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the deli

everything about the nyc music scene

FREE in NYC Issue #27 Volume #2 Summer 2011

$2 in the USA www.thedelimagazine.com

Alex Winston Figo Radical Dads rubblebucket

Ravens & Chimes shake the baron Only Son

Yellow Ostrich Sam Amidon devin therriault

ava luna Mister Melt American Darlings Yellowbirds

High Highs The Hollows The Yes Way The Nico Blues

Caveman

Features

Surfin’ NYC

~A New Wave of Surf Rock~

+ Hooray For Earth / Only Son / Rubblebucket

+ Guitar Pedals, Mics & Audio Plug-Ins News


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the deli

everything about the nyc music scene

Issue #27 Volume #2 Summer 2011

p.17

Caveman

p.19

Surfin’ NYC

~A New Wave of Surf Rock~

Note from the Editor

Deli readers,

In the good old Myspace days, the truly original bands were

the ones that did NOT pick funny, nonsensical genres to

describe their music (Hyphy, anybody?)

I’m aware that many bands hate to be categorized in genres

— I was in a band too, no artist likes to be “boxed in.” But I

believe this is a necessary evil - and a kind of fun and entertaining

evil for that matter. Music is such an abstract art form

that any single word which can express a combination of

musical concepts is more than welcome. Also, as I’m personally

dealing with hundreds of bands every week, categorizing

has its advantages — it keeps things tidy and aides memory.

Of course, a word can’t describe the complexity of a band’s

repertoire, but the blurbs or reviews are there for that purpose,

and that’s really the most important piece of information

most music fans are interested in knowing, in particular when

they are reading about emerging artists they don’t know.

Besides, visual arts are also organized in currents, movements

and waves, so this issue is not specific to pop music.

This is just to say that many artists — when categorized by

music writers — should understand that they are just making

an effort to promote their music to the kind of audience

who can appreciate it.

Paolo De Gregorio

Editor In Chief: Paolo De Gregorio

Founder: Charles Newman

Executive Editor: Ed Gross

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

Cover Photo: Kate Edwards (www.kateedwardsphotography.com)

Senior Designer: Ursula Viglietta (www.ursulaviglietta.com)

Graphic/Photo Sssistants: Kelly McDonough, Rebecca Cesa

Web Developers: Mark Lewis, Alex Borsody

Staff Writers: Bill Dvorak, Nancy Chow, Kenneth Partridge,

Lauren Piper, Dean Van Nguyen, Mike SOS, Meijin Bruttomesso,

Dave Cromwell, Quang D. Tran, Ben Krieger

In-House Contributing Writers: Charlie Davis, Simon Heggie,

Christina Morelli, BrokeMC, Gina Alioto, Whitney Phaneuf,

Katie Bennett, Leah Tribbett, Alex Borsody, Mike Levine, Paul Dunn,

Michele McManmon, Vann Alexandra, Jason Bertone, Allison Levin

The Kitchen: Janice Brown, David Weiss, Mike Bauer,

Ben Wigler, Shane O’Connor, Matt Rocker, Justin Colletti

Interns: Caitlin Clive, Madison Silvers

Publishers: The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC

Indie Artist

15% Discount Rates

on Fall/CMJ issue

Book an ad for the CMJ issue by August 30th

and get 15% off!

For inquiries: rates@thedelimagazine.com

Read The Deli in pdf at

WWW.THEDELIMAGAZINE.COM/PDF

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

Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2011 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.

On The

Web

A

interviews with nyc bands

nyc.thedelimagazine.com

e actually met our

trombone player,

“W Adam, at a marching

band parade gig in Boston,”

laughs Kalmia Traver, Rubblebucket’s

lead singer and multiinstrumentalist.

This barmy recruitment

policy reflects the ethos

Rubblebucket of the eclectic eight piece group,

who have brought their members

together from all parts of the

musical spectrum. Each, however,

work towards a common goal:

creating great pop music.

Photo: Peter Dean Rickards

Having cut their teeth in various

bands, both together and apart,

Kal and long-time creative partner Alex Toth now form the nucleus of the group.

The duo have been collaborating for eight years now. Having first met at the

University of Vermont, they began touring and recording together in bands of all

shapes and sizes. A super-group, of sorts, Alex decided to create Rubblebucket

by approaching musicians he considered to be the best he had worked with. “Alex

is really good at making things happen and when he had the idea for Rubblebucket

he started pulling together the best musicians he knew,” says Kal.

Read Dean Van Nguyen’s article on Rubblebucket at:

www.thedelimagazine.com/artists/rubblebucket

Photo: Shervin Lainez

Only Son

fter sitting down with Only Son’s Jack Dishel for a few hours and learning a

bit about how he operates, it seems a bit ironic to forward him the Delicious

Audio questions about the recording process. Dishel is not a musical

magician in the strictness sense, but in the song, “Magic,” he is pretty clear: even

if you know how he recorded that guitar, what preamps he used, how he miked the

drums, and his relationship with his mom, you’ll never be able to assemble his soul.

Only Son’s second and latest record is Searchlight. The band is just the latest chapter

in Dishel’s rich artistic history that includes notoriety as a teenage underground

graffiti celebrity, time spent as a guitarist for the Moldy Peaches, and success fronting

a previous solo project, Stipplicon. Most recently, he’s ventured into standup

comedy. These activities further emphasize the point that it’s impossible (and

undesirable) to try and pin this songwriter down simply by listening to the music (at

least not before you search MySpace for his hip-hop project, Jack Beats Bruno).

Only Son’s music holds up beautifully on its own and the ever-growing collection of

DIY music videos on the band’s website expands the picture with a healthy dose of

humor, but the band is just one aspect of this highly creative artist.

Read Ben Krieger’s article on Only Son at:

www.thedelimagazine.com/artists/onlyson


soundbites

indie pop

Photo: Nick Dorey

Bird of Youth

By Jason Bertone

tlanta-native Beth Wawerna had long

been a respected journalist known for

Aher keen ear and impeccable taste, but

little did her readers (or subjects for that matter)

know she had something else cooking.

Working under the name Bird Of Youth, she

has released “Defender” The band combines

the guitar-driven pop sounds of ’90s rock

with clever lyrics and authoritative delivery.

Were you always writing music on the side,

or did songwriting come later?

Sometimes I think of my journalism career

and my music career as a kind of relay race.

Journalism came first — and then when I felt I’d

gone as far as I wanted to go as a music journalist,

the baton was handed off.

Bird of Youth

RIYL: Azure Ray, Okkervil River, Neko Case

Alex Winston

RIYL: Kate Bush, Joanna Newsom,

Regina Spektor

What Music were you exposed to growing up

in Atlanta?

