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Artist of the Month
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July 2016
Big Thief
"Masterpiece
"
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Throughout Masterpiece, the humbly sublime debut album from Brooklyn folk-rock quartet Big Thief, love braves through woe. As sung by the ever welcoming Adrienne Lenker, these painful yet vital songs near a height of beauty that reminds one of music’s transcendent power.

Following the nimble opener “Little Arrow,” the album starts its raw power with “Masterpiece” (streaming below), the rollicking single that deservedly drew attention a few months back with its panoramic view of searching souls. Like Bob Dylan’s generation-defining “Like a Rolling Stone” from the 1960s, this guitar-trickled song is both addicting and elegant, rough and pretty and, ultimately, lasting in its sheer soulfulness.

A series of lyrically vivid tracks named after potential lovers (“Paul” and “Randy,” for example) follows next, alongside guitar-winded cuts that briskly tackle such elusive motifs as romance and the transience of time, emitting an overall beatific aura in the process.

The type of record that has the possibility of transporting the listener to a calmer, perhaps better plain of existence, Masterpiece is not just the first offering from an intriguing new band but a preciously passionate work in and of itself. – Zach Weg

 
The 60's

Band of Gypsys

Bob Dylan

Bruce Haack

The Fugs

The Godz

Holy Modal Rounders

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
Afrika Bambaataa
Arto Lindsay
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
The Feelies
The Fleshtones
Grandmaster Melle Mel
John Zorn
Laurie Anderson
Public Enemy
Run D.M.C.
Sonic Youth
Swans
They Might Be Giants
The 90's
A Tribe Called Quest
Cat Power

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Nas
The Notorious B.I.G.
Soul Coughing
Yo La Tengo
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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Deathrow Tull, Futurist and Turkuaz play The Studio on 02.10

Deathrow Tull, Futurist and Turkuaz play The Studio on 02.10

A cohesive theme can be a determining factor of whether a live show is actually a show or just a bunch of performances by different artists thrown together by time and space. So, at first blush, the lineup at Webster Hall on the 10th seems like a mishmash put together by a clueless intern. Funky pop (Turkuaz) with hip-hop (Deathrow Tull - pictured) commencing with folk-pop (Futurist)? That would probably leave those unversed in the actual sounds and energies of each band scratching their heads. But, if we're assigning physical movements, let's give whoever put this show together a pat on the back instead, because all three artists work at the fringe of their generic bounds. Turkuaz's funk and gospel backing vocals leak over inspirations that pull from the past 5 decades. Deathrow Tull offers spitfire rhymes from a three-headed Cerberus of emcees with a backing band tight enough to do battle with the beast, and Futurist harkens to the past with the sounds of strings and colonial drumbeats, but the underlying darkness meshed with sunny demeanor proves they offer enough light to burn. But what really pulls these bands together is that they'll make you move. Some shows you go to to be seen, this one you should go to to sweat. If you have no plans this Friday or even if you do, check it out. Webster Hall. $10. 7pm doors. P.S. All these bands were featured in the past two editions of The Deli's Best of NYC Poll for Emerging Artists - allison levin

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