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the deli

the magazine about the emerging nyc bands


live at Cameo, may 26

the Deli’s nyC b.e.a.f.!

[best of emerging artists fest]

Williamsburg, may 23-26

FREE in NYC Issue #30 Volume #2 Spring 2012

$2 in the USA www.thedelimagazine.com

J.Viewz Zambri Skaters spirit family reunion

Tall Tall Trees apollo run Stephie Coplan

Field Mouse the men Caveman Monogold

a$aP rocky Devin the Denzels Lissy Trullie

Ski Lodge laDy lamb the beekeeper Cuddle Magic


Best NYC

EmErging Artists 2012



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the deli

the everything magazine about about the the emerging nyc music nyc scene bands

Issue #30 Volume #2 Spring 2012

Note from the Editor

Dear readers,

Another year goes by, and another, new generation of

musicians is in to change the face of the NYC scene.

Every spring, The Deli highlights the most promising local

emerging talent in the “Best of NYC” issue that you are now

reading. In this issue you may find the next Vampire Weekend,

Pains of Being Pure at Heart, or Here We Go Magic, three of

many artists who were featured in past “Best of NYC”

editions well before they became commercially successful.

Because of the sheer amount of names, we tried to make

things easier for our readers by organizing things by genre

(which is another entire challenge, requiring some kind of

painful compromises). Hope this will help you navigate

through the issue.

And don’t forget that even the most sophisticated poll cannot

tell the whole story of the NYC emerging bands – for that you

need to head to our website: nyc.thedelimagazine.com.

-Paolo De Gregorio

the deli masthead

Editor in ChiEf: Paolo De Gregorio

foundEr: Charles Newman

ExECutivE Editor: Quang D. Tran

SEnior Editor: Ed Gross

Art dirECtor: Kaz Yabe (www.kazyabe.com)

SEnior dESignEr: Ursula Viglietta (www.ursulaviglietta.com)

CovEr Photo: Shervin Lainez (www.shervinfoto.com)

grAPhiC ASSiStAnt: Kelly McDonough

WEb dEvEloPErS: Mark Lewis, Alex Borsody

StAff WritErS: Bill Dvorak, Nancy Chow, Mike SOS,

Dean Van Nguyen, Meijin Bruttomesso, Dave Cromwell,

Ben Krieger, Mike Levine

in-houSE Contributing WritErS: Charlie Davis, Simon Heggie,

Christina Morelli, BrokeMC, allison levin, Ed Guardaro,

Amanda F. Dissinger, Chelsea Eriksen, Annamarya Scaccia,

Tuesday Phillips, Christine Cauthen, Molly Horan,

Corinne Bagish, Devon Antonetti, Jen Mergott

thE KitChEn: Janice Brown, Howard J. Stock, Shane O’Connor,

Ben Wigler, Matt Rocker, David Weiss, Justin Colletti, Gus Green

intErn: Mijhal Poler

PubliShErS: The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC

The Deli Magazine is a trademark of The Deli Magazine, LLC, Brooklyn &

Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2012 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.


ReCoRdiNg adviCe

& guitaR pedal


• Home vs. Studio

• Choosing a Recording Studio

• Recording Drums According to

4 NYC Top Producers

• Do You Need Mastering?

the deli_4 Spring 2012

the Deli’s nyC b.e.a.f.!

1. Caveman

2. Lucius

3. Widowspeak

4. Friends

5. Monogold

6. Ski Lodge

7. Big Wilson River

8. Ava Luna

9. The Denzels

10. Apollo Run

11. Kung Fu Crimewave

12. Tall Tall Trees

13. Ambassadors

14. Fort Lean

15. ARMS

16. Grassfight

17. Body Language

18. Stephie Coplan

& The Pedestrians

19. Starlight Girls

20. Hurrah! A Bolt of Light!

21. Black Taxi

22. A$AP Rocky

23. The Can’t Tells

24. Yellow Ostrich

25. Spirit Family Reunion

26. The Men


28. Devin

29. North Highlands


31. Hidden Fees

32. Illumntr


Read ouR

NYC blog

& submit YouR

musiC foR Review

• Keep updated with the newest

emerging NYC indie artists.

• Use our free DiY Live Listings and

Open Blog to promote your music

(or other bands you like) !!!

[best of emerging artists fest]

Williamsburg, may 23-26

Best NYC


EmErging Artists 2012

For artist links: thedelimag.com/nyc2012

33. Brothers

34. The Bottom Dollars

35. Field Mouse

36. MiniBoone

37. Futurist

38. Merrily & The Poison Orchard

39. Exemption

40. Mal Blum

41. Deathrow Tull

42. Snowmine

43. Clementine and The Galaxy

44. The Sneaky Mister

45. J.Viewz

46. Reverend John DeLore

47. Robin Bacior

48. Firehorse

49. Brick + Mortar

50. The Due Diligence

51. The Courtesy Tier

52. Bird Call

53. The Sway Machinery

54. DIIV

55. The Beets

56. Slowdance

57. Dead Leaf Echo

58. Ice Choir

59. French Camp

60. Lady Lamb The Beekeeper

61. Lissy Trullie

62. Caged Animals

63. Papertwin

64. Penguin Prison

65. Superhuman Happiness

66. Tayisha Busay


p.26 & 27



67. Pass Kontrol

68. Thinning The Herd

69. Xenia Rubinos

70. Fall of the Albatross

71. Food Will Win The War

72. Chappo

73. Sinem Saniye

74. Mother Feather

75. My Pet Dragon

76. The Third Wheel Band

77. Cuddle Magic

78. Himalaya

79. The Stepkids

80. The Bandana Splits

81. Grace Weber

82. Indyns

83. Wazu

84. In One Wind

85. Oh Whitney

86. Ex Cops

87. Appomattox

88. Blonde Valhalla

89. Twitchers

90. Young Boys

91. Nicholas Jaar

92. Fredericks Brown

93. Gross Relations

94. Idgy Dean

95. Psychobuildings


97. OhNoMoon

98. Aaron Roche

99. Spanish Prisoners

100.Happy New Year


102.Bugs in the Dark



use the deli’s ChaRts

to kNow YouR sCeNe +

fiNd baNds to plaY with

• Enter your band for free in our charts

organized by genre and region.

• Find out about other like-minded

artists in your same genre.



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State of

The Industry

By Mike Levine & Paolo De Gregorio

Adaptive Evolution

When The Great Recession hit NYC in 2007, the music industry was already dealing with

the aftermath of two very serious sector crises: The revolutions brought by the advent

of mp3s and home recording. These dual developments combined to deprive labels and

studios of a previously reliable source of revenue. Due to this ongoing hardship, the music

industry was more prepared to deal with the recession than any other field.

By 2008, musicians had already adapted to the new times, abandoning hopes of lifechanging

record deals but enjoying the advantage of being able to save big time on recording

costs. Pretty much every NYC emerging musician not in school had a day job, which

meant that those who were forced to leave town because of the recession didn’t necessarily

have to do so because of a lack of income from their music careers.

On the other side, the local businesses who survived the aforementioned industry crises

were already operating in a mix of damage control/explore new possibilities mode and looking

for ways to adapt to a shifting scenario. The strongest contenders “greeted” The Great

Recession as a new opportunity to test their survival skills. Here’s a memory from Cameo

Gallery’s Jify Shah:

“A few weeks after we opened our doors, the economy crashed. I remember thinking we’d

do $10 tickets for shows on weekends, but right away we had to settle for $5 - $8. Then we

did a whole bunch of specials: like $3 beers and free wings for happy hour.”

What Jify didn’t mention is that Cameo Gallery could also offset some of the venue’s losses

through its popular front door restaurant, but nonetheless, it’s responsive thinking like this

at the origin of any business’ successful change of course. Everywhere we looked, we saw

this same kind of rewired thinking going on in response to economic hardships.

If there’s one over-riding impression that we got from taking a look around and asking people

what they thought about what was going on, it’s that there isn’t any single way working for

artists anymore. Instead, there are a lot of different types of musicians trying out a multitude

of ways to make it. Experimentation is key, and constant, perpetual evolution a must.

Olive Juice - One Man’s

Adventures in Paying the Bills

Matthew Roth embodies the hustle of a local artist fighting against an economic

current. His group, Schwervon!, is that band you fall in love with without realizing

you have. A noise-rock duo with the thrash of Sonic Youth, coupled with

down-to-earth tales of love in the real world like Yo La Tengo. There’s

a simple honesty to the group that’s instantly translatable to an

everyday experience so vital to the makeup of any local scene.

He’s also arguably been one of the hardest working artists around

NYC over the past 15 years or so.

Since 2001, Roth has single-handedly managed to set up and

run a world-touring band, a local label (Olive Juice Music), a

recording studio and a production company in Manhattan, while

simultaneously working once a week at a neighborhood co-op.

“My days in New York were pretty varied. In the

morning I’d be processing orders, filling envelopes

and going to the post office. Then maybe I’d have 2

or 3 recording sessions a week… Then band practice

3 times a week. I’d be constantly tweaking the OJ

website, trying to blog and write reviews as much

as possible… Between my band and solo project I’d

probably gig an average of once every 2 weeks. In

between all that I’d be working on mixing Schwervon!

stuff or Major Matt stuff. I’d also moonlight as a

live sound engineer so maybe one night a week I’d

be doing that until 2am. I worked at the 4th Street

Food Co-op receiving produce on Friday mornings.

Occasionally, I’d put on live shows so I’d be working

on booking and/or promoting those, making flyers,

sending emails etc… Towards the end, it got really

crazy trying to make ends meet. I’d be selling stuff

on Craigslist or going to these paid test-marketing

things. I’d do anything

to pay the bills

and keep my schedule

flexible for music.

I’d probably also go

see a show at least

2 to 3 nights a week

on average to either

check out a friend or

a new venue.”

Here’s a man who lived, breathed and ate music, and still

had to do test-marketing to make ends meet. So if there’s

any reason an artist/entrepreneur like Matthew Roth was

able to make it work, it’s because he saw a demand, and

figured out how to make that need work for him.

It’s also interesting to note that after 11 years of this

hectic lifestyle, Matt finally moved back to his hometown

Kansas City in April 2012. All his struggle and

hard work during the last difficult period was done

almost as if to prove to himself that he could make

it through the post recession years: Adapting your

business to economic hardships is a challenge, and

challenges are motivating.

Record Making

and Wizardry

In the past decade, NYC has suffered unspeakable

losses in the recording studios department. Roth ran

with this need for low-priced, “ok quality” recordings:

“I started recording people because there was a real

need for it. The Internet was just catching on and not a

lot people knew very much about recording outside of

4-track cassette. I was fortunate enough to work in a

studio at the time that had Pro Tools. I saved up some

money and got a 001 system for myself and started recording

bands in my apartment in the L.E.S. for cheap.

It was better than a 4 track and cheaper than a studio.”

Many more musicians followed this path in the following

years, so much so that today, recording engineer

might as well be the most widespread (non-paying)

job in the Big Apple. The older and better-established

the deli_8 Spring 2012

studios are definitely feeling the crunch in this area.

Mastering Engineer Joe Lambert has a long and important

role in mastering a lot of local heavyweights, from

Eleanor Friedberger’s first solo CD, Last Summer, to The

Dirty Projectors’s seminal Bitte Orca. So it’s of concern

to him that “increased quality of at-home setups,

changes within the actual music industry and economic

downturn all seem to be factors as to why recording

studios aren’t booming like they used to.”

But mastering studios have fared relatively well compared

to recording studios. Although, as Jim Bentley

from The Fort recording studio told us, there are also

a lot of challenges when committing to lo-fi that many

artists aren’t aware of at the outset, and this is causing

a reverse exodus back to the studios at some point in

the musician’s career.

“When the economy shit

the bed, everyone ran

out to buy a $200 condenser

mic and some

crappy interface for their

laptop and thought they

were going to make

magic. It’s like going to

the chain music store

buying an entry level

guitar and amp… never played the thing in your life and

bam you’re supposed to be Eddie Van Halen or something…

it takes experience, chops… Nice gear helps, but

understanding how to craft the way the music feels and

technical skill (like knowing what mics sound like on this

or that and how to move them around to get the sounds

you want) are the weapons of the “big studio sound”…

It’s next level wizard shit…”

“i’d be selling stuff on Craigslist or going

to these paid test-marketing things.

i’d do anything to pay the bills and keep

my schedule flexible for music.”

—Matthew Roth (Olive Juice Music)

The Textured,

Dancey Sounds of

the Bedroom

An obvious consequence of the bedroom recording

phenomenon is that NYC has experienced an explosion

of lo-fi, electronic and/or semi-electronic artists who

perform music that lacks the live “oomph,” choosing to

focus instead on other production values like danceability,

texture and/or the most important of all: songwriting.

While there’s no need to write the obit just yet, there

doesn’t seem to be nearly as many straight-ahead quality

rock bands coming out of the city anymore. Even Long

Island, once a well-cultivated home for East Coast-grown

hard rock, has largely abandoned its radio stations and

is known more today for their Cabernet than hardcore

groups like Dead Superstar and Powerman.

Nowadays, you may have to take the Path down to Jersey

to check out what’s new in this genre. With Glen Rock’s

Titus Andronicus and New Brunswick’s Screaming

Females representing from across the Hudson, that’s quite

the deli_9

a bit of pressure for any scene. But maybe the 2nd decade

of the 21st century wasn’t meant for rock anyway.

Bands like Rubblebucket, for instance, are taking the

freakdom of Brooklyn’s psychedelic scene, and finding

a new place for their flags to fly – built on top of the

noodling rhythms of Afrobeat. This is similar to what

Spanglish Fly is doing for a little-known sub-genre of

soul-infused salsa music called Boogaloo. With this

revival genre picking up steam, the 13-piece ensemble

is electrifying alt-jazz clubs like Nublu and SOB’s with

their live shows.

In a “market” where recorded music isn’t paying the

bills, probably many musicians are – again – adapting

by creating a music that, through the seduction of

danceability, has the potential to attract more people

to the live show experience. Or maybe it’s an unconscious

process: survival of the fittest?

