Weekly podcast companion for the Aquarium Drunkard music blog / SIRIUS XMU satellite radio show. Sound collage, old-school, free-form radio.
Transmissions :: Alan Licht
Today on Transmissions, author, artist, guitarist, and creator Alan Licht. He's the author of Common Tones: Selected Interviews with Artists and Musicians 1995-2020. It features some incredible talks with ANOHNI, Tony Conrad, Greg Tate, Yo La Tengo, Kelly Reichardt, Lou Reed, and many more. Licht seemingly never rests—in addition to this fantastic book, he’s part of the new Threshing Floor album—which pairs him with Nate Young and John Olson of Wolf Eyes, Rebecca Odes, and Gretchen Gonzales—produced by El Studio 444 and Transmissions guest Warren Defever. Licht is an artist/writer/and curator, and we touch on all of that in this revelatory talk.
Transmissions :: Nick Lowe
Today on the show, returning Transmissions guest Nick Lowe. 20 years ago, he released The Convincer, which many folks argue is his best album. It's reissued by Yep Roc Records this week. Following his rough and rowdy start at Stiff, his work producing Elvis Costello in the '70s & '80s, and a stint as a genuine pop star following the massive hit “Cruel to Be Kind,” Lowe found himself interested in reinventing the way he made records. The Convincer is part of a long line of albums that embrace subtle pop, R&B, and country tones, with Lowe’s gentle voice leaning into the crooner side of things. Originally released on September 11, 2001, The Convincer helped to establish Lowe’s reputation as a songwriter’s songwriter.
Transmissions :: Chris Swanson (co-founder of Secretly Group)
Welcome to Transmissions. Today on the show: Chris Swanson, co-founder of Secretly Group. This year marks 25 years of two of the flagship labels in the group, Secretly Canadian and Jagjaguwar, and to celebrate they’ve got tons going on—including SC25 Editions, which features titles by Damien Jurado, Anohni, Richard Swift, and more, as well as Merch, with net proceeds benefiting Bloomington’s New Hope For Families. Also of note: Jagjaguwar’s Join the Ritual, a Dungeons and Dragons-inspired release featuring Angel Olsen, Bruce Hornsby, Cut Worms, Jamila Woods, and many more. As a young person exploring record stores, Secretly and Jagjaguwar served as hallmarks of quality—it was a great time getting to settle in with Swanson to discuss the labels’ roots, artists like Anohni, Richard Swift, Jason Molina, Bon Iver, and more.
Transmissions :: Bela Koe-Krompecher
Thanks for joining us on Transmissions. Our guest this week is Bela Koe-Krompecher, who’s written a terrific book called Love, Death, & Photosynthesis, about his time in the ‘80s rock & roll underground of Columbus, Ohio, and the tumultuous lives—and far too early deaths—of his friends Jerry Wick of the punk band Gaunt and Jenny Mae Leffel, a talented but tortured singer songwriter. Deeply felt and alternately moving and hilarious (as well as moments that encompass both zones), it's a great read, and Bela proved as charming, open, and human as readers might expect in this special conversation about music, its place in our lives, friends lost, and memories held.
Transmissions :: Jon Wurster
This week on Transmissions, Jon Wurster, the drummer of Mountain Goats, Bob Mould Band, and Superchunk and one-half of Scharpling and Wurster, the long running radio comedy duo as featured on The Best Show. In his wide-ranging talk with Jason Woodbury, he discusses growing up in Philadelphia during the birth of punk and alternative rock, working with Replacements producer Jim Dickinson in the mid-'80s, his experiences at Sun Records, getting the call to join Superchunk, and much more.
Transmissions :: Nathan Salsburg
As a curator at the Alan Lomax Archive, Nathan Salsburg is no stranger to reaching deep into the past to bring forth music that speaks to us in the present moment. As a guitarist and songwriter, he's primarily focused on instrumental sounds, but on his new album, Psalms, he offers forth new folk arrangements of Hebrew psalms, singing himself and gathering together other vocalists, like Joan Shelley and Will Oldham, and contributors like James Elkington and Spencer Tweedy, to animate and explore these scriptures. This week on Transmissions, Salsburg joins host Jason Woodbury from his place in rural Kentucky to discuss the album, conceptions of the divine, life as a new parent, and much more.