Weekly Roundup: Mar 25 – 31, 2012

Busy week but the Dig team has had the chance to reunite for the weekend in NYC and there are some exciting things coming. For now, it's time for another Weekly Roundup.

200 Years is a collaboration between Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance and Elisa Ambrogio of Magik Markers. They released an album last fall and are currently on tour – April 14th in Baltimore and April 15th in Brooklyn. I have been blown away by this song "Solar System." Ben has released a lot of great acoustic-based guitar music rich in mood and the pairing with Elisa's voice is just sublime.

200 Years – Solar System

I Am Harlequin is the recording project of Anne Frier and she released a new video for the song "Onesome" that I'm digging. It's sort of a performance-meets-found-footage clip, but the real star is the song itself. It's got an earworm chorus that will burrow in your brain and take up residence for long afterwards. It reminds me of Florence + the Machine for its powerful vocals and hooky syncopation, though Anne is definitely a unique soul doing her own thing, which includes launching a line of clothing. She's so prolific! 

Moon Hooch is the kind of band you don't come across very often – two saxophones and a drummer. They call it "Cave Music" and they have an awesome video for the song "Low 4" that is just killer. I love the visuals of the NYC cityscape and how it captures the electricity of the performance. These guys are on fire here, it's propulsive and grooves and melts faces. The backbeats are amazing and the saxes have a great chemistry. It's such an attacking yet textured approach, I can see why everyone around them is so into it. Badass. They will have a residency at the Knitting Factory in April and play the Ottobar in Baltimore in May.

-Here's a great song title "Gary Busey (Life Good)," by rapper Keith Masters. The song is more than a great title, though. I love the production, especially the combo of the the heavy synths and the clear piano. Keith brings a smooth confidence and low-key humor to lay down his rhymes, and a positive message emerges. It's really solid, a cool mixture of hip-hop and electronic/dance. His album is out Tuesday.

Keith Masters – Gary Busey (Life Good)

-British singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich is all set to make his US debut. He's begun touring and his album Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm arrives this summer. His song "Atlas Hands" is sort of similar to "Solar System" above – a lovely, sparse acoustic song that draws you in completely. He'll be at the Bowery Ballroom and the Knitting Factory here in NYC next week (4/10 & 4/11). I think we can all expect to hear a lot more great music from this young artist.

-Bringing things to a close this week with Portland, Oregon's Tu Fawning, whose sophomore album A Monument comes out May 15th. The lead single "Anchor" has been released and it's a compelling listen. It has an otherworldly chant-vibe to it, something kind of earthy and tribal, also sort of old-timey. It's all vaguely familiar but undeniably exotic. It's a bit slippery to grasp, so the best thing to do is simply let it envelop you. It's worth it.