Bring It

to the People

This brings us back to live venues, a sector which,

in NYC, has actually been thriving in the aughts, and

which has also recently undergone some of the largest

changes of any institution. The introduction of many

“multi-tasking” spaces betrays the effort to improve

the classic business model (consisting of one room

with stage AND bar) which has too often proved fragile:

hence the proliferation of venues which – like Cameo,

Pianos and Cake Shop – host a restaurant, a coffee

place or a record store in a separate room – often including

a recording studio somewhere in the basement.

“Right when the recession first hit, there was a notice-

the deli_10 Spring 2012

“i think it’s a lot harder now for

bands to get noticed or to get

label support. But i think that’s

good. You really have to love

what you’re doing.”

—Matthew Roth (Olive Juice Music)

able dip in attendance and sales at the venue, but

things pretty much leveled out really about three months

later. Attendance now is actually better than before

the recession,” says Zach Dinerstein from Spike Hill,

another venue with a separate bar and restaurant right

on Williamsburg’s Bedford Ave.

Dinerstein is almost institutionalizing experimentation

by allowing it in the small room he books, which gives

artists an opportunity to grow in front of an audience,

while finding alternative sources of revenue to keep the

mission alive: “Like most places in the city, we rent our

venue out to events, like film shoots, catered parties,

private film screenings, things like that. After working in

the industry for a few years, I honestly don’t think anything

will keep people from pursuing music. If it’s your

passion to create music, you’ll find a way to do it, even

if that means music alone won’t cover your bills.”


the Dream Happen

So, whether you are in a band or in a business, even

if “making it” in the music industry hasn’t become any

easier, this city offers quite a few ways (many probably

unexplored) to get to the same goal – i.e. sustainability.

“Economic downturns typically

bolster creativity. A poor economy

often forces us to look inward, and

in doing so, we turn to the arts.”

—Arien Rozelle (Feeling Anxious PR)

For Matthew Roth the changes in the music industry

are two-fold. On the one hand, there’s less money going

around... but on the other, there’s a lot more going

on nowadays than there used to.

“I think it’s a lot harder now for bands to get noticed or

to get label support. But I think that’s good. You really

have to love what you’re doing. I think Brooklyn is

still a fantastic place for bands in the early stages just

because you have so many places to play and stuff to

inspire you.”

Arien Rozelle from Feeling Anxious PR is helping

artists do exactly that.

“New York will always have amazing musicians. It’s

where you go when you want to pursue your dreams.

And I don’t see that going away – ever. Additionally,

economic downturns typically bolster creativity. A poor

the deli_12 Spring 2012

economy often forces us to look inward, and in doing

so, we turn to the arts.”

That’s something to think about: What if a bad economy

is actually good for the arts? Is it possible that there is

an inverse relationship between the health of a local

scene and the health of the economy at large? After all,

the last wave of big NYC indie bands (Interpol, Yeah

Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio) happened right after the

recession following 9/11…

Music Is for Lovers

Although all musicians naturally hope to get to a point

where music will be their full-time job, true artists make

art because they need to, in some kind of spiritual way.

The creative process might not bring food to their table,

but it does feed them spiritually: Artistic creation generates

feelings of joy and euphoria, makes people feel alive

and gives a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

It takes more than a bad economy to dissuade lovers

from pursuing their love, dreamers from chasing their

dreams. And if the best love stories are the ones that

overcame the hardest of obstacles, a bad economy may

as well be the best premise for a music renaissance.

the deli_13

the deli_11

#1 We

RiYL: Belle & Sebastian,

Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest







In the following pages you’llfind all the 102 emerging local

artists who made it into our Best of NYC Emerging Artists

Poll. For links to each band’s music and a break down of

the vote, please go here: thedelimag.com/nyc2012.

“best of” lists are music publications’ bread and butter, but sometimes we all

wonder what the rationale behind them is. the peculiar thing about our best of

NYC emerging artists list (see it on page 4) is that it’s not something compiled

by our staff, but rather the product of a complicated system mostly based on

the opinions of local, competent “scene-makers”. these jurors who follow and

work with emerging bands on a daily basis – comprised of local talent buyers,

music bloggers, writers, etc. – have the most influence on the final result, and

this is why our best of NYC has always produced reliably amazing new artists.

List of Jurors

Alex Rossiter (Webster Hall), Andy Bodor (Cake Shop), Billy Jones

(Pianos), Bowery Electric bookers, Brandon Haas (BMI), Carlye Wisel

& Donald Rasmussen (Big Yellow Couch), Chris Diaz (Knitting Factory),

Christopher R. Weingarten (The Village Voice), Claire McNamara

(OhMyRockness), David Teller (Bird Dog Productions), Douglas DeFalco

(Southpaw), Heath Miller (Excess db), Heather Dunsmoor (The Bell

House), Jamie Dominguez (SESAC), Jennifer Gilson (The Living Room),

Jify Shah (Cameo), John J. Hagan (Sycamore), Karen Soskin (Other

Music), Katherine Coates (Delancey), Marc Emert-Hutner (ASCAP), Matt

McDonald (CMJ), Max Brennan (Lit Lounge), Paolo De Gregorio (The Deli),

Rami Haykal (Popgun Booking), Sebastian Freed (Bowery Presents),

Steve Trimboli (Goodbye Blue Monday), Zack Dinerstein (Spike Hill).


By Paolo De Gregorio

praised Caveman’s wonderful mix of psych rock and mellow pop

numerous times: The band was featured on the cover of our summer 2011

issue, and that’s the reason why, even though they won our Best of NYC

Emerging Artist Poll, they are not featured on the cover of this issue.

Caveman won this poll with a record number of votes from our jury of local scene-makers, and inherit the crown

of Best NYC Band from last year’s number one, Twin Shadow, and previous editions’ winners Talk Normal,

Chairlift, Yeasayer, The Big Sleep and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Yet, for some rather mysterious reasons, the Deus Ex Machina of music sites (Pitchfork.com) has not even

bothered to review their debut album – maybe because it was self-released? The band is doing great – recently

performing at BAM Theater in a festival curated by The National – but it’s reasonable to wonder what kind of

parameters the Pitchfork staff uses to decide which records to review and which not.

Hopefully their new record label Fat Possum – home to The Walkmen and Unknown Mortal Orchestra among

others – will be able to give these guys the extra push that they deserve. In the meantime, we warm-heartedly

recommend that you take a listen to CoCo Beware before the entire world finds out about it.

the deli_15









“Our career has been an evolving,

living thing…” (Holly Laessig)

There are many reasons why artists

release EPs mid-stream through an

album cycle. For some, they have an

excess of material left over from the

previous record. Others write too many songs

to support a single release. For Lucius, neither

of these reasons quite explains the unexpected

sound and power of their latest self-titled EP.

For this group, we’re instead presented with

what could amount to an entirely new mode for

the Brooklyn band.

RiYL: Feist, Joni Mitchell, Iron & Wine

Looking Through The Telescope By Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets) / Photo by Shervin Lainez

When their debut Songs from the Bromley House hit two years ago,

Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig approached things with a simple, but

effective formula: Take their powerhouse harmonies, add 1 part playful

hook, 1 part 1921 Steinway piano, and stir until ready. In lesser hands,

this straightforward approach might not have worked, but for the

project that they called Lucius, Jess and Holly proved that they had a

the deli_16 Spring 2012

knack for imbuing otherwise simple ideas with elevated meaning.

Jess and Holly (and six of their closest music buddies) happened to

be the first residents of an otherwise boarded up music school and

recording studio in Ditmas Park. They’d come here all the way from

Boston where they first met in 2005 while studying music together at

Berklee College of Music.

While at school, Jess and Holly took an immediate liking to one

another while collaborating on a Beatles’ White Album cover show,

and listening to some of the more intimate material from Bromley

House, like “Shenandoah” and “If I Were You,” it’s obvious not only

how good they sounded together, but also how far they’ve both

come in a short period of time.

“We’ve had so many interestingly synchronized

experiences, so it’s been almost therapeutic to be

able to guide each other through them together.”

(Jess Wolfe)

As intimate and sensual as their music feels, their background in Berklee

hails from a very competitive community. Boston’s music scene has its

own rich history to be sure, but for whatever reason, many of Berklee’s

alums moved down to New York a couple years ago in droves. So many

in fact, that today a fair share of the better-known indie artists playing

gigs around Manhattan’s Lower East Side are transplanted graduates

from the school (Adam Tressler, Jennifer Hirsh and Emily Greene can be

counted among the alums). A tight-knit bunch – most of the graduates

still support each other in performance and recording.

But most of these graduates’ main course consists of a diet of John

Mayer-style blues and twangy coffeehouse Jazz styles. Listening to

some of Lucius’ earliest material, you can still hear many of these

trademarks (check out Jess’ fantastic cover of “People Get Ready”

or Holly’s breathy airs in Chris Ward’s “Wind in the Trees”), but

something must have happened while staying at the Bromley House,

as the music that came out of it transcended both Jess and Holly’s

individual backgrounds, as well as many of the trends that their

Brooklyn peers have been re-treading over the past couple years.

At a time when MGMT style party rock and beachy summer jams

were all the rage, Lucius took a step back instead and approached

their sound from another place. Just listen to “For Loves Lost,” the

final track from Bromley House. Here’s a song that doesn’t offer the

listener a place to settle in and get too comfortable. Instead, the

tune reveals itself measure by measure, building slowly and taking

its time, and rewarding the listener to no end for the effort.

This is what makes Holly and Jess such a pleasure to experience.

The more you listen to them, the less you seem sure of having their

music pegged. You’re left wondering how they’re able to achieve such

soaring magnitudes while remaining so openly vulnerable, and this

only makes you want to explore more of the band. While a lot of local

groups indulge in the somnambulance of dreamy shoegaze, Lucius

achieves their peculiar mystery just by being their own quirky selves.

If Bromley House presented the listener with a sound that feels

rooted in folk traditions and melodies floating in the air since time

eternal, their latest self-titled release takes their mission entirely in

the other direction. With Lucius’ EP out everywhere now, coupled

with the band finally being signed to a label (ok, their own label:

Wildewoman Music), the girls seem to have a lot more up their

sleeves than first thought.

Not only this, but they’ve grown a bit since 2009. Lucius isn’t just

Jess and Holly anymore. The project has now blossomed into a

full-fledged band with Dan Molad (drums), and Peter Lalish (guitar/

bass) rounding out the ensemble with anything from Nord Leads,

to all manner of percussions, and even a lap steel when necessary.

Does this mean their songwriting process is any different now than

it was back in the day?

“When Holly, Jess and I began recording 2 years

ago, it started as an experiment of sorts, just trying

things out. As the record evolved so did the band

until we reached our current configuration. We

eventually began ‘learning’ the record and overtime

ended up in the setup we have now.” (Dan Molad)

Some songwriters tend to get weighted down by large ensembles;

finding their voice lost amid the bells and whistles of a backing

band. For Lucius, their new band has given Jess and Holly

an altitude of sorts that allows them to transcend many of the

limitations of their peers. It’s one thing to play dress up and flirt

with other influences (though the girls do look fantastic in giant

bows and shudder shades). It’s another thing to allow yourself to

truly magnify your sound through these forces.

If anything, Lucius is fast maturing into a great group because

of how much they challenge themselves. From writing an album

about an old music school/living space, to trying out for American

Idol, to donning glittery rhinestones, these ladies aren’t afraid to

see what they sound and look like in unfamiliar environments.

Perhaps that’s what they’re talking about with lyrics like “she’s

looking through the wrong end of the telescope” from “Turn It

Around” off their self-titled album. There’s nothing wrong with the

view, it’s how you approach things that makes all the difference.

For such a young group, it’s anyone’s guess where Lucius will

go to from here, but it’s hard to hear their EP as anything but a

prelude to the next step. When Jess and Holly were first raising

funds for the recordings from their Kickstarter campaign, the

original idea was a full-length album titled Wildewoman. After

raising almost two times as much money as expected, the project

seems to have taken on a life of its own. But the recent release

certainly won’t be the last stop either.

Yesterday I listened to an acoustic recording of “Sit There,” where

Jess and Holly put the sunglasses and Mad Men-era dresses aside

for the performance, and found that I immediately understood

why these ladies have been working so hard at their music. This is

truly a great song, and their painstaking passion has made it that

way. In fact, every detail of this group is meticulously thought out

and delivered in the largest way possible. Lucius is just waiting for

the rest of us to notice. Now, with their backing band, increased

touring schedule, and yes… giant sunglasses, Lucius has created

a world that matches the size of their spirit.

Artist Equipment Check!!!

Electro-Harmonix POG2

“We don’t have a bass player, but

Pete splits his guitar signal to his

guitar amp and to a bass amp with

an A/B switch. The bass amp signal

has an Electro Harmonix POG 2 on it

before hitting the amp which puts the

guitar down an octave and makes it

sound like a bass.”

the deli_17









Morricone inspired Mysticism By Ed Guardaro / Photo by Danny Krug

Widowspeak emanates a strangebeautiful

mysterious nostalgia that

only lingers deep within old souls.

Their music is unobtrusive – it takes its

time and slowly Molly Hamilton’s vocal melodies

seep through Robert Earl Thomas’ searing leads

and Michael Stasiak’s steady groove.

the deli_18 Spring 2012

RiYL: Mazzy Star,

Cowboy Junkies, XX

Old musical acquaintances from Tacoma, Washington,

Michael and Molly decamped to New York after a label that they

contributed to fell apart. Many moons later Michael urged Molly

– who had little faith in her electric guitar skills and showmanship

– to acquire a used Danelectro and start writing songs.

Through mutual friends, Rob was called in to a living room

practice session, plugged his guitar into Molly’s stereo, and

the band was born. The three, who were still searching for an

appropriate name, began to write a large amount of music.

For most songs, Molly writes the lyrics and vocal melodies, while Rob

and Michael tinker with the canvas that she lays down. Other tracks,

like “Gun Shy,” come from a “kind of backwards process,” says Molly.

