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Artist of the Month
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January 2015
Bonsai
"self titled EP
"
mp3

Our regular readers may have noticed that we like to highlight residencies played by local artists in local venues, but admittedly we entirely missed Bonsai's November one at Pete Candy's Store - admittedly, we weren't aware that the lovely east Williamsburg venue actually had residencies! Well, not only they have them, but they also pick good artists for them, since Bonsai's music is an absolute delight. Their self titled debut EP is a delicate and dreamy alt folk gem. Opener "Bonsai Trees" - the most accomplished track on the record, streaming below - shows the trio's interest in revisiting traditional American music in new ways, employing intriguing percussive textures, inventive and appropriate guitar parts, and a production that's edgy without being over the top. Of course, all this wouldn't do much if Simone Stevens' vocals and melodies weren't spot on, confident and compelling. The magic continues with "When it Rains," a more subdued track floating in oozes of reverb and supported by what sounds like an acoustic guitar two-note sample loop. Atmospheric ballad "I fashion you are a dreamer" turns up the melancholy big time with a verse as intense as it gets, only to deliver one of those powerfully uplifting choruses that - unless you are fully corrupted by life - can touch you in deep ways. Upbeat pop number "I Like You Man" and final folky song "Messed Up" fill up the record competently, but without reaching the heights of the first three tracks. This is a small, beautiful record with the power to awaken emotions and make people closer, i.e. exactly what the doctor orders every time a new year begins.

This band submitted their music for coverage here.
We added this song to The Deli's playlist of
Best mellow songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

 
The 60's
Bob Dylan

Simon and Garfunkel

Velvet Underground
The 70's
Television
Patti Smith
The New York Dolls

The Ramones

The Talking Heads
Richard Hell
The Dead Boys
Blondie
Suicide
Lydia Lunch
DNA  
Mars
The Contortions  
The 80's
Sonic Youth
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
Swans
The Feelies
Laurie Anderson
They Might Be Giants
John Zorn
Arto Lindsay
Sonic Youth
The Fleshtones
The 90's

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Yo La Tengo
Soul Coughing
Cat Power
The 00's
The Strokes
Interpol
TV on The Radio
Fiery Furnaces
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Bravery
Animal Collective
Bright Eyes
Devendra Banhart
Moldy Peaches
Le Tigre
Liars
Blonde Redhead
Grizzly Bear
 

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scene blog

Marathoner Mike Day 2: Christina LaRocca, Netherfirends, Lisa Bianco, Automatic Children

Marathoner Mike Day 2: Christina LaRocca, Netherfirends, Lisa Bianco, Automatic Children

Day number two finds me in the Caribbean-themed frat bar Wicked Willy’s. I’m not entirely sure how I ended up here, but I had heard a bunch of artists were playing stripped down sets without their bands, and this wasn’t something you get to see a lot of at CMJ.

First up was Christina LaRocca. A Brooklyn staple with powerhouse pipes. Backed only by partner Satchel Jones, she projects a warm R&B flavor either when singing in French, or when covering classics like ‘Ring of Fire.’

Next to the tiny stage was the funky scientist Netherfriends. Essentially a one-man show, music-nerd Shawn Rosenblatt became the audience and artist at once. He has no problem looping harmonies, beatbox and pads together while still having plenty of time left over to bolt off the stage and throw his weight around on the dancefloor throughout the half hour set. One minute Jamie Lidell, the next Buddy Holly, his band-in-a-box style is unconventional, but won the crowd over with how enthusiastically the Chicago native brought it all together.

 

After all these solo acts, Lisa Bianco finally brought the first band out of the night. Bianco sings music from the heartland, but her riot spirit comes alive in every runaway train jam. Once upon a time people referred to the NY artist as anti-folk. This spirit comes through at the quieter moments, but for the most part she delivers overdrive to make Neil Young turn his head, stopping any of the usual Sheryl Crow comparisons at the door.

After wishing My new friend Paul congratulations for winning the biggest beer pong trophy I'd ever seen, I was ready for the last band of the night, Automatic Children. Here’s a band where almost every member is a frontman, bouncing lines back and forth from singer to singer and trading riffs from country stomp to sentimental note picking. These guys are long- time favorites of the Deli, and new faves of my own.

After that it was time to find my bed again... Reminded after two days that I actually have a girlfriend I should probably see. Who knew?

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