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February 2015
Dolly Spartan
"self-titled EP
"
mp3

I think we can all agree about the fact that age is very important in rock'n'roll; we might not like that (we don't) but we can agree about it, right? Therefore, a good rock song is bound to get some added value when it's written and performed by four musicians in their (not so late) teens. And then, if you also realize that the band has a solid six track debut EP with no fillers under their belt, things start to get really interesting: records without fillers are rare at any age... The band in question is NYC's Dolly Spartan; their self titled debut fluctuates between pop punk exuberance ('We'll say that for now,' streaming below, and ' 'Don't You Know') and more tamed melodic moments reminiscent of a dirtier Vampire Weekend ('Who Are You,') or even of sacred monsters like The Beatles and their beloved disciples XTC ('Something on my Mind'). The band's sound features the right amount of rawness (think early Pixies), which gets tamed at least in part by songwriter and lead singer's Michael Eliran tenor, that sounds way more mature than his years. The range of the six tracks, the actual songwriting, and the maturity of the arrangements is truly impressive for such a young band, and make this is one of the most consistently fun NYC made record we heard in a while. Hopefully these guys' sound won't get too polished too soon!

 
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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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!


Pink Royal releases Taps this weekend

I had the privilege to catch up with one of my favorite local bands, Pink Royal. Guitarist and songwriter Steven LaCour, vocalist Dylan Guthrie, and drummer Alex Hartmann invited me out while they were mixing tracks for their upcoming debut record Taps. Bassist Nick Carswell and guitarist John Dorrell were unable to make it due to prior engagements.

LaCour has been working on his baby Pink Royal for some time and originally recorded everything himself. Now, with the collaborative writing efforts of the band and recording a debut full-length with producer/Hembree drummer James Barnes, the project can be fully realized.
 
It has taken some time but the core of the band has now been playing shows and writing together for about 2-and-a-half years. You can really feel the chemistry during live shows with the way it feels improvised and raw, yet incredibly intricate. To describe what these guys sound like is pretty hard to do. They draw comparisons from Minus the Bear and As Tall As Lions, but as Guthrie points out, they are creating something completely unique. This is mostly due to their different musical backgrounds. "What's interesting about our musical creation or our synergy, if you will, is what we listen to by ourselves is completely different. Where as I am soul—Gary Clark Jr. and Allen Stone—Steve came from a background of progressive math rock. The synergy of that, I think, gives us a very unique sound.” LaCour continued, “It really feels like we're creating something different that people haven't heard before.”
 
Just by listening to the mixes and the subtle tweaks to get it just right, you can tell this is a well crafted work by some seriously talented musicians. For all its intricacies, it’s very groovy and poppy, which is usually hard to get out of technical acts. “From Steve's musical background, we have elements of math but we’re more groovy than anything, which makes it more palatable than most math rock is,” explained Guthrie.
 
Hartman said, “Palatable is the term I always use, because we want the songs first and foremost to appeal to everybody.”

The vulnerability of lyrics and sheer sexiness of the groove gives Pink Royal something truly special, and I personally can't wait till the world can hear it. The guys recently released the single “Give Me Something Real,” a very nice teaser until the record drops.
 
--Chris Mowry
 
 
Pink Royal will be releasing Taps tonight at The Granada in Lawrence, with special guests Sharp 9, Toy Cartel, and Spencer Mackenzie Brown. It’s a free, all-ages show presented by KJHK 90.7 FM and starts at 8 p.m. If you want to catch them in KC, you can see them at Middle of the Map Fest on Saturday, April 25, at The Riot Room at 3 p.m. for I Heart Local Music’s day party. Facebook event page.
 
 

 


The Deli's SXSW 2015 Issue is out digitally!

Ladies and Gents,

The SXSW 2015 issue of The Deli can be now read online here. 10k copies of this baby will flood the streets of Austin during SXSW Music Week.

It will be a busy time for us as usual, with the madness of the Stompbox Exhibit in full swing, joined this year by a sister expo called Synth Space!

So yeah... if you are attracted to nerds, come and see us at the SXSW Music Gear Expo inside the Austin Convention Center from March 19 to March 21 (11am-6pm)!

We'll also have a small live showcase, here are the details:

THE DELI'S SXSW 2015 SHOWCASE

FACEBOOK EVENT
WHEN: Friday 03.20, 4pm
WHERE: FLatstock Stage (Austin Convention Center)

4.00 Prinze George (DC Area)
4.45 Lazyeyes (Brooklyn, NY)
5.30 Roger Sellers (Austin)

See y'all in Austin!

