Week in Pop: Beacon, HOTT MT, Jahzel, Richie, Steel Phantoms, Taught Abroad, We Are Temporary

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Prayers for pop music, anecdotes from Queen Ashi Dala, sermons from Reverend Jahzel, + more.

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Sjimon Gompers | May 24, 2013

Queen Ashi Dala and the Hour of the Time Majesty Twelve. (via HOTT MT's tumblr, alternate photo courtesy of We Are Temporary from Stars & Letters, cover courtesy of Jahzel)

In efforts to find humor after a trying week, we look to the pop culture pages for new guidance, or at least a few laughs. First off, it appears that Ultramagnetic MC Tim Dog may have faked his death by alleged diabetes complications in order to get out of paying back debts to folks around world, involving a comeback album scam to a bunch of very angry, ripped off ex-girlfriends. Then from the book of uptown problems, Daft Punk got their own branded Formula 1 car courtesy of the Lotus F1 Team just in time for the Grand Prix de Monaco, and in response to the French duo's inescapable “Get Lucky” single; Liam Gallagher claimed that he could “write [Daft Punk's “Get Lucky”] in a fucking hour”. Scratch and shake your head before nodding yours and shaking some hips to the following statements, sounds, thoughts, visuals, and exclusive words from some of our favorites in no particular order.

Kicking things off, Beacon is on the road touring their new album The Ways We Separate that saw a recent release from Ghostly International. Check the duo's tour listings on the road through the end of July, but first do some night riding in the Will Joines visualizing of “Drive”. Beacon's Thomas Mullarney III shared a few words on the Joines' video interpretation of their electro soul sounds designed for tomorrow and tonight's futuristic cruisers of the evening.

“Will Joines is a master, and went Michael Bay with this one. Couldn't have asked for a more fitting video for 'Drive.”

Hour of the Time Majesty Twelve, or HOTT MT for short just released their heady album I Made This on Manimal and share both a listen to the full-length accompanied by tales from beyond the recording board. Traces of their Wayne Coyne connections (or maybe Flaming Lips obsessions?) can be heard on “YKWYR”, “Peachy Mermaid” reinvents the Hans Christian Andersen's tale, “The Family Flea” takes their lo-fi dances further East and left field, “Country Cub” showcases the group's hypnagogia hype, “Glass Sun” shatters slowly, the seasonal atmospheric rites of “Summer Lime”, further electro East meets West meetings and musings on “Lil Saigon”, and the sunshine warped closer “Three Days”. I sent the the group some inquiries into their psych-gazing ways, and frontwoman Queen Ashi Dala sent us the following assortment of stories that describe recording the new album while listening to Thai pop, nursing a baby squirrel back to good health, the X-Files angle and name influence on their new record.

“There are a couple things we did every day while creating I Made This. We were listening to Thai pop and folk constantly, raising a baby squirrel, and finishing each night with one episode of X-Files. Our lives were in constant motion: moving places, moving jobs, moving studios, but these three things were stable and contributed greatly to the album in an indirect way.”

“To compose our thoughts and experiences we started the album out as an imaginary map. The map had seven pinpointed locations, and those locations were the basis for the seven songs on the album. We treated the creation of the album as a small route through a varying landscape. Starting in an ocean, moving to a beach, then a jungle, a mountain, a mountain top, a city, and a city in the rain. When writing the music for each song, we considered the feel of each of these places, while sticking to the Thai scale and layering noise, washy guitars, and weird artifacts picked up by the mic.”

“A lot of the lyrical content of the album came from trying to care for and raise a wild animal. Spooky and I found a nearly dead baby squirrel while walking around Turnbull Canyon one night. We took it home and figured out how to nurse it to health, and in the process of making the album, the squirrel became full grown, and very wild. As we continued writing, we began to attach themes of growth and coming of age to each location/song. We start the album with birth, and it moves through adolescence and ends with wherever we felt we were at the album's completion.”

“We attempted to end our nights with an episode of the X-Files. And if you watch the show through the production credits, the very last thing you hear is a little boy saying “I made this”. It always caught us off guard. We would have just watched a really dark episode, and be sitting stunned throughout the end credits, then the little boy would chirp up, and we would have to laugh. After the day, or the small journey through the landscape, dream, or nightmare it's such an innocent and honest statement, and sometimes the only thing that needs to be said. So we named the completed album I Made This.”

