Looper – “Mondo ’77”

No, this is not a promo for a Top Gun sequel (that’s actually in development, by the way). The dude that looks like a pilot is posing in front of a trailer. Nothing to do with Donnie Darko either; those are different evil rabbits.

“Mondo ’77” is taken from Looper’s sophomore record, The Geometrid (2000). We’re still waiting, by the way, for the new Looper album that we were promised back in April 2013 (as well as a box set that was supposed to come out in April of this year, on Mute). Seems Stuart David’s keeping busy writing memoirs about Belle & Sebastian, these days.

-Scott Bryson

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Velvet Ants – Solt Olio

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We know an “Olio” is a miscellaneous collection (of songs, in this case), but this “Solt” bit is confusing us. Solt may be a town in Hungary, a Catholic society, or an acronym for one of numerous theatre companies.

Cryptic intentions aside, Virginia’s Velvet Ants have put together an understated and irreproachable cycle for their third album. Remnants of a ’90s alt-rock mood (think Scott Weiland, Howie Beck) mingle with the modern sensibilities of a Smith Westerns or a Real Estate. Solt Olio is gentle and convincing—no pretense or bombast lurking.

Check out “Idle Tears,” below; it was reportedly inspired by a Tennyson poem—how cultured!

In breaking news: looks like the band only has one member left. On a happier note (for us), all of the Velvet Ants’ albums will be on sale for five bucks, starting October 1.

-Scott Bryson

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Tanya Tagaq – “Uja” / “Umingmak”

Tanya Tagaq took home the Polaris Music Prize on Monday, for her album Animism. That’s her Polaris gala performance up above (at 3:22:00).

Her acceptance speech will not soon be forgotten (she was perhaps trying to outdo Godspeed’s entry of last year):

“…People should wear and eat seal as much as possible. An indigenous culture is thriving and surviving on a renewable resource: wearing and eating seal. It’s delicious, and there’s lots of them, and fuck PETA…”

PETA later pointed out that they only oppose commercial seal hunting.

-Telescope Staff

*Note: looks like her performance video has been pulled from YouTube.  Above is the full Polaris Gala, with Tanya’s performance at 3:22:00.

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CHERUB – “Doses & Mimosas”

I have to admit, I think Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber look best in this video dressed as steaks, don’t you?

Ordinarily, I think of Nashville as more of a guitar city, but here we have CHERUB, electro-pop through and through, calling out “all the bitch-ass hoes” who hate them the most.  I’d say that the mimosa is the perfect drink for such a statement.

-Michelle Farres

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Ought – “Today More Than Any Other Day”

Montreal’s Ought are officially my surprise highlight band of the summer.

It was during their day performance at the annual Hillside Festival in Guelph, Ontario. Not that I went in there with low expectations; it’s just that I only knew one of their songs and had no idea what their live show was like. Some of the comments among my friends during the set were:

“Oh wow, these guys are excellent!”

“There’s definitely a David Byrne vibe going on here.”

“Doesn’t the lead kind of look like a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt?” (Seriously, he does).

If you find any of the above opinions intriguing, you can catch Ought at Hard Luck this Friday night. You will not be disappointed – I could never in good conscience lead you astray like that.

-Michelle Farres

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Temples – Sun Structures

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No accents to tip you off, but there’s surely an ineffable British-ness permeating this debut (they’re from England, so no surprise there). Sun Structures might have come across as cloyingly British, in fact, were its songs not so damned catchy.

Temples’ influences and contemporaries are easily rattled off after one listen (and have been rattled off, often with disdain, by other publications)—The Byrds, The Beatles, Tame Impala—but there’s a touch of something unanticipated that really knocks this out of the park. The Monkees, maybe? A hint of spy music?

Nothing groundbreaking here—this is strictly a ’60s revival endeavor—but there’s nothing wrong with leaving the innovation to someone else and simply sounding pretty (proof: check out “Shelter Song” below and you’ll be hooked).

-Scott Bryson

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Rainy Day – “I’ll Keep It With Mine” (Dylan Cover)

Rainy Day was a collaboration that joined musicians from several California-based bands, including Dream Syndicate, The Three O’Clock, Rain Parade and The Bangles (in the midst of what was known as the Paisley Underground scene—a lengthy story on that *here* for those not inclined to work this aft).

This rendition of Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Keep It with Mine” comes from the lone album Rainy Day released, in 1984. It’s matched with footage from the 1961 film, Critique of Separation.

-Scott Bryson

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