The Deli's Staff


Folk Alliance 2015 conference celebrates music from around the world

(Photo above of Betse and Clarke)
 
The sentimental thank you Facebook posts have all gone out. The Instagram pictures have all gotten their double tap hearts of approval. The videos of various raucous late night room parties have been shared. The hangovers have (mostly) subsided. Over the next 12 months, the hazy “remember that time at Folk Alliance when…” stories will joyously be told and retold. As most of us return to the wicked monotony of the work week, we must finally accept that the 2015 Folk Alliance International conference is over.
 
Simply put, it was an unparalleled celebration of music over the course of 6 days. For those who did not attend or are not familiar with the conference, it’s like a musical version of Disney Land AND Disney World combined into two hotels with a 4-minute skywalk in between. There was something going on most days in excess of 20 hours. You could rise early to partake in group yoga and meditation before spending the morning in seminars, classes, or the open exhibit hall. Catch a showcase or speaker in the afternoon. Head down to the lobby where a jam with musicians from 4 different continents has spontaneously busted out. As evening hits, the official showcases begin in the ballrooms. As night rolls in, one could argue the real fun begins as damn near every room on floors 5, 6, and 7 of the Westin hosts a showcase put on by organizations across the world. Partake in the various libations flowing freely throughout and wander in and out of rooms listening to hundreds of performers until the wee hours of the morn. Make a plethora of new friends from Australia, Canada, Japan, France, etc. Maybe catch a few zzz’s and then wake up and do it all over again. It is truly unbelievable the sheer amount of activity crammed into a relatively small amount of time and space. Therefore, it would be impossible to offer a full recap, but there were things that stuck out from the sensory overload. Here are some of the highlights.
 
Official KC Showcases/Local Representation
 
 
Wednesday night saw a slew of official showcases played solely by local artists. These musicians did a fine job representing the strength and variety in our music scene. Driving down to the conference, I was treated to Ruddy Swain being live broadcasted on KKFI 90.1 FM from their showcase. A stripped down version of The Latenight Callers (pictured above) offered a sultry set of noir pop tunes. Dollar Fox emerged from a somewhat lengthy hiatus with a slimmed down lineup and new musical focus towards pure rock ‘n roll.  Some of the rooms featured “in the round”-style setups with 4 artists trading performances for hour-long blocks (memorable acts included Amy Farrand, Vi Tran, Cheri Woods, Jen Harris, Ben Byard, amongst many others). The Hardship Letters closed down their room with a fantastic set of emotional rock songs.
 
Upstairs, the KC Music Collective Tower Room showcases (put together by some of the fine folks from Midwest Music Foundation, Money Wolf Music, and others deeply involved in the Kansas City arts scene) further showed that our little slice of “flyover” country is not to be ignored. Some comments coming later on specific highlights from these rooms.
 
 
 
It’s an odd thing to wander into a random hotel room around midnight and hear a group that describes itself as “a real dance-along turbo-Nordic-folk band which brings back the energy, purity, and sincerity of Estonian folk music.” Featuring a 12-string guitar, a cajon, a jaw harp and more sing-songy group vocals than you can shake a kepp at (thank you Google Translate), this trio was delightfully entertaining, also working the crowded room between each song with gusto.
 
 
 
 
(Photo by Tyler Bentson Jennings)
 
Another “I wonder what is going on in this room …” discovery, this duo from Los Angeles (real names Lee Ferris and Bianca Caruso) served up an impactful set of smartly written acoustic pop songs. The real draw here is the sensational natural blend of their vocals. Some voices just seem made for each other with the ability to weave into a singular force of vocal performance. Ferris and Caruso have found their respective vocal soulmates, the kind of perfect harmonies that send a gripping shiver down the backbone of the listener.
 
 
 
 
I caught a few minutes of their set on Wednesday night, but it was the performance on Friday that really stuck out. A little less “official,” a little more raucous, a little better sound, and a little more just all-around fun, the band took us through vast points of their catalog with the jangly precision that we’ve come to expect from the country rock sextet. Vocalists Jimmy Fitzner and Lauren Krum are another example of two voices that join forces so damn well as one. Krum also exhibits such exuberance on stage, bobbing and weaving to the groove with a warm childlike cackle that just makes you grin.
 
