Week in Pop: CHURCHES, DaVinci, Leisure Birds, Main Attrakionz, ManCub, Shady Blaze

Sjimon Gompers

Still doing for the Bay(s) (VIA)

As we got back into our post-holiday daily routines we dealt with leftovers, inboxes, Kyuss members who went on to form Kyus Lives! have now reformed again as Vista Chino, R. Kelly's “Trapped in the Closet” saga continuing on with new Chapters from IFC on the daily, and learned (surprise, surprise) that Dr. Dre is the highest paid musician of 2012. But while business and life goes on as usual, we celebrate the week that saw collaborations between coasts, indie dance water slide rides, and the continuing fight for equal rights, all stated here-in no particular order.

CHURCHES are a Bay Area supergroup comprised of Caleb Nichols, Rogue Wave's Pat Spurgeon and Dominic East and members from WATERS, and Port O'Brien. With the United States Supreme court about to make some big decisions on the issue of same sex marriage, Nichols and friends create a declaration of equal rights in love on the single “Lovelife” stating, “I love my dearest friend, I'm going to marry him, hold on to what you think you can as leaves do to a branch”. With a loud chorus of “oohs” 10 amphitheaters strong with a song of thunder that shames the efforts to prohibit one's choice of affection. The Lovelife 7″ will be available December 11 with their release party being held in San Francisco on December 22 at Bottom of the Hill accompanied by So Cal buddies Tijuana Panthers. We await more from CHURCHES, including further releases and a tour in 2013.

Leisure Birds deliver the video for an edit of, “SETI Signals” from their Globe Master LP available from the Minneapolis by Oakland imprint, Moon Glyph. Ben Marcus gathers together sci-fi imageries of robots flying about space, communicating with secret sects with strange signals that seems to answer the Birds calling howl of “how long”. As the synth drones and the guitars storm with increasing intensities, the sect bids farewell to an astronaut and blows up planet Earth from the robot manned ship's death ray. The epilogue to all this comes as a 7″ supplementary piece of NASA planetary recordings, serving as a souvenir of space samples in the name of interstellar globe trotting.

We caught up this week with the Denver's ManCub, who just dropped the music video for “Don't Go Dying On Me” from their Business Dogs EP available from Colorado electro indie imprint, Holy Underground Records (aka HUG). Spreading the gospel of anything-you-wanna-be electronic pop sciences; Alex Anderson and his video producer brother Kirk, collaborated with LA graphic artist Suzy Fahmy to turn “Don't Go Dying” into a Bill and Ted transportive and transcend-elic Water World music video adventure that's “better than words”. Alex explained it to us like this over our past week's conversations:

“Basically my brother, Kirk, and I have been planning on producing a legit music video for years but we never had time / budget. Since ManCub got started early 2011 he has been making us rad promo videos and basically taking charge of my Youtube channel and keeping the content fresh and accurate. For the first EP 8 Bit Crush he made a video to our track sound. Its great footage of him and his buddies cruising around LA, where he lives, on their mopeds.

For Business Dogs we conceptualized for months and came up with so many different ideas. All of mine were way to expensive and unrealistic involving plane crashes, armies of creatures and the end of the world… After my ideas were vetoed Kirk came up with a plan. An idea that stuck was basing visual fx off The Gap Band's “You Dropped a Bomb On Me” video which is a song I cover Live. The rainbows and sparkles were the icing on the cake to that dudes awesome solo choreography. We wanted to replicate that.

Labor day weekend of 2012 was the release date for Business Dogs. He had been planning on coming out to shoot some live footage of the show and b roll so we could do something with it but we wanted to do something fun while he was here too. We grew up going to Water World and I thought that would be that something. Luckily for us, that weekend just happened to be opening weekend. When I brought up Water World to him, he came up with the idea to bring a Go Pro as well as his DSLR so we could shoot the down the slide scenes. Then we were like, what can we do just to make it that much wackier. What better than the slides becoming portals into space. Bring back in the rainbows and sparkles from the Gap Band video there was the concept.

