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the deli

everything about the nyc music scene

FREE in NYC Issue #23 Volume #2 Summer 2010

$2 in the USA www.thedelimagazine.com

We Are ScientiStS Javelin XYLOS Pearl & the Beard

Midnight Spin GrooMS North Highlands ChappO

The Naked Hearts Static Jacks tHe BeetS

StiCkLipS Keepaway Inlets FAnG iSlAnd Sundelles

Darwin Deez the WiLLOWz Arms BlAcK tAXi

bear hands

midnight Masses


7 Emerging NYC Music Blogs

+ Audio Equipment Reviews

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the deli

everything about the nyc music scene

issue #23 volume #2 summer 2010

Note from the Editor

The Deli has always been more than just a magazine

about “emerging” NYC bands. Local writers, designers,

photographers and illustrators as emerging as the

bands we cover have been as important to the magazine

as the focus of our content. Heck, in this issue we

even give exposure to emerging bloggers!

We want every issue of this magazine to look better than

the last, and we’ll keep looking for new artists who can

help in that direction. In this issue, we need to thank

Michelle and I-Nu for the great images on the Javelin

and Bloggers features, and Ursula for the awesome new

Hip Hop icon! (See icon box below).

Paolo De Gregorio - Editor In Chief

Editor in ChiEf: Paolo De Gregorio

ExECutivE Editor: Ed Gross

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

CovEr Photo: Ryan Muir (www.ryanmuir.com)

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

SEnior EditorS: Nancy Chow, Bill Dvorak

StAff WritErS: Bill Dvorak, Nancy Chow, Andrew Spaulding,

David Schneider, Ryan S. Henriquez, Mike SOS,

Erin O’Keefe, Kenneth Partridge, Lauren Piper,

Toney Palumbo, Dean Van Nguyen, Meijin Bruttomesso

in-houSE Contributing WritErS: Charles Davis, Gina Alioto,

Paul Dunn, Simon Heggie, Chloe Schildhause, Liz Schroater,

Melissa Wong, Michael D. Spencer, Claire-Marie Le Bihan,

Christina Morelli, Dale W. Eisinger, Courtney Boyd Myers,

Michelle Geslani, Daniel Schneider, Lee A. Cohen, BrokeMC

thE KitChEn: Paolo De Gregorio, Daniel Tirer, Ben Wigler,

Greg Hoy, Arthur Fleischmann, Shane O’Connor,

Tim Boyce, Matt Rocker

ContributorS: Nora Walker, Dave Cromwell

intErnS: Abigail P. Devora, Joanna Rooney, Kelly McDonough

EvEnt booKing ASSiStAnt: Gina Alioto

offiCE MAnAgEr: Jaron Feldman

PubliShErS: The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC

the deli’s icons

rock folk pop ambient



loud rock

psych rock


hip hop melody/soft electronic good!




prime nyc


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

Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2010 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.


bear hands

On The


we are scientists

interviews with nyc bands


California-born, New York-grown We Are

Scientists, have undergone multiple transformations

and experimented with musical

chairs on their path to the top. College buddies,

a literature, and political science major,

who shared a mutual passion for their “hobby,”

the band’s nucleus formed shortly after

meeting, and relocated to Brooklyn postgraduation

to make their premise a career,

catching the ear of The Deli (who interviewed

them back in 2004) and then Virgin Records.

With three EPs, four full-length albums, including

their newest, “Barbara,” released this

June, on their resume, W.A.S. represent to the

NY Indie scene a prime example of survival

of the fittest. Pioneering the fusion of danceable-pop/rock with cerebral intensity

and an urgent energy that umpteen bands strive to clone, Keith Murray and Chris

Cain are not simply business; they make funny their business, as well.

Read Meijin Bruttomesso’s article on We Are Scientists at:


darwin deez


7 emerging

nyc music blogs

“It’s interesting—being a new artist is a blessing,

because you have the element of surprise,” says

Darwin Deez (née Smith), the lanky, mustachioed

guitarist in Brooklyn’s Creaky Boards. “No one’s

expecting anything, so you just get to make your

statement. People get it or they don’t. The next

statement that you make has to be well received

by the people who liked your first statement as

well as other people, because you never get

anywhere if you just make one statement to one

group of people.”

Fresh off a whirlwind United Kingdom tour curated

by NME, Deez appears to already be plagued with

thoughts of a follow-up to his debut self-titled solo album. London-based indie

label Lucky Number just released his record this past spring, and it’s already getting

rave reviews across the pond.

Read Nancy Chow’s article on Darwin Deez at:




Secrets of

the Pros

10 Ideas for Recording

Amazing Guitars

Although easy at first, recording

guitars can be a challenge when

you really want to achieve a great

sound. Here are some helpful tips to

improve your guitar recording chops.

1. Set Up Your Guitar

Amazing guitar tones start with the

player. Recording a great song with a

good player is always key. Beyond the

player, the instrument must be in top

shape as well. Sending your guitar to be

professionally set up is a great way to

ensure your guitar tracks are properly in

tune and there are no buzzes, squeaks or

hums coming from the instrument. A professional

set up will also allow the guitar

to play easier and feel better, which will

help to create a better performance.

Read Shane O’Connor’s other 9 tips on

how to record guitars at:



the deli_5

[sound bites] indie pop

The Naked Hearts


The Naked Hearts By Claire-Marie Le Bihan Chappo By Christina Morelli

This is one of those bands that

make boys and girls fall in love.

The Naked Hearts are a not-entirely-bass-less

rock duo (live, the

bass exists as if by magic even if

nobody is playing it, as we have

personally witnessed!) which offer

some extremely well crafted,

melancholic, guitar indie-pop.

Amy Cooper (guitar and vocals)

and Noah Wheeler (drums and

vocals) are obvious musical soul

mates. Their debut full length

“Mass Hysteria” exists in a musical

limbo floating between Belly’s

hyper-melancholic psych, the

more straightforward and up-beat

guitar pop of Juliana Hatfield and

PJ Harvey circa 1992, and the

obvious Nirvana influences.

What is your inspiration behind

your compositions?

Amy: Romanticism. Painting a

picture with sound and words.

Which artists have influenced

you most?



Noah: Our main musical influences

are definitely rooted in a lot of

the 90s bands we grew up listening

to like The Breeders, Nirvana,

The Lemonheads, and Sonic

Youth. We’re also really inspired

by our friends here in the city She

Keeps Bees, SuSu, Air Waves,

Home Video to name a few.

What is the background of

Naked Hearts?

Noah: We met at Pianos in 2007,

where we were both playing the

same night in different bands.

What’s the story behind your

band’s name?

Noah: Naked Hearts is the name of

the first song we wrote. The name

and the song seemed to sum up

the direction we were heading together,

so it naturally stuck with us.

Claire Marie Le Bihan’s full interview

here: www.thedelimagazine.com/




From the midnight show at

Rockwood Music Hall to the lofts

of good ole’ BK, the guys from

Chappo have been stirring up

the indie music scene with good

times, good vibes, and great

sounds. The catastrophically

crazy Southern duo, comprised

of Alex Chappo and Chris Olson

Chappo, have an energy that

transcends from the stage to

the streets, leaving a wake of

“space dust” in their trail that

keeps fans moving, shaking, and

coming back for more. Their

music is fearless, innovative and

downright fun, infusing classic

indie pop with complete chaos,

achieving their goal of making

the Chappo experience one

meant to be out of this world.

What were you influenced by

to create the tracks on your

latest EP, “Plastique Universe?”

We were excited about combining

the styles of Tarantino and

Xylos By Chloe Schiildhause

Xylos has been compared to a

number of bands since the release

of their debut EP, “Bedrooms”, in

2008. From ABBA to the Flaming

Lips to the Talking Heads, the

band’s sound is perfect for young

couples in love who just want to

listen to carefree happy music and

go on leisurely picnics with golden

retrievers. Xylos will continue to

tour in venues throughout New

York, but the rest of the country

need not worry for they plan to go

on tour this summer and early fall.

Here is the Q&A with Eric Zeiler.

What makes for a good show?

You feel like the crowd is completely

captivated and they’re moving

with you through the songs.

They react to the dynamics and

connect with the band. Also, when

Bowie. We were listening to a

lot of fun, new stuff last summer

when we were recording the

EP: Empire of the Sun, Phoenix,

Flaming Lips.

What has been your favorite

place to play in New York


We’ve played all over the East

Village and LES and are now

getting out more in Brooklyn. We

just had our EP release at Glasslands

and really liked the vibe in

there. Lately, we’ve played some

killer loft parties.

What is the most unique instrument

you’ve ever created

sound from? Why?

Our mouths. You can make any

sound out of your mouth, and

you don’t need to have a Masters

in Jazz to do it.

Christina Morelli’s full interview here:



people take off their clothes.

What bands are you currently

listening to?

The new Robyn single has been

blowing my mind. And I’m getting

into the Knife for the first time really.

If your music were a

soundtrack to a film, what kind

of film would it be?

It would be one of those cheesy

Valentines Day releases... a romantic

comedy with an ensemble

cast of whoever the 30 biggest

stars of the moment are. It would

be terrible, but there’d be lots of

sex and heartbreak.

Chloe Schiildhause’s full interview

here: www.thedelimagazine.com/


the deli_6 summer 2010 the deli_7

[sound bites] lo-fi

The Beets


The Beets

By Courtney Boyd Myers

Named by L Magazine as one

of the 8 NYC Bands “You Need

to Hear” in 2009, local music

group, “The Beets” have gained

quite a bit of traction in the

NYC indie scene, revamping

60s garage rock for a modern

age. Their songs are laden with

rhythmic guitar strumming and

echoing lyrical chants. The

Beets are comprised of Juan

Wauters, age 26, Jose Garcia

and Matthew Volz, both 28 and

the latest addition, drummer

Melissa Scaduto, aged 27.

How did you all meet

each other?

Jose: I met Juan at La Guardia

Community College. Meeting

Juan was the only good thing I

took away from college. I met

Matt when I came home late

one evening, around 2:30 in

the morning, to find Matthew

sneaking out of my sister’s

window. Melissa is a new addition

to the band, we recently

lost our drummer and Melissa

filled in for him on our last tour

and is now an official Beet.


By Bill Dvorak

Grooms merges dissonant guitar

riffs, alternative percussion,

Moog attacks and haunting vocal

melodies into a whirlwind sound

that challenges the listener at

every turn. Although Sonic Youth

comparisons can certainly be

made, Grooms also channels

Pavement, Chavez and countless

other bands that pioneered the

sonically-intense, broken-pop

sound of 90’s indie rock—but

with an attitude and approach

uniquely its own. The band was

formerly known as the Muggabears,

and originally consisted

of Travis Johnson (guitar and

The Sundelles


the deli_8 summer 2010

Who do you relate to in the

music scene right now?

Jose: We can really relate to

the German Measles - there

you have 4 really cool dudes,

and we’re 4 really cool dudes,

playing our hearts out, making

beautiful music for beautiful ears.

Courtney Boyd Myers’ full interview

here: www.thedelimagazine.com/




vocals) and Emily Ambruso (bass

and vocals), and a host of rotating

drummers. When Ambruso

and Johnson were joined by Jim

Sykes of Parts & Labor, the Muggabears

was re-born as Grooms,

and the earth-shattering fulllength

Rejoicer was released last

year on Death By Audio Records.

Your songs merge harsh guitar

and noise with more melodic

vocal harmonies. What is it

that appeals to you about the

juxtaposition of pop melody

and experimental noise?