 
 
 
This was my first Carswell and Hope show, surprising since they are based in Lawrence and it is musically right in my wheelhouse. Songwriter and lead vocalist Nick Carswell clearly knows how to write intelligent, poignant pop songs. Dreamy and textured in all the right ways, the band behind him (especially keyboardist Austin Keys) provided the perfect complement of additional instrumentation without getting in the way of the raw beauty of the material. It ends up sounding something akin to the more recent mature work of Nada Surf or the poppier moments of the Sigur Ros catalogue. Safe to say, I will be checking them out much more moving forward.
 
 
 
 
(Photo by Michael Byars)
 
Another local artist I am kicking myself for not being more familiar with before this event, Arsenia played a very entertaining set of tunes, both while strumming a harp and a cappella. He has such an impressive appearance and performance, like folk vaudeville with a voice that is just unbelievably strong.
 
 
 
 
In an event with this sheer amount of activity, there is a good chance no two reviews will read the same. Everyone will see a different batch of performances. Everyone will look for their favorite attributes. That is the inherent beauty of an event of this magnitude.
 
That said, The HillBenders should and will end up on most Best of FAI2015 lists. It’s the age old story of bluegrass band does Tommy by the Who (my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, if you could not tell). Not selections from Tommy. The whole damn thing. Beginning to end.
 
Now, I will admit that I don’t have an avid knowledge of Tommy. I have heard the record a few times, but I would never describe it as important to me; it’s not even my favorite The Who album. The HillBenders are already fantastic in their own right, but the treatment the Springfield quintet gave Tommy was inspirational and transcendent. The musicality was there, the harmonies were brilliant, the stage presence was vigorous. They took an album featuring arguably one of the most powerful percussionists in rock ‘n roll history and blew the cover off it with no percussion whatsoever.
 
If I saw anything at the conference that I would label as “about to break,” it would be this.  
 
 
The Cody Wyoming Show
 
 
God love this man, I won’t soon forget his late night showcase in one of the KC Music Collective rooms. If ever a public event was suited to one individual, it would be Folk Alliance 2015 for Cody Wyoming. It was far from a perfect performance, but more importantly it was a perfect example of the power and purpose of our community as Wyoming invited several random musicians in the room to join his set minutes before he started. This sentiment was shown time and time again throughout the event, but it was his showcase that sticks out in that regard.
 
 
The Dollar Fox Room Party Collective
 
 
(Photo by Michael Byars)
 
Rivaling the aforementioned Wyoming for the “Who is Folk Alliance Conference 2015 best suited for?” award, what I will call the Dollar Fox Room Party Collective rolled through the various private showcase floors like bearded ball lightning, leaving a trail of empty whiskey bottles, knocked over furniture, and amazed faces in their wake. It’s hard to encapsulate (or remember) who all was involved at what points. Mostly consisting of members of various Money Wolf Music artists, it’s probably a shorter list of who wasn’t involved in the horde (hell, even I sat in with them for a set late Saturday night). In an event where it is very easy to be forgotten as “just another dude playing an acoustic guitar and singing sad songs,” this group took great care to make sure their show was special, brash and, above all else, damn entertaining. Whiskey, oh whiskey indeed…
 
 
I really could write for days about everything I saw, but those are just a few that stuck out. I am sure there were countless other wonderful performances I missed. Folk Alliance 2015 was an amazing event to experience, both as a performer and member of the media. My overall suggestion: do whatever you have to do to attend next year (and any other year you can).
 
The countdown begins. Only 357 shopping days until Folk Alliance 2016.
 
--Zach Hodson
 

Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings begins production. He is also in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black & Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects. 


Best of 2014 for Emerging KC Bands: FINAL RESULTS! BUMMER, The Philistines, Katy Guillen & the Girls

Deli Nation,

Our Year-End Poll for Emerging Kansas City artists is now complete! Kudos to grungy punk trio BUMMER (photo above by Crystal Faye Photography) for winning the poll!
 
 
 
And congrats to our runners up, the enigmatic psychedelic six-piece The Philistines and the compelling roots rock trio Katy Guillen and the Girls (who took second place in 2013)!
 