His friend Suzy Fahmy did all of the after effects graphics and killed it. She only had to take 2 passes before we rendered it final.He came in town for 3 days. The first day we did all the green screen and the second was the day of the show so the day after the release show we woke up hungover and called all my friends who “wanted to come”. They all bailed. So we went just the two of us and went to work.

Being opening day at Water World it was empty. We were probably able to ride 90 percent of the slides and get away with having the camera out no questions asked. I didn't use any thing to help sync the vox on the slides, just pure memory of the song. while filming myself going down the slides I had the camera in one hand while keeping the other ready to catch my prized Crap Eyewear glasses.Filming this was an absolute blast.”

We got another installment from the Blazed Out crypt, where East Bay Green Ova representative Shady Blaze teams up with NYC's Blizzed Out to reclaim the eve with “Shady Night”.”Mixing clear and brown,” Blaze brings what is the next Saturday Night with a new kind of Bay Area money dance while Blizzed keeps the keyboards ablaze to reinforce that reclaiming of the weekend and possibly the world.

But the collaborative atmosphere is just getting started, the good folks at SWTBRDS give you a Bay Area dream team with Main Attrakionz, DaVinci, and Shady Blaze on one laid back smoked up track, “Year of the Dragon” with production by Al Jieh. D, Blaze, Mondre and Squadda kick back and let the trees blow with a classic intro reminiscent of vintage East Bay hip-hop prided on dialogue that goes deep. All we can begin to say is that after all this we hope to see Green Ova on the top for 2013.

We got more from sayknowledge, one of the Bay Area's up and coming emcees dropped the music video for “Mirror Music” with beat production Mars Today. sayknowledge's album Vibe Called Quest drops January 15, 2013.

From the snowbeds of Stockholm comes Ditt Inre's new single “Inget Val” that posseses keyboard that move like a pan-geo snowflake fall to threaten global warming into a welcomed ice age. Get ready for celophane to fall from the sky as Ditt Inre's Inget Val / Din Röst single will be available December 11 from Cascine.

Word up from Big Boi is the speaker boxx-busting ATLian toast, “In The A” featuring guest spots from Ludacris and T.I. Check the resumes from Georgia's board of representatives as they tell of putting in some risky business up in the A.

When Grave Babies released their Gothdammit EP earlier this year, the vases and ceramic jugs that held the serums and legacies of indie pop's storied past were shattered in a single blow. Since that spring our eyes have been pointed toward this coming February 26 where the G-Babies will release their full length Crusher on Hardly Art that includes this pop construct-destroyer that encapsulates that aforementioned vessel crushing force.

Homeboy Sandman video for the single “Illuminati” spilling stories about “folks married to the game instead of dating on and on”, while Bunny Bread's direction explores the cryptic fuss behind the words of buzz. Homeboy's album First Of A Living Breed is available now from Stones Throw Records.

Speaking of the Denver scene, catch Jeff Cormack and Kelly Leuke are South of France, and give us live performances of “When I Came To” and “Writers Block”, recorded at Denver's Coupe Studios. Both songs can be found on their album Another Boring Sunrise, so throw some sea-side southern French summer into your winter, beginning first with “When I Came To”.

Then clap your hands at break down the mental barriers with the “Writers Block”, all captured by the people at Play+Record.

Get a listen to the the vinyl crackle dance beat cool of Pearl Necklace's cut “Did You Feel It? (Feat. Arp)”. Their debut Soft Opening comes out January 29 from Smalltown Supersound.

Hold on to your heads as LA weird-beat-maker Don Froth delivers his new bass speaker-melter, “VAP” from the two year in the making REflex EP coming December 11 from UNO NYC.

Peep Nosaj Thing's video for “Eclipse/Blue,” made with a dazzling display of lights and design by Daito Manabe, takcom, Satoru Higa, and MIKIKO in conjunction with The Creators Project.

Be sure to lend an ear to this following UK set from Hype Williams, where Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland drop a 20-minute London 2012 tour CD in your ear.

The Soft heralds from Suffolk in the UK, a trio busy working on a follow up to 2011's self-titled with an EP slated for early 2013 on Ceremony. The single “Mori” made it's way down a chain of hushed circles over the past week seeking the perfect key loop to drift into a soul quenching pool of peaceful solitude and tranquility. What we find interesting here in the offices about this is the effect of distancing the exterior elements of the listener's surroundings by slowing things down in a bit and appealing in tones that provide shelter, comfort and / or solace for an upcoming year full of unknown variables.

