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May 2015
Pop and Obachan
"Dream Soup
"
mp3

Dreaming has always been a prerogative of the young. But seeing the raising wave of dreamy NYC based bands, we start to wonder if dreaming becomes a necessity for those who choose to settle in that post-industrial wasteland that is "non affluent Brooklyn." Or maybe it's the other way around: would anobody who doesn't have a dream to nurture settle in a place like Bushwick? Whichever the answer, that gray urban ugliness is producing many colorful psychedelic flowers. One of them is Pop and Obachan, a duo that, in just over a year of existence, released two EPs that show a radical metamorphoses - one that veers towards dreaminess. Their debut EP 'Unfurl' was a modest, sparse and sleepy alt folk record featuring just voice, ukelele and acoustic guitar. Its melodies and chord progressions owe a lot to the roots of American music. But this year's 'Dream Soup' sees the band entirely transformed - and for the better. An enriched instrumentation - now featuring also drum machine, keyboards and electric guitar - supports, through inventive arrangements, some truly imaginative and personal dream-pop songwriting. The highlights are opener 'Holly' and 'Dry Land,' with their impressionistic sound, beautifully whimsical melodies, and perfectly balanced production. If this is what "non affluent Brooklyn" can do to a band in one year, there's definitely nothing wrong with it, no matter how expensive the rent is.

 
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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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!


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The Summer 2015 issue of The Deli NYC is up in the clouds!

READ IT HERE!

The real thing will hit the streets of NYC on September 10.

The Deli's Staff


Album review: New Baboons - New Baboons

With twangy guitars, plenty of organ, and vocals dripping with reverb, it's obvious that New Baboons are purposefully channeling the sounds of the ‘60s on their self-titled debut album. Influenced by The Beach Boys and Velvet Underground, their airy, melodic songs combine the California sound with catchy neo-psych, garage rock, and power pop, resulting in something not often heard in the local scene.
 
New Baboons consist of Elliott Seymour (guitar and vocals), Adam Scheffler (guitar and vocals), Tom Livesay (bass and vocals), Paige Newcomer (keyboards), and Josh Klipsch (drums). Seymour, Scheffler, and Livesay did the songwriting, and the album was recorded on an eight-track in Seymour’s basement. Despite the vintage tone and sound, it is far from one-dimensional.
 
Several of the 11 tunes unapologetically borrow from the past. “History Books,” “Dress,” “Man, They Just Don’t,” and “Velcro Underground” (a tip of the cap to Velvet Underground) all pass for songs that could have been drifting from the windows of a VW bus in 1968. This isn’t a bad thing, as they are solid tracks that will keep the listener tuned in.
 
“Oh God, You Phantom” and “The Victor” are darker and a bit strange, but remain very listenable, which may equal a more interesting musical experience. Two highlights are “Worm in the Apple,” a pulsating, bass-heavy song that is reminiscent of The Shins’ early work, and “If You Find Some,” a piano-driven, soulful gem with powerful vocals and an extended jam that could go on even longer.
 
Overall, New Baboons is a good, layered offering that should grow on listeners the more it is heard. Some may suggest that the sound is somewhat formulaic, but it is a formula that continues to work and is given a unique and refreshing spin by the band.
 
 
You can check out New Baboons a couple times in the coming weeks: they’ll be playing the dinner show at recordBar on Tuesday, September 15 (Facebook event page) and Harling’s Upstairs on Friday, September 25.
 
 
--Brad Scott
 

Brad loves music, Boulevard beer, and his family. Not necessarily in that order. 


Schwervon! explores its identity in Kansas City

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
Though Matt Roth and Nan Turner had already been a musical duo for over 10 years, the word “Schwervon!” didn’t infiltrate Kansas City’s vocabulary until 2012. In fact, their appearance at Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest that year took place the weekend they moved to KC from New York.
 
Three years later, the pair has become one of Kansas City’s most beloved indie pop acts. Since building a foundation in KC, Schwervon! has released two full-length albums and has performed hundreds of dates around the world, including a two-week European run with The Vaselines last fall. In addition to its clever, captivating ‘90s-influenced brand of rock, the band has also become known for its live show, chock full of playful stage banter and wacky show antics.
 
