"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. All we need this time is two acts: Austin's Shmu (1/2 of Zorch) and California's Sacred Caves (member of Film School).

Shmu

Shmu is the new solo project of Sam Chown, one half of Austin's raucously insane rock duo, Zorch. His latest record, Discipline/Communication, was released on June 5th via Grand Theft Zamboni Records. The 16-track record, like Zorch's offerings, is sheer insanity, though in a vastly different sense. Discipline/Communication is not consistently high-energy, but each track encompasses its own bizarre universe of sound, each the sonic equivalent of a 15-minute Adult Swim show. This type of compartmentalization is evident in just the first two singles alone: "&hearts" is a spastic collage of noise and rhythm while the much more accessible "House Of Stares" cradles one in a smooth crib of silk, with psychedelic mobiles swirling up ahead. Tracks are streaming below, and if this is your bag, rest assured that the rest of the album can be found among and within these meandering boundaries of musical form. DISCIPLINE/COMMUNICATION TRACKLISTING 01. Impressions 02. House of Stares 03. Backwoods 04. Directions 05. Crazy #107 06. Shadowgames 07. Happiness 08. Peaceful Swan 09. Vanitos 10. &hearts 11. Heads Will Fall 12. Floatin' Oculus 13. Turpentine 14. Fester 15. Dangerous Passion 16. Pool Party (Place 4 Us) Shmu - "House Of Stares" - DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/mp3/downloads/Shmu_House-Of-Stares.mp3|titles=House Of Stares] Shmu - "&hearts" - DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/mp3/downloads/Shmu_and-hearts.mp3|titles=House Of Stares]

 

MADNESS! is a recurring series of audio WTFs and head-twitching, spine-tingling experimental or chaotic fun (k-k+st-s)icks.

Starring

"Kraut-punk, you say?" my ears perking up. "Whatever could that madness be?" That madness is Starring. And at the risk of being lazy, I'm going to go ahead and copy and paste a clip from SPIN, as it is actually quite the creative and accurate summary of the Brooklyn band: "Within the first frenetic minute of 'The Best,' Starring fold a delay bubble into a Farfisa freak-out into a Neu!-ish buildup and shove everything inside a tiny room that's vibrating with processed drums and tattoo-gun percussion. Then, wait - was that a jazz flute solo? Like the alphabet-soup title of the full-length album it appears on, 'The Best' packs a sundry spoonful of familiar sounds and sweet surprises into a restive five-minutes and change." - SPIN Their new album, ABCDEFG-HIJKLMNOP-QRSTUV-WXYZ, comes out June 12th on Northern Spy Records, a six-track album recorded in a church. This track, "The Best," is a helluva intro to their work. You can see why they play shows with bands as diverse as Chain and The Gang, Magik Markers, and Dustin Wong -- they're all over the place, in the best of fucking ways! Full tour dates and tracklisting at the bottom of this post. Album art courtesy of Alex Ness. STARRING TOUR DATES ^ w/ Guardian Alien 06/14/12 Brooklyn, NY - Public Assembly (Strange Victory Touring / Northside Fest Showcase) * 07/07/12 Brooklyn, NY - 285 Kent Ave. (Spy Music Festival) % Aug 8th Floristree Space Baltimore, MD ^ Aug 9th The Pilot Light Knoxville, TN ^ Aug 10th 529 Atlanta, GA ^ Aug 11th The Basement Nashville, TN ^ Aug 12th Siberia New Orleans, LA ^ Aug 13th Walter’s on Washington Houston, TX ^ Aug 14th Mohawk Austin, TX ^ Aug 15th Record Bar Kansas City, MO ^ Aug 16th The Firebird St. Louis, MO ^ Aug 18th The Hideout Chicago, IL ^ Aug 19th The Mill Iowa City, IA ^ Aug 20th Cactus Club Madison, WI ^ Aug 22nd Happy Dog Cleveland, OH ^ Aug 23rd Double Double Land Toronto, ON ^

 

There was a time when it seemed that the only way an American studio knew how to make money was to churn out some poorly written, slapstick, gross-out comedy with sexual hijinks that invoked cringes, laughs, and three or four poorly written sequels. But just...

At this moment, your mind is receiving stimuli that defines the space around you. Infinite waves of molecular interactions are coursing through your body, separating isness from notness, being from perception, object from space; determining the contours of your physical and mental limits while daring you to shatter them. Space is your space, the loop from your mind to subject and back. There is room for much confusion here due to latency -- the time it takes to complete the loop -- but there is also room for exploration, for realization, and for creation. How we fill the space is up to us. The opportunity a wonderful gift which can be made even more powerful when we share it with other people -- when we bottle the loop so that others can trace its orbit. We do this through every creative act, and yet, some are more obvious than others. Architecture, for example, or sculpture, but what about words? What about music? There are sounds that define and create spaces that feel more real than those confirmed by visual or physical cues. These are the sounds that characterize the music of both Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras, and The Congos. All three artists are prone to constructing material hallucinations from sonic vibrations. And now, in 2012, we have Icon Give Thank, a record combining Sun Araw's desert acid zones with The Congos' Kingston temples into one heroic dose. Cameron Stallones of Sun Araw, Geddes Gengras, Ashanti Roy of The Congos, and director Tony Lowe all chime in on this interview, to offer a glimpse into the divergent cultural and creative worlds that intersected in the creation of a final record and short film product.