When I was 13-14-15 years old, I would rummage

through boxes of my brother’s old LPs

and that’s how I discovered things like R.E.M.,

Pylon, The Pixies, NRBQ, Elvis Costello and

The Replacements. I was still a teenager in

the 90s and so I was also listening to stuff like

The Cure, Jane’s Addiction, Nirvana, Nine Inch

Nails. So I sort of led a musical double life.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/birdofyouth

Alex Winston

By Mike Levine

A

nother of Kate Bush’s disciples making

good on her education. At 21

years old, Alex Winston has already

been featured in a Hyundai commercial,

toured the world and released a couple of

critically acclaimed recordings. With this

year’s beat-driven EP “Sister Wife (Heavy

Roc)” out, Winston is exploring very different

territory from her past two releases.

She’s come a long way in a short time, and

it’ll be fun to keep an ear to this artist and

see what happens next.

You have a history of singing opera as well

as listening to folk music. Have you brought

both of these influences into your work?

I’d say absolutely with Folk. With Opera it’s a

bit different. I started taking lessons when I was

ten years old and I guess I fell into it by default.

If opera has influenced my music, it’s been on

more of a subconscious level.

You’ve used some really unique sounds in a

lot of your recordings.

I think a lot of it was trial and error. I do a lot of

writing on Garageband before I go in to the studio,

and I mess around with most of the sounds

at that point.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/alexwinston

Ava Luna

By Nancy Chow

A

va Luna draw from ’60s doo-wop but

spruce it up with touches from current

indie luminaries like Dirty Projectors.

Carlos Hernandez leads with his soulful,

affected croon with a trio of female singers

supporting with gorgeous vocal harmonies.

The instrumentation is sparse — complex

beats accompanied by light synths and bass

— but intricate and deliberate, allowing the

voices to take the reins and guide listeners

Ava Luna

RIYL: Dirty Projectors, Joe Jackson, The The

through a matchless music experience.

How did you assemble Ava Luna? How did

you find people that harmonize so well?

I consider everyone in the band to be an

old, old friend. We either went to high school

together or hung out in college, playing in weird

bands for years. Anyone can harmonize, all you

need is practice, practice, practice.

You recorded the “Services” EP in the basement

of a Korean Methodist church.

It’s an amazing place, isolated, very magical,

“spirits roam there,” etc., etc. And good pizza

is close by.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/avaluna

Production Corner

Parallel Processing on Vocals

By Justin Colletti

Back in the 1960s, Motown engineers Mike McClean and

Lawrence Horn were using a technique on vocals that they

called “Exciting Compression.”

Simply put, a vocal track would be duplicated through a

console; one instance of that vocal would be treated with

typical EQ, compression and reverb, and the other would

be squashed and then brightened considerably with heavyhanded

hi-shelf EQ.

A decade later, Curt Knoppel would design

the first Aphex Aural Exciter, a box whose

basic function would owe much of its

heritage to this tactic.

In addition to parallel compression, parallel

distortion is a common trick for vocals.

Waves

Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter Plug-in

Waves’s plug-in recreation of the Aphex

Aural Exciter.

Often, applying distortion directly to a

lead vocal can leave the track sounding

thin, harsh, undecipherable and overprocessed.

Add some distortion to it in

parallel however, and your have a gritty

vocal that maintains much of its original

body and natural growl.


Indie Pop

Top 20

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

Ravens & Chimes

RIYL: Fanfarlo, Arcade Fire,

Rural Alberta Advantage

1. Cults

2. The Drums

3. Beirut

4. Sufjan Stevens

5. Rufus Wainwright

6. Broken Bells

7. Ra Ra Riot

8. MGMT

9. Vampire Weekend

10. Oh Land

11. Islands

12. Caveman

13. Freelance Whales

14. Class Actress

15. Darwin Deez

16. Santigold

17. Beach Fossils

18. Lenka

19. The Virgins

20. Keren Ann

Check out our

self-generating online charts here:

www.thedelimagazine.com/charts

Ravens & Chimes

By Nancy Chow

avens & Chimes emerged as the winner of latest year end

readers poll. There’s no mystery why; the talented quintet

Ris New York’s answer to 2011’s big Grammy winner, Arcade

Fire. The spirited vocals and baroque instrumentation hearken

comparisons to the band’s Canadian counterpart, but Ravens

& Chimes don’t need the coordinated outfits and an expansive

troupe of musicians to grab people’s attention. Even the band’s

most subtle songs are as enthralling as the epic, ornate tunes.

How does it feel to win this year’s readers’ poll?

It’s pretty fantastic to see our fans come out and support us like that.

There’s nothing like getting a message that someone has heard what

you’re doing and appreciates it.

Was your approach to “Holiday Life” different than the way you tackled

the songwriting in “Reichenbach Falls”?

With “Holiday Life,” the writing took a long time to come but happened

very quickly once it started. We scheduled the recording sessions right

after we finished touring the first album, but I had really bad writer’s block,

so we ended up recording some older songs I had already written. We

had basically gotten to a point where some of the members didn’t want

to do it any more but didn’t know how to walk away. It was hard to face

finishing new songs in that kind of environment. We took a bit of time

off and sorted out what doing the band meant to us, and everyone who

decided to come back was really happy to just sit down and do music

again. Having that support in place made it possible to bring in new

songs and get them where they needed to be. I ended up writing the bulk

of the record over the course of two or three months, which is very fast

for me. Then we went and recorded what we had.

Your song “Carousel,” which will be on “Holiday Life,” was on the show

“Skins.” What was it like to see your music used in a television show?

The funny thing about “Carousel” is that the song was floating around in

my head half-finished when our old label asked us for a song to submit

to the “Twilight 3” soundtrack. We rushed to do a demo of it, but I don’t

think we even submitted it on time.

Then when it was fully recorded, it got licensed to “Skins” out of the blue.

I did watch the episode. It’s very surreal to hear it on television, but the

cooler thing ended up being the bootleg versions that people put up on

YouTube. To see so many kids comment on the song and post their reactions

felt really good.

When is the “Holiday Life” album coming out? Anything special

planned for the release?

We haven’t set a proper release date for the album yet, but I’m hoping it

will be out in late fall. As for release plans, I’m excited to do a vinyl edition

and start touring again. We just did some Midwest dates and it was great

to reconnect with our fans.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com/artists/ravensandchimes

the deli_8


soundbites

rootsy

My Cousin, The Emperor

By Jason Bertone

t’s been well established that the hills of

Appalachia and the expansive western

Iplains breed a certain extent of lonesome

heartache and stark introspection, but

one might argue the big city doesn’t get

enough credit in this regard. My Cousin,

The Emperor offers a shining confirmation

that the roots music impulse (or talent for

that matter) doesn’t just dissipate when

one crosses city limits.

