Week in Pop: COOLRUNNINGS, Pandr Eyez, Small Black

Sjimon Gompers

The gulf between pop culture's popularity and relevant content is a disparate and not necessarily mutually inclusive canyon. Consider the following: Thom Yorke's been busy on the UK DJ circuit bouncing between London's Boiler Room and BBCRadio 6 to flaunt his taste and an awkward titled remix album called TKOL RMX 1234567 to an international legion of fans who will buy anything the googly-eyed bugger coughs on. Ryan Adams spent his week letting down his emo devotees who lovingly name-check him in the same breath as they would Wilco (who just dropped The Whole Love) with the album Ashes & Fire. Then Tennis had to cover the Zombies' “Tell Her No” and somehow almost ruined the original version for me. I would continue if not for fear of burning more bridges than usual, so I will now give you the real winners from this week in no particular order.

We heard from COOLRUNNINGS' Brandon Biondo this week that their new single “The Fool” is possibly the band's most epic track to date. Not only that, this Knoxville native has made one of the week's finest pop pieces you can accomplish with keyboards these days. Hear for yourself, and tell all your friends, because this track is big business.

But if “The Fool” leaves you parched for more, we ask you to kindly consider COOLRUNNINGS' recent singles “Brunettes” and “Midnight Rudy.” Listen to more via their label Dracula Horse.

Vallejo's Moe Green dropped a video for “Trouble Raps” from his Lionheart EP when he wasn't busy remixing tracks from Clams Casino, Frank Ocean, Tyler the Creator, etc. On “Trouble” he reworks Pusha T and Tyler's “Trouble on My Mind” while the video show's him kicking it at T.R.O.Y. Vintage in V-Town.

Small Black released the single “Two Rivers (featuring Das Racist's MC Heems)” this week with news of their upcoming mixtape Moon Killer dropping on the coveted Tuesday release date, 11.11.11. Heems spills some verses that sounds like a mellow morning in Brooklyn circa 9AM while Josh Kolenik's continues the urban scenery narrative on the equally chill chorus hook. The full album is coming at an as of yet undisclosed date in 2012.

Say hello to our friends Craft Spells as they take up the latest residency at Incase Room 205 with a performance of “The Fog Rose High.” Stockton's Justin Vallesteros gets his “Gentle Tuesday” gig on with sheer curtains, proper textile attire, superimposed sparkles of gold and plenty of sounds and moods that only bring to mind the word “shimmering” for lack of a more extensive vocabulary or comparative object.

Also we heard again from Young Magic with the B-side to their recent single “Night in the Ocean,” “Slip Time” now available for the ears of the inquiring public like yourselves. The 7-inch single was released this past Tuesday on Carpark. The band boasts to have recorded their upcoming album in over 10 countries. They are still sorting out a release date for 2012 but you can catch them now on a two-month national tour with Youth Lagoon. Get down to the fuzz beats of “Slip Time” now.

Real Estate has been streaming their new album Days at NPR a week ahead of their October 11 release date on Domino Records. Listen here. We like it, you might too.

Kate Bush has signalled that her second LP of the year 50 Words For Snow will be released November 21 on her new US imprint, ANTI-Records. With the trumpet heralding news of her new single, “Wild Man,” which in the hands of anyone else sounds like a matriarchal figure flirting adult contemporary pop, but what Bush accomplishes is a winter time slice of seduction that will make you long to move to a country cabin in the middle of nowhere; snowed in yet somehow content.

So maybe I'm the last of my peers to hear the new single “Ugly Man” from our buddies Thee Oh Sees. With their big album Carrion Crawler/The Dream out this November 15 on In the Red, Edition Fieber is cutting an artist curated series of 7-inches featuring this fun/ny one-off from the Sees, “Ugly Man”. Sounds like the gang embracing their inner Sonny and the Sunsets. And nope, we're not mad at them.

High Places released their video for “Sophia” this week, coinciding with the release of their new album Original Colors on Thrill Jockey. We also hear that a bonus CD is available at select indie retailers and from Thrill Jockey themselves featuring the tracks “Even in the Morning (an exclusive bonus track we are told),” “The Pull (DSS Modular System mix)” and “Banksia (Jupiter mix).” Now enjoy watching Busy Gangnes get her rave on in front of window-lit drapes.

