Week in Pop: A Lily, LX Sweat, The Starfolk, VUM

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From shutdowns, showdowns, strikes and more news of general strife; the Week in Pop scans more important news you may have missed from your Möbius strip of news feeds. First up, Brooklyn's Clinton Hill neighborhood voiced protest over a petition to rename Biggie Smalls' childhood corner of St James Place and Fulton Street to Christopher Wallace Way, Cults' Brian Oblivion championed their signing to a major imprint [Columbia] over the indies in a recent Spin interview, cryptic notes/murmurs and rumors about Death Grips maybe or maybe not making a film with Robert Pattinson and Tom Hank's son Colin, while Dinosaur Jr will begin their own clothing line via NYC clothier kings, MISHKA. So make note of how all these items may or may not impact your own life, as we bring exclusives, interviews, debuts, and updates from some of our favorites-in no particular order.

A Lily, the solo project of FatCat Records operator James Vella, is proud to present the beautiful Ben Lankester directed video for, “The Sparrow In The Lemon Tree” off his upcoming Lupa EP. James Vella depicts his solo music as a ballroom dancing band that gets you up close and personal with the instruments, the preparation processes and exchanges from the two attendees, tightly hold on to every capture of almost every sounded strum from the song. With A Lily framed by the stage's arch, a seasoned couple begins their dance to the gentle stringed symphonic ceremony; courtesy of James and friends.

More precious and personal still, is that the couple in the video are actually the grandparents of James Vella. The inseparable devotion between the two presents a bond that slow-dances amid a sound that gently blooms like the natural cycles and orders of all things according to their own desires, hearts, and connective counterparts. The various intimate touches from Lankester for Progress Film provides the attention to individual parts that compose the audio holistics and audio set pieces that frame an endless romantic song and spirit for an age where convenience and preferences of the temporal and superficial tends to trump such concepts and notions of the enduring, and unconditional bonds that some still believe can exist and prevail above all material accoutrements.

Exchanging digital cables across the pond, we caught up with James Vella to discuss his solo EP Lupa, insights into his creative processes, the stories behind Lupa and the making of the gorgeous, heart warming video for “The Sparrow in the Lemon Tree”.

Tell us about the process of songwriting and crafting that went into your upcoming Lupa EP.

This is a difficult question, actually. It's hard to reverse-engineer. I like to record alone, building the pieces up one layer at a time. But that tends to happen once the composition itself is already on the way. Sometimes I find myself playing out a melody I like while I'm sitting at an instrument; sometimes it comes in a dream or a daydream and I have to rush home to get the recorder rolling before I forget. And then there's the balance between brainstorming ideas and considered arrangement. Somewhere between the two, with elements of each, lies the A Lily songwriting process. It essentially equates to lots of quiet hours spent buried in instruments, microphones, effect pedals and such. And lots of long walks along the beach when I get stuck and need time out.

Lupa also has a handful of guest players, mostly string players, as much as I would like to, I can't play the violin, and my friend and colleague Adam – from Mice Parade – helped out with some drums on one track for me too.

Who or what is Lupa?

Lupa is both a 'who' and a 'what' in this case. The EP is themed after the story of Romulus and Remus. This is an ancient Roman tale of two brothers who fought to the death over the formation of the city of Rome. They were responsible for the beginning of the Roman Empire, but Romulus had to kill his twin brother to get there. It's quite tragic and quite surreal.

The story goes that Romulus and Remus' mother was forced to abandon the twin babies in the forest, but they were rescued and raised by a feral wolf. The wolf was named Lupa. Through a series of extraordinary and magical circumstances, Lupa began one of the greatest civilizations in human history.

How did you go about choosing the moniker A Lily for a solo handle?

The name has been with me for a long time, since I was in school. I started writing electronic music when my parents bought a new family computer and let me take the old one into my room. I found lots of 303 and 808 emulators and tried to make music like Kid A with them. Someone then asked me what I wanted to call my new electronic project. I answered, 'A Lily, like the flower', and it stuck with me. The electronic music eventually evolved into something a little more organic when I realized playing guitar and piano and drumkit could contribute as well, but the name has come on the whole way with me.

What were the inspirations behind the xylophone-stringed morning glory that is, “The Sparrow in the Lemon Tree”?

Specifically, the Maltese city of Mdina. It's also known as the Silent City, and it's fortified, protected, and built from white stone on the top of a hill. It's like a preserved Medieval relic frozen in time and hushed by its own reverence. My family is Maltese, I've spent plenty of time there. On one trip fairly recently, I realized that the lemon trees in the dry moat were full of sparrows. I found myself humming a melody and scribbled down some lyric ideas about the sparrows, about how tragically easy it is for them to break their nests, but they still build something so magical from almost nothing.

