Summer is about here and everyone is making big cross-overs to celebrate. Snoop Dogg threw the opening pitch for a White Sox/Twins game, The National has composed songs for HBO's Game of Thrones and Prince Charles of Wales played DJ for a minute and spinned some chill beats as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in Toronto. Fascinating and all, but a bigger game awaits as we dive into this week's tracks, videos and players of interest, in no particular order.
Phédre is coming to the Mercury Lounge and you and a lucky one can see them on us if you are the number 10 person to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org the name of the French dramatist who wrote the five-act tragedy Phèdre in the 1700s. Best of luck!
We got more dynamite Knoxville pop with today's new single from Yung Life, “Isn't This” Having developed into a quartet, Elliott White, Gabriel White, Judah White and Will Farner are preparing their self-titled album for release June 21. Like the poppier sides of the Dracula Horse roster of fellow Knoxville, Tennesseans, Yung Life's future is sounding bright. “Isn't This” sounds like what we hope Billboard charting bands of 2013 all sound like on every Clear Channel station everywhere. It could happen! Tune in and repeat the declarative refrain of, “All i used to feel was happiness around me, simple thoughts and simple words, all I ever feel is emptiness around me, isn't this.”
Catch the latest track and video from East Bay's Kreayshawn featuring an appearance from Houston's 2 Chainz coming in clutch. Maybe the chutzpah and chi of Adam Yauch has provided some invigorated enlightenment for Ms. Natassia Gail Zolot, aka ‘Young Kreay Hefner’, as she entertains her inner bubbie by cooking pancakes for her friends and joining them for “Breakfast (Syrup).” Word is out that much talked about Kreayshawn album Somethin' About Kreay will finally drop August 14 from Columbia.
Tom Kitty Oliver is Andrew of Pressed And, and he caught up with us the other day to introduce his new solo project.
“I recorded these songs after getting home from tour with Pressed And this past April. To me, the album is significant because it's my first solo record ever. All my previous projects have been collaborations, so this was the first time I found my individual voice or sound. And my previous collaborative work had all been electronic whereas the songs on Life on Loop were each recorded in one sitting into an old reel to reel I found sitting on the sidewalk in San Francisco. The similarities to previous collaborations lie in the emphasis on texture and emotional resonance; the album also shares a similar feeling of coherence or global connectedness within the entire work with my previous collaborations. “
TKO delivers pop structures that hinge off of the way the listener's expectations are betrayed while other realms of composition order are sought out, like on the head swirling “A May Instinct.” The chord progressions work against the linear conventions of playing, with chord changes and picking time signatures and keyboard drones in hushed sustains. “Pinnacle Cow” is the best sounding un-grounded bit of speaker-box grit with gorgeous noise wall undercurrents and a template for the chillest guitar loop of the summer.
“While recording each track, I would try to zone out as much as possible in attempt to let my unconscious thoughts and feelings serve as guides for the direction of the songs. I never knew exactly what a song would sound like when first starting, but by the end of the process, I knew I had stated what I had been feeling at the time. In that way, this album is as much seven archived meditations as it is seven recorded songs.”
Ecid released the video for his track “Surprise You” involving surprise parties, hanging bills out to dry and slamming down the young cynics. Not going for broke but going for amazing, Twin Cities' hip hop mainstay lists the likes of Eyedea, Awol One, Kristoff Krane amongst his formal collaborators and recently mashed up Kings of Leon sampled beats for NWA's rhymes in Ecid's masterful undertaking entitled Kings Of Compton: NWA vs. Kings Of Leon. This is the best thing you have heard from the Kings since they were an NME buzz band. Ecid's forthcoming album Werewolf Hologram is coming June 19.