“Gun Shy,” a song that began as only a chord progression the band

liked, features a subdued lead in the chorus that Molly thought, “was

intimidatingly suited to the song,” and struggled to create a vocal

melody that complimented such an intriguing instrumental track.

“After procrastinating for a while, I finally had something, and we

recorded it. But then I was worried it wasn’t exactly perfect, and

wrote a completely different set of lyrics and a different melody.”

Later on, as they listened to the two versions, it was clear. “The first

version was the definitive version. It just felt right.”

On the recordings and at numerous stand out performances

at CMJ and SXSW this year, Widowspeak – a band that is still

finding it’s footing as a group of people coming together through

sound – demands your attention and enchants your soul. Their

sound is a mixture of ’90s angst, early ’60s pop, and contemporary

urban alternative. It is

reminiscent of so much

in American music over

the last 60 years that their

songs seem to emanate

from a place that is all too

familiar, yet in reality is all

their very own.

Robert Earl Thomas is a nuage pastiche of all that was wonderful

before samplers and synthesizers binarily deconstructed human

ears. In all analog glory, Rob lets his lines rip, with a refreshing twist

of the old and new. Part spaghetti western – in the vain of Enrico

Morricone – and a little Link Wray – who used to poke holes in his

amp’s speaker cones – Rob connects the bands irksome charisma

to posterity. His tone – that of a dusty Fender reissue turned up

beyond its means – calls to former Cold War Kid guitarist Jonnie

Russell, and a stripped-down Omar Rodriguez-Lopez.

Molly’s swooning timbre is the kind that sends shivers down your

spine when you see it live. What you hear is what you get with Molly.

She does not hold back when she performs live, and the result is a

refreshing reminder of what a unique and talented performer can do

with a little bit of guts and organization.

Widowspeak has a noteworthy presence well before they start to

make loud noises together. This fall, playing in front of the haute, so

hip-it-hurts crowds, A&R reps and music industry peeps at CMJ,

Widowspeak took the stage at Ace Hotel with the same timeless

cool that hooks you on “Gun Shy.” Setting up in a basic power

triangle, Rob and Molly command a large amount of space – both

physically and sonically – while Michael is the thread that weaves

their sound together and keeps it moving – at just the tempo that

titillates you enough to get your feet moving.

One would think Widowspeak’s lack of a bassist would provide a

problem of groove. The sound is raw, high frequency and strippeddown.

However, utilizing a utilitarian amount of clean Fender overdrive

and reverb, Molly and Rob hold an interesting dynamic that doesn’t

feel lacking in the least bit. In fact, somehow even to trained musical

ears, one forgets there is nearly no bottom end whatsoever.

Widowspeak’s recent rise to fame is a Cinderella story amongst

the throngs of talented troubadours trying to make it in New York.

Just after the band’s sixth live performance, their self-released,

GarageBand produced October Tape had fallen into the hands of

Brooklyn indie label Captured Tracks. Their subsequent shows were

energetic – played with a passion and precision that made their

ambitions clear. In keeping with the public’s demand of something

more than a couple bootlegged iPhone-recorded live shows,

Widowspeak laid down “Gun Shy” the aforementioned 7” cut that

showcases their postmodern Wild West sound.

In August of 2011, Widowspeak released their self-titled debut

LP via Captured Tracks. The album’s opener, “Puritan” is an

energetic romp down

memory lane and is followed

“Some try to love you, but it’s never

long before you shake them off.”

up by “Harsh Realm” and

“Nightcrawlers,” which were

also previously released as

7” singles. Thematically, the

full-length album remains

consistent throughout. Robert

Thomas’ guitar work proliferates a lonesome sense of desperation,

complimented by Molly Hamilton’s haunting vocals that come in and

out of the sonic spotlight at all the right moments.

The finished product is a psych pop masterpiece with cathartic

lyrical passages like “Some try to love you, but it’s never long

before you shake them off.” Molly’s lyrics tell a tale of unhealthy

devotion, to the point of obsession all in the guise of love. Rob’s

lead lines make it clear that whatever Widowspeak is sonically and

thematically after, it feels so good, but hurts just the same.

Widowspeak, since CMJ, has continued to gain buzz, and it’s suffice

to say that we are all a little excited to see what this Brooklyn (by

way of the West) trio can do in the not so distant future.

Artist Equipment Check!!!

Danelectro Guitar

Molly used a second-hand

Danelectro guitar to write most

of the songs in the album.

the deli_19







in an era when zealous music blogs compete to be

the first to unearth potential new stars, the spotlight

often seems to fall on young musicians who’ve

done little more than strum a few simple guitar

chords in their bedroom and upload the recordings

to Bandcamp or Soundcloud. Take Brooklyn band

Friends. Having not yet put out a release longer than a

single, the five-piece has still garnered much positive

attention from seemingly every online music resource,

as well as mainstream press exposure from The New

York Times and The Guardian among others. The group

was even named one of NME’s Top 50 Artists of 2011,

and was nominated for BBC’s “Sound of 2012” poll.

Having captured the imagination of critics and fans

despite a limited output, Friends have actually moved

beyond the whispers of being an Internet buzz band to

one riding a huge wave of excitement and positivity.

One of The Deli’s oldest “friends”

(their EP We Animals was a Deli

CD of the Month back in 2009),

Monogold has developed its

current sound and scene status through

a relentless artistic growth.

Born as a rather shoegazey act in the midaughts,

the band showed a deep evolution

towards a sound more ambient and “avant,”

which relies on haunting melodies that could

easily interchange as the score for a children’s

movie or a horror flick. This maturation is on full

display in their latest album The Softest Glow.

From shorter songs like “Whippoorwill” to longer

numbers like “Spirit or Something,” their tracks

feature an almost tribal, exotic component that

can provoke dreams of sunny escapes, but also

a cerebral attitude that calls for winter chills

and being bundled up in coats. Rather than the

confused music that comes to mind with these

descriptions, Monogold instead achieves a level

of absolute versatility, combined with noteworthy

songwriting. Their newest release is definitely

something worth picking up. (Christine Cauthen)

the deli_20 Spring 2012

#4 Friends

It’s been a dizzying rise

really. The band only

formed in 2010 when

bass/percussion player

Leslie Hann and drummer

Oliver Duncan moved

into Samantha Urbani’s

apartment to escape

a bedbug attack and

discovered the singer’s

treasure chest of solo

recordings. This revelation

sparked the trio to

collaborate. Later adding

guitarist Nikki Shapiro

and multi-instrumentalist

Matt Molnar to the line-up,

these “Friends” (they’re

actually named after Brian

Wilson’s favourite Beach

Boys album, and not the

relationship that they

share with each other or

a bizarre mutual love for

the former NBC sitcom)

very quickly snapped into

tandem, and the sparkling

arrangements on their

early singles have defied their relative inexperience playing together as a

band. Each track would fall under the loose description of indie pop, with

the band incorporating everything from Spector-produced sixties girl pop to

seventies disco beats and hot Sly Stone-esque funky guitar riffs. Consider

the sinister but danceable groove of “I’m His Girl,” the sultry “Friend Crush”

and disco-funk jam “Mind Control” – it’s a wicked concoction of influences.

But despite the candy shop of styles, Friends actually encompass this

wide variety of genres into their sound quite naturally – they’re more hattippers

than straight revivalists. What each single does share, however, is

a lack of wasted space as the unit has already demonstrated an expertise

in crafting tight, catchy, pleasure-crammed pop delights. Think Talking

Heads at their most playful, and you’re some of the way there.

Friends’ debut album Manifest! drops this summer via Fat Possum in the

US and Lucky Number in the UK, and is surely one of New York’s most

hotly anticipated upcoming debut records. Unfortunately, with hype,

comes added pressure, of course, and a dip in quality would be deemed

a disappointment to the same musical press that has given their young

career a serious boost. But let’s dare to dream. (Dean Van Nguyen)


RiYL: Santigold, Neon Indian,

Luscious Jackson


RiYL: Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Beach House

the deli_21







Stephie coplan


O bviously

and The Pedestrians

#18 Stephie Coplan

and The Pedestrians

Perhaps one of the most exciting things

along the artistic journey of self-discovery

and creative expression is the moment when

you stop trying to be like everyone else, and

embrace who you truly are. Such was the

case for Stephie Coplan, singer-songwriter

and frontwoman for Stephie Coplan and the

Pedestrians, a dynamic, bold new band bursting

through the New York music scene and

into the hearts of fans all over the country.

Channeling the energy of Gwen Stefani blended

with keen piano chops and empowering

lyrics, Stephie and the boys lure crowds with

the perfect balance of mischievous fun and a

scintillating sound. (Christina Morelli)

#38 Merrily &

The Poison Orchard

With their musical inspiration stemming from

an emotional promise, Merrily & the Poison

Orchard are impressing audiences throughout

the New York and Brooklyn music scene. Their

healthy integration of folk, pop, rock, and a

hint of country makes for a well-rounded and

entertaining live performance. Their tunes have

the lightness of Feist with a twisted edge, and

are richly orchestrated. (Christina Morelli)

#40 Mal Blum

Mal Blum’s whimsical, melodic songs have

been garnering her a devoted group of followers

over the past several years. Like many songwriters

of her caliber, Blum’s strength lies in her

the deli_22 Spring 2012

referred to melodic music with a focus

on lyrics, this genre doesn’t apply only to “solo”

projects, but also to bands that seem to serve the

musical vision of one person.

words. She’s willing to name-drop Harry Potter,

toss a nod to vegans, or place her characters in

the throes of seafood poisoning – always with

engaging lyrical imagery. While the songs themselves

rarely address gender empowerment

issues in an overt way, the discerning listener

can pick out the themes. Blum’s shows often

serve as bonding experiences for fans with similar

social concerns. And of course, everyone is

there to hear a ton of great songs. (Ben Krieger)

#43 Clementine

and The Galaxy

In recent months, you’ve probably seen

your fair share of the Clementine portion of

Clementine and The Galaxy, but you may not

have realized it. Properly known as Julie Hardy,

the group’s frontwoman has made television

appearances backing St. Vincent on David

Letterman and Ellie Goulding on Saturday

Night Live, using her light, ethereal vocals to

accent the singers’ performances. Now with

two EPs released under Clementine and The

Galaxy, which includes producer Michael

McAllister, Hardy is truly unleashing her powerful

voice while soothing with a Florence Welchlike

enchantment. (Devon Antonetti)

#44 The Sneaky Mister

Light and airy – original enough to stand out

but familiar enough to share sonic space with

greats like Feist and Regina Spektor, The

Sneaky Mister a.k.a. Judith Shimer bares her

honest lyrics and clever hooks with the current

Brooklyn scene. The seven tracks off her most

recent EP, Joyce, fills listeners with entertaining

commentary about everyday life and the human

Robin Bacior Photo: Michael Popp

condition. Shimer has a seamless way of keeping

spring and summer musically permeating in

the air all year round. (Christina Morelli)

#47 Robin Bacior

Robin Bacior’s intimate, candid lyrics and

complex, ever-evolving orchestral arrangements

show us a musician whose maturity

is well-beyond her twenty four years. Her

comforting folk tunes are perfect for the winter

season: a time of nostalgia and self-awareness

yet utmost beauty. (Amanda Dissinger)

#48 Firehorse

Leah Siegel has taken her songwriting to

an entirely new level with her new project

Firehorse. The force and precision behind the

band’s music team up to create a powerful and

heartbreaking sound. The group takes listeners

on an ethereal journey through an angst-driven

eerie universe on their debut album And so

they ran faster… In her single “Our Hearts,”

the sparse electronic arrangements, the

synthetic piano sounds, the mechanical electronic

drums, and the strong, sad melody line

confer to this melancholic song an existential

quality reminiscent of the slower material by

Radiohead and Peter Gabriel. (Chelsea Eriksen)

#52 Bird Call

Singer/songwriter Chiara Angelicola a.k.a. Bird

Call stuns with an intense level of vocal control.

Sultry whispered, sometimes ghostly soft folk

breaks into full-bodied warbling without a hitch.

It really seems like she can make her voice do

anything – think a throatier, pleasantly weirder

Regina Spektor. Chiara, based in Brooklyn and

lady lamb

The Beekeeper

hails from the sunny Bay Area, is currently collaborating

with producer Joel Hamilton (Elvis

Costello, Tom Waits) and Bryan Senti, composer

behind acts such as Mark Ronson and Rufus

Wainwright, on her upcoming full-length scheduled

for release this summer. (Corrine Bagish)

#60 Lady Lamb

The Beekeeper

Pieces from various places and parts of Aly

Spaltro’s world exude throughout the colorful

lyrics and retro tunes that spawn from

her moniker, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. A

southwest-meets-northeast history and a current

Brooklyn base gives way to the whimsical

language, imagery and tone of much of

Spaltro’s music. She has engaged audiences

with her original approach to songwriting and

sound, as well as offered them an artistic

outlet to share their creativity through their

visual artwork, a unique concept found in the

indie music world. This artist/fan connection

is evident in any Lady Lamb performance, as

she thrives off the energy and feedback that

she receives while performing for her loyal and

loving fans. (Christina Morelli)

#73 Sinem Saniye

Reminiscent of Corinne Bailey Rae and Norah

Jones, the sultry, smooth vocals of

Glace Weber

Turkish-American singer-songwriter Sinem

Saniye are capturing hearts nationally and

internationally. Her debut album can be heard

on Delta Airlines, and her music video is now

playing on MTV Europe. The album is saturated

with rich pop, jazz tunes laced with Latin

and Turkish influences, and Saniye’s commanding

stage presence makes her live performance

even spicier. (Christina Morelli)

#80 The Bandana Splits

Retro girl groups of the ’50s have made their

resurgence in Brooklyn, as seen in the catchy

harmonies and sweet sounds of The Bandana

Splits. Comprised of three ladies who met in

Brooklyn, The Bandana Splits bring audiences

back to a time when music was lighthearted

and fun, bringing life and entertainment

to even the most unimaginable situations.

Annie, Dawn and Lauren have found a niche

in the contemporary New York music scene

that makes everything old seem new again.

