Week in Pop: Drowner, Food Pyramid, Pontiak

Sjimon Gompers

Reaching for the stars, er, clouds, um, smoke! (VIA)

This week we learned that Earl Sweatshirt has been released from his Samoan juvenile penitentiary via twitter followed by the hyped track “Home“, while fellow OFGWFTA member Domo Genesis recorded “Ground Up” with Wiz Khalifa. Also the looming threat of a Converse-blessed collaboration track between Andre 3000, Gorillaz, and James Murphy is on the rise: it's called “DoYaThing”, and it's coming sooner than we want. But then again who has it better than “Kanye and Jay Z in Paris” in that epileptic seizure inducing Staples Center video? Also watching their thrones is the excessive Jersey Shore police detail, or the Death Row don Suge Knight getting busted for grass at a traffic stop, and then to top it all off you got #LDR's debut coming in at number 2. But for those in need of something more we invite you to read further into the intrigues and fascinations from the week in no particular order.

Theophilus London dropped a Bing ad to stir up some search engine buzz. Had he not done so, the music blogging community might have forgotten all about the Bill Gates search alternative. Maybe since Google has gone all social-engineering-big-brother-network on us with nebulous privacy amalgamations; Microsoft can prop up Sir London as the fresh hip face to make web browsing full of new possibilities, like when you discovered the joys of Alta Vista's treasures back in the day on your school's super fast T1 connection. Maybe Mr. London, in conjunction with Bing, can inspire you too to make music, play 300 shows in 1 year's time, and live like a boss without anyone's permission.

Jada Wagensomer is readying to release her debut as Brass Tax with the Brass Tax Album March 6 on Neurotic Yell. If baroque outings made by LA artists is your cup of tea than hold your Van Dyke Parks-horses and feast your ears on this bandcamp sampler of an instrument-rich song cycle.

Jonquil's video for “It's My Part” got us pumped this week with shining pop brilliance. There is everything in here for the avid alt pop lover; the UK radio bleed your emotive soul vernacular, the festival stage poly-rhthms that keep the angular guitars strumming in equal time, all the fixings for top-5 playlist pefection. Be the first to adore this and their weird video with the pony tail gal lip syncing along. Jonquil's Point of Go is slated for release February 21 on Dovecote. Also enjoy the Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaur's Remix of “Point of Go” here.

Tajai dropped Machine Language this week on his bandcamp with production courtesy of Sacramento's Sleeprockers. Along with Hiero appearances, further cameos include B-Real of Cypress Hill, Crooked I, DJ Revolution, The Pharcyde, Ras Kass and Tech N9ne and confirmed rumors of Tajai's big album Rap Noir due this spring on his new imprint Clear Label Records.

Farewell Republic hit us up with early warning about the arrival of their album Burn the Boats with this promo video for the upcoming release shows. So join the Republic, wrap yourself in the flag of freedom, don a pair of pantyhose on your head, and get ready for their album release on February 21 via bandcamp/iTunes and vinyl. The Republic's record release party will be held at the Mercury Lounge with Fantasmas on Feb 22 and another will be presented by Monument Festival at DC9 with Heads on Sticks for the benefit of DC Votes, Feburary 23 in Washington, DC.

Fenster is the latest to sign to Morr Music with an aura of electricity surrounding their March 13 release date for their album Bones. The NY/Berlin trio just recorded their debut in 8 days time involving magic and studio window breakage and are now planning their live debut with appearances in SXSW. We will be watching and listening further.

We also caught the new Twerps video for “Through the Day” from the Melbourne quartet's self-titled on Underwater Peoples/Chapter Music. It might remind you of that sort-of NSFW video from Yuck that came out last year, sans the NSFW stuff.

Expensive Looks presents the video for “Vanishers” off of their debut album Dark Matters. The Giacomo Francia-directed video plays on the boyhood fears of panda suited bogeyman in the closet that want to take you on a raved out NYC odyssey rather than a recreation of Tetsuo's teddy bear nightmare in Akira. Dark Matters is out now on Group Tightener.