It started from there. Then came organ, banjo, glockenspiel, guitar, lapsteel.

The violin lines are played by my friend Oli Knowles. He's a superb musician, a real creative talent.

How did the process of adapting it for warm visualizations of instrument close ups and morning routines come about?

Initially from a conversation with my grandparents about their dance classes. The idea that hit me first was that a pensioners' dance class would make a fantastic music video. But then I realized that the reason I found that interesting is because I'm so utterly in awe of my grandparents' inseparable devotion to each other after 60 years of marriage. They didn't need to 'act' for the video, that's really how in love they are with each other. So I shifted the plans to focus on Grandma and Grandad.

I took the idea to a director friend – my football team-mate Ben Lankester at Progress Film – and showed him a photo of my grandparents and he picked up the reins on the thing. I think he did a fantastic job. We had to convey something us young'uns have never experienced, and I think he did it. My grandparents are happy, at least.

What's the latest and most exciting things happening in Brighton these days?

Brighton is a beautiful city. The creativity is ceaseless. Two of my closest friends are bandmates in my other project, yndi halda, have fantastic solo projects named The Lunchtime Sardine Club and Vincent Vocoder Voice. Another friend of ours runs a video session website in the Blogotheque mold, Galapagos Presents. I'd also recommend checking out a brand new art collective (named Kollektiv) – they're working on a workshop and studio for emerging visual artists.

Release ceremony party plans in the works for Lupa that we should know about?

As much as I would love to party to celebrate the record release, I have weeks and weeks of work left to do on my album. And my first fiction book will be published in January, which will require some serious dedicated time too. I just set up a new band with a few buddies to start playing the Lupa songs out live. So we'll do some celebrating by playing music together. Maybe that's the best celebration, come to think of it.

Thank you for your beautiful music, James!

Really sweet of you to say. That means a lot!!

The A Lily EP, Lupa, will be available November 12 from Aagoo Records / Love Thy Neighbor.

With his album City of Sweat available now from Not Not Fun, Germany's LX Sweat got remixed by Aïsha Devi and Paco Sala. While Sweat himself likes to keep his craft on the cutting edge of Europe's electronic music mediums of audio revolution, Aïsha and Paco take to the sound works of LX with new ears that have little time for the predictability or confines of convention. Devi tuns “All Night Long” inside out to reveal a metropolitan system of circuits and freeway channels receptors built into an intricate motherboard, while Sala throws out the binary code of conduct for a completely different system of privy characters known and only understood by himself and the listener's experiential responses.

The “All Night Long” remix from Aïsha Devi turns the night into a series of moments that burn with anticipation. The rolling low tone synths murmur back and forth like the adrenaline coursing through the system of a race car driver at the starting line, planning and plotting the course and execution of performance. The passing clasps of thunder rhythms throw the beats into a slow motion gallop, entertained by vocoded transmission of brake screeches set to a varied structure of octaves. But suddenly, everything changes around the 3 minute mark. The synths get more desperate, the rhythmic sequencing becomes the pace of beating heart as the vehicle speeds into the asphalt spraying screeching of tires and a level of intensity that makes the Knight Rider theme sound tame.

The Paco Sala remix of LX Sweat's “XXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXXXX” moves the privy encoded characters down some non-linear cable connectors. Vocals keys and the presence of motions transform between large washes from the brooding undercurrent of keys. The digitized electronic components get thrown into stop and start blenders that build and maneuver through idiosyncratic arrangements that abide by initiatives taken at different response queues. The sound becomes a kind of deconstructed piece of ambient soul where the smattering of vocals remains smashed in the chopped and slowed pitch waters that wash up the samples and stems that break on impact from crashing into the rocky shores of sound.

LX Sweat talked to us about how his reponses to how the remixes have affected and altered his original works, with talk of future events.

How do you feel about Aisha Devi and Paco Sala creating that shifting night time vibe, on the remix of “All Night Long”?

I think the Aïsha Devi Remix is almost like a new song. She turned it into her own thing. Besides the completely different atmosphere she created a really challenging and floating version of All Night Long.

I like the way that screaming synth switch up mid-way through mixes up track, how do you feel this has altered and enhanced the overall narrative of your album centerpiece, City of Sweat, and the original cut?

It's not so focused on the syrup-vibe of City of Sweat. Aïsha transformed the song into her virtual-spirituality-thing, with her very own ideas of rhythm and structure.

