Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Arrivals #351

Gotta blog about something else besides new lists one of these days soon... trouble is, doing our list definitely cuts into writing time for other things as you may imagine. The latest one is up now, lots of cool stuff on it, including Boris vinyl and a new Pharaoh Overlord, so please check it out and order some stuff!

Records Of The Week:

RAZEN / SHELDON SIEGEL "split" ((K-RAA-K)3) lp $16.98
Super weird and wonderful split lp, Razen deliver a sort of abstract off kilter and intense faux world music, performed on instruments the band members don't know how to play, while Sheldon Siegel, a band not a person, take free jazz and stretch it to its droned out rhythmically abstract breaking point. So good! Vinyl-only and super limited.
JAILL "That's How We Burn" (Sub Pop) cd/lp $13.98/$15.98
Pop record of the year! A new disc of psychedelic jangle and hook filled indie rock, so crazy catchy, one of our favorite new records for sure!!
THE BODY "All The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood" (At A Loss) cd $10.98
Finally on cd, the latest disc of crushing abstract avant doom from this Rhode Island duo, heavy as hell, but not just regular doom, multiple drummers, an actual choir, strange edits, dronescapes and plenty of other sonic weirdness.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Arrivals #350.5

Not really "new arrivals", but another "in-between" list rounding up, this time, vinyl 7"s! 'Cause we did the all-vinyl round up on #349.5, but forgot the sevens. So this list is ALL sevens.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Arrivals #350

Wow, three hundred and fifty of these New Arrivals lists so far! We made sure this one was an especially good list.

Records Of The Week:

ROCKFORD KABINE "Xero OST" (Clockwork / Cobra) cd + dvd $19.98
Latest from this German duo, another collection of fantastic short form, cinematic micro-epics, strings and chimes and twang and drone, lush, and haunting, and mysterious and playful, the score to an actual adult film, an arty psychedelic XXX art movie, cd + dvd, must be 18 to buy, not for the underage or the prudish!!!
V/A "Saigon Rock & Soul - Vietnamese Classic Tracks 1958-1974" (Sublime Frequencies) 2lp $30.00
Latest vinyl-only release from Sublime Frequencies, this one focusing on super fuzzy, ultra rocking Vietnamese garage rock from the sixties and seventies, so good!
CHARANJIT SINGH "Synthesizing: Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat" (Bombay Connection) cd $17.98
Finally on cd, this hard to believe, head spinning collection of proto-acid techno synth ragas from India, circa 1982, INCREDIBLE!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lau Nau, instore soon

Got another special instore performance coming up soon, we're excited to host an appearance by Finland's Laura Naukkarinen aka Lau Nau this weekend!


Sunday, July 18th

Don't miss it!