Well, we like both of those kinds

of sounds a lot, so it’s more fun

for us to work with both. In the

end, I think we mostly just want

the listener to feel something

intense when they hear it.

Where was “Rejoicer” recorded?

We recorded at The Civil Defense

and mixed at Rare Book Room.

The songwriting was kind of agonizing.

There are so many parts

on the album, so many sections

and everything got worked out

piece by piece, democratically.

Bill Dvorak’s full interview here:



The Sundelles

By Lauren Piper

This Brooklyn three-piece, made

up of Sam Sundoes, Davey

Sarantos and Trevor Mcloughlin

are creating lo-fi, catchy songs

with creative melodies and

straightforward vocals. With

songs like “Keep it to Yourself,”

The Sundelles bumbling, buzzing

tunes create washed out

blazes of sound with their fuzzy

instrumentals while maintaining a

clear melodic, bouncy tune with

upbeat singing.

Are you guys just big eight year

olds in disguise?

Sam: Maybe. We just figure

confetti and balloons makes

everything alright.

If you could each be represented

by a cartoon character, who

would it be?

Sam: I would probably be one of

the dancing hippos from Fantasia

and I only say this because

I may be big but surprisingly

graceful. Davey would probably

be Shaggy if he stole Thelma’s

glasses and Trevor would have

to Betty Boop because he is A

HUGE slut.

What are the top five songs/album

on your ipods (collectively)

at this moment?

Sam: We all listen to a lot of

different stuff but collectively it’s

looking like this:

1. Jesus and The Mary Chain -

Stoned and Dethroned

2. Cass McCombs - Prefection

3. Sleigh Bells - Run the Heart

and Rachel (back to back)

4. The Sound - Jeopardy

5. INXS - Greatest Hits

6. The Stoned Roses - S/T

7. Kurt Vile - Frreeeewwaaaaayyyyyy

Lauren Piper’s full interview here:














[sound bites] avant indie

North Highlands


North Highlands By Nancy Chow Keepaway By Dale W. Eisinger

Recorded primarily in a friend’s

basement, the “Sugar Lips” EP

is the sound of a young band

testing out its waters. Previous

to the formation of the band,

Brenda Malvini recorded a few

songs using GarageBand, but her

peers took these rough sketches

and fleshed them out into lush,

pastoral movements. The quartet

flirts with different styles and tempos,

but the common thread and

the strength of the songs is the

heartfelt, sincere sentiment. North

Highlands provoke emotional

centers with their personal lyrics

and striking instrumentation.

Where do you find inspiration in

such a hectic city?

Part of it is where our rehearsal

space is; it’s near the East River.

I also live in industrial Bushwick.

That area reminds me of San

Francisco. I really enjoy that energy,

Fang Island


the slowness of the neighborhood.

When you write songs together,

do you guys argue a lot as most

of you were music majors?

Surprisingly, no. I’m constantly

telling my friends how excited I am,

because this is the first band I’ve

ever been in where everybody has

this apparent ability to kind of just

have an idea of what sounds great.

How has your music changed

since Brenda’s personal lo-fi


When our friends come up to us

who have been to every show,

[they say], “When I first saw you

at the Market Hotel, it seemed like

a girl and a piano and this band.”

The fact that we’re starting to

write as a band is really nice.

Nancy Chow’s full interview here:



There probably isn’t a better moniker

than Keepaway for this Brooklyn

band on the rise - their music

bounces with a childish delight,

addictive in the way of their namesake

game, somehow both sadistic

and good-natured. The three-piece

uses samples, synth, guitar, driving

percussion, and howling harmony

to create their tunes. There’s plenty

of blog buzz for their track “Yellow

Wings,” a simultaneously dark and

infectious rocker garnering a 9/10

by perennial tastemaker Pitchfork.

It seems like you came out of


Frank: We did. We used to be

called In. And we thought having

an un-google-able name would

end up being a strength. And it

was, because being able to lay

low and not have people find us

allowed us to really focus on the

project only musically.

Fang Island By Dale W. Eisinger

The members of Fang Island are

notoriously snarky in interviews,

but that sort of goes along with

the playful nature of the band’s

powerful tunes. No matter what,

they’re funny to read. Fang

Island is poised for surfing some

cosmic waves of joy in the next

few months.

How are you being received at

smaller venues?

The smaller venues have been

going great, but larger venues are

what we intended the songs off

our newest record to be played

in. The largest venue we have

played so far is the Great American

Music Hall in San Francisco.

On the flip side, how stoked are

you to tour with The Flaming Lips?

We are very excited to play with

the Flaming Lips. We are huge

Photo: Aaron Blumenshine



Nick: We thought it was an

interesting experiment to subvert

the Internet’s strengths with its

strengths, using a one-syllable

language unit to actually obscure

ourselves rather than be searchable.

But it didn’t really pan out.

As a result, there’s very little

research I could do about you

guys. What’s your story?

Mike: Nick and I grew up together,

Frank and Nick went to college

together and spent some time in

San Francisco playing music. We

started playing together in this

formation last fall. I’ve been making

music most of my life, electronic

music for half of it. I started

playing turntables and keyboard.

Now it’s more digital stuff.

Dale W. Eisinger’s full interview here:



fans and can’t wait to be slaughtered

by them every night.

Just how many high-fives do

you plan on giving over the

course of this band?

We will never be sick of high five

questions. Your question is very

respectable, thank you. We have

played shows where we can’t get

through our fifth encore because

our hands have been turned to

jelly from the constant high-fiving

our audience expects.

Who’s a better audience: Kindergartners

or hipsters?

We prefer Hanksters: a member

of the crowd who resembles Tom


Dale W. Eisinger’s full interview here:



Pearl and the Beard


Pearl and The Beard By Christina Morelli

One of the first things you’ll

notice about Brooklyn-based

band Pearl and the Beard is their

innately warm, friendly attitudes

and quirky sense of humor that

instantly triggers a smile. Don’t

be fooled by the simple, happy

façade, however, this folk trio

creates music drenched with

emotional depth and exquisite


The musical style of Will Smith

is notably different from the

genre associated with Pearl

and the Beard. What made

you select his songs as the

medley for your video and

how did the creative process


Jocelyn: We had done a lot

of album recording and were

ready to write something new.

We started playing around with

melodies and I burst out with

“In West Philadelphia born and

raised…” just for fun, and then

someone else jumped in with

“Men in Black,” and it just kept

building on itself.

What aspects of life does your

lyrical inspiration come from?

Jocelyn: It’s a very collaborative

process for every song.

Emily: We try to make it extremely

equal. We each come

with something, and we each

have a role in our specific

strengths, and we balance it out

after that.

Jeremy: With all of the songs

that we have, particularly the

new ones, they’re never too

one-sided on the spectrum. You

may have a feeling of elation,

but there’s still that weird anger

that brings you back to reality or

some past hurt.

What do you think the key is

to maintaining your unique

identity and yet still appeal to a

wide audience?

Jocelyn: The songs that come

out of you are the songs you

should be making, and that’s

what I feel really confident about

with this band. There’s never

intent of a means to an end. It’s

just this is us this is who we are.

Jeremy: If you cut any three of us

open that’s what would come out.

Christina Morelli’s full interview here:





Sticklips By Lauren Piper

There’s nothing quite straight-forward

about this four piece’s slippery,

somewhat dissonant, winding folk

music. With sounds of fingers sliding

up and down acoustic guitars, crystalline

vocals and blatantly strange

electronic interjections, Sticklips’

tunes leave listeners curious as hell.

What is the history of Sticklips?

Johanna: I met Jim and Jonathan

in an ill-fated Motown cover band.

That was short-lived, but the

three of us immediately started

making jokes about bodily fluids

and knew it was meant to be.

Later Jonathan approached me.

What’s the deal with lion taming?

Johanna: I guess it is a metaphor

for being an artist. Sometimes

this wild animal takes to clawing

at your insides and the only way

to calm it down is to write a song,

or paint, or write a novel, whatever.

You are constantly in danger

of that animal eating you alive.

VHS, DVD or blue ray? CD, record

or cassette? Mashed potatoes,

french fries or home fries?

Johanna: I’ll be honest: I have

no idea what blueray is. I just

found a record player in the trash,

so I’m pretty excited about that,

although right now my record collection

consists of one scratched

copy of Peter and The Wolf.

Home-made french fries with olive

oil, black pepper and rosemary.

What is the songwriting process

like for you guys? Any

power fuel foods?

Johanna: Generally I bring in a song

for acoustic guitar and vocals, and

everyone else writes their own parts.

Each of us has a certain area of expertise

and a very different musical

background and taste, so fromour

collective mind this crazy hybrid

brain-child is born. It’s kind of like

we’re the Planeteers and Sticklips

is Captain Planet. We go to sketchy

Latin restaurants and diners.

What is the most exciting thing

coming up for Sticklips in the

nextcouple months?

Johanna: Right now we are raising

money on Kickstarter to fund

our second album, which we will

be recording in July and August.

Making an album is definitely

the most fun thing in the world. I

recommend everyone try it.

Lauren Piper’s full interview here:



the deli_10 summer 2010 the deli_11

[sound bites] folky

[sound bites] alt rock

The Static Jacks


The Static Jacks

By Lee A. Cohen

The Static Jacks are an extremely

young rock band from New

Jersey that blends Interpol’s

tense guitar work and driven

drum beats with a more “alt-rock”

approach mostly traceable in

their preference for epic, open

melodies. In their still short career

they already managed to play

with bands of the caliber of Tokyo

Police Club, Youth Group, and

Nightmare Of You. Self-described

“Infamous rock mangler” Lee A.

Cohen (manager of The Dandy

Warhols and So So Glos) is a big

fan of the band and recently sat

down with them for a Deli-cious


You guys are only 19 and so I’m

thinking you were born in the

90s. There’s a big 80s English

Guitar sound in what you guys

are doing. Do you have any

idea what I’m talking about?

Ian: Personally I tend to look

more towards the 70’s for my

inspiration The Clash, Joy Division,


Henry: I’ve always really liked

The Cure and I know Mike has

always been a big fan of The

Smiths, so with that I think

Black Taxi


our inspiration for guitar tones

comes from looking in that direction

a bit.

The world seems to know best

about Jersey from the likes

of Springsteen, Bon Jovi, The

Sopranos and those douchebags

on The Shore show that

MTV does. How do you explain

bands like yourselves and Titus

and Real Estate?

Ian: I think there are a decent

number of “Jersey” sounds, its

just that outside of New Jersey

people tend to think primarily of

Springsteen, which is great, and

Bon Jovi, which is, different.

Got any good cougar stories?

I can’t help but think that all

these 30 yr old rocker chicks

might want to take advantage

of your collective youthfulness.

Nick: There are many cougar

stories. They show up at our

shows with children or banners.

very strange.

Henry: Some mom once thought

I was one of the Jonas Brothers

and asked me why I wasn’t wearing

my promise ring while tugging

at my belt.

Lee A. Cohen’s full interview here:



The Willowz


The Willowz

By Meijin Bruttomesso

The Willowz sprouted out of

Anaheim, California in 2002 and

soon after, lost their Orange

County leaves and became NYC

transplants where they have

sowed their punk, soul, and

garage rock seeds on their newest

album, “Everyone.” Bluesy and

psychedelic vibes saturate each

track, and overlay Richie James

Follin’s searching, howling vocals,

William-Lewis Mclaren’s (guitar/

vocals) continuously bending and

ringing riffs, with a relentlessly

speedy rhythm section of Jessica

Anne Reynoza (bass/vocals) and

Loren Shane Humphrey (drums).