Oxnard, CA's Oh No delivered the video trailer for his forthcoming Disrupted Ads (Audio Dispensary System) album on January 29 from Kash Roc Entertainment. The full-length is said to have appearances from Oh No's collaboration with Alechemist as Gangreene, Blu, MED, Souls of Mischief, and more.

Mitzi gave a listen to a dance forward rehearsal take of their life-affirming title track “Truly Alive” from their forthcoming debut, due in early 2013 from Future Classic.

The Babies are touring for their recent Woodsist release of Our House On The Hill and bring us their Timothy Fiore directed video for “Baby”. Cassie Ramone steps into the projected spotlight of a variety of different settings, stages, backdrops, that flashes by in time to the single that sounds like the most definitive thing to a Babies theme song or anthem that we have heard to date.

Freeway delivered a listen to the ringer, “True (featuring Wale)” celebrating the recent release of his album Diamond In The Ruff available from Babygrande Records.

Maitland brings some cold night campground fire to keep a lonely world warm with the dualling acoustic guitar gentle majesty of “Embers”.

Ambassadeurs dubbed up, slowed down and remixed Ireland's newest wonders,Young Wonder's new hit single, “To You” available now from Feel Good Lost Records. Along with Ian Ring's tight wound pop hooks, the real attraction is the versatility of Rachel Koeman's voice that sounds amazing whether the pitch shifter is moved up or down.

Psychic Ill's take the long way home on their guitar chug and lug new track, “Might Take A While”, from their upcoming Sacred Bones LP, One Track Mind.

Kendrick Lamar spilled a freestyle over TNGHT's “Higher Ground” instrumental on Gilles Peterson's BBC 6 Radio show rhyming about London cabbies, UK persuasions and intrigues and the tongue in cheek, “I don't know when I'll be goin' back to Cali”.

After a year's worth of waiting, Mr. Gnome released their “House of Circles” video, directed and edited and written by Mister Gnome duo team of Nicole Barille and Sam Meister from their album Madness in Miniature. with the following accompanying story:

“The evil Queen Machine in her bid for immortality destroyed the world around her, eating everything in sight until there was nothing left. With no more life to power her machine, she turned to the source of all life, the sun. Bit by bit she ate the sun. Her devastation was met with resistance by a small group of rebels dubbed, The Collectors. One by one they recollected the pieces of the sun to put back in the sky, so life could live again. They fought what was a losing battle to the Queen and her minion army, The Sun Stealers. With the sun powering their half machine bodies, they were too strong. The rebel army was decimated. All of The Collectors fell until there was only one, and with her she held the Lone Star. She was the last living being holding the last pieces of the sun. With her was the last chance for life to live again.”

INDYNS brings you their “don't, don't say too much” dark dream whispers in the video for “Destroyher” directed by Bob Geile filled with occultist activity and high drama battles to the death.

INDyNS | Destroyher from Bob Geile on Vimeo.

Buke & Gase dropped their title track, “General Dome”, a war march aggressive progression for the world to hear with awe. B&G's brings music to soundtrack decisive battles and to provide some accompanying intensity the next time you host one of your Stratego board game parties. General Dome comes out January 29 from Brassland.

Substantial delivered the conscious prayer for Baltimore with local visuals from Ariel “Rel” Nuñez on the video for “See Hear” off the Mello Music Group LP, Home is Where The Art Is.

Hesk has been simmering your dark evening moods with the track, “At Night” this month, and in case you missed or found its vocal tremors moving in subterranean formations while you sought out the reverberations from the underground blindly.

