Friday, October 24, 2008

The answers to yesterday's quiz

Hope you all enjoyed trying to figure these out! Our band-name-abbreviations quiz inspired a few comments (thanks!), so it seems like some folks did have fun with it.

For those of you who haven't taken the quiz yet, and still want to try, we're going to put the answers in the comments section, below. So you can still go try the quiz (to be found in a previous blog post from yesterday) without having accidentally glimpsed any of the answers yet.

Since yesterday, we also thought of a bunch more band initials we could have used, there's so many more... Ferinstance: VU, VBS, ZP, ZG, ANP, COF, JSBX, TGOS, BIN!, and of course WITTR.

SRB reminder

Don't forget, this Sunday 10/26/08 at 4pm, Sir Richard Bishop, guitar guru from the Sun City Girls, will be doing a free, acoustic instore performance here at Aquarius!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pop quiz time

Often in our reviews, to avoid wearisome typing, we'll use initials in place of lengthy band names. Of course, we would (or should) only use the abbreviation after mentioning the full band name at least once. Like, for example, if we were writing a review of an album by one of Allan's favorite bands, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, we might begin to refer to them as RHCP part way through the review. Sometimes the abbreviated version is in common use among fans of the band, sometimes it's just us.

Another example would be NWW = Nurse With Wound. Or, ADII = Amon Duul II.

Got it? Ok. Here's a whole bunch more to figure out (in no particular order). Some are probably pretty easy, some really, really tough. Let's just say, that while several AQ staffers aced this quiz, some other folks here could have done better. A lot better.

I think everyone got NWW, but HGP stumped almost everybody... And there's two (maybe three) special unfair tricky ones included below too.

Ready? Grab your number 2 pencils and see if you can guess who these bands/artists are:

1. BCM
2. OTC
3. SCG
4. BOC
5. FFB
6. DSO
8. BBA
10. 6FS
11. RFTC
12. DRC
13. NNCK
14. BBML
15. BMSR
17. MITB
18. DCD
19. NMH
20. FTB
21. BSBC
22. AMT
23. HGP
24. SRB
25. EITS
27. DRS
28. GBV
29. MBV
30. DCFC
31. FSA
32. 3MP
34. SRS
35. YLT
36. FOB
39. BTC
40. BPB
41. VDGG
42. TFUL282
43. W&C
44. B&S
45. IAS
46. AMF
49. DMBQ
50. MGR

We'll post the answers on the blog tomorrow. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Heavy metal raver psych punk friend rock alert

Another announcement for San Francisco locals: the band Wildildlife, featuring former AQ-er Matt, who are AWESOME, and we're not just saying that 'cause we love Matt, have two shows this coming weekend here in SF. They used to be based here, but moved up to Seattle earlier this year. Fortunately they tour a lot so we still get to see them, and Matt, now and again.

On Saturday, they're playing at The Hemlock with the mighty Mammatus (with whom they're touring). Three Leafs is also on the bill.

And then Sunday, we're told they're playing outdoors in the afternoon at the Potrero Del Sol Skatepark, at 25th and Utah. Shred! Not sure what time this show is, sorry. (Anyone know?). Hopefully not at 4, when we're having our Sir Richard Bishop instore...

Here's our review of their most recent release, the "'Live On WMFU" cd-r on Crucial Blast:

While we were sad to see our coworker Matt leave us a while back, if it meant helping unleash the true force of the wild beast that is Wildildlife upon the world, then we're happy to have done our part. As kick ass as their most recent full length was, playing live is where Wildildlife truly destroy, three mild mannered hairy dudes transformed into a fierce six legged, six armed, long haired, face melting, tripped out drug addled behemoth. And while their most recent tour was rife with drama, broken bones, stolen equipment and extortionist cabbies, the shows that did take place were the sort to not be soon forgotten. And while they were on the East Coast, they got to play live on the radio, on Brian Turner's show on WFMU, and this is the proof that it did indeed take place. Hard to imagine a band can kick up such a shitstorm with no crowd to react to, holed up in a little glass room, but Wilildlife bring it, hard. They open with “Metal”, from their full length, and manage to make it sound even more freaked out, the effected little girl vox have them channeling the Butthole Surfers even more than usual, the extended free-jam outro goes on for minutes, letting the band explore the outer reaches, before launching into another downtuned tribal workout. The sound is surprisingly clean, a few folks here like it even better than the record proper. Some of the songs are oldies, revamped and supercharged, some are altered versions of tracks from 6, those creepy high pitched vocals return throughout, and the band is on fire, the songs complex and convoluted but hooky and catchy as fuck, folks who bought the full length will for sure dig this. And if you've yet to discover the mysteries of Wildildlife, this is as good a place to start as any… Plus there's a pretty funny interview with the trio at the end...

