CMJ 2012 Issue! - The Deli

CMJ 2012 Issue! - The Deli

CMJ 2012 Issue! - The Deli


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the deli

the magazine about emerging nyc bands

FREE in NYC Issue #32 Volume #2 Fall 2012

$2 in the USA www.thedelimagazine.com

Young Magic Wildlife Control Blonds Il Abanico

Cuddle Magic EndAnd the last royals Railbird

The Everymen you bred raptors? Plume Giant

Laura Stevenson & the cans Anya Skidan New Myths

Modern Rivals Mal Blum Eytan & The Embassy

CMJ 2012 Issue!


Live at Pianos 10.19.2012

Stomp Box

Exhibit 2012

in W’burg, October 19 & 20



Guide to

The Deli’s

11 CMJ Shows

the deli

the everything magazine about the emerging nyc music nyc scene bands

Issue #32 Volume #2 Fall 2012

Editor In Chief: Paolo De Gregorio

Founder: Charles Newman

Executive Editor: Quang D. Tran

Senior Editor: Ed Gross

Art Director/Designer: Kaz Yabe (www.kazyabe.com)

Assistant Editor: Tracy Mamoun

Cover Photo: Angel Cellabos

Web Developers: Mark Lewis, Alex Borsody

Staff Writers: Bill Dvorak, Nancy Chow, Mike SOS,

Dean Van Nguyen, Meijin Bruttomesso,

Dave Cromwell, Ben Krieger, Mike Levine

In-House Contributing Writers: Christina Morelli,

BrokeMC, Ed Guardaro, Amanda F. Dissinger,

Chelsea Eriksen, Simon Heggie, Molly Horan,

Annamarya Scaccia, Tuesday Phillips, Corinne Bagish,

Christine Cauthen, Devon Antonetti, Jen Mergott,

Bob Raymonda, Brian Chidester, Joshua S. Johnson

The Kitchen: Janice Brown, Howard J. Stock, Ben Wigler,

Shane O’Connor, Matt Rocker, David Weiss, Gus Green

Stomp Box Exhibit Intern: Andrés Marin

Interns: Mijhal Poler, Kristina Tortoriello

Publishers: The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC

Note from the Editor

Dear readers,

We booked 83 bands for the 2012 CMJ Music

Marathon - but it doesn’t mean we didn’t want to

book more! Here’s a list of artists we ALSO wanted

to book, but for various reasons, the stars didn’t

align: Beacon, Chrome Canyon, Clear Plastic Masks,

Clouder, Devin, Deathrow Tull, Eraas, High Highs,

Fergus & Geronimo, Generation Ohm, Hunters,

Io Echo, Jesca Hoop, Lucius, Magmana, Noosa,

Stone Cold Fox, People Get Ready, Quilt, Skaters,

Ski Lodge, Soft Spot, Spirit Family Reunion, Talk

Normal, Total Slacker, Water Knot, Wilsen, Zulus

- and many others that we can’t think of at this

time. They are all featured in our blogs at


-Paolo De Gregorio

Read the past issues

of The Deli in PDF !!


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

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


Read our

NYC blog

& submit your

music for review

• Keep updated with the newest

emerging NYC indie artists.

• Use our free DIY Live Listings and

Open Blog to promote your music

(or other bands you like) !!!



Use The Deli’s Charts

to know your scene +

find bands to play with

• Enter your band for free in our charts

organized by genre and region.

• Find out about other like-minded

artists in your same genre.

Is your Band Good?


ny artist or band interested in

earning a living through music

at some point must wonder if

there is a chance that a considerable

number of people will like their

music when properly promoted to

the masses.

There is actually a simple way to

get a rather precise idea about

that: start looking for a PR person.

Depending on who you find, you’ll

have your answer.

Read the full article on


The Deli Magazine’s

The Deli Magazine’s

Music Map

Music Map

Brooklyn & Manhattan

Brooklyn New York & Manhattan City

New October York City 16-20

October 16-20


TUESDAY The Delancey 10.16 - $10 (free upstairs)

The R Delancey R Rootsy - Stages $10 (free(pg. upstairs) 6-8)

R R Rootsy Stages (pg. 6-8)


WEDNESDAY Spike Hill - $7 10.17

Spike IP Indie Hill Pop - $7 Stage (pg. 10)

IP Indie AR Alt-Rock Pop Stage (pg. (pg. 10) 12)

AR Alt-Rock

The Living

Stage (pg. 12)

Room - $8


PC Post-Chestral Living Room - Stage $8 (pg. 14-15)

PC Post-Chestral Stage (pg. 14-15)


THURSDAY The Delancey 10.18- $10


E Electronic Delancey - Stage $10 (pg. 18-19)

E Electronic

AP Avant Pop Stage Stage (pg. (pg. 18-19) 16-17)

AP Avant Pop Stage (pg. 16-17)

FRIDAY 10.19

FRIDAY Pianos 10.19 - $10/12 (free upstairs)


P P Mostly - $10/12 Psych (free upstairs) Stages (pg. 20-21)



Mostly Psych

Cafe -

Stages (pg. 20-21)


Sidewalk AF Anti-Folk Cafe Stage - (free) (pg.22)

AF Anti-Folk Stage (pg.22)


SATURDAY Delinquency 10.20 - $8 (suggested)


N Noise Rock - $8 Stage (suggested) (pg. 24)

N Noise Rock Stage (pg. 24)

Crazy & the Brains


Crazy & the Brains






R Backwords




R Backwords







Ben Pagano Band


Ben Pagano Band


Ex Cops Ex Cops

11:30 11:30

Young Young Magic Magic Field Field Mouse Mouse

1:40 1:40 10:45 10:45

Tashaki Tashaki Miyaki M

Hundred Hundred Waters Waters 10:00 10:00

12:50 12:50

Mac Mac DeMarco DeMarco

Union Union Street Street

12:00 12:00

Preservation Preservation

Society Society 7:00 7:00


Thomas Thomas

Dust Dust Engineers Engineers

Simon Simon 7:00 7:00

7:45 7:45

Sewing Sewing Machines Machines

Shakey Shakey Graves Graves

7:40 7:40

The Reverend The Reverend 8:30 8:30

Cultfever Cultfever John John Delore Delore

8:20 8:20 8:00 8:00

Plume Plu

9:15 9

Railbird Railbird


Town Hall

American Royalty 9:00

Town Hall

American Royalty

8:50 8:50

7:00 7:00 Maus Maus Haus Haus

9:45 9:45

Swear Swe &

Modern Modern Rivals Rivals

9:40 9

7:50 7:50

Il Abanico Il Abanico

Lushlife Lushli

8:40 8:40

10:30 10

Conveyor Conveyor

9:30 9:30





Dynasty Electr


Dynasty Electric


Anomie Bel


Anomie Belle



Ducky 12:4

Drop 12:45 Electr

Drop Electric1:3


Go Love


Go Love





Kung Fu Crimewave AF

Kung Fu Crimewave



Kung Fu Crimewave 7:30






Dinosaur Feathers



le 0 ucky



ectric 5




Dinosaur Feathers 10:20


St. Lenox

St. Lenox


St. Lenox 8:20

8:20 Mal Blum

Mal Blum


Mal Blum9:00


Bird to Prey


Bird to Prey


Bird to Prey


Dinosaur Feathers










Wildlife Control



Kung Fu Crimewave AF


Doe Paoro

9:15 Cuddle Magic

Doe Paoro 10:00

9:15 Cuddle Magic

Doe Paoro 10:00

9:15 Cuddle Magic


Wildlife Control


Wildlife Control



Industries of

the Blind 11:40

Industries of

You Bred the Blind Raptors? 11:40

10:50 Industries of

You Bred the Blind Raptors? 11:40


You Bred Raptors?


Bugs in the Dark



in the Dark


Bugs 1:50 in


1:00 the Dark


Figo 1:00 N

1:00 N








owmine Snowmine Snowmine

11:10 11:10 11:10

Moon Moon King Moon King King

9:15 9:15 9:15


Foxygen Foxygen Foxygen

Giant me Plume Giant Giant

10:20 10:20 10:20

:15 9:15

Robert Robert Delong Robert Delong Delong

8:30 8:30 8:30

JP & JP the & Gilberts JP the & Gilberts the Gilberts EndAnd EndAnd EndAnd Murals Murals Murals

10:00 10:00 10:00

ar Shake Swear & Shake & Shake

5:10 5:10 5:10

9:30 9:30 9:30



10:45 10:45 10:45

The Everymen The Everymen The Everymen

Anya Anya Skidan Anya Skidan Skidan

ushlife Blonds

The Last


fe Blonds Blonds

The The Last Last

4:20 4:20

7:45 7:45 7:45


10:30 10:30 10:30

Royals Royals 10:00 Royals 10:00 10:00

The Luyas The Luyas The Luyas

8:40 8:40 8:40

New Myths



New Myths

yor Friend Friend


New Myths


9:30 Roulette Roulette 8:30 8:30



Roulette 8:30

3:30 3:30


Ava Ava Luna Ava Luna Luna

7:50 7:50 7:50

Shy Hunters Shy Hunters Shy Hunters

Eytan Eytan & Eytan The & The Embassy & The Embassy Embassy

6:15 6:15 6:15

9:15 9:15 9:15

Laura Laura Stevenson Laura Stevenson Stevenson

Poor Poor Moon Poor Moon Moon

In One In One Wind In Wind One Wind & the & Cans the & Cans the 11:20 Cans 11:20 11:20

Ace Reporter Ace Reporter Ace Reporter

7:00 7:00 7:00

7:45 7:45 7:45

Everest Everest Cale Everest Cale Cale

8:30 8:30 8:30


aki i Miyaki DT Rotbot DT Rotbot DT Rotbot

12:10 12:10

7:00 7:00 7:00

Fast Fast Years Years Fast Years

7:45 7:45 7:45

Flying Flying Points Flying Points Points

7:00 7:00 7:00


Delong ng

Letting Up Despite

Great Faults 12:00

Letting Up Despite

Great Faults 12:00

Letting Up Despite

Great Faults 12:00




Life Size Maps



Size Maps


Life Size Maps








Ava Luna







Port St. Willow


AR Motive


Motive 10:45

Motive 10:45






Starlight Girls


Starlight Girls






Starlight Girls


Dangerous Ponies




Dangerous Ponies







Dangerous Ponies






Mother Feather

Mother 11:30 Feather

Mother 11:30New Feather Beard

11:30 New



New 12:15 Beard


Raccoon Fighter




Raccoon 1:00 Fighter



10/16 rootsy @ the Delancey (downstair

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12





o-fi psychedelic band Backwords

captures the spirit of the ’60s

through each of their four fulllength

albums. The group is mildly

obsessed with the hippie era, reflecting

on the Occupy Wall Street movement as

a nod to the love-and-peace generation

and infusing that amity into their music.

The Broolkyn-based outfit’s sound flows

seamlessly between surf and psychedelic

rock with wailing guitars and easy

pop rhythms, often in the same song.

They’ve received favorable comparisons

to the Beach Boys and Pink Floyd,

which is a fitting not only in referencing

their genre, but also in considering

their retro visual and sonic aesthetic.

However, Backwords doesn’t just imitate

the bands’ record collection though.

The group manages to evolve with each

album, transforming into some well-polished

hippies throughout their five-year

history. (Devon Antonetti)

Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Recording The Banjo

The banjo - this bizarre mutation of a guitar and

a snare drum - can be a difficult instrument to

record. The main challenge is to find a balance

between the very attacky but thumpy sound

audible near the center of the head, and the rest

of the instrument’s sonic components, which

- because of its complex harmonic structure -

range from mid lows fundamentals to the top

end side of the frequency spectrum. Condenser

or dynamic microphones are commonly used for

close miking the banjo, but this is an instrument

that can shine when at least one mic (normally a

large condenser one) is placed a little further from

the source - which is obviously something you

can’t do only if you are recording it separately

from the other instruments.

Try placing the close mic 6-12” away, aiming at


The Reverend

John DeLore


or several of the tracks off his

new album, Sweet Talk for Pretty

Daughters, the Reverend John

DeLore recorded his vocals in the room

where folk legend Gram Parsons died

in 1973. Clearly, the ghost of Parsons

was trapped in that space for almost

40 years waiting for someone to set

him free and refill the world with his

music. That’s one explanation as to

how DeLore creates such lovely folk

gems. A more likely explanation, however,

is the Reverend is an extremely

talented singer-songwriter who incorporates

his notable influences along

with his refreshing take on folk music.

Either way, surely Parsons would be

very proud, and DeLore should be too.

(Joshua Johnson)

the center of the head; if the

attack is too pronounced,

try moving the mic slightly

towards the outer edge,

towards the bridge and

south of the strings, and/

or experimenting with the

mic’s angle.

Different playing styles call

for different techniques - if

the player is using a pick or

his nails, you may not want

to go for the “full center”

position, which may instead

work better with a more

gentle style.

Also, always bear in mind

that dynamic mics are less

sensitive to attack than

condensers, and that, as

always, the best recordings

are tailored to the song

context they fit in.


Town Hall

he college kids of Town Hall

have a knack for combining a

Tpure sense of wonder with their

increasing presence in the adult world.

This dueling blend of the childlike hope

and adulthood reality is clear on the

band’s debut full-length record, Roots

and Bells. However, when you can create

gorgeous indie folk melodies like they

can, the mixture of emotions must be a

lot easier to manage. (Joshua Johnson)


Laura Stevenson

& The Cans

See feature on p.40.


Everest Cale


Everest Cale

outh Carolina and Midwest natives

Everest Cale have a dream-like,

lulling quality - thanks to lead singer

Brett Treacy’s passionate crooning

throughout the group’s debut EP Beast.

