Weekly Roundup: Mikal Cronin, Hanni El Khatib, Ariel Pink, MXMS, Spirit Club, Peptalk, Jessie Jones, Kevin Morby, Damaged Bug

Posted by Billy Gil, May 29, 2015 11:57am | Post a Comment

Mikal Cronin - "Say" video

The cute video for Mikal Cronin's "Say," off his recently released, excellent MCIII album, stars Cronin and comedian/actors Jonah Ray, Nick Thune and Nelson Franklin in a recreation of Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" video—plus some murder. Watch it via Funny or Die.



Hanni El Khatib – “Melt Me” video

L.A. garage rocker wanders an arcade moping and singing while seemingly unwitting participants get roped in to this cinema verite-style video. Two cute girls playing Dance Dance Revolution serve as a particularly funny counterpoint to El Khatib’s bummed-out state. The song comes from his latest album, Moonlight, which is out now on Innovative Leisure.


Ariel Pink - "I Need a Minute" video

The video for Ariel Pink's dreamily detuned jam "I Need a Minute," from the upcoming cinema verite-esque film about a heroin addicted girl looking for love, Heaven Knows What, features the film's star Arielle Holmes, who also wrote the memoir upon which the film is based. The phone-shot music video features more than 200 public bathrooms. No word yet on if the song will appear on a soundtrack, or if a soundtrack will be released, but still, cool song. Pitchfork premiered the video and says it also stars the film's co-star, Caleb Landry-Jones, although that looks a lot like Ariel Pink to me, so who knows. The movie opens tonight in L.A. at the ArcLight.


MXMS – “Rx”

mxmsL.A. pop noir duo MXMS draw up strange visions with their ethereally bleak song “Rx,” the B-side to breathless piano ballad “OMG.” “I watch TV/Should I drink bleach?” singer Ariel Levitan sings in one particularly hopeless couplet while drums rumble behind her. MXMS’ sound, difficult to pin down, calls to mind forgotten leftfield pop acts of the late ’80s like Shakespear’s Sister with their dual dedication to pop hooks and gothiness, while the production is still firmly rooted in a post xx/Kanye anything-goes era of today. It’s particularly thrilling when Levitan finally breaks through the haze with an uplifting belt at the song’s climax. Definitely interested to hear more from MXMS. The 7” is due July 24 on Grand Jury.


Spirit Club - "Fast Ice"

Wavves' Nathan Williams just released the first album from a new project with his brother, Joel Williams (also of their duo Sweet Valley), and Andrew Caddick (Jeans Wilder). But "Fast Ice" is a new track already, which could appear on a second Spirit Club album. Compared with Wavves, Spirit Club's sound is much softer, highlighting Williams' Beach Boys-inspired songcraft over sonics, with a focus on samples, though "Fast Ice" is a stripped-down guitar track that faces a break up head-on. "You want me to love you, but why would I care?" Williams sings over bittersweet chords and sweet cooing backup vocals, adding, "I hope you miss me every night."


Peptalk – “Endall”

Experimental Oakland trio Peptalk create inviting soundscapes out of exotic percussion and electronic washes, crafting ambient music in a way that is lush and engrossing. Featuring Shayna Dunkelman of Xiu Xiu (percussion), Michael Carter of Tyondai Braxton (electronics) and Angelica Negron of Balun (vocals), the band calls to mind acts like Talk Talk and Japan but with their own sense of gently unfolding space. Islet is due June 15 on Home Assembly.


Jessie Jones – “Sugar Coated”

jessie jonesThe young singer/songwriter Jessie Jones has quite the pedigree. Though she was raised a devout evangelical Christian, Jones’ voice sounds completely untamed. She fronted the band Feeding People in her teenage years and recently has sung for the great L.A. proto-punk-style band Death Valley Girls. Now she’s got her own thing coming out, a self-titled album on Burger due July 24. Hear the first taste, which is indeed a sweet kiss-off complete with handclaps and a singalong chorus. Hear it via Stereogum.


Kevin Morby – “Parade”

You can’t take the New York out of Kevin Morby, whose new video is a love letter to the city. “Passing slowly through the town,” the former Woods member sings on the somber tune as we see unglorified images of people living their lives in the city, eating spaghetti in the park and going to funerals and such. Now an L.A. resident, Morby’s video serves as a nicely nostalgic yet realistic exploration of his old haunts. It’s off of his latest album, the excellent Still Life. Watch via Stereogum.


Damaged Bug – “Jet in Jungle” video

damaged bugJust after releasing his latest great album with Thee Oh Sees, Mutilator Defeated at Last, the prolific John Dwyer is releasing his second album under the moniker Damaged Bug, which is based around analog synthesizers rather than garage-rock guitars. Cold Hot Plumbs is due June 1 on Dwyer’s label, Castle Face, and he’s got a new “Thunderbirds”-style video for the single “Jet in Jungle.” Check it out on Pitchfork.







Shows This Weekend

Friday: The Lovely Bad Things, Diarrhea Planet and Left & Right at the Echo ($12)

Saturday-Sunday: Courtney Barnett at the Roxy ($17)

Sunday: Guantanamo Baywatch, The Memories and Taffy at the Echo ($13)


Relevant Tags

Weekly Roundup (139), Mikal Cronin (17), Hanni El Khatib (17), Ariel Pink (33), Mxms (1), Spirit Club (2), Peptalk (1), Jessie Jones (3), Kevin Morby (11), Damaged Bug (5)