Thoughts about Aisha and Paco creating a kind of oscillating feel implied within the title's litany of x's, on their remix of your track, “XXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXXXX”?

The Paco Sala-Remix is really surprising, especially in comparison to their other output it gets clear that the remix sounds very unusual. They added some really modern elements like the wild-quantized hi-hats, plus it's not that linear then the original.

It has a sound that reminds me of what credit and debit cards might sound like when they communicate or sing encoded information to each other. What were some of the deep encryption techniques that you employed for the original?

I used virtual synthesizers, samples and some effects.

If City Of Sweat had it's own mantra, or slogan, what would it be and why?

It's slogan would be X XXXX XXXX X XXXX because X XXXX XXXX X XXXX.

What's the key to crafting dense, urban, electronic layers?

The key is that you feel the urge to do it.

As the self-appointed mayor of City of Sweat, what can we expect next from your creative output?

I'll do another video-collaboration with the artist Phung-Tien Phan. She also directed the video for my latest single V.I.P. L.I.F.E. and is simply an expert in what she is doing. Besides that I'll go on a little tour very soon.

City of Sweat is available now from Not Not Fun Records.

The Starfolk have released their long-awaited self-titled the other month on Korda Records, and today debut their video for “Into the Clouds” Philip Harder takes The Starfolk “Into the Clouds” sound for a journey into the aesthetics of 90s music video film composition to match the song's analogous decade of alt-rock-breakthroughs. Photography director Wilson Webb with the color correction assist from Oscar Oboza brings you the bright visuals and high end senses of modernism that hints that the oughts are still just around the corner. The deep red hues and jet set decorum work to further illustrate The Starfolk's balance of guitar-to-keyboard power chord melody hooks where they get you lost in the cloudy high-altitude stratosphere; “back where no one finds you, hope that no one finds you, how could someone find you, I can't even find you…”

Harder interprets the video in a way that takes you back to when the compact disc was the king of all formats. In this alternate past, vinyl for a moment was on the decline, as excitement for what new gifts the millenniums and millennials would bring was thick in an air that feels like anything could happen. Rocking like the oughts hadn't happened yet, Allison LaBonne, Brian Tighe, Jacqueline Ultan, and Stephen Ittner take to the video with a fashion shoot level of energy that turned over an entire century into today's relevant models of how indie rock is both created, interpreted and received by many. The Starfolk are showcased in plushed-out posh worlds that float ahead on a cloud nine of their very own design. With resumes that name check The Hang Ups, The Owls, Typsy Panthre, Jelloslave, and Saltee respectively; these star-dwelling-folks remind us why these indie rock histories inform the meanings and interests invested in today's planets of sound.

Allison and Brian joined us for a bit to discuss their upcoming album, the new video, and how that notorious decade of the 90s have impacted their lives and sound.

What has the Minneapolis indie scene been like currently?

Brian: Unlike the early nineties when Minneapolis was known for pre-grunge bands like Husker Du and The Replacements, there is currently no one Minneapolis sound. Back then The Hang Ups went against the grain by making melody driven indie pop, and that scene really grew. Also rap and hip hop flourished and there is a lot of cross pollination between genres. Some have called the scene fractured, but it's also very diverse and collaborative.

What other local artists have you all been hanging with, collaborating with, playing with, etc?

B: We started the record label cooperative called Korda Records last fall with friends from The Ocean Blue, Jim Ruiz Set and Typsy Panthre, and we all put out records in the past year. So we've been very involved with each others' releases, from playing on each others' recordings, to helping with mixing, designing record covers, or making music videos. I also collaborate with an excellent local songwriter Jeremy Messersmith, whose latest record comes out on Glassnote early 2014.

So Brian, how did your work in the The Hang Ups develop and inform The Starfolk?

B: Because of our history in the Hang Ups, I knew that Stephen's creativity was something I wanted to add to the mix. His way of interpreting songs rhythmically always seems to make the songs better. And the quality of his singing voice really complements mine.

How have the recent years allowed all of you to transform The Starfolk into the star gazing vehicle that would record songs like “Sleeping Without Dreaming” and more from the self-titled?

B: One defining element of recent years has been our collaboration with cellist Jacqueline Ultan. Her textures and counter melodies introduced a majestic quality to the music that felt really new. We also renewed our collaboration with guitarist John Crozier from The Hang Ups; who mixed and played on three tracks, including Sleeping Without Dreaming. Insomnia was the other creative element on that song–how it puts you in a space somewhere between dreaming and reality.