(Christina Morelli)

#81 Grace Weber

Bright, airy and full of emotion, Grace

Weber’s latest album Hope and Heart encompasses

both sentiments beautifully. Since its

September release, Weber has received a

significant amount of press, including being

listed as Billboard’s “Artist To Watch” and

Photo: Jamie Philp

Mal Blum


and The Galaxy


Top 20

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Norah Jones

2. Regina Spektor

3. Ingrid Michaelson

4. Cat Power

5. Sharon Van Etten

6. Jenny Owen Youngs

7. Rachael Yamagata

8. Ron Pope

9. Mike Wexler

10. Josh Rouse

11. Jaymay

12. Adam Green

13. Hugo

14. Mike Doughty

15. Khaled

16. Charlotte Sometimes

17. Jolie Holland

18. Dawn Landes

19. Brendan James

20. JBM

Check out our

self-generating online charts:


holding tight to a top ten spot on the iTunes

Singer/Songwriter charts post-release. Grace

Weber will be heading to the UK in June for a

brief tour. (Christina Morelli)

#92 Fredericks Brown

Deva Mahal, Stephanie Brown and Michael

Taylor make up the NYC-based “Pacifika” soul

sound of Fredericks Brown. The three Kiwis

debuted their first EP, Out of the Rain, after

meeting in New York two years ago. Though

pursuing individual careers, the band found

that they were bringing such original and powerful

talents together to break barriers of traditional

jazz and soul. They have since opened

for the late, great Etta James and toured in

support of Taj Mahal. (Christina Morelli)

#98 Aaron Roche

If you’re a fan at all of Beck’s Sea Change,

you’ll no doubt find a familiar place with Aaron

Roche’s string arrangements and hypnotic

croon. But what you won’t be prepared for is

how many instruments and textures Roche

brings to the table. Elevating pop tricks to a

high art sensibility, tracks like “Cyclocardorary”

and the haunting murkiness of “Death is all

Around” from his new record !BlurMyEyes

place Roche in the company of John Cale and

R. Stevie Moore – artists raising the usual pop

canvas to a spiritual dimension. (Mike Levine)

the deli_23








A lmost

perceived as “reactionary” genres,

Country and Americana were shaken in the early

aughts by a NYC movement called anti-folk,

which has caused a sprawl of young artists committed

to bastardize traditional American music.

#7 Big Wilson River

Reaching instant intensity with the dual night and day vocals of Darrin Bradbury

and Emma McLaughlin, Big Wilson River have charged up thrash folk streaming

through their veins. The band released Octopus in 2011, showcasing their

’90s alternative influences and blues sensibilities in a major way. Tunes like

“Hemingway Had a Cat” and “Dandelion” highlight the band’s ability to engage

listeners with screams and punches - both literally and sonically. However,

through their seemingly aggressive sound, true fragility emerges on songs like

“River Boat” and “Backyard Passout Fest” - releasing a powerful combination of

folk and heavy hits. (Devon Antonetti)

#12 Tall Tall Trees

Tall Tall Trees may have long hair, beards, and a natural, earthly charm,

but they also have the musical chops to back it up. With jazz, bluegrass

and world music backgrounds, the band recorded their selftitled

debut in 2008, instantly gaining popularity after getting placed

on MTV, Animal Planet, and several other channels. For their second

offering, the Tall Tall Trees quartet hit the Alaskan wilderness for some

much-needed time with Mother Earth. The experience resulted in what

would become Moment. Recorded in a church, the album conjures the

image of a giant glowing moon over the Alaskan woods that the band

claims as inspiration for much of the record. (Devon Antonetti)

#20 Hurrah! A Bolt of Light!

Fronted by former Paper and Sand leader Wil Farr, Hurrah! A Bolt of

Light! is teeming with anxious anticipation. Farr and Bridget Buscemi

share vocal duties, belting out gushing harmonies over loud alt-folk

guitars and energetic beats. Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! released a selftitled

EP in 2010 to a positive post-Sand and Paper response, followed

by last year’s similarly well-received full-length Hello!, which

was funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Both albums are thick with

Americana roots and infectious melodies. (Devon Antonetti)

#25 Spirit Family Reunion

Spirit Family Reunion is one of those bands seen playing in the subway, in the back

of noisy bars, or on busy street corners, going unnoticed to bright lights and mobs

of listless pedestrians with their earbuds at full blast. Or at least, that’s what their

cracked and weathered sound would make you believe. Their songs are drenched in

soul and the twang of the banjo, taking the Brooklyn band far beyond the ordinary

bluegrass rock group. (Devon Antonetti)

#34 The Bottom Dollars

With not much more than a four-song EP to their name, The Bottom Dollars used their

debut effort The Halcyon Days to launch themselves into an already successful series of

performances at SXSW and CMJ Music showcases, and are now gearing up for their own

Daytrotter session. With heavy blues vocals and an Old West appeal, The Bottom Dollars

(formerly known as ANAL06UE) continue to feed their growing buzz with energetic live

shows and a constant presence in the New York music scene. (Devon Antonetti)

#46 Reverend John DeLore

Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Reverend John DeLore brings his down-home folk melodies

from the heartland, accenting his country sound with poetic prose and pop-infused

hooks. Now based in Brooklyn, the Reverend, who was ordained online “after a night of

whiskey,” released his debut album Ode to an American Urn in 2009, in addition to two

self-published books of poetry. Ode to an American Urn is a focused and poignant exploration

of the past, much like fellow songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen, whom he covers

with “Iodine” on the album. (Devon Antonetti)

the deli_24 Winter 2012

Tall Tall Trees

Big Wilson R iver

H urrah!

A Bolt of light!

Photo: Lauren Slusher

Production Corner

Spirit Family Reunion

The Bottom Dollars

Food Will Win The War

By Sam Taylor (Southside Guitars)

Twang: is That Tremolo

or Vibrato?

In the mid-50s, great guitar innovators like Duane Eddy

started playing lead riffs drenched in tremolo and echo

in the lower registers of the guitar, creating the bass-y

sound that since then has become synonymous with

“twang.” Tremolo, a regular change in volume which

can be varied in speed and intensity, is an effect often

confused with vibrato, which similarly affects the pitch.

The confusion is due to the fact that guitar manufacturers

used the terms interchangeably. Most notably the

Fender Stratocaster came out in 1954 and was marketed

with what they called a “synchronized tremolo”

#50 The

Due Diligence

Armed with more than just a catchy

roots sound, The Due Diligence is

largely reminiscent of The Band, with

frontman Isaac Gillespie’s sincere

vocal deliveries and the group’s drawn

out harmonies. The Brooklyn-based

trio, which started out as simply Isaac

Diligence, released I Will Wreck Your

Life in 2011, an album that instantly

satisfies with rich, soul-infused rhythms

and earnest energy while combining

folk and some punk along the way.

(Devon Antonetti)

#71 Food Will

Win The War

Walking the thin line between mystical

and haunting, Food Will Win the War is

a Brooklyn pop and folk ensemble with raw, yet still embellished melodies,

sounding almost like a Neutral Milk Hotel cover band fronted

by Bon Iver. Their LP A False Sense of Warmth, which saw help from

members of Freelance Wales, uses accordions, fiddles, and almostwhispered

vocals to show vulnerability and longing. Food Will Win the

War is not only musically diverse on the album, but also smart and

engaging. (Devon Antonetti)

#76 The Third Wheel Band

The thought of a trio of teachers grabbing some instruments and taking

the stage has never elicited an entirely thrilling response. However,

The Third Wheel Band is a different story. Comprised of New York

early education music teachers, the bluegrass outfit mixes children’s

songs and folk classics, creating universally appreciated material on

their two full-length albums. Songs like “Skip to My Lou” and “I’ve

Been Working on the Railroad” sound just as enjoyable to adult ears

as they do to their young pupils. (Devon Antonetti)

#85 Oh Whitney

Oh Whitney, named in honor of lead singer Pete More’s mother and

the band’s general caretaker, includes musicians from Los Angeles,

Spain, France, Mexico and Texas, with their sound taking elements

from each region. Blending folk, flamenco guitars and Philosophy

degrees, the band released their self-titled debut in 2011, and has

since been toiling away in Brazil on a follow-up. For as scattered

as Oh Whitney could be, at one time even featuring a rapper, the

band is a subtle meshing of all members giving them their rootsy,

inspired sound. (Devon Antonetti)

Magnatone Custom 280 amp actually

affects both picth and volume.

(or tremolo arm), which was really a vibrato arm

since it affected the pitch rather than the volume.

It was still Fender that introduced the first amplifi-


Top 20

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Theophilus London

2. CocoRosie

3. Devendra Banhart

4. Punch Brothers

5. Antony and the Johnsons

6. Deer Tick

7. Citizen Cope

8. A.A. Bondy

9. Daniel Merriweather

10. The Felice Brothers

11. Phosphorescent

12. Langhorne Slim

13. Titus Andronicus

14. Akron/Family

15. Kevin Devine

16. Nickel Eye

17. Gregory and The Hawk

18. Warren Haynes

19. Sam Amidon

20. Jeffrey Lewis

Check out our

self-generating online charts:


er with a tremolo circuit in 1955: the Tremolux.

That same year Gibson came out with the

GA-55 twin twelve amp, with “built-in vibrato,”

but – again – this was really a tremolo.

Danelectro and Premier were also selling amps

with tremolo in 1956 – advertised as “electronic

vibrato.” Things got more interesting and

confusing when in 1956 now defunct manufacturer

Magnatone came out with their Custom

280 amps and their effect marketed as “True

Vibrato,” which actually affected both pitch

and volume. That model is what Duane Eddy

used to create his signature twang sound.

Once guitarists realized they could change

their sound with effects nothing was ever the

same, and many of them started modifying

their own gear. In 1958, Eddy famously modified

his Magnatone 280 with a 15” speaker

and brought along a 2000 gallon water tank

as an echo chamber to record his breakout

hit “Moovin ‘N’ Groovin” with Lee Hazelwood.

The rest, as they say, is history.







alt rock

T he

#10 Apollo Run

Mixing orchestral pop with progressive indie

elements, Brooklyn-based trio Apollo Run

enjoys giving birth to musical babies named

Here Be Dragons. They just released their

second EP with such title… Multifaceted

musicians with a knack for memorable and

mesmeric melodies, the band showcases their

pitch perfect vocals and orchestral dynamics

on highlights like opener, “City Lights,” sultry

“Fireman,” and spooky “H B D” - with a surprise

ending. (Meijin Bruttomesso)

#13 Ambassadors

A band with serious potential that we’ve abundantly

covered in past issues, Ambassadors

can be described as an art soul-rock act crafting

short, catchy yet rockin’ tracks with strong

melodies and hooks. Their gospel and blues

influences are propelled by heavy percussions

and vocalist Sam Harris’ powerful pipes. They

also have one of the grooviest and most energetic

live shows in town! (Amanda Dissinger)

#21 Black Taxi

Kind of dirty, a little poppy and VERY danceable,

Black Taxi fashions catchy, punchy

songs of unmatched addictiveness. This band

can deliver awe-inspiring shows – at which

you’ll invariably find Deli “Alt Rock” chick

Meijin Bruttomesso, who one day will write a

book about them. The quartet is coming off an

important year, which raised their profile and

increased their audience. (Paolo De Gregorio)

#26 The Men

Rock ‘n’ roll is like flair. You can’t try too hard

to get it out there. It must be evident – from

the rockers’ music and attitude – that it runs

deep in their blood and that they just “have it.”

Pitchfork-blessed The Men “have it” indeed, and

so much of it that they can be considered the

flagship rock ‘n’ roll band of NYC. These guys

took Sonic Youth’s noise-rock lesson, stripped

it of anything unnecessary, and delivered an

album that rocks in ways that we haven’t heard

in a long time. (Paolo De Gregorio)

#28 Devin

Spring has sprung for well-coiffed 23-yearold

Devin. Unlike the majority of today’s

Brooklynites, he’s not about being aloof – and

nothing about him is understated. His boisterous

rock n’ roll features very NYC garagerock

influences, but retains an old school

charm. His dapper wardrobe plus the aforementioned

hairdo evoke some sort of young

Elvis persona. (Corinne Bagish)

the deli_28 Spring 2012

Deli’s staff relates “alt rock” bands to ones

that play straight and punchy guitar rock with

no frills and a more melodic or bluesy approach

than indie rock. LA is this genre’s flagship scene.

Mother Feather

#33 Brothers

Though not all members of Brothers are

actually related, the Brooklyn-based band

is nonetheless carrying on a rock ‘n’ roll fraternal

tradition. Old school rockers who look

like Motorhead and sound like The Allman

Brothers riding motorcycles, these guys basks

in their hard edge sound, stylized with leather,

cigarettes, tattoos and fishnet-clad ladies

nearby. (Devon Antonetti)

#51 Courtesy Tier

Having performed in bands together for the last

seven years, Courtesy Tier have since pared

down their act standing by a lone guitar and

drum kit. But this doesn’t mean their sound

is minimalistic. Rather, it seems like they’ve

found a way to hone in on bluesy echoing rock

with honest, often somber lyrics. Whether their

tunes are constructed via seemingly generative

guitar, intricate distortion, or grunge-y overlays,

the duo gets the point, and more importantly

the feeling across. (Corinne Bagish)

#74 Mother Feather

This lady-led, glamorous Brooklyn troupe

Mother Feather let fly a very promising fourtrack

EP in the fall, highlighting flight motifs

and their spirited, charismatic and danceable

personality. The record is a whirlwind of

genres and indefinable subtleties, spanning

from punchy dance tunes to old school Blues

Rock. Singer Ann Courtney and bandmate

Lizzie Carena, with their fearless style and

unapologetic attitude, are like a modern day

Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. (Jen Mergott)

Apollo Run

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Screaming Females 11. Steel Train

2. The Pretty Reckless 12. Wakey!Wakey!

3. Brand New 13. Rhett Miller

4. Taking Back Sunday 14. Semi Precious Weapons

5. We Are Scientists 15. Jennifer Warnes

6. Skaters

16. Stereo Skyline

7. Devin

17. Morningwood

8. The Bouncing Souls 18. Alberta Cross

9. The Hold Steady 19. Ted Leo and

the Pharmacists

10. Straylight Run

20. The Parlor Mob

Check out our self-generating online charts:


The Men

Alt Rock

Top 20







indie pop

P op

music will never die, and has a strong tradition

in NYC (think Blondie, Madonna and They Might Be

Giants). If a song can lift your mood, there’s surely

a pop element in it.