What was the impetus for moving

from California to New York?

Richie: The impetus for us moving

to New York was our management

and the studio that the last

two records were cooked up in

was here in New York.

Why the “z” at the end of your


Richie: We were originally called

the Willows. We found out there

was already a Willows; they were

a 50’s pop group. We added the

zed to avoid a lawsuit.

Jessica: Z’s are cool. Even better

when you can catch some.

Who or what introduced you to


Richie: My father, who is also a

drummer, introduced me to music.

Jessica: Our parents

Where would you most like to

tour and with whom?

Richie: I would most like to tour with

Rolling Stones in South America

Jessica: South America or Mars

with the Ramones.

What makes your new album

“Everyone” unique from previous


Richie: Making “Everyone” was

different from all the other albums

because it was the first time we had

worked everything out before we

went to track the album. We played

the whole thing live, together, as

a band. Previously, we sort of recorded

while writing, so things were

kind of done in pieces. It was also

the first time we made a record in

Texas. The Willowz love Texas!

Meijin Bruttomesso’s full interview

here: www.thedelimagazine.com/


Black Taxi

By Meijin Bruttomesso

If New York’s music scene were

summed up in two words, they

would be Black Taxi. Kind of dirty,

a little poppy, and VERY danceable,

these Brooklynites fashion

some of the most undeniably

contagious music around.

“Things of That Nature” is full of

songs with great stories. Which

has the best back story ?

Bill: “Take a Ticket”…In case you

didn’t gather it already, it’s about

the recreational and utilitarian

use of ADD drugs. Kids are all

hopped-up on them, and adults…

now, too. I love that fans will

come up to me and ask if I can

get them some Adderall.

What is a continual influence

on your song writing?

Bill: It’s always been friends and

fellow musicians that influence

my songs, more so than any notable

recording artists... Plus, you

can steal ideas from them much

easier because it’s less likely they

will sue you.

What has been the most rewarding

this past year?

Bill: MOST rewarding…to be able

to keep making music…If you have

your eye on another prize than that,

well, the terrorists have already won.

Meijin Bruttomesso’s full interview

here: www.thedelimagazine.com/


Midnight Spin


Midnight Spin By Meijin Bruttomesso

After multiple rounds of categorizing, voting, narrowing down, and

counting, the results are in. Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based Midnight

Spin landed at the top of The Deli Magazine’s “New York’s Best

Emerging Artist of 2009 Reader’s Poll.” Freshly formed in 2008,

Mike Corbett (vocals, guitar), Jim Terranova (guitar, vocals ), Danny

Scull (drums), Ben Waters (bass), and Jeremy Cohen (keys) have

been touring around town, selling out beloved venues in New York,

including the Lower East Side’s Mercury Lounge, making headway

at college campuses across the country, and leaving lasting

impressions at this past year’s CMJ Music Marathon. The quintet

has gained substantial support in their short time as a band, and

with their recent victory on The Deli’s website poll, Midnight Spin

may hold the keys to hitting the big time in no time. Their album

“Through the Mojo Wire,” released last summer, resembles the type

of record that would skip the Indie scene and head straight for the

“Top 40s.” However, unsigned and New York-grown, Midnight Spin

have benefited from the necessary acknowledgement by the neighborhood,

a feel-good step in any emerging band’s career.

How did the five of you come together?

Mike and Danny met in 5th grade, spent the better part of junior

high blowing through Green Day and Nirvana covers, [and] became the

best instrumental two-man punk rock band in school. In 2007, Mike

and Danny moved to NYC…into a basement music studio under the

JMZ train and shared a bunk bed in the drum room…they recruited Ben

[Danny’s college friend] to play bass on the condition that he grow his

hair out. In 2008, Jim skeptically answered a craigslist ad, and showed

up to audition at what he thought was going to be a music studio, but

what turned out to be a bedroom of squalor and funk. He immediately

signed on. Mike met Jeremy at a party, convinced him to quit his fulltime

job in Boston and move to New York to play keys…

What happens on a midnight spin?

It’s more of a mood than an actual event [which] is open to interpretation.

A lot of weird shit goes down at midnight... It’s best left undefined.

What is a “mojo wire?”

We liked the phrase “Mojo Wire” [because our favorite author] Hunter

S. Thompson correspond[ed] from the road to Rolling Stone Magazine

through a device called the “Mojo Wire,” a primitive…fax machine that

took seven minutes to process each page. In some way, the recent evolution

of rock music has been just as slow.

As a band, what do you disagree about most?

Mike’s wardrobe (Monopoly money Hawaiian shirt, women’s bellbottoms

found on the street, chef jacket he swiped from a restaurant, “the

purple trench coat and no shoelaces look” etc)…who has to park the

van. We are generally a pretty agreeable band.

Who do you most admire in today’s music world? With whom

would you most like to tour?

Mike: …Pearl Jam…[they] maintain their relevance and their audience 20

years later. ..The Rolling Stones’ music is just incredible, and the fact that

they’re still doing it today really just reaffirms the idea that the love of music

doesn’t really have an expiration date... it would be a blast to open up

for The Gaslight Anthem…any band that reads this, shares our attitude,

and works hard to put on a great live show. Our van is packed; let’s roll.

Meijin Bruttomesso’s full interview here:


the deli_12 summer 2010 the deli_13

specials the deli’s features

Bear Hands


What it is: Danceable IndieChill...but you should decide for yourself!

RIYL: Modest Mouse, “Shakedown Street” by The Grateful Dead, Pavement

The Sound and The Furry By Daniel Schneider / Photo by Ryan Muir

After months of hardcore touring, with stops everywhere from Boise, Idaho to

their home in New York City, the gents in Bear Hands are finally getting ready

to take a break. After playing shows across the US, it’s hard to argue that that

band doesn’t deserve a little R & R. Moreover, Bear Hands’ freshman album is recorded

and ready for mixing/remixing. That record, Burning Bush Supper Club, is a

dancey mix of reverberating guitar licks and rhythmic vocals which stands out among

the glut of indie dance bands formed between 2005-2009. At the final stop of their

nationwide tour, at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA, I had the opportunity

to talk with the gentlemen of Bear Hands about being on the road and what they

hope for the future. This being their last set before the Summer, I could already see

that these musicians were feeling a bit worn, but in no way down or out.

I had the chance to sit and talk with them over Middle Eastern cuisine before the last

show of their tour, in Cambridge, MA.

Artist Equipment Check!!!


Deluxe Memory Man

How’re you guys feeling?

Ted Feldman: Tired. Really fuckin’ tired.

Val Loper: But it’s a satisfied tired. This is our last day on the road, and it’s been nice.

Where have you been on this tour?

Ted: Shit, a lot of places. Good answer?

Not bad. Anything more specific? Cities, radio stations...

Ted: Oh, stations? Yeah, we played at WOXY in Cincinnati, um...

Val: KEXP in Seattle, too. The radio sets have been pretty fun.

You didn’t happen to play in Milwaukee? It’s my hometown.

Ted: Yeah! It was this really nice place...

Turner Hall?

Ted: Maybe. It had, like, a 1600 person capacity, was a good concert space. Plus the people who worked

there were really friendly.

Val: And not everyone is, so it’s a big deal.

I’ll let them know next time I’m back home. But was there anywhere in particular you had fun playing?

Val: The problem is that once we arrive in town it’s unload, sound check, eat somewhere nearby—maybe

even at the venue—play, and go to bed. Or drive more.

Ted: Sometimes we’ll have time to walk around, see the area, but it’s hard to really get a feel for even a

smaller town when most of what you do is play a set, eat a meal and sleep there.

Val: Though we have gotten to hang out with locals in some of the cities we’ve played in, had a drink or just

bullshitted after a show. Those times were probably the most informative.

But you’re excited to go home, I bet. And for your record!

Ted: It definitely feels good now...but I’ll feel better when it’s actually out.

Have you ever recorded a full-length album before? In fact, I’ll make this a broader question: what is

your music history? Have you played in other bands, released music, what have you...

Ted: Well, I knew Dylan before. We went to Weslyen together, and the thing about Weslyenn is that there’s

not a whole lot to do in the town surrounding the college. So there are a lot of bands that form naturally, just

so we can entertain ourselves. We were in a band for about six years, but that ended for, uh, “personality differences.”

After that, we were living in New York City and just wanted to start fresh. A clean slate. We all met

up at a rented studio in Manhattan, Chelsea specifically...and we’ve been Bear Hands since that.

And the album?

Ted: Its name is Burning Bush Supper Club, and it’s being mixed right now. We’d like to get it out really

soon, so when we play at festivals we’ll have more than shirts and EPs to bring along, you know?

Six years is an awful long time to play in bands, you guys must really enjoy it.

Val: I’m not fit at all for the nine-to-five. I’d never make it in an office environment. Yeah, I love this. I love

being able to play music and see the world.

Ted: I just like music. And playing it. Simple as that.

Later on in the evening, I was able to track down lead singer Dylan Rau and ask him a few questions, as well.

Does it feel good to be done with touring?

Dylan: Oh, yeah. I feel really accomplished, you know? We’ve played a ton of shows...but now it’s time to go

back home, hang out with a woman.

Specific woman?

Dylan: Yeah.

Can I write that?

Dylan: Yeah. You know, I figured I would just throw myself into a drugged haze as soon as the tour ended,

but it’s likely that I’ll just sleep, instead. You can write that, too.

Ha, duly noted. So how do you feel about the album?

Dylan: Fantastic. Chuck Brodie, our producer, has been awesome throughout this whole process. But this

was my first experience with being in a studio...rather, being in a real studio for more than just a tiny amount

of time. I could really work on perfecting the music, and it felt great.

I know you guys are from Brooklyn, and I’ve always wondered how the music scene functions there.

Clearly, at least in the last decade, there have been phases of music coming from that scene, everything

from the Strokes to Animal Collective, etc. Does that effect the kind of music you make?

Dylan: There are definitely groups of musicians that exist in Brooklyn, but in an informal sense. It’s not like

one style of music keeps to their own and everyone within that group just copies each other...if there are

groups at all, it’s mostly because people in bands make friends with people in other bands, though they

don’t necessarily sound alike. I get what you mean though—every time a band becomes popular some

people feel pressure to reiterate a certain sound. Those are the ones with dollar signs in there eyes—but we

don’t go for that. We’re Bear Hands, and no one else.

I use an electro-harmonix memory man pedal

on most of our songs. It’s an analog delay

pedal, and it is the only piece of equipment we

use that provides some unpredictability. The

sounds it can make—or really, the various ways

it can manipulate the sounds coming from my

guitar—help with the creative process in that

playing the guitar can become a conversation.

It’s a great machine. -Ted Feldman

Bear Hands

What A Drag - EP



out in


01. What A Drag

02. Can’t Stick Em

03. What A Drag

(Cale Parks Remix)

the deli_14 summer 2010 the deli_15

specials the deli’s features

JAVELIN By Kenneth Partridge / Illustration by I-Nu Yeh

What’s Buzzin’


By “Oh! Centra,” the third track on its Luaka Bop debut, “No Mas,” Javelin has already covered

bumping Tom Tom Club funk, Beach Boys-circa-’66 chamber-pop, and “Super Mario Brothers” blipbloop-bleep.

Much of the music sounds lifted from thrift-shop vinyl. According to George Langford and

Tom Van Buskirk, the wily Rhode Island cousins who formed the band in 2005, only some of it is.

