Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Arrivals list #315

Trying to get ahead of the game here. In a few moments (probably already, by the time you read this), you should be able to find our latest Aquarius New Arrivals list, uploaded in the wee hours of Saturday morning, here.

Records Of The Week:
Black Tambourine "Complete Recordings" (Slumberland) cd $10.98
Reissued jangle shoegaze pop gem circa 1990 totally for fans of the Slumberland label's current sweethearts Crystal Stilts and Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.
Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words "Lost In Reflections" (Killer Pimp) cd $11.98
Epic and intense dronebliss, so beautiful.
Wolves In The Throne Room "Black Cascade" (Southern Lord) cd $14.98
The eagerly awaited (and amazing!) new album from these guys for all you black metal maniacs (and even the ones who only dabble).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Friday, the Big Day. Started off awesomely with a bunch of 85 cent breakfast tacos at Tamale House #3 (a place Andee remembered fondly from his A Minor Forest touring days, like a dozen years before). Then we did some shopping at Half Price Books and Cheapo Discs, with Brian WFMU and a nice Aquarius customer by the name of Denman, who had helped hook Andee up with a place to stay (Allan, who it seems is less willing to entrust his sleeping arrangements to the kindness of strangers, had opted to book a hotel room). There wasn't a band playing at Tamale House #3 or the book store, but there was one at Cheapo, that started as soon as we walked in... that's the way it is in Austin during SXSW. Bands playing in every nook and cranny it seems. Sometimes, it was quieter to go into a venue where you could only hear ONE band, rather than be outside where you could hear ALL of them.

Andee took an afternoon nap, while Allan went to a free party at Trophy's bar, where one of our showcase bands, Slough Feg, was playing... he also got to see a bit of Portland rockers Red Fang (whose debut album we just got in, haven't heard it yet, but they are responsible for what might be the best video EVER, in Allan's opinion). Turned out that Skeletonwitch had already played at Trophy's earlier, had Allan known he would have hurried down there sooner.

Then, at about 5pm, it was time to meet up at Spiro's, the site of our showcase, mere hours away!!

(To Be Continued Again)

Photos pertaining to the previous post

Rob Crow (note Om t-shirt).

Flower Travellin' Band, with "sitarla" clearly visible (thanks commenter Wrezhu).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SXSW report (part 1?)

Whew! We're back. Actually we got back at 8:30am Sunday, but had some work (and sleep) to catch up on before attending to blogging duties. I (Allan) had brought my laptop along to Austin, intending to write up a few blog posts about South By Southwest while we were there, but never found the time! And besides, Andee was doing a good job of "tweeting" about what was going on, so there was that. Although, it should be noted that that in his Twitter posts Andee really only mentioned the stuff he saw, and while he was playing minigolf and taking naps and stuff like that, Allan actually was out catching even more bands...

So, first off, SXSW was a blast. Even Andee had a good time, and he (as he so often, and so vehemently, declares) doesn't like to go to shows. Our showcase with WFMU was a rousing success, it went really well if we say so ourselves! Big thanks to all the WFMU people who did so much work to make it happen (our pal Brian Turner especially, also FMUer's Diane, Trent, Scott, and I think there were some others I didn't even meet). Also to all the SXSW volunteers at our venue, and to the guys from place we rented the backline from, who were very nice indeed. And to the bands who played, you all were awesome, thanks for doing it!! And, of course, to everyone who attended. Hope you had a good time too!

So, for those who are further interested in a brief rundown/writeup of our SXSW experience, here you go...

Allan and Andee arrived in Austin on Thursday afternoon, and were picked up from the airport by our buddy Jeremy Devine from Temporary Residence Ltd. (thanks Jeremy!)

We immediately drove over to see Pinback's Rob Crow perform a solo acoustic set of all-improvised songs. Well, he eventually played some old Heavy Vegetable songs too. Andee was sorely tempted to sit in on drums for those, too bad the drum kit the previous band had used had already been broken down...

Then we met up with one of the bands on Jeremy's label, Young Widows, and had dinner at the fantastic Torchy's Tacos (fried avocado! yum). After that, Allan got a ride back downtown with the Young Widows guys, while Andee and Jeremy hit the (miniature golf) links, really.