#6 Ski Lodge

The band name Ski Lodge evokes what it is meant to – a wooden cabin on a

mountain, a place of warmth and protection from the outside elements. It is

not garish and plastic, with whitewashed walls and chrome fixtures; instead

there is a hardwood floor with thick rugs and a warm fire, keeping the atmosphere

subdued and natural. Andrew Marr’s pleasant vocals present complex

ideas about change and the inherent exclusion of conformity while intertwining

delightful, grounded indie pop compositions. For the group’s next release, the

recordings will include contributions from on stage members Jared O’Connel,

John Barinaga and Tim McCoy for the first time, which will certainly be a new

direction in the band’s evolution. (allison levin)

#9 The Denzels

Formerly called The Goods, The Denzels, invigorated with the name change,

are ready to kick some ass with their dangerously addictive tunes. The songs

are absolutely pop at heart with endearing hooks and jangly guitars,

but there’s an edge that makes them emanate a New York

cool that is by no means a daunting or pretentious hipness. It is

actually rather astoundingly accessible. The band’s latest EP, Easy

Tiger, is a clarified, upbeat amalgamation of delectable pop and

rock music from the ’50s to the present day. (Nancy Chow)

#11 Kung Fu Crimewave

A quintessential expression of the recently deceased Manhattan

label/studio Olive Juice, Kung Fu Crimewave is a band of brothers

(and sister) featuring the Kelly family of Brooklyn – “Kung Fu”

Luke, “Tae Kwon” Jo and Neil Kelly. Rounding out the five-piece

is Deenah Vollmer on electric mandolin and Preston Spurlock on

keys. Charming male and female vocals twinkle on the band’s

2011 effort Capitol Punishment, a record filled with unpretentious

melodies, crooked guitars lines and imaginative lyrics – in the

best lo-fi pop tradition. (Corinne Bagish)

#19 Starlight Girls

Spooky, sexy, at times psychedelic, Starlight Girls imposes a carefully

constructed facade built from French cabaret, soulful ’60s

nuggets and downtempo sultriness. Their songs are invitingly

simple, but hold you fast until you’re caught up in the depth of their

sinister, artful dance party. Vocalists Christina B and Karys may

have adopted their name from the band featured on the ’80s cartoon

Jem, but their sound is built from another place entirely. (Mike Levine)

#29 North Highlands

Named after lead singer Brenda Malvini’s hometown, North Highlands

manage to reconcile the distance between their west coast roots and their

current east coast-based lives with Wild One. Carefully constructed and

arranged, the record drifts between the impeccably melancho-pop melodies

of “Bruce” and “Benefits,” and otherworldly, gently textured mid-tempos like

“Lion Heart” and “Fre$ca.” Brenda’s thoughtful, innocent sounding soprano

can simply make you fall in love with her band’s music. (Jen Mergott)

#30 Skaters

Though Skaters may be the new kids in town they’re hardly giving off the

newbie-vibe. In fact, members of Skaters have already been around the

block a few times, just in different bands. Their debut EP Schemers is a lot

of fun — good old-fashioned leather jacket sporting, skinny jean wearing,

punk-tinged garage pop-rock. Punchy, power chord-laden romps with sing-

the deli_30 Spring 2012


Idg Y Dean

along choruses are elevated to anthems with generous reverb. If

you weren’t already drinking a 40-ounce, you will be once you give

them a listen. (Corinne Bagish)

#37 Futurist

With concerts that astonish audiences like the Flaming Lips but

on an indie budget, Futurist draws a cult-like following with their

fantastical and always unique performances. However, the collective

doesn’t really need the added theatrics to draw attention to

their music, but it is a well-executed bonus. On their debut War Is

Yesterday, the band constructs a colorful, vivacious musical terrain

filled with good vibes. (Nancy Chow)

#56 Slowdance

Slowdance extracts the sweetest nostalgia as listeners look to the

past with rose-colored glasses. The dreamy, pastel-painted tracks

on the Light & Color EP evoke chic French pop and ’80s New Wave.


Production Corner

The ’80s weren’t just about electronic music, ya know? That

decade also produced some of the most influential indie pop

bands of all times - for example: The Smiths. At the time,

the band’s guitarist Johnny Marr was regarded as highly as

Morrisey for his inventive parts but also for a sound which was

as simple as it was unique, and which made The Smiths the

jangly band par excellence.

If you want to get a similar tone from your guitar, try this:

assuming you don’t have a Rickenbacker, try a Telecaster or

Ski lodge

Photo: Harry McNally

Vocalist Quay Quinn-Settel effortlessly flits between French and English lyrics

poured smoothly over charming melodies. The band artfully waltzes the line

between melancholic bliss and a saccharine shower creating an infectious

sense of longing. (Nancy Chow)

#67 Pass Kontrol

Framing themselves via a back story that pits pirate radio against corporate

media and big oil dominance, Brooklyn’s Pass Kontrol set the stage for their

arty funk-pop. The band’s best songs employ occasionally filtered falsetto

vocals, funked out drum patterns and a clean, rhythmically-driven bass with

textural atmospherics provided by the guitar and keys. But Pass Kontrol is

way more than that, and browsing through their catalogue will reveal a kaleidoscope

of influences from punk to doo-wop. (Dave Cromwell)

By Paolo De Gregorio

The Jangly Guitar Sound

of The ’80s

#72 Chappo

Do you believe in doppelgangers? Alex Chappo does. In his band’s

zonked out debut Plastique Universe, Chappo embody sci-fi bandits that

screw with their doppelgangers and rock out the way Wayne Coyne fights

aliens. These guys are on a mission to make sure you visit their dimension

and eat their hard-rocking acid while you’re out there. (Mike Levine)

#75 My Pet Dragon

While many bands out of Brooklyn, Bushwick in particular, relish the

DIY sound of buzzy amps and crunchy distortion, My Pet Dragon

decided to go in the opposite direction. Presenting a sound so polished

that you can see your face in it, their songs are meant to fill

grandiose open arenas rather than dark art spaces. (allison levin)

#93 Gross Relations

Gross Relations is a new band from Brooklyn that is, indeed, pretty

sick. These four dudes rock the lo-fi guitar/bass/distorted vocals thing.

You know that thing I mean; the music sounds all fuzzy and messy

and, well, lo-fi! But Gross Relations also rock some surprisingly happy

sounding keys over all the controlled melodic clutter. And those keys

are key indeed bringing the POP out and making things sound more

interesting. Gosh, pop rules, doesn’t it? (OhMyRockness.com)

#94 Idgy Dean

Listening to just “Show Me All The Sounds You Know,” you might

mistakenly think Idgy Dean’s only weapons are her positive energy and

beautifully sultry voice. However, stick around for harder-hitters like

“Bang Bang Sun” and “Lung,” and you’ll soon discover some of the

depths to this roaring personality. Dean’s vocals soar over a backdrop

that can include anything from her tympani drum and electric guitars, to

double-tracked vocals that pulse through your skin with an energy too

dynamic to ignore. (Mike Levine)

Johnny Marr mostly used a

’54 Telecaster for The Smith’s

self-titled debut album.

The Denzels

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Lana Del Rey

2. fun.

3. Santigold

4. Here We Go Magic


6. Vampire Weekend

7. Beirut

8. The Pierces

9. Class Actress

10. The Drums

11. Rufus Wainwright

12. Cults

13. Sufjan Stevens

14. Broken Bells

15. Oh Land

16. St. Vincent

17. Chairlift

18. The Bravery

19. Julian Casablancas

20. Ra Ra Riot

Check out our

self-generating online charts:


Indie Pop

Top 20

Danelectro U2. Use your bridge pick up or single coil,

which have a softer attack. Ditch anything related to

boost and distortion in your pedal/amp chain. Turn your

bass EQ all the way down, the treble up just before it

starts sounding too brittle, and keep the mids also very

low - but make sure they give the tone the right amount

of body if necessary. Chorus and reverb are pretty

much a must - don’t exaggerate though. Apparently

Johnny Marr used to tune his guitar UP 1/2 or 1 whole

step, which slightly affects the guitar tone, so you can

experiment with that too.

But of course, the performance is what conveys most of

the jingle-ish feel. It’s really about playing the electric like

you would play an acoustic, with rapid/jumpy but gentle

strums, only hitting the thinner strings.

the deli_31







F rom

#8 Ava Luna

Led by ex-Deli aspiring intern Carlos

Hernandez (he showed up one day!) avantsoul

six-piece Ava Luna, after their first

full-length release in March 2012, found

themselves literally “pasted” on the cover of

The Deli’s winter 2012 issue. Often described

as “nervous soul,” the band’s music brings

together opposites from the sonic spectrum:

gritty sounds, distorted parts and menacing

arrangements keep things tense and edgy,

while pitch perfect three-part harmonies from

their stellar backing singers sooth your ears.

Call them a NYC paradox. (Paolo De Gregorio)

#27 Zambri

“Crash, bang, thud” go experimental pop

outfit Zambri’s loud arrangements. The sisters

Cristi Jo and Jessica Zambri surely spent

many a rainy afternoon as children drumming

incessantly on anything around them as their

music is partially defined by their large scale

percussion sections. Underneath the punishingly

thumped drums lie dark, sinister synth

arpeggios and wicked pop melodies, which

blend together beautifully on their debut album

House of Baasa, an accomplished and truly

original piece among the recent flood of New

York electronic records. (Dean Van Nguyen)

#32 Illumntr

Illumntr exists (mentally and audibly) on a different

planet. Like a tripped out sonic loom,

their combination of sounds and ideas produces

a multicolored patchwork where vocals

weave in and out, mingling with echoes, bells

and jangles, timpani and synths. These are not

songs with hooks, meant to be easily digested

and regurgitated. Instead, they are carefully

constructed suites – pieces melding into one

another with orchestral grace. (allison levin)

#69 Xenia Rubinos

Studio magic was not necessary to reveal

Xenia Rubinos’ talent on her debut album

Magic Trix. The record is charmingly do-it-yourself,

and Rubinos proficiently and seamlessly

bounds from genres and styles as she does

from English to Spanish – sampling soul, funk,

hip hop, rock, pop and Spanish folk. The eclectic

songs effectively display the range of her

pliant voice as she sweetly croons one moment

and spits out blasting rhymes the next over

minimalistic instrumentation. (Nancy Chow)

#77 Cuddle Magic

Composed entirely by classically trained musi-

the deli_32 Spring 2012

avant indie

+ noise rock

The Velvet Underground to Sonic Youth to Dirty Projectors, the

NYC scene has always been known for its forward-looking tendencies.

These two genres group the more experimental NYC artists.

In One Wind

XeNia Rubinos

cians (6 of them) Cuddle Magic has been

spreading their fascinating music through the

world since 2008. Their latest release, Info

Nymph, is a piece of art full of stories, literature

and artwork, wrapped into an unusual

take on traditional songwriting. The band is

both intense and soft, wrapping you snuggly

with their mellow vocals while keeping you

interested and connected through their quirky

orchestrations. (Christina Morelli)

#84 In One Wind

Blending and often juxtaposing elements of

pretty much any genre out there, from pop

to doo-wop jazz, from Americana to math

rock, and using all sorts of instruments

to do so, Brooklyn’s In One Wind can be

described as a big musical carousel. This

is obviously a group of musicians, who are

trying to find new sonic paths within the pop

realm, and their compositions succeed in

being at once entertaining and interesting,

which both pop and experimental music

often fail to achieve. (Mike Levine)

Photo: Shervin Lainez


Marrying the rediscovery of ritual music with

noise rock, industrial duo YVETTE carves

out their tribal energy with religious devotion

and knife-stabbing intensity. Their debut selftitled

EP is a primal meditation without all the

psychedelic trappings. Making no apologies

to analog originalists, their construction of

LOUD, grinding, sawtooth synths is all digital.

However, I doubt anyone will mind how

they’ve built their saturated, washy textures. In

a town blanketed in beach bands, YVETTE is

a much-needed wake-up call. (Mike Levine)

#100 Happy New Year

Happy New Year doesn’t worry about making

a noisy mess; things will work themselves out

eventually. In the opener to her two-track EP

Twins, singer/songwriter/noise-maker Eleanor

Logan allows a deep bed of noise to envelope

her airy vocals entirely for a good minute and

a half prior to the drums kicking in. But once

things get going, her works take on a life all

their own. (Mike Levine)


Photo: Chris Becker

Avant Indie

/Noise Rock Top 20

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Animal Collective

2. Black Dice

3. Sonic Youth

4. Grizzly Bear

5. Dirty Projectors

6. Yeasayer

7. Yo La Tengo

8. Department of Eagles

9. Gang Gang Dance

10. A Place to Bury Strangers

11. Thurston Moore

12. Kaki King

13. The Fiery Furnaces

14. Rasputina

15. Avey Tare

16. Son Lux

17. Mice Parade

18. Zs

19. Rubblebucket

20. Marnie Stern

Check out our

self-generating online charts:


the deli_33








T he


2011 proved to be a productive and lively year for the heavy music

scene in the NYC area. Clubs such as the newly opened St. Vitus in

Greenpoint, the tried and true Trash Bar, the charming subterranean

vibe of The Charleston in Williamsburg and the triad of The Delancey,

Cake Shop and Fontana’s in the L.E.S. graciously hosted shows for

the wide array of artists who fit the hard and loud tag. Hard work

paid off for hometown acts such as Hull, Primitive Weapons,

Mutilation Rites, and Hung, who made enough noise on stages

across Brooklyn and Manhattan for indie labels like The End and

Prosthetic to take notice and snatch them up. Bands such as the

recently revamped Thinning The Herd (#68), the modern metal

juggernaut Fall of The Albatross (#70) and the dearly departed

Exemption (#39) raised the bar of musicianship in the scene

with every performance while local faves Killcode, Anaka, PUI,

Charetta, and Panzie flirted with breaking down doors to the mainstream

by packing the larger venues in Manhattan with their anthemic

hard rock and Big Apple attitudes in check and in full effect. Precious

Metal Monday celebrated its sixth year as the staple at Lit on Monday

nights, hosting the best of the underground’s buzzworthy national

acts as well as local metal bands Tiger Flowers, Alekhine’s Gun,

Flourishing, and Irony of Chaos, steadfastly shaking foundations

of every building within a three-block radius. The hardcore and

punk scene also experienced a strong year – thanks to performances

the deli_34 Spring 2012

genre of the suburban teenager par

excellence, in the last few years, metal

has been growing in popularity in NYC

– also because of the coverage given to it by

local indie rock blogs like Brooklyn Vegan.

