Trumpeter and bandleader Yazz Ahmed’s resume includes work with Lee “Scratch” Perry and Radiohead (she contributed flugelhorn to King of Limbs) but it’s the sounds of her remarkable forthcoming album, La Saboteuse, which truly proclaim her as a must-watch figure in jazz world. Following the Bahraini’s debut My Way Home (which she released at the age of 19) and her 2015 suite Alhaan al Siduri, La Saboteuse features progressive elegies, awash in post-rock, ambient and In a Silent Way-style textures. Set for release on May 12th, the album’s being rolled out by individual chapter. The first, “The Space Between the Fish & the Moon,” offers a tantalizing look at what’s to come, with Ahmed’s electronically-treated trumpet cascading over Lewis Wright’s vibes and Corrina Silvester’s imaginative percussion. Each subsequent chapter — and the forthcoming full-length album — features artwork by Bristol graphic designer Sophie Bass, rich with symbolism and bold, colorful imagery. words/j woodbury


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

This latest installment of the Lagniappe Sessions hits close to home — Steve Gunn taking on a pair of Smiths tunes. Gunn, in his own words, below. His latest LP, Eyes On The Lines, is out now via Matador.

A lot of teenage guitar players went straight into metal or prog, but the Smiths were the first guitar band that really spoke to me. Some people hated this band then and still do. Somehow that is pretty understandable. I love them.

When I was a new guitar player, I borrowed a Smiths cassette from my older sister. Johnny Marr’s arrangements mystified me, transfixed me. I felt that they were something I’d never be able to decipher. It wasn’t until later that I started to look into his influences, and I came to understand his playing and arranging, especially in partnership with Morrissey. Plus Johnny looked so damn cool playing that Rickenbacker.

I took an extended break from the Smiths after my teenage years. I kind of grew out of my first phase of love for them and tried to stop feeling so sorry for myself. I lost the passion after the first solo Morrissey album came out. I was on to more formulaic music that in retrospect wasn’t any better—though much easier to play! I no longer had it in me to go and cry at the concerts (I never saw him), or fight for a sliver of Morrissey’s torn shirt. All of that being said, I will always have a deep admiration for this band. I always go back to them.

Steve Gunn :: This Night Has Opened My Eyes (The Smiths)

As a teenager, I did a lot of walking around with my little foam headphones listening to Louder Than Bombs on cassette, using up a lot of AA batteries. This was the first double album I’d ever became acquainted with, and I listened incessantly–forever etching these songs into my memory. Morrissey’s lyrics and sentiment cemented the vision I had of myself as this forlorn figure walking through suburban Philadelphia, back from high school, without much destination. Oh the pain! Ultimately, though, there was always an underlying message of hope in all of these depressing songs, which made me love this band.

Steve Gunn :: The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (The Smiths)

This song, from their first self-titled album, stands out because of Morrissey’s vocal delivery. His gothic, folklorish, lonely, dark and ghostly words are there, of course, but the vocals roll along in an almost, dare I say, Dylanesque style. One sentence collides with the next. The album is a favorite of mine because it’s more stripped down that the ones that come after; the Johnny Marr guitar arrangements are simpler, less layered. It wasn’t until their next studio album, Meat is Murder, that he really started layering tracks and finding lush arrangements. A great example is the introduction on the song “How Soon is Now’”—still a constant topic of discussion among guitar freaks and studio nerds across the globe.

Lagniappe Sessions Archives / imagery via d norsen


Like many who become enamored with the work (and life) of Hunter S. Thompson, my own fascination began in the early 90s around the age of fifteen. And like many, the initial attraction had more to do with the outsize caricature of the man and his exploits than his prowess behind his IBM Selectric. And while the outlaw tales of drugs, decadence and depravity may have been the initial hook, it was Thompson’s use of language that kept me around and coming back. Whatever you care to call it, New Journalism, Gonzo, etc, Thompson’s approach was singular and refreshing. Having taken his own life in 2005, it’s an approach that has been sorely missed — none more so than during this latest election cycle and its present aftermath.

As such, I’ve been thinking about and re-reading Thompson’s political essays, which brings us to Fear & Loathing On The Road To Hollywood a fifty-minute  BBC / Omnibus production released in 1978. Directed by Nigel Finch, the documentary’s loose premise is one of catching up with Thompson and frequent collaborator, and British illustrator, Ralph Steadman as the two revisit the landscape that provided the background for Thompson’s breakout missive, 1971’s Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. The results are, if not smooth, interesting. During the road trip, events predictably go awry with Steadman playing the straight man to Thompson’s irrepressible id.

Yet the most interesting bits are the interviews scattered throughout, as Thompson wrestles with and attempts to reconcile his professional life with that of his alter-ego: Raoul Duke. Thompson opines “I’m really in the way, as a person. The myth has taken over. I myself am an appendage. I’m no longer necessary. I’m in the way. It’d be much better if I died.” It’s a conundrum the writer battled the remainder of his days, both consciously feeding into the mythology while wanting to be taken seriously. For in Thompson’s case, style never trumped substance — no matter how outlandish the modus operandi.


