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January 2015
Bonsai
"self titled EP
"
mp3

Our regular readers may have noticed that we like to highlight residencies played by local artists in local venues, but admittedly we entirely missed Bonsai's November one at Pete Candy's Store - admittedly, we weren't aware that the lovely east Williamsburg venue actually had residencies! Well, not only they have them, but they also pick good artists for them, since Bonsai's music is an absolute delight. Their self titled debut EP is a delicate and dreamy alt folk gem. Opener "Bonsai Trees" - the most accomplished track on the record, streaming below - shows the trio's interest in revisiting traditional American music in new ways, employing intriguing percussive textures, inventive and appropriate guitar parts, and a production that's edgy without being over the top. Of course, all this wouldn't do much if Simone Stevens' vocals and melodies weren't spot on, confident and compelling. The magic continues with "When it Rains," a more subdued track floating in oozes of reverb and supported by what sounds like an acoustic guitar two-note sample loop. Atmospheric ballad "I fashion you are a dreamer" turns up the melancholy big time with a verse as intense as it gets, only to deliver one of those powerfully uplifting choruses that - unless you are fully corrupted by life - can touch you in deep ways. Upbeat pop number "I Like You Man" and final folky song "Messed Up" fill up the record competently, but without reaching the heights of the first three tracks. This is a small, beautiful record with the power to awaken emotions and make people closer, i.e. exactly what the doctor orders every time a new year begins.

This band submitted their music for coverage here.
We added this song to The Deli's playlist of
Best mellow songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

 
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!


Album Review: The Family Almanac's Eponymous EP

The Family Almanac’s self-titled EP, out earlier this month, starts as it promises: “Dream I’m In” is like a sleepy sequence from a foggy Sunday, or a pleasant hangover morning in the Gorge. Vocalist and keyboardist Elizabeth Pixley-Fink gentle voice delights in the mood. The EP carries us to sleep, or to the edge of it; that is a place where the band’s music might do instead of sleep.

The slow, soporific mood carries on through the short EP. The first half of the record, including a stuttering jam by the band’s other vocalist Blake Mason, sound like the warm and sultry tunes of ‘70s harmonizers like Steely Dan and the sonic landscapes of Fleetwood Mac. 

The fourth song on the EP is “White Sugar”, a slow, bluesy ballad with doo-wop echoes in the background. The song builds to a beautiful chorus, about as loud as the band ever gets. But the sleepy tone is back for “Susie”. If the skin started to cook with “White Sugar”, here it is enjoying the shade once again on a hot day. 

The last track is another by Family Almanac’s male vocalist. “So It Goes” is a bouncier track than the rest, played with as much urgency as the band musters on this EP. 

Recently I had the pleasure to see the Family Almanac play a house show (the perfect venue for their lighthearted soft rock anthems) and found a lot to be excited about. With its talented members, Family Almanac has plenty of leverage to evolve in the future. I only hope they will release a longer album soon for those lazy Spring mornings when their sounds can start the spinning of my mind with ease.

- Eric Togethoff

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Live Sunday: Cool Ghouls, Mope Grooves and Dogheart at The Know

Hailing from San Francisco are the Cool Ghouls.  Their salty guitar riffs reek of the Pacific Ocean and their harmonies will lull you like the waves of the bay.  In a time when every band seems to be “psyching out in their garage”,  The Cool Ghouls' sophisticated sound separates them from being just another band with reverb and a sick record collection. The song centric style of their sophomore release, A Swirling Fire Burning Through The Rye, makes for a great collection of recordings and stellar live performances.  The album flows seamlessly through ten tracks despite the band's three songwriters. The sound is reminiscent of early Grateful Dead, golden-era Creedence and The Velvet Underground, yet is fresh and modern. Recorded live to tape by Sonny Smith of Sonny and Sunsets, the band's live energetic vibe is beautifully captured. After touring the states a few times over and playing their hometown with heavy hitters like Nick Waterhouse and Of Montreal, it's only a matter of time before we see these California dudes make a national television debut.  Be able to say you 'knew them when' and see Cool Ghouls live this Sunday at the Know. Local punk crooners Mope Grooves and Dogheart open the show, fixing for a good time to be had by all. 

M. Rowan 

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2015 Treefort Music Festival Preview: Portland Artist Highlight

The fourth annual Treefort Music Festival is proving to be the biggest one yet. Not only is it their first year as a licensed LLC, but this year’s lineup is larger than any previous year with over 400 musical acts, not to mention whole mini-festivals dedicated to comedy, performance art, technology, yoga, skateboarding, beer, and then some.

With massive national musical acts headlining the festival like TV On The Radio, Built To Spill, Foxygen, Yacht, Viet Cong, Of Montreal and !!!, just to name a few, the $139 price of a full-weekend pass is pretty much already god damned steal, and that’s barely 1.5% of the full 2015 lineup. Adding to the glory of this year’s festival, the vast array of amazing Portland bands making the trip to Boise makes Portland one of the most represented cities of the festival. Think of it as a huge rager with all your favorite Portland bands and friends, just in a new, way more fun location.

To help you sort through all of the madness, here is a quick list of some of the Deli Portland’s favorite Portland bands who will be performing at this year’s Treefort Music Festival. Find out exactly where and when they will be playing during Treefort, here


Foxy Lemon + Cambrian Explosion to Release Split EP 3.14

Foxy Lemon and Cambrian Explosion, two distinguished bands in the Portland music scene, will release a split Joint EP, on Saturday, March 14th. In support of the release, the two bands headline Kelly's Olympian Saturday night along with Moon By You and Spirit Lake.

What sets Foxy Lemon and Cambrian Explosion apart from other active bands in the Pacific Northwest? They're honest and genuinely alternative. There aren't any hidden motives. Pop lullabies won't sneak around the corner. Though the two share the broad genre in common and indulge in their own specifics, that common thread is evident. Foxy Lemon introduce the split release with four songs that ebb and flow on a high tide. Keishi Ihara's vocals might be clouded by reminders of Jack White and Black Keys, but Ihara projects a certain type of rawness when he sings. This is a good thing. Listen to "Just Because I Can". The song begins and ends with Ihara's isolated strain. Their half of the album isn't the kind of contribution to throw into your music player, plug in head phones and zone out to. These songs are definitely well-suited for a faster drive in and out of town, with that kind of sassy attitude that could get you into trouble.
 
Cambrian Explosion have had an intense career within the local independent scene already. Their three songs on the EP indulge in fuzzy complex guitar melodies and distant and gentle cooing. Though consistently and easily filed under "psychedelia", there's a strange science fiction aspect to their sound that can't be shaken. There's a struggle between the nods to 60s-70s reverb and drug-heavy rock and futuristic noise that spells out definite progression. There's an obvious lasting impression. This split leads the listener to ask, "what's next?"
 
- Colette Pomerleau

 

 

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