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Semi Precious Weapons go on tour with Lady Gaga

Semi Precious Weapons (who graced The Deli's 16th issue cover) just announced additional US dates with Lady Gaga's Monster Ball Tour through 2010! They will be performing all over the country, including a four-night stand at New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall. Semi Presious Justin Tranter is (to date) the only musician to appear in stilettos on the cover of our magazine.

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December 2009
CDs of the Month
"2010
"
mp3

[2009]

 
November
 
 
Monogold
"We Animals"
mp3!!
 
   

Monogold's new CD "We Animals" showcases the band's evolution from a rather traditional shoegaze sound into something more ambient and "avant". The serene rhythmic percussions, Keith Kelly’s whispering vocals, and the music's mystical qualities have therapeutic powers. The band's new sound also resonates with a certain hippiedom reminiscent of bands like Animal Collective and The Shins; they master the art of creating 5-minute single beat percussion spacey tunes, with interwoven vocals and instruments that vary and evolve through the song. "Dead See Minerals" is a personal favorite from this CD, with its light electronic undertones along with Monogold’s overall woodland creature vibe. Gorgeous music. - Chloe Schildhause

 

 

 
 
 
October
 
 
Darwin Deez
"Constellations"
mp3!!
 
   

While the NYC music scene is packed with talented musicians with great ideas, cool hairstyles and tons of attitude - gifted songwriters with truly crazy hair are still (and always will be) extremely rare stuff. There's only one thing you need to know about Darwin Deez: he can write a song that will keep you entertained and glued to the speakers, keeping your hands away from the iPod's "forward" button. Plus there’s this bonus: the guy can sing! "Constellation" is a little gem that recalls early Strokes on a diet rich in electronic handclaps and drum machines and short in distortion pedals. Sampled drum sounds are a recurring signature in Darwin's repertoire; the inventive simplicity of his lo-fi electronic pop allows his songwriting to truly shine. His unusually contradictory spectrum of influences (ranging from local little known artists to Michael Jackson and Coldplay) brings a fresh vein of inspiration to Darwin's output, confirming our temptation to define his music as "mainstream pop for selected masses".. - PDG - website

 

 
 
 
 
September
 
 
Glass Ghost
"Idol Omen"

mp3!!
 
   

Glass Ghost’s music is like a raging party for the ears. The catchy, unique tunes are derived from a good mix of influences such as Pit Er Pat, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and J Dilla. Featuring Eliot Krimsky and Mike Johnson of the experimental pop band Flying, Glass Ghost inherited pop hooks from its musical lineage while adding fresh hip hop beats to create a captivating blend of genres. Perhaps Glass Ghost’s wide appeal can be attributed to the members’ experiences performing at atypical venues such as clothing stores, community centers and weddings. On “Idol Omens,” the duo invited some of New York’s finest to round out the album, including Sharon Van Etten, Luke Temple and Joan Wasser. The record showcases the band’s flexibility in writing a delectable variety of tempos and styles. In “The Same,” a song about the monotony of routine, the band creates a massive aural feast complete with key-mashing, dramatic organ, horns, funky beats, handclaps, samples, vocal harmonies and Krimsky’s peculiar falsetto conducting the opus. Even when the music is stripped down and pulled back, there are still charming nuances that entice the pickiest of ears. - Nancy Chow - website

 

 
 
 
August
 
 
Jack
"Deletist"

mp3!!
 
   

J.A.C.K. is a band with a mission: to seek and destroy the tepid safety-core that's currently masquerading as rock music. It's written right there in the title of their new LP - Deletist. The word delete used to have some stank on it before it got demoted to a keystroke (it's Latin root being deletus - to destroy, to obliterate). The same goes for elite, until it became an election cycle pejorative. Guitar rock as an art used to be unashamed of it's own spiritual power, but then Hair Metal came along mocking the moves and diluting the grooves until the "raise your headstock to the stars" mindset was rejected outright in favor of the quirky, self-conscious rock of today. J.A.C.K. is here to end this; they are deletists. A lesser band couldn't pull off such claims to power, but J.A.C.K. can and without a hint of irony. Why? Because they are an air-tight group of top-shelf musicians led by the netherwordly voice of Scott Holland. If music doesn't work out for this man, he can make a living traveling around Appalachia and casting out demons with his lazar-banshee call. But the vocals are not the only highlight - Guitarist JP Gilbert's intricate guitar work serves to both complement the vocals and weave melodic colors into the sonic kevlar (see "Leader" and monster-single-in-waiting "I Cut off My Arms"). All these fireworks would fall flat though if it weren't for the beast of a rhythm section - Chris Tordini (bass) and Tim Monaghan (drums). Deletist is an intense spectacle and an impressive achievement for a debut; even the weaker tracks are thoroughly engrossing. Buy the record, and see the band live if you still have any doubts. Why they are not playing the Enormodome tomorrow is beyond me. — Michael Henry - website

 

 
 
 
July
 
 
Real Estate
"Fake Blues" 7 inch

mp3!!
 
