Weekly podcast companion for the Aquarium Drunkard music blog / SIRIUS XMU satellite radio show. Sound collage, old-school, free-form radio.
Transmissions :: Jeffrey Silverstein
Welcome to a special bonus episode of Transmissions. Our guest this episode is musician and writer Jeffrey Silverstein. His new EP of gently cosmic guitar music is called Torii Gates, and he's the head the wonderful It’s So Easy (When You Know What You’re Doing), a tribute to the late cult folk musician Ted Lucas, featuring AD favorites like John Andrews & the Yawns, Julianna Barwick and William Tyler, Barry Walker Jr., Amelia Courthouse, and more. He’s also a teacher and a runner, and we get into it all on this special bonus episode of Transmissions. Please rate and review the podcast. Share it on your social media pages, share it via whatever platform you have. We count on word of mouth, so if you like the program, help us out. If you want to take your support a little deeper, check us out on Patreon.
Transmissions :: John Grant
Our guest this week on the show is singer/songwriter John Grant. You might know him from his work with Midlake, the Czars, Sinéad O'Connor or Hercules and Love Affair. His new album is called Boy From Michigan. It's produced by Cate Le Bon and fascinating, Blade Runner synths pulsing underneath incredible melodies and vocal performances. Grant joined Jason P. Woodbury for a freewheeling and candid talk, this week on Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions.
Transmissions :: Colleen
Our guest this week is Cécile Schott, who records under the name Colleen. Since the early 2000s, she's generated soulful electronic and ambient music, utilizing vintage synths, drum machines, music boxes, and acoustic instruments. Her latest is called The Tunnel and the Clearing. It was recorded in Barcelona during the lockdown and followed a long period of illness and heartbreak for Schott. The resulting album is indeed melancholy, but also hopeful and staggeringly beautiful. She joined us from her home studio for a discussion about her discography, the circumstances that led to the new album, the influence of dub and reggae, and how the studio process influences her bold and original work.
Transmissions :: Jim Jarmusch
Music is never incidental in a movie made by our guest this week: director, collage artist, and music maker Jim Jarmusch. Music is part of his films’ DNA, a through line running through his characters’ black comedy gags and existential wanderings. There’s no stylistic template—everything from crazed blues to ambient drones have soundtracked Jarmusch’s films—but the director ties songs together with an unmatched patience and style. The soundtrack to one of those motion pictures—2014’s vampire yarn Only Lovers Left Alive—was recently reissued by Sacred Bones. It features Jim’s band, SQÜRL, his frequent collaborator lutenist Jozef Van Wissem, and guest appearances by Madeline Follin of Cults, Zola Jesus, and Yasmine Hamdan. Jim joined us from his place in upstate New York to discuss the pastoralism that defines his creative practice these days, his early days, collaborators like John Lurie and Steve Buscemi, and of course music—Neil Young, Tom Waits, Iggy, Wu-Tang Clan, and beyond.
Sarah Louise :: Transmissions
Guitarist, songwriter, and producer Sarah Louise joins us this week on the show to discuss her new album, Earth Bow. Though Louise is known for her 12-string folks fantasias, her work is wide ranging, evoking the soundscapes of Robert Fripp and the interlocked rhythms of electronic pop. Reviewing the album for AD, Josh Moss writes that while "Louise is an incredibly gifted guitar player...Earth Bow de-centers the guitar, rendering it an integral part of a lush musical environment, as detailed and sensory as a blooming forest looks from within." Louise joined us for a return visit to Transmissions to discuss being off the grid, the perils of social media, and her spiritual and creative practice.
Transmissions :: Wadada Leo Smith
Welcome back. Our guest this week on the show is Wadada Leo Smith, trumpeter, music theorist, and composer. Over his many years, he’s pioneered his own musical notation system, helped popularize and contextualize Miles Davis’s electric period, and has played with a wide set of collaborators including Bill Frisell, Pauline Oliveros, John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Anthony Braxton, and many more. In December, he’s turning 80, and TUM Records is celebrating with a year-long slate of releases. Up first, on May 21st, Sacred Ceremonies, a three volume set, featuring Wadada in a duo setting with Milford Graves, a duo setting with Bill Laswell, and a trio with the both of them. He joined us to discuss his long career, Miles Davis, sacred wanderings, Civil Rights, and much more.
We hope you enjoy this one. If you enjoy Transmissions, please rate, review, subscribe, and spread the word. If you want to take your support a step further, Aquarium Drunkard is on Patreon.
It’s an honor to have a legend of creative music with us—so let’s get into it. You’re listening to Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions. Here’s my conversation with Wadada Leo Smith.
Extremely passionate, informed work. Excellent conversations, with guests who seem genuinely delighted with the thoroughness of the interview
Beware: Actual creative contents within.
Real talk for unreal times
I didn't know it going in, but Jason's chat with Jenn Wasner was absolutely a conversation I needed to hear this year in order to just get my head a little more right. That talk turned me on to Beverly Glenn Copeland, and now Jason has a talk with him that sent my brain buzzing as well. if Jason could interview the cosmos itself, I would listen. Looking forward to that future episode.