Chicago's Jahzel has been working both behind the scenes and dropping recent tapes hosted by DJ-Whoo Kid like on 2012's Jet Lag, and this week the Chi-Town emcee talked to us about his upcoming In God's Image mixtape dropping June 3. In the Asa Davis video, J is surrounded by angelic sirens hanging in a basement, describing an inner spiritual warfare coinciding with the high stakes situations of life in the flesh. With a reverent fervor, Jahzel gives a lyrical nod to Nas's “N.Y. State of Mind -“sleep is the cousin of death”-familial personification with, “In my work I will begin and never sleep because on the creep is death, the very next of kin”, and adds the following life embracing truth of mortal logic, “never fearing death 'cause I've been dying since my birth”.

Interested to hear about your exploring the duality of good and evil in man on the upcoming tape In God's Image.

“The upcoming project is a collective of records that address the overall theme of the project, being that though I am a man who is made in God's image, I still cannot escape my imperfections. Im in a constant struggle attempting to do what I think is the right thing, but I go through a range of feelings and emotions like any other human. I might feel righteous and humble on one day (on tracks like 'One Day,' & 'Long Enough'), while the next I'm feeling confident and braggadocios (on tracks like : 'Carefree', & 'Braggadocio'). I teamed up with MMG's Tone P for most of the production on this project. I wanted to showcase soulful, clever, lyricism coming out of Chicago, and we've had past success creating soulful records together, which I wanted to bring to this project. Some of the lyrics might need a couple listens to fully understand some of the double and triple meanings I threw in there. Lol Hidden messages… I feel its a great listen front to back, and I really hope people enjoy it.”

Tell us about your evolution from ghostwriting hits for others.

“Evolution from ghostwriting…as a hip hop artist I feel you need to have a certain level of unwavering confidence in order to be successful. At the beginning of my musical journey, I didn't quite have that confidence, which lead me to ghost writting. I never knew if my music lyrically was good enough to 'play with the big boys,' so I pretty much just stayed in my lane, perfecting my craft and continued writing records to be placed with whomever was willing to purchase. It wasn't until I heard a section of one of my records on a major artists project, that gave me the notion that, 'hey I might be able to compete on the same level.' I put out a 'feeler' project with friends and family, which got a really great response. I then decided to fully commit to leaving an impression on the music scene in my city, while doing whatever I can to advance the culture in general. That natural progression lead me to my most current project In God's Image. All of my music is based on capturing real emotions through real experiences, and I hope the listeners can relate to my messages.”

What are your thoughts on the religious conceptual/iconographic (i.e. the seven deadly sins) resurgence in contemporary, 'secular' music?

“As far as the religious concept/tone…I believe there is nothing more powerful in our world than religion… People have fought and died for religion. I wanted to touch on a subject that powerful in my own way. I have a relationship with God, and I want to do right, but i'm a sinner. My imperfections are a daily struggle, and I think others can relate to that. I didn't want to put out a 'fire and brimstone' preachy 'project, but one that touches on real life situations, and real life up and down emotions. None of us are perfect, and some days are better than others. I hope to get that message across on this project….”

From Oakland, California; get a listen to “Who Run It” from Richie off his upcoming LXXV mixtape, dropping June 11. On this track, producer YNG SELF keeps the harp stringed notes cascading while Richie regulates and references the infamous pre-Metta World Peace, Pacers versus Pistons 'Malice in the Palace' incident as an allegory for shutting up the loud mouths while throwing around some elbows at the same time; “…talkin' they Artest, I'm showin' my muscle, I'm gonna flex”. Keeping the game running at home in Oakland, Richie took a moment this week to tell us about the mix of expansive sounds for spitting tales of street stresses like on the cinematic-orchestral touches on “Who Run It”; taking us behind the scenes with some words on creating the vast soundscapes on LXXXV.

“First off YNG SELF killed it. I just did my best not to ruin the story his instruments told. The structure's a mess, but I think that's why the song feels the way it does! SELF and I have been making music together since high school, so our chemistry is ridiculous. I've always been big on the cinematic sound. Big strings, ambient pianos, etc.. It can tell a story in its own. Lyrically the songs a reflecting of some real life shit. All rapper fantasies consist of girls, money and more girls. Who run it was just a product of that fantasy.”