With rich guitars and poised refinement,

the Brooklyn-based band manages to

find new life in a formulaic genre. Beast

was released in early September, with

the five-song album’s smoldering lyrical

and sonic intensity. Everest Cale’s bluesy

sound doesn’t come as a surprise, given

Treacy’s roots in the South, where he

met his bandmates through a “singer

wanted” poster. Though the band only

has a few songs behind them, the EP is

a promising beginning for the “grassroots”

rockers. (Devon Antonetti)



Swear and Shake

rontwoman Kari Spieler has a soulful bedroom drone

that fits perfectly between the strumming banjo in her

Fband Swear and Shake. Speiler started the folk-tinged

outfit in 2010 after performing on the demos of her bandmate

and fellow vocalist Adam McHeffey. Swear and Shake,

which also features Shaun Savage on bass and Thomas

Elefante on drums, finished their debut LP titled The Maple

Ridge in late 2011 releasing the final product earlier this

year. The album came after a successful Kickstarter campaign

that exceeded the band’s goal, and the record was eventually

recorded inside of a barn and former B&B in Cambridge, New

York, which penetrates each song with an Americana magnetism

and fervent charm. (Devon Antonetti)

Interview at: thedelimag.com/artists/swear-and-shake





his band pulls

together a wide

Trange of sounds

from southern rock

to blues, mixing-up

an all-American highimpact

burst of indie

rock. The ideal mix

to end this deli-rious

night of roots music.




he members of Florida duo Blonds first

set up shop in New York to work on

the follow-up to their 2011 EP Dark

Roots, putting the finishing touches on their

full-length album The Bad Ones earlier this

year. The group - made up of real-life couple

Carie Rae and Jordy Asher - headed up north

with their moody, indie-pop songs in hopes

of fine-tuning their sound with Rare Book

Room producer Nicholas Vernhes, who has

worked with everyone from Fischerspooner

to Deerhunter. The Bad Ones was released in

August and highlights the band’s dramatic,

lovesick lyrics with Rae’s unforgettable, soulful

vocals. (Devon Antonetti)

Interview at: thedelimag.com/artists/blonds

the deli Fall 2012 11

ootsy @ the Delancey (upstairs)

Plume Giant

jP and The Gilberts

1. Regina Spektor

2. Cat Power

3. Devendra Banhart

4. Theophilus London

5. Norah Jones

6. Ingrid Michaelson

7. Jenny Owen Youngs

8. Titus Andronicus

9. Antony and

the Johnsons

10. CocoRosie

11. Ron Pope

12. A.A. Bondy

13. Citizen Cope

14. Sharon Van Etten

15. Adam Green

16. Khaled

17. Warren Haynes

18. Punch Brothers

19. Deer Tick

20. Daniel Merriweather


Top 20

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts


Union Street




dopted by many music fans and

musicians as some kind of antidote

to the “pretentiousness”

of Brooklyn’s “Hipster Rock,” roots

music is slowly but surely invading the

NYC scene. Union Street Preservation

Society is an emerging Americana

string band from Brooklyn, mixing folk

with bluegrass and blues with early

jazz. Their music is full of spirited

harmonies, fresh new melodies and an

authentic energy, combining to create

the ideal soundtrack to your wildest

old timey day dream. (Leah Tribbett)


Dust Engineers


ust Engineers started as a figment

of leader Zachary Meyer’s

imagination, an early idea to

record a life soundtrack as a westwardbound

South Dakota teenager. Not

wanting to end up exposed like the

infamous writer James Frey, caught

up in lies and fantasy, Meyer decided

instead to “keep it real,” and reveal

Dust Engineers as a hard-working,

’90s-influenced folk outfit. The band

is part of the No Horse Town collective,

giving musicians and visual artists

an avenue to collaborate on live

performances and multimedia events.

In between side projects like books

12 the deli Fall 2012

of poetry and the occasional acoustic

shows around the city, Dust Engineers

are back at work recording their next

set of country rock tunes.

(Devon Antonetti)


Shakey Graves


hakey Graves, a.k.a. Alejandro

Jose-Garcia, delivers an intimate

Sguitar-and-vocal performance punctuated

by subtle harmony and precious

silence - lo-fi folk candy.


Plume Giant


lume Giant is a trio of multiinstrumentalists/vocalists


recently relocated to the city

after graduating from Yale. From their

theatrical grace to their retro-fitted

instrumentals and rich vocal harmonies,

they’re not really like anyone else

in the city. They bring a refreshing

finesse to the table and a lot of fun

to the stage. With Calithump and its

magnetic a capellas and swaying ways

of a ’60s summer daydream, Plume

Giant easily charmed their way into

the hearts of the NYC music scene.

Probably the most endearing act to

join the local folk parade this year,

they’ve earned themselves a warm

welcome to their new home.

(Tracy Mamoun)


JP &

The Gilberts


he Brooklyn trio JP & the Gilberts

sound like a mixture of intoxicating

bluegrass and rousing folk

melodies. Frontman JP Gilbert, with his

distinctive drawl, also performs with

the metal band J.A.C.K. and experimental

math rockers Abacus, but finds traditional

Americana melodies with the

Gilberts. The band released their debut

album “Introducing…” last December,

which pays homage to a broken marriage

and the heavy drinking that often

follows. For a band steeped in metal

and progressive influences, JP & the

Gilberts have a firm grasp on the bluegrass

aesthetic. (Devon Antonetti)



Check out our

self-generating online charts:


ust about every young urbanite

has those loud next-door neigh-

who host band practices way Jbors

too often throughout all hours of the

night. Fortunately for the duo in XNY,

the music on the other side of the wall

worked more as an audition, bringing

together singer-songwriter Pam Autuori

and drummer Jacob Schreiber. The two

started playing their reflective garage

rock in their native Boston before heading

to Brooklyn. The group’s appropriately

titled full-length debut Through

The Wall was released in June, drawing

favorable comparisons to The Kills and

Broken Social Scene, falling somewhere

in-between the art rock groups.

(Devon Antonetti)


10/17 indie pop @ spike hill

Fast Years

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12

Eytan and The Embassy


Flying Points

See Music Building feature on p.44.


Fast Years

et the good times roll. Like a

name that could have come

Lstraight from a James Dean quote,

Fast Years plays fast, fun indie pop that

gets right to the point and stays at that

mileage until the end. Making it their

mission to re-ignite Ramones-style party

anthems, the quintet plays through

their riffs like a rock mission statement,

while incorporating doo wop and beat

influences in their sound. These guys

are also getting a reputation for being

one of most smiling bands in the NYC

scene (probably only second to Matt &

Kim), which never hurts - with girls in

particular. (Mike Levine)


Ace Reporter

ne thing Ace Reporter, a.k.a.

singer/songwriter Chris Snyder,

Ois not, is a slacker. As a youngster,

he lent his voice to movies and

television. More recently in 2010,

Snyder took it upon himself to write,

record, and publish an original song

every single day. That’s right - EVERY

SINGLE DAY. While he came out of that

experimental year with 4 EPs worth

of material (released over the course

of 2011), Snyder has yet to drop fulllength

album, but a LP, Yearling, is in

progress. In the meantime, he will be

playing several CMJ dates including

The Last Royals

the Deli Mag showcase. Don’t miss his

pop-amplified indie folk and well-honed

vocals. (Corinne Bagish)


Eytan and

The Embassy


ytan Oren could probably be

accused of many things, but

unmotivated would not be

one of them. In his latest video for

“Everything Changes” (which has

received 420,000 views in just one

week), Eytan and The Embassy

express an appeal to adaptation, set to

music that vaguely references “Cruel

to be Kind.” The video goes through a

startling 18 costume changes with no

editing. As one insightful YouTube commenter

remarked: “Damn you got such

a distinctive face, but still manage to

show off so many different personalities!”

Indeed. Eytan wears a lot of

hats in this band - both musically and

literally. His new record The Perfect

Breakup, finds the Brooklyn singer constantly

reinventing himself. From the

consoling dance fever of opener “No

Reason to Cry,” to the mid-tempo “Good

Morning Marilyn,” Eytan has a knack

for reclaiming classic rock and pop

styles as his own. (Mike Levine)


The Last Royals


The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Fun.

2. Lana Del Rey

3. Sufjan Stevens

4. freelance whales

5. Friends

6. MS MR


8. Twin Sister

9. Vampire Weekend

10. Santigold

11. The Drums

12. Cults

13. Hospitality

14. Beach Fossils

15. Broken Bells

16. Chairlift

17. Lenka

18. Oh Land

19. Rufus Wainwright

20. Savoir Adore

Check out our

self-generating online charts:

Indie Pop

Top 20


or a band apparently inspired by

non-glamorous, gritty urban living,

Brooklyn’s The Last Royals

sure pack a lot of general appeal. Indie

pop plus clever lyrics and attention

to detail - driving beat, claps, spoken

lines - make for a listening experience

that doesn’t fade to the background.

The duo dropped the single “Only the

Brave” in mid-August, and are gearing

up to release a 3-song EP in October followed

by the full-length Twistification,

slated for a January release. If “Only

the Brave,” a positively soaring anthem,

is any indication of what’s to come, I’d

say we’re in for some great (and danceable)

heights. (Corinne Bagish)

14 the deli Fall 2012

the deli Fall 2012 15


10/17 alt rock @ spike hill

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12




espite the whole Romney video

buzz, neither “Nobody Eats My

Dinner” nor any of the EP or

follow-up single had much to do with

politics - what;s to be retained here is

some great quality indie rock, and the

story of some twenty-something dude’s

existential doubts, the same one we

meet two years later picking up his pace

and mood for double A-side “What’s So

Bad”/“Lay Some Light”. (Tracy Mamoun)


Mother Feather


lam’d up in cabaret-punk flash,

Ann & Lizzie are the two fierce

frontwomen of this self-defined

pop cock-rock five-piece - Mother Feather

- probably one of the most flamboyant

bands on the local scene. Packed with

sexuality, self-assurance and strength,

their self-titled EP dishes out its cheeky

pop, tramp-o-licious outbursts, powerhouse

rock songs to anyone in need of a

little pick-me-up. (Tracy Mamoun)

Mother Feather


New Beard


B’s latest album New Bird City

proudly welcomes you to its

galant parade of new sounds,

to which have been invited strings and

winds, flutes particularly prominent

and contributing to the eeriest corners

of NBC. Down most roads though, it’s

delightfully festive; as the anachronistic

carnival unfolds, bringing together

courteous orchestration and pop sensitivity

- we’re meeting the NEW New

Beard - sophisticated, still charmingly

nuts. (Tracy Mamoun)

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Brand New

2. The Dirty Pearls

3. Sol Ardour

4. Generator Ohm

5. Andrew W.K.

6. Alberta Cross

7. We Are Scientists

8. Steel Train

9. The Hold Steady

10. Ted Leo and

the Pharmacists

Check out our self-generating online charts:


Alt Rock

Top 20

11. Straylight Run

12. Wakey!Wakey!

13. Rhett Miller

14. Semi Precious


15. Stereo Skyline

16. Morningwood

17. At Sea

18. The Willowz

19. Atomic Tom

20. Black Taxi


Raccoon Fighter


ourtesy of Raccoon Fighters, here

comes raw rock and roll repackaged

for the post-everything generation

- exploring ’60s garage, blues

rock, grunge sounds in a manner that

stands at reasonable distance from faithful

revivalism and anything formulaic.

How? Complete incoherence and a soft

contemporary frame. They’ve well-understood

that it isn’t one particular aesthetic

we’re after but an energy altogether.

Those who are expecting monster rock

are at the wrong door, but for the others,

a tasty mouthful of dirt. (Tracy Mamoun)

16 the deli Fall 2012

the deli Fall 2012 17


10/17 post- chestral @ the livin

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12




TRotbot’s latest single

“Lily” opens like a

Zappa or Captain

Beefheart classic that never

was. Going through more

changes in its first two

minutes than many artists’

entire records, it’s exciting

to hear an artist exploring

this oft-ignored nether region

of pop music’s experiments

- spoken word and sound collage

come together in one

backyard. For those fans

looking to find a cheap way to ascend

to Mars without the aid of too many

dangerous drugs, DTRotbot should be

all you need. (Mike Levine)


In One Wind


ands like In One Wind, seem to

hail from some unknown country

with a newly discovered set of

music traditions that help us digest our

modern landscape in instruments both

foreign and familiar. On their debut EP

Lean, the group nearly invents their

own folk tradition here, especially

when reinterpreting stories by the

Brothers Grimm (“Golden Sphere”)

and re-working modern legends like

Roy Lichtenstein for the transient “Oh,

Brad.” Theirs is an ambitious journey

that welds a surprisingly coherent

narrative thread to a complex set of

Baroque pop numbers. (Mike Levine)


Friend Roulette

here’s a perfectly hummable

sentiment somewhere in Friend

TRoulette’s “Sailing Song” that

keeps working its way back to the surface,

but only after first progressing

through all manner of uneven meter

changes, brass fanfare and incidental

thematic adventure. At times stepping

boldly into a space usually exclusive to

the imagination of score composers like

Danny Elfman, the group essentially

writes baroque pop pieces for an imagined

Brechtian musical, casting its talented

singers/songwriters Julia Tepper

and Matthew Meade as the show’s

unlikely protagonists. After moving

Doe Paoro

Photo: Betsi Ewing

through so much sonic landscape, you

might think it reasonable that you’d

eventually get a good idea about how

this band operates. But like an old noir

film, Friend Roulette never gives away

the plot. (Mike Levine)


Doe Paoro


hen Brooklyn-based outfit Doe

Paoro, led by Sonia Kreitzer

who used to sing in the collective

Sonia’s Party, takes the stage,

there’s bound to be demons in the

room. Having garnered comparisons to

artists like Lykke Li and James Blake,

Kreitzer describes the kind of music

that she performs as “ghost soul” (i.e.