Following the official leak of “Whoop Ass” from Oxnard MC/producer Oh No's upcoming Ohnomite is new track “3 Dollars” featuring MF Doom. Brother of Madlib and Otis Jackson's son; Oh No (real name Michael Jackson) has prepared a Rudy Ray Moore cut up of the actor/proto-rapper's tunes, audio bites taken from The Human Tornado, Petey Wheatstraw and the entire Dolemite audio repetoire. Also on the disc look out for spots from The Alchemist, Chino XL, Erick Sermon, Evidence, Frank Nitt, Guilty Simpson, MED, Phife Dawg, Prozack Turner, Rapper Pooh, Roc C, Roc Marciano,Sticky Fingaz, Termanology and probably a few more that I'm spacing on. Ohnomite drops June 5 but you can get your “3 Dollars” now.
Lauren Green, otherwise known as LRN GRN released her Easy Spirits EP this week on her label Wild Tan Records. Familiar with most as the frontwoman of Follow that Bird where she is wrapping up a recording with fellow Austinites, her solo work as LRG GRN where she goes from Texan desperado folk as featured on “Quilts” to the electronic frontiers of “Pinholes” before going to back to her own line of echoplex Americana.
Casual dropped his album He Still Think He Raw from Hiero Imperium this week and dropped the fun, hookah sipping video for “Sushi” featuring Mr. Town. Self-directed by Casual and his own Wetfoot Filmworks, he and Mr. Town kick it while counting their blessings and extravagances from the fine catches to the bottles of prestige.
Gigamesh released a video cut from the 1984 film Breakin' for the “Dream On” video. The break dancing epic gets edited to go with the big key bump that pulls off the contemporary look of classic films condensed to music video shorts. The release of Gigamesh's EP All My Life comes out May 28 on Kitsuné.
Seattle's Fly Moon Royalty releaed the Dimension EP as a thank you to fans for their love and support. The album is built around the single “My Heart Keeps Pumping”, while “The Birthday Song” is the sound of timeless, endless summer romance. Special honors to their track “I'm the Shit” that depicts the dynamic between Adra Boo's and Action Jackson approach to verse and production, steeping their favorite soul records next to a wax stack featuring their favorite West Coast rap discs from the past 25 years.
Jump into the water with Teen Daze and the warm water tropics in the visual treatment of “Treten.” Just in time for summer break comes Teen Daze's All Of Us, Together slated for release June 5 from Lefse Records.
Recorded in the afterhours from Five Points studio is SL Jones and DJ Burn One's mixtape Paraphernalia available now for downloading consumption. Not content with telecommuting their collaboration, the the MC and producer have here what is rumored to be their best full length release to date with Burn's group iNDEED reinforcing the musical situation. Also get a listen to Jones's new track “M.E.M.P.H.I.S.” featuring Freddie Gibbs with production none other than the ATL's cool as fire, smooth as fire, DJ Burn One.
Get a ready for rad ride into the Grave Babies world with the video for lead off track from their Gothdammit EP, “Fuck Off.” The visuals lean closer to the Christian Death aesthetic than the cult of the Cure but the sound belongs to the Seattle bunch that indulges in the po-mo freeplay of goth-y signifiers and know how to start an EP with a single-finger-saluted pop anthem. Grave Babies' EP Gothdammit is out now on Hardly Art.
More from Seattle with Fatal Lucciauno's video for “Big Bro.” Sawyer Purman and Ben Anderson of Altrac Productions handle the footage that depicts night rights through the Central District with a toast to the tough women of the inner city of the Northwest making it happen.
After hyping Alice Cohen's beautiful Micki Pellerano directed video for “Cascading Keys”, we examine the track as a work that rains down key drops of sun. Cohen's photosynthesis works by referring to jubilant abundance of keyboard progressions not as piece to be referred to as cold synth pop but an expression of sound, as if the “Cascading Keys” had color correspondances. Alice Cohen's album Pink Keys drops June 12 on Olde English Spelling Bee.
This week Bam Spacey released the much anticipated Land EP on Ceremony Recordings and you can enjoy a first listen streaming here for a limited time. Spacey, aka Magnus Johansson, crafts some of Sweden's forward thinking electro grooves that originate from the earth while vocals sing in the mother tongue of Malmö, Sweden, moving like sleepy mist pierced by the aurora borealis beams from the northern lights.