That review makes the point, but we'll reiterate: Wildildlife are a super rad live experience. And we wouldn't want you to miss 'em (like we did their show last week at The Stork in Oakland, whoops).

Even more new arrivals

FYI, here's some neat stuff that's showed up here since we did our list on Friday:
An Albatross "The An Albatross Family Album" (Eyeball Records) cd $14.98
The Blithe Sons "The Great Orthochromatic Wheel" (Family Vineyard) lp $14.98
Darkestra "The Great Silk Road" (Paragon Records) cd $12.98
Frightened Rabbit "Liver! Lung! Fr!" (Fat Cat) cd ep $10.98
Gnaw Their Tongues "For All Slaves A Song Of False Hope" (Burning World) cd ep $13.98
Grails "Doomdayer's Holiday" (Temporary Residence Ltd.) lp $16.98 now on vinyl!
Hammers Of Misfortune "Fields / Church Of Broken Glass" (Profound Lore) 2cd $14.98
Kemialliset Ystavat / Sunroof! "split" (Fat Cat) lp $13.98
Of Montreal "Skeletal Lamping" (Polyvinyl) cd $15.98
V/A "Eccentric Soul: The Young Disciples" cd (Numero Group) cd $16.98
Woven Hand "Ten Stones" (Sounds Familyre) lp $13.98 now on vinyl!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Arrivals list #303

Obligatory blog post to alert you to something you hopefully already know: our new list went out last night... at like almost 4am... so this morning really. We're a little sleepy now. Please give it a gander here. Thanks!

Record Of The Week:
Aidan Baker & Tim Hecker "Fantasma Parastasie" (Alien8 Recordings) cd/lp $15.98/$22.00
The work of two of our favorite artists, it's even more awesome than we were expecting... a breathtaking exploration of both distortion and dreaminess. Wow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tomorrow's T-shirt, today

That's our very grim new t-shirt design that we'll have for sale on our website tomorrow, when we send out our New Arrivals list #303. The awesome art is by killustrator Justin Bartlett. It's the first in a "Special Limited Artists Edition" series of shirts we've got planned...


Ripley and Rich, the organizers of last Saturday's Frisco Freakout event, report that the one-day festival (which featured such bands as Earthless, Crystal Antlers, Wooden Shjips, and Ascended Master, among many others) was a rousing success, raising more than $2500 to benefit San Francisco's wonderful Creativity Explored nonprofit arts center for the developmentally disabled.
Right on! Looking forward to next year's Freakout...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rodriguez coming to SF

The Light In The Attic label, who just did a long overdue, deluxe domestic reissue of the awesome 1970 fuzz-soul-psych record "Cold Fact" by Detroit urban poet Rodriguez, just passed along this exciting bit of news - Rodriguez is hitting the road, and will be playing in San Francisco next month. Here's the details:

(((folkYEAH!))) presents...

Great American Music Hall, Sunday, November 23, 2008
Doors at 7:00 Show at 8:00

RODRIGUEZ performing songs from his LOST CLASSIC LP "Cold Fact"

With THE ENTRANCE BAND (co-headlining),
Sleepy Sun, and the Matt Baldwin Electric Band
plus DJ sets

info: &
advance tix:

Should be cool!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Don't forget, Frisco Freakout TOMORROW

Freakout, Frisco! Click poster art above for more info.

Random review of the day

For some reason, AQ staffers Jon and Antaeus (in particular) have been playing the heck out of this double cd in the shop lately. I guess they just discovered it or something. I just know, I'll go up front to see what craziness is on the store stereo, and it's so often this, originally reviewed by us on AQ New Arrivals list #232 back in 2005:

