With SxSW upon us, most big news has pertained to schedule logistics and filling out the last minute avails and details. Still, we saw the NYTimes following the tumblr #seapunk trend all of a sudden, HEALTH apparently soundtracking the next Max Payne game, and the feigned excitement for Madonna 2012 tour dates. At least we can congratulate both Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q with their label Top Dawg Entertainment signing onto Dr. Dre's Aftermath and Interscope Records. So before you saddle up for Austin, catch up on what you may have missed this week in no particular order.
Ryan Power gave the world a listen to “Mondo Rush” recorded in a snowed-in barn. An excercise in temperance, honesty and restraint; Power selects some warm glowing keys wrap Ryan's economic poetics of bottle romanticism in a security blanket. Ryan Power’s I Don’t Want To Die comes out April 3 on NNA Tapes.
Get yourself introduced to the star studded supergroup s / s / s comprised of Serengeti, Son Lux and Sufjan Stevens. Sufjy brings a little bit of that autotuned emotion to the situation while Serengeti brings some smooth flows and Son Lux keeping the musical textures new and dare we even say soothing. Should you need more of Steven in your life, also check out his work with collaborater Rosie Thomas with “Where Were You” off of the split 7-inch Hit and Run Vol. 1. Keep on the look out for the debut s / s / s EP Beak & Claw March 20 on Anticon.
A.Dd+ dropped a listen to “Can't You See” from his producer's Nick Nack's forthcoming State Machine coming in early March from Crowd Control Records. The Dallas duo of Paris Pershun and Slim Gravy can be found on tour with Black Milk through March while this is what Slim had to say about the new track's, “weight of petty issues and people, and how they can shape your perspective on life in a given moment. What's interesting about this song was that I had written my verse and the hook without even telling Paris the concept, and his verse ended up matching perfectly.” Catch A.Dd+ and Black Milk at SxSW or in a town near you this spring.
Magic Wands released their video for “Space,” shot by the band in LA. The video surrounds a pair of star crossed lovers, night moves and the creative use of car headlamps for stage lighting. The Wands' Dexy Valentine and John Charter master the art of the low budget music video, using every incadenscent element to appropriate effect against a backdrop of night with the exception of a few shots towards the end where an orange dawn meets the sky. Their LP Aloha Moon is set for release April 24 on Bright Antenna/ILG.
Evans the Death presents the Craig Murrary directed video for “Telling Lies” involving a dispute at the office gone awry. It begins with front woman Katherine Whitaker getting chewed out by an employer before she gets even, involving a technicolor gross-out brawl that gets the entire band involved. Evans the Death's self-titled comes out May 1 while the Telling Lies 7″ is out now; both on Slumberland (US) and Fortuna POP (UK).
Swedish trio World Tour took our breaths away with “Believe,” a disarming journey across seas and sands of doubt into the submission of sound moving like the fog and mist that plays about the Scandinavian Mountains. And that is only the EP's title track beginnings, soon followed by forest explorations in the name of peace and tranqulity with “In the Woods,” then the electronic river rock miracle work on “See” and closing it out with the kinetic choral “Too Far”. World Tour's EP Believe will be available this April 10 from Cascine.
Keep Shelly in Athens shared the seductive new video for “Our Own Dream” ahead of an upcoming tour in April on the dates listed above. Like a Grecian Henry & June, director Thanasis Tsimpinis bounces the drama between the track, the sensual activities between a couple that involves the reversal of gravity somehow. KSiA's 2 EPs In Love With Dusk and Our Own Dream are in the works of being re-released in time for the upcoming tour.
Get ready for billy woods with the righteous “Headband” The Zimbabwean-Jamaican, Brooklyn based woods of Super Chron Flight Brothers is preparing his much anticipated batch of quandries and quagmires that are from nostaligic about the alleged 'good ol' days.' On “Headband” he raps; “Crustaceans in Barrels. Negroes in a slum. The cattle get funnelled to the barrel of a gun. Did his time like Papillon, came out squinting at the sun, winking at the nun. Life like a remake of The Harder They Come.” And billy woods is about as real as they come. Look for History Will Absolve Me April 10. The featured track “Headband” was one the first tracks recorded for the album but will only be on the limited edition director’s cut of the album equiped with a full lyric book and a bonus track with Vordul Mega, produced by Da Bronx's Lex Boogie.
No secret about it, I love AU. I really wanted to see them during SF Noise Pop, but it was not so. But get a listen to “Get Alive” and hear why the this group from the special little seaport town is a powerful force that could take on the IFC spitballs by virtue of their merit alone, beyond the ad nauseum family-style-band-Portland hype. AU's full length Both Lights comes out April 3 on Hometapes.
Meet Oakland trio Twin Steps featuring Jonathan Reddick of Summer Blondes, Drew Pearson on vocals and Religious Girls' drummer Nick Cowman. These gents share that similar passion that Jonathan Richman always pontificated about everything great pertaining to the modern world from the lens of the Golden Era that gave us the great original rock n' roll rebels. So these three bros howl on about “death from above and death from below” while chopping up an Etta James sample along with some further cut-ups taken from Connie Francis and Franki Valli as a tip of the hat to the founders. Serial Parade is out April 10 on green vinyl & digital on Cola Bruin.