Allison, in what ways do you feel your own creative work from The Owls, Typsy Panthre, etc contributed to your song-craft for The Starfolk?

Allison: I learned how to sing in The Owls, and presented my songs to audiences for the first time, which was terrifying and freeing. In Typsy Panthre I got the chance to interpret someone else's songs with my voice, and someone else's music with my words. In both those bands I was venturing into new territory, and now in the Starfolk I think my songs have gotten more fiery. Each collaboration has a different feel and broadens the palette of what seems possible.

Clouds mean different things from interweb spaces to atmospheric vapor vessels: what is the nebulous-nimbus attraction that you all have to clouds, via “In the Clouds”?

Allison: In this song I think clouds are synonymous with dreams and confusion. It's about diving straight in without knowing where you will land. You may find your purpose or be lost forever.

What was it like working with Philip Harder for the visual adaptation?

A: We have made a handful of music videos together, and I have worked as an extra in some of Philip's other film projects, so I have gotten to know him well. He is exciting to work with because he's very creative, ready to improvise, and receptive to ideas. It is a wild ride, but in good hands.

How much say did you all have in the video? Were you purposely going for a kind of high end, 90s alt-Brit Pop slice of video glamor?

A: The 90s are ingrained in us and resurface unconsciously. We made the video on a shoestring budget, with a crew of film students from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The sets were created entirely by Philip and the students. Philip excels at creating beautiful pop images and interesting visual effects, so we just let him go to town. Some of the video is straight up band performance, and it also plays upon the theme of clouds in a few ways. There's an element of glam that feels like it just sort of happened, crossed with a 60's flavor that Philip, Brian and I all share an affection for. In post production I had a lot of influence because I edited the video, and came up with the patterns of split screen boxes. It is the most intricate, energetic edit I have ever done.

What do you all have in store for the rest of Fall/Winter 2013?

B: On November 30th we'll be releasing a new song on Korda Komp 2, which we're really excited about. The Kompilation will also include work from our other bands The Owls, Typsy Panthre and The Hang Ups.

2014 plans??

B: We'll be writing new songs, working on recordings, and playing mostly around the midwest. We'd like to do some house concerts.

The Starfolk self-titled is available now from Korda Records.

VUM released the video for “I Will Return” along with a listen to Psychotropic Jukebox, available now from Silver Side Productions with the vinyl coming November from Secret Lodge Recordings. Jennifer Pearl, Chris Badger, and Scott Spaulding together bring a séance stream of sentimental silks through the ancient orders summoned by guitars, synths, drums and the smoke wafting drift of projected song.

Jukebox begins with the Psychotropics of “Educius” that spins the ghost dial before kikcing into “Both Sides Of The Wall” that sets the album's motion and tone. Having talked with Jennifer prior about the song and visualization of “Hall Of Mirrors”; the drafting wafts of floating specters continue to permeate the occultic allure of this synth sewn number. “Hong Kong” trails the fascination road further East to that Special Administrative Region of China, that burns with a commanding ethereal crawl that is definitely not your vintage Siouxsie Sioux “Hong Kong Garden”. “We're Going” keeps the wanderlust haunted and wondering about the blinding mist, as “Solid Waves” gives “I will run to you” romantic movie memories rekindled into the centralized glow of a bright and burning synth pop spotlight. Space flight sounds are simulated on “A Distant Star”, before VUM's new single “I Will Return” rings the emulated bells with pronouncements of passion and promise. The rattlesnake simmering path is created through the slops of minor key organ scales on “Badlands”.

“Northwest Wind” brings a chill of winter, as “The Loss Of Hypatia” takes a Death in June-style folk-goth break to strum away atop a picnic blanket on an overcast day. Unconscious realms of dreams are sent in movements of waves on “Back To Sleep” amid a chorus emulated woodwinds taking back to a place where everybody belongs and can perchance find a sense of belonging and peaceful solace. Taking the rustic Americana like sensibility, VUM gets weird on the psychedelic transcendence loops on “Psychic Wind”, leaving you through the eerie and strange ways of “The Stranger: Soft Machine” that insinuates forthcoming chapters from the VUM odyssey album books to come.

We also have one of the first viewings of VUM's video for “I Will Return”, directed by directed by Kyle Blair-Henderson, with photographic direction courtesy of Fernando Vidal Oregui. The dualling images of Jennifer the trio present video layers placed in animated motion over each other to create a mystifying experience of their mimed performance. Minimalistic in nature, it's the camera's tricks from gaffer Craig Miller and the glittering make-up from Laena Myers that create a new dimension of dizzying attention toward the song's heavy weighted sentiments through the illusory adventures and events witnessed through the looking glass. The song's creeping footsteps traverse into the soap operatics of scandal and sensationalism within the blurred images and blurrier lines of, “She's left you for another, tell me how does it feel, the story goes that you don't know who's looking back in your mirror”.