“a sound that echoes the resurrection

of a choir of ghosts who haven’t

completely detached from the human

experience”). We’ll also add that those

ghosts have a beautiful soulful voice,

and the benefit of classical influences

that she was exposed to in her formative

years. (Amanda Dissinger)



of the Blind

or those of you sick of being

lazy at the beach and ready

Fto get back to some epic jams

to get into the swing of things, look

no further than post-rock ensemble

Industries of the Blind. Lifting off

to planets only visible to bands like

Mogwai or Sigur Ros, the instrumental

nine-piece includes three guitarists,

an industrious drummer, and two very

hard-working violinists. This is a band

that starts at 10 and keeps hashing out

an idea until it clears your skull of all

misgivings. (Mike Levine)


Starlight Girls


espite the name, Starlight Girls

is actually two ladies & two

gentlemen. Sharing a taste for

eerie synth-laden atmospheres with

Magazine’s Formula, making playful

use of the flute and keys, they can shift

their dark concoctions straight from

the realm of pop artists like Belle &

Sebastian into a theatrical symphonie

des oddities. Following the self-titled

EP they released in April, watch out

for their new single, to be released in

November, which features a collaboration

with Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart.

(Tracy Mamoun)


Dangerous Ponies



Starlight Girls

his pop-infused, gang vocals adorin’

circus masquerade rock is

the type that morphs you into a

high-octane gale on the dance floor, do

not miss live.

18 the deli Fall 2012

g room


Cuddle Magic

uddle Magic, a ten-piece avant-pop

orchestra split between Philly and

CBrooklyn, offers an array of soothing

instruments (including glockenspiels, toy

piano, and various strings and winds) along

with the more standard guitar, bass, and

drums. At once playful and haunting, their

latest album Info Nympho thrives on the

dual male and female vocals spinning intricate

counter-melodies, mastering an impressive

musical vocabulary, ranging from classical

counterpoint to math rock influences,

without disdaining occasional jazz chords

and electronic elements. With their beautiful

melody and organic arrangements

featuring almost any instrument you can

imagine, this is a record that manages to

be original, moving and memorable - what

else can you ask for? (Bob Raymonda)

Interview at: thedelimag.com/artists



You Bred



art-time residents of the subway’s best busking

spots, playing their sets to Time Square’s

puzzled commuters, You Bred Raptors? (the

name is from a line out of Jurassic Park) is an

instrumental trio from Astoria, NY with a taste

for strange performances. The band deploys a

rich catalogue of experimentations ranging from

unique orchestrations to ambitious takes on some

familiar patterns as varied as funk, metal or even

celtic rhythms - all served by a cast of drums, cello,

8-string bass and the occasional keys, bearing freakish

masks from ghostface to grimacing jester. A

tastefully weird, out-of-time local gem straight from

the city’s underground. (Tracy Mamoun)

Interview at: thedelimag.com/artists/you-bred-raptors

Production Corner

Using a

Frequency Spectrum

Analyzer When Mixing

By Paolo De Gregorio

Mixing - an art that takes years to learn and a lifetime to

refine - can be a frustrating experience, in particular when

there are many tracks to deal with. The most infuriating

thing about it is that our mixes sound completely different

through different sound systems, and often not in a good

way. Beside poor recording and mixing techniques, what

causes these dramatic differences is often due to the

fact that, in these times of home recording madness,

most musicians mix their songs in environments that are

somewhat flawed, and with equipment either cheap or

badly set up - or both.

A big component of the art of mixing is balancing audio

frequencies, and to properly do that the engineer should

be able to hear the budding mix in a

completely neutral way (what audio nerds

call “flat response environment”). This is

something that is absolutely impossible

to achieve in any generic space without

investing tens of thousands of dollars. Yes

because parallel walls in any room create

“standing audio waves” (google it) which

heavily affect how the low end is perceived

in that particular space. This distorts our

perception of specific low

frequencies - which we

will be inclined to wrongly

cut or boost in the mix to


This is why having a

frequency spectrum analyzer

plug in on the master insert of

your mix can be very helpful.

The analyzer can’t be your

only reference for mixing of

course, but when in doubt it

provides an impartial, “live”

visual representation of the

frequencies in your mix.

Looking at the frequency

spectra of other professionally

recorded songs similar to the

one you are working on, and

A/Bing their sound with yours

can be literally an eye and ear

opening experience.


Top 20

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Sufjan Stevens

2. Beirut

3. St. Vincent

4. One Ring Zero

5. Emilie Simon

6. You Bred Raptors?

7. Superhuman Happiness

8. aloha

9. Industries of the Blind

10. Miracles of

Modern Science

11. Clare and

the Reasons

12. Birthmark

13. Kayo Dot

14. Aarktica

15. Botanica

16. Bryan Scary

17. Luff

18. Elk City

19. The Lisps

20. stereobird

Check out our

self-generating online charts:



10/18 avant pop @ the delancey (down

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12




(Los Angeles)

merican Royalty provide

sweet soul, guitars

Aand psychedelia meet

wild electronics in a dynamic

torn between inviting patterns

and invasive layers.


Modern Rivals

ost of five-piece Modern

Rivals have been buds

Msince the awkward years of

middle school. While they’ve grown

up together, and moved from the

‘burbs to big bad Brooklyn, their EP

Sea Legs tells of another journey. In

fact, creating this most recent effort

(released in May and mixed by Chris

Coady who has worked with the likes

of Beach House and Grizzly Bear) was

a journey in and of itself. True to the

title, it was very much about getting

sea legs for their own sound - developing

something that was uniquely

theirs. They managed to do just that;

this EP is gorgeous and whimsical,

but very much cohesive. Binding elements

like floaty layers, playful keys,

plus a generous heaping of oohhs and

woah-ohs define shared harmonies -

positively pleasant and oh-so catchy.

(Corinne Bagish)


Il Abanico

ransplants Nicolas Losada

and Julianna Ronderos have

Tbrought the vibrant colors of

their native Colombia from their

country, to our backyard. The duo has

made Brooklyn their new home, and

just might make things here a little

more con vida for the rest of us. From

the balloon-toting, floor tom-stomping

bear in their latest video “Keep

Calling,” to the bilingual inventions of

lead singer Juliana, the group’s new

EP Crossing Colors weaves a cultural

rainbow of shapes and sounds together

that you won’t need a passport to

experience. (Mike Levine)


Modern Rivals




et off the plane, and you’ll find

you’ve landed in an entirely

new kind of space, occupied by

polyrhythmic chants and otherworldly

acoustic strumming. Conveyor does

that rare thing where an entirely

unique musical universe is sculpted

from the abbreviated tendencies of

cultures from all over the world. Their

palette places FM drones beside zither

strumming in “Mane,” and the sunny

cheerfulness of four-part harmonies on

tracks like “Mukraker.” No matter how

many bizarro instruments they pull

into their mix, the sound is still entirely

their own. So, once you do leave for

your flight...you’ll find a very large

country to explore. (Mike Levine)


Letting Up


Great Faults

(Austin/Los Angeles)


hoegaze-pop four-piece Letting Up

Despite Great Faults keeps things

upbeat, never getting too dark or

artificial, knowing how to lift you up

and bring you down at once.


Santah (Chicago)

ush pop/rock where synth and

guitar melt into one dreamy coat

Lto wrap around the vocals. Santah

are three McConnells for a six-piece,

with an album to come.


Kiven (Los Angeles)


Il Abanico

iven is magnetic trio fitting

fire and refinement in a swiftly

orchestrated back and forth

between generous textures and

explosive build-ups.

20 the deli Fall 2012



Dinosaur Feathers

inosaur Feathers have been active in the NYC

scene for quite some time now, but their peculiarly

Dcolorful pop hasn’t lost any of the exuberance of

their beginnings. Single “Untrue” (off their latest record

Whistle Tips) is something Franz Ferdinand might have

made if they spent some time surfing in Mali. The album

as a whole feels like the band mic’d a barbeque and

recorded the site live. Another standout from the record

is the groove-a-licious “Fantasy Memorial.” The track is so

much fun - you’ll feel like you just met the woman of your

dreams (who happens to surf in...Mali!). (Mike Levine)

Interview at: thedelimag.com/artists/dinosaur-feathers


Wildlife Control

here’s nothing subtle about Wildlife

Control. For anyone missing the simple,

Tstraightforward sounds of slickly channeled

pop-rock the way I remember it before the freaks

screwed with our sense of direction, this band

has got you covered. Miss analog? Check out

“Analog or Digital.” Love music? “Melody” could

be your new jam. This is a band for the here and

now with two brothers (Neil and Sumul Shah)

celebrating how great we have it already, served

up with the kind of energy and heart that could

only come from a band of siblings. What could be

simpler than that? (Mike Levine)

Interview at: thedelimag.com/artists/wildlife-control

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Grizzly Bear

2. Animal Collective

3. Dirty Projectors

4. Yo La Tengo

5. Yeasayer

6. Gang Gang Dance

7. Tyondai Braxton

8. Kaki King

9. Department of


10. Delicate Steve

11. Rubblebucket

12. Mice Parade

13. Marnie Stern

14. Son Lux

15. Elysian Fields

16. Rasputina

17. Foxygen

18. Avey Tare

19. The Fiery Furnaces

20. NewVillager

Check out our

self-generating online charts:

Avant Indie

Top 20


Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Acoustic Guitar as a

Resonant Microphone

If you like the words “avant” and “experimental,” you probably

like to record your music in ways that are not entirely

ordinary. One way to add a new, intriguing layer to any loud

instruments (like amped electric guitars or drums or even

horns) is to use the pickup of an acoustic guitar as a microphone

– and no, you don’t need to take it apart.

Since the sound source isn’t reaching the pick up directly

but reflected through the guitar’s hole, this technique will

obviously create a rather dark and reverb-like sounding take

of the main instrument. But also a brighter sound will

be picked up: the one produced by the acoustic guitar’s

strings vibrating sympathetically to the notes of

the main instrument.

This phenomenon is called “sympathetic resonance”

and happens when passive strings respond to external

vibrations of harmonic likeness – i.e. the acoustic

guitar’s A or E strings will independently start vibrating

when – respectively – a loud A or E note is played

somewhere near.

These “induced” vibrations can therefore be controlled

to some degree by tuning the acoustic guitar strings

to match some of the notes played by the main instrument

– or even by tuning the snare drum or the toms

to match a guitar note.

When mixing, you can add this atmospheric track

“behind” the main instrument or just use it heavily

effected as an entirely new sound.


10/18 electronic @ the delancey



The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12


Thomas Simon


homas Simon creates positively

dark spaces with echoing electro,

ghostly guitar, and muttered

lyrics gliding underneath the surface.

He’s very theatrical: gothic at times.

Accordingly, he knows how to set the

mood well. He’ll get your skin crawling

and add just the right amount

of this and that (electric djembe, for

example) to send you spiraling into the

depths. Unsurprisingly, Simon recently

composed a feature film score (La

Redempcio Dels Peixos) set for release

in the fall 2012. (Corinne Bagish)




ewing Machines is songwriter

Max Horwich and acolytes (vary-

in number), on the road to Sing

what may seem to be a “new American

weirder.” If Bodies of Water was

already an impressive record, with its

hypnotic interactions of folk ensemble

and electronics, then the last couple

of releases have seen Horwich take a

turn into improbable confines of his

“cosmic” realm, with the EP February

far more electro-based and Parks and

Parking Lots since which frankly, all

bets are off. Auto-tuned vocals over discordant

country? A bit of a long shot,

isn’t it? And yet somehow, it works.

(Tracy Mamoun)




o experience the next

wave of Brooklyn

music full blast and

to grasp its weird complexities,

one can’t do much better

than Cultfever’s first

single, “Knewyouwell.”

The swelling of electronic

chaos, motorik rhythm

and shoegaze-y backing vocals wrap

Tamara Jafar’s lusty soul leads in a kind

of gothic disco whole that is greater

than the sum of its many influences.

Their self-titled debut album (released

November 2011) sticks pretty close to

this formula throughout; only towards

the end do Cultfever break out of the

club-like feel with the closers “Boys,

Girls” and “Collector,” each boasting a

more aspirational tone, replete with big

choruses and fist-pumping declarations

like “Hey darlin’, sticks and stones

would make our homes if we were anyone,

anyone else!” (Brian Chidester)




ailbird is the kind of band that

doesn’t mind sharing their

Rsecrets with you, even if some of

these details might make you a little

uncomfortable. Singer Sarah Pedinotti

seems to whisper these tell-all remarks

with a mysterious honesty requiring

a certain amount of courage on both

sides of the microphone. This isn’t an

easy-going ride, but is certainly worth

the time. Their latest video “Jump

Ship” plays with these conflicted feelings,

bouncing between intimacy and

moodiness amid kaleidoscopic bubbles

and cameo appearances from Sean

Rowe and Phantogram’s Sarah Barthel.

(Mike Levine)


Maus Haus

(San Francisco)


uper-fun synth-rock rollercoaster

of odd noise, whimsical beats,

’60s psychedelia and more held

on by the four dexterous SF musicians

of Maus Haus.


Lushlife (Phily)

equencer virtuoso and emcee

Lushlife, signed to Western Vinyl,

Swho went semi-viral with Choice/

Cuts, a live performance and interview

in-studio video series, presented by The

Deli Philly back in July. Do not miss!