So, while those two contended with giant dinosaurs and other minigolf hazards, Allan wandered about the craziness that is Austin's 6th Street area during SXSW, stopping at one venue to see a few minutes of Endless Boogie (who certainly lived up to their name). He then went and found Brian Turner at the Siltbreeze showcase, and they went back to the place where Endless Boogie had been playing to see Flower Travellin' Band, who were up next! Despite being pretty big fans of the legendary Japanese '70s psych band, we had fairly low expectations, 'cause the new, reunion FTB album unfortunately sucks, but they started off with a song from "Satori" and sounded pretty darn good, with the singer still hitting all the high notes. The guitarist had some crazy huge guitar thing with extra strings that he was playing, he seemed really happy about that. But after about 15 minutes things started to go downhill, so we split. It was cool to hear the "Satori" song though! Later Allan managed to see Oakland's Annihilation Time (who got a bit of a pit going) and, later still (about 1:30am) Priestess from Montreal, both of 'em kicked out the jams. And that was that for Thursday.

(To Be Continued...)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We DID mention this already, right?


That's this Friday, March 20th, 2009 at Spiro's in Austin, TX.

Listen in on WFMU (online, or over the air if you're in the NY/NJ area), performances on one of the two stages (or maybe both, switching back and forth) will be broadcast live! With the others recorded for later broadcast, as well.

Here's the FINAL, UPDATED lineup and set times, with only one change since we last posted it (Belong, sadly, dropped out of going to SXSW entirely, but we got Elm to take their place).

Time / Outdoor Stage / Indoor Stage

7p Prizehog - Gary War

8p Wildildlife - XYX

9p Slough Feg - Mayyors

10p Absu - Renderers

11p Obits - Ovens

12p Major Stars - Woven Hand

1a Gunslingers - Elm

Here's some blurbs we wrote about these bands...

You know we had to have a black metal band on the bill. And who better than one of THEE earliest and best of 'em on the American scene, ever? Texas' own Absu! We've been fans of these guys for YEARS. Amazing, arcane, thrashing true occult black metal that will DESTROY. We're beyond chuffed that Proscriptor & Co. agreed to play. If you're at all metal, do not miss their show! First Absu gig in 7 years!!

Dark brooding twang flecked drones from one half of the free rock duo Barn Owl. Like a more druggy blissed out Earth, woozy guitarscapes and undulating layers of low end, conjure up primal blackness and hazy moonlit melodies.

Fractured fucked up off kilter woozy warbly anti-pop. Like Ariel Pink, Night Control, Wavves, Kurt Vile, Gary War offers his own twisted take on alien FM radio pop, burying it in layers of hiss and buzz and a barrage of fragmented melodies and textures.

Featuring members of black metal horde Diamatregon and avant post rockers Aluk Todolo, the Gunslingers are from France, and spit out a wild frenzied savage and super distorted psychrock. Like a French White Hills of Heads, plenty of garage rock crunch, and pounding seventies acid punk style RAWK blowout, everything doused in a heavy haze of amp damage and distortion. First US tour ever.

Massachusetts based psych rockers, featuring Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggars (from Magic Hour and Vermonster), specialize in their own unique brand of druggy, washed out, buzz drenched, guitar heavy psychdrone bliss. Heavy and freaked out, total distortion drenched psychedelic nirvana. A rare non-East Coast show.

Some serious, down and dirty, Chrome meets Brainbombs, sonic destruction from Sacramento. Sludgey and noisy, trashy and garagey, with plenty of hooks and swagger, pound and pummel, wrapped in some speaker shredding NOISE!

Rick from Drive Like Jehu and the Hot Snakeswhich is pretty much all you need to know. But just in case you need a little more, they’re now Brooklyn based, with a record coming soon on Sub Pop, and Andee saw them at the Sub Pop 20th Anniversary festival in Seattle and they destroyed!

Shredding, hook-jammed pop blasts from SF, Weezer meets Guided By Voices meets the Beatles meets The Fucking Champs, 30 second blasts of crunchy pop genius, songs about smoking PCP, getting fired and falling down the stairs, as likely to kick out a Melvins cover as they are to tackle some Bee Gees baroque pop classic, they have a new record on tUMULt!

Crushing, slowmo heaviness from SF. Like a more spaced out Harvey Milk, gloriously pummeling and abstract, chugging riffs collide with murky droney drift.

Legendary New Zealand post punk avant folk outfit, plenty of dark twang and brooding shimmer, a strange hybrid of noisy dissonance a la Sonic Youth or Mission Of Burma, and delicate lo-fi NZ ghostlike balladry a la Alastair Galbraith and Graeme Jefferies. First show in the states in ELEVEN YEARS!!