We attempted to get in touch with VUM while they were on the road via phones, digital telegrams, and handlers. Somewhere amid the chaos of CMJ, we were able to talk with Jennifer Pearl and Chris Badger while driving on tour who were kind enough to respond to our questions together somewhere between Portland and Nevada City.

First, how do you describe the process of writing and arranging Psychotropic Jukebox?

Many of these songs were born and developed through the recording process rather than perhaps the more common band-driven songwriting tactic where a group will develop a track in a live scenario first.

All of the song ideas start with either myself or Chris. We then work out the arrangement together either through the recording process or by then playing it live in our home recording studio over and over again as a duo.
Our space is very DIY and we virtually make all of our records using only one or two mics. Chris and I fiercely argue for and against the aspects of each track that are personally important/abhorrent. You can know that when hearing a VUM track, each inch of audio is the result of a lengthy debate.

Once all of the melodic instruments and vocals are laid down, we bring in Scott Spaulding to free-form drum ideas through some of the tracks. Often times, Scott will record without ever having heard the track before. Chris and I will then solidify the final arrangement.

One of the tracks, 'Badlands' began as a cover of the Bob Dylan song 'Hollis Brown' with completely different instrumentation and melodies that we developed. When we went to release the record, we found out that it was much more difficult to obtain licensing for a cover song once we had basically rewritten the track entirely and kept only the lyrics so I decided to rewrite and re-record the lyrics at the last minute. We also noticed that David Lynch had covered the same track on his new album released just a few months ago and thought it would be too ridiculous to have released a single called 'Laura Palmer' last year, and then share a cover song on our respective albums released a few months apart.

(photo courtesy of Angela Ratzlaff)

What was the process of adapting the song, “I Will Return” for video like?

The 'I Will Return' video was directed by Kyle Blair-Henderson. He was interested in an effect used in Clouzout's 'Inferno' where glitter and rotating shadows were used to insinuate movement and mark passing time. Chris and I added to this the visual aesthetic used in the 1970s TV convention of shooting live performance videos with a spotlight against a black seamless. In particular, we were influenced by Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze performances we had been watching.

Favorite things about CMJ this year?

We had some of our best shows ever during CMJ. We had the good luck of playing a few shows with kindred spirits Warm Hands, and reconnecting with longtime friends in the band Dangerous Boys Club.

(photo by Gus Russell and Andy Brown)

Least favorite thing about CMJ this year?

The Hudson River pollution.

Favorite things about the Fall?

The fall equinox is a sobering reminder of the earth's axial tilt of 23.5 degrees.

Winter dreams and projections?

This winter we are happy to announce we will be the resident band at The Echo in Echo Park, Los Angeles. We will be performing free shows for the first 4 Mondays in December.

We will also be working in a split 7″ with fellow Los Angeleno band, Black Mare, and making plans for our 2014 European tour.

Psychotropic Jukebox is available now on digital via iTunes, courtesy of Secret Lodge / Silver Side Productions.

Check out the instrumental atmospherics from Paris producer Myth Syzer, as he drops his 2ndRemixes ahead of his Zero EP available November 5 from Plug Research. Get a listen as he reworks Iggy Azaela, Wiz Khalifa while contributing his own original vibes. Download 2ndRemixes via Plug and listen in now.

From Tel Aviv with love, Vaadat Charigim hit the play button on, “Ze Beseder Lefahed”, from their upcoming album, The World Is Well Lost available November 12 from Burger Records / ANOVA. Listen as the bands keep the shana tova spirit going long after the Hebrew new year, as Juval Haring, Yuval Guttman and Dan Fabian Bloch bring some of the dreamiest and sweetest sounds to close out the unending trials of patience and persistence that has marked 2013.

Take the deepest, Deep Trip with Destruction Unit's Daniel Pelissier and Spoiler shot and edited video for, “The Holy Ghost”. Catch them on their Deep Mental Trip happening in Europe now through November 16 with their new album available now from Sacred Bones. Come feel the noise and the holy destructive spirit ghosting from your speakers.

Tune into the iTunes only bonus cut from Black Milk's No Poison No Paradise, available now, with “Poison”. Listen as the meta-fiction worlds that Milk spins get caught into the lucid story through ways that surround the dream realms of a character named Sonny Jr. Here the protagonist can be heard making his way through the parallel and perpendicular universes, illustrating the free playing signifiers from the unconscious that bleed through to the conscious states.