How is being country band in New York City

different from being a country band in a

traditional hotbed?

I feel that many people have a preconceived

notion that they don’t like country music, especially

in an urban center such as New York, but

surprisingly this is not the case. Globalization

has helped introduce everyone to things they

necessarily would have been aware of twenty

years ago. There are country music fans everywhere

now, all over the world.

Has living in the city changes your

perspective on the genre?

How many people in America still ride trains

everyday? I would guess not that many but I do,

so when I write a train song, with the “chugging”

of a Johnny Cash feel, it can easily be translated

to a “subway” song. There is no better place to

study the human condition than New York City.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/mycousintheemperor

Sam Amidon

By Mike Levine

G

rowing up in a family of folk musicians

in Brattleboro, Vermont, Amidon was

immersed in a rich musical tradition

from a young age. Now based in NY, Amidon,

along with his fellow Bedroom Community

colleagues, is classing up Brooklyn’s indie

scene, one folk tune at a time.

What is it that attracts you to creating your

My Cousin,

The Emperor

RIYL: Blue Mountain, Wilco, Old 97s

particular brand of folk-inspired music in

New York and Brooklyn in particular?

What I love about New York is the chaos and

the way everything is mixed up- it’s like 400

little villages and teeny scenes all piled on top

of one another.

Tell me a little about Bedroom Community.

I grew up in Vermont listening to folk music but

also crazy free jazz and minimalism and whatever

else I could find at the CD store. So when

I came to New York it was like this whole world

of things that had only existed on plastic CDs

turned into real people! It was amazing.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/samamidon

The Hollows

By Ben Krieger

T

he Hollows are a 5-piece band from

Brooklyn who specialize in the multipart

harmony, instrument-swapping,

kitchen sink approach that The Band made

famous.

Your live performances always come across

like melodic, fiery hoedowns. Did you try to

The Hollows

RIYL: Tom Waits, The Band,

Creedence Clearwater Revival

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Theophilus London

2. Yellow Ostrich

3. Norah Jones

4. Sharon Van Etten

5. Regina Spektor

6. Discovery

7. Ingrid Michaelson

8. Cat Power

9. Devendra Banhart

10. Titus Andronicus

Check out our self-generating online charts

here: www.thedelimagazine.com/charts

emulate this energy on record?

Dan: Live shows and recordings are two completely

different mediums and it will always be

a struggle to marry the two. This is definitely a

studio album. We wanted something that was

a little different from our live shows, but it’s a

compass that hopefully leads more people to

our live shows, and then they can sweat, curse,

drink, dance, and make merry with us.

You used Kickstarter to raise nearly $10,000

to record this record with nearly 200 backers.

Dave: Kickstarter offers a great platform to

build on, and it gave us a lot of ideas about

ways to keep people excited and interested in

the project (sending updates, offering advance

copies of the album, sharing “sneak peeks” of

recordings-in-progress, and so on.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/hollows

Rootsy

Top 20

11. CocoRosie

12. Deer Tick

13. Phosphorescent

14. Antony & the Johnsons

15. Jenny Owen Youngs

16. Jaymay

17. Daniel Merriweather

18. A.A. Bondy

19. The Felice Brothers

20. Jolie Holland

the deli_9 Summer 2011


soundbites

mellow core

High Highs

By Allison Levin

T

he High Highs don’t attempt to make

a grand entrance — they’re more

subtle. But don’t mistake that for a

lack of either passion or talent, because

their hooks are solid and their melodies are

sweeping. Begun as a studio project, these

guys don’t mess around.

Tell me about how you guys formed.

High highs started as a studio project in

Sydney. Oli and I met working at the same studio

and started making music together. We both

found ourselves over here in New York, where

we started playing properly as a band. We met

Zach, who joined us on drums shortly after that.

If your music was a food, what do you think

it would be and why?

I would like to say it’s a nice healthy nourishing

soup, but its hard to say. Maybe it’s closer to

some kind of flan.

You guys have an ethereal, retro quality that

is encapsulated in your music video. How

did you come up with the idea?

That was the director, Thomas Beug’s idea. The

pianos were all over the city, it was an art piece

called ‘Play Me I’m Yours’.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/highhighs

High Highs

RIYL: Animal Collective, The Beach Boys,

The Stills

half or so back in April where we didn’t

rehearse at all. It was glorious. But no, no

plans for a break soon. We’re going to be

touring a lot more for the rest of the year,

to go along with this re-release. Another

record is in the works, but we haven’t put

anything to tape yet. Especially since the

Mistress is being re-released, we’re still

focusing on that for a little bit longer.

Yellowbirds

RIYL: Genesis, Roy Orbison, Grizzly Bear

Yellow Ostrich

Yellow Ostrich

By Mike Levine

T

here’s no such thing as a Yellow

Ostrich, but that doesn’t stop Alex

Schaaf from insisting it’s alive anyway.

This is a man/ostrich not afraid to take

chances, recording many of his records

with only voice and beatbox. Other ways

he’s not afraid to take chances? Recording

an entire record inspired by Morgan

Freeman’s Wikipedia page

I’m curious where you find your ideas. I get

the impression listening to some of your

albums that you guys are looking everywhere

for inspiration, or does it find it’s way to you?

I don’t usually set out intentionally to go and

find inspiration; those trips usually end up as

failures. Most of the time, things just pop into

my head and I try to turn those things into

songs. Not that some mystical element is sending

me divine inspiration, but like most things

involving music/art, the best outcomes usually

happen when you’re not even trying.

Tell me about getting signed to Barsuk!

It is very exciting. An important step, and

Barsuk seems like a great bunch of people that

know what they are doing.

Do you ever take a break? If not... do we

have a new LP to look forward to soon?

Our longest break so far has been a week and

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/yellowostridge

Yellowbirds

By Nancy Chow

S

am Cohen successfully emerges

from the unwieldy shadow of Apollo

Sunshine, the psych-rock band

on indefinite hiatus that he helmed, with

an ambitious solo project christened

Yellowbirds. True to his roots, Cohen

writes psych-pop inflected with some

country accents on Yellowbirds’ debut

album, “The Color.”

How did Yellowbirds come about?

It’s basically a moniker for my solo work. A

couple of years ago, I had a group of songs

evolving, and I knew exactly how I wanted

them to sound. Instead of bringing them in to

the band, I just got started with that and called

it Yellowbirds.

When you write songs for Yellowbirds, do

you miss the collaborative songwriting you

experienced in Apollo Sunshine?