The Philistines
 
 
 
Katy Guillen & the Girls
 
  

-----

Here is how it all went down: first, we let the local bands submit their music (for free), and got our Deli editors to pick the nominees. Then we polled a list of 15+ KC scene experts (our jury) and asked them to nominate 3 more bands of their choice each. Then we polled our writers, then we polled our readers. We tried to keep things open for each single genre, from Indie Rock to Roots Music to Hip Hop.

If you are a geek interested in all the subtelties related to how this poll works, you can read its rules here (happy reading!). But if all you care about is the awesome new music KC produced in 2014, this list is all you need. Enjoy!

BEST OF 2013 POLL FOR EMERGING NYC ARTISTS
****** FINAL RESULTS ******
 
ARTIST
J
OS
W
R
TOT
 
1
Bummer
15
 
 
0.01
15.01
2
The Philistines
12
 
1
0.008
13.008
icon
3
Katy Guillen and the Girls
8
 
1
0.023
9.023
icon
4
the sluts
6
 
2
0.006
8.006
icon
5
The Conquerors
6
 
 
0.007
6.007
icon
6
Your Friend
6
 
 
0.006
6.006
icon
7
Yore
4
 
 
1.5
5.5
icon
8
AY MusiK
5
 
 
0.057
5.057
icon
9
The Thunderclaps
5
 
 
0.015
5.015
icon
10
Yes You Are
4
 
1
0.012
5.012
icon
11
Hembree
5
 
 
0.004
5.004
12
Scruffy & The Janitors
3
1
 
0.034
4.034
icon
13
Jorge Arana Trio
4
 
 
0.021
4.021
icon
14
Westerners
3
1
 
0.013
4.013
icon
15
Kangaroo Knife Fight
1
 
1
2
4
icon
 
ATLAS
 
3
 
1
4
icon
17
The Gorlons
2
 
1
0.017
3.017
18
Nicholas St. James
3
 
 
0.014
3.014
icon
19
Monta At Odds
3
 
 
0.009
3.009
icon
20
Folkicide
3
 
 
0.006
3.006
icon
21
Stiff Middle Fingers
3
 
 
0
3
icon
 
The Sexy Accident
3
 
 
0
3
23
Miry Wild
2
 
 
0.5
2.5
icon
24
Admiral of the Red
2
 
 
0.164
2.164
icon
25
Riddles
2
 
 
0.018
2.018
icon
26
Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear
 
 
2
0.013
2.013
icon
27
Sharp Weapons
2
 
 
0.01
2.01
icon
 
Storm Circus
 
2
 
0.01
2.01
icon
29
Wet Ones
2
 
 
0.007
2.007
icon
30
La Guerre
2
 
 
0.002
2.002
icon
31
The Blackbird Revue
 
1
 
1
2
icon
 
Morningglories
2
 
 
0
2
icon
 
Chris Meck & the Guilty Birds
2
 
 
0
2
icon
 
Wick & the Tricks
2
 
 
0
2
icon
35
White Girl
 
1.5
 
0.001
1.501
icon
36
El Rey-Tones
1
 
 
0.42
1.42
icon
37
The Souveneers
1
 
 
0.084
1.084
icon
38
Many Moods of Dad
1
 
 
0.012
1.012
icon
39
Shy Boys
1
 
 
0.002
1.002
icon
40
Forrester
1
 
 
0.001
1.001
icon
 
             
  Scott Hrabko & the Rabbits
1
 
 
0
1
icon
  Janet the Planet
1
 
 
0
1
icon
  The Uncouth
1
 
 
0
1
icon
  Dolls on Fire
1
 
 
0
1
icon
Legend: J = Jurors, W = Deli Writers,
R = Deli Readers, OS = Open Submissions

Jurors List: Barry Lee, Bill Brownlee, Brenton Cook, Britt Adair, Canyon McClung, Chad Freeman, Chris Haghirian, Clint Hoffmeier, Dedric Moore, Hank Wiedel, Joel Nanos, John Todd, Judy Mills, Justin Mantooth, Mark Manning, Michael Byars, Michelle Wyssmann, Nathan Reusch, Neill Smith, Scott Easterday, Sondra Freeman, Steve Tulipana, Tim Finn.

You can browse these artists in lists organized by genre here:
ALT
 ROCK/REVIVAL ROCK - ELECTRONIC - HIP HOP/OTHER - INDIE POP - INDIE ROCK/PSYCH - NOISE ROCK/POST PUNK - ROOTSY

Hope you'll find some awesome new artists you weren't aware of!

The Deli's Staff


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