   

The latest in a string of lo-fi Jersey Invasion bands, Real Estate is perhaps the first to accurately capture the sound of where it’s from. In the group’s songs, as in the suburbs that inspired them, nothing much happens. The quartet has neither the pep of pals the Vivian Girls nor the 20-something angst and Springsteenian ambition of singer Martin Courtney’s old band, Titus Andronicus. Real Estate simply takes life in stride, its members bored to the point of contentment. On such tunes as “Pool Swimmers” and “Suburban Beverage,” guitarist Matt Mondanile floats lazy, chiming riffs, raising his near-empty brewski to the Smiths, the Ventures, and the sheer joy of having nowhere to go and nothing to do. Courtney, meanwhile, wades through waves of vocal reverb, occasionally managing a discernable phrase. “Budweiser, Sprite, do you feel all right?” ranks among his best, a testament to the sort of happiness that comes in a can. — Kenneth Partridge - website

 

 
 
 
June
 
 
The Harlem Shakes
"self titled" EP

mp3!!
 
   

While listening to Harlem Shakes I feel as though I'm imbedded in some James Bond video game adventure that then alters into a Chicago-esque horn fugue with a dash of... wait? Is that a kazoo I hear? Quite possibly and it all sounds like neon love with Lexy Benaim's alluring vocals wailing like a passionate happy child as he sings, "I know I'm just a singer, but I feel it in my fingers." His lead vocals supported by the other dudes in the band make for a 50s male version do-wop playfulness. The guys harmonize so well, like an updated barbershop quartette. The album is at times playful and full of references to their east coast roots. Sunsets in New Jersey, hanging out in Coney Island, driving out to Poughkeepsie and although their lyrics are placed in a concrete locations, their sound drives clear inspiration from both Latin and Hawaiian styles of music.- Chloe Schildhouse - website

 
 
 
May
 
 
Javelin
"Hot Jams" CDR

mp3!!
 
   

Javelin is a new (and pretty darn interesting) NYC based art/dance/lo-fi duo. Their tracks incorporate all sorts of unexpected samples and influences (from soul to videogame to world music) in a way that is often reminiscent of Moby's infamous "music for ads" period, but infinitely cooler, more fun and less pretentious (uhm... probably as pretentious actually, but the fun element helps conceiling this quality). The duo seems to belong to this new generation of musicians who operate more like DJs rather than bands: they write their own dancey songs but perform them behind a table full of equipment; they release records but also put out mix tapes filled with assorted found and original music. As if this wasn't enough, Javelin also throws in the mix a "performance" element that will make most art students happy: for example, they are building some sort of boombox-only merzbau, or better - as they call it - a sound totem they call "boombaataa" (you can spot it in the bottom video). If you have an old, somewhat functional boombox, feel free to hand it to them during their live show: they will welcome it, paint it and recycle it for this particular "art piece" they actually use for particular performances they call "live micro-broadcasts". The band just signed with David Byrne's label Luaka Bop and will be performing tonight at the Rooftop Film event in the LES. Welcome to the mysterious, multi-faceted world of Javelin. - PDG -- website

 

 
 
 
April
 
 
Home Video
"It Will Be OK" EP

mp3!!
 
   

Comprising Brooklyn-based music savants Collin Ruffino and David Gross, Home Video is so much more than your average electronic-rock collab. Despite the fact that they’ve been breaking it down for over five years, it took the second season of the hit show Gossip Girl to unite my ears with their utter talent. Episode 20 featured “I Can Make You Feel It,” a pulsating number characterized by solid drumbeats, killer keyboard, tambourine accents, haunting harmonies and an eerie electro current. Peep the frenetic, white on black, mixed medium music video to help wrap your head around this stellar song.
Beyond their primetime appearance, in January Home Video released an EP, It Will Be OK, in advance of their second full-length, due to drop by the end of ’09. Visit their official site to download the EP for free. Bask in Home Video’s intoxicating tunes, which range in personality from somber and minimalist to hopeful and sublime. Capable of transforming mood with their downright depressing but unequivocally beautiful flourish of sick synth and ambient tones, listeners will either be elevated to a state of ecstasy and dance or driven to despair.
Sure to give you nightmares and dominate your dreams, Home Video may not be America’s funniest, but they are among New York’s finest. - Nell Alk - website

 
 
 
 
March
 
 
Deradoorian
"Mind Raft" EP

mp3!!
 
   

You may be familiar with 22 yeas old electronic artist Angel Deradoorian, as she is also involved in excellent experimental Brooklyn outfit Dirty Projector. In her debut EP "Mind Raft", Angel abandons the dissonant and forced melodies that complement her band's quirky songs, in favor of a more relaxed, but not necessarily less inventive, approach. There is an obvious proposition to use as few elements as possible in these tracks - hardly ever more than 3 musical elements are playing together. This minimalism allows enough space for Angel's new low key vocal approach to shine. The song High Road showcases an impressive arranging talent, in particular towards the end, when heavenly choirs, ticking guitars and gentle strings stabs expand the atmosphere in a crescendo of melancholy and sadness. It's no surprise then to slowly come to realize that Deradoorian's electronic and somehow futuristic gems often reveal strong ties to the most traditional and intrinsecally sad of music genres: blues. - EP release at Cake Shop on May 5. PDG - website

 
 
 
February
 
 

Buke and Gass
"self titled" EP

mp3!!
 