Thinning The Herd


The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Thursday

2. Type O Negative

3. Baroness

4. Liturgy

5. Dub Trio

6. Made Out of Babies

7. Early Man

8. Brutal Truth

9. Dillinger Escape Plan

10. A Storm of Light

11. Winter

12. Car Bomb

13. Hull

14. Acrassicauda

15. Batillus

16. ELKS

17. Hung


19. Exemption

20. Borgo Pass

Check out our

self-generating online charts:


both on stage and behind the scenes from bands such as Abject,

Yo! Scunt, On the Offense, Straphangers, and A Truth, working

together to maintain genuine DIY ethics and sensibilities by putting

together kick-ass shows anywhere and everywhere across the boroughs.

Other notable acts that made waves in 2011 include grimy metal mavens

Doomsday Mourning, hardcore mainstays The Last Stand, the

crushing extreme metal of Thorn Constellation, throbbing industrial

rockers The Amatory Murder, hard rock chameleon Kore Rozzik

and dirty groove metallers Cousin Sleaze that make this scene both

diverse and vibrant. (Mike SOS)


Top 20








T he

electronic scene has been expanding like no

other in the new millennium – mostly because it’s

music that can be created by one person with a

laptop. The sub-genre ramifications are almost endless...

#45 J.Viewz

Jonathan Dagan – a.k.a. J.Viewz – doesn’t do things by the book. He writes

the book. And after watching his Grammy-nominated project for his second

full-length Rivers and Homes unfold before our eyes, we see why. The album

was 100% powered by fan love and funds. The end result is a seamless surge

of eclectic electro-moods infused with immediacy and flowing with euphonious

ease from breakbeats to trance, to funk and reggae. (Dean Van Nguyen)

#58 Ice Choir

Do I detect a slight English-twang in Kurt Feldman’s voice on

“Two Rings”? It’s hardly surprising. Judging from the track’s

complex array of keyboard riffs and dramatic synth swoons,

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s drummer is clearly a major

New Wave enthusiast. And if you’re going to try to emulate

genre heavyweights like Duran Duran and The Pet Shop Boys,

why not sing like them too, right? Released as a single, the

track and its B-side are thus far Feldman’s only ventures as Ice

Choir, but still deserving of a mention because, originality be

damned, “Two Rings” is absolutely brilliant. (Dean Van Nguyen)

#59 St. Lucia

Jean-Philip Grobler rejects the idea that he is a synth-pop artist,

citing his equal use of electronic and non-electronic instrumentation

to support the claim. There are prominent piano chords,

wandering guitar riffs and the odd sax solo littered throughout

his sound, but with programmed beats providing the heart and

earthly synths bringing the soul, the South African – who releases

music under the moniker St. Lucia – does create instrumentals

of great electronic beauty. (Dean Van Nguyen)

#62 Caged Animals

Originally the solo project of Vincent Cacchione, Caged

Animals evolved from a handful of rough, acoustic recordings

to the beautiful, synthetic soundscapes so lushly laid

out on their recent album Eat Their Own. The pulsating beat

of “Teflon Heart” scores the tale of a modern romance, while

“Piles of $$$,” draws on what made Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak such a daring

pop record. It also goes some of the way to explaining why The New Yorker so excellently

described the band as sounding “something like a hip-hop-influenced Velvet

Underground.” (Dean Van Nguyen)

caged Animals

#63 Papertwin

While limited budgets push many synth-propelled indie bands to utilize the pocket technology

in creating minimalist arrangements and compact beats, Papertwin’s recordings

are closer to stadium rock histrionics. Singer Max Decker’s evocative vocals float over

lush instrumentals tying everything together and helping Papertwin stand mighty tall

among their peers. The band’s career may just be a single five-track release deep, but

the Brooklyn four-piece’s EP Porcelain is about as fully-formed as any electronic band’s

debut in recent memory. (Dean Van Nguyen)

#64 Penguin Prison

Chris Glover cracks me up. He releases music under the ridiculous moniker Penguin

Prison. His lyrics are often wryly comic, and he has an affinity for the sardonic, as evident

on the single “Don’t Fuck With My Money,” an anthem for the 99%. At his best,

Glover’s funky grooves, passionate falsettos and clean production methods equate to

some incredible jams, 11 of which are compiled on Penguin Prison’s self-titled debut

album. It’s a party record if ever there was one. (Dean Van Nguyen)

the deli_36 Spring 2012


Ice Choir

Photo: Billy Kidd

Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Fun with Arpeggiators

Arpeggiators are one of the most fun and

“ancient” electronic music tools, and consist

in editable algorithms that play the notes of a

chord following a regular sequenced pattern.

Like anything trendy in the 80s, arpeggiators are

coming back with a vengeance these days. If you

are not into their very mechanical “feel,” you can

try and use them to build textural backgrounds,

using more than one of them in different stereo

St. lucia


#66 Tayisha Busay

Currently on a hiatus, Williamsburg hipsters’

favorite party band Tayisha Busay

has proven, with their new album Focus/

Virus, that they are much more than just

some kind of weird, hilarious cabaret act.

Songs like “Nothing’s Happening” and

“Heartmeat/Lovemuscle” are pure electronic

pop gems from a record that’s as

consistent as it is varied. (Mike Levine)

#83 Wazu

Straight out of Australia, Wazu duo Matt and

Rizz make vicious glam jams propelled by

murky, grating synths and ground-moving

guitar riffs that equate to an absolute horror

show of dark electronica. Having cut

their teeth performing in other groups in

their native land, the band now resides in

New York, and locals have embraced their

homicidal sound after the pair released a

series of self-produced singles last year.

Their debut album is due to drop this summer

with Titus Andronicus producer Kevin

McMahon at the helm. (Dean Van Nguyen)

#88 Blonde Valhalla

Coming together just last year, Brian Aiken, Andrew Owens and Birdie Aiken

– collectively known as Blonde Valhalla – very quickly put together Dance

of Youth, a Flock of Seagulls-esque five-track collection of retro synth-pop

tunes. Predominantly written by Aiken (a former member of the excellent

indie rock band Suckers) and built on cheap keyboard licks, the EP is a

rough but bright first offering. (Dean Van Nguyen)

#91 Nicholas Jaar

Ridiculously young New York-born, Chilean-bred producer Nicholas Jaar

was just 20 years old when he dropped his critically-acclaimed debut album

Space Is Only Noise. The sultry record drew from the softest reaches of

techno, incorporating jazzy piano chords, soul samples and other wellchosen

flourishes. This tantalizing concoction mesmerized music critics,

and the record drew praise from all quarters including a four-star rating from

The Guardian. As the world waits for a follow-up, Jaar has been a busy boy,

running his own label Clown & Sunset, as well as currently studying comparative

literature at Brown University. (Dean Van Nguyen)

#96 Psychobuildings

Standing out from the crowd of eighties dance music revivalists, Brooklyn

trio Psychobuildings pull from the darker side of the New Wave genre. Their

music is a psychedelic blend of heavy basslines, synthetic beats, funky

guitar licks and leader Peter LaBier’s vigorous vocals. Sometimes sinister,

but always danceable, the band has been showcasing their six-track selftitled

EP with an energetic live show that highlights not only their music, but

LaBier’s impressive dance moves. It’s something he’s not afraid to speak

about on the record. (Dean Van Nguyen)

7 Aliens Catanya Arpeggiator VSTi plug-in

features 1200 built-in patterns capable of

transforming simple chords into complex

MiDi phrases in real time.

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Twin Shadow

2. LCD Soundsystem

3. Sleigh Bells

4. Scissor Sisters

5. Blood Orange

6. Penguin Prison

7. Ratatat

8. Neon Indian

9. Tanlines

10. VHS or Beta

11. Battles

12. Amon Tobin

13. St. Lucia

14. Caged Animals

15. Lemonade

16. El-P


18. Sepalcure

19. Hooray for Earth

20. Com Truise

Check out our

self-generating online charts:


Top 20


placements, or as random “melody

generators” if you slow them down a lot.

In the last few years, most DAWs have

introduced very useful simple MIDI

arpeggiators, which can apply this effect

to any VST or MIDI instrument you own.

But if you are looking for something a

little deeper and more involved, you

should check out the 7 Aliens Catanya

Arpeggiator VSTi plug-in, which features

1200 built-in ready-to-use patterns

capable of transforming simple chords

into complex MIDI phrases in real time.

the deli_37







psych rock

P sychedelia

+ dream pop

can embody the sound of the free, communal spirit of the ’60s

or the more private dreaminess of the shoegaze and dream pop movements,

which have been staples of the NYC sound for quite some time.

#14 Fort Lean

Fort Lean conceptualizes sonic escape in a parallel utopian world where you can still

see the skyline but not hear any cars, and the weather is always perfect. Isn’t that

Portlandia? Their lead single “Sunsick” off their latest 7” builds on a tom tom heavy

drum pattern as single stroked guitar chords chime down over distant synthesizer

pads. Passionate vocals give way to atmospheric lead guitar figures, while its b-side

The Precinct” is delivered with measured pacing by way of a deceptively calming

descending chord progression, until the big coda crashes you over the head with

layers of guitars, cymbals and voices. (Dave Cromwell)

#35 Field Mouse

Emotionally engaging, carefully crafted dream pop is the appealing sonic domain

of Field Mouse. The formidable songwriting/recording team of Andrew Futral and

Rachel Browne create aural landscapes that can melt the hardest of hearts. Having

expanded to a four-piece with bassist Danielle DePalma and drummer

Geoff Lewit, the group has been playing numerous live shows and

steadily building a loyal fan base. (Dave Cromwell)

#54 DIIV (formerly DIVE)

DIVE, who recently changed their name to DIIV, plunges into an aquatic

soundscape of blur-soaked loops and echoing underwater vocals. Initial

band member Zachary Cole Smith was the guitarist for Captured Tracks

labelmates Beach Fossils, who certainly share a similar aesthetic. Their

vocals unwind into themselves – male and female voices come together

and fall back apart – like jellyfish in a twilight tide. (allison levin)

#55 The Beets

At first glance, The Beets evoke ’90s nostalgia: The Beets were The

Beatles-esque group on the show, Doug, with hits like “Killer Tofu”

and “I Need More Allowance.” The (nonfictional) Beets do touch upon

the ‘90s, wrapping themselves in layers of reverb and droning guitars

– joyfully discordant like early Pavement, whom they’ve opened

for. However, it is the ’60s in which they truly dwell, albeit somewhat

anachronistically. (allison levin)

#57 Dead Leaf Echo

Dead Leaf Echo fashions ethereal music in the spirit of ’90s

dreamgaze bands like Chapterhouse and Ride with its emphasis on atmospheric

guitars, distinct percussive momentum, cathedral-inspired vocal

harmonies and dramatic build-ups. This is also in part due to legendary 4AD

producer John Fryer (Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins), who added his mixing

touch to the group’s latest recordings. (Dave Cromwell)

#78 Himalaya

With their deep, droney psych rock, Himalaya reference ’90s era artists like

Spaceman 3, Spiritualized and the Brian Jonestown Massacre as kindred

spirits. Having just released their debut The Reason We Start Fires, lead single

“Day 6” sets a deep slow groove, like lazy waves rising and falling on the

ocean. Softly sung verses give way to big choruses of “ahhhhhs.” There’s an

oddly nostalgic feel to it all – coupled with psychedelic vibes that mirror Syd

Barrett era Pink Floyd. (Dave Cromwell)

#82 Indyns

Indyns makes dancey music for people who like spending time alone in

their bedroom. Moody and atmospheric, singer/songwriter Adam Jones and

the deli_38 Spring 2012

Ex Cops

Young Boys

Fort lean

andmates produce a dream state formed from the simplest of elements:

synth, beats and reverb-drenched guitars. Somehow these elements come

together to produce catchy fog machine dance anthems perfect for your

next pillow party. (Mike Levine)

#86 Ex Cops

Brooklyn duo Ex Cops plays music that some have categorized as devotional

tropical goth, however, a thorough listen to their material reveals a more

complex sound. Older songs like “Broken Chinese Chairz” point towards the

Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Experimenting with

Effect Plug-ins

Audio Plug In effects give musicians with experimental

tendencies a lot of options to play with. Here are a few

cool ways to create some original sonics.


DRUMS): Create three or four radically different

effect buses featuring several plug ins as inserts, and

using your DAW’s mixer automation, slowly (or quickly

if you wish) change the ways a background sound is

affected. For a more noticeable effect try progressing

from a more mono to a radically stereo sound. On

Radiohead’s records you can hear this idea applied to

drums: drum sends are switched on and off abruptly,

Field Mouse


minimalistic New Wave stylings

of the late ’80s. The mysteriously

titled “S&HSXX” clacks with a

percussive force reminiscent of

Brian Eno’s “In Dark Trees.” Their

latest tracks also differ greatly from

one another. “You Are a Lion, I Am

a Lamb” revisits the dreamy, uptempo

melodies of the Madchester

era and dips them in a mid-fi sonic

context, while “The Millionaire” is

an arresting dream pop gem which

halves the bpm and doubles up in

reverb. (Dave Cromwell)

#89 Twitchers

“A good band is hard to find” is

not how the saying goes, but it

is the philosophy that Twitchers

have wholeheartedly ascribed to.

