Week in Pop: Ape School, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Window Twins

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Stockpiling this week's greatest hits.

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Sjimon Gompers | June 29, 2012

This is what Democracy looks like in full glory.(<a href="http://www.robarnieanddawn.com/newsite/photos/robsummer06.html">VIA</a>)

This is what Democracy looks like in full glory.(VIA)

While we get ready to partake in our right to sort of bear pyrotechnics and celebrate some indie-pendence, we have had the following threats to our liberties from Bethany Coast's Fleetwood Nicks obsessive cover, A$AP in LDR's lame “National Anthem” music video, or those weird Google Glasses that will eventually turn us all into their content slaves. I could go on but we have too much to enjoy from the week in no particular order.

Our friends Jon Bernson of (Exray's, Ray's Vast Basement) and Tim Cohen (Fresh & Onlys, ad infinitum) have a side project called Window Twins and are following up their 2009 album I'm This Tall City with Wish coming this Fall. Even with Jon and Tim's busy work with their respective bands and projects, we are happy that this upcoming album is happening and not some less-than-20/20 recollection from a Cafe Du Nord show featuring these aforementioned titans after imbibing one too many Trumer Pils. “Thunder and Lightning” has Bernson's vocal leading the way as you are invited into the Tim Cohen air space and rhythm sequence that features a muted horn moan, inviting the listener into his echoplex hot spring. The new Window Twins album Wish will be released October 16 on vinyl LP via Volar Records and on cassette from Crash Symbols. Meanwhile enjoy the Colin Held- and Jon Bernson-made video that showcases the strange modern antiquity of San Francisco's subterranean BART and Muni stations.

Speaking of Exray's, we got their video for “Ancient Thing” directed by Pixar's Jeane Applegate and Kyle Giacomo, filmed off of 3rd Street's more post-apocalyptic corners, where robots dwell and seek sustenance.

Next, add Shigeto + Exray's, all re-working “Yellow Light” as a collaborative remix. Zach Saginaw throws Jon's voice down a few dubby loopholes while hitting the keys with a chorus of a drums like a pinball's rhythmic patterns being hit by flippers and rubber bouncers.

Phesto Dee's video for “ChampionSwagger” came out this week from his new album Background Check with direction by Casual's WetFoot Filmworks. “Coming in clutch like a dagger” is the East Bay original who changed the game, bragging rights earned and all.

Dark Dark Dark released their single “Tell Me,” a post-break up song that stings with something more real and worse than getting your heart wrenched out with From the Choirgirl Hotel playing in the background. A testament to the music's intense torn piano driven intimacies and the strength of the friendship bond between Nona Marie Invie and Marshall LaCount, who ended their serious relationship last year, prevails in the weight of this recording. Dark Dark Dark's upcoming album Who Needs Who comes out October 2 from Supply & Demand.

Janka Nabay & the Bubu GangEn Yay Say with the joyful noise of “Feba.” From Freetown, Sierra Leone to Brooklyn, NYC, Janka brings a captivating energy with support from the players behind Gang Gang Dance, Highlife,Saadi, Skeletons and Zs. Janka Nabay and crew arrive with En Yay Say coming August 7 from Luaka Bop.

Jennifer Herrema's Black Bananas released their Sasha Eisenman-directed video for “Foxy Playground”, inspired by the silent film The Patchwork Girl from Oz. Meanwhile Jennifer channels the Reid brothers' “Reverence” where the iconic simile is changed from “I wanna die like” to “I could have died like,” giving a nod to putting in work, her contemporaries, and staying alive.

For those that need more music that marches to new beats and comes from new places, check out the eastern air with Arca's new track “Manners.” Check this out off of Stretch 2 coming August from New York's premiere offbeats from the new beat street imprint UNONYC.

Sene released the Pace Rivers and Aaron is Not Cool directed video for his single “Backboards” featuring the always amazing Blu. New full length record Brooklyknight is out now on Plug Research.

A Lull's new Meat Mountain EP came out this week via Lujo Records and you can enjoy a limited time stream here from the Chicago quintet. Find them on tour with Maps & Atlases this July.