Get a glimpse of DIIV's Zachary Cole Smith taking apart everything from car stereos, cut out words from books, images from paper, hard drive bits and concocting it all in a blender in the visual accompaniment to “How Long Have You Known?”. DIIV's debut album Oshin comes out June 26 on Captured Tracks.
Keep your eyes peeled as you are about to embark on a night-crawling wild time with Permanent Collection in their video for “It's Alright.” Join Jason, Megan, Brenden and Mike as they take on their town SF sipping 40s in the backseat with a special visit to the Mission's dankest dive, Clooney's. Coming soon, Permanent Collection's full length Newly Wed Nearly Dead LP this August 7 on Loglady Records.
Dent May's latest indie hit single “Best Friend' gets dragged to the happy hour dance party in this remix by Osborne. Often while listening to that sweet, guiltless sound of Mr. May, you get so swept in the lazy southern afternoon styles that you can almost overlook the disco element. Osborne highlights this in the appropriate fashion and form, bringing “Best Friend” out of the late day backyard and hitting the vodka infused cocktails at a swanky dive. Dent May's upcoming album Do Things arrives June 12 from Paw Tracks.
House Shoes dropped The Time EP this week giving us a free spin of the track “Sweet”, which serves as a precursor to the upcoming full length. The EP boasts album tracks and instrumental exclusives reserved for this extended play release, as Shoes takes it to the Apollo Theater like the legendary James Brown performance recording to provide a stage for Danny Brown to spit rhymes “tight like Ebenezer.” House Shoes' debut album Let It Go drops June 19 on Tres Records with all production courtesy of House Shoes himself, with spots from Alchemist, Black Milk, Danny Brown, MED, Oh No, Quelle Chris, Roc Marciano, Shafiq Husayn, and more surprises along the way.
As Lindstrøm sets off on their North American tour, they shared the Oneohtrix Point Never remix of “Call Me Anytime” for the fans and recent converts. OPN cuts the original into what sounds like archival sound stock compiled for NOVA on PBS. Listen for the Call Me Anytime 12″ featuring remixes from Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and Mark McGuire. Lindstrøm's album Six Cups of Rebel is available now from Smalltown Supersound.
Two Wounded Birds make some guitar-forward indie rock and have signed to Jacob Graham from the Drums' imprint Holiday Friends Recording Company. “To Be Young” takes you back to the spaces when your room was your studio apartment and the chime of the guitar meant as much or more than your first heart break. Two Wounded Birds' self-titled LP sees US release on June 24 via Holiday Friends Recording Company and French Kiss Label Group with the UK release slated for June 4.
Get both a listen and a visual for Jonti's new single “Nightshift in Blue.” Yo Gabba Gabba's Russ Harris and Joel Fox outfitted Jonti in a fur suit as Hojo Jojo and Natalia Iswara as Luscious Dee wandering around LA on a late, sunny afternoon. Get his album Twirlgig now from Stones Throw Records and catch Jonti on tour in June at the above dates with B Lewis, Knxwledge, devonwho, Mndsgn and more TBA.
Now give it up to Swedish electronic dance pioneer Laid Back who gave us the disco amphetamine anthem “White Horse” back in the day, and just released an album of excavated, unearthed tracks from 1981 on their album Cosyland this week from Brother Music. Tracks like the featured “Cocaine Cool Extended” were accomplished with via a Pro-One monophonic synthesizer, a GR-500 guitar controller along with synth, a Roland TR-808 rhythm box, and a SH-101. They are re-released just in time to reintroduce themselves to the newcomers that owe Tim Stahl and John Guldberg a debt of gratitude and maybe some back royalties.
Zulu Winter's “Silver Tongued” gets inflated with a variety of toys and tricks by The Darcys. Enjoy the dolled up remix and listen for the random “give us tofu!” demand towards the end. Look for the the Zulu Winter album Language June 19 from Arts & Crafts.
If you ever wanted to walk around the streets of Reykjavik, Iceland, then let these two dudes from Human Woman show you around their quaint snow kingdom. Gisli Galdur and Jón Atli Helgason combine the band convention from Gisli's band Trabant while Jón mans the production controls and also operates with handle the handle Sexy Lazer. Listen for their Icelandic dance self-title debut coming out on hfn music, home of Trentemøller and Kasper Bjørke as well.
