Best of [YOUR SCENE] 2014 Poll for Emerging Artists - ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS!
It's that time of the year folks!
Submit your band for The Deli's Best of [YOUR SCENE] 2014 Poll for Emerging Artists - who wins gets featured in our
SXSW pocket issue, distributed in Austin during Music Week! (Other prizes to be announced...)
The Deli's Staff
Published: November 20, 2014 |
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!
Published: February 27, 2014 |
Album review: Monta At Odds - Robots of Munich
For those of you familiar with the music of Monta At Odds (a phrase that I’ll be using again later), you know that they have their own ideas of how best to use electronics and percussion and various other tools of the trade to create aural canvases that somehow combine both retro and futuristic influences. Some of their earlier work was described by someone—okay, it was me—as a soundtrack to a 1950s French film noir, only cooler. With their latest release, Robots of Munich on Haymaker Records, their focus has shifted to a cinematically-inspired imagining of a world a bit into the future in which machines are at the forefront—and some have fled to the Southern Hemisphere to pursue their longing to be more like one of us. More on that later.
Over the years, the band has made numerous appearances throughout Kansas City and Lawrence, and for a while it seemed as if you might see a new lineup at every other show. Monta has gone through several rosters but is now a muscular seven-piece, if memory serves from their appearance at KC Psychfest (P.S. I checked – memory does serve). Dedric and Delaney, the brothers Moore, remain the stalwarts of the group, with Delaney on keys, Dedric as bassist and bandleader, and both sharing songwriting and vocal duties (according to Dedric, he’s the McCartney of the brothers; Delaney is the Lennon).
Another of Dedric’s strengths is his ability to creatively package Monta music in such a way that when you purchase a physical copy, you’re getting something that’s as visually artistic as it is musically. From a CD stored in a very-past-its-prime floppy disc case to a clear vinyl album in a clear plastic jacket, the work of Monta At Odds is not hard to recognize. Robots will continue that tradition with a cover that is stylishly cut and protects a red vinyl album. The interior of the jacket will unfold to go into detail the connections between the music, a well-known sci-fi movie, and a well-known sci-fi novel. It’s a very ambitious undertaking to say the least. As Dedric said when asked about the origins of the album name, “(It) came from the movie Android which was sourced from the same book as Blade Runner. It was a news broadcast that the robots of Munich had been destroyed in their rebellion. It came out the same year as Blade Runner and crashed into oblivion immediately. That started the ball rolling with the concept of a handful of androids escaping and fleeing to South America (where all war criminals end up, right?). We then took inspiration from the theme of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? about where has our humanity gone and what actually makes us human.”
A pro-tip before you begin: it’s best to be in a dark place when listening to Monta At Odds. Not dark emotionally—actual darkness. Dimly lit. Illuminationally challenged. At a gig or while driving your car at night would be great. If listening through headphones is a viable option… take it.
For those of you familiar with the music of Monta At Odds (told you), you know that vocals are not of prime importance to the band’s output. Instrumentals are the more commonplace method of expression (six of the ten tracks on Robots are sans words), and when lyrics are enabled, their clarity can tend to be lost amid a swirl of waves and swooshes and reverb. This is by design, as the work of Tom Vek of the ultra-trippy Black Moth Super Rainbow is an obvious influence to the production used by Monta. The aim is to make the vocals sound more like an instrument than an individual, and “Salty Air Breezes” leads off the album with just such verbal distortion. The song tells of the story’s protagonist trying to blend in on Earth while searching for an escape to a place touted by a television commercial as a sunny, idyllic refuge. Yearning to leave behind the “beggars, bums, and nuns in the metro transit underground,” she puts “5000 revs on the poor fiat for hours on end” in an attempt to find safety and serenity.
The common theme of robot-wanting-to-be-human is expressed in the next track, “Android Dreams” (voiced by Monta alum and percussionist Mika Tanaya). The song itself is a paradox, as the lyrical desires to “be beautiful / feel love / share laughter / maybe feel pain” are expressed in a very staccato, sterile, mechanical fashion. Such is the dichotomy of the android’s life—if “android” and “life” aren’t themselves a dichotomy when used next to each other. These deep musings are to be contemplated as Robots continues its journey—and our heroine continues her search for existence that transcends zeros and ones.
Now, for those of you familiar with the music of Monta At Odds (see?), you know that their music likes to take its time and tell a story, letting development unfold in an unhurried manner … all of which is just fancy talk for “their music is mostly downtempo to midtempo in its pacing.” Which is all the more reason why I cannot stop myself from listening to “Relentless Pursuit” on repeat. This is 130 seconds of no-holds-barred rock, complete with some of the most incredible slide space guitar I’ve heard in a while. I was standing next to recordBar co-owner Steve Tulipana when I first heard this track at KC Psychfest, and it was pretty clear that it was his first time hearing it as well. When the tune got going, he and I turned to each other with eyes wide open in looks of mutual astonishment and approval. This was music designed to be the backdrop of an interstellar chase scene, as if those Dukes of Hazzard boys had taken the Millennium Falcon for a joy ride.