With their self-titled EP dropping July 16 Brooklyn's Steel Phantoms raised the red velvet fourth wall with “Curtain Call”. Formed by Islands' drummer Aaron Harris with Jesse Newkirk IV on guitar, their song is stitched around the lyrical chorus of “you want it, you bought it, you don't wanna die at my curtain call, you need it, to believe it, you don't want to die at my curtain call”. Around these last call lines, bridges, hazy musical breakdowns and a re-emergence of the song's titular chorus performed in a quicker pace of instrumentation and an increase in passionate delivery. Aaron Harris sent us a cable with thoughts on the following listen to one of the 'Phantoms first written songs.

“Curtain Call' is one of the first songs we wrote as a duo (after having performed/recorded as a three piece for years). We wanted to see how much texture, mood, and volume the two of us could create-without having to completely change our sound or sacrifice musicianship.”

Speaking of Beacon, we just received word from Taught Abroad's Chris Sadek that he will be playing with the aforestated Ghostly duo and The-Drum at Schubas in Chicago, June 5. Catch our debut of Mike White capturing Sadek's performance at Chi-town's infamous Empty Bottle, taking the long distance calls of synth-streamed essences from across the seas and bringing them closer to the heart and home in this performance of “Bladerunner”, available from the second Taught Abroad EP, Ripe Hours. Amid the low lit bar glow and arcade tube illumination' Sadek's cathedral organ sustain lay the canvas for his more modern elemental choices of synthetic recreations. Stirring in evocative vocals, Chris creates feelings of the new with audio elements taken from ancient/recent industrial ruins in a world that is currently watching the free fall collapse of industries across the map. We inquired further about Sadek's possible Vangelis influence behind the track “Bladerunner”, and the juxtaposing of cathedral organs with modern secular keyboard, and other miscellany on the construction of the Ripe Hours.

“Bladerunner' actually started as a chord progression I would play to relax, haha. It's not very labor intensive to play, so I seemed to gravitate towards it after a long night in the studio to kind of wind down and for that reason, I have a very personal connection to it. You mentioned Vangelis, and although the title is referencing something completely different, I'm incredibly influenced by him. I really respect how he had these huge TV's in his studio when he would score films. This was back in the day when TV's were these big-ass mammoths of machinery if you wanted anything larger than a TV for the kitchen or something. So he hauled these things into his studio and would watch the scenes for the first time while he would compose these masterpieces. I really think it's a lost art, because they would be these one-takes that were completely from a place of emotion and excitement. So as he was watching the film for the first time he would be feeling the character's emotions and it would come across in the music that was coming out of him. Unfortunately, I feel like a lot of electronic music these days is devoid of that emotion, which is why I tried to keep a lot of the tracks on Ripe Hours as first takes. Because of that, you will find a lot of imperfections, but it is a moment in time where I was feeling something and even if I tried to re-track it to perfection, it seemed to lose that sense of uniqueness.”

“In terms of the organ and acoustic elements, I grew up playing cello from a really early age, so that is my main instrument which led me to learn a number of others. I have a real connection to acoustic instruments and try to incorporate them into my music as much as possible even though it's predominantly electronic. So all of the cellos, guitar, brass etc on the EP are live in an attempt to add an organic feeling. Vangelis used a Yamaha CS-80 which was revolutionary at the time and allowed him to have this whole electronic orchestra at his fingertips. I can't afford one, but even if I could, I wouldn't be able to play it like he could. So I guess I just try to use what's available to me and do as best as I can.”

Founder of the NYC label Stars & Letters, formerly of Christchurch and the The Enright House, Mark Roberts returns with his newest labor of love, We Are Temporary. Expanding on the space hovering ethereal electro-enhanced atmospherics, the single “Satellites” is the first listen from Roberts' upcoming Afterthoughts EP that begs and vocally breaks through the signal transmissions with assertions of, “we could be real…” Through the medium of electronic engineered audio coupled with almost visual vocal heartbreak, the sky falls all around Roberts where he utters lyrics like old love notes, where the ink becomes smeared like tears on running eye-liner. “You're against the wall and I can feel your emptiness and all the sadness drip away, your hope for better things to come, it's a miracle to me, the way we were, the way we could be we were something real…” Mark talked with us about his methodology on taking the experiences, feelings and thoughts that surround life's rough patches and how to turn them into a new forms via electronic catharsis.