Men in Burka is Kamran Khan, a collaborator of Modern Witch and producer in his own right. Dive into Khan's take on Middle Eastern club tracks channeled for the palettes of Americans charging through the percussive world of bass heavy music but devoid of the western trappings of house and techno variants. Listen as Eastern dance gets the minor Roland key treatment with an underground approach to the many styles of traditional and contemporary dance from the Muslim world. Order Men in Burka's self-titled via Kamran's Bandcamp with CD editions limited to 100 copies featuring full color, 4-panel digipak with artwork, design and layout by Mario Zoots.
We also have an album stream of Marissa Nadler's upcoming The Sister ahead of her May 29 release date. Not only does her music reflect the spring turning to summer but marks her departure from Kemado and a celebration of releasing The Sister on her own via handmade vinyl packaging and album covers sold through Etsy and with the help of some Kickstarter success.
Feed your emotional self with How to Dress Well's “Ocean Floor for Everything” that makes sparse and excellent use of that higher pitched vocal effect heard on many Scandinavian electro tracks of late. Maybe this is because HTDW front dude Tom Krell has made the jump from Brooklyn to Berlin, working on his full length follow-up to Love Remains with Total Loss which is expected this fall on the Chi-town imprint Acéphale.
Get your sweat gear and join the women of Cocoon Central Dance Team for Warm Weather's video for “So Far/Vertigo.” Taken from their new EP Looking Through, the LA indie-poppers blend sounds reminiscent of Soweto choruses and other variations of West African styles of acapella interpreted by the West Coast's warm heated climate appreciators.
In our efforts to keep up the cool performances from our favorites at Room 205 we bring you their current band-in-residence Blouse, performing “They Always Fly Away” in what we imagine might have happened if the Man in Black performed performed some slowed-down shoe-gaze for the inmates of Folsom Prison instead of his traditional hop-along sound. Get a half-speed rhythm here thanks to director Paul Stec with audio engineering by J. Clark.
What lakeside Memorial Day weekend will be complete without Clare and the Reasons' new single “The Lake.” Perfect for those anti-social moments when you want to be alone with the mp3 player, sit on the pier and enjoy the barbecue smoke from yards away while Clare's voice makes it feel okay to spend an afternoon alone. Their third record KR-51 is the summation of the eight months from last year where the band lived in Berlin's Bergstrasse that was once considered the East sector of the city. Clare and the Reasons' KR-51 comes out July 10 in North America from Frog Stand.
K-Holes' Dismania is out now on Hardly Art and you can catch all the sax blasts from the New York kings of bad trips with the single “Frozen Stiff.”
For those that like their lead singers from the Ian Brown, Richard Ashcroft, Liam Gallagher school of morning sun worshipping idolatries, then check out Petter Ericson Stakee's “you gotta give it up” refrain on the new Alberta Cross single “Magnolia.” Following up their debut Broken Side of Time, their new album Songs of Patience comes out July 14 on ATO.
Bonde do Rolê has been making a splash with their single “Kilo” that got reworked by LA's Turbotito in the following 'Reggae Party Remix.' Listen as the Brazilian trio's track gets dubbed out with big baselines and enough gadgets whirring in the background to transform the original to a classic discomix. You can also catch the strange, seductive offiical video for the track here. Bonde do Rolê will release their second album Tropicalbacanal June 26 on Diplo's Mad Decent.
Saukrates imparts some of his own wisdom and personal appraoch with “Saukrates Philosophy Part IV” as he shares a little insight on the process of making his upcoming album Season One coming this fall. You can also catch his video for “Tomorrow” here.
We leave you with Cut Your Hair's video for “Utah in Pictures,” available now as a single from Mushroom Pillow. Here the band finds carefree days of blowing things up, target practice, playing the spin bottle, being blood brothers and sisters until parental interference puts an end to everything. Happy weekend folks.