Week in Pop: Crystal Stilts, Jacaszek, Thee Cormans

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Working out the last minute costume details with the Week in Pop.

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Sjimon Gompers | October 28, 2011

Bros working up their Halloween courage <a href="http://newbornrodeo.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/exposition-vampire-weekend/">via</a>

Bros working up their Halloween courage via

At a time of great output by our beloved up and coming indie artists and groups, the lamestream corporate music media is on an agenda of pushing the same old faces in the same way that Rolling Stone keeps questionable rock legends in print. Normally I can duck away from most Chris Martin press blast blitzkriegs, but Coldplay was everywhere this week on account of some new album, then there was Beyoncé's seductive but forgetable “Party” with J. Cole, while the Black Keys complained about being “Lonely Boy(s)” that could be licenced for a date site commercial. Goes to show that just because a big name artist has contractual obligations to fulfill, their listening public are not contractually obliged to listen. So never mind all that and check out what we have been listening to this week in no particular order.

Like the track name from Western Xterminator, Jennifer Herrema has changed her band's name from RTX to Black Bananas. The passion came from a colllective decision from bandmates Brian Mckinley, Kurt Midness, Jaimo Welch and Nadav Eisenman to take on a new title while still invested in the group's continuation of ripped-up denim ethics. We keep hearing great things about an upcoming single called “My House” and hear that the official Black Bananas LP, Rad Times Express IV, comes out January 31 on Drag City. In the meantime rock out to the video for RTX's “Black Bananas” as we wait for leaks. Stand by friends.

Bass Drum of Death released their new track “I Dunno” this week along with the above winter tour dates. A much talked about track here at the Impose water cooler with some retorts of “track of the week,” postulations of night-before amnesia song meanings, or just a perfect, noisy slice of pop. Should you be in the EU, look out for BDOD on tour.

Crystal Stilts dropped the track “Dark Eyes” from their forthing coming EP Radiant Door, due November 15 on Sacred Bones. It echoes the kind of accordian organ fuzz and hand clap confidence that builds the track higher than where the reverb stacked vocals carry you. Thanks again to the good work and output from the folks at Sacred Bones, where the art of the song, single, EP and LP is still regarded in an esteem rarely found in a world of trending disposabilities.

Craft Spells performed “Morning Heat” this week, making it their final installment at Incase Room 205. But if you need more from the lovely Spells, check out our debut of their excellent “Party Talk” here.

Fantasma's self-titled 7″ turned our heads this week, with Kam Tambini's gritty “Blind Children (shake).” Dark and foreboding, a deep, warm gauze of fuzz encircles the track like fog with guitar tones that remind you why like this rock n' roll stuff to begin with. The B-side “La Maga” showcases Kam's Peruvian roots, while keeping the bass lines rooted in D.C. punk with all the NYC art guitar to drive you wild. Listen now.

HTRK's video for “Bendin” depicts a more cinematic approach to the Melbourne duo's otherworldly sounds. From their recent Work (work, work,), born out of grief, the T-2 like realms of video arcade parlors and foreign market squares solidify the new grounds, new directions, and new worlds that Jonnine and Nigel create from coping with their loss.

Before Yuck takes off on a world tour with Fanzine, Gross Magic and Old Forest, get a listen to their charming cover of Happy End's “Natsu Nandesu.” Originally a bonus track on the Japanese version of their album on Pachinko Records, you can find Yuck's deluxe 2CD edition of their self-titled out now stateside on Fat Possum.

And because Halloween is around the corner, Thee Cormans released “Open the Gates” featuring all the season's surf rock cheese and grind that you crave. With a passion for The Deadly Ones, Frankie Stein & his Ghouls, these Southern Californians take the mantle of this thrash n' trash-monster-mash sub-genre very seriously. So seriously that they have titled their new album Halloween Record w/ Sound Effects. It's arrived in time for the holiday this week courtesy of In the Red. Listen for when the Dick Dale riffs turn dark corners and resonate with some minor keys as if to say, “Hey, we're metal-ish too you know!”