22 the deli Fall 2012



Dynasty Electric


ith their teeth cut from Portishead and

Goldfrapp’s school of heavy romanticism

flung over throbbing nightmare beats,

Dynasty Electric offers an enthusiastic response to

any question you had about staying up all night.

To this end, singer Jenny Electrik offers several

compelling reasons to stick things out on your

neighborhood dance floor this evening. Tracks like

“Automatic Ecstatic” and “Feel It in Your Body,”

from their latest self-titled full-length, provide all

the ammo you need. Like an energy drink with a

side of pheromones, Dynasty Electric are lighting

up Brooklyn’s otherwise shoegazer venues with

an overdose of action, coupled with a nod to New

York’s artsier set. (Mike Levine)

Interview at: thedelimag.com/artists/dynasty-electric


Anomie Belle



ith her marriage of synthetic

backdrops, organic flourishes

and haunting vocals, Anomie

Belle creates an aesthetic that is at once

eerie, melodious and - at times - a little

disconcerting, but invariably unique.



rooklyn’s Morgan Neiman

(a.k.a. Ducky) has a new EP,

BThe Whether, continuing her

assault on gooey soul-pop by playing

sultry, understated vocals against tinny

electro beats and homemade dubstep

basslines. The four-song affair (clocking

in at under 12 minutes) recalls The

Cardigans, minus the joy, re-imagined

instead as a dream-like transmission

broadcast from an undisclosed underground

bunker. Her latest video is the

stuff of that unabashed decadence that

first brought attention to Williamsburg

over a decade ago. In the hands of the

frivolously-monikered Ducky, it feels like

a sort of homecoming. (Brian Chidester)


Drop Electric

(Washington DC)

his collective generates gorgeously

slow paced, droney and

Tmystic songs that reference a

niche sound of the mid ’80s which

preceded and informed the shoegazer

wave, producing bands like Dead Can

Dance and This Mortal Coil.

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Twin Shadow

2. Ratatat

3. Body Language

4. Win Win

5. 6. Memory Tapes

Black Marble

7. FaltyDL

8. El-P

9. Telepathe

10. LCD Soundsystem

Check out our self-generating online charts:



Top 20

11. Scissor Sisters

12. Beacon

13. Nicholas Jaar

14. Sleigh Bells

15. Bikini

16. Neon Indian

17. Blondes

18. A-Trak

19. Discovery

20. Mindless

Self Indulgence

the deli Fall 2012 23


10/19 mostly psych @ pianos

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12



Poor Moon


laying a of bucolic brand of

acoustic pop that could be

Pdescribed as the sonic transposition

of Magic Realism, Poor Moon

draws from disparate but always gentle

influences like ’60s folk pop, lounge

music, and dream pop.


Port St.Willow


ort St. Willow is the solo work of

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Nick

Principe. The band’s recent fulllength

debut “Holiday,” recorded in

Portland, Oregon, where Principe was

previously based, plays like one long

dream, with ambient vocal whispers and

ethereal melodies bleeding into each

other. Tracks like “Amawalk” and “Five

Give Two Five” stand out with sounds of

echoes in a howling wind, both chilling

and soporific. (Devon Antonetti)


Ava Luna


eatured on the cover

of the winter 2012

issue of The Deli,

Ava Luna plays - in three words - experimental

soul music. Brainchild of failed

Deli intern Carlos Hernandez, this band

perfectly incarnates the dichotomy of his

geeky looks and unbelievably soulful singing.

Roots African American music and

experimental indie rock have rarely been

as promiscuous as in Ava Luna’s clangily

expressive, bizarrely ardent, unpredictably

smooth tunes. (Paolo De Gregorio)


Murals (Kentucky)


urals brings tingling echoes of

jangle-pop that are part-nostalgic

and part-psychedelic from

the south with the softest folk tones

and plenty of layers to get lost in.



See feature on p.36.




ntirely composed


top notch

musicians (some

with classical backgrounds),

the former

Deli cover boys

(appearing on the

front of our summer

2012 issue) produce a textured sound

that could be described as their own,

very personal version of dream pop.

Frontman/composer Grayson Sanders’

confident pipes and seraphic melodies

are the closest thing to the singing of a

(male) angel you’ll ever hear. Witness

this band live to be enchanted and

(probably) purified from within.

(Paolo De Gregorio)


Mac DeMarco

(Los Angeles)


ac DeMarco is heading down

a long road if he keeps trying

every flavor of rock ‘n’ roll

there is. And by the sounds of the new

album, he is.

Anya Skidan



Waters (Florida)


omplex encounters of soul, folk

and neo-psychedelia, impressively

orchestrated into multi-dimensional

atmospheres, is what you’ll find

in the music of Hundred Waters.


Young Magic

See feature on p.42.

Port St. Willow



Shy Hunters

band for the minions who enjoy

darkness, Shy Hunters is a

A Brooklyn duo devoted to musical

intensity delivered through imaginative

soundscapes referencing influences from

early prog-rock to the post-punk period.

Dominated by female lead singer Indigo

Street’s haunting personality and downright

ghostly vocals as well as the pulsat-

24 the deli Fall 2012

Shy Hunters

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Diiv

2. Woods

3. TV on the Radio

4. The Antlers

5. School of Seven Bells

6. Twin Sister

7. Exitmusic

8. The Raveonettes

9. Real Estate

10. The Stepkids

11. Frankie Rose

12. Panda Bear

13. Bear In Heaven

14. The Pierces

15. Caveman

16. Asobi Seksu

17. Snowmine

18. Widowspeak

19. High Highs

20. Teen

Check out our

self-generating online charts:

Psych Rock

+ Dream Pop

Top 20


ing rhythms of Sam Levine’s tight, clean

drums, Shy Hunters are a promising

product of that “dark side” of the NYC

scene that gave us bands like Interpol

and Yo La Tengo. (Paolo De Gregorio)


New Myths

ike the ethereal howls heard

from bands like The Cranberries

Lor Babes in Toyland, New Myths

clears the room of any unnecessary noise

before starting their sermon, telling stories

of love lost and battles won through

the towering grooves of drummer Rosie

Glassman and Marina Ross’ marching

bass lines. Think of the way the Pixies

cut through their listeners making sure

that you listen to one idea at a time and

driving that notion home until leaving

its mark deep inside your skull. Lead

singer Britney Boras and her harmonizing

trio are employing the same set of

knives, executing a finely carved set of

New Wave rock in songs like the fastdriving

“False Gold.” (Mike Levine)


Anya Skidan


Field Mouse

nya Skidan is a young Brooklynbased

singer-songwriter who’s

not afraid to charge her tunes

with melancholy and sadness. Heavy

with emotion, her eerie voice - at times

reminiscent of a darker Kimya Dawson

- floats on a layer of sparse, dreamy

tracks, telling impressionist tales full

of spirituality and subtle feelings. Her

debut album Shine the Brightest sounds

like a prolonged electric lullaby where

disparate influences - from Hidden

Treasure’s gorgeous dream pop to Soft

and Gentle’s hawaiian rhythmic session

- work together to grant the listener a

rather restless sleep. (Mike Levine)



DeLong (Los Angeles)

t’s nice to walk away from the

downer tunes once in awhile, and

Ijust have some fun, which solo electronic

artist Robert DeLong is “happy”

to provide. (Taylor Lampeda)


Moon King


rom power-pop to the mellow

end of the spectrum, all turns to

Fsparkle and haze in the hall of the

Moon King.



Miyaki (Los Angeles)


emale-led trio Tashaki Miyaki creates

plaintive, early-eighties feedback

meshed with intricate vocal

tonality evoking the golden days of

Britpop and a touch of arty Warholian



Field Mouse


n the last few years, we witnessed

Field Mouse progress from a regular

singer-songwriter project to a

full blown dream pop band, and their

recent single “How Do You Know”

represent another step towards the

most pillowy and ethereal of musical

genres. NYC shoegazers, stargazers,

daydreamers - and pure and simple

girl-starers - seem to have found a new

darling in the band’s lead singer Rachel

Browne, who could be easily baptized

the “Scarlett of the NYC scene.” Isn’t

she what boys (and some girls) dream

about after all? (Paolo De Gregorio)


Ex Cops

ike being exhausted by a hot

sun, Bryan Harding and Amalie

LBruun’s dream pop sways slow

and nonchalant; carelessly, it wraps

itself around jangle-pop melodies and

vaporous synths, lost in a hazy confusion

where layers mingle, melt into one

another, and a voice echoes from afar,

barely there. Sure, we don’t know much

of Ex Cops so far. They’ve only been

around for about a year, and have to

this date only released a single, and a

few tracks circulating online. But with

their album coming soon, we should be

hearing more of these two: What’s not

to like when an act shamelessly plays all

its cards to make itself as comforting an

experience as possible? (Tracy Mamoun)

the deli Fall 2012 25


10/19 anti- folk @ sidewalk cafe

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12

Bird to Prey





efiantly unpolished in the spirit

of old Guided By Voices, Luke

Kelly helms this witty rock

fiasco that includes family members

Joanna and Neil Kelly, Preston Spurlock,

and Deenah Vollmer. Anthemic, with

a penchant for sing-along choruses

about unlikely subjects (burial grounds,

robots, monster combat, etc.), the

group has been known for making highend

PA systems sound awful (this is

meant as a compliment). (Ben Krieger)


St. Lenox


t. Lenox validates all those emotions

that thoughts of your hometown

bring up and which you

think are too sappy to reveal. Maybe it’s

rides on Greyhound buses, or maybe

the refrigerator notes of lost lovers, or

the images of crucifixion that pop up

now and then in our dealings with the

world. Envision a golden-throated jazz

crooner singing mercurial melodies over

skittery, electronic FruityLoops compositions

played off an iPhone. St. Lenox sits

on a stool, bathed in the pale blue stage

lights, sounding like a beautiful robot

from the future. (Ben Krieger)


Mal Blum

al Blum’s whimsical, melodic

songs have been garnering

Mher a devoted group of followers

over the past several years. Like

many songwriters of her caliber, Blum’s

strength lies in her words. She’s willing

Mal Blum

to name-drop Harry Potter, toss a nod

to vegans, or place her character in the

throes of seafood poisoning - always

with engaging lyrical imagery. While

the songs themselves rarely address

gender empowerment issues in an overt

way, the discerning listener can pick out

the themes. Blum’s shows often serve

as bonding experiences for fans with

similar social concerns. (Ben Krieger)


Bird to Prey

ird to Prey (Sarah Turk) is the

Sidewalk’s true country crooner,

Bwith an unstable quaver in her

voice and commanding stage presence

that somehow manages to avoid that

whole “girl with a guitar” stereotype.

For her set, the Australian-born songwriter

will be releasing her album

Saved by the Storm on Such a Punch

Recordings. (Ben Krieger)


Go Love


o Love is an anti-folk collective

founded by an elder statesman

of the scene, Ray Brown.

Personnel lineups include a vast array

of new and veteran anti-folk musicians

that, according to constant member

Morgan Heringer, Brown picks “while

drunkenly perusing Facebook in the

wee hours of the morning.” Past members

have included Sarah Stanley, Beau

Alessi, Sonya Gropman, Jon Roche,

Rachel Laitman, Charles Mansfield,

Rachel Meirs, JJ Hayes, and “a woman

Ray met on the subway who plays the

harp.” The CMJ show will surely feature

Brown, Heringer, Alessi, Gropman, and

other anti-folk guests (including, possibly,

the harp woman). (Ben Krieger)

St. Lenox

1. Regina Spektor 11. Jaymay

2. Cat Power

12. Charlotte Sometimes

3. Norah Jones 13. Mike Doughty

4. Ingrid Michaelson 14. Jolie Holland

5. Jenny Owen Youngs 15. JBM

6. Ron Pope

16. Sydney Wayser

7. Sharon Van Etten 17. Mike Wexler

8. Adam Green 18. Laura Cantrell

9. Rachael Yamagata 19. Dawn Landes

10. Brendan James 20. Allison Weiss


Ben Pagano


en Pagano’s band has been

described as “jazz/funk/space pio-

and that’s probably very Bneers,”

close to what they are. Wacked-out keyboards,

during which Mr. Pagano may

seem transported to another world.

Prepare to be befuddled and mystified

by the sounds that come out of this

cherubic young man’s mouth and mind.

And don’t forget to bring your dancing

pants! (Ben Krieger)


Crazy &

The Brains


The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

Check out our self-generating online charts:


Singer Songwriter

Top 20

razy & the Brains haven’t been on

Saturday Night Live yet, although

their song says they want to be.

They may make it yet. Downstroke

guitars and xylophone make them

sound like The Ramones meet The

Violent Femmes, with no evident irony

and more energy than any amount of

Adderall could control. Constant touring

has only strengthened the performance

of this good-time punk rock outfit of the

highest order. (Ben Krieger)

26 the deli Fall 2012


10/20 noisy @ Delinquency

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12




here’s a lot happening

on FIGO’s debut

album; from pure

dance to spiteful punk rock

and just about every degree

of fusion in-between, Put

It All In Black (released

in September) is not in

any way trying to pass for

coherent. It’s just there as

a sample of what the band

can do. Fact is, they’ve

been at it since 2006 – which means

plenty of time to try out different ways

of getting the crowds sweaty - so in

these eight tracks, amidst thick bass,

pounding beats and raucous vocals,

you’ll find a little of how they do it; and

that’s not en finesse. (Tracy Mamoun)


Bugs In The Dark

reeping down the back alleys of

the ’90s indie landscape, Bugs In

CThe Dark is a ticking time bomb,

unloading its discontent in its earliest

days in sounds from PJ Harvey on a

bad day to full blown rage à la Bikini

Kill. But Hang It On The Wall, released

last year, was, more menacing than

any uproar. The cadence was slower,

beat imperturbable, guitars exchanging

riffs in a courteous back and forth,

building up a truly heavy atmosphere.