Not really. We tended to write by ourselves

most of the time anyway. We’d arrange and produce

together, which yielded some results that I

love, but as far as a workflow, I like this more.

What were your goals for The Color?

I wanted to make an album that took the lis-

RIYL: Bright Eyes, Chris Garneau, Elliott Smith

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Twin Sister

11. Doveman

2. The Pierces

12. Ida

3. Dark Dark Dark 13. Samara Lubelski

4. Chris Garneau 14. The Silent League

5. Joan as Police Woman 15. Will Stratton

6. Lia Ices

16. Brookville

7. High Highs

17. Midnight Masses

8. JBM

18. Jozef Van Wissem

9. Acrylics

19. Luke Rathborne

10. Lana Del Ray

20. Aderbat

Check out our self-generating online charts

here: www.thedelimagazine.com/charts

tener to a place where they would want to stay.

Of course, that’s a totally subjective thing, so I

was really just trying to make an album that did

that for me.

Do you find things of your childhood more

inspiring than your experiences in Brooklyn?

Definitively no, except in the sense that childhood

is inspiring, and it’s hard to instantly

recognize something new as equal to or better

than anything you feel nostalgia for.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/yellowbirds

Mellow Core

Top 20

the deli_11 Summer 2011


soundbites

Devin Therriault

By Dean Van Nguyen

L

oaded with memorable hooks, catchy

guitar lines and lots and lots of swagger,

vintage rocker Devin Therriault faithfully

channels the spirit of fifties and sixties

rock’n’roll. With songs like ‘I Don’t Think I’

and ‘You’re Mine’, he’s expertly recreated the

sound of the era, with his live shows adding

an extra dimension of authenticity. On stage

he is like a caged beast unleashed, wowing

audiences as he hip-trusts his way through an

energetic set reminiscent of stars like Buddy

Holly, Billy Idol and Iggy Pop. Unsurprisingly,

The Stooges frontman has proved Therriault’s

most prominent inspiration.

Who do you consider your most direct influences

and what made them leave such an

impression on you?

Iggy Pop has been a serious long term obsession.

I’d heard a few songs like ‘I Wanna Be

Your Dog’ and ‘No Fun’ but they never had an

impact. Then I saw this clip on YouTube of him

doing ‘The Passenger’ live. It says it was in

Manchester, 1977, and it’s a pretty long clip, over

7 minutes. Most people can’t hold my interest

that long but it’s an unbelievable performance

and it hit me and it changed me. When I saw it, I

hadn’t been on stage yet, but I knew I wanted to

be something like that and I knew I could. He’s

completely serious, but also ridiculously funny.

He’s totally comfortable, but also has a certain

desperation. And it’s just him under the spotlight

— and he’s looking out at the crowd, but it’s

all black, but it’s like he can see something so

clearly — and I want to know what he sees.

Your live shows have been getting some

great write ups. What can someone expect

when going to a Devin Therriault gig?

It’s all high drama and sex appeal [Laughs]. It’s

a great show, and I can do it alone if the audience

just wants to sit back and watch, but I

always like it better when the audience is more

a part of it, physically.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/devintherriault

Beast Make Bomb

INDIE ROCK

Beast Make Bomb

By Caitlin Clive

B

Devin Therriault

RIYL: Buddy Holly, The Stooges

east Make Bomb is indie rock with

aggressive rhythm guitar and gentle

female vocals. The lyrics are resonant

and relatable, and the melodies are

fun and catchy. And while the message

is realistic, the feel is quite innocent and

happy-go-lucky. It makes you want to roll

all the windows down and take a road trip

to anywhere. Forget the world, turn this on,

and crack a smile.

Favorite show you’ve played?

Either The Highline Ballroom with Cold War

Kids (totally surreal) a few months ago or

maybe even our second show at Lake Johnson

in Bushwick in a tiny back room with a sweaty

moshpit yelling the lyrics during our cover of

“Hashpipe”.

Was “Coney Island” drawn from

real experience?

Last summer I ventured out to Coney Island

with some friends for the first time and as soon

as I came home I wrote that song. Something

about that place invites a sense of heaviness,

eeriness, and heartbreak. While Coney Island

is still open, it seems to have fallen apart years

ago which is one interpretation of what the

song could be about.

If you could get anyone (dead or living) to a

Beast Make Bomb show, who would it be?

Patti Smith would no doubt headline and she

would ask us to go up on stage and sing “Ask

The Angels” with her.maybe they catch our set.

We are also fans of Local Natives, Ra Ra Riot

and Bear Hands, but we have always been

most impressed with the local talent we have

supporting us when we hit the road.

Radical Dads

RIYL: Chavez, Yo La Tengo

The Yes Way

By Meijin Bruttomesso

T

The Yes Way

RIYL: Jeff Buckley, Nirvana, Andrew Bird

he Yes Way plays an interesting

hybrid of art rock, alt rock and indie

pop. Taking a path less common

than most indie bands The Yes Way incorporates

different sonic elements — guitar

riffs blended with smooth harmonies, heavy

instrumentation carried by emotional vocals

— creating eerie melodic rock with punk

attitude and indie aesthetic.

What is it like being a New York artist? What

are the best and worst aspects?

As musicians in New York, we feel strangely

anonymous and yet part of a beautiful community

of like-minded people. The best part

of New York is that you are surrounded by so

much quality music that it motivates you and

drives you to always work harder at your craft.

The worst part is that, due to this over-saturation

of quality, generally nobody really cares

about what you do. The scene sometimes feels

un-navigable, and you run around aimlessly

working your ass off. Then, suddenly, beautifully,

you find all these people at your show

digging it and realize that the word has been

spreading, and the people are starting to care.

RIYL: Elastica, Breeders, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/beastmakebomb

With whom and where would you most like

to tour? Why?


The band made a trip to Philly in June to see

Kurt Ville who’s the perfect example of an

artists who has taken the time to perfect his

craft while not losing sight of why he started.

Another good fit would be My Morning

Jacket who’s headlining the Kahbang festival

in August which will be playing at... maybe

they catch our set. We are also fans of Local

Natives, Ra Ra Riot and Bear Hands, but we

have always been most impressed with the

local talent we have supporting us when we

hit the road.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com

/artists/theyesway

Radical Dads

By Mike Levine

adical Dads don’t have the same

issues as other bands you’ve been

Rlistening to. You’re not gonna hear

singer Lindsay Baker, other singer Robbie

Guertin or not-singer Chris Diken talk

about posturing or clubbing. Get real.

They’re having way too much fun to

worry about all that nonsense.

You guys have been doing your thing for

quite awhile now through various projects.

How do you still have fun with everything

after being in the game for this long?