   

Buke and Gass are the most interesting experimental-ish, avant-indie band I stumbled upon in awhile. And I will take the opportunity given to me by this record of the month to explain why I believe these words describe their music well.
It appears that in the indie world a lot of bands are in love with the word "experimental". This word, of course, means everything and nothing: you don't play guitar? Grab one and experiment with this finger position, it's an E chord: hurray! An experimental artist has just been born!!! So yeah, there are a lot of self-proclaimed "experimental" indie artists that do things that have been done a million times before. Experimental music is something else of course much more conceptual than rock'n'roll (and a lot less fun?)
But notwithstanding all this, I really appreciate indie artists who make an effort to sound unique, not only in their songwriting, but in all aspects of their music. Being unique requires some kind of experimentation with instruments and vocals, hence my use of the word "experimental-ish" to describe artists whose style is particularly original. But as all words ending in "ish" end up sounding somewhat pejorative, here comes "avant-indie" to satisfy our positivity needs: avant as in "forward thinking", indie as in "rock music for the discerning masses".
Yes, Buke and Gass make forward thinking music for discerning ears; they have a thing for writing songs that manage to make your body move spontaneously and generate alternate feelings of tension and release - something Soul Coughing were very good at as well. This is what rock'n' roll is all about. Their intricate rhythms and edgy vocals will find them many fans among the lovers of other avant-indie artists (Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Gang Gang Dance, St. Vincent, Yeasayer etc.). It's just two of them, playing mostly electric and acoustic guitars and derivates, while hitting a kick drum with a tambourine hanging on it. Go enjoy their show at the Glasslands on February 28. - PDG - website - permalink

 
 
 
January
 
 

Parts and Labor
"Receivers"

mp3!!
 
   

Wise men and women know that bad news can always carry an opportunity for change and growth. When Parts and Labor's original drummer Chris Weingarten left the band, many fans of the noisy Brooklyn outfit were wondering how they could replace a musician that was so deeply instrumental to the band's sound. "Receivers" answers that question in the best possible way: Parts and Labor's music, because of that departure, may have lost some of its frantic, industrial quality, but it gained in space, structure and quality of writing. Like the gorgeous booklet design suggests, the band's experimentations have finally reached an organic quality that was missing: the disparate, mechanical, fragmented elements still separated in their previous recordings now somehow work together and come to life, like the weird "industrial bug" gracing the band's CD cover.
The songwriting still carries strong Husker Du references, but new, mostly pop and even unexpected folk elements enrich the melodic palette - and the listening experience. "Nowheres Nigh" is this monster's pop extremity, "Satellites" its growing heads, and "Little Ones", with its surprising references to old american folk anthems, its roots and hearts. - PDG - website
 
 
For the CDs of the Month
of 2008 see here
 

For the CDs of the Month
of 2007 see here
 
 




Deli Prizes for the Year End Best of NYC

The Deli of course will also contribute to the pool of prizes for the Year End Best of NYC Poll, for both the Overall and  Readers' charts.

Here's the list:

Overall Chart Prize (winner only)
Cover of The Deli's Spring issue (out in Arpil 2010)

Overall Chart Prize for 2nd and 3rd place
Smaller Picture on The Deli's Spring issue's cover

Readers' Chart Prize (winner only)
Full Feature on a Deli issue

Extra Prize for all nominees
writeup in The Deli's Spring issue 2010

So look out for the Spring issue in April, as it will be entirely dedicated to the Best of NYC Poll and to the upcoming Best of NYC Fest, which will happen in the Spring of 2010, involving many of the artists included in our Best of.

The Deli's Staff

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Wormburner sell out Mercury, release Christmas song

WORMBURNER are an Indie Rock five-piece from New York City who play rootsy, lyrical Powerpop with Punk and New Wave ingredients. After a couple of self produced releasestheir music made its way to David Lowery (frontman for Cracker & Camper van Beethoven) who ended up helping them craft a full length album, titled "A Hero's Welcome" released on DIVE Records in the Fall of 2006. But the quintet, that sold out Mercury on Saturday 12.12, is not all crash and crunch, as proven by a CHRISTMAS tune, called "The Bells Of St. Ignatius," and you can download it here.

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Peculiar Gentlemen's new video + Burlesque action

This is a new video from Peculiar Gentlemen that brings us right into the festive mood of da Holidaze Seez'n... definitely a peculiar video about... the original inventors of the Boom Box/iPod? The Gentlemen will play as a soundtrack to a burlesque show on December 19 at Jalopy (315 Columbia St. Bklyn).

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