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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
 

This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.


Go to the old Top 300 charts

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scene blog

austin

Announcing the Stompbox Exhibit and Synth Space at SXSW!

Stompbox Exhibit and Synth Space at SXSW!

Austin Convention Center, March 19-21, 2015 from 11am to 6pm.

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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!


Riders Against the Storm Are All for Austin

Hold on to yer butts guys, SXSW is nigh. We've got mere days before Austin turns into the creative/partiers playground it does every March, and if you didn't know, The Deli has a lot goin' on. We're handing out 10,000 free print editions of The Deli to people with cool haircuts just like you, for one, and we're also adding to the creative dreamland mix a bit with a Stompbox Exhibit at the Convention Center and a Synth Space at the same spot. If you're into the idea of playing around and making weird noises with cool music tech, this shit is not only free and right downtown, it's also open to anyone whether you sold a kidney to get a badge or you remained poor and multi-kidneyed.

All this thinkin' on SXSW was on my mind when I saw somethin' that had me remembering South Bys gone this week, in the form of a new Austin-tacular music video by hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm. My awareness and subsequent jamming of this group came about first because of SXSW, SX 2013 to be specific, when I stopped the husband side of Riders Against the Storm, Chaka Mandla Mhambi Mpeanaji, on the street to shoot his bitchin' feather includin' outfit for my friend ATX Streetstyle's blog (click through here, if you wanna see one damn well-dressed local musician). Chaka told me he was a teacher and a musician, which I typed into my phone and let him hurry on his SX way. I found RAS later when I looked him up at home, and their high-energy, big-thoughts music got me hooked real quick. But, y'know, I'm a bit of a sucker for soul, skill and some goddamn good rappin'.

And that, plus ass shakin', is what you'll get in the boombastic, butt-focused "Booty Sweat" music video that RAS released on YouTube on Feb. 26. That this video is pure Austin love is no surprise to me, as the people I've known around town that have had the love for RAS the hardest have always been the most Austin folks I know, and with the optimistic thing it seems that RAS has got goin' on, that they love the ATX back makes sense. This vid is good, good Austin stuff, and if someone else in this town puts out another video even half this fun this year, well we'll have one hell of a year on our hands. Get that booty sweatin' good y'all, and come on by The Deli's shit this SX if you got a free, mildly sober moment (perhaps too much to ask, just come on by whatever your BAC).

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Modern Melancholy with Caterwaulrus

If his music is anything to go by, Caterwaulrus is probably a nice dude to kick it with. He seems like he could be the kind that'd show up to a hang with some flowers he picked on his walk over, just for you, but who'd also be willing to tell you that he feels a bit weird about killing something pretty. That feeling of sunshine and good days with an underlying soft gloom just drips from the sound on songwriter's newest album, the just-released "Songs that Go Nowhere." That title is a bit misleading, but also a bit of the truth- these songs do float around like gentle clouds, but they're also dense and complex and there's nothing ambiguous about the way they hone in on their target tone. The album is laced with looping vocals all reverb-ed out to blissfulness, little electronic touches and pieces of beats, all of which melds together with no element ever threatening to overwhelm the rest of the track. And, despite the expansive warmth and haze in the sound, the sounds collectively bely the underlying subject of the tracks on the album, which almost all speak of Caterwaulrus' melancholy. Lyrics like "I'm so fucking picky and I over think god damn everything," or "I'm a synesthetic skeptic slowly snoozing with regret, it's not quite what mom expected" reveal a mind that is a bit worried and not always happy with itself, though it'd like to be, and that thought tunnels through the whole album. But, it's delivered in such a poppy (albeit highly experimental pop), major-key fashion, buried deep within the summer smile that is the overriding tone, that you barely notice that these aren't songs about having a good day at all. It's a modern feeling buried in a modern sound, and if you have enjoyed artists like Toro y Moi in the recent past, you might find Caterwaulrus a good fit for your modern moods. Give it a go below, and float through your own contemporary, confusing life with a friend in your ear who understands.

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