An eerily calm setting for this trio,

quite possibly announcing the storm to

come. As Karen Rockower would roar

on “Paranoia,” we “don’t know [her] at

all.” (Tracy Mamoun)


Life Size Maps



n a year, Life Size Maps have made

some giant steps towards creating

a string indie pop identity of

their own. From Magnifier to Weird

Luck, they’d ventured into more ambitious

use of frantic noise bursts and

dissonant layers, trying new ways

to deconstruct a song. For Excavate,

they’ve taken an entirely new direction.

Channelling flows of swarming electronics

into the natural stream of each

track, they speed up and down a continuous

glowing tunnel. Far more coherent,

the record linearly works its way

through one single aesthetic

- finding in this exploration a

new dynamic to their sound.

(Tracy Mamoun)




f someone ever dared

Alyse Lamb and her

gang to take a stab

at something different,

Maurice Narcisse must have

been their answer. Kicking

off from their comfort zone

to some fuzzed-out punchy

bubble gum post-punk tangled up

in thick sticky basslines, the band

subtly drifts towards a soft side so

far untapped, surprisingly at ease on

every step of this decrescendo, which

led to the intimacy of a “Hollow Cave.”

There, voices are whispers; walls made

of cotton. It’s only one song - two at

most - but the conclusion to the record

unveiled a new dimension to this band

you once knew sour and vindictive.

(Tracy Mamoun)


The Everymen

omething in The Everymen’s

DNA, be it to do with the lads-

ratio or the New Jersey Sto-lady

air, probably a bit of both, means that

you’re never too far from the rough

energy of their debuts, however heartfelt

or slow the songs may get. And on

those fronts, ‘New Jersey Hardcore’

went all out. As they’ll show with a second

take on “Dance Only, Only Dance”

(from their first EP), if ‘NJHC’ is a big

step forward in terms of production,

their recipe hasn’t changed since day

The Everymen

one - a bit of grit, a whole lot of soul, a

sax and a couple o’ six packs for some

generous garage punk that’s only getting

tastier with age. (Tracy Mamoun)




1. Matt and Kim

2. A Place to Bury


3. Swans

4. Gung Ho

5. Cult of Youth

6. Thurston Moore

7. Black Dice

8. Screaming Females

9. Japanther

10. Star Fucking Hipsters

Garage/Punk/Post Punk

Top 20

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

11. Fergus & Geronimo

12. Talk Normal

13. Oneida

14. Parts & Labor

15. The Terror Pigeon

Dance Rev

16. Wyldlife

17. Swearin’

18. EULA

19. Pterodactyl

20. Skaters

Check out our self-generating online charts:


ith one album to their name,

a second in the making, and

already a sizeable fan base,

EndAnd are the outsiders to keep an

eye on. Thoughtfully split between polished

recordings and DIY methods, their

Adventures of Fi in Space cross the

paths of bands like Nirvana or Queens

of the Stone Age, finding on their way

this tricky balance between aesthetic

satisfaction, pop sensibility, and a dedication

to hard rocking. Pulling through

power chords and sharp-edged weirdness,

they’ve managed to reach some

unexplored confines of ’90s heritage,

off the beaten tracks, where everything

you thought you knew just suddenly

sounds a little peculiar. (Tracy Mamoun)

Interview: thedelimag.com/artists


28 the deli Fall 2012

10/16 CMJ Pizzaroo @ The Music Building

10/16 The Dust Engineers @ Mercury Lounge

10/17 FIGO @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

10/20 @ Delinquency

10/17 FLYING POINTS@ Spike Hill

10/17 SCREENTESTS @ Fontana’s

10/18 KILLCODE @ Webster Hall

10/19 THE BLACKFIRES @ Paperbox Theater


@ Fontana’s, Featuring:




10/20 BACKLIGHTS @ Pete’s Candy Store





From top left to bottom: TV on the Radio, The Stepkids, MS MR, Friends, Body Language

Bring It on

Home to Me

How Soul Music Found

A Permanent Spot

In The Indie Scene

By Brian Chidester

Illustration by J.P. Peer

At 10pm, the nightlife inhabitants at the

Knitting Factory, former location of the

Luna Lounge on Metropolitan Avenue

in Williamsburg, are restless for action.

Suddenly, beneath the heavily scaffolded stage,

out from the cushy modernist couches and jampacked

bar area, the sound of psychedelic soul

music begins to boom. Sun-drenched guitar

spills out over the constant thud of slap bass

and funky drum rolls, as tripped-out projections

blanket the band in kaleidoscope washes. The

audience is a mix of hipsters, alternative finks,

suave burlesque girls, sandy skate rats and

veteran soul fanatics. They have come to hear

The Stepkids - a three-piece band originally

from New Haven, Connecticut.

From seemingly another stratosphere, soul music has

found a new home.

Over thirty years after its disappearance from

the mainstream, soul has been reclaimed

by independents and arty punks taken with

its Stone Age lustiness and groove-oriented

backbeat. Bobby Womack, the raspy soul singer/

songwriter that gave us early ‘70s classics such

as “Lookin’ for Love” and “Across 110th Street”

(the latter used in Jackie Brown), is suddenly

in-demand on an international level. Womack first

reemerged on the music scene singing on Damon

Albarn’s 2010 Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach. Then

more recently recorded an Albarn-produced solo

album that sent vintage fetishists proclaiming it

the senior soul man’s best in decades.

“Soul,” relates public radio DJ Robin Tomlin, “is the

world’s most exciting music, because it’s about real

life. It’s designed to lift you up, not to highlight

your alienation, your depression or your narcissism.

It emphasizes community and all shades of love

and affairs of the heart.”

In the Beginning

During the formative years of rhythm & blues

(1941-59), three definitive voices defined the

style commonly known as soul music: Ray Charles,

Sam Cooke and Bobby “Blue” Bland. The first

two crossed-over to white audiences, while the

third remained mostly a footnote in the larger

movement that included protégés such as Wilson

Pickett and Otis Redding.

The 1960s saw the advent of hugely popular

Phil Spector girl group singles and factory-made

Motown hits, while English rockers like the

Animals, the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds

owed such a huge debt to African-American

blues and R&B artists that it’s impossible to even

consider ‘60s rock ’n’ roll without them. During

the psychedelic Summer of Love, Jimi Hendrix,

Booker T. & the MGs and Sly & the Family Stone

boasted interracial bands that fused genres, as

classic rockers like Creedence Clearwater Revival

and Led Zeppelin kept right on ripping through

soul and blues material during the 1970s.

The seeds of the current revival were also planted

almost immediately following the dissolution of

disco in 1979. New Wavers in the UK re-imagined

the Jamaican R&B sound of ska as “Two Tone”

during the halcyon days of punk rock, c. 1977-79,

while English culture mavens began collecting

American soul 45s (a.k.a. Northern Soul) as if it

were their birthright.

To be certain, soul music continued right through

the 1980s, subsumed into the larger music industry

with mainstream acts like Luther Vandross and

Teddy Pendergrass who seemed less like the

continuation of a movement and more like a

product of it. The real thing went subterranean.

Through the


(Soul Music and

the Underground)

In America, Go-go - a syncopated funk music based

around dotted jungle rhythms and call-and-response

vocals - became an underground sensation during the

early-to-mid-‘80s to largely black nightclub audiences

in the Washington D.C. area. Excessive PCP use on

that scene assured that it never escaped regional

popularity, yet to this day live Go-go shows in D.C.

remain the best soul music experience in existence.

Still, by the end of the ‘80s, the dominant style in

African-American music was no longer R&B/soul, but

rather hip hop. 1989’s 3 Feet and Rising by De La

Soul and Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys were

both sample-heavy hip-hop albums that rendered

soul as one part of the psychedelic grab bag, and

from 1990-95, hip-hop acts sampled funk breakbeats

with such ubiquity that a new generation became

interested in vintage soul as a means of tracing their

favorite rap artists’ influences. The die was cast for

soul music to be reborn.

In the early ’90s, prominent artists like Massive

Attack, the Fugees, DJ Shadow and later even white

hipsters like Beck and the High Llamas reached deep

into the well of soul and funk obscurities to cement

the notion that soul music was more than just

sample-ready: New stuff could now be made.


Indie Soul

In NYC, at the turn of the millennium, Brooklyn’s

TV on the Radio brought soul music into the larger

context of the (previously predominantly “soul-less”)

neo-post-punk and electro sound that wafted through

the air of basement studios around Williamsburg

during its azimuth moment in the sun. “The heaviest

concentration of indie soul music,” notes Tomlin,

“is happening in NYC. Has been now for about a

decade.” Need evidence? Just walk out your door

any night this week, and you’ll find along Bedford

Avenue half a dozen DJs spinning vintage soul and

funk 45s for a blissed-out youth contingent. It was

into this environment that Daptone Records and its

prime-acts, the Budos Band, Antibalas and Sharon

Jones & the Dap-Kings, emerged.

“Sharon Jones felt a bit like an arrival,” relates Jim

Thomson of Brooklyn’s CSC Funk Band and owner

of Electric Cowbell Records. “There was a deliberate

retro vibe, [but] what was refreshing about her was

"Over thirty years after its disappearance from the

mainstream, soul has been re-claimed by independents

and arty punks."

that she actually sounded real, not contrived.”

Thomson’s band, as well as the Daptone Records

stalwarts, are part of the Deep Funk Revival,

a cultish underground obsessively devoted to

re-creating the lo-fi hard grooves of ‘70s funk

bands like the Meters and Lee Fields, the latter

of whom Sharon Jones recorded some of her first

vocals with for Desco Records in 1996. Desco was

an independent Brooklyn-based label pre-dating

Daptone that gave us such Deep Funk talent as the

Soul Providers, The Daktaris and The Sugerman

3. The scene reached its apotheosis when the Dap-

Kings backed UK soul-singer Amy Winehouse on her

landmark Back to Black album in 2006. Since then,

a host of mainstream R&B singers such as R. Kelly

and Rafael Saddiq (of Tony! Toni! Toné!) have tried

their hand at recording vintage soul with varying

degrees of success.

The aforementioned Stepkids, whose members

previously backed mainstream acts like Alicia Keys,

50 Cent and Lauryn Hill (and who graced the cover

of The Deli in our CMJ 2011 issue), fit neatly into

this genre. Their self-titled debut album (from

2011), being a fusion of falsetto ‘70s soul vocals

set to West African funk rhythms, elongated into

perfectly-stoned jam-band grooves.

“I respect the commitment to preservation,”

concludes Thomson, “and to a great degree the

act of preservation is culturally important and

significant, but it also can beg the question of

practicality. Is an obsession with a musical style

forged some 40 years ago healthy? Is it a reaction to

a crowded marketplace of MP3s, downloads, digital

gadgetry? Believe me I get both the obsession

with the past and the possibilities available to us

by all the modern gadgets, but above all I long for

sincerity and community over authenticity.”

One Thing Leads

to Another

Community is a topic on the lips of seemingly

everyone in the current Occupy Wall Street

environment, when the very existence of a

middle class seems eminently threatened. A new

single by the shadowy NYC band MS MR, titled

“Hurricane,” captures the moment with stunning

results. Lyrics like “Make cash and leave the dust

behind/Lady Diamond flashing in the sky” are

sung with such regret that the band’s anonymous

female singer turns the artiness of Lady Gaga

and the dusky elegance of Adele into a kind of

dramatic soul-punk anthem.

MS MR released “Hurricane” on July 2, and have

since revealed their faces with a series of live shows

and a menacing in-studio performance for the web

series Yours Truly, filmed in Jimi Hendrix’s Electric

Lady Studios. Playing footsy with practically every

member of the music press, the band (a pink/blue

haired chanteuse and two scruffy male hipsters

on drums and keyboard) revealed a bit of their

inspiration in a letter to Yours Truly that promised

some eclectic mischief:

“Let’s make a day of it - spend an afternoon

smoking in the park, lying on each other’s laps and

finding animals in the clouds, then whisky gingers

at Lucky Dog, a midnight screening at Nighthawk,

all topped off with some late night karaoke in

Chinatown (what’s your guilty pleasure poison?)

Please say you will.”

Elsewhere in NYC, acts like flower-power soul singer

Luss have been wowing audiences in the South Bronx

at the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective on the first Fridays

of each month, while over in Brooklyn, free-spirited

bands such as Body Language, AVAN LAVA,

Friends, Lucius and Ava Luna have been rolling

around in a variety of soul-inflected source material.

Body Language, an interracial chillwave band,

reworks one of the most underrated (and

overlooked) styles from the ‘80s transition: electrofunk

(or what was considered at the time breakdance

music). The genre originally signaled soul music’s

acquiescence to New Wave, with androgynous

glam-man Prince’s mix of disco rhythms, icy synths

and sexed-out lyrics, along with other artists like

Newcleus, Jonzun Crew, Herbie Hancock, etc., found

blaring out of boomboxes when battle lines were

drawn and recycled cardboard pieces laid down

on the concrete. Afrika Bambaataa from the Bronx

and Cyberpunk from Detroit both sampled German

synthpop pioneers Kraftwerk during the early ‘80s,

setting the stage for a generation of breakdancing

kids to move their bodies like a pack of dancing

robots. It was the kind of shoulder-padded, peacock

hairdo-wearing plastic soul that made purists (then

as now) cringe. But in the hands of Body Language

(as exemplified during their recent gig at Afropunk

Fest in Brooklyn), audiences with no memory of the

epoch of its origin dance unfettered to its celebratory

rhythms and bucolic choruses.