A lot of buzz surrounding Stalley's “God's Child” from Songs by Me, Stalley. What you get is some excellent Block Beattaz production to keep our hands waving in the air for Stalley's upcoming epic Savave Journey to the American Dream coming soon.

Drowner caught us offguard this week with the mind expanding elegance of “Never Go Away.” Heralding from Space City, USA – Houston, TX – the band are like dreamancers that repeat the sounds that have made their way from the unconscious into the awakend world of far away sounding buzz-saw guitars. Drowner's self-titled comes out March 13 on Saint Marie.

Keepaway's video for “Vital” brings you into a morning of the life of Brooklyn's psych loving music makers. Their album Black Flute is out now on Das Racist's label operated by Heems, Greedhead Music.

Check this bro out Charles I who just injected some clubby house knocks in his remix of Grimes' “Vanessa.” We assure you that Charles remix is even hipper than his UO wardrobe. Swear.

While in the VIP line for the club, get decadent with MUMBLS. The video for “Parachute” we are told is inspired by real life events of sirens, beverages, chemicals, and directed by Ben Griffin. For Mr. MUMBLS here it seems to be just another day, “I'm so selfishly hung over that nothing can pull me away from smoking my weed and sipping my brew, not even a boobtastic girl fight. I just drank a gang of beer and smoked until I really didn't care or know what was going on, I almost forgot we were even filming a video.” Keep your eyes peeled for the Berkeley, Californian rapper's mixtape Hella Novellas coming soon.

As we have heard and forecasted, Main Attrakionz are turning up their 2012 game with a listen to their new track “Focalin” produced by Tyler Bisson and a host of tour dates. We understand and know MondreMan and Squadda B as the self-proclaimed 'best duo ever' through their work with producers AHYVE, Clams Casino, Friend Zone, Julian Wess and we are proud to say that Mr. Bisson keeps the Attrakionz beats and rhymes flowing on the clouds in mind and overhead. Check the above dates on the flier for Main Attrakionz tour of the East Coast also with dates for SXSW.

If you dig artists that work with old school 8-bit sounding noisemakers and other vintage flavors then you are going to love the video for Super Guachin's “La Gorra.” You can find their album Piratas y Fichines available now on Waxploitation.

Catch the video for Doe Paoro's “Born Whole” full of blind trust motifs and other backwoods strangeness.

Also getting mad love from the press hubs this week was Plants and Animals' “Song for Love.” With tight chops, shiny production and main stage passion; The End of That comes out February 28 on Secret City Records.

Tech N9ne has been busy lately with appearances on various tracks but the big news is swirling around word of his “Hostile Takeover Tour 2012” that is boasting 90 shows in 99 days which is bound to break all kinds of records. Check your local listings and get yourself pumped with Tech and the Strange Music crew.

Nite Jewel released the new track “In the Dark” showcasing the new fancy smooth production from her upcoming album One Second of Love. What we learn from the relaxed choruses of “holding hands in the dark” is that Ramona Gonzalez has traded in her Good Evening chill for late-night-riding-in-a-Camaro ride smooth. One Second of Love drops March 6 on Secretly Canadian.

Speaking of alt divas, you can be the first on your block to hear Frankie Rose's new album Insterstellar here before the February 21 drop date on Slumberland/Memphis Industries.

If some good time glitch electro sounds good right now, than help yourself to a dose of Torkelsen's “Markjordbaer” The track comes from the Norwegian artist's self-titled debut album coming out March 6 on Sellout! Records. If you need more until then, you are invited to revisit his remixes.

Fly Moon Royalty celebrated the release of their self-titled debut this week and treated us to an official listen of “Roxy.” The Seatle duo of AdraBoo and Action Jackson give us their fresh approach to all matters of indie dance, hip-hop, funk and some deep syrup rich synth sequences. Fly Moon Royalty is out now on Sportin' Life Records.

Unicycle Loves You released the video for “Piranha”, full of shot-by-the-band fun. The video depicts them freaking out and playing while paying tribute to Dia de los Muertos in full face paint and costume. The video is shot in super '90s alternative S-VHS. Their album Failure promises to succeed February 14 on Mecca Lecca Recording Company.