Sun Araw

"Crete" from Ancient Romans

M. Geddes Gengras

April 2012 Tour Set

The Congos

"Fisherman" From Heart Of The Congos

 

Multicultural Sounds travels the world for contemporary reinventions of cultural staples. This post is a miniature celebration of a couple of globe-trotting musician and producer Diplo's latest works.

 

Bonde do Rolê

Turning genre-mashing into a gun-slinging festivity of high delights are the theatrical Bonde do Rolê, who have a new album coming out later this summer on Mad Decent. Come June 26th, the world shall see Diplo's production chops at work on Tropicalbacanal, which will also be fucking bananas in terms of guest starrage: Caetano Veloso, Das Racist, The Death Set, and plenty of others help the band usher in what the press release describes as "the fresh wave of avalanche tropical (the bossa nova of modern Brazil)." Continued below, another Diplo special, in the form of beats on "Knock Out" featuring South Korea's G-Dragon and TOP, from the boy bad Big Bang.

 

MADNESS! A recurring series of audio WTFs and head-twitching, spine-tingling experimental or chaotic fun (k-k+st)icks.

Eric Copeland

Does it sound like Black Dice? It sure does. That's because it is Black Dice -- or, at least, it's a core member of Black Dice gone solo without sacrificing the madness. Eric Copeland's album single for Limbo, "Louie, Louie, Louie" is like a more restrained but just as chaotic and visually-evocative counterpart to any Black Dice Song, and the album cover alone speaks volumes about the tendecy of this music. It's a burst of pattern, certainly not lacking in energy and intricacy, but lacking a wee bit o' color (I'm still comparing it to Black Dice, though, not to Coldplay). Limbo comes out June 5th on Underwater Peoples. Tracklisting for Limbo below, where you can also stream the entirety of his previous album, Waco Taco Combo! LIMBO TRACKLISTING 1. Double Reverse Psychology 2. Louie, Louie, Louie 3. Muckaluk 4. Fiesta Muerta 5. Tarzan and the Dizzy Devils 6. Lemons

 

As unthrilled I am to have to link to Spin Magazine to make this happen... you can now listen to the entirety of the new Black Dice record on their site. It also comes with a track-by-track breakdown of themes. Mr. Impossible comes out on April 10th on Ribbon Music, and it's the band's first record in three years. "Pinball Wizard" and "Pigs" are the two album singles which have been released so far. Pre-ordering the record now will get you a special edition hand-numbered and individually-screened LP, limited to 350 copies! See the full post for album stream, tour dates, and music video for "Pigs."

 

MADNESS! A recurring series of audio WTFs and head-twitching, spine-tingling experimental fun (k)icks.

Giant Claw

Giant Claw's limited edition 12" will soon be released through Wool Recordings! For your easy listening enjoyment are four songs from release, now available digitally. More of their albums, complete with marvelous album cover artwork, are available on their Bandcamp. For a four-dimensional experiment in listening amusement, take such amusingly-named tracks as "Hobo-Cop" and "Spirit Heal Me" and custom-tailor them to a narrative of your own choosing, as devised in your mind's eye! The results are guaranteed to be cinematic in the most bizarre of '80s-sci-fi-meets-stoner-late-night-TV ways.

 

Buy from Wool Recordings

 

Gary Hill. The Psychedelic Gedankenexperiment. 2011. Two projection screens, two HD video projectors, eight specially fabricated foam chairs, four text panels (each 40 x 71 inches), four amplified speakers on tripods, 3D glasses, acoustic foam/plywood divider, one computer with two channels of Quicktime pla Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. Saturday, March 31st, 2012 from 2:00pm to 3:30pm at Henry Auditorium. $5 for Henry members and UW students; $10 General Admission.
Tomorrow, at Henry Art Museum in Seattle, Gary Hill and George Quasha get scientifically psychedelic with performance art involving digital media and live video manipulations, human bodies, languages and rhythms, and everyday materials. In their collaboration, the two use what is probably overly wordy terminology ('electronic linguistics", "psychotropic languages vehicles", "dynamical lingualia", and "lingualities") to achieve the final goal: "a pulsational conversation with stepped-up intensity in which Real Time is invited to show its other side." Indeed, Real Time is purposely capitalized with an R and a T, and if Hill and Quasha are as brainy and far-out as their lexicon would lead one to believe, glossodelia will be a brainy mindfuck of a performance.
glossodelic attractors suggests a range of meanings from the etymologies "glosso-" (fr. Greek "language, tongue") and "-delic" (fr. Greek "make manifest, visible") and resonates with "glossolalia" and "psychedelic." "Attractors," in addition to the mathematical meaning of "a set towards which a dynamical system evolves over time (e.g., strange attractor)," connects with the "-tropic" part of 'psychotropic'—attractors that orient the mind, turn the mind in a new direction. The title indicates that the selected works perform singular initiations into dynamical/lingual events. As psychotropic languaging vehicles these works reorient the mind by altering our conception of what language is. They attract possible language realities—or, rather, lingualities." - George Quasha, in dialogue with Gary Hill and Charles Stein

AU's music is insane -- in a marching band out of a circus hall-of-mirrors kind of way. Senses of up and down and left and right are obliterated in maximalist fashion; their recent Into The Woods session utilizes quick cuts galore to highlight the Portland...