“Ever since I was a kid, when I get really angry-I mean really beyond frustrated-I definitely need a catharsis moment. It used to be punching walls and breaking tennis racquets-now, it's music. Whether it's moments of true desperation, sadness, or exhilaration, I find that music provides one of the best ways of breaking things down, as it were. Electronic music is especially well suited for this, because of the immediacy of it. I can throw up the bones and the urgency of a song in an hour. I also feel like electronic music is more suited to contrasts, which is where the best catharsis comes from: cold and calculating synths slam up against aggressive drum beats or emotional vocals. The push-and-pull nature of the genre is the perfect vehicle for someone like me who often feels torn between extreme polarities.”

Pressed And get bored in the rolicking breeze of “Bored On A Lam” off the mesmorizing Stone Candles album available June 4 from Mush Records. As the song fades into the ethereal dandelion drift, the chime and soft horn lull carry the romantic refrain, “nobody learned about you, nobody ever got that far…”

Russia's Anton Zap poured out the video for “Water”, that moves in kaleidescopic directions of rhythmic liquid directed by Ernest Yakovlev. The forthcoming album of the same name will be available June 18 from Apollo Records.

O.G. OFWGKTA affiliates The Jet Age Of Tomorrow switched things into the active setting with”ON!” from their upcoming album The JellyFish Mentality dropping May 24 from Odd Future Records. While TJAOT never gets the attention like Tyler, Hodgy, Frank Ocean, Syd and Matt's project The Internet, the zany Loiter Squad show, carnivals, etc; the Jet Age still remains to be one of the most creative forces in the OF circle. Download it here.

Shark Week's Santurce 7″ is out July 30 on Analog Edition and the Washington D.C. quartet give the manifest destiny call to, “Go West”. Recorded in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the group makes a sound like Latin touched westerns in a world that awaits full of desperadoes, gouchos, and far away beaches.

Exwife's New Colors LP comes out May 28 on Evil Weevil Records, but you can get a listen in on the New Brunswick, NJ trio's “Rituals” now. The quiet guitar quest trails lead to those loud explosions that bury some vocal semblance of, “wish that I could still believe”, amid guitar blisters that hold the secret crystal of truths buried beneath the cloud bursts of skronk.

Jay Arner dims the sunlight for his evening time pop tune, “Midnight On South Granville”. What I continue to discover and marvel at with Jay's music are the myriad stylistic passages chosen, where you never know what vehicle of sound will be used to convey the sentiments and songs from one of Canada's most exciting songwriters/music-makers of today. Jay's self-titled will be available June 25 from Mint Records. Also check out our debut of Jay's remix of Renny Wilson's “Lady Pain“.

Listen to the title track from The Cairo Gang's upcoming minialbum Tiny Rebels available July 23 from Empty Cellar Records. Hearbandleader Emmett Kelly and fellow gang believers gather as a group of rebels and strum in that tentative, 12-string picking style that keeps you wondering whether or not to meditate or just hum along like the wind wisping through the willows.

Gold Lake's Carlos del Amo and Lua Rios have been spending some time with production mastermind Phil Ek for their upcoming We Already Exist scheduled for June 18. Listen as Lua's voice soars and wanders around in circles of the song's string plucks and sweeping sound-vistas. Look for the Gold Lakers June 3 at Glasslands with Little Children, June 7 at Instituto Cervantes (special acoustic show) and July 23 at Glasslands with Isadora.

Get a listen to emcees Red Pill from Detroit and Verbal Kent from Chicago get mixed in with thought provoking production from Apollo Brown to comprise the group, Ugly Heroes. Their self-titled drop this week via iTunes, with the physical CD available May 28 via Mello Music Group, but now listen to a call for some real heroism in the world of the working poor on the anthem call, “Hero's Theme”.