Red and East Is East's Pepi Ginsberg has a new project called Companion, and released the Alec Sutherland directed video for “20th Century Crime” where a couple's comfy cabin in the woods is taken over by Pepi and friends until their eventual return sends the trespassers running. The single can be found on iTunes while Ginsberg's Companion self-titled debut is scheduled for release in February, 2013.

akaFRANK dropped the track “Awesome Jawsome” featuring Iamsu!, Jay Ant & P-Lo with Su! on the production wheels of steel. Fresh off releasing the video for his single “Racist (My Dick Ain't)“, crusading to end racism from London to the Bay gathers up the HBK Gang to back him up as he keeps the world waiting on his forthcoming The Boycott mixtape due in early 2013.

Get ready to get “So Destroyed” with Emeralds duder Mark McGuire's “Road Chief Destroyed Mix” of Prince Rama's single. McGuire takes the voice trailings of Taraka and Nimai Larson and introduces some good old fashioned Roland Synthesizers and MPC1000 arrangments. If you have yet to get in on the apocalyptic trip that some might call one of this year's best albums, look no further than Prince Rama's Top Ten Hits of the End of the World available now from Paw Tracks.

Dream Curtain is William Hamparsomian with his single “This Landscape Is Our Escape”. Listen to the single that is already causing many to experience latent memory resurfacing that may or not have existed but respond to the craft of Hamparsomian's careful control over frequencies from the keyboards percussion and drifting vocals.

Girls Names provide another glimpse at their forthcoming LP progression with a listen to “Hypnotic Regression”. The New Life will be released February 26 from Slumberland Records.

Curren$y dropped his Priest Andretti mixtape bringing along friends Fiend, Noreaga, Trademark Da Skydiver, Young Roddy, for another cinematic concept theme ride of beats and quick witted flows.

Giving us some inspiration taken from Texas's Big Thicket National Preserve is a listen to Linus Pauling Quartet's “Southern Pine”, an ode to taking time to enjoy the southern splendors of forestry. Their album Bag of Hammers is available now on CD and digital while their 2 decade box set retrospective, Assault on the Vault of the Ancient Bonglords is slated for release on December 18.

The Mary Onettes dropped the video for their single “Evil Coast” available now while the forthcoming album album Hit the Waves comes out March 12, 2013 from Swedish imprint, Labrador Records. If the mean coasts roughed and toughed up by front man Philip Ekström, it must be his alliance with producer Dan Lissvik of Service alum production fame from the likes of The Embassy, Studio, Young Galaxy, and so forth.

Ottawa's The Souljazz Orchestra starts their U.S. tour this week and we have their rousing number, “Serve And Protect” (Frankie Francis – Sofrito ReWork). More African pan-global sounds await on Souljazz's album Solidarity available through Strut.

Western Medication (formerly Western Medicine) are preparing their The Painted World EP debut to drop January 29 from Jeffrey Drag Records and win the punk drag strip race for quickest track that delivers the goods on demand and keeps you bouncing for minutes to hours after. Press play, then pogo around, press play again, pogo some more, repeat as needed.

Anenon's remix of Gold and Soil's “Where Or When” loops keys and atmospheres around samples of “I still remember” and bright beats.Gold and Soil's self-titled debut available now from Non Projects.

Wais P dropped his new cut, “Live My Bars” produced by Grussle from P's PV$$Y Rich mixtape to tide you over until the forthcoming Pimpin Saved My Life album coming next year from Man Bites Dog Records. Wais wraps up his own dedication to the game in terms of past, present with future plans with a commitment like, “slay songs for the masses, pimp 'till I'm 50, then retire a pastor.”

Touché's duo of Alex Lilly and Bram Inscore cover Prefab Sprout's “Wild Horses” that takes on a new life in warmer, peaceful, musical waters. While we await more from Touché, the two have found themselves busy in a plethora of their extra-curricular activities with Alex busy with The Living Sisters and Bram accompanying Beck, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Thurston Moore, while juggling duties in Twin Shadow. Listen further.

Then prepare to get so real and 'feel the power' with Unicorn Kid's “Feel So Real” electronic, histrionics and future romantics from the single coming January 6 via Ultra Music.

Peep the Dog Blood video for “Next Order” directed by Sil van der Woerd, from the Boysnoize Records/OWSLA/Big Beat EP that brings acid electro beats to the streets of Europe, in the mind of a raver gone astray from the party.