If the duo’s press releases are to be believed,

Langford and Van Buskirk often play live

instruments, using guitars, keyboards,

horns, and whatever else they’ve got handy

to recreate vintage source material.

This raises a question: Why play music

you could just as easily sample?

It may have something to do with warmth

and immediacy. As slick and seamless

as it is, “No Mas” is smudged with human

fingerprints and free of the “aren’t I cltever?”

gimmickry that mars many a lesser glo-fi

record. Langford and Van Buskirk plunder

with love, whether cribbing glossy newwave

synths (“Moscow 1980”) or the

burping baritone saxophones of Stax-aping

Daptone soul (“Shadow Heart”).

Onstage, Javelin blasts its tunes through

painted-up boom boxes, nodding to the

decades upon decades of radio-friendly

pop at the core of its songs.

A lot of the talk surrounding the band

centers on the way you mix samples and

original music. Do you ever feel like this

takes away from the actual songs? How

mindful do you want people to be of the


“Much of our music is fairly processoriented,

so it wouldn’t surprise me that

how we make our songs might become

a topic for conversation,” the band says

via email. “The fun part about what we

do is that by doing work this way you can

arrive somewhere you hadn’t considered

going before—like in a funky weather

report broadcast or in an Ennio Morricone

soundtrack taping.

There is a lot of freedom! Maybe it’s up to

us to explain WHY we do what we do—it’s

cool if people are mindful of the process,

but hopefully they’re interested because the

music’s good.”

Performing live, do you ever change

the way you play certain songs? That

is, today you use a sample, whereas

tomorrow, you recreate the parts live?

“Today we are reliant on machines and

sequences to play our music live—the

improvisation comes in George’s electronic

percussion playing and my microphone

antics. Our songs and performances have

definitely evolved because of a live setting.

In the future we do hope to incorporate

more instrument playing. In part, this

requires more resources. Right now we are

literally a ‘party in a box,’ or two boxes.”

After the hype surrounding “Jamz

n Jemz,” your collection of demo

recordings, what were you hoping to

accomplish with “No Mas?” Was there a

conscious effort to change anything?

“We are skeptical of hype. And we are

interested in having long careers in music,

in whatever capacity. That said, we are

also thankful for the excitement our demo

generated—it was like a bottle of lightning

bugs that got too crowded and had to

explode. We shouldn’t have kept it to

ourselves and our friends that long, but

maybe there is something to be said for

letting something simmer a while before

exposing it (or having it be exposed)... With

“No Más” we definitely wanted to make

a warm, genuinely listenable album. Not

something what was too flashy or pointy

(ironically). We want to focus on making

good music, not chasing hype, and see

where that gets us.”

“No Mas” is an interesting mix of old and

new-school sounds. You’ve got

I guess when you try on so many hats, you wind up thinking,

These hats are all pretty similar. They’re hats.’ I feel that way with

music. It’s impossible to extricate one [type of] music from another in

my mind — there are distinctions, and relationships, breakthroughs,

etc. — but like so many things we do, it’s all connected.

Artist Equipment Check!!!

Akai MPC

your Nintento-esque, spacey synth parts,

but then there are also guitars

and keyboards that sound as if they’re

sampled from old soul records. Was this

timeless feel intentional?

“I guess when you try on so many hats,

you wind up thinking, ‘These hats are all

pretty similar. They’re hats.’ I feel that way

with music. It’s impossible to extricate one

[type of] music from another in my mind—

there are distinctions, and relationships,

breakthroughs, etc.—but like so many things

we do, it’s all connected. We are living in a

time of extreme specialization (differentiation,

etc.) and yet also a time of extreme

connectivity, access to information... When

you multiply those two things together, I can’t

help but feel that many distinctions collapse

under that force, time being one of them.

“My first set-up was a (shitty) sampler, a

drum machine, and a four track tape recorder.

I would labor over the sequencing

by writing it all down on a flow-chart type

thing and punch in samples by hand—

this was in high school. The MPC does all

of this and more in one machine.”

the deli_16 summer 2010 the deli_17



By Nora Walker (irockiroll.blogspot.com) / Illustration by Michelle Kondrich (www.michellekondrich.com)

When the fine folks here at The Deli Magazine approached me about profiling some of my fellow NYC

area music bloggers, my first instinct was that it would be a perfect opportunity to educate myself

on new(ish) blogs on the scene who are doing really great stuff. The reasoning behind this was

three-fold: 1. Most of the music blogs that I read have either been around for ages and have gotten tons of

the attention they deserve—or they no longer exist (RIP). When I started my own site back in 2004, there were

a handful of blogs who were leading the way, and in the two years after that (the “Brooklyn Vegan” era) the

entire music “blogosphere” in NYC basically exploded. Most of my early influencers “retired” and some new

blogs flourished while others faltered. 2. I am totally impressed—given the number of music blogs out there

today—that anyone takes the initiative to start one but thank goodness they do. 3. There are tons of great

blogs out there that deserve more attention than they are getting.

These are the profiles—in their own words—of 7 up-and-comers in the local music blogosphere that you should

keep an eye on. Hopefully one of my new finds will be one of your new daily bookmarks or inspire you to start

up a music blog of your own and share the love.



Who Is:

Peter Matthews. “I’m a digital media director at a large advertising firm

here in NYC. At nights and on weekends I go to shows.“

Writes about:

Classical music/new music/rock/jazz/roots/world music etc. etc. “FoM

is all about breaking down borders between musical genres. All of my

posts are about live shows, you will never see an album review on

Feast Of Music. There are better classical blogs out there, and more

knowledgeable rock bloggers, but I don’t know of anyone who covers

the wide range of territory I do.”

Inspired By:

My initial inspiration was Alex Ross’ blog The Rest Is Noise (therestisnoise.com).

Alex is the classical critic for The New Yorker. Also Lucid

For The BeaT


Who Is:

Kristin Connor and Steph Lund “We’re a blog, we throw parties and produce showcases

with up-and-coming bands about four times per year, and our biggest showcase

is during CMJ. We also manage the band Hooray For Earth.”

Writes about:

Indie Rock, Electro

Inspired By:

Kristen: My friend introduced me to Sleigh Bells back in January of ’09, and I

freaked out when I heard them. I told Steph to check them out, and we were like our

friends need to KNOW about the bands we love. So we decided we were going to

throw parties for our friends featuring up-and-coming bands. Our first party was in

April 2009, featuring one of our favorites: Bad Veins.

The Best & Worst Thing about Being an

NYC Music Blogger:

Steph: The best thing is having access to tons of shows every week. Every band in the

U.S. comes through here at some point. The worst I would say is having too many shows

you want to go to in one night and not being able to see all the bands you want to see.

Their Critical Slant:

Steph: We don’t really care too much about what other blogs are covering and stick

to the stuff we love.

Kristen: Our mission isn’t to review the latest album. We write about our favorite

music and amazing shows we go to. A big part of our blog is how you can listen to

it all day everyday with our player, so we really think about what songs we post to

create an ever-changing playlist that people want to keep coming back to.

Band That everyone Should Be

Listening To right Now:

Steph: I think its important to balance the old with the new; I tend to get caught

up in “the next.” I would say, listen to Joy Division as much as you would listen to

Coma Cinema, who is one of my favorites right now.

Kristen: Hooray For Earth is a given. If you haven’t heard of them, pick up their

album immediately.

Culture (lucidculture.wordpress.com) This guy is ridiculously prolific,

and has amazing taste. For the past 3 years, he’s written a daily post

counting down the top 666 songs of all time: he’s currently at #36

(Dylan’s “Lily, Rosemary & the Jack of Hearts”).

The Best & Worst Thing about The

Nyc Music Scene right Now:

“Basically everything seems to be converging in NYC and I just want to

be here to document it all.” The Williamsburg Scene is too twee and risks



Who Is:

David Weiss and Janice Brown

Writes about:

Local music and tech news & reviews

Started a Blog Because:

David: I’ve been covering music—and especially

recording—in NYC for over ten years. I could see

the print publications I wrote for getting smaller,

and I decided that if I didn’t start my own blog

on NYC recording, I might lose my access to this

scene I love so much. I told Jan about my plan, and

she said she’d been thinking the same thing. We

launched in August, and we cover the NYC music

industry in a very comprehensive way.

Inspired By:

David: I definitely always appreciated Peter Kirn’s

CreateDigitalMusic createdigitalmusic.com. He

has excellent taste and a unique perspective on the

music industry.

Janice: JB—I check out soldout.squarespace.com

fairly regularly.

Their Critical Slant:

David: The slant of SonicScoop is to promote the

NYC music industry—to everyone already here and

to the outside world. We are reporting on success

stories and best practices from every corner of NYC

music, so not just bands but also iPad app startups,

publishers, music supervision, labels, licensing,

studios, and all-around smartypants types. We span

genres, space and time.

Fueds With other Bloggers:

David: The worst was when I got in a chainsaw

fight with two classical music bloggers in an

Astoria parking lot. We disagreed vehemently about

Mozart’s true influence on Moby. The result was like

a scene out of Scarface. Fortunately, I was found

not guilty by reason of insanity.

Band That everyone Should Be

Listening To right Now:

David: Antibalas is a great example of what an NYC

band can achieve. They are an amazing Afrobeat

group that wears their influences on their sleeve,

but they still have a reputation for experimentation

and innovation, and they built their fan base up with

patience and great musicianship. Now they’re the

band for a hugely influential Broadway musical, Fela!

That’s a notable career arc, and it’s very NYC.

Janice: The new singles show that Greenpoint’s

School of Seven Bells is totally on the rise. Their

music is advanced and totally organic at the same

time. It touches me in my special place.

extinction from feeding on itself, Bowery is a monopoly, and drink prices

are outrageous. Outside of Todd P joints there aren’t nearly enough all

ages shows here. But hey, nowhere’s perfect. Maybe Austin, TX.

Band That everyone Should Be

Listening To right Now:

For NYC, I’ll say The National, The Dessner’s have compositional aspirations

(i.e. The Long Count) which I like. And, Matt Berninger is probably

the most compelling live singer today.

the deli_18 summer 2010 the deli_19

BIg ugLY

YeLLoW CouCh


Who Is:

Carlye and Donald. “I had the world’s biggest crush on Donald back

in college and long story short, we moved to Brooklyn and started a

blog together.”

Writes about:

Bands they record on—you guesed it—their big ugly yellow couch

Started a Blog Because:

We had just started living together, I was looking for an outlet for

music blogging, Donald was interested in expanding into different

realms of photography, and smack in the middle of our railroad

apartment was this awful, hideous couch. Donald thought I was a

bit nuts when I first brought it up, but he’s used to my wacky ideas

by now so he was down to trying it. That, and it was one hell of an

excuse to clean out our savings account to buy a camera.

Inspired By:

I loved Pop Tarts Suck Toasted, so I’m pretty bummed out that it’s

now kaput. Yvynyl is the newest one I’ve added to my must-checkdaily

list, but I actually think New York Magazine has really stepped it

up with their music coverage—granted, they’re a full scale operation,

but most of the time when they post music links on their Vulture blog, I

see it there before anywhere else.

Their Critical Slant:

I want to have fun with music. It all got so serious so quickly—we

now live in a world where a single digit number and a decimal labels

a band’s quality and predetermines their career path, and I’ve gotten

to the point where I don’t want to be a “music critic.” I just want to

spread the word about music I love. And good lord, you can trust me

on bluegrass. If there’s an upright bass and a mandolin, I’m here for

the party. That, and indie pop-rock. If someone is harmonizing on the

couch, I’m done for.

on The NYC Music Scene:

There are a lot of bands out there right now that people are flipping

out over that just frankly aren’t my thing. Chillwave? Not my thing

at all. It’s hard to not be swayed by everyone else’s opinion and to

stand up for your musical taste when you’re in the minority, but we

really try our best to.