Esinchill dropped his new mixtape The Appetizer this week. That should hold you over until he releases the Hate Food EP sometime soon. DJ D-Sharp hosts along with production from Beat Roc, Cras and C-Dash with guests that feature Marcell William, Mistah FAB, R.O.D Project, Nate' and Samm. Download The Appetizer here.

Other than some benign defacing of Eugène Delacroix's painting, “Liberty Leading The People; “The Spits proclaimed news of a new album with the single “My Life Sucks.” Whether or not you buy their alleged hardships, look for their self-titled (like every other Spits record) November 1 on In the Red.

Akron/Family is celebrating the launch of their label Family Tree with Bad Weather California's album, Sunkissed. To mark the occaision, the Denver group has been running around the states working hard and rocking maybe a little harder as evident from this live video bit entitled “BTS.” Remind me later to nurture my hush-hush side project Decent Weather Colorado when you got a free minute.

Sophie Hunger put out the single “The Boat is Full” amid news of a U.S. tour that starts tomorrow in LA. Taken from her album titled Sophie Hunger on Manimal, she makes a locomotive blend of guitars and vocals that lend more to the sound of a midwest troubadour than a Swiss chanteuse. Check your local listings to catch Ms. Hunger on the road and look for her self-titled album out now.

Further leaks from the upcoming FAC. DANCE compilation is A Certain Ratio's “Wild Party.” I was always dissapointed that their moment in 24 Hour Party People was a bit piece of Tony Wilson, a la Steve Coogan referencing the group as the “better dressed” Joy Division. In a world already obsessed with the Ian Curtis legacy and the subsequent and overstated electro pomp of New Order; ACR has always remained one of the more overlooked outfits on the Factory imprint. They could give you the Manchester gloom with a pulse to help even the pastiest “no-hopers” dance at the Hacienda. Look for the future epic compilation FAC. DANCE coming out on Strut.

As Woods prepares this upcoming month for a December tour of the East Coast and the South, we discovered this cool live video of them performing “Blood Dries Darker.” On album or live, the Woods never dissapoint.


Maria Minerva dropped “Gloria” this week from her upcoming Sacred & Profane Love EP set to be released November 15 on 100% Silk. A follow-up to Cabaret Cixous that was released so recently it might has well have been yesterday, Minerva continues to mine the musical field that makes clothing boutiques chic while dressing the listener in laid back beats and soft vocals.

While on the topic of artists on the dance-crazed Not Not Fun imprint 100% Silk; Saphire Slows released an official leak of “Spin Lights Over You” from their upcoming True Breath EP due November 8. Super grooves, distant and heady vocals; you love it already.

100% Silk is also celebrating their first year as a label with a November showcase tour with their acts Innergaze, Ital, LA Vampires, Magic Touch, and Octo Octa at the following dates on the flyer.

We also heard a preview of Polish artist Jacaszek from his album Glimmer with the track “Dare-gale.” He delivers a modern balance of the classical yet contemporary slow boil and sparse instrumental samples that spin harpsichords to James Earl Jones-breathed keyboard sustains. We have also heard that Michal Jacaszek is a fan of Tim Hecker's work and if the track “Dare-gale” is any indication, Glimmer could make a good companion to Hecker's Ravedeath, 1972 that came out earlier this year. Mark your holiday gift wish lists as Glimmer will be released December 6 on Ghostly International.

While Greece gets bailed out yet again by the EU, at least the world gets another listen to the Grecian export Keep Shelly in Athens with the track “DIY.” While the sophistication of the track lends more than the misleading do-it-yourself title, we're giving extra points here for the Tyler the Creator piano throughout the track. Our Own Dream is a 12″ that follows up their debut In Love With Dusk and hits the shops November 8 on Forest Family.

Fanzine gave us a video for “Roman Holiday,” a well-crafted excercise in expert video montage editing. Every image with a purpose and on the beat, a visual reminder that the 7-inch single drops November 22 on Fat Possum.

And to close the week, check out Andy Shernoff's “Are You Ready to Rapture” and the accompanying animated video. Just in time for this year's Halloween, it was only a matter of time before somebody exploited the world's obsessive zombie trend with the motif of Christ's return. Happy Halloween folks.

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