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Rival Schools "Petals" CD release party at Santos on 03.08

There's been a lot of renewed interest in the 90s recently. From the opening credits in the premiere of Carrie Brownstein's awesome new show Portlandia, to Pearl Jam turning 20, It looks like its now safe to bring the flannel out of the closet once again.
To that end, Sam Siegler from CIV (remember them!??), Walter Schreifels, my favorite vegan and frontman from the grossly under-rated bands Quicksand and Gorilla Biscuits, along with members from Youth of Today and Iceburn, have come together as supergroup Rival Schools.
Though it may not feel like it, Rival Schools have actually been around in one form or another for quite some time now. After disbanding shortly after the release of their first full-length in 2001, they've now come back together to carry their 'post-hardcore' torch for all who miss the quiet-loud-quiet-loud rock of their youth. Lyrically, they remind me (oddly enough) a bit of the Foo Fighters' later songs that discussed redemption and acceptance, topics that get by well enough on their honesty, but sound a bit tired to me after hearing these themes for so long.
The real draw here is what a great sound these guys have when they all come together. While none of this material will surprise fans of many of their other projects, maybe that's not a bad thing. Listening to Rival Schools' new single (video embedded) heading off their forthcoming second full-length album Petals (Photo Finish Records), the band sounds confident and fun, like no time has passed at all. This record may be a decade too late, but better late than never.
Join them when they stop by Santos Party House on March 8. - Mike Levine


Live Review: Aabaraki brings the soul to Rockwook

Last Wednesday at Rockwood Music hall Stage 2 pulsated with the smooth, soulful sounds of Brooklyn-born Aabaraki. Recently, the quartet self-released an EP downloadable on Bandcamp and showcased several of these tracks which oozed seduction, jazz, R&B, soul, and not-so-subtle double entendres, at the jam packed show. One highlight, “Girl,” slinked along with sultry syncopated guitar slides and impassioned vocals. Tri-part harmonies opened “Haters” and interchanged with solo sexy vocal runs and instrumental accompaniment. Hushed guitars and drums snuck up on listeners during “Terrified” and spotlighted vocalist Aamir Bermiss’s impressively expressive vocal range. The audience screamed with delight as the band began the obvious favorite, “Karate,” a song full of innuendos rhymed with various martial arts names backed by the band’s fusion style. “Happy Ending” embarked on another soulful sound journey with samba beats that relaxed into ringing guitars that bloom into an energetic funk bridge. Be sure to catch Aabaraki live as they bring the groove back to NYC music. -Meijin Bruttomesso


YC The Cynic release “Fall FWD” mixtape at Southpaw tonight (03.01)

All the urban Nietzsches running around screaming that “Rap is dead” have been listening to the wrong MCs. In “Fall FWD,” YC the Cynic (featured in out Best NYC Emerging Artists on 2010 list) stands up and refutes the mob of naysayers with his signature patterns of potent poeticism. With a voice that conjures a blend of Mos Def and Q-tip, YC croons “Truthfully, I don’t let that ish influence me. It’s not cool to be cold, it’s not in to be G, it’s all bitches and hoes, there’s no intimacy till I enter the scene.” It’s a running theme in the mixtape, that ability and integrity transcend both time and genre. Building on the sturdy shoulders of last year’s “You’re Welcome” mixtape, “Fall FWD” raises the bar in every aspect and will undoubtedly generate substantial hype for his upcoming album, “The Spectacle.” In the closing track, he sums up his ethos proclaiming confidently, “I know mad cats that have had it with rap, but incidentally, soon as I got their attention they were listening intently.” Celebrate the release at Southpaw tonight (Tuesday, March 1). - Broke MC


NYC Artists on the rise: Careful

Most music lovers discover the discreet charm and amazing therapeutic power of gentle music when their lives enter the hectic phase (late 20s?). Here at The Deli we created a genre category for this kind of music, called "Mellow Core". Belonging to this genre is Careful, the project of published writer, orchestral composer, visual artist, and part time builder-of-robots Eric Lindley. His tunes, tied together by a soft, whispered approach and by attention to texture, mix more or less traditional songwriting with sparse and dreamy electronic effects, often slightly dissonant, but always tastefully realized. Careful will be playing live at Death By Audio on April 30th - mark your calendars.


The Forms release single with Matt Beringer from The National + travel to Austin

An amalgamation of big names (Matt Berninger of The National is featured on the latest single "Fire to the Ground"), admirable musicianship, odd tempos and a chilled-out demeanor, The Forms are a great example of approachable "alt". Alt-what I'm not entirely sure... but does it even matter? The melodies swirl on "Steady Hand (feat. Andrew Thiboldeaux)", but the percussion keeps the listener at least slightly grounded on the trippy adventure. I was most impressed, however, by "Fire to the Ground," perhaps because of the strikingly original string arrangement. Unlike in most ventures, these are actual strings, not computer facsimilies. There is a lot to be said for the power of bow to instrument. And that kind of attention to detail is key. The Forms' EP "Derealization" dropped February 15th on Threespheres / Ernest Jenning, and now they're are touring the US, some dates with The Dismemberment Plan. They will also play 3 shows in Austin during SXSW (check myspace for dates). But will they bring the strings? – allison levin


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