Speaking of Apollo Brown, catch his remix of Has-Lo's “Hindsight” (off the previous full-length Conversation B) as Lo's upcoming In Case I Don't Make It album drops this fall on fancy limited edition 180g wax courtesy of the Mello Music Group.

Welcome the return of Jesse Lortz and Case Studies and get your first listen to the latest from Seattle with “Everything”. “Shake the hand of the man who shook your walls”, and get deep with that Garth Hudson style electric organ that brings Lortz's blues all back home again. The new Case Studies album This is Another Life will be available June 11 from Sacred Bones.

Ann Arbor, Michigan's Pity Sex turn you on, turn you up and “Wind-Up” the action with an alternative midwest assault and Brennan Greaves' soft sung vocals. Their full-length debut Feast of Love comes out June 25 on Run For Cover Records. Party like you never heard of Y2K, and sing along with the “wind me up and let me go” chorus.

Following up Lindstrøm's remix of Charli XCX's “You Mu Ha Ha Ho,” get into the pure pop funnel of Charli XCX vs. TWIN iDoL remix of “Fāār-i-kāāl” that turns the Norwegian producer's piece into a Madonna track on molly. Recently Unknown Mortal Orchestra covered “Rà-àkõ-st“, also from Lindstrøm's Smalltown Supersound album Smallhan, reshaping of the name of the ambient game in pop music.

Get a listen to Brooklyn's Lurve with their kick-flip-busting single, “Wires”. You will swear that these dudes are straight out of Venice Beach on the West Coast, but this East Coast trio takes you to places when everything wasn't always wireless. Taking you back to a time whre few things to nothing other than precipitation existed in the proverbial, cloud. Everything and everyone was tethered, or if wireless was available by some feat of strength it existed on analogue networks a notch above the citizen's band frequencies (not to mention cellphones the size of a Gordon Gekko piece of cellular). Look for the Lurve self-titled dropping later this summer on Bandcamp.

Get a load of the David Gallardo anime blender video for Alexander Spit's Mansions 2 instrumental album that has become a much anticipated item here on the coast between the Bay and LA. Be the first to get this upcoming tape and peep some champion hoodie merch from the mighty Spit here.

Bad Cop dropped their first webisode with, “The Light On Chronicles Pt 1”, well ahead of their extended player Light On's release July 9 from Jeffery Drag Records. So get introduced now, if you haven't already, for 3 minutes of behind-the-band action.

Because we know you need more Bad Cop in your life, make sure you get a listen to the EP title track, “Light On” and keep that energy efficient light bulb in your mind burning like amplifier vacuum tubes.

Natasha Kmeto dropped the cut “Idiot Proof” from the Crisis album, dropping June 18 from Dropping Gems. Warding off the idiotic doers, Kmeto surrounds herself in a force field of synth electrodes and digital dark alleys. With synths glowing like spherical illuminated globes; a tense future techno battle looms in the track's warrior stance like arrangement.

Metabeats dropped the cut, “SLSBS” that features your boy Quelle Chris with co-production from Ed Boogie. Get more from the UK producer Meta on his tape Caviar Crackle available for free download from Associated Minds that presents what's bumping in the underground sectors on the other side of the pond.

Anamanaguchi get cosmic with a pizza slice that gets sent to the 8-bit MIDI soundtracked galaxies in their self-made video for “Endless Fantasy”, from the album of the same name off dream.hax, in time for their tour running through August 2.

Saturday Looks Good to Me released their magical pop mystery tour album, One Kiss Ends It All this week from Polyvinyl, and for a limited time you can stream the album from the opener “One Kiss” down to the closing cosmic trail of “Space Children”.

Old Money is the duo of Ahmad Julian and Andre Oswald who released a listen to the single “Doctor, Doctor”, with a classic Chris Rock sampled intro on the medicinal benefits of Robitussin®. Ahmad and Andre then take the fiyah to African-global dancefloors with some conscious questions on the high price of insustainable medical care. Find this on Old Money's upcoming Fire In The Dark tape available May 28 on DJ Rupture's label Dutty Artz.

AM & Shawn Lee dropped a listen to the digital-lovers-rock boogie of “All The Love”, off their album, La Musique Numérique available from Park The Van Records. Catch them on their June 13-29 North American tour at a city near you.