"At the turn of the millennium, Brooklyn's TV on the Radio

brought soul music into the larger context of the (previously

predominantly "soul-less") neo-post-punk and electro sound."

Dance to the Music

(Upbeat Is the

New Downbeat)

On a Deli-organized June show at Williamsburg’s

Cameo, a club on North 6th Street, local band AVAN

LAVA sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy when

they launched into their summer 2012 anthem,

“It’s Never Over.” Formed by Fischerspooner multiinstrumentalists

Michael “Le Chev” Cheever and Ian

Pai, with new heartthrob singer Tom “TC” Hennes,

AVAN LAVA blasted purple lasers and confetti over

the audience, whilst on-stage dancers shimmied

and shook in celebration of the band’s unabashed

upbeat electro-pop. Mixing Prince with Rick Astley

and Wham!, things never veer into irony, rather the

entire affair feels both arty and jubilant in a way

not often experienced in a live setting.

Unlike George Michael, who spent years in the

closet, Hennes is open about his homosexuality, yet

doesn’t want it to define him. “I still feel hesitant to

say, ‘I’m a gay artist’,” Hennes wrote recently in a

Huffington Post blog. “Not because of the prejudice,

but because I don’t think my identity as a performer

needs a qualified description. I am an artist. The

most appealing part about AVAN LAVA is that we

have no overt political or social agenda.”

“Being energetic and upbeat,” concludes Cheever

definitively, “is the new counter-culture. We’re not

trying to make these kinds of angsty indie-rock

songs... the point is to create a massive show where

everyone is having fun.”

“Live is where the magic happens,” agrees Hennes.

“I think that’s what’s always made [this kind of]

music such a thrill.”

34 the deli Fall 2012

the deli Fall 2012 35


A Psychedelic Sky

By Dean Van Nguyen / Photo by Angel Ceballos

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12


lifetime spent absorbing the greats

of ’70s rock can be heard right

through to the bones of Jonathan

Rado and Sam French’s music.

Under the moniker Foxygen, the young

duo extensively draw upon rickety garage

rock, intense psychedelica and the earliest

seeds of punk and glam to help form their

throwback sound. But to acknowledge the

band simply for their dead-on recreation

of a bygone era would be a disservice to

them, as on their latest EP Take the Kids Off

Broadway, the band display accomplished

musicianship, effervescent imagination and

first class rock ‘n’ roll songwriting skills.

The origins of Foxygen actually date back to 2004, when

Jonathan and Sam were performing in a Doors-influenced

band called The Fionas. Sam was a creative force in

the group, and with Jonathan the only fellow member

seemingly on the same wavelength, the duo chose to

split. Both grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of West

Lake Village, and sharing a mutual love of classic rock,

the two 15-year-old high school freshmen formed Foxygen

in 2005, going on to home record 10 albums - primarily

distributed to their receptive classmates.

After high school, both went their separate ways to

attend different colleges, with Sam remaining out west

and Jonathan moving to New York. Having spent a few

unsatisfying stints performing with other musicians, the

band reformed to cut their latest release. “We recorded

Take the Kids Off Broadway when we were living together

in New York,” Sam France told The Deli’s Mike Levine last

summer. “We share a psychic vision of the album - I make up

the title, we think of the album cover, and go from there.”

Take the Kids Off Broadway is a pure psychedelic

firestorm of old school sounds and effects. Their recordings

are rough and lo-fi, with an overabundance of sonic

treats embedded into the arrangements. Having pulled

inspiration from Ondi Timoner’s savage rockumentary

Dig!, and specifically the unhinged flair of The Brian

Jonestone Massacre’s frontman Anton Newcombe who

claimed to play up to 75 different instruments on his

band’s spot on reconstruction of ’60s rock, the raw

power and unusual rhythmic flutters of Foxygen can be

Newcombe-esque, and just as gritty. “I wouldn’t say we’re

dedicated to a lower fidelity,” said Rado about the EP’s

often coarse presentation. “Take the Kids Off Broadway

was supposed to be a really clean album - like an ELO

album or something. We did that to the best of our

abilities. We just didn’t really know what we were doing.”

Maybe he’s being modest. Gloriously unpolished, Take

the Kids Off Broadway is a stunning listen. At their most

melodic - like on “Waitin’ 4 U” and “Middle School Dance

(Song for Richard Swift)” - the jangly guitar lines and

Jagger-esque vocals recall the Rolling Stones, while tracks

like the scuzzy, 10-minute opus “Teenage Alien Blues” are

reminiscent of the Velvet Underground. The ghosts of David

Bowie and Brian Ferry also appear almost randomly. It’s a

lot to take in, and it requires multiple listens to truly soak

up all the record’s subtle nuances. Even the band seems

confused on what has been omitted from these multifaceted

tracks. “We record all the stuff, there may have

been a few Charles Manson jams that we sampled, but I

can’t remember if that made the cut,” said Sam before

being interjected by Jonathan: “Oh, they’re in there.”

Written while Jonathan and Sam were apart, the EP

is a product of a long-distance song writing process,

something that’s largely picked up and glorified on many

blog write-ups, but the band refutes any interpretations

that this seriously bled into their sound. “A lot has been

made of us being a ‘bicoastal’ band, but the truth is

36 the deli Fall 2012

Live at Pianos

on 10.19

“We share a psychic vision of the album — I make up the title,

we think of the album cover, and go from there.”

-Sam France

that we’re not doing a Postal Service thing or anything,”

asserted Rado. “We live in different places, but we always

record and play in the same place.”

LA natives - they may be, but there are certainly more of

New York’s cold, steel streets to be heard in the band’s

grooves than the sun-kissed city that they call their home.

As well as the music being Velvets-esque, the band shares

Lou Reed’s attraction to gritty poetry. “I walk around, I

watch the children play down on Broadway/But sometimes

I think, I can’t even take that anymore,” sings France on

“Make It Known,” a desperate stroll around late night

Manhattan. Kids on Broadway again crop up on the title

track, an unexpected ode to a fallen celebrity, according to

Sam. “I think we wanted to have a sort of anthemic sort

of theme song or something. Maybe it’s a protest song

against child stars, like they all get effed up like Lindsay

Lohan, just take ‘em off the stage, and let them have their

childhoods. But we are all like Lindsay Lohan in a way.”

Take the Kids Off Broadway saw release last summer on

influential indie label Jagjaguwar, a major boast for a band

searching for an audience. Their reputation has since been

pushed along by a hectic touring schedule and numerous

favourable online write-ups. For a duo who sounds as

though they have fallen through a crack in time, coming

straight out of 1973 and landing in the new millennium,

2013 could very well be the year Foxygen’s psychedelic

grooves permanently mark the indie landscape.

Artist Equipment Box

PAiA Stringz ‘n’ Thingz

We had this cool old

string synth called

a PAIA Stringz n

Thingz - it was a like

a build-it-yourself

thing from the

’70s. It’s on almost

every song in some

capacity. It’s broken

now. The top register

shorted out.

the deli Fall 2012 37


Live at Bowery Ballroom

on 10.18

Who’s Afraid of Pop? By Mike Levine (@goldnuggets) / Illustration by J.P. Peer

Everyone needs superheroes: those

otherwise normal people who don

masks, capes and alter egos, and are

suddenly capable of great things.

Whether these superpowers include abilities

like flying, x-ray vision, or making pop

music cool again, the rule remains the same:

These are the people that do the impossible.

Now, I may be in the minority on this, but I think real

superheroes don’t lose much power by their unmasking.

If anything, it can sometimes make you appreciate their

powers even more. Such was the case when I found

out that the dynamic personality behind the immensely

fascinating new pop outfit Ms Mr was none other than

Neon Gold Records co-founder Lizzy Plapinger.

In case you haven’t heard, this is that mysterious

buzz band everyone’s talking about, and no one knows

anything about. Around for just over a year, the band’s

music is already distributed through indie purveyor and

London label Chess Club (Mumford & Sons). While we’ve

seen artists build their reputations on stage and in the

studio, after years of repeated tours and supporting

releases, open their own labels, eventually beginning to

sign artists of their own choosing, it’s much less often you

hear of musicians doing this dance in reverse.

For Ms Mr, the unlikely back-story of the band’s

mysterious members has produced this almost impossible

outcome: A group responsible for helping to release some

of the most talked about indie pop singles of the past

several years finds themselves in the unlikely position of

“buzz band.” How does someone get this lucky?

The Perfect Pop Single

For Lizzy Plapinger and collaborator Derek Davies, their

journey to the music biz began at a tender age.

“Lizzy and I have been friends since we were

kids. We used to vacation every summer at

Martha’s Vineyard together. So, we sort of grew

up together. And our mutual interest in music

defined our friendship.”

-Derek Davies, Interview Magazine

But things didn’t really take off until college when they

found themselves crossing similar paths in neighboring

schools. Davies was a film major at NYU; Plapinger was a

38 the deli Fall 2012

senior majoring in media studies

at Vassar. Both wanted to start a

label focused on a very particular


With Neon Gold Records, Lizzy

and Derek’s mission is to reclaim

pop music as the domain of the

young, hip and indie. They’re

blurring the line between fans of

Katy Perry and fans of Marina &

the Diamonds, without making

any apologies for creating

danceable, accessible pop music

that happens to be cool too.

“We wanted to celebrate

the idea of the perfect

single. The pro-pop

aesthetic we’re now

associated with almost

happened by accident, but

we welcome it.”

-Derek Davies,

Interview Magazine

For years, that’s exactly what

they did. Pressing early singles

for now-renowned artists like

Passion Pit, Gotye and Ellie

Goulding, to name a few.

Following this early success,

another signee, Marina & The

Diamonds, is now taking off,

landing international tours and

becoming a household name

throughout her hometown of

London (and soon to blow up in

the States).

Of course, while all this was going

on, who would’ve thought that Lizzy’s next move might

be to launch her own band? I wish I could provide an easy

answer here. The band’s success has proven just as unique

a journey as the label’s story.

Having only released a series of demos (Ghost City USA),

a single (“Hurricane”) and a nostalgic-for-the-’90s Tumblr

photo page, the band already finds themselves at the top

of buzz lists from Hype Machine and Brooklyn Vegan (not

to mention The Deli Mag), to overseas tastemakers like

Time Out London.

The sound? Ms Mr sound haunting and barnstorming at

the same time. While much of the percussion is canned

and contained, this provides a clear runway for Lily’s

powerhouse vocals. When you hear the tortured hook in

“Hurricane,” (“welcome to the inner workings of my mind,

so dark and foul I can’t disguise”) you know you’ve been

taken out to far deeper waters than most pop music. It’s

like Portishead meets Lana Del Rey meets Florence and

the Machine meets My So Called Life. So basically you just

need to hear it for yourself.

Gossip Girl

When you hear about this kind of overnight success after

understanding something of the band’s background,

you might find yourself experiencing a cynical knee-jerk

reaction: “Well, of course, the band’s getting buzz… they’re

promoting themselves on their own label!”

Please suppress this reaction if you can. While this

comment might have made sense back in the ‘90s, when

label imprints were essentially local versions of larger

parent labels (Geffen Records, Virgin Records, etc.),

today the opposite is largely true. Many large labels don’t

even sign artists anymore, acting instead as distribution/

promotion arms for local scenes. Instead of global music

being imported to local record shops, local bands are being

exported out to the world.

Like entrepreneurs/songwriters before (i.e. Jack White

and David Byrne), pioneers like Lizzy Plapinger and Derek

Davies are redefining the pop landscape in no small terms,

utilizing a full industry apparatus toward their artists and

their own music, and selling a lot of records while doing so.

Especially with the group’s latest project, Plapinger

comes to a place where she’s brought her songwriting

and label leadership together through an interesting and

characteristically creative series of ongoing song releases

via the band’s Tumblr. Sure to generate buzz with each

subsequent single release, the band intends to release

a new track, remix and video every week, under the

affectionately titled Candy Bar Creep Show. All this is

looped around an idea: to have fans remix the record’s

stems and submit these back to the band. The submissions

that Ms Mr enjoy the most will have a chance to be

included as part of an upcoming album release. Here, the

band is doing something that generates both fans and

future label-mates at the same time.

It’ll be interesting to see where the band heads from here.

I hope that we see a full-length out from them soon, of

course. Right now, the band is continuing their European

tour opening for signed act Marina & the Diamonds,

where the crowds have reportedly sold out several shows

of the tour. A recent video where the band appears live for

a Yours Truly session has already generated over 35,000

hits, and in their most obvious nod to popular culture yet,

the band’s latest single “Hurricane” has been featured on

an episode of Gossip Girl.

Most groups take years to reach these markers. Ms Mr

have done it without even revealing the members of their

group. Rather than selling out, this band has begun their

careers by unapologetically buying in, dissolving tired

notions of credibility, and calling into question sacred

boundaries between pop and indie rock - controversial to

be sure. Perhaps that’s the reason the band hides their

identities. Or maybe it’s because this is the kind of pop

music that speaks for itself.

Artist Equipment box

Ms and Mr MS MR are not

very keen to answer the

questions music journalists

pose to them (they rarely

concede interviews), but at

their live show we couldn’t

help but notice that their

keyboard of choice is a

(rather awesome) Korg

VS-1, an 88 weighed key

vintage keyboard simulator.

Korg VS-1

the deli Fall 2012 39

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12

Laura Stevenson

and The Cans

Live at The Delancey

on 10.16

Evolution of Sound (and Wardrobe) By Devon Antonetti

Before finding her voice as an indie-pop songstress, Laura Stevenson had to sift

through years of musical transformations and a diverse set of influences to reach

her current, delicate signature sound.