We really like each other and we really enjoy

Indie Rock

Top 20

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. The Strokes

11. The Walkmen

2. Animal Collective 12. Young Boys

3. Interpol

13. The Morning Benders

4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs 14. Ghost Ghost

5. The National 15. Cult of Youth

6. Gang Gang Dance 16. Department of Eagles

7. Grizzly Bear 17. Mirror Mirror

8. The Rapture 18. Oneida

9. Cymbals Eat Guitars 19. Noveller

10. Yeasayer

20. Nat Baldwin

Check out our self-generating online charts

here: www.thedelimagazine.com/charts

playing music and hanging out together, and

there’s no reason for us to be cynical about

that. And regarding “the industry,” we don’t

have any bigwigs breathing down our collective

neck, which makes things easier. Finally, we’re

kind of old, so we don’t have time to be cynical.

We need to spend all our time being psyched.

So how did you folks come together? Have

you known each other awhile?

Lindsay and I are approaching our 15-year

friendship anniversary, and Robbie and I have

been going steady since 1999. We met where

all college-rock bands meet: in college. We

came together over a love of radio broadcasting,

electric guitars, and Flying Nun records.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com/

artists/radicaldads

Production Corner

By Justin Colletti

PARALLEL PROCESSING: DRUMS

For the iconic sound of “New York-style” compression

on drums, get a good blend of drums together

for your main mix. Then, simply route all your drums

through another bus, squeeze to taste, and bring them

back into the main mix alongside your clean tracks.

The goal here is to make sure your parallel drum mix

is compressed to the point where it has precious

little dynamic range. For this technique, a very fast

attack time often works best. Fast releases time that

pump and breathe with the rhythm of the music are

fair game, as are longer release times that create a

smooth and consistent decay.

Depending on your tastes, the compressed drums

may sound a bit dramatic by themselves, but that’s

okay. When added to your original mix, this parallel

bus acts as a supporting element, allowing you to

bring up the beef and average level of your drums

while preserving the original transients and much of

the larger dynamic changes.

Read the rest of this article on

sonicscoop.com/parallelprocessing

SoundToys Devil-Loc Deluxe

The Shure Level-Loc (originally a cheap miccompressor)

was made famous by Tchad Blake who used it on drums

through parallel processing for added “trashy” character.

SoundToys recently released a plug in emulation of it.

the deli_14


soundbites

alt ROCK

American Darlings

The Nico Blues

RIYL: The White Stripes, Modest Mouse,

Pavement

The Nico Blues

By Meijin Bruttomesso

T

he Nico Blues gather up their roots

in rock, folk, blues, and punk to

formulate widely appealing hooks.

The quintet’s latest record, “Blame the

Boredom, Blame the Basement,” commences

with hard-hitting percussion,

crunching guitars, and vocals that trade-off

between melodious and roaring.

What or who is Nico?

Nico Blue is the name of Shannon Hoon’s

daughter. He’s the late singer from Blind Melon,

who became one of our favorite groups when

we were younger. We were completely unaware

that this would ever get back to her, but it actually

did. Christopher, the guitarist of Blind Melon,

heard about us and we’ve been talking back

and forth recently. He let her know that we “borrowed”

her name. Hope she doesn’t mind.

What message do you want fans to take

away from your current album?

Instead of trying to get too lofty, the honest

truth is that we are just some dudes with guitars

who want to play music.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com/

artists/nicoblues

Shake the Baron

By Meijin Bruttomesso

B

rooklyn’s Shake the Baron, who

played The Deli’s “Best of 2010

Festival,” touch on the ups and

downs of song writing, combining light

hearted melodies, peppy rhythms, and tender

and smooth vocal harmonies with lyrics

and inflection that express great yearning

and melancholy on their self-titled album.

What does it mean to “shake the baron?”

Jon: To “shake the baron” means to rustle your

Shake the Baron

RIYL: The Strokes,

Vampire Weekend, The Shins

bald father’s scalp with such ferocity that he finally

admits that he listened to ABBA as a child.

Matt: It can mean anything you want it to. I

want everyone to shake the baron.

If you could tour with anyone, (alive, dead,

broken up, etc.), who it would it be?

Spike: Wesley Willis. Duh. Maybe the only guy

who blurts our more inappropriate shit on stage

than Andrew and Jon do.

Matt: Destiny’s Child and Aaliyah. We used

to cover “Say My Name” and “Are You That

Somebody?”

What inspired you most on your current selftitled

album?

Jon: We were really into the notion of creating

bigger, denser, rock soundscapes using the guitar

— something that’s fallen out of favor over the

last few years. We were listening to a lot of Sonic

Youth, Broken Social Scene and Dirty Projectors.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com/

artists/shakethebaron

American Darlings

By Meijin Bruttomesso

A

merican Darlings sound as sweet as

their name. The Brooklyn based trio,

comprised of Jason Maksymilian

(guitars, vocals), John Alexander (bass), and

Daniel Vincent (drums), produce delightful

garage rock that can be found on their two

EPs, aptly titled “American Darlings EP” and

“American Darlings Second EP.”

What makes you “American Darlings?

John: I ordered a beer by that name (by Pretty

Things Brewery in Cambridge, Massachusetts)

from a bar on the lower east side and thought it

would be an awesome band name. I still think it is.

If your music were the soundtrack for a film,

what kind of film would it be?

Jason: A psychological thriller like “Vanilla Sky”

or any Kevin Smith movie.

RIYL: Sunny Day Real Estate, Dinosaur Jr,

Teenage Fanclub

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Brand New

11. Jesse Malin

2. The Hold Steady 12. Morningwood

3. We Are Scientists 13. Wakey!Wakey!

4. Straylight Run 14. Ted Leo

5. Cosmonaut

& The Pharmacists

6. Semi Precious 15. Locksley

Weapons

16. Lissy Trullie

7. Steel Train

17. Robbers on High Street

8. Stereo Skyline 18. Black Gold

9. The Bouncing Souls 19. Alberta Cross

10. Screaming Females 20. Atomic Tom

Check out our self-generating online charts

here: www.thedelimagazine.com/charts

Production Corner

By Justin Colletti

Parallel Compression on Bass

Sometimes, a touch of distortion is just the

thing to keep the bass articulate, defined, and

audible throughout a mix. Adding some gain

in parallel can help ensure you don’t lose too

much low-end power in the process (careful

with the phase though!)

Some mixers create a blend from 3 or more

parallel treatments: one channel provides solid

low end, one delivers a nice midrange growl,

while the third channel is voiced to maximize

the instrument’s snap and articulation.

While such drastic measures may seem like

overkill to some of us, bass guitar is one of those

instruments that almost always benefits from at

least basic parallel compression or distortion to

help it gain a solid foothold in the song.

