"What appeals to me is the potency in the image -- the object itself, or the mysterious atmosphere it holds. A truly beautiful image has the power open up this whole inner world; it's like a visual "key" that unlocks and fires up your imagination." - Alice Cohen...

Maria Minerva Bless EP 100% Silk (2013) On her website, Maria Minerva (née Juur) tells us that once she left home, it was easy to do it again. Indeed, for her, home is wherever she lays her head and finds a wifi password. This impermanence and transience hovers above her music like a ghost, belied by the Euro disco and dance pop stylings that she deploys. It is this combination, of the fugitive and the substantial, of the common and the uncommon, that gives her music both its reach and dynamism.

 

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles, updated throughout every month to bring you the best of the funk.
+++ FULL POST + TOP POPS! COLUMNS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Dutch Uncles - "Bellio" Vocally one part Bear In Heaven and one part Field Music, Dutch Uncles have a lot of fascinating things going on as far as the world of pop music goes. Cascading instrumentation, unforeseen breakdowns, and minimalism in occasionally suitable points make "Bellio" a track that may not be initially mind-blowing, but shifts here and there into a rainbow-clad Battles. Their upcoming record, Out of Touch in the Wild, will be released on Memphis Industries on April 2nd, and is a busy-body piece of work that will dazzle some and overwhelm others.

 

Kisses - "Huddle" Kisses' verbal simplicity often infuriates me to no end (note their band name and generic song titles galore), but in my humble opinion, they repeatedly redeem themselves with their tried-and-true methods of stripping down pop songs to only their catchiest necessities. With the release of "Huddle" and last month's "The Hardest Part", Kisses miiiiight be giving away all of their best tricks prior to the release of their next full-length, the again obnoxiously-named Kids In L.A.... but whatever gets them (and you) in the door, I guess.

 

As it is every year around this time of year, the music party that needs no introduction is upon us. For SXSW 2013, in addition to our own annual psych and dance-oriented house party (this year's is called FEEL YOU and comes with a handy-dandy mixtape), we've gone through and written up our top picks for official bands as well as our top unofficial showcases! Read on!
Youth Lagoon Trevor Powers' vocals remind me of Daniel Johnson both the physical sound and the earnest lyrics. Then he takes these simple melodies and opens them up inside lush, shimmering layers of live and electronic instruments. RACHEL HAYS
--- YOUTH LAGOON - WONDROUS BUGHOUSE ALBUM REVIEW 03/13 - 10:40pm @ Stubb's (NPR Showcase) 03/14 - 5:00pm @ 1100 Warehouse (Pitchfork Party) 03/15 - 4:00pm @ Hype Hotel (Stereogum Range Life) 03/15 - 5:30pm @ Red Eyed Fly (After the Gold Rush) 03/15 - 12:00am @ Club de Ville (Paradigm Showcase)

 

Poolside The band basically spells out relaxation with their name choice. Their music videos and album art reiterate that fact; the video for their song "Slow Down" is perfectly California cool. - JUDY NELSON
--- POOLSIDE FESTIVAL LIVE SHOW REVIEW MON, MAR 11 - 8:00pm @ The Mohawk (Transmission Entertainment Showcase, 912 Red River) MAR 13 - 5:20pm @ Cheer Up Charlie's (Spaceland Showcase, 1104 E 6th St.) MAR 13 - 9:30pm @ The Tap Room (School Night Showcase) MAR 13 - 1:30am @ Red 7 (Windish Showcase, 611 East 7th St.) MAR 14 - 1:35pm @ Flamingo Cantina (Under The Radar Showcase, 515 E 6th St.) MAR 14 - 6:00pm @ Sonos House (606 E 3rd St.) MAR 15 - 4:00pm @ Red Eyed Fly (Another Planet Entertainment Showcase) MAR 16 - 4:00pm @ Lustre Pearl (97 Rainey St.)

 

Flying Lotus Years ago, I was at SXSW and dying from crippling food poisoning. I was at the Warp Records showcase, more or less ready to die, when Flying Lotus took the stage and revived me. One-man electronic shows aren't always compelling, but with his tricked out beats, spastic visuals, and just general mythology, Flying Lotus is one of the best electronic solo acts to see. VIVIAN HUA
03/12 - 12:00am @ AMOA Arthouse at Jones Center (Plus an unannounced surprise performance!)

 

Decibel Festival Showcase & Musician Picks

We've done the dirty work of flying through the expansive Decibel Festival 2012 schedule to select emerging and established acts which we think are most worthy of your valuable time. Sometimes this manifests as us gushing over complete all-night showcases or focusing on the Optical series, which merges visual art and music; other times, we dish out praise for solitary wheelers and dealers. Hear audio clips, read summaries, and more in this massive festival preview guide.

Decibel Festival Conferences

Music pioneers, experts, and newbies alike take heed! Decibel Festival's 2012 Conferences are a glimpse of what it's like to go to school for a degree in electronic music wizardry. Featuring collaborations with some fine and forward-thinking folks of the electronic world, these conferences run the gamut, giving those who want to get hands-on and technical the opportunities to do so, as well as offering more relaxed lectures for the bashful yet curious. Our choices for the 2012 Conference events focus heavily on the cross-disciplinary, emerging technologies, and panels which directly involve audience participation.

Decibel Festival After-Hours Parties

Those who: a) want to squeeze every last bit of glorious music-watching opportunity out of Decibel but are frustrated by the very human quality of being limited by time; and b) don't want to pay for a Decibel Festival pass but want to witness the international and national touring acts that will be in Seattle; will find some alleviation in Decibel Festival's After-Hours events. There are seven total, presented by Resident Advisor, Red Bull, and more.

Decibel Festival Boat Parties

Of all the Seattle experiences one can have, there's nothing quite like a sunny afternoon floating atop the waters of Lake Washington and Lake Union with skyscrapers, houseboats, nature, and sunshine in sight. Decibel Festival has expanded their annual boat parties from two days to four this year, in an effort to provide more intimate experiences for all showgoers.

Decibel Festival Lineup 2012

 

SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS A recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. This post features Peaking Lights (Mexican Summer) and Woods (Woodiss Records) -- both bands with new records and upcoming tour dates together.

 

Peaking Lights

Not sure what it is about Peaking Lights and fairly painful record covers, but at least you can count on them for some laid-back psychedelic jams. Their latest single, "LO HI" takes the band into more bizarre and percussive territory, but maintains Indra Dunis' signature vocals, and a selection of baby squeals may or may not be a hidden homage to Timbaland and Aaliyah (because if not, they might just be confusing). You can also get a bunch of DJ edits at Gorilla Vs. Bear, from a fine chap who calls himself a fine name: $layron. Lucifer is out now on Mexican Summer and Weird World! Plus some remixes below from their previous Remixes 12". You can hear the rest on the band's SoundCloud. Yum!!!