The Long Island native boasts an impressive musical

lineage, with a grandfather composer most famous for

The Little Drummer Boy” and a grandmother who was a

singer for jazz bandleader Benny Goodman. But her time

in a few Long Island punk rock acts also played a major

role in her evolution, allowing her to charge through her

accessible melodies with unrelenting ferocity.

Discussing her beginnings, Stevenson admits her family had a

lot to do with her decision to give a career in music a chance.

Her dad enrolled his young daughter in music lessons, and

on the weekend, he would take her to see live performances,

which included greats like Neil Young and Chrissy Hynde.

Fifth grade marked the discovery of “over-driven guitars,”

an experience that would have a lasting impact on

Stevenson: “I probably thought it was rebellious, but I’m

sure my dad was into it.” With a growing taste for the

edgier side of music, she took to the notoriously loud

Long Island music scene, spending middle school and high

school on the local circuit. It was there where she first

met the members of Arrogant Sons of Bitches, who were

prominent in the area at that time.

Started as a two-piece playing Green Day covers, the

Bitches later morphed into a full band and began to

write their own ska-punk material. After breaking up in

40 the deli Fall 2012

“getting caught working on music is ‘worse than

getting caught jerking off’”

2004, band member Jeff Rosenstock started Bomb the

Music Industry! (BtMI!), and turned to Stevenson for

keyboards. Laura - who as most rockers wasn’t exactly a

model student - had just gotten kicked out of school when

approached with the offer, so the decision was practically

made for her: “It was kind of perfect timing. I picked up

and went on my first tour.”

Her new found role in the Long Island and national music

scenes didn’t prevent Laura from feeling curious about

the artists that were making waves in the neighboring

New York City scene. The über-cool bands of that time,

including more notably The Strokes, had a significant

impact on the burgeoning songwriter, which is still

apparent in her work today.

Stevenson still lists Is This It as one of her favorite albums

of all time, even though she found the band’s shows

a little “strange” because of their overt trend factor.

“Coming from someone who went to a lot of ska shows,

we did not dress cool,” she noted. Though those Long

Island bands may not have had the “Downtown New York

style,” their music had - to Laura’s ears - the same edge

and alternative aesthetic.

While playing in BtMI! in her early music career,

Stevenson started writing her own songs and performing

solo in between gigs. Her supporting band grew

organically around these shows when she asked a few of

her bandmates to start joining her on stage, later dubbing

them The Cans. The group was shortly settled with Mike

Campbell on bass, Alex Billing on trumpet, Peter Naddeo

on guitar, and Dave Garwack on drums.

Her work with The Cans is firmly grounded in rootsy pop

territory, from her debut album A Record, to last year’s

Still Resist, and though her soft, feminine vocals may

resonate with a wide audience, her punk cred opens her

to more niche listeners, just as much as her personal,

remorseless melodies do.

When not working on her own material, Stevenson still

spreads herself across her friends’ bands, playing with

everyone from Andrew Jackson Jihad, to Maps and

Atlases, to her continued collaborations with BtMI!

Her rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle causes her to uproot often, but

Stevenson’s favorite place to write music is still in her

bedroom, wherever that happens to be at the time. The

singer even compares her songwriting experience to

the intimacy of self-pleasure, saying that getting caught

working on music is “worse than getting caught jerking

off,” a fair description for music so personal and distinct as

the woman who writes them.

In between an East Coast tour throughout fall and

appearances at various festivals and CMJ showcases,

Laura Stevenson and The Cans will be locked away in a

barn in upstate New York, working on the band’s third

full-length album, bound to be released on New Jerseybased

Don Giovanni Records, who put out records by The

Ergs! and Screaming Females. But for Stevenson, one

of the biggest things that she has to look forward to is

seeing different bands performing live along the way, and

of course, getting to see her favorite bands and friends

from the road.

With her perfect mix of fervent, satisfying pop melodies

and unpredictable sense of surprise, Laura Stevenson has

gone in a few years from NYC scene spectator to NYC

scene hero, headlining Bowery Ballroom and other major

local venues.

How much this process was triggered by the influence the

music of the Big Apple had on her songwriting, or by the

fact that her wardrobe has in the meantime gotten more

in line to the NYC “standard,” is hard to know.

Artist Equipment box

2007 Apple MacBook’s Mic

For recording I often use a 2007 MacBook

with garage band and no external mics.

We have used some of those recordings

on full lengths and 7”s because the

internal mic on that model is so awesome.

It distorts sometimes but it’s nice and

warm. I love it so much that my computer

has been on the outs for over 2 years and I

just keep getting it fixed rather than buying

a new one. The newer models aren’t as

good - there’s this weird decay that I hate.

the deli Fall 2012 41

Young Magic

NYC’s Wizards from Oz

By Dave Cromwell / Photo by Kaia Willow

The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’12

Jingling bells on sticks, rattling chains,

single struck congas and thundering

toms all share significant time in the

mix. Interlocking guitar patterns gently

move through progressions as dominant layers

of percussion rise to the forefront. With

the release of their debut album Melt this

past February, New York-based trio Young

Magic has staked a serious claim on the ever

evolving psychedelic dream-pop landscape.

Isaac Emmanuel and Michael Italia began playing together

in their native Australia back in 2007. The duo first met

Indonesian-born Melati Malay in 2009, but didn’t start

working together until last year. Michael explains, “We had

just finished recording a bunch of songs for an album but

we never put it out. I remember having this huge drive to

be making music, but I couldn’t find anyone to collaborate

with in Melbourne. I kind of grew a little tired of trying to

form bands and get everyone in one place. So I bought a

Macbook and set up a little studio and just started making

beats and experimenting with sounds in my bedroom.

Isaac was doing the same thing, and actually started the

Young Magic name at that time. Isaac then left for Europe,

and I went to the US. We eventually met in New York and

rented a room in the East Village where we’d spend all day

hunched over our laptops just making music and sharing

sounds. Looking back, we were both really just learning

how to use everything at that point. About a month later,

I left for Europe. I was only planning on a two-week trip,

but somehow I ended up in South America, and 5 months

later I resurfaced in New York in the dead of winter. During

that 5-month period, we had all been working on a bunch

of material. Melati, Isaac and I then rented a warehouse

in Brooklyn above an old Cabaret theatre with our good

friend, Trent Gill (a.k.a. Galapagoose). It was February,

and New York had just been hit with a huge snow blizzard.

It was so brutal. Our place didn’t have any heating, and I

just remember huddling up together for long cold nights,

sharing all the music we’d been making during our travels

and trying to keep warm. This is when the idea of Melt

actually came together. We suddenly realized we had all

this music, and began piecing together everything we’d

been working on. We did most of it in New York. Then Isaac

and I went back to Australia to mix the record with Trent.”

The track “Slip Time” takes a more experimental approach,

building its angular repeating hook around a shrieking

synth line. More than a few robotic bleeps and blips can be

heard before recognizable vocals make their way into the

fray. It’s all cascading layers of voices until more stabilizing

handclap percussion emerges at the end. Michael describes

how the compositions evolve: “It’s definitely a joint effort,

and I think it works best this way. We all bounce ideas off

one another. Sometimes months will pass where we’ve all

been writing separately, and then we’ll get together and

show all the songs - sketch ideas we’ve come up with. Then

share ideas and send the tracks back and forth, and it kind

of just builds from there.”

Other cuts like “You With Air” pulse along a jumpy

keyboard line while harmonized voices repeat the titular

phrase. This drone sets the tone for the verses to be

presented in half-talk, half-chant manner. Michael shed

additional light on the band’s origins and influences:

“I grew up in a musical family. My Grandfather was a

musician and so was my father. We actually had a studio

at my house when I was growing up in Melbourne.

Looking back, it was pretty dope. My Dad built it and

ran an independent record label from an office space in

our backyard. There were always a lot of instruments

lying around the house, and I think that’s where I started

to pick it up. I remember I’d always sit in on recording

sessions in the studio, and try and sneak something

on the recordings. But my Dad was predominately a

guitar player, so I grew up playing mostly guitar and

experimenting with all of the percussion lying around.

I remember in primary school, there were a group of us

that would sneak into the music hall during lunchtime

and experiment with all the gear they had lying around.

I started playing in punk bands quite young, and by the

time I was in high school was playing in these crazy avantgarde

experimental psychedelic bands, with horn sections,

cheap synths, a Theremin and all type of self-indulgent

42 the deli Fall 2012

Live at Pianos

on 10.19

“I’ve always really liked

combining electronic

beats with more live

organic percussion.

We all have pretty

eclectic music tastes

and listen to a lot of

music that came out of

Africa and Turkey in

the ’60s and ’70s.”

stuff. I met Isaac when I joined a band that was looking for

a guitar player. We ended up recording enough material for

an album together, but never put it out, and the band split

up. It was at this point that I kinda grew a little tired of

playing in bands, and began producing my own music. Isaac

was actually doing the same thing. And after about a year

of all three of us writing individually, we met in New York

and started to play shows as Young Magic.”

Melt came together over the course of about one year. The

band members were all traveling separately and writing

their own songs on the road. Not until they all got together

in New York and began sharing songs with one another

did they really start thinking about how they wanted it to

sound. “It was an interesting way to do it because, looking

back, we had such an eclectic bunch of songs recorded.

We had to find what we wanted the album to sound like,”

notes Isaac. “It was quite difficult because there were some

songs that we really liked, but were just far too obscure or

stylistically different to include with this album. I don’t think

that’s a bad thing though. But we’ve put them in the vault,

so who knows, we may still put a lot of that material out.”

The band starts the songwriting for most of the songs with

a beat and builds on top of the rhythm. “I’ve always really

liked combining electronic beats with more live organic

percussion. We all have pretty eclectic music tastes and

listen to a lot of music that came out of Africa and Turkey

in the ’60s and ’70s. Artists like Selda, Ersen and Erkin

Koray have such amazing rhythms. But I don’t think it

was a conscious decision to make the percussion sections

sound a particular way. Most of the time, we’d be sitting

around working on a song, and one of us would just pick

up something and start taping on it. Then we’d record it.”

“When I listen back to the album or when we play it live,

it’s very nostalgic. All these memories come flooding back;

I’m reminded of all the places we recording in, the people

we met and the amazing experience we got to share

during that time. It’s almost like reading over a journal,

except it’s a sonic journal that reminds me of the sights,

smells and colors of South America, Europe and New York.”

Artist Equipment box


Cathedral Stereo Reverb

My favorite pedal is the Electro-Harmonix

Cathedral Stereo Reverb. The tone from this

pedal is so dreamy, it sounds like long feathers

and silky clouds. I like that there are so

many ways to meddle with its effects parameters;

you can tailor it to suit your particular

sound. The other thing I love about it is that it

has an infinite switch that you can stomp on if

you need to carry on dreaming. -Melati

the deli Fall 2012 43

The bands featured on this page rehearse at The Music

Building in Manhattan. If you rehearse there, submit

your info to be covered in the next issue of the deli at:


ous sessions’ left-aside material of their B-Sides

EP, but here we go - a record’s on its way!

By Tracy Mamoun




A lot of your songs are about a girl — do they

come from one man’s story or do you all contribute

to writing the vocals?

It’s all pretty much me, and typically the

songs are more about the event rather than

the person. It’s true that a lot of the songs

revolve around a boy and girl dynamic - but

as is typical, the meaning of certain songs has

changed over time. Songs like the “Process,”

which started out as being about chasing an

older woman, has become more about growing

up and taking on more responsibility.

“Where We Started” is the story of a friend of

mine and some very strong and life altering

decisions he made a few years ago. Right now,

the four songs we are about to release are still

very specific.

Since “No Safe Word,” almost two years have

passed — what has this time lapse brought to

your music?

I think we’ve become more comfortable with each other

and ourselves as musicians. I’ve learned a lot about where

I want to sing - it’s great to be able to stretch your range,

but there is an area where I am at my best, and going

forward I am trying to make the most of that. I think the

sound of this EP will chart some new territory for us - there

is “Part Time Everything,” which you could say is in the

same vein as “Process” or “Sex Toys,” and then there is

“Take It Slow,” which has a dirtier, punk influence to it.

rom two friends jamming, Flying Points found its

path as a four-piece in the footsteps of Killers, Kings

of Leon & co., playing some beaming synth-laced pop

rock that talks about heartbreaks, summer romances and...

well, mostly relationships. 2011 actually came with a pretty

bold move, in a set of four dance remixes of their early song

“Being Nice.” Two years have now passed since they last

released “new” material - their latest output being the previtye


(“Shine Them Shoes”) and a hint of Latin roots (“Spanish

Romance”) - and dive shamelessly into their classics to

bring back a little of that not-so-long-lost kick. All in all, it’s

about sharing their love for “the old school aesthetic.”

A little about where you guys are from, i.e. the Bronx and

Harlem. In which ways do you think the music surrounding

you as you grew up contributed to what you’re out to offer?

We were all surrounded by the same culture/scene, or lack

thereof, in the neighborhoods we grew up in. We decided

that we didn’t want to get stuck in the same mentality as

everyone else, so we all searched for something different

and found blues and rock and roll. Our surroundings had an

adverse effect on our playing, and what our music is about.

By Tracy Mamoun


ou’ve heard the story a thousand times - three young

guys seeking a getaway from boredom. What do

they do? They start a rock and roll band. Bred from

the sounds of sixties psychedelic/blues rock, The Tye Trybe

add to the patterns that they cherish - a little retro kitsch

Are your songs, like “Spanish Romance” for example,

based on true stories?

Basically, “Spanish Romance” is not a specific memory or

true story. It’s a dirty novella about a man meeting a girl at

a dance, and she leaves him the morning after - penniless

(definitely not a true story, haha). However, some of the

songs do tell real stories, and there’s a lot of hidden quotes

from our favorite authors in our songs.