Our other more-metal-than-thou pick. From San Francisco, we have first hand knowledge that this band is one of the most truly cult heavy metal acts currently going. And when we say heavy metal, we mean melodic '70s and '80s, Iron Maiden/Judas Priest/Thin Lizzy style with classic riffs, a twin axe attack and heroic vocals. Epic and shredding and as weird as their name implies. Few, if any, other bands can compare.

Damaged and druggy, rhythmic, tripped out, psychedelic metallic noise rock / space pop whatthefuck from these Seattle based (formerly SF, and before that Boston) noisemakers, featuring one former aQuarian, their record on Crucial Blast was an instant classic, their live shows are wild and unhinged, and Wildildlife are definitely one of the few bands who could, and did, give the mighty Harvey Milk a run for their money.

One of our all time favorite bands, ex-Sixteen Horsepower, David Eugene Edwards and his troupe are masters of abject apocalyptic swamp folk, dark and folky and biblical and so so grimly beautiful. Almost every Woven Hand record has been an aQ Record Of The Week.

All the way from Mexico, comes this female fronted trio, who kick out the hooky, noisy, effects heavy WAY lo-fi art-punk jams. Supposedly an incredible live band, we can’t wait to see for ourselves.

Can't wait! Allan and Andee and Jon from AQ will be there, if you are too, that would be rad.

(the cool show flyer above was whipped up for us by Ben West of Oaken Throne, thanks Ben!)

Thank you, John Dwyer

Hey, we shoulda posted this before... If you're a local store regular, you'll have noticed the cool new artwork on one side of our old sandwich board sidewalk sign. It's by our pal John Dwyer, of Thee Oh Sees / Coachwhips / Pink & Brown / etc. etc. fame. Thanks, John!

DC area 'Avant Fairfax Festival' 2009

A customer of ours is involved with putting on this fest, upcoming in April.
It looks to feature lots of out-there sounds, so if you're into dark and experimental, ambient psych stuff and you're in that neck of the woods, check it out!

More tix to give away

Two upcoming shows, two ticket giveaways! Here's the details...

Wednesday April 8th at Great American Music Hall
Vetiver (cd release party for “Tight Knit”!)
Richard Swift
Adam Stephens (of Two Gallants)
Doors 8, Show 9

We have 2 pairs of tickets to give away, you just gotta email with VETIVER TIX in the subject line to and you'll be entered in the random drawing for them.

Sunday April 12th at Slim’s
VH1 Classic Presents
The Anvil Experience
Movie Premiere followed by live performance!
Doors 6:30, Show 7:30

Same deal, 2 pairs of tix to be randomly awarded, just email with ANVIL TIX in the subject line to for a chance at 'em.

And if you haven't seen the Anvil documentary, it's GREAT. Highly recommended. As is Anvil.

Over to the right, down a bit, that's it

Hey, look, we've utilized a "widget" to imbed our Twitter "feed" on this blog page.
And since Andee seems to Twitter (tweet? whatever) quicker than I (Allan) blog, it's worth keeping an eye on, for, y'know, breaking news.
It's also part of our MySpace page too, at

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Arrivals #314... so soon?

Yep, we did a list on Friday, just a week after #313, 'cause we weren't gonna be able to do one next week like normal on account of our SXSW activities. If you haven't seen #314 yet, it's here.

Records Of The Week:
Dead Peni "2-4+1" (Blossoming Noise) cd $12.98
Total buzzing black doom industrial noise nirvana, lumbering and druggy, riffs torn apart into scary soundscapes.
Funeral Mist "Maranatha" (Ajna) cd/2lp $14.98/$35.00
We were warned repeatedly that this new album from these AQ-fave Swedish black metallers was terrible and supposedly sounded like "nu-metal", but when we got it, it totally kicked our asses, and has us convinced that despite those warnings, it just might end up being the black metal album of the year. We, know, we say that about a lot of black metal records, but we mean it (always)!
v/a "Plantation Gold: The Mad Genius Of Shelby S. Singleton Jr." (The Omni Recording Corporation) 2cd $16.98
This collection from the excellent reissue label Omni is devoted to compiling the most 'incredibly strange music' side of '60s and '70s country & western we've ever heard!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Oaken Throne #6 now in stock!

You like black metal. You like to read. You want the new issue of Oaken Throne 'zine.