Vintage compressors Urei 1176 and Teletronix

LA2A are still commonly used by pro mixing

engineers on bass. Universal Audio offers

faithful plug in recreations of them.

John: Luxury car commercials. Particularly

“Divide” and “Replace”.

Alt Rock

Top 20

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com/

artists/americandarlings

the deli_15 Summer 2011


We're connecting our rocking history to your future!

Congratulations to NYC band, In One Wind

Read more about this issue's "Expose Yourself"

winner online on The Deli's NYC Open Blog

Find us on facebook

www.facebook.com/themusicbuilding

Catch us on the web

www.musicbuilding.com

MB

Get Featured in this Space

Submit your band information to

www.thedelimagazine.com/exposeyourself

for the chance to have your band photo featured

HERE in the next issue of The Deli Magazine


specials the deli’s features

Caveman

Gabba Gabba Doo?

By Nancy Chow / Photo by Kate Edwards

RIYL: Belle & Sebastian,

The Shins, Best Coast

On a residential block of East Third Street, there’s a small yellow guitar that marks the entrance

to Cobra Guitars. This inconspicuous dwelling serves as the workshop of Caveman guitarist

Jimmy Carbonetti and the band’s unofficial clubhouse. Down the cement stairs and through

the unmarked door, visitors will first encounter Carbonetti’s handcrafted guitars hung carefully

on the wall, tangles of wires, amps, stacks of vinyl, a vintage-styled couch and a laptop set up in the

corner; a working musician’s paradise. In the back, there’s an assortment of guitar parts strewn about

that will be used to build a dream instrument. Whether it’s Carbonetti, keyboardist Sam Hopkins and

guitar technician Mas Hino working on guitars or a rotating cast of peers dropping in to hang out or jam,

the basement space in the East Village is always humming with activity.

On this particular night, the men of Caveman are gathered around a

laptop watching a video of Christian Vander of Magma performing

“Otis” on French television in 1981 archived on YouTube. The band

has a loose connection to the falsetto-scatting vocalist in Carbonetti

and frontman Matt Iwanusa’s previous band, The Subjects; the quartet

practiced in Magma’s former manager Giorgio Gomelsky’s Red Door.

Hopkins was also rehearsing in the building with White Clam, but the

complex, intricate threads of how these five gentlemen know each

other were spun way before the Vander connection.

Though Hopkins and Carbonetti have traced their lineage back to

the Mayflower, more recently, Carbonetti and Iwanusa attended high

school together and formed The Subjects with their teachers Joseph

Smith and Dave Sheinkopf, who randomly dropped in during the

interview to show and tell his bike battle scars from the previous

night. Sheinkopf also attended college with Caveman drummer Stefan

Marolachakis (formerly of The End of the World), introducing him to

Iwanusa and Carbonetti. Meanwhile Jeff Berrall was a bartender at

Sin-e and bassist for Elefant, serving the still underage Carbonetti and

Iwanusa. Hopkins and Carbonetti later joined up with Berrall at 30th

Street Guitars, where they repaired instruments.

Toward the tail end of 2009, their respective bands at the time were phasing

out by happenstance. Carbonetti and Iwanusa were beginning to pen

songs together that didn’t fit into The Subjects noisy power pop structure.

“We started brainstorming who we would want in our band and thinking

about friends we hang out the most, who we would like to spend our

time together and who are the best musicians that we know of,” says

Carbonetti. Since recruiting their friends, the original songs Carbonetti

and Iwanusa had worked on became more relaxed and open.

“Sometimes making music is difficult, but it’s been really simple,”

explains Berall. “Everyone matches up very well with what they play.

Music should be simple. It should be effortless.”

The songwriting and approach on Caveman’s debut album CoCo

Beware sounds carefree and natural. There’s an incredible amount of

maturity that recalls the relaxed introspection of ‘60s folk artists. They

focus on the graceful sound of words over lyrical complexity, but the

musical direction gives tremendous weight to the songs. This sophistication

doesn’t feel forced with the deep sincerity that radiates from

the melancholy restlessness of the warm, weathered songs. A collage

the deli_17 Summer 2011


of comparisons comes to mind from Grizzly Bear and Local Natives to

The Beach Boys and Laurel Canyon legends.

The songs are dreamy and cinematic, sounding both modern and retro

at the same time. The complexities and details of the songs formulate

conflicting descriptors, but therein lies the band’s strength in taming

dichotomies to create hauntingly beautiful chamber pop songs. When

the songs’ components are disassembled and laid out there are constant

opposing forces in the songs, but they are artfully composed into

gentle, rolling melodies with an underlying sense of dissonance. At the

songs’ center are the consoling vocal harmonies with beguiling guitars

and synths weaving in and out of the foreground. The guitars switch

from vibrant tones to sawing distortion, while the anxiety-ridden synths

menacingly lurk in the background or decidedly embellish with a vivid

vignette. The rhythm section fastens all the elements together, setting

the songs’ sunny, approachable vibes.

Iwanusa first met Nick Strumpf of the French Kicks a few years ago as

a teenager. After listening to the early rumblings of Caveman, Strumpf

recorded a portion of “Decide” with Iwanusa in his recently opened

recording studio, Love Boat, in Dumbo. Strumpf continued to help

the band record for the next six months, experimenting with recording

techniques and exploiting the qualities of his new recording space.

“Nick is a friend we trust,” says Marolachakis. “Since we all had time

on our hands, he would suggest something, and we would have the

time to try it out. Everyone was willing to try different ways of recording

pianos, drums, etc.“

They kept the news of recording the album mostly to themselves, but

an acquaintance forced the songs out of them to play at his bar. As

they listened to the songs in this real-world setting, they went back

to studio and changed around some elements. Even before the band

planned to self-release CoCo Beware on September 13, friends had

been playing songs off the album in bars and venues. The result of

this subliminal promotion is the successful recruitment of fans; audience

members at their shows have mentioned being introduced to

Caveman’s songs by hearing them in various places in the city.

The quintet has played with a variety of acts, including Wye Oak,

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Cursive and Blue Öyster Cult.

They have gone on tour with New York peers White Rabbits and Here

We Go Magic, and by the beginning of September, they will complete

another tour with The War on Drugs. The band attributes its tight performances

to the ability to read each other well and members’ experiences

in numerous venues throughout their respective musical careers.

“If you log enough time playing so many weird places — every time you

start a band, you play the weirdest shows; you pay your dues,” says

Marolachakis the night before performing a Rocks Off Concert Cruise.