Todd Tamanend Clark "Nova Psychedelia (1975-1985)" (Anopheles) 2cd $22.00
In a word: WEIRD. Man, listening to this we veered from thinking it was the best thing ever, to totally painful, and back again. The truth of course lies somewhere in between (and in each of us as individuals). But it's hard not to be intrigued by this, anyway... This Todd Tamanend Clark guy was (is) a psychedelic, avantgarde rock n' roller who toiled in obscurity for many many years though clearly he should at the very least have a cult following. Thankfully the diligent Anopheles label has put together this chronological collection of a large part of Mr. Clark's out-there output, and more folks will have a chance to appreciate what a few lucky collectors (and Mr. Clark's friends) must have been amazed and amused by for years! He's a bit of a Roky Erickson-like figure, though fortunately not so tragic. Inspired by the comic books and sci-films of his childhood (he was born in 1952), Pennsylvanian part-American Indian Todd Tamanend Clark's musical career was perhaps destined for weirdness. Especially after seeing Monkee Mickey Dolenz playing a Moog on TV in 1968, the same year the United States Of America LP came out, both of which were life-changing musical experiences for Clark... his love of '60s garage psych (borne out by covers of the Electric Prunes and Paul Revere & The Raiders found here) warped into a realm of DIY electronics. Thus the list of synths and effects used on this 2cd set is a long one!! Yup, heavy doses of spacey synth and distorted garagey punk riffery (a '60s-ish Lightning Bolt meets Sun Ra??) are the norm here throughout Clark's varied output, which includes lengthy psychedelic epics, weird experiments in murky electronics, earnest songsmithery, and brash rockers. There's an atonal droning "outsider art" quality to a lot of this that will make and/or break it for most folks. The vocals are the toughest part... an over the top, slurred mix of Jim Morrison and Jandek, perhaps? All the weird poetry he's spouting sure goes with the freaky music even though you'll probably have no idea what's he on about. And with all the prog twists and haunted house synth noises going we're sure it makes perfect sense somehow. The earlier stuff at the beginning of the first disc is heavy on the primitive electronics (best example: the overwhelming 13 minute opening soundscape "March Of The Legion") and druggy vocal delivery, while later in the two-disc set, when we enter the '80s, the songs get more "pop" Clark's mind anyway. Things have tightened up a bit, though that doesn't preclude the appearance of a 14 minute track ("The Grim Rider") nor a fucked up, computerized version of the "Star Spangled Banner"! And the use of new wave '80s technology only makes things kitschier. If you dug the Happy Dragon-Band and Zolar X reissues, you might find this stuff to tickle the same fancies. All the tracks are taken from Clark's various ultra-rare, self-released LPs and 7"s spanning the years 1975-1985, including all the material from such albums as New Gods: Aardvark Thru Zymurgy, We're Not Safe!, and Into The Vision, released under various names (The Eyes, Todd Clark Group, The Stars). He didn't do all of this alone, y'know. Over the course of these 33 tracks (150 minutes of music!!) you'll hear contributions from many of Clark's friends, and family too. In fact, a few famous names appear, with one track featuring the voice of William S. Burroughs and on others, instruments played by Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys and Pere Ubu's Allen Ravenstine! With typical Anopheles throughness, this comes with a 20 page booklet stuffed with biographical information, photos, equipment lists, musician credits, and liner notes, including track-by-track comments from Clark himself. Not everyone's gonna need/want all 150 minutes of this, to be honest. Could have been a short, more bearable "best of". But then again, WE want to hear it all. So maybe you do too. And you can always make your own best of after you've listened to the whole crazy shebang. We'll end this review the way it began, with a word it seems most AQ customers respond to well: WEIRD.

Look it up on our website if you'd like to hear the sound samples...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Between-lists new arrivals roundup

Some of the cool new items we've received this week - but by no means all of 'em:

The Alps "III" (Type) cd $15.98
Aidan Baker & Tim Hecker "Fantasma Parastasie" (Alien8) cd $14.98
Black To Comm "Fractal Hair Geometry" (Dekorder) cd/lp $16.98/$16.98
Loren Chasse & Michael Northam "The Otolith" (The Helen Scarsdale Agency) cd $14.98
Ensemble Economique "At The Foot Of Nameless Roads" (Digitalis) cd $12.98
The (Fallen) Black Deer "Requiem (Latitudes 0:15)" (Latitudes/Southern) cd $13.98
Jolie Holland "The Living And The Dead" (Anti-) cd $15.98
Machinefabriek "Dauw" (Dekorder) cd $16.98
Menace Ruine "The Die Is Cast" (Alien8) cd $15.98
Miss Lana Rebel "All I Need" (Wantage) lp $12.98
Moha! "One-Way Ticket To Candyland" (Rune Grammofon) cd $17.98
Daniel Padden "Pause For The Jet" (Dekorder) cd/lp $16.98/$14.98
Pedal "s/t" (Staubgold) cd $17.98
Steve Roden "Slow Moving Boat" (In Between Noise) 3"cd $7.98
Rusted Shut "Hot Sex EP" (Dull Knife) 12" $14.98
Uton "Straight Edge XXS" (Dekorder) lp $16.98
Uton "We're Only In It For The Spirit" (Digitalis) cd $12.98
v/a "1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground" (Sublime Frequencies) lp $25.00
White Magic "New Egypt (Latitudes 0:13)" (Latitudes/Southern) cdep $13.98
Zebulon Pike "Intransience" (Unfortunate Music) cd $11.98