Check out Freddie Gibbs and Madlib's title cut “Shame” from the EP of the same name, featuring the vocal talents of B.J. The Chicago Kid. With Madlib providing a flurry of old school sounding bell chimes, B.J.'s cool afterglow vocals with Freddie taking the vintage “Dark End of the Street” style song and spitting it to today's tales of Marriott Hotel walk shame home from a one night stand to remember. The Shame EP is out now from Stones Throw.

Be sure to grab your listen to Com Truise's new track “Open,” heralding the July 17 release of In Decay featuring demos, unreleased diamonds and era specific electro jams like “84 Dreamin” and more from Ghostly International.

Portland, Oregon's Pure Bathing Culture dropped the single “Lucky One” from their four song EP, available now from Father/Daughter Records on 12″ vinyl. Catch Dan, Sarah and the gang playing shows throughout the summer, including MusicFestNW in September.

Levek is here and their upcoming debut Look A Little Closer is due this September 25 from Lefse. Their single “Black Mold Grow” makes one of the gnarliest things to happen behind your room's wall paint sound like a dreamy afternoon in the daisies.

Ape School released their 7-inch “Marijuana's on the Phone” this week, offering the world a sound born out of the lost Tony Visconti sessions of Bolan's Dandy in the Underworld, as if safely stored like your dad's dried up roaches, seeded deeply in the family couch that has been bed bug free since 1973. Frontman Michael Johnson has declared that on the upcoming album Junior Violence coming August 7 from Home Tapes; “I've got sourpuss down to a science.” We however, believe this Philidelphian has more down to a science than he leads on in his cards. Stay tuned, friends and listeners.

Checkout Dark Time Sunshine's new track “Look At What the Cat Just Did” featuring Busdriver. The new DTS album ANX drops July 24 from Fake Four, Inc, also featuring performances from Aesop Rock, P.O.S. and more.

Girls Names and Weird Dreams have prepared a split 7-inch that dropped this week from Slumberland Records and Tough Love. Prepare yourself first from GN's slice of keyboard & guitar shine with far away effects for extra mood points before the weird dreaming Londoners take you to down to greener, gentler pastures.

Tropic of Cancer performed “Court of Devotion” for Room 205 with director Luis Farfan working in black and white filters. Many literal grave images, footage of a solemn tide's ebb and flow, funereal room decorations and enough somber vibes to go around.

Erika Spring's single “Hidden” got remixed by Jensen Sportag, given a deep soulful re-working that rolls off the mind, ears and nerves like a cup of Japanese sencha that has only been steeped for less than a minute and a half. Another thing the Nashville duo do well with Erika's single is tease out an underlying soulfuly quality that you swear came from an instrumental side-b off of a forgotten Motown 12-inch from the '80s. Austin and Elvis turn the original into a therapy session that uncovers latent, hidden passages of sounds recalled, recorded from the past or from something further ahead than maybe all artists involved are even aware of. The synth wonderland that is the Erika Spring EP comes out July 10 on Cascine.

Serengeti dropped the new track “Talk To Me” from his upcoming C.A.R. LP coming July 31 from Anticon. Seen recently collaborating with Sufjan Stevens and Son Lux under the moniker of s / s / s, dropping the Kenny Dennis EP, Serengeti advises you here to “Pop the trunk driver and turn up Bon Iver” but what ever you do, bump this deep sinking bass Jel & Odd Nosdam production first.

“Hate Your Teachers” with the first taste from Unnatural Helpers' upcoming album Land Grab. The follow-up to 2010's Cracked Love comes September 25 from Hardly Art, digging up the raw, primal hate that goes back further than Freud, deeper than Cain and Abel and is served up with plenty of “heys” and more fired up energy from this Seattle quartet.

Raymond Byron of the Castanets presents his new band the White Freighter with their Americana rager, “Allegiance.” Raymond Byron and the White Freighter's full-length Little Death Shaker album drops September 4 from Asthmatic Kitty.

How dare a band from Minneapolis go and name themselves after one of my favorite Bob Seger records/songs, Night Moves. The trio's debut album Colored Emotions brings their space merchant “it's all right” refrain rock to the world on October 9 from Domino. Listen to their first single “Headlights” here and get in on the vibe.

