Week in Pop: Exrays, Girls, La Sera

Sjimon Gompers

top of the pops record

The very top.

November is the month where pop musicians showcase singles, brag about works in progress, side projects and boast about how their 2011 release is going to be way better than their fading “Best New Music” designations that is so 2010. So without further banter, here is the roundup for the week in no particular order.

First I want to discuss San Francisco’s Exray’s. Featuring guest spots by the Decembrists’ Nate Querry and the Fresh & Onlys’ Tim Cohen, they have already released a seven track cassette EP Ammunition Teeth via Howell’s Transmitter and have their song “Hesitation” featured in The Social Network movie. The Exray’s self-titled album is due out January 25, 2011 and I hear they are planning a live gig at the Terrorbird Holiday Extravaganza on December 4 at Bottom of the Hill in SF. Check out their future album’s lead track “You Forgot” that creates more mood than Damon Albarn wishes he could create with all the shite Gorillaz has-been collaborations in all the world.

Also San Francisco’s buzz band extraordinaire Girls have released their most cohesive yet. “Heartbreaker” exhibits the band doing what’s either their best Birmingham accent affectation or Bread imitation. Perhaps Christopher Owens and company learned a thing when they were interviewed earlier in the year by indie icon Lawrence. As one who is not exactly a fan of the Girls band, I must admit this is a sound step in a good direction.

Girls – Heartbreaker by surfsidestoners

Furthermore there was a rumor that Girls drummer Garrett Goddard was going to play some gigs with fellow San Franciscans Nodzzz. This was confirmed in the following copy-edited text message from Sean Paul Presley:

“Garret [Goddard] is joining us for upcoming shows in January and other local shows. Our original drummer, Pete, is back from Sofia, Bulgaria where he was stationed for three years in [the] Peace Corps. Pete [Hilton] is Nodzz and will be our drummer for a March UK tour with the Mantles and a US summer tour to be announced…



Or, quote me on “pete IS nodzz.” To continue:



“Pete is only doing these tours for now. He moved back to NJ and is working at a pizza joint while applying for grad school. After our US tour we'll be back on the prowl for the elusive butterfly that is a drummer.”


I also inquired into the details pertaining to the rumored release of their second LP, Innings:

“Only news on Innings is that we plan to have it out by our March UK tour.”

Young Magic signed to Carpark this week and is set to debut the 7-inch single You With Air / Sparkly February 8, 2011. Young Magic essentially is Isaac of East Australia, who currently resides in New York, who from what I understand records his samples around the world before processing them with his modern beats. 


Young Magic “You With Air” by carparkrecords

Also this week, Banjo or Freakout have put out the single “105” for the label Rare Book Room and have a self-titled album due sometime in early 2011. The street date for the 7-inch is December 7 for the US and December 6 for the UK. The London-based singer, producer, instrumentalist Alessio Natalizia recorded the moody “105” and the upcoming album at Rare Book Room Studios in New York. He is currently on tour in the UK.



Banjo or Freakout, “105”

In other news, Vivian Girls’ Kickball-Katy Goodman has released a limited batch of “Never Come Around” 7-inch singles with her seen-sea-faring-at-CMJ side, La Sera. Hardly Art is set to release her debut LP in early 2011 but in the meantime you can watch this charming-ish, gore-iffic video for “Never Come Around.” It’s like Halloween all over again.

VIDEO: “Never Come Around” (Dir. by Brady Hall)

Also, if you missed George Clinton’s recent appearance at Yoshi’s in SF, I heard he will return for an encore January 27 2011. Which reminds me, I think Yoshi’s still owes me $23 for the cancelled Mighty Diamonds show last September.

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