Band That everyone Should Be

Listening To right Now:

It sounds like a cop out, but truly, any band we’ve had over for a

session. Twin Sister, ARMS, North Highlands, BRAHMS, Oberhofer,

man, just everyone.



Who Is:

Alexandra Serio. “I am a 20 something with a B.S. in Neurobiology that

has eschewed medical school and is now, as my parents so artfully

put it, “blogging in Bedlam.” My father is a blues guitarist, so I was

exposed to an eclectic array of music from early childhood.”

Writes about:

Rock, pop, indie, dance

Inspired By:

Matt B. from Hardcandymusic.com (where she once guest-posted) and

also D-Listed. “Michael K speaks Generation Y-ese. He is the best pop

culture critic we have. His censorious reviews leave nothing unsaid.”

The Best Thing about Being a Music Blogger:

The best thing about blogging is the free music/performances we are

privy to. Everyone starts a music blog because they are a fan of music

STark oNLINe


Who Is:

Brothers Matt and Vince Amoroso

Matt: 23 year Caucasian white male. Enjoys thinking critically

about non-critical situations. Finding reasons to complain about

pretty much everything my brother does, fashioning prison break

tools out of household items, palmolive, doing the pigeon, and a

close shave.

Vince: M: Older, wiser, sleeveless, enjoys editing younger brother.

Writes about:

Indie rock and wearing sleeveless shirts

Started a Blog Because:

Vince: It was out of pure necessity.

Matt: Free stuff? Quest for journalistic integrity? We needed

answers to questions the internet couldn’t provide... but somehow

found them by posting stuff on the internet...?

The Best Blog in NYC:

Vince: (screamed through a rolled up copy of The Onion)

PITCHFORK!!! and thanks to everyone we missed.

Matt: Hipster Babies, Hipster Puppies

on The NYC Music Scene:

Vince: The Beets, they’re hot, they’re sweaty, and they’re horrible!

That one’s for you @popjew.

Matt: Going to jail at your own DIY parties is so hot right now.

Vince: It’s incestuous and I like that. I like to retweet other peoples

#FF so you don’t have to come up with your own.

Best & Worst Thing about Being a

Blogger In NYC:

Matt: the best thing about being a NYC blogger is The Pizza!!! (in

a southern accent)

Vince: The worst: Walking up in a cold sweat knowing you didn’t

post the news of the new No Age album the second the press

release hit your inbox.

Band That everyone Should Be

Listening To right Now:

Vince: As a blogger there is no way to answer that question.

Matt: If you want to know the answer go to www.starkmagazine.

blogspot.com. I’ll say a couple bands if you think this Deli feature

is going to get me laid. See our feature on the bassist from The

Veils after the jump.

Editors note: The Stark Brothers also provided descriptive narrative

and soundtrack for each interview question they were asked, which

had to be edited due to space but were none-the-less amusing.

so the fringe benefits of writing about artists we love for free are getting

in free and/or VIP to concerts and receiving free albums for our review.

Why The NYC Scene rocks:

The music scene in NYC is hot right now. You have California bands

like Warpaint thinking about emigrating here. It didn’t happen overnight.

Bands like Twin Sister, Freelance Whales, Bear in Heaven are

just now getting some well deserved recognition due to spotlight that

has been cast on Animal Collective and Beach House, which broke

through the cultural “indie” barrier into popular music.

her Critical Slant:

I don’t feature bands that I do not respect because at the end of the

day, what is my censorious review going to do? Are Ke$ha’s 14 year

old fans going to stop liking her because I call her a talentless hack?

Probably not, but I hope they Google the word hack.

Band That everyone Should Be

Listening To right Now:

Twin Sister, because they are next summer’s Beach House. Please

pardon the comparison; it was used to denote how big I think they are

gonna get.

The aMpeaTer revIeW


Who Is:

Ben Heller, Nate Greenberg, Gabe Birnbaum and Ben Lasman

Writes about:

Unsigned bands, in digital 7” format

Started a Blog Because:

Ben H: I’m 23 and graduated from Columbia last May with a

resolve to a.) never buy a suit b.) never write a resume and c.)

never call anyone “boss”. The first year out of school I worked at

Serious Business Records & Music. A big part of what I did was

solicit music blogs in an attempt to get some small attention for

our artists. I realized pretty quickly what worked and what didn’t,

which blogs I admired and which blogs had no soul. That whole

process played a huge role in determining the content and quality

of Ampeater.

Why The Digital 7” Format:

The concept of the digital 7-inch came from Travis at Serious

Business—I’ll admit, I stole that. In reality, it means absolutely nothing,

since it’s a digital version of an object that’s fundamentally described

by its physical form, but it struck me as a good organizing principle

for presenting music. It forced artists to really collect themselves and

think about creating something new, rather than just tossing off the

two peppiest tracks from their latest EP. We work much more closely

with artists than most music blogs.

Critical Slant:

We’re committed to writing about “unsigned and underexposed” artists,

which basically means that we have no interest in covering hyped bands.

When a submission comes in, we listen it—carefully. And many of our

submissions turn into reviews. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re a

50 year old dude with a tape recorder, an 18 year old gal with a ukulele,

or a struggling punk band from Albuquerque—it’s a level playing field.

on The NYC Music Scene:

Well, in theory New York has 1000 great bands playing at 100 great

venues every night of the week. But, when it comes down to it, it’s

really just the same 6 bands playing at the same 3 venues. It seems

like the public consciousness latches onto certain bands and elevates

them to some hipster-god status, while the 994 other bands are sitting

at home waiting for the phone to ring. People need to branch out!

Instead of waiting 3 hours to get into a DOM show at Northside, go to

the venue next door and see a band you’ve never heard of.

Band That everyone Should Be

Listening To right Now:

Miniboone. Their recordings don’t even come close to capturing

the energy of their live show. At the time I wrote, “I haven’t seen

MiniBoone live (yet), but I imagine the experience would be something

like freebasing cocaine while doing windsprints on a rollercoaster.”

I’ve never freebased cocaine while doing windsprints on a rollercoaster,

but I’ve now seen MiniBoone and they’re great.

Bands, enter The Deli Charts for free here www.thedelimagazine.com/signup !

The best organized database of artists on the net.

“Four Fires | Young Bodies”

debut 7-inch out now on

Cardboard Records

available from:

adultthemesmusic.com cardboardrecords.com

the deli_20 summer 2010 the deli_21

specials the deli’s features

Midnight Masses


What it is: Regret sounds by beach ghosts

RIYL: Black Mountain, Spiritualized, The Zombies

Moving Forward

By Erin O’Keefe / Photo by Brian Appio

Shadowy figures with drinks in hand loiter in the crevices of Le Poisson

Rouge’s basement venue. The stage draped in soft blue light is set,

still, poised. A hand-written sign that reads “Fuck Arizona” is taped to

the side of a sparkling snare. This is the end of the beginning; “the end of our

introduction,” Autry Fulbright of Midnight Masses breathes into my handheld

recorder in the back of the venue while the rest of the band sits in a half-circle

around us. It’s been about two years since Midnight Masses first officially

formed as a band and gave a name to themselves. In that initial runway time,

they’ve collaborated with and drawn inspiration from those around them (two of

the higher profile collaborators being Jason Pierce of ...And You Will Know Us

By The Trail of Dead, and Gerard Smith of TV on the Radio,) they’ve embarked

upon a couple of tours, played a successful residency at Union Pool, and released

a quite-solid EP by the name of Rapture Ready, I Gazed At The Body.

While it’s doubtful that Midnight Masses will entirely shed

the spiritual fervor, shock, and emotional release that

made Rapture Ready such a standout EP, their intentions

clearly call out for a different message—one of strength,

protest, activism.

The music that has sprung from Midnight Masses’ first two years is

spun of their own hodgepodge of threads that make up what they

call “Gospel Gothic Soul.” It’s moody, ruckus, poetic, sensual, serene,

intense, and possibly above all, soulful. Genres are all but meaningless,

here. In songs like ‘Preacher’s Son’ and ‘Desperate Man,’ there

is a release of grief; facing the inevitability of death and the powerless

fury of a man that must remain. These songs and their very concept

are largely therapeutic. While coming to terms with personal grief may

have been partly responsible for igniting the band’s conception, that is

decidedly part of their past.

Now, Midnight Masses look to the future. They are departing from

the mourning of Rapture Ready and shifting their focus to overcoming

a different, broader type of loss; “There’s a time to be sad, a time

to lament...but now it’s time to stand up,” Autry explains, “It’s time

to move forward. This band is all about the actions—not just laying

down.” He rambles off a few names like Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday,

Guthrie, Dylan who “wrote about the ‘little deaths’ that happen every

day, the losses of personal freedoms.” Their songs moving forward

will take a different tone; giving a firm, unapologetic voice to the most

pressing worldly matters. By singing “what people should hear or need

to hear—not necessarily what they think they want to hear,” Autry

alludes. They are fighting for life, for quality of life. Racial profiling, tyrannous

immigration laws, and corporate negligence are the first moratoriums

on the docket. “We can sing and hold onto the things that

keep us alive,” Autry adds. While it’s doubtful that Midnight Masses

will entirely shed the spiritual fervor, shock, and emotional release that

made Rapture Ready such a standout EP, their intentions clearly call

out for a different message—one of strength, protest, activism. Folk

singers did it, pop musicians did it, hard rock artists did it, and now

Midnight Masses plan to carry the protest torch in a new direction.

We speak of the very first forms of communication, of primal rhythms,

of music’s purpose. We speak of touring and the hilarity of an aftershow

squabble in Seattle between two young gentlemen regarding

whether Midnight Masses “sucked” or not (the band themselves

stepped in to agree with the former.) When asked about inspirations,

Autry claims that all sorts of stylistic influences find their way in;

“Literary, cinematic influences. Baudelaire. David Lynch,” but the most

prevalent of those come from within; “We all influence each other,” he

adds to the band’s mutual agreement. While Autry says he’s a huge

fan of Nick Cave, Jason Pierce, and company, Midnight Masses are

Artist Equipment Check!!!


Holy Grail Plus

Boss DD-3

Digital Delay

Autry: “Reverb and delay pedals like

Boss DD-3, Electro Harmonix Holy Grail

and Line 6 Looper have constantly been

essential to make our ghostly, cavernous

sounds. They’re used on all of our

instruments and microphones. We even

put delay and reverb on our shots of


working on saying goodbye to their mentors and to their past. Their

plan is to cut their own path into unchartered territory, and they intend

to do it alone. When it comes to songwriting, lines get fuzzy when trying

to pinpoint the birth of a song. Most, if not all of their creations are

borne from reacting to each other—embracing the collaborative aspect

of composing. “We all have different ways of creating,” Autry explains.

For him, it starts with a concept, then a deconstruction of the idea, and

finally the band as a whole will break the idea into pieces and contribute

until it eventually turns into a finished song. “We are all mutually

compelled to create. [Midnight Masses is] a constant work in progress.”

Referring to his colleagues sitting around us, Autry tells me that, “This

band has always been with me. From the beginning—” that the group

here is “what Midnight Masses is.” Eric Rodgers (lead guitar,) Destiny

Montague (rhythm guitar, vocals,) Miyiuki Furtado (drums,) Daniel

Wood (bass,) and Autry Fulbright (lead vocals, solo snare) were all

friends before they ever started making music together. Autry made

makes mention of the group being there for him during difficult times.

