Weekly podcast companion for the Aquarium Drunkard music blog / SIRIUS XMU satellite radio show. Sound collage, old-school, free-form radio.
Transmissions :: Scott Hirsch
This week on Transmissions, our weekly series of strange conversations: Scott Hirsch. Perhaps you know his name from the credits of albums by William Tyler or Alice Gerrard. Or perhaps you're into his solo records: the nocturnally grooving Windless Day is the latest. He's a long time collaborator of M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger, and their relationship stretches back to the post-hardcore band Ex-Ignota. Hirsch joins host Jason Woodbury from his Ojai studio Echo Magic. On this episode, we discuss JJ Cale, the spiritual topography of California, and his punk rock immersion into the broader world of independent rock.
Transmissions :: Jeffrey Alexander of The Heavy Lidders and Dire Wolves
This week on the Transmissions, Jeffrey Alexander of The Heavy Lidders and Dire Wolves. For decades now, he's been a fixture in the psychedelic mutant underground. He's got a great new self-titled record out now on Arrowhawk with his song-oriented project the Heavy Lidders, a vast catalog with Dire Wolves, and a forthcoming split cassette with Rhyton. Alexander joined us for a conversation about science fiction and fantasy, the Dead, improv, and his life in independent music. And as a bonus, we're presenting a live performance over at Aquarium Drunkard, featuring Drew Gardner and Jesse Sheppard of Elkland and drummer Scott Verrastro.
Transmissions :: Damon and Naomi
Hey, welcome back to Transmissions, we're so glad to have you here tuning in. Today on the show, I’m joined by two lifers of independent rock, Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang. Their latest is a tremendous album called A Sky Record. Reviewing the record for Aquarium Drunkard, Tyler Wilcox called it “one of Damon & Naomi’s most purely gorgeous sounding records—and considering the glories of what’s come before, that’s a real accomplishment.” It features the guitar work of Michio Kurihara of Ghost and White Heaven, and he adds washes of sound and melodies to the duo’s deeply felt folk rock. Our talk covers a lot of ground—touching on the duo’s days in Galaxie 500, Naomi’s interest in boxing, Damon’s ever fascinating and insightful takes on the state of the industry, and much more.
Transmissions :: Neko Case
This week on Transmissions: the magnificent Neko Case. She’s recently launched Entering the Lung, a newsletter of nature writing. We don't need to tell you that Neko Case is a great writer—her work with the New Pornographers, Case/Lang/Veirs and her solo albums demonstrate that evidently—but it is deeply nice to be able to appreciate her on prose terms via the newsletter. She joined us this week to discuss the mores of the Victorian age, listening to Jane's Addiction, and getting into punk rock. Benefitting her sense of humor, we let this talk roam where she willed.
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.
Everything about this podcast is wonderful. Whether it is a guest I know very well or one I have never heard of, Jason is equally prepared to engage deeply and meaningfully. His love of the music and the community it brings and his honest enthusiasm in our age of cynicism and irony is a blessing for my thirsty soul. I am not sure if I prefer the episodes where I know the guest and can follow all the paths they travel or the episodes that point me toward new paths of music and artists to explore for the first time. Get over to Patreon and support this show. Thanks Jason. Thanks Justin. Thanks AD.
—MattZ in NYC
Always intriguing pod about cutting edge music
If you’re interested in music that matters, that is too interesting to be mainstream, this podcast will scratch that itch.
Extremely passionate, informed work. Excellent conversations, with guests who seem genuinely delighted with the thoroughness of the interview