Week in Pop: The Babies, Junk Culture, Mogwai, Screaming Females

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Little kid drinking Mtn. Dew

In our continuing survey of what 2011 will hold for us, let us glance together at the tour dates and track previews that will shape the pop consciousness of our humble new tomorrow. More fun than reading a Wiki-leaked cable about Prince Andrew’s manners, we examine what our pop icons are planning and releasing in no particular order.

The latest sideproject buzz surrounds the Vivian Girls and Woods camps with the V’s Cassie Ramone and the W’s Kevin Morby with their announcement that their side band the Babies will release a self-titled debut on Shrimper February 8th 2011. Given the appeal of the album’s lead off jam “Run Me Over,” it seems the Babies project will distract us in the meantime as we patiently await the upcoming post-Polyvinyl Vivians album or Cassie’s future solo release. There’s also talk through the pipes about the Babies reuniting with their buddies Grass Widow and White Fence for a West Coast tour in January like they did back in the day, last march.

Babies, “Run Me Over”

Just received word that Cloud Nothings have booked some early 2011shows following their 2010 closeout with a few end-of-the-year gigs in Ohio. They will be touring with Oberhofer with an appearance by Handsome Furs at the Lincoln Hall in Chicago.

01/12 Grantham, PA – Messiah College
01/13 Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox
01/14 Columbus, OH – The Basement
01/15 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
01/17 Toronto, ON – The Drake Hotel
01/18 Montreal, QC – Casa Del Popolo

And speaking of bands with “nothing” listed in the title, it has been overstated all wake in the press this week about Wild Nothing and Abe Vigoda projecting a massive North American tour in the spring beginning in early February of next year. Check listings provided by your local journos for details.

Like the fancy dance pop on the fifth OMD album from which they are named, Junk Culture has put together the Summer Friends EP on the Illegal Art label. While the release is slated for February of 2011, you can enjoy the lead off track “Summer Friends” here and get your summer started early while you shoveling the snow from your porch while wearing your super rad board shorts.

Junk Culture, “Summer Friends”

In all fairness I simply cannot stand Alan Palomo or his other Green Label Sound cronies but I’m gonna sell out and “Do the Dew” over this trippy little video for “Mind Drips,” originally off of Neon Indian’s Psychic Chasms album. I can tell you that this video goes great when your buzzing off erythorbic acid (to preserve freshness while you singing “Should Have Taken Erythorbic Acid With You”), calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), brominated vegetable oil and some good ol’ fashioned Yellow 5.

Neon Indian, “Mind, Drips” (Dir. by Lars Larsen)

Screaming Females are slated to play January 14th at the Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall for the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival, January 17th in Los Angeles at the Echoplex with La Sera and February 12th at the Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg for the Don Giovanni Records Showcase with Byrds of Paradise, the Cans, Laura Stevenson, Shellshag and the Steinways. Maria Paternoster would like to also share the track “Wild” from the Screaming Females album, Castle Talk.

Screaming Females, “Wild”

Also our good ol’ Glasgow chorus of guitarists Mogwai have put out a video for their song “How to Be a Werewolf.” I also hear good things about their future February 15th release of Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will on Sub Pop and this “Werewolf” track shows the band breaking some new and dare I say, pleasant sonic ground.

Mogwai, “How to Be a Werewolf”

I would like to conclude by informing you all that the San Francisco Noise Pop 2011 roster is now available here. The lineup includes your heroes like Yo La Tengo, Dan Deacon and No Age, along with Versus, Ted Solo, Say Anything’s Max Bemis, Admiral Radley and a one night residency at the Regency Ballroom with Nathan opening up for his sweetheart Bethany. That’s right, we’re talking about a sea of Mountain Dew and all the Snacks-“I-wish-you-could-talk,” the cat fetishizing you can handle in one closing night. Thanks again Noise Pop and again you’re welcome.