Keeping their tradition of music videos packed with gorgeous imagery; San Francisco's Evil Eyes delivered the breath taking Bay vistas from Patrick Han for the song “In the Summer” off the album, Borderlines. Having already wowed us with the debut of “Shake the Dust“' we got caught in the spanning lyric-to-scenery storm that keeps the Summer of 2013 alive and well and living through the Fall until Winter comes.

Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano ain't the only one in her family with vocal talent. Her sister Sandra Sumie Nagano will release her debut self-titled album debut, Sumie, December 3 from Bella Union, and we invite you to hear the melancholic “Show Talked Windows” now.

Gathering it all up like collected scorched earth, Soviet Soviet get it all “Together”, off the forthcoming album Fate available November 11 from Felte. The Pesaro, Italy trio continues their iron curtain fancying brand of brooding bravado that brings a cold romanticism and even chillier guitars to situation. So listen in and continue to keep an eye on these three…

Scott Hansen, aka Tycho, just dropped his new single “Awake” from Ghostly International, where the sleep lifting state is expressed through threads of guitars and keyboards that careen and caress through the flower labial folds of consciousnesses.

Teeko & B. Bravo present: Tempo Dreams Vol. 2 available now from Bastard Jazz, and we got a stream of what the new jack-new jazz swing is all about. These are some smoke thick tempos, folks.

For some chill times and “Bad Weather”, we recommend Air's Jean-Benoit Dunckel combining powers with Iceland's Bardi Johannsson from Bang Gang to create Starwalker. The Jeaneen Lund & Saevar Gudmundsson video takes the sound to literal places of arid, dusty atmospheres that rise and fall like the convection cycles of seasons, weather and their collaborative sounds.

Asheville NC-based producer Marley Carroll brought some homeopathic “Woodwork” of that top shelf type of organic-electronica, off his upcoming album Sings available December 3 from Melanaster Records.

Off Ladi6's new album joint Automatic, please perk your ears up as you dig this remix from Michigan's creative mind and producer 14KT re-tricking “Ikarus”. KT takes the tale of flying to close to the sun for a warm solar show of flares and warm incandescent gaseous burst of the surreal.

The Growlers gave us a listen to the upcoming Gilded Pleasures EP with “Dogheart II” that gives us more good time coolness from Brooks Nielsen and the whole Costa Mesa crew. So bust out some boards, hit up the Western shores and blare this from the car speakers while you await for the November 12 release date from Everloving Records.

We got the Nick Zinner remix of SQÜRL's “Pink Dust”, a heavy experiment from EP #2, part of a trilogy from Carter Logan, Jim Jarmusch, and Shane Stoneback available November 5 from ATP Recordings. Listen as the guitars brood and assail like a sledge hammers against the reverberating steel.

Son Lux dropped the easy day air of, “Easy,” that features the rhyming ways of our boy Busdriver off the album Lanterns, available October 29 from Joyful Noise Recordings. Let us hope there are more of these B-Driver and S-Lux collabs in the nearby future.

Little Wings brought “All Alone House” for the upcoming Sonny & The Sunsets-Sonny Smith curated, I Need You Bad compilation that spans the SF rock landscape. Listen as the Bay, LA, and Portland are brought together in the DIY spirit that connects this entire wacky West Coast that we adore so much. Look for the comp November 26 from Polyvinyl.

Welcome to the Jay Arner remix section of the week. First is none other than fellow Northwesterner Teen Daze remixing Jay's epic single, “Don't Remind Me” that we still can't get enough of on it's own. So T. Dizzle flicks on the big beats for Mr. Arner's memories that would rather not be repeated. But then again if these memories must be reminded and repeated; why not add a chilled-like-ice-cubes-on-a-hot-day-in-Autumn remix to the equation? Why not, right?

Also off his Mint Records self-titled, leave it to the eclectic man of musical mystery himself, Jay Arner, to remix his own cut, “Midnight On South Granville”. Keeping the synths coasting into new highways, this track will reaffirm why 2013 will be remembered as the year Jay Arner made you like popular indie music once again.

Speaking of Mint Records, we cannot get enough of Tough Age's upcoming November 12 album, and we got your listen to “The Heart Of Juliet Jones”. TA makes the kind of music for an age that not even the old dinosaur indie rockers could have imagined, let alone the crusted out punk patriarchs from the days that nobody seems to remember outside the commercial propaganda wing, and piles of Please Kill Me oral history autobiographies that sit collecting dust and mold. Tough Age brings you brilliant pop for a genuinely really rough, tough, and trying age.