Should you need a listen to a new Kirko Bangz freestyle, enjoy this just dropped track “I'm On” courtesy of Warner Brothers.

Should a contemporary band without “magic” in their titling moniker be put under the critical musical-journalistic microscope or thrown under the buzz bus? Thankfully for Magic Wands that question will remain unanswered. What this synth pop duo refers to as 'lovewave' is some catch and kitsch that brings to mind no shortage of male-female duos of the decade past, but a whole lotta litanies of, “I fell in love.” Their album Aloha Moon comes out April 24 on Bright Antenna Records.

Watch the behind-the-scenes of Waka Flocka Flame's video “Applause” on site in ATL / LA. In between takes Waka and Drake bro down while Basketball Wives LA star Draya explains her character and motivation in the song/video. The single “Applause” is available now via iTunes and Waka's second LP Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family is expected to hit the shops this spring.

Food Pyramid's debut album Mango Sunrise marks another large step into dance music that traverses the disco-house kitches for some soft-boiled dance exploration. Our repeat listens to “Oh Mercy” draw us into the drum synth simmer, only broken by bridges and bars of guitar and blessed dissonance. Pre-order is available now while Mango Sunrise rises March 6 on Moon Glyph.

San Francisco's Terry Malts were featured this week in Yours Truly's Neighborhood series featuring the trio live in action, rooftop interviews and hype for their upcoming album Killing Time out February 21 on Slumberland Records.

A short film by Pamela Littky dropped on our radar early this week called Strange Thunder: The Evolution of Howlin Rain. See and listen to frontman Ethan Miller reflect on bands past, being discovered by Rick Rubin and the subsequent American Records signing and the nuts and bolts of the songwriting process. Howlin' Rain's The Russian Wilds arrives this Valentines Day, February 14 on American Records.

While we are in documentary-ish mode, here is a Creato Destructo short about Bowerbirds' upcoming album The Clearing. What you get here is the full emotional rollercoaster of Philip Moore and Beth Tacular's on again-off again-on again relationship trials in their own words and the impact on their upcoming album The Clearing available February 21 on Dead Oceans.

Also while vibing out in the MTV Hive and catching up on the latest Weird Vibes webisodes, I caught our friends Lightouts track “The Cure for Shyness.” We just want to say, “Well done, lads.”

Francis Harris got his tracked “Lost Found” remixed by Black Light Smoke. Harris dedicated his forthcoming album Leland in the memory of his father in name and releasing it near the second of his passing on February 28 on Scissor & Thread. This is for those that like their house music to have a strong soul within the mix.

Late to the Pontiak party, we were able to catch their video for “Lions of Least” off of their forthcoming Echo Ono February 21 on Thrill Jockey. The band of Carney brothers made a video full of night and twilight images of trees, campfires with a definite emphasis on fire to better decorate their harshed, hash bar fuming rock.

In our continuing coverage of the Monterey scene comes a new instrumental from Jimmy Moonboots called “Interlude” off the bandcamp. A drag-gier turn with thunder shower storm captures, hand claps, keys, howls, slowed down shout bits with primitive key structures bare some strangier layers of found soung gurgles.

Let Kyle Rapps sit you down and give you some real shit from the “Bully” school from the perpetrators, police, to the pulpit. A humorous video with comedic word balloons and a posi international message, the Harlem based (New Jersey born) rapper has a real message here, with horn blown flowns like, “This is how to be a bully, write your own history books, gentrify the cities with that nice Disney look.” You can find “Bully” off of Kyle's re-interpretation of the Boogie Down Productions' classic Edutainment on last years EP he called Re-Edutainment.

photo by Ruthie Swanson

If news of the upcoming White Fence double album Family Perfume Volume 1 April 3 on Woodsist was not enough; check out how the Fence's Tim Presley is teaming up with Ty Segall for a super-power-charged album called Hair. Joining Presley and Segall is Tim's brother of Nodzzz fame Sean Paul Presley along with the talents of Ty's friend and everyone's Mikal Cronin as they set the time machine dials for whenever and wherever they all want to go. Look for Tim and Ty's Hair April 28 on Drag City.

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