Here's what we said about Lau Nau's two albums for the Locust label, Kuutarha and Nukkuu:
Ahh, Finland. We've said that before. Now perhaps people in Finland think about California the way we think about Finland. But of course they'd be wrong. We don't have any analog to Moomins trolling about in our forests. Whereas our fantasies about that far-off land are quite accurate. At least, judging by the ongoing gurgle of cd-rs and tapes and cds and such flowing from their fertile "free-folk" underground, from Kemialliset Ystavat to Avarus to Kiila. And recordings like Lau Nau's Kuutarha just make our fantasies of Finland more and more vivid and otherworldly. Lau Nau is Laura Naukkarinen and a few friends. She's a very lovely singer, a member of Kiila, Paivansade, and Anaksimandros. Here her melodic Finnish-language vocals are set to droneily folkish backing, making for quitely distorted lullabies. Finnophiles will agree that this could also definitely be compared to Islaja, but perhaps rawer, more broken down and abstract. And to make a Finland-California comparison, well, this could basically be a Finnish version of Jewelled Antler's Franciscan Hobbies, with Laura Naukkarien's vocals. So very very nice. (Hmm, which came first? Jewelled Antler or the these Finnish forest folk folks? Doesn't matter, it's the zeitgeist we guess!)
For some reason, we like to look at the list of instruments and non-instruments used on records like these, maybe you do to, so here goes: acoustic bass, bass recorder, five-stringed kantele, acoustic guitar, tenor recorder, violin, bamboo flute, colorful juice glasses, mortar, mandolin, witch laugh megaphone, baby's rattle, bike bells, banjo, cowbells, electric guitar, organ, willow whistle, tablas, percussion, cymbals, comb, beer cans, tamboura...
Lau Nau's Nukuu walks an incredibly fine line between the expansive forms and consistent density and texture of drone music, while also hiding within that density many structural shifts more akin to folk music. Watching her music vibrate between these two poles is the main attraction on this record, but remarkably, she finds an incredible amount of detail and freedom to explore between them. The songs often anchor in centrifugal clusters of tone and texture, looping and feasting on themselves, while occasionally a lyrical vocal passage, or a particularly noteworthy electronic or acoustic phrase will emerge to a more singular position in the mix. Other songs however, are less roiling and give the listener the opportunity to bask in the delicacy and winsome precision in Lau's voice, sometimes creaky and childlike, other times whispered and ghostly. Lau's decisions regarding the modalities and textures of her instrumentation, as well as the cadences of her lyrics, sung in Suomi, all reflect Finland's liminal position between the influences of Europe and Asia. That said, given her lo-fi recording approach at times, she can sound eerily similar to some of the '78s we've been graced with in the past year from Dust-to-Digital's Victrola Favorites and Black Mirror collections. The obvious comparisons to Islaja and Kuupuu, her collaborators in Hertta Lussu Assa, yields Lau a more innocent, gentle, and dare we say motherly distinction, as opposed to the bewitching dark humor of the other two. Without indulging her biography too much, it is worth noting Lau gave birth to a son in the interim since her last album. Apparently much of the record was written while her child was sleeping, and so too it is titled, "sleeps." Naturally it follows that there are a few lullabies in the mix, but there is also a keen sense of independence, as though these songs are about digesting much more than motherhood, a feet in itself. Like another Scandinavian luminary on this list, El Perro Del Mar, Lau butts up against an almost hymnal like intimacy at times, though her work is naturally more feral, and less controlled and crystalline. Fans of all things Finnish will obviously be pleased, but those who've enjoyed Natural Snow Buildings, acts from the Dronevolk compilation, and even Valet will also find themselves gently coaxed into a similar but challenging musical terrain. All told, atmospheric and entrancing, subtle and intelligent, composed and vulnerable, Nukkuu comes highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tickets tickets tickets

Local folks, we've got some tickets to three cool upcoming shows to give away. All of 'em are at the Elbo Room (647 Valencia St.), a few blocks from Aquarius. Two of the shows are metal/punk oriented, one more of a hiphop/dance thing. You'll have to email us at store [at] for a chance to win 'em. Here's the details...


Lucifer's Hammer presents "NekroNacht"

Friday July 16th 8pm




DISPIRIT (ex-Weakling!)

Adv tix: $11
$13 at the door


email store with the subject line INQUISITION TIX



Saturday July 17th 5-9pm Early Show

Lucifer's Hammer presents




VACCUUM (Members of Artimus Pyle/ MD20/20)

$7 cover

email store with the subject line PLUTOCRACY TIX



Monday July 19th
Elbo Room proudly presents


from SFBG: As ever and ever the divide grows between what we hear on the radio versus what's truly fly in hip hop these days, Ana Tijoux plots her coming to America. Born to Chilean parents who fled from the brutal reign of Augusto Pinochet, the MC's life reads as the manifesto for the counterculture universality of hip hop. How to express the feelings stirred up by moving across the world at 14? How about coming to a country whose democratically elected president was slaughtered, replaced by a dissident-torturing dictator, that happens to be where your parents grew up? Tijoux found her anger reflected in the rhymes of the American rappers of the early '90s- and shortly after, used their "force" to raise her own voice. She's been a player on the South American hip hop scene ever since, and is releasing her second solo album, 1977, which may be her most personal project yet, looping scenes from a remarkable life story with her direct, staccato flows. Here in the Bay, we're getting a chance to catch her beats live.


