Week in Pop: Turbo Fruits, Papercuts v. Still Flyin’, Beans, more

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hibernating doormice

You would think that most artists and bands would be taking cues from the awful winter weather to get in some down time. Yet instead of hibernating like most good animals on this green earth, albums are still coming out, singles are being pressed in all kind of assorted vinyl colors and tours are continuing to happen well into the bright New Year before us.

I had planned a spiel on the virtues of hibernating but an extensive schedule necessitates this week's run down on what may or may not concern your pop palate in no particular order.

Kicking off this weekend is the Turbo Fruits with their energetic number “Keepin' On.” This single was released last December 14 by their Nashville label Turbo Time on limited pressings of white vinyl. They are also planning to set sail this February on the nautical Bruise Cruise Festival with the Strange Boys, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segal, Vivian Girls, Black Lips and more.

Turbo Fruits “Keepin' On”

Papercuts reworked this jam “Victory Walker” by the Bay's Still Flyin' that provides a good dance-able introduction to what we are looking for on this Friday, December 17 2010. Some great production going on here; throw in some dramatist persona vocals treated by effects blurred in a fog of Glade Tropical Mist, and you got something gold.

Stream Still Flyin, “Victory Walker” (Papercuts remix) below!

The remix is my favorite rendering of this song, but the Still Flyin' original of “Victory Walker” gets points for the hammed up low rent brand of smooth. Still Flyin' is set for a January release entitled Neu Ideas that features a compilation of this last year's material from the Bay Area collective and more remixes and revisions by Elephant & Castle, The Hood Internet and Love is All.

Still Flyin', “Victory Walker” (Dir. by Ian Cone and Ice Berg)

Discovered that our friends Lower Dens did a Yours Truly session of what sounds like “Batman.” This fearless quartet has been on the road since way before I had the pleasure of seeing them a few months back. Despite what I can only imagine as the exhaustion that comes from relentless touring, I have heard few bands keep it so well pulled together and maintaining that LD driving rhythm kinesis that made me fall in love with “Blue and Silver” sometime last May . And what's more is that they have already announced 2011 dates beginning January 3 through March 15 with Wye Oak and the Walkmen.

Lower Dens, “Batman” (Yours Truly Session)

Chanteuse Kathryn Calder has an animated video short to accompany her song “Arrow” from this year's album Are You My Mother? The animation depicts a girl with her stuffed rabbit amid a post apocalyptic washed up metropolis as they encounter a storm set to the melancholy piano. Director Jon Busby describes the inspiration behind the classic looking mix media video: “I referenced old UPA cartoons and TV commercials from the 1950's for the design and style of the video, giving a simplistic look to a dramatic event.” (Video embed disabled. Watch it here.

Kathryn Calder, “Arrow”

Smith Westerns who seem to be having the best year ever (right?) have done it again by releasing a video for their song “Weekend.” The video shows the group going out on a, well, weekend holiday at the mall, getting custom shirts, shooting some arcade hoops, reading some Ken Olson, eating junk food, smoking cigarettes like bad asses and even chopping down a tree with an axe. Yes.

Smith Westerns, “Weekend” (Dir. by Focus Creeps)

From Miami comes Rachel Goodrich with her old worlds-y “Na Na Na” from her self-titled album due February 22, 2011. Rachel is also taking up a residency at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, CA this January 5, 20, and 27, and February 3, all at 7pm. Furthermore Rachel also has a free Light Bulb EP available via her Bandcamp page. Enjoy!

Rachel Goodrich, “Na Na Na” (mp3)
(via Paste Magazine)

Free Light Bulb EP (zip)

Anti-Pop Consortium's Beans has a new track available from his recent album End It All on Anticon. With an everything and the kitchen sink approach, Beans hands over production duties to DJ Nobody, um, Interpol, Four Tet, In Flagranti, Clark, Son Lux, folks from Tortoise, and TV on the Radio. Check out the track “Deathsweater”, where DJ Nobody's production sounds better than it's been since his Soulmates release a decade ago. 

Anti-Pop Consortium, “Deathsweater” (Produced by DJ Nobody)

I have also recently been introduced to a new band in the anti-vowel campaign, NGHBRS (pronounced neighbors). They got their break with a spot on the release of a lacrosse videogame for Xbox and have released an EP called Hellomind. Their Irving Plaza performance seemed to have moments before the lead singer's over-dramatics take hold. Still, they have invigorated much more believable energy live than with the all-too-neat production shine on the EP. Never thought I would say this but they might want to see what a little lo-fi effects could do for their sound and perhaps try some understated deadpan vocals and boom, you have the easiest way to save your release from the ‘eh' pile. However, NGHBRS have inspired me to extract the vowels from this column's title and up my status to GLDMN SCKS, so as to ignite more buzz than a 23 hour T-mblr black out. Still worried that this leaves open too many loose interpretations for my liking, inspiring numerous “Goldmine Sucks” defamations and the like.

Keeping up with our excessive yet deserved coverage of the upcoming Cloud Nothings LP and following tour, we figured you were chomping at the bit for yet another glimmer. We present you with the single “Should Have” available here in the Cloud stream and January 18 on super fancy 7-inch wax thanks to your friends at Carpark.

And keeping with the spirit of the holidays and the ongoing 2010 free-album-free-for-all, just got the good word that Banjo and Freakout are offering a new Christmas album for download.

Be sure to check out their reworking of “Frosty the Snowman” which sets out so interject some holiday cheer to even the hippest humbugs out there.

Banjo or Freakout, “Frosty The Snowman”

And finally I present to you a parting chestnut straight out of the forest boonies of Carmel-by-the-Sea, with Hot Dogs in the Sun's “B.I.S.P.” I first heard an early version of this sleaze nugget from a web broadcast while partying up two winters ago in Ile St. Louis in the Marais Centrum du Paris when the Madoff scandal broke here at home. And unlike the steep economic downtown and subsequent dramas of the Ponzi sham family, the LP version of “B.I.S.P.” has only gotten richer and thicker on its own lush and lascivious merits of, um, dude-ish exhibitionism.

Hot Dogs in the Sun, “B.I.S.P.”