Their website (www.bloodofjesusrecords.com/twitchers)

cannot be

found on the main page of their

label. There is no bio, no photo, no

links to social media, and no direct

Experiment with feeding drum loops with

The Prosoniq Orange Vocoder.

creating sudden bursts of a distorted version of the

main drum sound, often panned hard left or right.

THE HANGiNG DELAY: This effect (very

common in dub and some psych rock) is commonly

Psych/Dream Pop

Top 20

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Frankie Rose

2. Bear In Heaven

3. Suckers

4. Woods

5. Widowspeak

6. Real Estate

7. TV on the Radio

8. The Antlers

9. The Raveonettes

10. School of Seven Bells

11. Panda Bear

12. Crystal Stilts

13. Asobi Seksu

14. Psychic TV

15. Ducktails

16. My Best Fiend

17. Amen Dunes

18. The Big Sleep

19. Minks

20. The Depreciation Guild

Check out our

self-generating online charts:


email. Music videos are collages from vintage films (coulrophobics

should avoid “Loco”). Like any good mystery, Twitchers are dark and

brooding. Their drony reverb rolls in like a dense fog. (allison levin)

#90 Young Boys

With their sound evolving over the last two years, Young Boys

appear ready for a more visible profile. “Fell From Grace” brings

together shimmering guitars with live crack snare drum and twisted

carnival organs. “It’s Alright” lumbers along a slithering groove that

most certainly does pay homage to Scotland’s Brothers Reid, while

“High Tide” drives forward on buzzing keyboards and deep toned

vocals making it as “psych” as anything that, say a band like The

Black Angels might do. (Dave Cromwell)

#97 OhNoMoon

Hit hard by the sudden death of their bassist Raymond Blanco

towards the end of the year, OhNoMoon’s 2011 was bittersweet

at best. Until then, this Astoria-based psych rockers had released

the single “Sleeping Limbs” and an outstanding cover of Bowie’s

“Ashes to Ashes,” laying a fast path around town, which culminated

in a sold out Deli show at CMJ. Hopefully they’ll give us some new

recordings soon. (Paolo De Gregorio)

#99 Spanish Prisoners

Spanish Prisoners’ album Gold Fools is a hypnagogic journey of

competing influences – one-half vintage synth wilderness, one-half

driving rock riffs. The band’s washy vibe will leave its “tremolo-haze

symphonies” (their words...) on that vulnerable sweet spot of yours

– found right between the headphones. (Mike Levine)

used on vocals and guitars but might work on any

rhythmic instrument: set up a rather long delay on

an effect bus, synch it to the song’s tempo. Keep

the main vocals dry until you hear a word in the

song you may want to highlight (make sure it’s in

a note that works with the following chords). Edit

the vocals’ “send” automation values so that the

signal is sent to the bus ONLY when that word

is sung: during playback you’ll hear the word

repeating a few times after the first occurrence.

Adjust the delay’s volume, tempo and feedback

so that it works in the arrangement.


are all familiar with how vocoders interact with

the human voice. But this weird robotic effect

does very interesting things to any more or less

rhythmic signal. Experiment through feeding drum

loops instead of vocals for some truly different

textures. The Prosoniq Orange Vocoder (pictured)

works particularly well for this purpose.







indie rock

P robably

now over its peak period, indie rock has

turned into an umbrella term over the years.

The Deli uses it to describe artists with a darker

rock sound who keep their songs edgy and tense.

#15 ARMS

ARMS is one of the first NYC bands I ever fell for. The

song was 2009’s “Heat and Hot Water,” and the setting

was a NYU dorm room. Naturally, I was thrilled

when I heard about the band’s latest album 2011’s

Summer Skills, a beautiful and blissful melancholy

(in the best kind of way) stirring up nostalgic feelings

that you can’t quite put your finger on, but are powerful

and passionate like the best summer memories.

(Amanda Dissinger)

#16 Grassfight

Bleak like Ian Curtis (but with a much higher range),

danceable like... New Order (but twice as zonked

out), Grassfight expands on the freaky shoegazer vibe

in a way Interpol never got around to. Wtih a name

based on a tragic battle during the Texas Revolution,

their 2011 EP Icon is bound to be confrontational. But

don’t let that scare you, singer Nathan Forster and

band make the kind of lush, devastating music too

catchy to keep you down. (Mike Levine)

#23 The Can’t Tells

Crafting catchy, lo-fi indie rock songs in the vein of

Pavement and Lemonheads, The Can’t Tells released their

latest self-titled album in February via their Bandcamp, and

since then have been performing all over Manhattan and

Brooklyn. The trio’s simplistic approach to indie rock music

(and killer live show) makes them easy to instantly connect

with and get excited by, which is rare for a new band.

(Amanda Dissinger)

#36 MiniBoone

MiniBoone incorporates a melodic punk rock sound (think

early We Are Scientists) with charismatic vocals that leap

across decibel levels and emotions with a balletic agility.

Imagine the enthusiasm of Say Anything’s Max Bernis combined

with a healthy dose of David Byrne’s erratic vocal

styling. (allison levin)

the deli_40 Spring 2012



Brick +Mortar

Photo: Brian Park

The Can’t Tells

lissy TruLLie

Photo: Collier Schorr

Bugs in The Dark

#49 Brick

+ Mortar

The ghostly boardwalk town of

Asbury Park, NJ is home to famous

oddities – smiling Tillie, the 1920’s

era Convention Hall, and a slew

of musical acts, including Brick +

Mortar. The drums-and-guitars-only

duo stacks their sound with electro

beats and totally unique vocals. Lead

singer Brandon Asraf keeps it theatrical

and playful, using his voice as

an ostentatious instrument to make

things more interesting with every

distorted word and wacky shout.

(Corinne Bagish)

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. The Walkmen

2. The Strokes

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs

4. The National

5. Interpol

6. The Rapture

7. The Men

8. The Morning Benders

9. We Are Augustines

10. White Rabbits

11. Yellow Ostrich

12. Blonde Redhead

13. Matt and Kim

14. Eleanor Friedberger

15. Julian Plenti

16. Cymbals Eat Guitars

17. French Kicks

18. Japanther

19. The Front Bottoms

20. Bear Hands

Check out our

self-generating online charts:

#61 Lissy Trullie

Lissy Trullie’s husky voice evokes

another rocking redhead, vocalist and

guitarist Marcie Bolen (an original member of The Von Bondies),

and she also sings in a similarly jaded tone. However, “It’s Only

You, Isn’t It” off her recent full-length debut, opens with a plaintive

cry that sticks with you. Her emotional depth is clear, though

it isn’t always openly apparent. (allison levin)


#87 Appomattox

Cheeky, slightly sneering vocals with enough occasional growly

rock undercurrent to keep us on our toes is reason enough to

start listening to Brooklyn trio Appomattox), who boasts one

of the best rock shows in town. What keeps us glued to their

tunes are the messages injected – quite palatably – into the

Appomattox’s upbeat and tightly melodic post-punk.

(Corinne Bagish)

Indie Rock

Top 20

#101 Motive

In the track “Nobody Eats My Dinner,” singer Andrew McGovern

is way too hard on himself. At first lamenting how nobody likes

him, he eventually gets lost in its driving rhythm instead; taking

the song to a loud, hard-jamming place similar to the destinations

that The Strokes used to carry me. Like the track “Summer

Solstice,” that takes you on a long ride but leaves you in about

the same place that it began, Motive deals with life’s revolving

frustrations the only way they know how – channeling their angst

through heartbreak riffs and confessional lyrics. (Mike Levine)

#102 Bugs In The Dark

Bugs in the Dark is a group that wraps its sound up tightly and

unleashes it with equal fury. The three-piece lays down charging

riffs under singer Karen Rockower’s soul-shaking vocals weaving

a punishing set together that takes no prisoners. (Mike Levine)

the deli_41







funk+ hip hop

T his

#22 A$AP Rocky

The kid’s got flow. Content-wise A$AP Rocky

sticks primarily to the gunshots and bravado

prevalent in mainstream street and gangsta

rap, but his delivery sets him apart as a hellion

who’s done his homework. The first rapper

to break a perfect synthesis of Houston-born

Chop-and-Screw and Harlem Street Rap,

A$AP Rocky seamlessly switches flows with

the artifice of a vet MC. Though he may lend

a bit much credence to all the “Purple” and

“Swag” he’s endowed with, he’s not afraid to

include a little insight into the game and his

own struggle and hustle. (BrokeMC)

#31 Hidden Fees

Retro maestros Hidden Fees are so lodged in

the seventies they’ve seemingly rejected all

modern methods of releasing music. There’s

no streaming music profile, just a couple of

limited edition 12” vinyls that house the band’s

smokin’ hot brand of funk. This rather loose

collective of musicians tends to produce elongated

jam session of night club grooves, and

it’s led by Ivan Sunshine of Ghost Exits and

Love As Laughter, as well as Tom Gluibizzi

from Psychic Ills. (Dean Van Nguyen)

#41 Deathrow Tull

Deathrow Tull is the self-proclaimed “rattlesnake

in your lemonade, the whiskey on your

ice cream, the underwear on your monkey,

and the dancing shoes on your vibrator.”

These wonderful weirdos provide clever,

tongue-in-cheek rap – bordering on funk,

bordering on electro? Whatever it is, they’ve

the deli_42 Spring 2012

category also includes dance-oriented

world music genres like Afrobeat, which

have been witnessing a renaissance in

NYC in the last few years.

The Sway Machinery

found a very unique blend of wholly interesting

debauchery. (allison levin)

#53 The Sway Machinery

The Sway Machinery have built an unlikely combination

of Jewish Cantorial music with afrobeat

grooves, and the result expresses a hidden

energy common to both. Klezmer and Malian

tribal music aren’t usually said in the same sentence,

but this band made it their mission when

recording with the legendary Timbuktu songstress,

Khaira Arby. This is a group that honors

different traditions while bringing them together

into something new. (Mike Levine)

#68 Superhuman


If the band’s penchant for bright costumes

doesn’t draw you in, Superhuman Happiness’

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Beastie Boys 11. A$AP Rocky

2. NAS

12. Das Racist

3. Kid Cudi

13. DMX

4. Jay-Z

14. Busta Rhymes

5. 50 Cent

15. Wu-Tang Clan

6. The Lonely Island 16. Mark Ronson

7. Fabolous

17. Mos Def

8. Childish Gambino 18. Matisyahu

9. MF Doom

19. Method Man

10. RZA

20. Lloyd Banks

Check out our self-generating online charts:


Deathrow Tull

peculiar yet enchanting genre fusion will. The

band’s mastermind Stuart Bogie’s roots in

Antibalas are evident as he leads the group into

an ever-changing musical adventure through

funk, afrobeat, pop, folk, jazz and rock. This

dabbling in various genres may have to do with

the impressive laundry list of artists Bogie has

worked with including TV on the Radio and the

Yeah Yeah Yeahs. (Nancy Chow)

#80 The Stepkids

Recently blogged by none other than Thom

Yorke on Radiohead’s website, The Stepkids

have taken The Parliament and Funkadelic

Psych/Funk lesson and put it to good use

for a generation that never got to take a ride

aboard that crazy spaceship. The trio is tightly

pairing the ghosts of Sly Stone and The Bee

Gees together with Free Design and The Fifth

Dimension. Not a small task... (Mike Levine)

Funk/Hip Hop

Top 20

the deli_43

Music Here

By Meijin Bruttomesso

Photos by Lucas Garzoli

As one strolls down 8th Avenue

scanning the rows of unassuming

high rises and approaches 38th

street, the faint sounds of crashing

cymbals, rumblings of bass, and

echoes of singers belting seem to emanate

out of thin air. Finally, at the base of 584 8th

Avenue, the source of the noises becomes

clear; it’s The Music Building!

Aptly named, The Music Building is an ant farm of sorts for upand-coming

bands. Except for allowing artists to actually live

there, it offers secure, 24 hour access for writing and rehearsing,

loading and unloading from shows, storing equipment

safely, teaching lessons, and throwing the occasional gettogether.

Situated in an area of town that has near non-existent

noise complaints, bands can rest easy about their erratic

hours or frustrated neighbors. Conveniently located by Port

Authority and Penn Station, the 12 story Manhattan structure

is available for artists from all over the Tristate area. “Officially

opened as a facility strictly for musicians in July 1979 by Jack

P. Lerner and taken over by his son, Roget Lerner, in 2010, the

building is the largest rehearsal space in New York, offering 69

studios in its 42,000 square-foot capacity.

Approximately 150 to 200 bands of every genre imaginable

rent out the space each month, and in turn, sublease

further to other artists, creating a huge network and sense

of musical community. Some of New York and the World’s

most renowned artists have jammed within the Manhattan

location’s walls, including pride and joys, Madonna, Interpol,

Living Colour, They Might Be Giants, The Bravery, The

Strokes, who are leaving this month after 14 years in the

building, New York Dolls, Patti Smith, members of Kiss and

The Talking Heads, Billy Idol, The Fleshtones, Joey Ramone,

The Smithereens, Blondie, and the list goes on. So, who will

be the next legend to add to that list? Here are some of the

artists currently quaking The Music Building.


Last Spring, Social Hero and Vinyette shared The

Deli’s feature on Music Building artists. Channeling classic rock and

classic metal, Social Hero bring back the power chords and power

stances, while injecting melodic vocals ands a sense of fun, perpetuating

hte spirit of rock alive. Vinyette’s edge lies in their intricate,

ever-changing rhythms, and progressive style.

The Dirty Grand produce dark and haunting electrodance

rock. The NYC trio, consisting of Lou Reed’s touring guitarist

and former members of BM Linx, create a grungy and echoing

soundscape on their EP, Facedown.

The Blackfires are yet another rock troupe to keep

an ear on. Members hailing from all corners of the globe unite over a

love for bluesy riffs, devilish guitar solos, falsetto vocals, and smashing

drums. Headbangers can rejoice in the resuscitation of a spirited

metal attitude.

