Week in Pop: Sun Araw, Blondes, Frank Ocean

Sjimon Gompers

Astounding.

What a week. We learned that the rapture did not occur but The Rapture will put out a record this September, Kings of Leon beat their chests as the so-called kings of the “south” and I’m going to give a runner up in the notable interest category for that super metal Shining video that came out this week that freaked us all out here at the Goldmine Sacks office. To cleanse our palates, let us apply the litmus test to the pop cultural icons from this week in pop in no particular order.

sun araw ancient romans

While Sun Araw works on his double LP Ancient Romans, you can enjoy the leak of “Crete” here. The album boasts to be a lot of different things; what you get here are lots of noisy, shambling building blocks that aspire to march amid the colossal ruins just to play Caesar for a day. Before this analogy sends you to your private vomitorium read what Sun Araw has to say about the album:

“Heartfelt and marbled, this album is documentation of the slow exit (the triumphal entry): moving the camera back 8 stages along the circumference of the circle to the point where the obverse is reverse, in order to celebrate the building of an edifice and then walk away from it in wisdom, gaining freedom from it.”

Ancient Romans is due August 23 on Sun Ark Records via Drag City.

Sun Araw – “Crete”

frank ocean

Frank Ocean sure has been enjoying himself lately. Touring with the Odd Future kids, writing songs for whoever he wants along with dropping vocals on that track “She” off Tyler, the Creator's Goblin album, which is sitting pretty on the Billboard charts at something like #5. Then he's got that album Nostalgia, Ultra which Frank keeps threatening to drop at some point this summer on Def Jam. No dates given yet.

Not featured on Ultra is Ocean's latest, “Acura Integurl” which just got a fancy video of its own. Next video up for FO will be for the OF track “She” that should drop sometime soon. I tell you, this is the stuff that rising r n' b stars dream of who don't have all the industry connections in the world.

delicate steve

Delicate Steve Marion has a busy summer ahead of him that kicks off with a choice-y headliner spot at Brooklyn Bowl tomorrow. The tour will find Mr. Marion in the company of Cut Copy, Free Energy, Ra Ra Riot and more. Given his Wondervision album that pits the artifices of disposable pop with dedicated displays of musicianship, no wonder Lee Ranaldo and Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington all kick it and collaborate with the man. He also played a set recently on NPR Music. Here's a taste of Wondervision:

blondes 7-inch

Blondes mix “Business” on side A and “Pleasure” on side B of their June 14 slated 12-inch release. This is the second of a three part series from their label RVNG International that works within concepts of duality. What you get with this electro single offering was something the band made while in Berlin during a live performance and made entirely without overdubs.

The Farley Gwazda video for “Pleasure” carries along baggage of its own with boasts of it being;

“Assembled entirely from animated gifs – scientific diagrams, mathematical figures, representations of data, and renderings of simulated systems, this video appropriates images meant to serve as a rational demonstration of logical concepts and transmogrifies them into a cosmic trip.”

But wait, there’s more to this experiment of dueling logics;

“…this video explores irrational paths to knowledge and investigates how information is processed into meaningful experience.”

the horrors

British hack jobs Horrors dropped a new single called “Still Life” that depicts frontman Faris Badwan finding his inner Bono, love for backwards guitar loops and continued romance with black skinny jeans, jeggings, or whatever. But wait, is that a Chris Martin approved Coldplay synth that I hear in the background? As if these ponces weren’t already big enough for their own britches, it appears that they are now penning tracks that will resonate nicely at an arena near you, or at least fill the empty spaces of a Westfield mall near you.

From out of the NME hype sheds comes Worcester’s Dom, who are said to have already planned their second EP, entitled Family of Love. It feels so soon, yet welcome, as we have barely deleted our Sun Bronzed Gods EP mp3s from our ‘pods, players or what have you. They are stepping up their game it appears, enlisting producer Nicolas Vernhes of Animal Collective, Bjork, Deerhunter, etc, production fame, spreading rumors of a “dial tone solo,” a Fun Machine and already talking up a third EP that should be arriving in the months to follow. While we wait for Family of Love, enjoy this airy ballad of hypnagogic proportions called “Beth” along with a “Living in America remix [featuring Gucci Mane].”

Rock the Bells has got a wild summer schedule for their 2011 festival. With a little help from their sponsor boys at Boost Mobile in Association, Guerilla Union, and a bunch of other companies that can’t wait to shower you in useless swag, the festival will focus on full album sets. The tentative lineup is as follows: Ms. Lauryn Hill (performing The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill), Nas, (performing Illmatic), Cypress Hill (performing Black Sunday), Erykah Badu, Mos Def & Talib Kweli as Black Star, Raekwon & Ghostface (performing Only Built for Cuban Linx), Mobb Deep (performing The Infamous),The GZA (performing Liquid Swords), Immortal Technique, Slaughterhouse, Mac Miller, Curren$y, Souls of Mischief (performing 93 ‘til Infinity), Black Moon, Childish Gambino, Blu & Exile, Fashawn, Random Axe, Masta Killah (performing No Said Date), Evidence, Macklemore, Freddie Gibbs, Roc Marciano with hosting duties performed by the RZA, MURS 3:16 and Supernatural. This tour kicks off beginning August 20, check your local listings for times, locales.

Ty Segall gave us another taste from his upcoming Goodbye Bread album for Drag City called “You Make the Sun Fry.” Hard to really say how this guy does it, but he has built himself up from a one man garage rocking machine to be the standard by which many lesser garage outfits are judged. Goodbye Bread is due June 21 and his 7-inch single I Can’t Feel It, with B-side “Falling Hair” is available now.

Ty Segall, “You Make the Sun Fry”

Also check out Ty’s “California Commercial” also from Goodbye Bread.

Amid juggling releases and dissecting the week’s spoils, I stumbled on this video of aspiring Australian model Shauna Niaz singing along to the Twista remix of “Look At Me Now” with Chris Brown (feat. Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne), while popping digital birds. Great job, and happy weekend.

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