Look out for reviews of (hopefully, most of) this stuff on our next list, #303. And of course, if you want to come in and buy any of these items now, by all means do so. Likewise, mailorder customers feel free to email and ask for any of these now. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Malleus in SF

Our friend Urlo from the Italian psychedelic art collective Malleus - who we know best in the form of their sonic incarnation, those very, very heavy, AQ fave space metallers, UFOmammut - emailed to let us know that he and other representatives of the Malleus Rock Art Lab (they do a lot of way cool silkscreened rock poster art) would be visiting San Francisco real soon. They have a few art show / book signing type events planned. Here are the dates:

Oct 10, 2008
Artrock Gallery
893 Folsom Street

October 11, 2008
10am - 5pm
TRPS Festival of Posters
Hall of Flowers
Golden Gate Park

October 16, 2008
book release / signing
Green Apple Books
506 Clement Street
7pm - until late
book release celebration and art show
right down the street at the 540 Club

They're on a "USA Tour", actually, so if you live in Seattle, Denver or LA they'll be coming through your towns too. See their website for details.

NYC's Orphan at Donuts

Locals who picked up the debut LP from Orphan we reviewed recently might be interested to know that they're coming to town soon, playing at the Knockout next Monday night, October 13th. Late Young is also on the bill. It's a Donuts Party if that means anything to you. Here's our review of Orphan's album, "Aborted By Birth":
Armed with drums and (ultra distorted) bass only, this heavy, hellbound girl-boy two-piece from Brooklyn crashes and bashes though ten trashed tracks of roughhewn rumble, making quite a crazed art-metal-noise racket. The drummer (girl, Speck Brown) pounds the skins with brutal abandon. Meanwhile the bassist (boy, Brendan Majewski) sings, in the most vicious nasty shriek he can muster, which is indeed brutal too, all the while ripping out the distorted riffage - which can get kinda catchy, on such negative creep cuts as "Love Is For The Birds". Elsewhere they lay waste to such troubling topics as "Penis Farm", "Swan Blood", and "Jane Fonda". Titling their album Aborted By Birth may be intended to draw comparisons to death metallers Cannibal Corpse, if only to stress their metallic bona fides, since otherwise they probably get a lot of Lightning Bolt references, due to the bass-drums duo setup. Naturally, godheadSilo, Jucifer, and Israel's Barbara would be other good comparisons. Released on evil white vinyl only, limited to 666 numbered copies (isn't that convenient?). We have but a handful.

And here's the flyer for the show:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sir Richard Bishop instore Oct. 26th!

We're extremely pleased to announce that Sir Richard Bishop, of Sun City Girls fame, will be playing here at AQ later this month! Sunday, October 26th at 4pm. He'll be doing an acoustic guitar set, in advance of his show the next night at the Cafe du Nord (where he'll be playing electric). So mark your calendars, you don't want to miss this!

In our reviews of SRB's recent solo outings for the Locust, Latitudes and Drag City labels, we've said things like:
Killer alchemical guitar compositions
... Bishop's frame of reference varies wildly from flamenco to the early jazz stylings of Django Reinhardt ... Combines Indian mysticism with old-world European romantic beauty ... Very much in the spirit of the current American Primitive / neo Appalachia sound, exploring similar territory as Jack Rose, Stephen Basho-Jungans, Charlie Schmidt and of course John Fahey ... Moody and emotional, dark and dense, dreamy and lyrical ... Just Bishop and a steel string guitar unfurling dense tangles of intricate fingerpicking, as well as slow contemplative melodies, all rich with Spanish flavor ... Occasionally Bishop goes for an Eastern raga like vibe instead, and ends up sounding closer to UK guitarist James Blackshaw or Rose at his most drone-y ... So so lovely indeed!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Arrivals list #302

You probably know this already, but we emailed/uploaded another New Arrivals list on Friday, like we do every two weeks. Please check it out on our website here.