Nominee for Artist of the Month on the Deli, Lightouts indeed

touch on the lighter side of the music spectrum. The two man band

THe bLackFires

& aToM sTrange

Tony FroM

THe dirTy grand

Music buiLding MuraL

by LusTer kabooM

broTHers &

THe Tye Trybe

recently released a new single, “The Cure of Shyness,” which showcases

their upbeat and ethereal Indie pop and multitasking abilities.

Hip-hop infused electronic melded with R&B grooves backed by

contagious beats define Inky Jack. These four Brooklynites

know how to create an infectious dance track, and their self-titled EP

is available and fitting for any night club around town.

Bronx boys, The Tye Trybe combine the grittiness and

laid back energy of garage rock, a distinguishable vocal growl, and

underlying soulful vibe. The three-piece also pays homage to their

roots in Spanish Harlem, adding a unique flair to their individual sound.

As the number of bands rises throughout NY and beyond, the need

for rehearsal spots similar to The Music Building grows. According to

Roget Lerner, “The goal going forward is to provide more resources,

beyond rehearsal space, that will allow the emerging bands to elevate

their chances of success. This includes production of hi-quality videos,

media partnerships, etc.” While that is in the works, we can all

thank The Music Building for setting an example, supporting artists

and their creations, and keeping music alive and well.

Visit The Music Building on Facebook to hear about upcoming events: Facebook.coM/THeMusicbuiLding.

kitchen recording equipment news

Line 6

POD HD Desktop

Review by Gabriel Lamorie

Line 6 has developed their own high definition

amp modeling technology, and packed it

into their POD HD line of guitar multi-effects

modules. And this HD Modeling technology has been

moved to the desktop with the introduction of the

POD HD Desktop.

The POD HD ($400) is a small desktop multi-effects unit that

contains 22 HD amp models based on some of the world’s most

iconic amps and over 100 “M-Class” effects containing 19 delays,

23 modulations, 17 distortions, 12 compressors and EQs, 26 filters

and 12 reverbs. The amps and effects can be combined in a massive

amount of ways, making the possibilities for customized tones nearly

endless. All of the processing takes place in the internal DSP engine

- so no load is put on your computer when recording.

The POD HD has a USB connection to facilitate interfacing with

any DAW software. The unit also includes a S/PDIF digital output

for recording. The sample rate can be configured in the internal

settings from 44.1 kHz up to 96 kHz. No need to worry about

latency because when recording via USB, the signal actually splits

– sending one signal to the computer through USB and another

signal directly out of the main outputs and headphone jack. The

USB connection also allows for direct playback of your DAW

through the POD HD’s outputs.

Some of my favorite go-to effects originate

in the Eventide H3000. A great deal of the

Eventide experience comes from tweaking and

interacting with the hundreds of presets that come

loaded in the box. They have funny names like “lush

life” and “my bloody valentine” and “canyon” and they

cover a lot of ground from subtle, usable room verbs

to ridiculous, head-up-your-arse fun-blasts that aren’t

so much usable as spatial effects as they are eartickling

time suckers that you learn to love.

Brought to you by

Playing the POD HD live is a pretty awesome experience. The portability

and setup time alone is a huge benefit. Whenever I play my PRS SE

Custom guitar live, I am usually mixing on my own gear so I found that

controlling my sound by plugging directly into a snake or mixer out of the

left and right outputs of the POD HD is great, due to the fact that the mixer

has absolute control over my guitar tone.

If you aren’t partial to the idea of another person controlling your axe, but

you still want the flexibility of the effect models and signal chains of the

POD HD, Line 6 has included output modes that tweak the actual signal

so that you can achieve the best results when plugging into your own

external amp. Not only that, but Line 6 also includes pre amp versions of

all 22 HD modeled amps for the best signal to noise ratio.

Eventide SPACE Multi-Effects Pedal Review by Travis Harrison

Eventide’s Space ($499) is the company’s play to put a lot of that crazy

sonic diversity into a stompbox small enough to stuff in a gig bag. The

Space also works equally well as a piece of outboard gear. Firstly allow me

to simply declare that this thing sounds good. Most of the sounds I was

able to coax from it were convincing, full range and unique, be they swirling

vortexes of galactic-apeshit or far more reasonable plates and rooms.

“if you’re looking for a little bit of that

Phil Collins gated reverb for your three

and half bar tom-tom fill, try the ‘Phil

McCavity’ preset, which really nails the

‘In the Air Tonight’ sound.”

Some of my favorite patches in this sucker were the crazy ones. My friend

Nate Martinez from Thieving Irons used the Space as a guitar pedal on a

session at my studio and found a beautiful delay called “Nero’s Ascent”

which seems to finish with a puff of pitched up reverb. It was a heavenly

sound. I found myself going to the “Hey Honey” preset quite a bit for a

haunting pitched reverb that added a real mysterious color to some mixes.

The “Spicy Spring” sounds like a spring-reverb on steroids which, to

spring-reverb addicts like me, isn’t a bad thing. If you wanna take your

mix on a one-way trip to the 1980s, the Space can take you there. “1985

Damage” is a wacky mid-’80s styled verb that when applied sparingly can

induce a little Reagan-era spatial euphoria. And if you’re looking for a little

bit of that Phil Collins gated reverb for your three and half bar tom-tom

fill, try the “Phil McCavity” preset, designed by Alan Moulder and Flood,

which really nails the “In the Air Tonight” sound.

the deli_45

kitchen recording equipment news

Toontrack EZmix 2

Review by Zach McNees

EZmix 2 ($149) by Toontrack is a powerful yet

simple mixing tool for focusing and enhancing

the sound of tracks with a wide variety of

mixing presets for inserts, busses, aux sends and FX

creating a quick and headache-free “set and moveon”

mixing experience. This is a Native-only plug-in,

available in RTAS, VST and AU formats.

EZmix 2’s cascading preset options allow users to refine the

sound they’re looking for based on a variety of presets starting

with Instrument Groups. Drums, Bass, Guitars, Keyboards,

Percussion, Strings, Vocals and others in a “Miscellaneous”

category will get you started. You can then refine each of these

selections to a specific instrument. The search can be refined

further with a selections of amps, effects, musical genres and

mixer options for Insert, Groups Bus or Aux Send allowing users

to find what they’re looking for quickly. I started by auditioning

electric guitar presets on a clean guitar track that was sounding

a little flat. Each preset in EZmix 2 has a very unique and

sculpted sound. Since the control over the sound of each preset

is minimal, if the preset you’ve selected doesn’t immediately

strike you as the right sound for your instrument, your best bet

is to continue searching. I settled on a preset called “Guitar with

Delay” that engages EQ, Compressor, Chorus and Delay effects

which were finely tuned and well blended. This particular preset

the deli_46 Spring 2012

Brought to you by

EZmix 2’s cascading preset options allow users to refine the

sound they’re looking for based on a variety of presets starting

with instrument Groups.

sculpted a healthy amount of low midrange out of the guitar, boosted the

high-end slightly and compressed the overall signal noticeably but not

to the point of overkill. Chorus and adjustable delay finish off the sound

instantly making the guitar lush and dreamy while widening an originally

mono track into a unique stereo sound.

I spent some time applying EZmix 2 to some of my drum tracks. Settings

for Kick allowed me to audition several different choices, each blending EQ,

compression and Aural Exciter-style sonic enhancement effects for a sound

that ran the gamut from scooped and punchy to soft and retro. I ended up

selecting an “Enhanced Metal Kick” preset that seemed to work really well

on a vintage style kick drum for an Americana-type track.

For the more reviews, visit www.sonicscoop.com!

Planning is better than hoping.

Start planning today.

Info and registration at www.alanjohnsonlaw.com/wmb

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Register now

June 18, 2012

New York City

3-hours of

intensive training

wholemusic_half pg ad.indd 1 4/30/12 11:43 AM

the deli_47

kitchen recording equipment news

Burriss Boostiest

Review by Gus Green

The Burriss Boostiest 2.5 is as unique as its name

suggests. It’s not an overdrive or a boost, it’s both.

I often claim to be a “both guy” myself so this

pedal sort of had me at hello. The left half of the pedal is

a Tube Screamer-esque overdrive circuit while the right

side is a fully adjustable clean gain pre-amp.

The right side’s controls include Input, Highs, and Output. The Input

knob adjusts gain control and was designed to be a set-it-and-forgetit

style knob that makes a bit of noise when adjusting the setting

when active. The website suggests turning the knob with the pedal

either bypassed or off. What it actually does is adjust the bias, and

the knob itself clicks as opposed to sweeps. I couldn’t find much info

about what happens at each click but to my ears the more you turn

it clockwise the more gain you add to the signal. You can then use

the Output knob to adjust the level of girth that is added to the tone.

The Highs knob is used to then adjust the brightness of the tone as

gain is increased. One could roll this control back to tame the high

frequencies as gain is added to the signal. I really liked the Boostier

side of the pedal for my particular rig because most of the time I just

want to emulate the sound of my amp’s drive as I increase the gain

knob. The “Boostier” side does a great job at this.

The left side of the pedal is said to be a Tube Screamer-style overdrive.

The controls are Gain, Tone and Level. The object here is to crank

the Gain knob to get the desired amount of overdrive, then tame the

overall volume with the level control. The Tone knob is used to roll-off


DigiTech iStomp

Review by Gus Green

Check out the deli’s

stomp box blog!

The DigiTech iStomp is an innovative concept in

the guitar pedal world, offering a digital stomp

box that’s really a jack for all trades for your pedal

board, thanks to the magic of emulation technology. The

box offers iOS interaction supports for the iPod Touch,

iPhone, and iPad running iOS 4 or later.

The idea is that you download the effects pedal software for each

individual stomp box model from the iOS device to the pedal one at

a time, to essentially turn the iStomp into the desired effect pedal. In

a matter of minutes I downloaded the free Stomp Shop app, used to

store all of your effect pedal options, and plugged the 30-pin cable

from my iPhone 4S to the iStomp. The individual effects range from

$5 to $10 and take about 40 seconds to download. I noticed that the

“Total Recall” delay was free so I figured I’d give it a shot. It sounded

very clean like modern digital delays do. I really liked the ducking

function that allows you to set a threshold of how loud you want the

delays to be while you are strumming. This is great for strumming

rhythms where delay is desired but without muddying up the signal.

I was really impressed with the “Redline” overdrive, which comes

included. It’s a very modern distortion with Gain, Level and HI/Lo EQ

knobs. At extreme settings it made my guitar feedback like Hendrix.

Even at modest settings it was pretty face-melting. I was very pleased

with the clarity of the digital processing. It sounded rich rather than the

murky tones normally associated with digital distortion. That must mean

that it has high quality digital to analog converters and a good DSP chip.


The idea is that

you download

the effects pedal

software for each

individual stomp

box model from

the iOS device to

the pedal one at a

time, to essentially

turn the iStomp

into the desired

effect pedal.

Do you love rock ‘n’ roll guitar?

I’ll admit seeing that the Stomp Shop (at the time of writing) had 20

stomps to choose from, which made me a bit A.D.D. You get a 5

minute timer displayed on your device before the effect is disabled.

Some standouts included the “DOD FX25B Envelope Filter”, “Octaver”

octave pedal, “Rodent”, and “Vintage Tape” delay. DigiTech promises

to update, and expand the effects constantly so that your iStomps will

never get old. I find the concept of having interchangeable, adaptable,

and upgradable stomp boxes to be extremely exciting and futuristic.

Do you have a sweet-talking

phone voice and a drive to sell?

Now’s your chance to grow with Electro-Harmonix,

famous for guitar effects pedals and vacuum tubes.

Hours 10am to 6pm. We are located in Long Island City

near the #7 Vernon Avenue stop.

E-mail resume to mike@sovtek.com

the deli_49

the deli's Pedal Board



Synth Engine • Brings to bass players the

• An interesting new approach to

the synth stompbox.

• Auto mode captures and

freezes notes and chords as

you play.

• Beautiful sounding modulation

and volume envelop controls.

• “Gliss” knob allows you to

glide between notes and

chords automatically.

• In “Latch” mode, sounds can be

stacked on top of each other.

the deli's Plug-in inserts

SKnote Grasso

• Tube modeling unit that affects

saturation and dynamics.

• Can add subtle warmth or

heavier saturation to will.

• “Spank knob” controls

post-drive dynamic response.

• Sounds great on both complete mixes

and individual tracks.

the deli_50 Spring 2012

More pedal reviews at delicious-audio.com!




• Double personality

(they are both nasty).

• Not a subtle pedal, it offers

both “Class A and “Class B”

distortions, which can be

blended to taste.

• Class A setting sounds similar

to a JCM900 head, deep

and compressed.

• Class A setting is

less compressed,

more open.


Bass Compressor

high-grade optical compression

previously only available to


• Runs at twice the typical stompbox

voltage (18VDC) = more


• Results are comparable to

quality outboard gear rather

than stomp box.

• Blows most “regular “ bass

compressors out of the water,

fuller and more natural sounding.

Sonimus SonEQ


Celestial Delay

• Old school analog delay,

solidly built, with true


• Excellent sound quality

for the price.

• Nice darkening of later

repeats leaves more room

for the dry signal.

• Self oscillation feedback

takes some time but it’s got

a nice, crunchy quality.

• One of the best sounding FREE EQ plug-ins out there.

• Inspired by different vintage units combined into one “super” plug-in.

• 5 bands EQ with parametric Low, Mid and High.

• “Woow” switch and Drive knob add punch and saturation when necessary.

u-he Zebra 2.5

• A flexible, powerful modular synthesizer

that combines subtractive and additive


• Drag and drop circuit building makes

everything easy and intuitive.

• All components sound top notch.

• It inspires by challenging you to work in

different ways.

if you are interested in reviewing pedals

and plug-ins for The Deli and

Delicious Audio, please contact


Synapse Audio Dune

• A regular analog subtractive synth

with a few tricks up its sleeve.

• It sounds as good as it gets,

in particular for bass sounds.

• Outstanding filters.

• “Differential Unison Engine” allows

different voices in a sound patch to

have independent modulations.

• It features also Effects, Arpeggiator,

and lots of modulation options.

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