DISCO SHAWN (Tormenta Tropical/ Bersa Discos)

9pm doors

Adv tix : $6
$8 door

email store with the subject line ANA TIJOUX TIX

Friday, July 9, 2010

New Arrrivals #349.5

Fire up yr turntables, folks. We've got an all-vinyl "in-between list" list for you here!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Embarrassing, but I guess we have to post this

AQ Overlords Andee and Allan were recently interviewed by Justin Foley (The Austerity Program) for his column on the MetalSucks site... the interview is now up here for all to read.

Another paean to 1971

Now All Music gets into the act, here.

Thanks to AQ customer Joe Decruyenaere for the link. Funny, was just thinking about the 1971 phenomenon this morning, listening to Tago Mago and LA Woman!

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Arrivals #349

Hey there, happy 4th! Yes, we're open today. And if you were too busy B-B-Q-ing and waving sparklers and stuff like that this weekend to do so already, please take note of the new list of ours that's up here.

Records Of The Week:

DEUTSCHE WERTARBEIT "s/t" (Medical Records) lp $19.98
Incredible unearthed krautrock / new age / kosmische gem from one of the very very few female krautrockers we know of, warm minimal hypnotic rhythms and vocoder voicings a la Klaus Schultze, Tangerine Dream, Cluster... So incredible. Vinyl only.
FNS "s/t" (Miasmah) cd/lp $15.98/$19.98
On Miasmah, a gorgeous expanse of minimal psychedelic folk, a bit like local dronefolk duo Barn Owl, and space kraut astral travelers Expo 70, folk music transformed into druggy drifty dreamy space ragas.
PAN SONIC "Gravitoni" (Blast First Petite) cd $17.98
Final missive from these Finnish electronic alchemists, a glorious sonic last stand, buzzy and dense and noisy and heavy, an incredible and practically perfect final sonic farewell.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dollar bin score

Was just looking through the $1 used cd boxes here at AQ, and as usual there were a few surprises (surprised that we put these discs in the dollar bin, surprised that they're still there). This time we found not one but TWO copies of what was once, years and years ago, an Aquarius Record Of The Week, the sole album by German instrumental post rockers Fuehler. It's a brilliant album, beloved by all long-time AQ staffers, and way, way, way out of print. Here's what we said about it ten years ago, the last time we were able to get copies of it in:
Hey! Achtung! This lil' item was, along with the first Death Cab For Cutie, "Album of the Month" back in August '99 (list #78) and we've been out of it almost ever since, due to major import distribution snafus. So if you missed it then, hurry up and get it now (we got a bunch but some are spoken for already). Instrumental 'post-rock' from Germany that, in a word, rules. Here is what we said about it last summer, using Don Caballero perhaps unfairly as a comparison:
The relative ease with which this German band outshines the post-rock-fanboy holy-grail trio Don Caballero (keeping in mind that we really like Don Cab), makes one wish that the general indie rock audience at large was harder to please. Then perhaps more bands would try to expand on the Don Cab sound instead of incessantly aping it, and more records would sound as jaw droppingly brilliant as this one. In place of Damon Che's non stop avalanche of 'Moby Dick'isms and DonCab's metal-in-post-rock's-clothing is a complex sonic tapestry of hypnotic drones and cyclical riffs. Fuehler take the droning single note repetition of Tony Conrad, the scraping stones of Loren Chasse, the heavy prog of Voivod, the dynamics of Slint, and the slowly evolving Reich-ish rock of Circle, and fashion a music at once emotive and heavy, intellectual and kick ass.
So, yeah, a GREAT album, an old fave. And we have two one dollar copies of it, somehow (guess people don't know who they are, nowadays). And they're both in pretty good shape, even. So... email the store (mailorder [at] if you want a copy. If you're local, we'll set one aside for you, and you can come on by and pick it up. If you're a mailorder customer, well, it'd be cool if you also ordered something else too, to make it a little more worthwhile for us to box and ship the $1 Fuehler...

First come, first served!