Chelsea Wolfe debuted the video for “Mer” and enticed me further into her beautiful dark world. Get ready for sea side ring-around-rosie rituals, black-doilie-looking-veils with a 90s-alt-goth type of vibe. Catch her at the CMJ Imposition in Brooklyn on the 22nd of October at 285 Kent.

I have always been dubious of How to Dress Well, in part because of the pretentious moniker, but I must admit to almost enjoying the Elite Gymnastics remix of “Suicide Dream 2.” HTDW's Just Once EP is available in limited quantities via Yours Truly's label Love Letter Ink on their Bandcamp. Listen to the danced-out remix here.

H-Town's John Dew released the video for “King On a Throne” from his album Tech-NASA this week that depicts the alleys, cruising the city streets and hanging on the rooftops of Houston. If the video has you amped, King Dew has given us the blessing to download and listen to his recent album here.

Oneohtrix Point Never gave us a listen to “Replica” this week, a track that keeps you expecting more before dissapointing you with the news that Replica the album will not be available until November 8 on Mexican Summer. Love the piano, the eerie buzz things that permeates throughout, but we get cut short like in the same way that Bowie's “Breaking Glass” never overstays any welcome.

Pandr Eyes

Pandr Eyez is preparing the release of their debut Eyes on You EP October 25 thanks to the beautiful people at Cascine. They are hinting at a full length expected sometime next year. Check out the London duo in their video for the title track in a minimalist, low light setting that promises a climatic scene involving a smashed watermelon. Front-woman Ferren looks lovely with make-up by Lucy Pearson while producer Tom hangs around the static screen flicker of a monitor.

You can also enjoy the single “Eyes On Me” via the beauties of streaming technology or enjoy and play it on the device of your choice here.

If you too have been emotionally moved and/or scarred from the accompanying visual component from HTRK's recent live performances, than this one is for you. The visuals were done by a Polish visual artist team called Pussycrew who provided some synthetic fetishisations with their video work for HTRK's second single “Synthetik.”

Electro-knuckleheads Hot Dogs in the Sun dropped their much anticipated debut album Activate Lasers this week while planning an upcoming year of tours, appearances and promises of plenty of randomness to come. With Das Racist now all blown up, are HDITS the next alternative, counter-culture oddballs? God we hope so. For a limited time, listen to an exclusive stream of Activate Lasers and get your weird on.

SF's DaVinci made a video for “Beer, Bitches and Bullshit (Ft. Roach Gigz & C Plus)this week that presents a humorous cautionary tale of mixing brews, bros and, if you will forgive the expression, hoes. DaVinci's EP Feast or Famine is getting mad love here in the Bay and I'm counting down my calender to catch him with G-Side and Main Attrakionz this late December at the Independent. Swag? Yes.

Living in the Bay Area it seems almost obligatory that every so-called “indie-loving” aspring aesthete swears their blessed allegiances to both Björk and Dirty Projectors. While I go back and forth on my affinity for the Icelandic queen and I never quite “got” what everyone was hearing with the Projectors but I have enjoyed their collaboration with “On and Ever Onward.” The DPs provide the staccato instrumentation while Bjork reaffirms in a refrain of “our love is all around us” lest we forget.

In keeping with the neverending stream of wonky alternative hip-hop videos, Tyler the Creator along with Odd Future compadres Jasper and Taco put out a video for probably the most offensive titled song from this year's Goblin. Far be it for me to give a lecture on decency amid a press climate with an apetite for boring polemic discourse; get ready for Baywatch parodies, obese yoga beezies and all the hyper-active-coarse-antics you could ask for. Swag? You decide.

Here is a video of the group Peggy Sue performing “All We'll Keep” live off of their upcoming album Acrobats, out October 25. Imagine if the Smiths were a grunge-y grrl group of the '90s and you might have a vague approximation.

Because in between the loud skronk from all the buzz bands we listen to here at Goldmine Sacks, sometimes we need to just chill the eff out and listen to the samba-esque sounds from Lianne La Havas. Check out this duet between La Havas and Willy Mason as they lull you into your weekend. Look for Lianne's debut EP Lost and Found November 22.

And with the NBA lock out in effect, at least we have Waka Flocka Flame's upcoming Lebron 'Flocka' James 3 to look forward to this upcoming week to slam dunk that space in our hearts. Still not convinced? Well here is some propaganda from Flocka himself to make you a believer, shake your head, or just get pumped. Enjoy!

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