Morgan Waters made a video for Weaves' new Buzz Records single,”Take a Dip”, that rocks it in the chapel.

Crusades brought the new chaos crusading, village burning banger, “The Torchbearer”, off their upcoming Perhaps You Deliver This Judgement With Greater Fear Thank I Receive It, available November 5 from No Idea Records.

Take a stroll down San Francisco's Haight and Berkeley's Telegraph in the Aris Jerome video for the Bay Area cool of, “Hipster Girls,” off the KILT 2 mixtape from Iamsu! Giving shout outs to all the girls on Instagram and Tumblr “straight flexin”, get a listen to his new Gang Forever tape via LiveMixtapes.

Rickolus brings some of that old school big band for the new school of songwriters on “The Lonely Fox” from the forthcoming, Troubadour, available October 29 from Circle Into Square.

Get a listen to the Cloud Boat Rework of Agnes Obel's new single, “The Curse“. The track is transformed into ancient curse be spelled out into the stratospheres where the sky carries upward into the higher valence levels and sectors. Agnes's album Aventine is available now from Play it Again Sam.

Listen to Agnes Obel, “The Curse (Cloud Boat Rework)” here via Soundcloud.

Also get a listen to the Robert Hampson remix of Agnes Obel's “The Curse”. This one is decidedly more of a cavernous exploration, like spelunking into the prismatic bowels and valves of an emerald encrusted catacomb trail way.

Taken from their upcoming album Tropical available October 29 from No Shame, Moscow's Pompeya dropped their Israel Cárdenas directed video for “Power” that shows you how to live it up as the bossiest cat in the village.

We had a secret meeting with a liasion who allegedly is responsible for the keyboard portion in the latest single, “Couldn't Hold A Candle” from Fullerton's own hometown heroes; the one and only Audacity. So get into the garage epics here from the dudes that help to oversee the latest currents and attitudes of SoCal and look for their album Butter Knife available October 29 from Suicide Squeeze.

Dark Colour's Randall Rigdon presents a picture slide show for his mental dance groover, “In My Mind” off his new album Prisoner. He combines the soul serum into the complicated dance designers of tomorrow's creative machinery, and we recently discussed his recent works in this interview feature.

Quelle Chris dropped by “Loop Dreams” off his forthcoming Ghost At The Finish Line album available October 29 from Mello Music Group. Chris Keys' production keeps the dream game tweeting through the past in a call to get on your feet, in order to rise to any occasion. And once again, any composition from the great Quelle is never predictable as a world of found sound snippets make their way into beat paths that diverge into rabbit holes and worm holes you never saw opening.

(photo courtesy of Jessica Lehrman)

SpaceGhostPurrp ft Nell, Rell, Yung Simmie brought the whole Florida, Raider Klan crew with the cut, “It's Nothin” that features production from none other than SpaceGhostPurrp. Look for this eerie slice of the Southeast dropping on Halloween, from Raider Klan Records. Your upcoming hallowed eve just got even more hollow, a bit more syrupy, and even more sick than planned.

Get your work out on with the DJ Spinna Old School Acid Vocal rendering of Lady's “Good Lovin”, that has all kinds of sound twerking bass works for you to get that good loving feeling all over.

Get into the emotional mood-swings-songs from My Darling Fury's “Blots In The Margins”, ahead of the upcoming album release of, Licking Wounds, available November 5. For all those that have felt marginalized by life's ongoing cruel narratives and sordid scripts; this one's for you.

Drop Electric brought their widescreen edition video for “Higgs Boson” off their forthcoming new album Waking Up to the Fire, available October 22 from Lefse Records. Their Record Release Party goes down at Glasslands Saturday, October 26 at 8pm Teen Daze, Drop Electric, and Camp Counselors.

Fillmore, SF's own patron son, Andre Nickatina just dropped his brand new self-titled album last month, and this week gave us a listen to the Cleveland-collaborating cut, “Ho'Lat (ft. Krayzie Bone)”, that breaks you off a bit from that old school block.

Peep the recollection, mellow trips from Adam Newport-Berra's video for “Do You Recall?” from LAKE, off The World Is Real available now from K Records. “Wait for the meaning of each now” now with LAKE.

Lucius dropped their vintage b/w video from Alex Munro for, “Turn It Around”, performed live with plenty of vintage flair. Find this off their album debut, Wildewoman from Mom+Pop.