Do you remember where you were when you heard Moon Duo's Mazes for the first time? We barely do, although a foggy recollection of them killing at last year's Imposition II at the legendary Longbranch Inn remains. On May 8 Sacred Bones will release Mazes Remixed that features mixes by Cave, Gary War, Eagle Boston out of Berlin, Psychic Ills, Purling Hiss and Sonic Boom featured here with his guitar placement and track layer level alteraions.
For those attending the Hardly Art SxSW showcase this upcoming week in Austin you can get your spring break started early with this compilation featuring some of their roster's finest:
Last week were hipping you to Dolla Will's upcoming Boss Flow and this week we got a video of his collaboration with Beeda Weeda in “Busy (Getting Money).” In the video directed by Hiero's Casual with his Wet Foot Filmworks video production crew; Will and Beeda stress the importance of their preoccupation with making that paper, a hot secretary, a good office and a good plastic bottle of Sprite to have on hand. You can download Life Before Dolla Will here guilt free.
Mike Wexler is receiving praise from both fans and peers alike with the release of his full length Dispossession this week on Mexican Summer. Joined by members of White Magic and The Occasion and some improvisational players Wexler crafts an experience that creates a musical vapor that tries to find a way to fit into your own mood. If you enjoy this experience on the featured track “Lens” of the new album then be sure to enjoy these acoustic renditions of “The Trace” and “Pariah” recorded at Brooklyn's Seaside Lounge Recording Studio.
Brown Shoe released their video for “Sweet Crazy Baby” while out on their national tour that includes pit stops at SxSW. Watch the band sing a homecoming ballad to their beloved while a ballerina takes the song into step. Listen too how their vocals, sleepy piano and passions give way to background noise effects of fireworks bursting in the sky and escaped sounds from the outside busy streets. Brown Shoe's The Gift Horse is available now.
Chicago's Loyal Divide got their track “Vision Vision” remixed by Chelsea Wolfe's BF Ben Chisholm under his solo moniker White Horse. Ever expanding the brand of the Wolfe franchise into the darkened corners of Matmos drill sampled-style of electronic revisionism, W. Horse might be the next big thing to hit the dark dance waves. Look for Loyale Divide's Vision/Revision April 28.
Fresh off of dropping Respect, Fatal Lucciauno's earns his, like on this freestyle at “E. Cherry St.” in Seattle's Central District.
Here is his latest single “Doctor Love” featuring Fatal's little brother I AM. In the Northwest game spitter's words, “[I AM]’s the greatest rap artist to never hit the light of day – he’s my secret weapon.”
Woods is one of the hardest working bands out on the circuits today between releases, collaborations, and their excellent label Woodsist. So for this week in Woods we have news of this year's Woodsist Festival featuring appearances from favorites liked Piereced Arrows, White Fence, Mantles, Thee Oh Sees, Fresh & Onlys, Michael Hurley, Peaking Lights and Ducktails, August 4-5 at Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. Look for their split with Amps for Christ April 17 on CD and May 1 for vinyl on Shrimper. Until then, get a listen to their new track “Wind Was the Wind” that comes on big and strong but barely sticks around for a minute and 28 seconds. You wish that time were doubled.
Mr. Gnome's “The Way” has been receiving praise, catching ears and inspiring fellow musicians even before they got the MTV Hive fist bump. Cleveland's Nicole Barille and Sam Meister are taking sound on the road covering both coasts between now through May that includes appearances at SxSW. Their digital 7″ Softly Mad comes out March 20 on El Marko Records which includes 2 b-sides from their Madness in Miniature sessions.
Former Chairlift-er Aaron Pfenning has taken on the role as an NYC producer operating under the name REWARDS who reworked School of Seven Bells' “The Night.” Pfenning takes the original and keeps it contained within bubbles while interjecting electric interferences before the entire piece ignites into an underground party of grand design. SVIIB's album Ghotory debuted last week and can be found via iTunes while a 7” for Record Store Day drops April 21 with a cover of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Kiss Them For Me” and a previously unreleased studio track called “When She Was Me.”
Our friend Matt Gangi who dropped the excellent “Outside Ones” a few months back is making mad appearances at SxSW and wanted to forward along those dates:
Catching up with the big block-buzz-ter videos, we give you in case you missed it Sharon Von Etten's dazzling street views in “Leonard” from her Jagjaguwar release Tramp.
Watch what those Odd Future ruffians are doing these days with their big budgets for videos.
We also got the fly-eyed Albert Rossini directed video from Chromatics' “Candy” to keep the Drive soundtrack ignited in your heart. Their follow up to 2007's Night Drive is said to drop later this year under the working title of Kill For Love on Italians Do It Better.
Because we all are excited about Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, even Carmel-by-the-Sea cyber hooligans Steve and Gary of Hot Dogs in the Sun took time away from their lewd public displays of lazer tag and general freaking out of locals, dog walkers, and tourists alike to cover “Do You Really Have to Pee…” The misguided and malinformed abberrated original is given the “Stephanie Says” treatment with gentle keys and subdued synthetic strings.