With Iamsu! and Problem having wrapped up their Million Dollar Afro Tour at Santos Party House last week, Su! dropped word of the brand new-upcoming KILT 2 tape (coming soon!) and dropped the last $uzy 6 $peed video with, “100 Grand” that features Juvenile, Problem, and Kool John. Featuring tour footage taken from performances on and off stage, peep the old and new money guards consolidating their networks and stocks here.

Yellowbirds take you through the deep, VHS waters on the Caitlin and Josh Drake video for “The Ceiling” off the forthcoming Songs from The Vanished Frontier out May 28 from the Royal Potato Family. Dive into the deep sea of Sam Cohen's explorations of the lesser known frontiers with the weeps and wails of guitars amid orchestrals that surround like the oceanic swells.

Canada's Paper Lions give us memories of “listening to the parents talk” on their song “Philadelphia” that recalls an upbringing from that city of brotherly love (regardless if you're from Phillyor not). Find this off the Lions' Howard Redekopp produced My Friends available August 20 on the band's own imprint, Fountain Pop Records.

You Me & Us gave us another reason to Stay Inside, also the name of their EP set for release June 25, as we found ourselves somewhere between encouraged and enchanted by Carlee Hendrix, Alyssa Midcalf and Ignacio Caniza on “Swim or Sink”. The Palm Springs trio gives us more music for mixtape making as we look forward to the coming seasons littered with good news or better news than the first half of 2013 has offered us yet.

Standish/Carlyon's debut album Deleted Scenes is available now from felte, and as part of the ongoing ceremonies, Conrad Standish's wife Jonnine from HTRK remixed “Nono/Yoyo” by melting it down to it's purest form of liquid, golden, molten metals.

Bristol's producer Andy Compton joins forces with Ladybird and their in-house band The Rurals to form the project L.A.M.P. Kiss springtime good bye and say hello to summer, with this after work decompressor, “Springtime”.

Check out the Jade Harris video for Gondola's “We Are the Map”, starring Cristina Cano having a Mary Poppins at home type of moment with clay creature designs from Jillian Snow Harris. As inanimate objects come alive and the bags get packed, heed the Gondola call to get away from everything, collect pinecones, seashells, acorns, whatever the heck it is you collect on holiday, as you follow the band's refrain of “let's get lost”. Gondola's We Are the Map 7″ is available via their Bandcamp.

Over the course of this past week, whenever we needed a tookas-touter we turned to Tez McClain, Problem and Real Money for the infectious rump shaker, “Make It Clap”. Money's production keeps the handclaps and keys sequencing, “shinin' with no lights on”, while the Bay meets the South in a number that is bound to be a summer hit for the Southwestern nudie bars-guaranteed.

Get animated and weird with Team Spirit in their Johannes Helgelin and Hannes Elltorp made video for “Fuck the Beach” off their self-titled EP available through VICE Records. Stay tuned for the video's finale as the cartoon crusaders enter a ginormous, monstrous looking vag with intergalactic results.

Generationals gave the Leuther Gooch video of “Spinoza”, a jaunty, jovial little spin off their new Polyvinyl album Heza. Take a run on the streets and sidewalk lanes with the Generationals and then hop in the pickup bed, keep on jamming like it doesn't matter, and keep trucking on down the line with the band in spirit. Look for the Gens on a massive world tour through August 25, with dates located here.

F. Stokes dropped his Paper Tiger produced track “1954” from the June 17 dropping album Fearless Beauty, spanning through the historical reflections on culture and discrimination in what Stokes describes in the following: “I wanted to capture the spirit of the Negro Migration between 1940 and 1970, my godfather and my family history was my inspiration. My family like many, many negro families in Northern cities often struggle with identifying with our culture beyond the move…values and traditions were lost in the process of trying to make a decent living.”

With their frontman Collin Cable discovered as an answer to a Craigslist ad, Crush Distance pours some emotional, big stage braggadocio out with “Kerosene”.

For some riotous giggles, get a listen to Sharkmuffin's “Mermaid Sex Slave” off Tarra Thiessen and Natalie Kirch's She-Gods of Champagne Valley and you can catch more of their debris in the chablis rock June 9 at Brooklyn's Paper Box.