In terms of recording — do you guys admit to any ‘retro’


We don’t really have any preferences regarding which

recording gear to use. If we can score some time at a great

studio, that’s fantastic. If we had our old Talkboy recorders,

we might still use that.

44 the deli Fall 2012

kitchen recording equipment news

Brought to you by



Review by Gabriel Lamorie

The bx_saturator, by Brainworx, is a mid/side

multiband saturation plugin that excels in

several respects. Being as it is a multiband

M/S processor, users have control over separate

mid-high and mid-low sections as well as side-high

and side-low sections – four “XL units” in total with

individual “Solo,” “Gain,” “Drive,” and “XL” controls.

The master controls located at the top of the plugin greatly

helped me understand the audible qualities of this effect:

experimenting to find a balance between cranking and

dialing down the Master Drive along with the Master XL,

after applying some basic settings to all of the XL units,

was a good place to start. Bypassing the XL Active switch

made the process even easier to evaluate the two different

audible qualities.

After getting a basic understanding of how the plugin

worked, the thought of saturation on drums crossed my

mind. Distorting the acoustic drums in a rock mix delivered

typical results one might expect, but the bx_saturator’s

distortion sounded a bit more defined compared to other

plugins I cross-referenced. Even when exaggerated

distortion was applied on percussion, vocals or guitar, it

always produced very “defined” results.

One test that further reinforced my trust in the plugin

was placing it at the top of the signal chain on an acoustic/

ambient master track. The vocal distortion at the end of the

track wasn’t as present as it should have been but after a few

simple tweaks, they popped and sounded very natural against

the accompanying instruments without cluttering the mix.

The bx_saturator is great at being very transparent when

you need it to be, but cranking it up to heavy distortion also

sounded good on everything I put it on. It provides straightup

saturation that sounds crisp and clear.

Etymotic MUSICPRO 9-15

High Fidelity Electronic Musicians Earplugs

Review by Jacqueline Smiley

Etymotic continues to stay “true to the ear” with

its new Music•PRO 9-15 earplugs for the price of

$399 a pair. The MP•9-15 was designed for all

who want to hear naturally but also need protection

from sudden-impact noise and/or loud sound that is

sustained for an extended amount of time.

As sound levels increase, the earplugs provide the option

of 9 or 15 dB sound reduction with the flick of a switch.

Adaptive attenuation lets the user hear naturally as if

nothing was in the ears, until sound exceeds safe levels.

In this way, the MP•9-15 earplugs offer an unprecedented

capability in that it acts both as an electronic earplug and a

personal hearing device.

I tested the MP•9-15 at three different music venue locations

in and around NYC – an indie rock show at the Bowery

Ballroom, an outdoor DJ show at Neptunes Beach Club in the

Hamptons and KD Lang at a Performing Arts Center.

The result: These earplugs made a big difference in the way

I heard the music.

For more reviews, visit www.SonicScoop.com!

46 the deli Fall 2012

kitchen local business news

Brought to you by

NYC Studio News

Chung King Studios Reopens

Chung King Studios – the NYC recording institution that

birthed the earliest Run DMC, Beastie Boys and Def Jam

releases – has returned, opening new studios in the former

Skyline Recording Studios on W. 37th Street.

The 6,000-sq. ft. space encompasses two studios including

the centerpiece “Empire Suite” which features CK’s

Musgrave-modified Neve VR72 console, Augsperger mains,

Pro Tools 10 HDX with all the new trimmings such as UAD

and Softube plugins, a comprehensive collection of outboard

gear, and a vast collection of classic tube mics from the past

and present. A palette of available tape machines is also on

hand, for those purists who crave the sound.

Braund Sound:

A Studio In The Round

Producer/engineer Erik Braund’s new Greenpoint facility

known as Braund Sound is a 1,600 sq. ft. one-room studio inthe-round

– offering plenty of room to create, and collaborate.

The biggest benefit of a studio-in-the-round is

communication,” says Braun, who’s worked with A Place To

Bury Strangers, Shapes and Bowerbirds among others. “You

have constant eye contact, and you can take your headphones

off and talk to each other, instead of the fishbowl effect of

pressing the button and saying ‘Go’ from another room.”

Braund has packed a great deal into the space – to

accommodate production, recording, mixing and multimedia

projects. Gear-wise: Two racks of Distressor-dominated

dynamics, API/Neve-flavored mic pres and effects are

connected via 32 channels of Aurora Lynx A/D/A into a

“vintage” Digidesign Pro Control 24-fader work-surface

running Pro Tools HD2. Genelec, Yamaha and Mackie

monitoring are available, with a Dangerous Monitor system.

A Penthouse Full of

Recording Studios

in Murray Hill

Ten years ago, many of the producers and engineers who

currently keep the studios humming at 23 East 31st Street

were working about a dozen blocks away – at the old Sony

Music Studios over on West 54th Street. When Sony closed,

a number of its engineers and mastering engineers set up

smaller facilities around town – including Gabriel Schwartz,

who opened Fireplace Studios, which became the flagship

room in a penthouse full of independent recording studios.

Fireplace, which is equipped with an ample live room and

racks full of API preamps and vintage Urei compressors, is

home to “a network of engineers around the city,” including

Chuck Brody (Bear Hands, Phantogram, J.Lo). This main

studio has hosted sessions for Pixar, Spoon, Ted Leo, Ad

Rock, Theophilus London, The B-52s and Peter, Bjorn and

John, among others.

Just across the lobby from Fireplace, another Sony veteran

William Garrett keeps his own production room called

Electracraft, where Mark Foster of Foster The People, and Jack

Antonoff and Andrew Dost of FUN have recently recorded.

Two more private production studios round out this mini

recording-complex – including producer Fredro Ödesjö’s

personal room, Rattlebrain Productions, where he works

on tracks with hit songwriters like Claude Kelly and Aplus,

and artists like Sinead O’Connor and Maxi Priest. The four

music spaces share a long, L-shaped lounge that’s lit by

over 100 feet of skylights set high up in the lofty ceilings

of the penthouse. A tidy kitchen stands in the elbow of the

room, and a snack machine guards a back door that opens

out onto a Manhattan rooftop with a view of the Empire

State Building.

Find more news about NYC based music businesses on www.SonicScoop.com!


the world

a better



10 jay street

suite 405

brooklyn, ny 11201

(718) 797-0177


48 the deli Fall 2012

the deli Fall 2012 49

kitchen recording equipment news

Strymon Flint Review by Arthur Fleischmann

Stomp Box Exhibit

October 19&20

at Main Drag Music

Try these pedals!

200 + pedals displayed!

or Strymon’s own Favorite switch to alter or recall settings

on the fly hands free. A+ all around as nearly all personal

preferences and functionality are accounted.

Lovingly crafted in the USA, the Flint is feeling tour

ready and crams a multitude of both trem’ and

‘verb into a package just barely wider than my foot.

The ins and outs of the Flint are handled up top. Selectable

stereo input and stereo output as well as a multi-featured

“EXP” make it easy to work this pedal into a slew of different

set ups. A standard, 9v adapter powers the pedal with no

noise or hum. Additionally, the switching is handled by a

relay which makes for quieter, gentler switches without pops.

While powering up the Flint the user can set the function of

the “EXP” jack via the small toggles on the units face. This

allows access use of an expression pedal, tap tempo pedal,

With three available tremolo types and three very distinct

and different reverb styles to choose from, at first glance the

Flint can seem slightly intimidating. In use however positive

results are alarmingly simple to achieve. Tremolo controls

select between harmonic band filtering, power tube bias and

photocell algorithms written to emulate popular amplifier

tremolos of the 1960’s. Additional controls for Intensity and

Speed take you from pulsing blues twang to aggressive hard

chopping effects and everywhere in between. The reverb

controls select between a ’60s style spring tank, ’70s style

solid state plate, and an ’80s rack style digital hall all of

which are expansive and lush. Adjustable Mix, Decay and

Color controls make it super easy to add any variation from

a little springy splash to an almost infinite ambient pad like

hall. Need more editing? While holding both foot switches

down you can add a +/- 3 dB boost or cut to either or both

of the effects as well as change the tap subdivision for the

tremolo and even flip the order of the two effects.

What’s best is that it all sounds great. The pedal is fun to

play with almost anything plugged into it, even line level

instruments like keys and drum machines. Super low noise

A/D and D/A converters and 32 bit processing are all but

barely audible, and when you are only using the reverb

section the dry path is completely analog, offering you super

high quality sonics in a compact form. The Flint streets for

$299 USD and given its flexibility and sonic detail it’s worth

checking out hands down.

EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job Review by Shane O’Connor

The Earthquaker

Devices Tone

Job is a simple

three band EQ and level

booster pedal meant to

add subtle tone shifting

qualities. Unlike other

guitar EQ pedals, the

tone bender is subtle and

broad. I can liken the top

and bottom boosts to that

of a Pultec equalizer used

on guitars in the studio.

The top end can be

pushed to the maximum

and still provide a usable,

chiming guitar sound.

Similarly, the low band

can be cranked with the

top band attenuated for a smooth muted tone without

unwanted resonances and distortions.

I tested the Tone Job in conjunction with the EarthQuaker

Devices’ Speaker Cranker and Hoof Fuzz pedal, using it to push

the Cranker into distortion in a similar manner to how the

preamp section of a guitar amp would do with the power amp

and speaker cone. With the EQ set at unity, the level control

provided a secondary clean boost in the signal chain that was

ideal for crunchier sounds. More impressive was the boost

that the pedal provided with all three EQ bands at maximum

and the level control boosted as well. This setting allowed

the Speaker Cranker to create new harmonics and types of

distortion that I was not previously able to get on my pedal

board. In a town like New York City where guitarists are often

gigging with club backline, having these two pedals would

solidify your tone, regardless of what amp a venue provides.

The Tone Job was also useful as a gain stage before the

Hoof Fuzz. Although the Hoof has a very broad range of

fuzz possibilities, the creative EQ possible with the Tone Job

allows for a new set of distortions that can bring the Hoof

into a territory of ambient and washed out fuzz instead of

basic and “usable” fuzz that the pedal is known for. This

combination was great for layers of reverb and fuzz soaked

open chords on the chorus of a song that I have been

working on. I used the mid and treble bands of the Tone Job

to hit the Hoof Fuzz extremely hard while leaving the low

end out of the way to maintain root note clarity.

I found the mid band control to be most useful in cutting

when guitar sounds became too honky to fit into a mix. With

other pedals, the mid range can often blur guitar parts or

vocals. The mid band on the Tone Job pulled just enough

2kH in a subtle manner that did not interfere with the

integrity of the guitar signal.

50 the deli Fall 2012


The next generation of the legendary T-Rex

Spindoctor tube driven pre-amp

We’re pleased to introduce SPINDOCTOR 2, the next generation

of this legendary T-Rex tube-driven preamp/stompbox.

Four channels of T-Rex tone with adjustable and programmable gain, tone and output controls.

Motorized knobs move like faders on a studio mixing board as you call up different

channels, providing mission-critical visual cues that let you monitor your settings at a glance.

A full spectrum of analog gain in a single knob. Plus a Lead button to blast off into

the stratosphere of world-class overdrive.

Not only a killer distortion pedal – it’s also a complete guitar preamp. Plug it directly into a

power amp, or use the speaker-simulation output to connect to a mixer or computer.


kitchen recording equipment news


Junior Roommate

Review by Gus Green

Stomp Box Exhibit

October 19&20

at Main Drag Music

Try these pedals!

200 + pedals displayed!

This blue, rugged pedal is a

digital reverb featuring four

different modes: Spring,

Room, Hall and LFO. It includes a

stereo out and a useful red LED to

indicate clipping if present, and it’s

very straight forward in operation.

The only knob that really affects

the reverb is the Decay knob,

while the other ones are dedicated

to giving you the right mix of

signal going to your amp.

The Spring mode is very familiar

to most guitar players, since spring

reverbs are featured in many amps.

This is a rather good recreation and

with the Decay knob all the way up

it reminds me of the spring models

of the 60’s. What I like about having

a digital Spring is that it is way less

noisy, temperamental, and dirty

sounding than a real Spring. Having

control over the Decay is what makes

this digital recreation very useful,

since this setting can’t be adjusted on

most amp springs. The Room mode

is a very subtle reverb. It adds just

enough effect to make the signal

not sound totally dry. That said, I

really like the Room mode on this

particular pedal. It has a nice “slappy”

characteristic that’s very usable.

The Hall mode is an imitation of how

the signal would sound in a large of

various sizes depending on how the

Decay knob is set, and gives you a

natural yet big and deep reverb sound.

This mode has again a nice sounding

tone. The LFO mode is not your

traditional reverb tone. The manual

describes it as reverb embellished with

chorus, perfect for acoustic guitar. I

am not much of an acoustic musician

these days so my use of this mode

would be pretty limited, but for those

seeking a warmer, feel good reverb

tone for a Sunday morning brunch this

is the go-to mode.

The Roommate Junior definitely

sounds better then a lot of digital

reverbs for guitar I’ve heard. I

appreciate the minimal interface and

simplicity of use. I ran my ES-335

knock off through this pedal into my

stock Blues Junior and got pleasing

results. I also tested it on vocals,

drum machine and real drums. I

mainly wanted to hear how the Spring

mode reacted to these alternative

sources - ands was very pleased. As

the dynamics increased, the springs

became more present and jangley. I

would firmly recommend this pedal

to anyone looking for a digital stomp

verb. It’s as good if not better then

pedals costing much more.

Check out the deli’s

stomp box blog!


52 the deli Fall 2012

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