 1

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On last year’s Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, Chicago-based singer and guitarist Ryley Walker came into his own. It wasn’t his first great record, but it was his most realized, a work that added shades of jazz, psychedelia, and experimental rock to his soulful folk sound. Writing about the record, AD’s Chad DePasquale noted: “On two previous two long-players, comparisons to artists like John Martyn, Bert Jansch, Tim Buckley, and Nick Drake dominated conversations about Walker, but his latest finds him exploring English jazz folk through the unique lens of the Chicago experimental scene he came up in, folding in elements of improvisational jazz and experimental textures.”

We caught up with Walker last fall at Fivethirteen Recording in Tempe, Arizona, to discuss the record and hear a few songs. Keeping with his spirit of experimentation, Walker and band decided the setting was right to try out a few new tunes. We’re happy to debut three of them, “Shaking Like the Others,” “I Laughed So Hard I Cried,” and “Two Sides To Every Cross,” here for the first time, along with our interview.

Transmissions Podcast :: Ryley Walker

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Rock Pool is an extension of the madcap musical world of Le Bon’s last record, Crab Day. She calls these songs the “killed darlings” of that studio session, in which she conjured the ritual tunes for an absurdist holiday of the mind, her “crab day.” The sound is playful: wild fun in constant danger of unraveling, or perhaps some FLUXUS game for rock band. However, the playfulness is contained in deftly composed songwriting, bursting with formal surprises and rhythmic turnarounds. Songs unfold with the elegance of a medieval court dance, the repetition of compositional minimalism, and the jerky boogie of a new wave band. Firm beats pulse under interlocking, angular guitars that split and skitter against mallet and bell sounds. Plucky, percussive timbres interlock with pleasing geometry. Her vocal melodies often leap and bound, while her delivery maintains a beguiling, glassy control. Against the frenetic spectacle of the music, her cool, composed singing disarms, allowing her keen language to seep in.

The vibe of Crab Day is topsy turvy, contradictory. Le Bon sings about how love is not love and how she was born on the wrong day. Tracks like “Find Me” and “I’m a Dirty Attic” are framed with these labyrinthine lyrics that conjure a surreal, heightened space…  like some endless Kafka castle. The album ends with a drawn out musical crescendo that never resolves, vanishing like a staircase that walks forever up into the clouds. Rock Pool’s “killed darlings” begins to breach those cloudy barriers. Rock pools are natural habitats for crabs, but they fill and drain–liminal spaces that are at times dry, and at other times submerged. The title track’s descending/ascending chorus and the single note splatter solo in “Perfume Days” firmly locate us in the key of Crab, but she opens the EP by singing that she doesn’t mind cleaning out her totemic mug museum. Nonsense congeals into reality. The final track shatters the absurdist spell to deliver an heartwarming, plaintive love song in which Le Bon sighs “I just wanna be good to you” over rolling pianos and piping organs. We emerge from the house of mirrors with at least one clear purpose: to try to be good.  She is currently on tour with Tim Presley, and the collaborative energy of their past project, Drinks, carries into the live show, with Cate and her band helping to bring Presley’s The Wink to life. words / a spoto

Cate Le Bon :: I Just Wanna Be Good

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Address Los Angeles, a recurring feature on Aquarium Drunkard, explores the lesser-to-unknown corners of LA: be it an address, an artist, or a fleeting thought.

By 1905 Jacob Adloff was enjoying a great degree of success. In the 27 years since he’d moved to America from his native Germany, he’d made a name for himself bottling and distributing beer, was a partner in several saloons, and had married into a well-established pioneer family. At the age of 45 his prize investment was surely Vienna Park — a beer garden, restaurant, bowling venue, outdoor space and gathering area.

Spanning 20 acres Vienna Park was often raucous, with concerts, fairs, ample evening illumination and manicured gardens. Located at the corner of Western Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard, in what is now called Jefferson Park, Vienna found itself  just outside of city limits — until 1896. As history is cyclical, local pressure and a growing city wrapped it within its bounds, reigning in the parks more libidinous behaviors.

Nearby, Charles Victor Hall was becoming a small-time oil tycoon, and owned several properties near Adloff’s which were occupied by the cities more prominent and wealthy (read: less Eastern-European) citizenry. Hall, under the guise of an Improvement Society, set out to convert the land into a public park, driving the crowds, and Adloff, away. And while no bucolic utopia was to come, Adloff likely read the writing on the wall. He subdivided his lot and set out to sell — but not before building at least nine homes on his own plots, some of which still stand in the neighborhood today. Adloff had many other interests in his care, including a popular saloon on the corners of N. Main and Chavez, in the heart of old Chinatown and on the site of the future Union Station.

Simultaneously, racial covenants were making moves to ensure that an area which had come to see some of the greatest diversity of European immigrants and descendants stay white. In 1928, ruling on a case involving a tract of land mere blocks from the former site of Vienna Park, the California Supreme Court ruled that the covenants could continue to bar occupancy by non-Caucasians — but not the ownership of the land itself.