Robots of Munich is another leap forward for Monta At Odds and their electronic mission to expand minds. When I heard their set at KC Psychfest (and I think this year’s event at recordBar was the best one so far), I had a feeling the new album was going to be something worthy of more than a little consideration for mentions on some best of 2014 lists. After having heard the finished product, I stand by that statement.
I consider myself to be very familiar with the music of Monta At Odds … and I’m totally okay with that.
-- Michael Byars
Published: November 26, 2014 |
Vandals Takeover: Punk rock prevails on Broadway
Just a stone’s throw from Westport, the space at 3740 Broadway is shaping its new identity. For years, Kenny’s News Room was a watering hole for journalists. It later became The News Room, a quintessential Midtown dive bar. In its later years, the establishment struggled to find its footing. New ownership transformed the spot into Black and Gold Tavern—an MU-themed bar—at the beginning of 2013. But like its predecessor, it failed to maintain a steady patronage and significance as a music venue. In March, the back room underwent a transformation, rebranding itself as the punk rock club Vandals.
“ I like being able to provide a space for music, and I also like being able to pay local musicians for playing,” says Vandals’ manager Michelle Wyssmann. With that approach in mind, Vandals has grown into its own entity and has become a notable spot to catch a live show.
From the start, the venue set out to prove that it could thrive. A stage was built, an upgraded sound system purchased, and the grand opening party was stacked with a we-don’t-fuck-around lineup of The Big Iron, Drop A Grand, and Sneaky Creeps. Since then, Britt Adair has been booking local heavy hitters weekend after weekend, building bills that have made Vandals a haven for fans of distorted guitars and high-energy performances. DJs have taken up residency in the bar, helping bring in a regular crowd. The venue has also hosted the annual Center of the City Fest in April and its first Summer Kamp Fest in August, both of which boast more than 30 bands over 3 days.
Less than a year after taking the venue, Vandals has announced that the entire space will become theirs. Eager to don its new punk rock threads, Wyssmann notes that the bar area will feel more like a dive, and a wall of fame for bands will be constructed, but she reveals little else about the remodel. “ I don't want to give everything away, but know it will be very punk rock and that leopard print is my signature color,” she exclaims. The bar will be closing on Sunday, November 30, and reopening as Vandals on Tuesday, December 2 ( Facebook event page).
With a lack of venues that cater to a punk rock crowd, Vandals has begun to fill a gap in the local community. “It’s really cool to see a lot of bands starting up again and sharing that history with the younger scene,” says Wyssmann, who recognizes the value of having a destination for musicians and fans to congregate. She’s also an artist who understands the need to foster music in the city. “I think it's important [that musicians] have somewhere to go that cares about their future and wants to see them succeed.”
And in that same spirit of community support, reopening week will feature a slew of free shows, all leading up to the Vandals Takeover party on Saturday, December 6. Sex Offenders, Wick and the Tricks, Stiff Middle Fingers, Black on Black, and will play, while DJ Pat Brown will be spinning in the bar. A canned good can be exchanged for a raffle ticket; this will support the venue’s Punk Pantry. From 7 to 10 pm, various punk and horror vendors will be on hand to sell sweaters, scarves, home decor, and art.
-- Michelle Bacon
Vandals will be closing on Sunday, November 30 and will reopen on Tuesday, December 2. Be sure to hit up one or all of their events next week. Why not? They’re all free. Facebook event page for the December 6 show.
Published: November 26, 2014 |
Lawrence, Kansas (affectionately to be referred to henceforth as LFK) continues to be a source of the kinds of music that I want to hear more of and know more about. One band in particular has really caught my ear of late with a sound that’s raw, dirty, energetic, and undeniably attention-grabbing: The Sluts , a bare-bones twosome consisting of Kristoffer Dover on drums and Ryan Wise on guitar and vocals. Two musicians, no more, no less … but as the sounds you’ll hear on their new EP Loser will demonstrate, two musicians is plenty when it comes to making a substantial sonic statement.
Their mix of garage, punk, and grunge kicks things off with the opener, “Let Me Go,” as The Sluts tear things up with a grimy bounce firmly entrenched in 4/4 time. “Loser” starts with a tip of the cap to upbeat new wavey rhythms, but 25 seconds into the track, the boys re-establish the power presence that is their raison d’etre (how’s THAT for some damn NPR-speak, kids?). “Green” and “Linger” wrap up the four-track, barely-more-than-ten-minute EP with the sound that I’ve most commonly described as “Nirvana without Krist Novoselic,” as Wise’s sneering vocals and snarling guitar combined with Dover’s relentlessly on-point percussion give the music just a bit of Bleach-era homage while sounding very much of the present day.
Love me some dirty, filthy, nasty The Sluts. Awwww yeahhhhhh.
Published: December 31, 1969 |
Which of these emerging acts should be The Deli's next NYC Artist of the Month?
The Black Black
The Lazy Queen
- news for musician and music industry peeps -