Hellogoodbye dropped their levitating video for their danced up title cut, “(Everything Is) Debatable”, off their new album available October 29 from Old Friends. This might be college radio-mixtape material for at least the first quarter of 2014.

Ducky released the latest redux of “U Turn Me Up”, with the Suzi Analogue remix, fresh off the turnt-up single and heat-sink-and-destroy bass-line-beats.

Jungle dropped the needle on their new retro-school cut, “Lucky I Got What I Want”, off the forthcoming The Heat EP available October 21 from B3SCI / Chess Club Records.

Warm Blanket is available now from Paw Tracks, as Dent May's “Let Them Talk” gets reworked over by Teengirl Fantasy. Talk as lovers do, and boogie down to the danced up remix from Oxford, Mississippi's hometown hero.

From Cork On the Fork Productions, get a look and listen to London's Duologue performing their subterranean sentiments, “Underworld”, live at The Old Red Lion in a stripped back, minimalist fashion. Their album Song and Dance will be available October 22 from Killing Moon Records.

Iamsu!, recently released the Gang Forever mixtape and this week dropped by the whole HBK Gang in the David Camarena ( of TYCA) video for “Quit Cattin” that features Kool John, P-Lo & Skipper with the party. Once again reaffirming that we can always count on HBK for all the freshest West Coast slappers.

Appalachian son Zac Little leads Saintseneca, who just released his powerful-punching new single, “UpperCutter”, for Anti-Records on digital and 7″.

Salva dropped the Heartbreak Mix that features our boy Iamsu!, Sage The Gemini & the HBK Gang in fighting fashion on this mix for Check Yo' Ponytail, just in time for the crew's gig tonight, October 18 in LA at the Echoplex.

Classixx remix Panama's title cut, “Always”, off Panama's second self-titled EP available now from Future Classic. The soulful feelings of the original get sent into viaducts of new memories being made with a beat that flows in and out of aquaducts that splash out and up from the surface for air.

Crystal Antlers delivered their new album Nothing is Real this past week from Innovative Leisure, and we have the video for “Licorice Pizza”, that features plenty of ADHD visual treats courtesy of your garage rocking friends from the LBC.

Making the CMJ rounds, Tape Deck Mountain's track “Slow Hell” gaves us that gurgling slice of what modern day suffering is truly like in brilliant descriptions. The new album SWAY is available now via Bandcamp.

Odd Future's Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, and Left Brain have grown from MellowHype to MellowHigh, dropping more FTW vibes fresh out of Ladera Heights ahead of their upcoming self-titled available on Halloween, October 31 from Odd Future Records.

Peep the Cara Stricker video that tries to get weirder than Jorge Elbrecht featuring Caroline Polachek's “I.V. Aided Dreams”, taken from their Mexican Summer released Gloss Coma 7″.

Mickey Gloss dropped the paparazzi/media obsessed video from Gary James Sykes for “Right Kind of Love”, off the upcoming album, Astral Projections For The Kinetically Deranged, available November 17 from H Badger Records. Dive face first into the excessive cult of celebrity, as Mickey asserts with confidence and dominant spit; “cause I'm gonna make it baby, I'm gonna be a star, gonna get out of here, go some place real far, and the next time you see me, I'll be on that t.v. screen, and you'll be in your trailer park girl, still wishing you were my queen”. Or in Mickey's own words on the song and video:

“The track 'Right kind of love' explores the notion of celebrity as
something that needs to be explored, rather than accepted. The track is
accompanied by a video posing as a documentary about Lindsay Lohan's life.
It's pretty revealing….”

3:33 has rereleased Cannibal Ox's The Bicameral Vein, in accordance to his own version of vision of how he imagined the lost classic should or would sound like in completed form. In 3's own words:

“The Cold Vein is one of the greatest albums of all time, and, without attempting to recreate or “remix” the original album, 3:33 has produced its own version of the cult classic: The Bicameral Vein. The group has done its best to pay homage to Cannibal Ox and the Cold Vein by recreating the entire album, excluding songs in which the vocals were regrettably not salvageable (including “Iron Galaxy,” “Ox Out of the Cage,” “Raspberry Fields,” “Vein,” and “Real Earth”). Thank you to Vordul Mega and Vast Aire for unknowingly providing 3:33 with some of the best lyrics to work with.”

Like Ox, “touching hearts like Kano”; 3:33's Bicameral Brain double album will be available October 29 from Parallel Thought Ltd. Listen as the rhymes get draped in the evening air, that features the talenst of Alaska, cryptic One, C-Rayz Walz, L.I.F.E. Long and El-P.