Record Of The Week:
Group Inerane "Guitars From Agadez" (Sublime Frequencies) cd $16.98
Brain melting, heart wrenching, psychedelic "Tureg Guitar" jams.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Frisco Freakout update

We mentioned the upcoming Oct. 11th "Frisco Freakout" all-day psych rock festival on our last New Arrivals list, but ought to blog about it too. It's gonna be far out, we're really looking forward to it. Here's the latest on this exciting event that we're pleased to help sponsor...

PRESS RELEASE: October 1, 2008
Dear friends,
It's getting close to October 11 ...
We are proud to announce the addition of three more groups to the lineup for the Frisco Freakout: MYTHICAL BEAST (from Kansas City), ART LESSING and the FLOWER VATO, and SEQUIN TRAILS ...

Good trips, organic eats, and the best in California psychedelic rock:

Crystal Antlers
Wooden Shjips
The Bad Trips
Sleepy Sun
Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound
Greg Ashley
Ascended Master
Art Lessing and the Flower Vato
Mythical Beast
Sequin Trails

to benefit the artists of Creativity Explored

October 11, 2008,
Thee Parkside, 1600 17th Street @ Wisconsin
San Francisco, CA

Tickets are $15, on sale now, online here!

Contact: Ripley Johnson / Richard B. Simon

our proud sponsors:
Arthur Magazine
Aquarius Records
Ruby Tubes

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Preorders, please: Jewelled Antler Library

Folks have already started asking us to reserve copies of the upcoming Jewelled Antler Library boxset for them, which is actually a pretty good idea, since this thing's going to be limited to 1,000 only and we'll probably just get one chance to order any in.
So, we figured we should post some info here about it. Due out on November 18th, via Porter Records, it's a deluxe 4cd boxset compiling the tracks from all dozen of the long-out-of-print 3" cd-rs that Jewelled Antler released five years ago in their "Library" series. Artists include: Thuja, Hala Strana, Kemialliset Ystavat, The Ivytree, Dead Raven Choir, Fursaxa, Claypipe, Muons, Uton, and more... you can look 'em up on our site and read our reviews of the original 3"s, if you like. These discs will include some extra bonus tracks, too: an unreleased 13th library installment by Ways Of God To Man and 12 new field recordings by Loren Chasse. All in all, 4 1/2 hours of nature-friendly, experimental dronefolkfreakpsych from California, New Zealand, and Finland. It should sell for around $60, not really sure yet exactly. Cheaper than trying to pick up the individual cd-rs on eBay, in any case!
If you'd like to preorder a copy from us, please email our mailorder dep't. ( and let us know. We'll put your name down for it and notify you when they show up. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The proverbial hotcakes are back too

Just in today, a Mississippi Records (and Change) restock:

Mysterious Thai LP (Mississippi/Exiled) lp $10.98
Irma Thomas "The New Orleans Series" (Change) lp $11.98
v/a "I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore 1927-1948" (Mississippi) lp $10.98

They probably won't be here for long, though...

Dead Channels is baaaaack

AQ is co-sponsoring this rad film fest:

2nd Annual
October 2 - 10, 2008

Last year's fest featured tons of new and vintage sci-fi, fantasy, horror, action, exploitation and beyond including the U.S. premiere of UWE BOLL's Postal, TAKESHI MIIKE's Big Bang Love: Juvenile A, and a live soundtrack performed by Spoonbender 1.1.1 (featuring our own Cup!) to DAVID CRONENBERG's Crimes Of The Future.

This year, don't miss the U.S. theatrical premiere of Puffball (an adaptation of FAY WELDON's book of the same title) by NICHOLAS ROEG (The Man Who Fell To Earth, Performance, Don't Look Now, Walkabout, and more), Surveillance by JENNIFER CHAMBERS LYNCH (aka DAVID LYNCH's daughter), the amazing sexy, psychedelic thriller The 10th Victim from 1965 starring URSULA ANDRESS and MARCELLO MASTROIANNI, an early '70s super-computer flick Colossus: The Forbin Project, a rare early '70s ultra-violent western from Spain titled Cut-throats Nine (La Decima Vittima), and more!
Psst, share your popcorn with Andee at the 10pm showing of Tokyo Gore Police on Saturday!
Oh, and the opening night party will feature Toomorrow, a 1970 musical confectionery starring OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN (no, it's definitely no Xanadu or Grease, but it's pretty remarkable unto itself). Plus Cup and her IAS comrade Dustin will be DJing the closing festivities!
Don't miss!

The fest will be taking place at The Vortex Room (SF), The Roxie Film Center (SF), and Parkway Speakasy (Oakland).

For a complete schedule and more info...