“You fight as hard as you can to make the same sounds in these different

places, whether it’s a fancy rock club or the ‘Jaws’ boat.“

After spending some time with the band, it becomes immediately clear

that Caveman’s fortune is driven by friendship. Even without scheduled

photo shoots and interviews, they can still be found hanging out at

Cobra Guitars in their spare time. The basement workshop, initiated at

around the same time as Caveman, not only represents the success

of Carbonetti’s entrepreneurship but also the earnest and passionate

spirit of the band.

“Since we all got together, we got closer because we had a space like

this that we could hang out all day,” says Iwanusa of Cobra Guitars.

“It’s inspiring to see guys like Mas and Jimmy all day working on

something that they really care about. I sit in here all day sometimes

and think, ‘I’ve got to do something with my day.’ But I’m like, ‘Wait,

I just felt great all day, because people are doing something they care

about.’ The feeling is contagious.”

Artist Equipment Check!!!

Cobra Guitars Cavehound

Our favorite pieces of equipment

are our Cobra Guitars

— the Cavehound, Old Friend

and the Beachcave — along

with old echos like a Roland

Space Echo or Echoplex and

tons of synths, played in epic

fashion by Sam “Slammy”

Hopkins.

the deli_18


specials the deli’s features

A New Wave of Surf Rock

By Mike Levine (@goldnuggets) / Illustration by J.P. Peer

the deli_19 Summer 2011


What comes to mind when you think of “Surf rock”? Is it Uma Thurman dancing

to Dick Dale’s “Misirlou” in Pulp Fiction? Does that chipmunk’s laugh from The

Surfari’s “Wipeout” bounce around your skull?

While Uma would never dance that well again, these moments barely scratch the surface of

a storied genre that’s gone from party jock jams in the ’60s to the anthems behind some of

the most anti-establishment groups of the past several decades.

This beach-obsessed brand of party music didn’t die with Beatlemania as the history books

tell it. Instead it went another, more surprising route… underground. Re-emerging a decade

later as the DNA behind some of the punkest jams of the past couple decades, happily

bouncing its way around from one disenfranchised generation to the next.

Of course, you’d never know it from its innocuous, Tween Beat roots; surf rock was about

as mainstream as it got before the hippies had their day in the sun. The Beach Boys were

among the first groups to make this sound chart (“Surfin’ U.S.A.” was on Billboard’s top

five for a record 25 weeks in 1963), they were followed closely by Jan and Dean, The Bel-

Airs, The Chantays, and a whole bunch of other groups I’ve never heard of. It took “I Want

To Hold Your Hand” to finally push this genre out of the way for the next big thing. Almost

overnight, surf rock went from the soundtrack of hot rods to discarded as last year’s rage.

From then on, the establishment was pretty much done with surf rock, making sure anyone

with taste, culture and privilege had nothing to do with the beast. The genre never really

found its way back into the mainstream again, but it didn’t exactly go away either.

After the ’60s, the only musicians interested in approaching surf rock were players feeling

disenfranchised themselves.


The Ramones

to The Rescue

History lesson in brief: In ‘70s Lower East Side NYC, the

very foundations of punk were laid on an appreciation

of rock’s shore roots. Joey Ramone especially was a

tremendous fan of surf rock. He insisted his band cover

Jan and Dean’s “Surf City”, and showcased his alliterative

talents on The Trashmen’s immortal ‘Surfin Bird’ (Bird is

the word!!). Then we have “Rockaway Beach”, “Sheena is

a Punk Rocker”, “Do You Wanna Dance”... ok, I’ll stop, but

there you go. More than perhaps any other punk group, The

Ramones had a unique knack for turning the disposable

and goofy into brilliant, high-voltage energy. The band easily

recast a discarded art form into a necessary ingredient of

the counter-culture.

This pattern kept repeating itself. In the ‘80s, East Bay Ray

of the Dead Kennedys and Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago

were just two of the DIY heroes taking this genre to new

places, retaining surf rock’s warmth and party hype while

creating something entirely new at the same time. East Bay

Ray re-created surf’s energy as hardcore backbeat, while

Frank Black never sounded as relaxed as he did in “Here

Comes Your Man.”

In the ’90s, the genre took a much-deserved vacation

overseas. Moving far from its homeland, it traveled to far

off places like Shanghai (The Beat Bandits) and Australia

(Bleeding Knees Club) before settling into a lot of the

material behind New Zealand’s Flying Nun records. At this

local label’s base in Christchurch, NZ, label-mates The

Clean and The Verlaines took surf riffs and built a hugely

influential scene from scratch.

Each time surf rock was dealt with by subsequent

generations, three-chord bands would glorify the genre’s

stupidity, sanctified corniness and zero sum tolerance for

irony. These groups justified surf rock’s claims to good times

through their DIY birthrights, stepping to the genre’s defense

time and time again, refusing to discard what the music

industry tried throwing away.

Crystal Stilts

Today, surf rock has come back to America to reclaim its beachfront

property. Setting up shop in both California and New York, the two

coasts have each given surf rock their own unique feel, each competing

for dominance even while it’s perfectly obvious to me which ocean the

best jams are coming from. Best Coast, Wavves, and Soft Pack make

up some of the groups coming from the Pacific; while Crystal Stilts, The

Drums, Dum Dum Girls, Beach Fossils and Japanther rep some of the

finest of what’s nearer the Atlantic.

Citing Flying Nuns bands like The Clean as an enormous influence on his

music is the man responsible for much of surf rock’s comeback around

Brooklyn: singer/songwriter Brad Hargett of Crystal Stilts. Originally from

south Florida, Crystal Stilts moved up to Brooklyn in 2004, and arguably

represent as close to the center of this town’s scene as you’re likely to

find. A somewhat spacey, morose group, they lend an entirely original

voice to this groove, sounding as if Ian Curtis decided to cover some

Velvet Underground tunes a bit closer to the water.

Hargett sings in a way that makes you think about everything he’s

singing, mostly as a result of the fact that you really can’t make out

any of what he’s singing. His lyrics are just barely audible, and this only

makes you more and more interested in what’s going on in there.

Guitarist/co-songwriter JB Townsend of Crystal Stilts discussed the

influence of The Trashmen (again, Bird is definitely the word) on his

group in an interview with Denver Westword: “I like the bass and drums

because they feel so punky. If you took that out and laid in guitars and

vocals from the late ‘70s, they could be the Ramones, basically.” That

just about sums it up right there.

Beach Fossils

One of my fave local acts is Beach Fossils. Jamming out a more

intimate, melodic and less raucous sound than Crystal Stilts, the

band has more in common with Ridgewood, NJ’s laid-back scene

(Ducktails, Real Estate, Julian Lynch) than a lot of their noisier

Brooklyn-bred peers.

