Weekly Roundup: Aug 14 – 20, 2011

Today is my one-year anniversary at Those Who Dig. Let's celebrate with a Weekly Roundup of great songs and videos.

-I'm going to kick this one off with a bang: some primal, raw blues straight out of Spain. The band is Guadalupe Plata and their tune "Pollo Podrio" hits like a hurricane. Dirty guitar, pounding drums, and howling vocals, what more do you need? I dig it. Check out more via bandcamp and facebook.

-It is a rare occurence that I get introduced to a band AFTER they have broken up, but that's what happened this week with the Middle East. I have to say, what a bummer. The video for the song "Jesus Came to my Birthday Party" is a powerful depiction on nostalgia and aging. And the song is so great. I feel like we are missing out by this band not existing, but at least we have a little something to enjoy.

Dragon King has released a tune called "Holy Ghost." Simply put, it's a really solid power pop tune. The catchy melody and crunchy guitars hit the spot. The song is from a forthcoming album due out in September.

Active Child has a debut album You Are All I See out on Tuesday and I really dig this track from it called "Playing House." It mixes an r&b element with ethereal electronics that remind me of Air. A great combination, it should be a good album. For a few more days, the full album is streaming via Hype Machine. If you like what you hear, you can pre-order via Amazon or Itunes.

Active Child – Playing House (Ft. How To Dress Well) by Vagrant Records

-I am enjoying this piano-driven music of Gabe Dixon. His debut solo album is called One Spark. He is clearly a talented songwriter, with a gift for melody. I like the energy and big choruses of the opening track, "Strike." The full album is available for streaming via Soundcloud.

Strike by concordmusicgroup

-"On Your Side" by Icarus Himself is another tune you all need to hear. It's fuzzed out with a great groove, then it gives way to some acoustic guitar before the drums come in. Really cool. Feels a little like the Flaming Lips, though the vocalist has a different sound. The lyrics have a message of devotion. The album Career Culture will be released October 11th. More about the band here.

Icarus Himself – On Your Side by PlanetaryOnlinePR

-We have featured the music of Sweet Lights before, and for those that dug it, this video from the excellent Shaking Through web series should only increase your appreciation. It's a cool look at the artistic process, and the resulting song, "You Let Me Down," is great too. Watch it here.

Tidelands first wowed me with the amazing video for the track "Holy Grail," and they have recently done it again with the epic & beautiful track "Marigolds." It's more than seven minutes long, but I feel like I could have kept on listening. I dig the horns on it. Check it out. More on the band here.

Tidelands – Marigolds by fanaticpro

-Here's an interesting one. The Japenese Popstars have a track called "Shells of Silver" that has been remixed by White Sea, and it features the vocals of James Vincent McMorrow. I haven't heard any other version, but this is cool. James is having a hell of a year, isn't he? It's cool to hear his evocative voice in different contexts.

The Japanese Popstars – Shells Of Silver feat James Vincent McMorrow (White Sea Remix) by The Japanese Popstars

-The September 27th release of The Devil's Walk by Apparat is still eagerly anticipated, but here's a video for his track "Black Water" (no relation to Timber Timbre's excellent song of the same name, incidentally). It features a sort of modern found-object sculpture of electronic devices and very deliberate, clear cinematography that matches the song's pacing.

-Finally, Keegan DeWitt has released a new song. It's called "Colour." It has an interesting 80s vibe, particularly in the verses with the precision of the guitar and drumming. Overall, it just shows his diversity as a songwriter. Here's his website for more information.