Strong Arm Steady and Statik Selektah dropped their technicolor lysergic video “Premium.” Director Jerome D. Hurd keeps toggles contrasts, switching the prints to negative and smoky dissolve edits of the two emcees to match the 'so high, it don't exist' chorus hook philosophy. Strong Arm and Statik's collaborative album Stereotype drops August 14 on Stones Throw.

Gatekeeper is not just a snarky name that the bros and I have for others that tie on an ugly one at the end of the night. It is also some aptly titled adventure music fit for the greatest computer game never made while fighting some Sir. Gawain and the Green Knight with upgraded graphic mods for the Skyrim folks. Gatekeeper's Exo comes out July 17 from Hippos in Tanks.

The League of Extraordinary Gentelman present their single “My Way,” an impressive connection between two artists a world away from each other. Copenhagen producer Simon Muschinsky (of the Danish ensemble When Saints Go Machine) and the Cleveland, Ohio transplant living in San Diego, California who goes by the name of NOTE have never actually met face-to-face, but work across the Atlantic to create what they call “Gangsta Electro Clash.” We like to think of it as the international-all day, always-sound of summer, and we are excited to hear the The League's Superconductor EP drop this July 10 Proximal.

Hear the new Wye Oak single that everyone is talking about with the latest in the Adult Swim single series with “Spiral” and hear what has been freaking out the fans and newcomers alike. As you listen, note some of the well timed echo delays, a restrained yet varied approach to sound layering, darker vibes, some subtle and not so hints of psychedelia and whatever you else you hear into it that hopefully does not sound like verbage reserved for lite-beer-in-a-can-someliers.

Tussle has returned with Glasgow's JD Twitch from the legendary duo Optimo and have prepared a pretty darn solid, hand clap-bass banger for your weekend with “Eye Context.” Their fourth album Tempest drops September 25 on Smalltown Supersound.

If you need more danceable cuts from the Smalltown Supersound label, than listen no further than Idjut Boys' “Going Down” featuring an acoustic guitar sample, a raved out female vocal sample inquiring “why you going down to hell for love” with plenty more bells and whistles where that came from. Idjut Boys' new album Cellar Door comes out July 24.

We got the new A-Wax drops single “Yeah Right,” the first listen from Evertybody Loves Me – Chapter 1 dropping July 17 and boasting appearances from French Montana, Styles P., Mistah FAB, etc. Wax got his cred from the Brick Squad back in his days with Akon's Konvict Muzik, so check out the cameos here from Waka, French Montana, Ty Dolla $ign, YG Hootie and Whoo Da Kid.

The Cinematic Orchestra releasd their new album Motion #1 this week on Ninja Tune. Jason Swinscoe and the rest of his London audio visionaries teamed up with the likes of Austria's Dorian Concept, Tom Chant, pianist Austin Peralta, and NYC's Grey Reverend with responding to visuals from René Clair’s “Entr’acte” to Peter Tscherkassky’s “Outer Space.” Listen to an edit of the opener, “Necrology.”

2008ighties crew vet Fonz-E Mak is rolling with Sani at the production helm as they prepare to drop their first collaborative effort 19/20 before they release the much hyped The Sandridge Complex.

So if the last episode of Loiter Squad was any indication with the Odd Future crew playing soldiers, it looks like everyone pitched in to make a semi-serious short film, clocking in under 7 minutes, that premiered last night on their website called Sam is Dead. Directed by Wolf Haley and featuring himself, Domo Genesis, Trash Talk's Lee Spielman, Manface, Lionel “L-Boy” Boyce, Brick Stowell, Lucas Vercetti, and Tyler commanding “the score” making the film an elaborate music video for Creator Ace's bit from “Oldie” off of OF Vol. 2.

Speaking of which, look out for OF clutch DJ Syd the Kid and Matt Martian's East Coast tour as The Internet with Kilo Kish this August at the above dates.