These are the core members,” he says, there is no leader and “no

one could really be kicked out—we’re all founders.”

With all of the church choir moments (vocal harmonies recorded with

chamberesque delays) and with song titles like “Heaven” and “Walk

on Water,” Autry insists; “The only spiritual thing I adhere to is the

power of art.” When Midnight Masses make music, that is church—

that is their sanctuary. A quote from Midnight Masses’ bio comes to

mind; a quote that refers to their ability “to make songs about death

sound unmistakably alive.” We speak of immortality in song. “Art does

immortalize people,” Autry thinks with agreement from Miyuki. But

immortality is not Midnight Masses’ objective; their main concern is

making an impact on right now and the immediate future.

Voices by the bar have multiplied, time has passed, and Midnight

Masses graciously file out to prepare for their set. They play to a room

of 50-60: an attentive crowd. Their first song starts sparsely, grows with

intensity, and peaks as Autry abandons his mic and strikes a single

snare in the middle of the stage that had been laying in wait with a pool

of water across the head—explosive in that lighting. Several songs later,

the room’s focus shifts to Eric, standing face to face with his stacks,

lost in some Johnny Greenwood-style guit-to-amp technical interplay.

Much like Midnight Masses’ first two years, their show is a quiet success.

From here on out, I suspect that things will start to get loud.

Midnight Masses

Rapture Ready, I Gazed At The Body - EP

01. Walk On Water

02. Preacher’s Son

03. Desperate Man

04. Do You Believe In Rapture

05. Invocation Song

the deli_22 summer 2010 the deli_23

the snacks the deli’s CD reviews

The Jaguar Club

And We Wake

Up Slowly

I dig this band. I dig

how Will Popadic’s

voice trembles with

fervor. His voice is like

a new breed of Ian

Curtis, passionate and mature. I still can’t get

over “Out of the City” from the album Ceci n’est

pas le Club de Jaguar (a nice homage to René

Magritte), which I listened to over 20 times in one

day. Popadic’s yummy voice mixed with the surfesque

guitar sounds—The Jaguar Club definitely

have a Beach Boys quality about them—featured

in the most recent album is equally delightful.

Listening to the record is like receiving a first

kiss; it creates excitement and evokes a hyper

nature that only the truly musically talented are

capable of creating in a four-minute song.


-Chloe Schildhause


Inter Arbiter

There’s an essence

within the Inlets’ music

that is simultaneously

both familiar and

totally foreign. Inlets

might initially come off

sounding like some sort of strange, offbeat folk

group, but it quickly becomes apparent that they

are actually much more. And what exactly are

they? Well, that impossible-to-answer question

is what makes Sebastian Krueger’s music so

great. The reoccurring roles of various wind and

string instruments, along with intimate and slow

choir-surf hybrid harmonies, create a controlled

trippiness that haunts and soothes the soul.

This stratified sound comes together in perfect

unison, distinct and reassuringly chilling, each

note swimming forward with effortless fluidity.

This music cannot easily be categorized. Inlets’

songs sound like lost tracks from the Beach

Boys’ Smile album. Now try labeling that.


-Paul Dunn

Elastic No-No Band

Fuster Cluck!!!

Justin Remer and his

Elastic No-No Band

could be considered

a little bit like the NYC

antifolk scene’s own

Frank Zappa and

the Mothers of Invention, for the unstoppable

productivity, for the cluttered arrangements, for

flirting with absurdity and ridiculousness, for an

uncontrollable urge to mix up the genres, and even

for the preference for what we will call graphics

with some sort of “expressionist” vibe to them.

Of course, you’ll find a lot more folk, country,

rockabilly and silly jokes (and no jamming at all) in

the Elastic No-No Band’s latest double CD entitled

Fustercluck!!!—an effort that succeeds once again

in being funnier than Bright Eyes (this has been the

band’s mission since 2004). The punk element that

theoretically should belong to any antifolk artist—

but doesn’t in a majority of cases—is replaced

in the Elastic No-No Band’s music by a “Weenesque”

repulsion for the idea of seriously conveying

feelings through music. Now that’s definitely

something that goes against folk music’s clichés.


-Paolo De Gregorio

Drew & The

Medicinal Pen

Dream, Dream,

Fail, Repeat

Drew & the Medicinal

Pen sound like

they belong on the

soundtrack to a movie

like Juno. Drew’s sound is of the strippeddown,

sing-along kind—witty and honest. The

recordings sound somewhat sloppy, like it all took

place in a musky, old basement, but it is exactly

this rawness that gives the songs both their

charm and sincerity reminiscent of Pinkertonera

Weezer. The opening track from Dream,

Dream, Fail, Repeat provides the first hint of an

ongoing theme; catchy and charming melodies

set beneath lyrics expressing real and often

difficult emotions, unanswerable life questions

and a search for purpose. He accomplishes this

expression not only through this juxtaposition

of pop sensibilities and depth, but also through

surrealistic imagery. The accompaniments are

sparse and primitive, some whistling, clapping

and keyboard effects, but they are often the most

infectious and driving forces of the songs. It’s

bare and it’s genuine: Drew & the Medicinal Pen

accomplish more with those two adjectives than

most others can with their popular opposites

(e.g., overproduction and bullshit, respectively).


-Paul Dunn

Roadside Graves

You Won’t Be

Happy With Me

New Jersey’s Roadside

Graves weave folk

rock, country and a

little of that “Jersey

Shore sound”

(Motown-influenced rock ‘n’ roll, not the club

beats heard on a certain NJ-based reality show)

into sprawling, melodic and memorable songs.

The band has been together for several years

and earned praise for its previous albums and

its most recent EP, You Won’t Be Happy With

Me, marks the first time all eight band members

have written the music together. The result is a

collection of pastoral songs that complement

each other perfectly and are never lacking in

melody, sharp guitar licks, creative percussion

and poignant lyrics. From the grandiose vocal

harmonies and sweeping piano on “Everything”

to the polyrhythmic drums and raw vocals on

“Demons,” Roadside Graves have crafted yet

another solid album and one that speaks to the

benefits of collaboration. The centerpiece of the

record, the seven-minute “Liv Tyler,” is the definite

standout, building from atmospheric folk to an

explosive and anthemic working-class sing-along

NYC bands, have you entered your name in our

local self updating charts organized by genre here?


If not, you can do so here thedelimagazine.com/signup.

(“If we didn’t have to worry ‘bout money we’d

be alright”) that the Boss would be proud of.


-Bill Dvorak

Baby Alpaca

True Heart

Baby Alpaca arrive as

yet another Brooklynbased

band attempting

to make some kind of

a mark on the musical

landscape. They are

introduced by way of their first single “Vodka

Lemonade.” “Let’s live our Marilyn dreams and

dance away” and “waste away in the sun” is how

the lyrics go. The vocals are deep and reverbed,

and the overall feel is lazy, lolling, relaxed and

hazy. Musically, there is a 1950s feel present,

but by way of David Lynch’s filter. It has a postpunk,

psychedelic, folk and crooner feel to it

as well; like a male Nicole Atkins who’s chosen

to sit on the sidelines and watch the world drift

by in front of them. “This was our dream, but it

didn’t mean a thing ‘cause now you’re gone”

is the cause to become “sunken in the vodka

lemonade.” Heartbreak can do that to you. “True

Heart” continues the slow crooning aspects, and

again, one wouldn’t be off-base thinking of Ms.

Atkins and the more eerily side of her catalogue

(“Neptune City” and “The Way It Is”). Vocalist Chris

Kittrell modifies this style somewhat on “Driving

to See You Again,” which wouldn’t be out of place

on a Cowboy Junkies album. The instrumental

accompaniment, mostly consisting of a

tambourine, single drum thump, mysterious organ

line and a zither-like device, is understated and

sparse. It all adds up to something quite unique.


-Dave Cromwell

Care Bears on Fire

Get Over It!

Get Over It! is an

incredibly impressive

album coming from three

Brooklyn girls who aren’t

even old enough to drive.

Sophie, the 15-year- old

lead singer, rocks out with heartbreaking attitude

and age-appropriate lyrics; she is accompanied by

14-year-old drummer Izzy and 16-year-old bassist

Jena, who both keep a rocking beat, and they are

most likely dancing around the stage in white Chuck

Taylors. Their punkish music is relatable for jaded

pre-teens, singing along in the back of a minivan

on the way to soccer practice. Reminiscent of The

Muffs, best known for their hit “Kids in America”

on the Clueless soundtrack, Care Bears on Fire

embrace the punk spirit and humor of early ‘90s

girl rock. Songs like “Gym Class Haze” and “Met

You on MySpace” are rhythmically abrasive but

contain hilarious lyrics like “hey tights aren’t pants”

and “said you were 12, but you’re really 300.” The

best track on the album is “Heart’s Not There,”

which includes smooth, building tempos and the

catchy chorus “can’t use me if my heart’s not

there.” The name Care Bears on Fire says it all.


-Courtney Boyd Myers

the deli’s


The Press


The Press fits into a

few different spots.

They’ve got this subtle

and folky warmth,

a kind of cohesive

thrash, a straightforward

upbeat dance groove and an in-yourface

weirdness. They can touch on Primus and

Grizzly Bear and The Stones and Saves the

Day all at once or completely disparately. The

half-sung snarl reminds one of Daryl Palumbo or

the more aggressive side of Isaac Brock—that

is, until they make one of those hard turns and

a feather-soft croon whomps you in the face

with all the power of a slumber party pillow

fight; it’s a good-natured kind of pain. The

Brooklyn quartet is worth checking out, if only

for its impressive collection of influences.


-Dale W. Eisinger



The EP from Brooklyn’s

own ARMS is

another FTW from

the “nu-gaze” wave.

It is an album as

sophisticated as

Sufjan Stevens and as spirited as Sonic Youth.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Todd Goldstein

began writing music under the name ARMS

in 2004. After releasing a solo album Kids

Aflame in 2008, Goldstein recruited Tlacael

Esparza to play drums and Matty Fasano to

play bass and sing along under the same

name. The trio’s new EP is made up of five

refreshing, romantic tracks filled with droning

rifts, introspective lyrics and echoing vocals

that will be a part of its upcoming full-length

album tentatively called Summer Skills. The

lovely lo-fi songs are non-confrontational

but holistically downbeat; they’re the kind of

complex and inspiring tunes you’d want to play

in your room on a rainy day, when you’re tired

of listening to the Donnie Darko soundtrack.

Download the EP for free on the band’s website

and turn the volume up on “Heat & Hot Water.”


-Courtney Boyd Myers



Buzzworthy Brooklyn

metal troupe Wizardry

proudly recreates the

barbaric pomp and

circumstance of the

pre-hair metal ‘80s

era on its crunchy yet ominous eponymous

seven-track affair. Wizardry’s well-versed

sinister stew packs an authentic punch. The

band’s throwback fur and makeup exterior add

a fitting texture to their music, yet easily could

be mistaken as some sort of hipster irony by

the uninformed. Those in the know, however,

will totally appreciate this unit’s stark attention

pop rock loud rock folk psych rock melody/soft electronic noise dance lo-fi/DIY ambient other hip hop prime good!


nyc music

to metallic musical detail and comprehensive

understanding on how to create a properly

foreboding atmosphere necessary to pull this

specific strand heavy music off correctly; a

task Wizardry nails with murky instrumental

interludes and oodles of histrionic effects on

the guitars and vocals. The songs are adorned

with flurries of formidable guitar work with

murderous virtuoso solos and a versatile

rhythm section, whose boisterous presence

and granite-solid chops keep the doom oozing

and the thrash galloping. Wizardry’s level of

camp never surpasses its sensational musical

acumen, making its quest for the metal grail

one every self-respecting metal fan can enjoy.


