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Artist of the Month
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February 2015
Dolly Spartans
"self-titled EP
"
mp3

I think we can all agree about the fact that age is very important in rock'n'roll; we might not like that (we don't) but we can agree about it, right? Therefore, a good rock song is bound to get some added value when it's written and performed by four musicians in their (not so late) teens. And then, if you also realize that the band has a solid six track debut EP with no fillers under their belt, things start to get really interesting: records without fillers are rare at any age... The band in question is NYC's Dolly Spartans; their self titled debut fluctuates between pop punk exuberance ('We'll say that for now,' streaming below, and ' 'Don't You Know') and more tamed melodic moments reminiscent of a dirtier Vampire Weekend ('Who Are You,') or even of sacred monsters like The Beatles and their beloved disciples XTC ('Something on my Mind'). The band's sound features the right amount of rawness (think early Pixies), which gets tamed at least in part by songwriter and lead singer's Michael Eliran tenor, that sounds way more mature than his years. The range of the six tracks, the actual songwriting, and the maturity of the arrangements is truly impressive for such a young band, and make this is one of the most consistently fun NYC made record we heard in a while. Hopefully these guys' sound won't get too polished too soon!

 
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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Cultfever releases new single "Youth" + plays Northside at Union Pool on 06.11

The brainchild of Tamara Jafar and Joe Durniak, Cultfever is a catchy NYC electro-rock duo we've been following for some time. They have just released this new single entitled "Youth," and took the opportunity to announce their participation in the Northside Fest with a show at Union Pool on June 11.

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Woods, Real Estate grip audience at Revolution Hall

Last Thursday night the new venue Revolution Hall saw a mini Woodsist reunion.  The label’s founding band, Brooklyn-based Woods, opened for old label-mates and New Jersey natives Real Estate.

What you need to know about Revolution Hall:  It’s a concert venue equipped with two bars inside of a converted Portland public high school that was closed in the 80s.  The auditorium may be renovated, but the feel of walking past hallway lockers and over linoleum floors sets you in a weird mood because you’re half expecting to attend a mandatory “dangers of drinking and driving” assembly but the guy in front of you is carrying a beer.  The theater is full of seats, so depending on what kind of concert-goer you are this is a big plus or a major drawback.

The first time I saw Woods play was in my first year of college in tan ambiguous room in the student union.  Their music then was the kind of layered noise I imagined would make a great soundtrack for watching crystals grow at hyper speed.  This was four years ago.  Since then, the band’s sound has progressed to being a bit more polished, though their talent to make a catchy melody was apparent in their first album.  What they have now seems to be a fine-tuned balance between their spooky muddy psych jams and blissful folk-pop melodies.  With their hypnotic instrumentals they’d lead us into a dark wood and just before we lost it they’d shift back to a sunny digestible song steeped in lead singer Jeremy Earl’s sweet and familiar falsetto.  That line between lo-fi hysteria and upbeat exuberance is where Woods has pitched their tent.  

What they brought to this performance that surprised me was a nod to funk.  Earl stomped lithely on a wah wah pedal and flashed sly smiles across the stage.  These brief indulgences in 70s funk rock proved to be a solid meeting place for Woods’ two sounds.  It also exposed the kind of rambling classic rock jams that erupts in certain recordings of Neil Young or George Harrison from that time.  Aside from their digressions into instrumental jams, Woods seemed to exclusively stick to material from their latest albums. Perhaps this is because many of the original members are no longer part of the group, or perhaps they are tired of playing their popular older songs like “Rain On” and want us to progress with them.

The audience was with them.

In contrast, Real Estate opened with a song from their first album, “Suburban Dogs,” a song that captured New Jersey so adequately for me the first time I heard it that I henceforth refer people to the band to understand the attitudes of my home state.  Aside from their nostalgic lyrics tying people to places, their summery electric guitars carry most of what their words mean to express.  They seem to be about narrating those moments in life that are hard to name, the ones that happen in transit between events and are often overlooked.  Their songs draw from the potential in those transitional spaces as moments for reflection and observation.  These are soft moments.  

The softness was present in Matt Mondanile’s sweet electric strums and the half-parted smile on his face.  Mondanile’s guitar drives the songs as much as lead singer Martin Courtney’s voice does.  The two of them are often in conversation with one another, speaking eloquently about the nighttime walk to a friend’s house or the idle drives that any teen can relate to.  They played songs from their three LPs, moving between them seamlessly.  Like Woods, their music has progressed in a way that encompasses a tighter grasp on the perfect indie pop melody, but it also shows a stronger sense of longing for those early days.  They are the perfect band for your backyard barbeque, but they played well inside, their jangling guitars slowly washing over the stage like honey dropped in tea.

Their show was layered and rhythmically tight like their recorded music, with the added bonus of playful shenanigans that I imagine comes with many weeks on tour.  Before they returned to stage for the encore, they gave roundabout introductions that were both goofy and endearing.  

They finished the set with the song “Beach Comber”, the first on their first album, bringing us full circle in their nostalgic journey.

-Hilary Devaney

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Willis Earl Beal

The soulful Willis Earl Beal has joined the Portland Indie label Tender Loving Empire. The label announced today that they will be releasing Beal's next LP, Noctunes, on August 28th. This will be Beal's first release on a label since his split with XL Recordings and his follow-up to the independently released 2014 album, Experiments In Time.

Below is the first single from Noctunes, "Flying So Low".

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A Deli premiere: Craig Martinson's "Burning Monk"

Boston and its surroundings keep supplying NYC with richly arranged and very competently produced records. Brooklyn based - via Beantown - Craig Martinson plays music that's obviously influenced by The Beatles' psychedelic years, although he's not afraid to occasionally venture off that path with more noisy and experimental tracks like this cover of Beck's Devil's Haircut. We are premiering here third single 'Burning Monk' from sophomore EP ' M​y Love is True.' The song kicks off with a "Let it Be" style piano line, and suddenly breaks into a fully orchestrated chorus, exploding with melancholy, while the lyrics stress the very words giving the EP its title. The other tracks available from streaming confirm Martinson's noteworthy songwriting, filled with strong melodies and imaginative production.

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Show Alert: Chalaxy and Blackfoot Gypsies at Mercy Lounge 5.30

Got plans this weekend? Cancel them, because you belong at Mercy Lounge this Saturday night. This night consists of a double dose of Deli favorites: tribal noise hipsters Chalaxy are celebrating the release of their moody psychedelic single "Dizzy" and are premiering a newly revamped live set. Joining the night are Nashville standbys Blackfoot Gypsies, who have their own big excitements from a recent record deal with Plowboy Records and a new video for "Under my Skin" to boot (check it out below.) We're stoked to see these two merry bands of hustlers in one night, and are equally excited to catch Matt Owen & Eclectic Tuba and Levi Ray for the first time. Saturday's show kicks off at 9pm and will only set you back $5. -Terra James-Jura

 

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