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 469: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++W-X – Intro ++ Singers & Players – Thing Called Love ++ Snakefinger – The Model ++ Glenn Mercer – Twenty-Nine Palms ++ David Bowie – A New Career In A New Town ++ Brian Eno – Dead Finks Don’t Talk ++ Ty Segall – Diversion ++ Lilliput – Die Matrosen ++ Fat White Family – Satisfied ++ Silver Apples – Oscillations ++ Jeff Phelps – Excerpt From Autumn ++ Suicide – Dream Baby Dream ++ Makers – Don’t Challenge Me ++ David Bowie – Win ++ Guitar Red – Disco From A Space Show ++ Daughn Gibson – Tiffany Lou ++ Iggy Pop – Sister Midnight ++ Drinks – Cheerio ++ Jack Name – New Guitars ++ Cate Le Bon – Rock Pool ++ White Fence – Pink Gorilla  ++ David Bowie – Crystal Japan (Japanese Only Single) ++ David Bowie – Heroes ++ Brian Eno – Here Come The Warm Jets ++ Blues Control – Love’s A Rondo ++ Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Tortoise – It’s Expected I’m Gone ++ The Mayfair Set – Cease To Be ++ Dirty Beaches – Lord Knows Best ++ Angelo Badalamenti – Moving Through Time ++ Dwight Sykes – Bye ++ Harlem – Goodbye Horses ++ Creation Rebel/New Age Steppers – Chemical Specialist ++ Starship Commander Woo Woo – Master Ship (Excerpt)

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


In a year pock-marked by artistic loss, the passing of Leonard Cohen in 2016 particularly stung. With a body of work spanning 14 albums over the course of five decades, Cohen’s influence is boundless, his words and music embedding themselves in the DNA of not just music, but culture writ large. No stranger to tribute (his work has been covered Nina Simone, Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, et al.), the following rendering is a recent favorite — British musician Michael Kiwanuka’s take on “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye”. Lifted from Mojo magazine’s 2012 Cohen tribute, Kiwanuka eases confidently into the tune with with a voice that somehow conveys an effortless grace beyond his years.

Michael Kiwanuka :: Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye

Other artists lending their talents to the compilation include Bill Callahan, Cass McCombs, Will Oldham, Father John Misty and more.

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The end of 2016 saw the return of Dungen, via Häxan – an instrumental album commissioned by Anders Annikas of the Swedish Film Institute. The gig was to create a new original score to Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed. As firsts go, the film is notable as the oldest surviving feature-length animated film; preceding Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by nearly a decade. As score’s go, Dungen’s is notable in that it highlights the group’s varied, chameleon-like, strengths via 14 inspired soundscapes.

The group is set to perform their live score to The Adventures of Prince Achmed at six dates across the United States, beginning March 15th in Philadelphia and wrapping in Los Angeles at the Getty Museum on the 21st. To coincide with the run a limited deluxe version of Häxan is now available–of which the above video (directed by Jenny Palen, on Super 8) is culled.


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.

LIFE Magazine laid them out like a high school yearbook. 242 young men, “One Week’s Dead.” “The numbers of the dead [from May 28-June 3, 1969] are average for any seven-day period during this stage of the war.”

Back home in America, a savage biker gang by the name of The Satans are busy terrorizing the deserts of California, raping and murdering, taking what and whom they want. It’s “the most vicious & violent film of the decade,” a “wild rebellion,” and “wild beyond belief.” If the cover of LIFE, the face of a single one of those 242 soldiers, is too heavy, the film Satan’s Sadists is having it’s second world-premiere in Montgomery, Alabama, at the Jet Drive-In, June 7th, 1969.

Out in California, Sidewalk Productions is on the front cover of that morning’s Billboard magazine, heralding a music production agreement with five major labels, as well as the soundtrack and scoring for a number of upcoming films. Only in passing, and incorrectly named, is their work on “The Satans” mentioned.

25 miles northwest of their offices, at 23000 Santa Susana Pass in the town of Chatsworth, on the near-derelict ranch where the film had been shot only a few months prior, a maniacal and sadistic man has transfixed a small band of people swept up in the drugs and mystical nature of 1969. They’d loitered around the set, walking around or watching the filming with a glazed stare. The father of this family fixed a couple of dune-buggies for the film. His follower’s devotion to him is absolute.

15 hours ahead, into the morning hours of Sunday, June 8th, 1969, the singer of the theme song to Satan’s Sadists is in Vietnam. He’s cut his tracks with the people at Sidewalk – his old friend Harley Hatcher and future Acting-Governor of California Mike Curb – after basic training, but before shipping off.

Two months and two days later, the film is starting to gain some momentum, playing at more and more drive-ins across the country – and Sharon Tate, along with 6 others, have been murdered in a mass killing the police are calling “ritualistic.”

Paul Wibier :: Satan (Theme)