Issue #6 is finally here! 96 pages. And it comes with a bonus compilation cd. We'll review it on our next list of course, but if you want one now, we've got 'em. $10.98 is your cost.

In this issue and on the cd: Akitsa, Aluk Todolo, Avsky, Dead Raven Choir, Dialing In, Gnaw Their Tongues, Immolation, IXXI, Lugubrum, Necros Christos, Necorvation, Throneum, Vargr.

New Arrivals list #313

Is up... here.

Records Of The Week being these three:
Neko Case "Middle Cyclone" (Anti) cd $16.98
Already blowing up big, the new record from our long time fave alt-country chanteuse.
Serge Gainsbourg "Histoire De Melody Nelson" (Light In The Attic) cd $16.98
The long-awaited domestic reissue of this groovy French psych classic.
Tim Hecker "An Imaginary Country" (Kranky) cd/lp $14.98/$17.98
The wonderful new album from a true droney electronic pop ambient genius.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some other upcoming shows of note

We just posted about how excited we are that Bohren & Der Club Of Gore are finally coming to play in San Francisco on April 1st. But there's some other shows coming up locally soon too that we should also mention...

Sunday, March 15th @ the Great American Music Hall
with Kira Lynn Cain

Thursday, March 26th @ the Great American Music Hall
Nurse With Wound
with / Jim Haynes (of AQ!) / Iridea Abtan

Saturday, March 28th @ Slim's
with Wolves In The Throne Room / Tombs

we'll also be doing free ticket giveaways for those, so watch the New Arrivals list for info on that.

and then there's also this show, even sooner:

That's Wildildlife / Gunslingers / White Pee at the Hemlock, Thursday March 12th! For folks going to SXSW, it'll sort of be a teaser for the showcase we're co-sponsoring there with WFMU, as both Wildildlife and Gunslingers are on the bill for our SXSW extravaganza.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This better not be an April Fools joke

We're excited to pass along the news that one of our all time AQ-fave bands, that we've NEVER seen play before, are coming to San Francisco on tour soon!

That'd be Germany's Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore!

First US tour we're pretty sure. They'll be in SF on April 1st, at the Great American Music Hall. Opening will be Void Ov Voices - the solo project of none other than Attila Csihar, from Mayhem, SUNNO))), Tormentor, etc.

We're happy to "co-present" this show with our friends at KFJC. Meaning, we'll have some free tickets to give away, so watch the AQ list for details when the time comes.

Here's our review of Bohren's latest album for Ipecac, "Dolores", to whet yr appetite:
Imagine a blackened, funereal dooooooom band like Skepticism or Nortt morphed into the jazz idiom (after having kissed a frog, or some fairytale scenario like that), playing their slow, sad music in a smoky Berlin jazz club. The sound is jazz (electric piano, organ, vibes, sax, double bass, trap kit...) but the feeling is doom. That's our usual shorthand for describing the unique music made by longtime AQ fave, Germany's Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. Here at last is their eagerly anticipated 5th album, Dolores (not named after the San Francisco street near us, presumably). If you're fans like we are, you know what to expect, it's just as ponderously "heavy" as a "jazz" band can be. No, not loud, not harsh, not noisy. The opposite of all that. Rather, whisper-quiet, glacially slow, and spacious, with sparse snare hits keeping time like a wound-down clock ticking off the eternity between 2 minutes to midnight and the witching hour itself. Doomsday so slowly arrives on a velvety bed of somnolent deep bass notes, and the cool slinky tones of vintage Fender Rhodes. Cymbals shiver in a dark haze of ambient drones near to silence. Several of the songs are infused with the warmth of tenor or baritone sax breathes gorgeous expiring breaths. It's all so sad and woeful and achingly beautiful, Bohren nodding off, their fragile melodies trickling like tears, and by the end you may find you have shed a few too.
This newest Bohren differs mainly from their previous Ipecac outing Geisterfaust by being composed of somewhat shorter, sweeter tracks, ten in all, in about an hour. But it is, again, an-ever-more-perfected example of why Bohren is one of our all time favorite bands, especially at twilight and late at night...

Monday, March 2, 2009

It ain't no skweee...

...but we're still sorta intrigued/amused by "donk".

What the Guardian UK calls "bouncy techno meets terrible rapping".

As in Blackout Crew's "Put A Donk On It", the YouTube video of which has interrupted our work day many times.

So we were interested to find that Vice's has produced a five-part "donk-umentary" you can check out here, if you dare.