Christopher Paul Stelling's album False Cities just got released from Mecca Lecca Recording Co / Dollartone, and brought some kinetic, Woody Guthrian visuals courtesy of John Christopher Alberico for Stelling's dismantling wrecking ball, “Brick x Brick”.

People Get Ready dropped the electric neon title track video from their just released Zelda Maria EP from Brassland. The visual electrical syntheses are done with the group's moves choreographed by Tere O'Conner with PGR's Steven Reker and visual multinedua artist Ty Flowers to cue the video to the song's keyboard kicks.

Sic Alps delivered the latest brainchild from Mike Donovan with the She's On Top EP and we have the viewing of the first of 3 videos today with title cut from the new extended player. All visual film pieces are directed under the auspices of William Francis-Bashore Keihn, with the EP available now from Drag City.

Eddy Current Suppression Ring's Mikey Young and Straightjacket Nation / UV Race's Daniel Stewart are Australia's Total Control, and they are performing as part of Ty Segall's birthday party at San Francisco's The Eagle, June 8 with Thee Oh Sees, and Segall's latest project, Fuzz. Get excited, get controlling as TC's Sub Pop released, Scenes from a Marriage 7″ is available now.

Julia Holter anounces the upcoming Ekstasis follow up with Loud City Song, coming August 20 from Domino and shared the sparsely arranged-city wandering Rick Bahto video for “World”.

Barbarossa turns on the warm keys for a cover of Juniper's “Line of Fire”, ahead of James Mathé's release of his August 8 Bloodlines album from Memphis Industries. Check out Barbarossa on the road via these tour dates through June 25, ending at Littlefield in Brooklyn.

Pharmakon's Abandon LP is out from Sacred Bones Records, and you can soak what ails you in this electro screamer, “Ache”.

Hooded Fang dropped their animated abstractions and found imagries on the visuals for their toast to the underground, “Ode To Subterrania,” off their upcoming Full Time Hobby album Graves, available May 28.

Check out the Evan Savitt's video for Field Mouse's “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”, where Rachel Browne carries out her revenge on a local, harrassing creeper. Get the single on their Bandcamp and catch Field Mouse tonight, May 24 at NYC's Bowery Ballroom with Lauren Stevenson and Owen.

Lace Curtain, the project of Aussie acers Mikey Young, Dave West and James Vinciguerra respectively from Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control and Rat Columns, get deep into that electric void on the track, “Falling (II)”, from the Falling / Running 12″ available June 11 on Mexican Summer.

Still Life Still's full-length Mourning Trance will be available August 20 from Arts & Crafts, but the band dropped the video of footage of Canada classics shot by band member Aaron Romaniuk's grandparents. “This video is a glimpse into my family's memories: birthdays, travels, and everyday life growing up in the west end of Toronto. Filmed from 1960 to 1970 by my grandmother (Stella Romaniuk) and my grandfather (Paul Romaniuk) who passed away before I was born.”

Matt Cohran spits up some further, latent-Spartanburg, SC angst on the Coma Cinema song, “Burn A Church” off the album Posthumous Release scheduled for release June 11 from Fork & Spoon Records / Orchid Tapes.

Seattle's La Luz has released their Damp Face EP and are preparing to set out on tour dates through July 27. And as the group embraces summer, they share some springtime memories with the sound of surf city UCA recorded by Johnny Goss in a Bothell, Washington trailer park on a hot, hot day last August.

From neo-Tokyo with love, stream the just-released Jesse Ruins debut, A Film, courtesy of Lefse. Fade into the sleepless nights, and all the sounds that always shine the brightest right before the dawn hits.

Jon Kennedy samples some Spanish guitar with Eastern twanging edges on the smooth rider, “Tonto Rides The Gain” off the forthcoming Corporeal LP available this June 24 from the Jon Kennedy Federation imprint.

UCLA's JazzReggae Festival celebrates year 27 this Memorial Day Weekend with a weekend that includes performances from Santigold, Common, Ziggy Marley, Barrington Levy, Mr. Vegas and more (see above flyer with lineup) with some 30 food vendors, 33 craft vendors, and an exhibtion from the X is the Weapon collective. Check here for more deets.

Ty Segall's new album Sleeper is available August 20 from Drag City, and we have the tour anouncement video with dates here to awake you from your slumbers.

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