What's up with indie rock

Friends Records released a solid set of cassettes on July 11. On Holy Ghost Party's Weather Channel, echoing vocals, snappy percussion, and graceful guitar licks from Dope Body's Zachary Utz and David Jacober are fleshed out by malleteer extraordinaire Rod Hamilton to make a beautiful collection of whimsical jazz, soul, and rock. Synth-pop group Raindeer's brilliant debut, Tattoo, is full of memorable hooks and kooky arrangements. Brian Adam Ant's Unspecified Services offer up 00-00, featuring fractured songwriting and psychedelic sound collages. And finally Wing Dam's fuzzed-out indie-pop Thick Phase / No Splash is the band's first release as a trio.

Jubilant indie-poppers Sun Club released a 7-inch, "Beauty Meat" b/w "Language Juice," on Aug 2. The production and performances are a bit more blown out than their debut record, giving a pleasing off-the-cuff feel to the tracks.

And it wouldn't be a Rock Since the Bee Gee's column without a briefing of what Dan Deacon, Baltimore's hardest-working avant twee-core producer, has been up to. First up, from the Adult Swim Singles Program (the same good people who brought you last year's excellent Wye Oak track "Spiral") is a new song entitled "Why Am I on This Cloud?" that uses samples from Adult Swim shows. Coinciding with the release of the single is an Adult Swim-produced video for America's epic "USA" suite. It's like Koyaanisqatsi on acid. And if you haven't seen Vice magazine's Noisey video feature on Deacon, you should check it out, if only for the vintage performing clips or, if you're a gearhead, enticing shots of Moog pedals and Casio keyboards. And, if you missed it, Deacon composed an original track for our Big Music Playlist, while riding on a train (citypaper.com/news/big-baltimore-playlist-side-2-1.1528665). And finally, don't miss Deacon with Future Islands and Videohippos (their first show since 2010) at the Ottobar Sept 21.

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