Weekly Roundup: Mar 11 – 17, 2012

It was quite the week at Dig HQ. Saw some great shows, March Madness – my favorite sporting event – kicked off, Community returned, St. Patrick's Day festivities, and more. I'm ready to cap it off by sharing some awesome music in this new Weekly Roundup.

The American Dollar has a new album coming out March 24th, and I'm enjoying the single "Heavy Eyes Ignite." It's instrumental post-rock with a sweeping grandeur and emotional pull in the vein of Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai. I always love this kind of evocative music, it turns my mind into a projector with scenes of memories or glimpses of possibilities unspooling in my head as I get lost in the sounds of the piano, guitars, and drums. If you follow the link from the player below, you can find ways to purchase the track or the album Awake in the City.

An Horse is a duo from Australia and their new video for "Leave Me" is really cool. It's a split-screen performance, with guitarist Kate on the left frame and drummer Damon on the right. What's cool is how things sometimes crossover from one side to the other. The song charges along; it's very high energy of lots of quick strums and drum rolls. I dig it. It's an anthem for moving on, and I like the lyric "I don't want to remember summers in December" a lot. The band is about to start a tour opening for Nada Surf, check out their website for the dates.

An Horse – Leave Me from David Rusanow on Vimeo.

-Chances are very good that a video with the description "Hobo monkey in space" makes the Weekly Roundup on general principle alone. Fortunately, not only does the clip for "Chase the Sun" by Skipping Girl Vinegar live up to its promise as a fun watch, it's also a good song. This is an Australian band with a joyous indie pop sound that has a folk tinge as well. They've made a very clever video in which little monkey Baker makes a journey into Earth's orbit. It's creative and well made. I like the little handmade detail touches a lot.

-We have another duo to share, this one is a NYC-based husband and wife team called MAKAR. They released their latest album Funeral Genius a few months back and I'm particularly enjoying the track called "I Wanna Know What I Don't Know." Great title first of all, but it's also got a very catchy hook of a piano & guitar riff which serves as a launching point for singer Andrea's verse melodies. It reminds me a little musically of "Brimful of Asha." The pair seem to have a good interplay on both instruments and vocals. You can sample more of their music via the website or the Soundcloud page linked below.

-Onto a few things I haven't been able to share that I've been wanting to. Sometime in the last month or so, we were tipped off to the very wonderful video performance series, The Ballard Sessions. I believe it's based in Seattle and it features a live performance, usually acoustic, in an interesting location. TWD favorite Kris Orlowski has made a few appearances, but the one I'd like to share comes from Erin Rae. The song is called "I Hope You Get What You Need," and it's quite stunning. Erin picks out a lovely pattern on guitar and sings some powerful words to what seems to be the other half of a prior relationship. It reminds me of what I like about Iron & Wine – how it's so well written both musically and lyrically. The lyrics are open-ended enough that there are other readings to bring to it, which is great. I really like how it has sentiment that comes from strength and pure good intentions, but also sentiment that feels very yearning and pained. A masterful ambiguity. Be sure to check out more of Erin's music and other session videos.

-Shifting gears, I'm really digging the latest music from The Crocodiles. They will be releasing a new album called Endless Flowers on June 5th and if the advance single, "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)" is any indication, it should be quite spectacular. This song is hard to pinpoint – it's not super fast, but it moves along nicely; it's not overly loud, but it rocks; it doesn't feel fully garage, psych, indie, punk, or pop but rather a fusion of all those in a totally organic way. It's just a damn good song. That'll have to be enough to describe it. Just trust your ears on this one, I know you'll dig it. Also, the band has two headlining shows coming up in NYC on April 11th and 12th, for readers in the area.

-Let's close with a track from Villa Kang called "Hallucinating Arkansas." It has a floating electronic vibe and, strangely enough, makes me think of the Rainbow Road course in Mario Kart 64. So that's a thing. But it is a pretty refreshing and relaxing listen. Has a little spoken word towards the end, though I like the switching off between the male & female vocals during the bulk of the track more. For anyone who might have gone a little too hard yesterday for St. Patrick's Day, see if this doesn't help a little.