“We've done a lot of US touring and a lot of growing as a band since we've moved,” says Roth. “I don't think we could have managed this while living in NY. KC has provided a soft landing for us to engage in, a vibrant local art scene, while at the same time motivating us to get out there and to grow.” For constant touring bands like Schwervon!, it makes sense to live in a central, less expensive locale with a smaller but thriving music scene. But being a band that is deeply rooted and established in a much larger city also presents its own set of challenges. “There’s great stuff to do in KC but we’re more isolated here, at least when it comes to the sort of DIY, arty, pro-feminist community that we love,” Roth mentions.
 
Regardless, Schwervon! has been able to carve out a distinct notch in local, regional, and national markets since moving to KC. In that time, Roth and Turner have had a chance to develop as artists, performers, and grow as a musical partnership. Their most recent LP Broken Teeth (released in 2014 on Haymaker Records; here’s our review on it) was their first acoustic album, which caused the two to examine the essentials of their songs. “As a two-piece band, you often hear the space in and around our songs. We're not afraid of space. And clarity, which I really like,” says Turner, who shares songwriting duties with Roth. “But to play softer and acoustically—it's even more eagle-eye focus on the song skeleton, and you notice quickly what works and doesn't.” Broken Teeth showcases Schwervon!’s music at its most basic level, and it succeeds in remarkable ways. Even in a studio recording, the band’s unmistakable charm shines through in catchy, sincere songwriting.
 
The two have also honed their performance craft over the past few years. “The shows are so much better when people engage with the music,” says Roth, who writes and recites a Beat-style poem at each show, while Turner performs an interpretive dance. They owe this move to their theatrical background, as well as their desire to keep the audience engaged in their art. Turner says, “I think the cool thing for the audience is that if you haven't seen us before—they're watching this theatrical thing in the middle of indie rock songs and whether they love or hate it, it's unexpected and just lives in that moment.”
 
If you haven’t had a chance to witness a Schwervon! show, you can catch them this Friday at Josey Records with The Cave Girls, Lauren Anderson, and The Sluts. They play at 6:15, and the show is free. Facebook event page.
 
 
--Michelle Bacon
 

Michelle is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands. 


August 2015
HMPH!
"Headrush
"
mp3
Simply stated, the music of HMPH! could be described with a term like math rock or experimental jazz fusion. But these terms, while accurate, don’t paint a complete picture of the sounds created by guitarist Ryan Lee Toms and drummer Jonathan Thatch. “Just when you think you got the groove, we switch it up, add a few beats, or throw in a chord from another key,” says Thatch, whose mastery over the drum kit is jaw-dropping. And while rhythmically complex, progressive compositions have become a cornerstone of the math rock genre, HMPH! additionally incorporates elements of jazz, ambient rock, alternative, and metal.
 
On Friday, the duo will be releasing its debut album Headrush (Haymaker Records), a 36-minute instrumental effort that showcases HMPH!’s dedication to push the envelope while keeping its music interesting. Nine of the 10 songs clock in under 5 minutes, keeping a fresh, brisk momentum for the entirety of the album. The listener has a chance to delve in to each song, but is pulled out before it becomes indulgent or formulaic.
 
Many of the songs start with a basic guitar riff that is bent and twisted in multiple directions, meandering from its original shape but always returning to it. From a polite jazz lick to a climactic rising arpeggio, Toms designs unpredictable, jagged noises with his guitar. “The harder it is for us to wrap our head around a riff, the more fun it is to write and the more enjoyable it is to dissect as a listener.” His combination of intriguing guitar sounds with Thatch’s intricate drum work shows that they’re very much up to the challenge. “Sometimes it starts with a complicated polyrhythmic drum part from Jonathan and I’ll create a progression to that. Other times, I’ll zone out and write arpeggios while thinking of decrepit medieval castles that kind of remind me of all the video games I played as a kid. Then I bring them to Jonathan.”
 

At the same time, Thatch is creating his own variegated sounds with just a five-piece drum kit. He often provides a countermelody to Toms’ guitar, building upon dynamic layers with odd meters, polyrhythms, subtle dynamic shifts, and rhythmic intensity. “One quality we strive for is to keep people guessing,” he says. This even includes retooling songs on the spot. “Our songs tend to keep evolving over time. We might be playing a song live and try something new, and we like the new sound so we keep playing it that way. Sometimes we don't even talk about it; we just both know how it goes now.” 

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