Back in 2001, 2002; The Weathermen were Copywrite, El-P, Camu Tao, Tage Future, Cannibal Ox, Jakki Da Motamouth, and Yak Ballz and they collaborated on the following cut that has been resurrected as, “The Only Weathermen Song” from the MHZ Legacy vaults. Listen to this historic nugget now.

Seattle's Alex Osuch is DJAO who dropped his Screwmixes from Hush Hush Records that takes a closer look at aspects and elements of pop music constructs and examines them in unique perspectives of sound. While much has been made of Osuch being indebted to the work of the late DJ Screw; our interest is how DJAO takes various facets from the works of Anita Baker, Grimes, Janet Jackson, Kashif, Mint Condition, Mount Kimbie, and Super Junioir, and puts them under a microscope lens to bring out textures while spinning it up according to his own rhythmic design.

You may have seen this every where else but just in case we bring you the David Lewandowski directed video, starring Elijah Wood for “Tiny Tortures” off of Flying Lotus's much lauded album, Until the Quiet Comes from Warp. Also, the mystery behind the Captain Murphy character is said to have been FlyLo all along performing “Between Friends” alongside Earl Sweatshirt. So now you know.

Julia Holter presents her Yelena Zhelezov directed video for “Goddess Eyes II” off the beloved RVNGintl release, Ekstasis. Here Julia observes a world of objects, shapes and miniatures as she recites the “Goddess Eyes” tragic piercing gaze recitation of, “I can see you but my eyes aren't allowed to cry”.

Montreal's Marble Lion is Jeremy Jacobsen, Jordan Juras and Karl Thelen that have been crafting dream sounds since they met at McGill University in Quebec. They share with us today their video for “Old Man” that gathers the kind of sporting fandom from the Far East that is a far cry from your days in high school marching band. Both this single and their recent Foliage EP (mastered by BRAIDS' Taylor Smith) is available now from their Bandcamp.

Peaking Lights are the latest to remix Errors, where they present a drum and keyboard sparkle re-threading of “Ammaboa Glass”. The lights sends you light signals through trans-neurally via soundwaves you can see with eyes closed. Errors' New Relics LP is available now from Rock Action Records.

Tune into the 'unreleased and basically unheard' Lunice remix of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs' “Trouble” where the minor key drops play out in strange ways through the tinker toy rhythm repeaters of “trouble, trouble…” TEED's tour kicks off December 13 at Webster Hall, NYC.

We bring you Long Island's Rice Cultivation Society, fronted by Derek Smith who drops by his acoustic single “King Midas”. RCS's album Sky Burial will be available January 15 from Mecca Lecca Recording Co.

As thoughts of SXSW 2013 dance like sugar plums in our heads, San Francisco's premier classicist duo Craig Ventresco and Meredith Axelrod dropped their TX-express video for “I'm Going Back to Texas”. While longing for the better care of the Southern heart, Meredith tells us that the wintry railways were captured from travel in Chicago. “I adore images of trains and I got to ride in the front car that day, and they usually never let you, so I filmed out the front window. It was snowing, and below 0, and they had fires on the tracks. I love to hear the grinding of the bell.” Catch Axelrod's songbird modern American hymns and Ventresco's white-lightning picking that treats the 78 like the new cassette.

Flume is blowing up the Australian iTunes charts and beating your girl Taylor Swift for the top download spot. But then again, if you were making trippy-trap action tracks like “Star Eyes” you might be #1 too. His debut is avalaible now via iTunes.

Not even a foot out the doo from our offices when San Francisco by way of Nashville's Evil Eyes gave us a package of some modern western gothic mean side twang, declaring that they don't want anyone to love them with “Half A Heart”. We patiently await their debut full-length coming in early 2013.

Who knows about the holidays better than our Boston buddies The Hush Now who drop the painful, but all too real, “I'm Always Broke in December” which reads like the preface I have to explain to friends and family alike as a legal disclaimer that apologizes for the general lack of disposable income that those more successful than I enjoy.

We leave you now with Zoe Boekbinder as she channels her experience from the troubadour roads of Los Angeles, New Orleans through the rust belt to Oakland where she covers Leonard Cohen's modern classic “I'm Your Man”, regardless of gender specification.

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