-Mike SOS

Sad Red


They might be called

Sad Red, but they

definitely have a

thing for blue—and

math. This Brooklynbased

quintet plays

some kind of “avant-math-emo” rock, whose

blue, melancholy atmospheres match the

dominant color of its debut album cover. The

rhythmic interplay between drums, guitars

and keyboards recalls at times King Crimson’s

madly intricate interwoven patterns, while the

overall atmosphere of Sad Red’s sound is

alternatively not too distant from Radiohead’s

moody existentialism and Soundgarden’s

indie blues (there’s that color again). Other

more relaxed tunes showcase an impeccable

gusto for consuming songs that build in

intensity and are not afraid to indulge in

controlled guitar solos—like people used

to do in the good old days, remember?


-Paolo De Gregorio

Deadbeat Darling

Weight of Wandering

Deadbeat Darling‘s

Weight of Wandering

mesmerizes listeners

with gentle reggae

waves, sprinkles of

exotic modulation,

a dab of dub and tinges of electronica,

inventively produced by Joseph King (lead

vocals/guitar), Mohit Bhansali (guitar/back

vocals), Sanjay Jain (bass) and Alex Wong

(drums on album). Fusing an enchanting

instrumentation with King’s soaring, soothing

and shining vocals that attend to every

nuance and touch every emotion, the Brooklyn

quartet creates a “zen rock” experience on its

ten-track album. Deadbeat Darling bestows

upon fans an uplifting but yearning “All These

Beautiful Days (Are Wasted on Me),” a sultry

and hypnotizing “Pretty Faces,” an ethereal

and romantic “St. Christopher Candles,” a

melodious and orchestral “Without a Trace,”

an angst-ridden and airy “This Paranoia

Won’t Subside” and a poignant and peaceful

“Picture Perfect World.” All the aforementioned

songs highlight the band’s idyllic harmonies.

Weight of Wandering is heavy with poeticism

that is matched by substantial musicality.


-Meijin Bruttomesso

Geezer on Diesel


Geezer on Diesel is

a band featuring two

NYC scenemakers

who work in the

shadow: producer

Paul Mahajan (guitar)

known for recording TV on the Radio and

Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Sam Taylor (baritone

guitar) who’s been providing guitar gear to

the Williamsburg’s community of musicians

through his store Southside Guitars. The band

plays a grainy brand of snare-less dark and

droney—but not necessarily psych—indie rock

reminiscent of a less dreamy Jesus and Mary

Chain and a more controlled Dead Meadow.


-Paolo De Gregorio


The Buffalo

Still Roam

With its gentle lo-fi

waltzes and sparse

crooner-less country

ballads, Brooklyn’s

own Backwords

is bringing back optimistic atmospheres

reminiscent of Camper Van Beethoven’s

unforgettable record Our Beloved Revolutionary

Sweetheart—minus that band’s legendary violin

of course. “Shots in the Dark” in particular—with

its lack of pretension, pleasant crooked melody

and lyrics about friendship—is a song that has

the rare power to keep you company. Look out

for the upcoming album, Quilt, out in September.


-Paolo De Gregorio

World Atlas


After a cursory listen,

World Atlas’ self-titled

EP may cause listeners

to exclaim, “Holy Belle

& Sebastian!” It is

irrefutable that singer/

guitarist Brian Groux’s voice has an uncanny

resemblance to Stuart Murdoch’s careful, sweet

croon and the female vocals are comparable to

Isobel Campbell’s breathy, fey whisper. But after

a closer listen, World Atlas isn’t a glorified Belle

& Sebastian tribute band; if they’re anything,

they’re a good pop band. It only takes a few

seconds to get lost in the swirl of delightful

melodies and charming, innocent lyrics, and

by the second listen, listeners will be humming

and swaying along to the catchy songs. Fans of

orchestral pop, meet your new favorite band.


-Nancy Chow

the deli_24 summer 2010 the deli_25

kitchen a local studio

In the last few years

the “home recording

revolution” has drastically

changed the way records

are made, making life for

professional recording

facilities even harder than

before. However, running

successfully a recording

studio is not an impossible

task these days, as the guys

at Grand Street Recording


com) can demonstrate.

We had a chat with the

studio’s owner Ken Rich—

who is also an established

producer and engineer.

Ken, what’s good and what’s not so good

about this new scenario?

What’s good is that artists have an outlet

for their music and fans can find any type of

music that appeals to them. It encourages

music fans to find new music instead of

being force-fed whatever’s on pop radio.

This is good for musicians because, although

budgets are decreased and there aren’t huge

record deal advances anymore, artists are

forced to be more resourceful and make the

music they want to make on their own terms.

What’s unfortunate about the change in

the music business is that fans have grown

accustomed to not paying for music. I think

that it hurts artists to not be able to generate

revenue from the actual selling of their music.

What’s the percentage of musicians who

come to your studio with a vision and want

you to do what they say versus the ones

who come with just songs and trust your

production skills?

I think that largely people come to Grand

Street Recording with a vision already in mind,

but trust us enough to want some guidance

or direction. In any recording process, there

are thousands of decisions that get made,

all of which constitute the final recording. It

is impossible for one person to control every

aspect of the process, so I think bands tend to

place themselves in situations where they can

trust the people capturing their sound.

What’s the most challenging part of working

with musicians who are “in charge”?

I think that egos in the studio can be

challenging. We try to let music be the

Grand Street


Interview with Ken Rich

in a Williamsburg Recording Studio

By Paolo De Gregorio

boss rather than someone’s overbearing

personality. If a person is full of ideas

and inspiration, that’s wonderful and not

challenging at all, but if that person is belittling

their band members or not appreciative of

our equipment, engineers, or capabilities, I

guess that could be difficult. It doesn’t tend to

happen here often. Usually, by the time bands

arrive at the studio they’re excited to be here

and are very respectful of the space and of us

as engineers and producers.

Do you think the DIY records released

these days could benefit from the filter of

one or two pairs of “professional” ears in

the mixing and mastering department?

It really depends on the artist. There are some

lo-fi records that are very appealing and I’m

not sure that they would improve much by

being polished, but by the same token, I

would say that without exception, the records

that come through our studio end up in a

much better place than when they came in.

What makes a great engineer and what

makes a great producer?

The great engineers I’ve worked with have

vast resources and experience with many

types of gear. They have aesthetic intuition

and the technical abilities and can capture

exceptional sounds in a variety of situations

and with a wide range of artists. The ability to

get great sounds and to stay out of the way of

the musicians’ creative process is an asset to

any recording session.

I think that to regard someone as a great

producer probably requires a retrospective

view of the records they’ve made since the

approach to producing albums can be so

varied. No matter how you slice it, record

production is a complex process. I think

the great ones seem to be able to adapt to

working with a wide variety of artists and

consistently bring out their best, and as a

result their albums stand the test of time.

And what makes a band one that’s a

pleasure to work with?

I really enjoy working with bands that care and

are emotionally invested in their music. Do

they care about their tone, drum and amplifier

choices, arrangements, and most importantly,

their performance? I think that when bands

are nonchalant, more concerned with their

image than the music they’re making, or sort

of overly confident about what they do, it’s

less appealing for me to work with them. I like

to see the inward struggle that musicians go

through. It is a difficult, but beautiful and most

rewarding, part of the process.



Lucinda Black Bear, Botanica,

The Compulsions, Tracy Bonham,

Joseph Arthur, Julia Darling,

Jonatha Brook, Morley.

the deli_26 summer 2010 the deli_27

kitchen recording equipment news

Easy & Powerful New DAW: PreSonus Studio One By Greg Hoy


Studio One Artist

Every now and again, a product sneaks up on the audio public in a way

that makes discovering its graces all the more significant. Studio One

Pro from PreSonus is one such product. A virtual powerhouse audio

editor, Studio One Pro delivers and outshines its competition by leaps

and bounds while remaining intuitive, simple and affordable.

The timing for this review couldn’t be better. I’d cut all the basic

instrumental tracks for my latest record to tape, so without reading or

investigation, I installed Studio One Pro with its FireStudio Mobile interface

to dump the tracks into hard disc for vocals, overdubs, mixing and

mastering. If the DAW wasn’t up to snuff after a day or two, I assumed

I could go back to my former well known but frustrating ProTools

interface and audio program. Though a version of the software, Studio

One Artist, comes with the FireStudio, I am using Studio One Pro for

this review. This version allows VST, Audio Units, and ReWire, as well

as video sync and mastering capabilities not found in the Studio One

Artist version.

My experience with audio software is formative, starting in 1997 with

Cool Edit, and marching through every well-known brand since, and

as much as I’m not a Digidesign fan, its simplicity held my loyalty. My

philosophy is to record quickly and simply, and, unable to grasp Logic

and not impressed with Cubase, I’ve yearned for something better.

Enter Studio One. With an impressive one-screen all encompassing

screen, recording and mixing has never been so easy. After getting the

tracks off the tape machine, I began testing out the FireStudio’s mic

pres direct. The sound was stellar. Adding a vocal line, I began working

FireStudio Mobile

with Studio One Pro’s drag and drop (!) compressor and effects plugins.

Needless to say they did not disappoint. Even as I overdubbed and

mixed at the same time, there was no latency until deep in the mixing

process, and to the program’s credit, I was running some very heavy

third party plugs. Even the opening screen of the program is cool, featuring

an RSS feed about updates and other news, as well as a simple

template interface for creating a song or project.

This DAW-interface combo is also fully MIDI-grated (once again, not my

thing) and includes some powerful instruments and loops that are accessed

easily on the main screen. Recent version upgrades include full

video integration. As for the built-in effects, the EQs and compressors

sound very good and transparent, and even the Ampire distortion plugs

made my mic’d up tube amp parts shine a bit more.

The program even inspired a new workflow as the recording progressed.

Its built-in mastering set-up allowed me to mix AND master

my tracks at the same time. Granted, I utilized third party plugs with

which I’m familiar to finish off my mixes, but even the mastering plugins

inherent in the DAW sounded great. Particularly impressive were the

suggested mix chains for vocals and drums, a batch of plugs specifically

designed to be dragged and dropped on whatever bus channels

are apropos.

Overall, Studio One Pro is a tremendous leap in intuitive simplicity and

transparent sound from an unexpected place. I’ll be keeping my ProTools

rig just for other clients. From here on out, Studio One is my main

creative tool for accurate and great sounding tracks. Bravo, PreSonus!

Check out the deli’s

audio equipment blog!

Pigtronix Aria Disnortion and Philosopher’s Tone By Ben Wigler


Philosopher’s Tone



It serves as a creamy

grit injector and a long

endless sustainer.


Aria Distortion

With 3-band EQ,

it gives a huge

range of versatility

from singing to


thrash metal.

Genuine innovation in the guitar gear scene is very hard to

achieve, and even harder to make tradition-worshiping purists

care about. Pigtronix is a company that has handily taken on

every builder in its class, offering products whose forward

thinking design are simply not found elsewhere.

I put their budget conscious Aria Disnortion overdrive +3

band EQ, and the Philosopher’s Tone compression/sustain

synthesizer pedals to the test. Both pedals’ manuals describe

the philosophy behind the devices, providing starting point settings

which are quite useful. In addition, the pedals are housed

in incredibly attractive casings and feature 5 knobs and very

bright colored LED indicators.