Carol Kleyn is reissuing her 1976 LP Takin' the Time on August 21 via Drag City. Listen to “Jethro” here…

Even though we premiered this Careful track just the other day, Eric Lindley's solo project gave us auto-tuned poetics that has us all rethinking the current schools of songwriting with the charged heart string strums and low key rumbles of “It's Funny.” Lindley will have you at “it's funny how the charcoal keeps the water clean soaking up the little bits of you from the thing…” as everything in Lindley's life revolves around any significance of a significant other like a long distant confessional few say to anyone in person. Look for Careful's Because I Am Always Talking, out August 21.

Turbo Fruits and Bad Cop are releasing a 7-inch split July 31 on Jeffery Drag Records. Tennessee gets big scuzzy props as Turbo Fruits show solidarity for the scene that has given us JEFF the Brotherhood, Natural Child, Pujol, etc, with the track “Love Tennessee”. It's so awesome that you don't have to be Southerner to feel like you're part of the movement. Pre-orders via Jeffery Drag are available now, where you can get in on some of that clear vinyl, limited to 300 plates.

For the Bad Cop single “Wet Lips” we offer you the following Seth Graves video of rock kicks, scantily clad chicks, and more.

More details on the upcoming How to Dress Well album Total Loss dropping September 18 . Pre-order is now available from Acephale. Be sure to catch Tim Krell's impressive mixtape <strong>Live Yourself here:

Philadelphia dream crafters Arc in Round's self-titled album is out now via La Société Expéditionnaire, home to Soars, Daniel Knox, Lewis & Clarke, and more. The digital LP is available on their Bandcamp and the beautiful vinyl can be found via La Soc. Arch in Round will also be performing at the Mercury Lounge on July 7, Chicago's Hideout on July 20, with an August 21 NYC show at Glasslands with Ape School.

The 2012 Treasure Island Music Festival line-up has been revealed in this following trailer featuring Tycho's “A Walk.”

MV & EE just dropped the above tour dates and news of curating the Inner Mountain Festival. Step into their smoky, electric buzz haze here with “Too Far to See”

Little Dragon released their video for “Sunshine” with kudos to Absolut Mandarin and rural desert dance parties. All we ask is that you enjoy the following responsibly as we await further details on the follow up to Ritual Union.

Milk Music are heading out on a national tour in July. WFMU has a download of their Primavera set and we got a listen to “Violence Now”, from a small pressing of a flexidisc split with Gun Outfit's Carrie Keith in NUTS! Fanzine from the band's hometown of Olympia, WA. You can find Milk Music's out of print EP Beyond Living available via iTunes. Get in on this Pacific Northwest punk action now with “Violence Now.”

Out now is Lighouts' new single The Big Picture featuring our debut of their excellent cover of The Cure's “Push,” “Stray Boy” and the title track that has heads turning and the cool cats talking. Listen here and download here.

Look out! Yeasayer have released their CGI laden video vignette for “Longevity” by Yoshi Sodeoka, heralding a new listen to their follow-up to Odd Blood.

Internationally renowned violinist Miri Ben-Ari, known as the violinist for the likes of Jay Z, Janet, Kanye, Alicia, Wyclef, and so forth, is doing a Soundcloud star search for collaborative talent. So for those of you with that unfinished, unpolished future gem that you have kept locked on private in the the cloud stream looking for that big chance, send an original instrumental version to Miri here and the same version with vocals here. Best of luck.

Trip Fantastic, the online comic by Jason Baxter, Mac Hamilton, and visual artist Derek Charm need your help to get their latest issue in print. First up is a soundtrack inspired by the comic by USF's Jason's Baxter that might be the best blasting soundtrack to any comic book inspiration you have heard all year.

Here's the video for the Trip Fantastic kickstarter trailer, or “Tripstarter” to raise funds for both print and distribution costs for further issues. For further information, enjoy the fantastic trip of the following animated special.

The Mission Creek Oakland Music & Art Festival is taking place this September at various venues around Oakland and they need your help. MCO has also started a Kickstarter to help out with the cost of bringing the festival for the people to the people, with band submission forms available here. Deadline for all band/artist applicants is July 12, and for those who want to indulge their inner philanthropist, the MCO folks are looking to raise $1500 to cover expenses that they have paid out of their pocket to make this festival happen. Be a person, help the Bay Area's music scene now.

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