The overall tonality of the Aria Disnortion is much smoother and

more musical than other pedals in its league—and its 3 band

EQ gives it a huge range of versatility from singing, creamy violin

distortion to classic shattered-palms thrash metal to Overloading

Cyborg Elephant. I particularly loved goosing the slightly overdriven

channel on my Rivera. The Philosopher’s Tone is a remarkable

device that can serve as a creamy grit injector, a compressor,

or for its most renown purpose… adding endless sustain to

any dirty or clean note or chord. The only time the notes cut off

was when I was sick of holding the fret… put simply, the Philosopher’s

Tone works as advertised… true endless sustain.

the deli_28 summer 2010 the deli_29

Voodoo Lab Wahzoo

By John Quigley



This equipment review section is brought to you by:

Voodoo Lab advertises the Wahzoo as

The most versatile wah ever,” and it

actually lives up to the hype. Top the

functionality with stunning sound, rocksolid

construction, and a host of special

details (unique bypass, internal trim pot,

external switching capabilities) and it’s

no wonder we fell in love.

The Wahzoo features three distinctive

modes; Vintage, Auto Wah, and Step

Wah, plus external Tap Tempo and

Mode switching features.

The Vintage mode offers your traditional

wah sound, which strives to attain that

legendary Clyde McCoy tone. The Auto

Wah is also voiced like a traditional

wah, but this mode transforms the

Wahzoo into a foot-free pedal with the

wah effect controlled by how hard or soft you pick. Finally, the Wahzoo features a

Step Wah mode, which allows you to create automatic rhythmic patterns by simply

manipulating the treadle to different positions.

Connecting an external TRS cable and a dual footswitch (The Boss FS-6 is one example)

you can access the pedal’s tap mode and mode switching capabilities. Tap Tempo

is perfect for syncing your patterns to the tempo of a song, and mode switching allows

you to choose via footswitch the pedal’s three distinct Wah modes.

None of these great features amount to a hill of beans unless the pedal sounds good,

and this pedal sounds fantastic. With a street price of roughly $280, the Wahzoo is only

marginally more expensive than some boutique wah pedals on the market. Considering

the fact that you are really getting three pedals in one, and even just the traditional

wah mode is among the best we’ve ever heard, you really can’t go wrong.

Best Service Galaxy Vintage Steinway D

By Jason Buchwald



Best Service Galaxy Vintage Steinway D is a winner. From the stellar

piano used as the source to the recording of the samples to the new

playback engine (Kontact Player 4), meticulous detail has been paid

to getting a great piano sound, which will fool your grade school piano

teacher when they hear your next recording. While there are great outof-the-box

presets, there is also a great deal of control for tweaking the

sound and expressiveness to suit your style.

Based on samples of Bauer Studios’ famous 1920 Steinway D. concert

grand, Galaxy Vintage D is available in VST, AU, RTAS, and standalone

modes. Of the many features, we’ll mention the over 2000 samples in

the deli_30 summer 2010





Electro-Voice PL80a

By Scott Kahn





A dynamic microphone designed for live

performance use, the Electro-Voice PL80a

is a fantastic sounding mic that delivers

world-class performance at a price that every

musician can afford.

The PL80a has a bright top end that let

vocals cut through mixes beautifully, and its

output is extremely hot, making it easy to

get strong signal levels without pushing your

PA system to the edge of feedback. This is

mostly due to the fact that its super-cardioid

polar pattern creates a narrower “sweet spot”

for the mic, and because of this the PL80a

does a great job of rejecting off-axis sound.

The frequency response of the PL80a is

quite a bit different than the familiar SM-58,

and this contributes greatly to the sonic

difference. Low-end response ends 30dB

higher in the PL80a (at 80Hz), and our

vocalists in the baritone range appreciated

that there was slightly less boominess or

lack of clarity in the low end of their vocals.

On the high end of the frequency response,

the PL80a had more “air” and overall brilliance

to the tone.

The Electro-Voice PL80a is one of the best sounding dynamic

vocal mics we’ve had the pleasure of singing through, and it is

well suited to a wide range of vocalists in any genre that calls

for crystal clear vocals. At little more than $100 street price

(MSRP $247.50), this is a small investment that could make a

big difference.

24Bit (10GB/5GB with sample compression), chromatic and multiple

velocity resonance and release samples, multi-velocity pedal, damper,

hammer and string noises, real una corda samples, real overtones, adjustable

pedal, hammer, damper and string noises, convolution reverb with

many presets, and Warp Engine for sound design beyond regular piano

sounds. There are also seventeen (!) tuning choices, including stretch,

Bach, Pythagorean, and Rameau, to name a few.

There are a number of pre-made setups that are quite useful even without

any tweaking. Of course everything is editable. From traditional concert

grands, to jazz pianos, to layered piano sounds bordering on soft-synth,

there’s a little something for everyone to get started. This product is not only

about the sampled piano—it is also about the implementation. Kontakt 4

includes settings for routing, tuning, metronome, inserts, and effects. A nice

touch was the velocity editor, which includes not only presets but also a

graphical editor to draw our own velocity curve. This enabled us to fine tune

the response of the piano to our playing style. There is also a voice management

selector, which may help those with older computers to conserve

processing power, but using a dual quad-core 2.8 Ghz Apple Macintosh Pro

with 4 GB memory, we heard absolutely no pops or sound dropouts.

Many software pianos don’t do well across all registers, but we loved

Vintage D from top to bottom. At $149, given the sonic quality, editability,

and ease of use, this is a good buy.

Read more equipment reviews at www.musicplayers.com/reviews

the deli's Pedal Board

Pro Source Audio

Soundblox Pro

• This pedal can distort a signal with

either multi-band processing, which

gives a clear distortion with sturdy

attack and great note articulation, or

classic single band processing.

• Normal”, “foldback,” and “octave”

distortion modes, and a 12db band

graphic equalizer allow for a wide

palette of possibilities, from traditional

to synth like distortions.

• Stores up to 6 presets + allows

Sound Morphing between 2 presets .

• Pro version includes a MIDI input for

external control, and can be control

via a wireless motion “Hot Hand.”

the deli's Plug-in inserts

reFX Nexus 2

• Powerful creator of marvellous contemporary

electronic sounds and effects - geared

towards dance/trance musicians.

• Filters sound great and arpeggiator is easy to


• Very user friendly interface notwithstanding

the complexity of the features available.

• Easy to work with layered sounds - adding/

subtracting/modifying layers.


Black Label


• Stereo Chorus that shines

when adding texture to

clean parts or with distortion

leads, widening and

fattening the tone.

• Great sound with a vintage

flavor, whether used subtly

or heavy-handedly.

• High and Low EQ controls,

normally not present in

chorus pedals, make it

extremely tonally flexible.

Focusrite Scarlett Suite

if you are interested in reviewing pedals

and plug-ins for The Deli and

Delicious Audio, please contact


• At $99, it’s hard to get any suite of basic audio plug ins for mixing that sound this good.

• Includes 4 processors: gate, EQ (pictured), reverb and compressor.

• Reminiscent of Focusrite’s ISA and Red Series hardware.

• Great value for a startup mixing engineer!

Arturia Analog Factory

DigiTech JamMan

• Tons of space to store your

mono and stereo loops/sequences,

in particular if you

purchase the optional SDHC

card (over 16 hours).

• 4 different footswitches allow

great flexibility when switching

samples or effects during a


• All samples can be transferred

from your computer via USB

with the help of dedicated

software (Loop Librarian).

• Input for guitar and vocals

(XLR input on the back).

• A slew of convincing vintage, analog-style

sounds one click away.

• Uncluttered user interface, thought out for the

performer rather than the programmer.

• Presets can be filtered by Instrument, Type,

and Characteristics.

• Virtual knobs can be easily assigned to external

controller through MIDI Learn function.

• Great, classic sounding analog lead, bass,

and pads sounds.

Tech 21 NYC

Red Ripper

• All-analog bass distortion

with aggressive tones and

vintage filter-style effects,

The R.I.P. knob, in conjunction

with the drive, can

create a range of tones from

vintage fuzz to Moog-style

synth tone

• Active three-band EQ delivers

quality tone shaping,

the added Low Pass Filter

switch compensates for

full-range bass systems

equipped with tweeters.

Artificial Audio Quartz

• Multi-effect plug-in that turns the simplest

sounds into ever evolving rhythmic soundscapes.

• Programmable modulation pattern can also

control parameters outside of Quartz such

as software instruments.

• Features 4 unique Modulation Lines (up to

200 points), 2 independent Multimode Filters,

4 independent, tempo-syncable LFOs

+ other effects.

gran street


A musician-owned and operated

recording studio in

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

Neve, API, Calrec, AKG,

Neumann, RCA, and many vintage

instruments and amps

718.360.9355 | grandstreetrecording.com

the deli_32 summer 2010 the deli_33

kitchen best selling gear

condenser mIcs

m-audio solaris -$350

behringer b-1 -$125

studio projects c1 -$350

blue b2 -$900

rode nt1a -$250

mxl 3000 -$190

delay pedal

electro harmonix

memory man -$250

eventide timefactor -$499

boss dd-3 -$150

ibanez de7 -$115

vox time machine -$270

line 6 dl4 -$325


studIo monItors

m-audio studiophile -$199

krk rokit powered -$199

adam audio a5 -$399

yamaha hs80m -$399

behringer truth b1030a -$150

mackie mr5 -$250


ableton live -$600

sonar 8 cakewalk -$250

propellerhead record+reason -$450

steinberg cubase -$550

avid pro tools -from $299

presonus studio one -$450

sIngle/dual mIc preamps

art pro -$250

focusrite isa one -$600

golden age project pre-73 -$350

blue robbie -$850

m-audio dmp3 -$199

studio projects vtb-1 -$199

the deli_34 summer 2010

Instrument plug Ins

native instruments komplete -$169

spectrasonics omnisphere -$499

ik multimedia sampletank xl -$399

arturia vintage collection -$599

toontrack dfh ez drummer -$179

fxpansion d-cam synth squad -$350

Check out the deli’s audio equipment blog! www.delicious-audio.com


keyboard controllers

m-audio axiom 25 -$199

akai mpk25 -$299

novation 25 sl mkii -$450

m-audio oxygen 25 -$150

behringer u-control uma25s -$175

cakewalk a-300pro -$350

dIstortIon pedals

fulltone ocd -$175

ibanez tube screamer -$125

pro co rat -$125

boss ds-1 -$75

blackstar ht-dual -$275

electro harmonix big muff -$100

8+ Ins audIo Interface

m-audio fast track ultra -$350

rme fireface 800 -$1,750

presonus fp10 -$550

motu 8pre -$599

focusrite saffire pro -$550

tascam us1641 -$450

effect plug Ins

ik multimedia amplitube 3 -$399

antares avox -$499

softube bass amp -$199

waves api collection -$750

focusrite scarlett -$99

sonnox oxford dynamics -$350

*Prices may vary


© 2010 Shure Incorporated

Shure headphones

and USB mics

sound amazing,

great to have on

the road with us.


Sound Travels.

Even on the tour bus, the French rock band Phoenix fi nds time to

create and capture ideas for their next hit. And they do it all with Shure

Professional Headphones and PG USB Microphones. With excellent

sound quality and seamless plug-and-play connectivity, Shure makes

it easy to create your next masterpiece -- wherever you are. Check out


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