I spoke with drummer Tommy Gardner recently (who just released

a brilliant new EP himself as Crush) on what this sound is all

about, and this is how he broke it down for me: “There has been

a move away from the kind of rock guitar style where songs are

based on power chords, open chords, and/or blues-influenced

lead lines, and bands are instead opting to base songs on melodic,

single note lines. This concept often extends to the bass as well,

and the result is that the harmony of a song is heard as the sum

total of the melody lines, not as a guitar playing a big open chord

and the bass playing the root note. It’s easy to see how a focus on

simple, melodic single note lines could be perceived as coming

from surf rock, but at least for Crush and for Beach Fossils, this

happens to not be the case. Comparisons to a lot of post-punk or

Sarah Records bands, for example, would be more accurate, but

even so, I think the sound that gets associated with surf rock is

less about influence and more about a particular way to approach

writing on the guitar.”

Whether or not you call what Beach fossils does ‘Surf rock’, their

music reminds me a lot of this genre’s vocal roots anyway. When the

Beach Boys sung their parts back in the day, they each took a piece

(bass, tenor, Brian Wilson’s very mezzo soprano), which collectively

added up to a full chord. This same dynamic is now working for

Beach Fossils, The Drums and a lot of other bands’ instrumental

melodic lines (after all, we can’t all harmonize like Grizzly Bear).

the deli_21 Summer 2011


Surf Guitar Tone

By Howie Statland of Rivington Guitars

www.RivingtonGuitars.com

The Vandelles

In fact, the more I look at bands around here, the more I find that groups

aren’t really finding a big difference between surf and punk jams at all.

Take The Vandelles for example. They’re another great up-and-coming

Brooklyn group, currently recording their second LP upstate. Old-school

and contemporary at the same time, the Vandelles place rich harmonies

alongside hardcore guitar theatrics, as if the Beach Boys included East

Bay Ray among the Wilson brothers. The music all comes together

as an extreme example of what happens when you sample several

generations’ worth of punk music indiscriminately, and dot that territory

with reverb-soaked harmonies and Stratocaster drones.

Singer/guitarist Jason Schwartz (AKA Jonny Strings) of The Vandelles

described how this catch-all sound came about for his group: “…

you hear more of the Beach Boys influence with songs like ‘Swell To

Heaven’ and ‘Dead Wave’, but we think of our style as a continuation

of the surf side of rock n roll - Starting with the surf legends like Davie

Allan and Dick Dale, to the Beach Boys, to the Ramones, to the Mary

Chain, to us.” To Jason, all these bands work equally well together; and

I imagine Brad Hargett and Tommy Gardner would probably agree.

This scene’s not all about the dudes though. The biggest girl group out there

has to be the Vivian Girls, NY’s answer to LA’s Dum Dum Girls. Vivian Girls are

only a couple generations removed from the Tom Tom Rock of Phil Spector acts

like The Crystals or Darlene Love, and are another one of the bands here that

have their dirty jam grooves down so perfectly, it’s almost impossible to hear

where the punk ends, and where the surf rock begins.

In many ways, the ladies are taking over the surf scenes of both coasts. For

instance, former Dum Dum Girls drummer Frankie Rose has played with both

The Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts, and The Vivian Girls’ old drummer, Ali Koehler,

is now playing with Best Coast, so who knows… perhaps the California and BK

scenes aren’t as far apart as they look on a map.

Know Your Label

None of this madness would ever be possible without the love and support of

some very influential labels, and two of my favorite startup indies are repping

many of these groups. If surf rock is your thing, you really can’t do much better

than the Brooklyn-based Captured Tracks Records. Boasting a growing roster of

up-and-coming talent including Beach Fossils, The Beets and the DC-based band

Eternal Summers, this label’s become a halfway home for the three-chord salute.

While Captured Tracks are relative newcomers, Slumberland Records has been

putting out some of the most hummable tunes for over twenty years now. This

veteran label works with a lot of new new wave acts (The Pains of Being Pure

at Heart for one), but works their share of the wavy jangle as well, from Black

Tambourine, to Frankie Rose’s solo releases, to The Crystal Stilts themselves.

The ultimate surf guitar tone has

several elements: a guitar, the

amplifier, reverb, tremolo, and

vibrato, but the sound starts with the

guitar itself. A Fender Stratocaster, Jaguar

or Jazzmaster would be my personal choice.

These are the most commonly used. One of

the secrets to the tone is single coil pickups.

There’s quite a difference between the vintage

ones and the new ones, the older ones sound

more organic, with more of a bell tone, and

more surf like. There’s also a difference in

price, so you make do with what you can.

I highly recommend a

Fender amp to get the

signature surf sound, one

with a spring reverb tank in

it. A Fender Twin Reverb,

Super Reverb, Princeton

Reverb, Dual Showman

Reverb, etc. — the key

is reverb. An Ampeg

Reverberocket would also

sound great.

For the best reverb tone,

one can purchase a

separate reverb unit. The

very best is a vintage

Fender reverb unit, which

sits on top of the amp.

These have the warmest

and most organic sound.

One can also use foot

pedals for reverb, the

Electro Harmonx Holy

Grail is my personal favorite.

Fender Jazzmaster

Tremolo units create a hypnotic quick increase and

decrease in volume. Vibrato is a difference in pitch, up

and down. Both these effects are often used on surf

rock records.

“You can have

all the gear

in the world

but ultimately

it’s all in the

fingers!”

I personally like a thin pick,

a Dunlop light grey .60mm

— it facilitates the quick,

flutter picking so common

on surf records.

Backyard Barbeques

So why surf rock anyway? How did this cornball party jam genre successfully

incorporate itself into so much anti-establishment material over the past couple

decades, ultimately finding its home in our own backyard? Surf rock is yacht

rock for the punks. Leave Steely Dan’s chill to the Hamptons set (Donald

Fagen’s not much of a Ramones fan anyway), while surf rock owns spots like

Coney Island and ok… Rockaway Beach.

Fender Jaguar

For great surf tone, check

out artists like Dick Dale,

Link Wray, the Ventures,

the Shadows, the Bel Airs

and the Northern Lights.

You can have all the gear

in the world but ultimately

it’s all in the fingers!

Photos courtesy of Rivington Guitars


specials the deli’s features

Hooray For Earth

The Say Yay Kids!

By Charlie Davis / Photo by Drew Innis

RIYL: TV on the Radio,

Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear

Just as our own planet has its share of cherished milestones (the discovery of fire,

the invention of the wheel, the advent of the Ronco kitchenware revolution), NYC’s

Hooray For Earth are not without their own monumental landmarks.

Formed in the mid-aughts by singer/producer/multi-instrumentalist

Noel Heroux, Hooray for Earth relocated from Beantown to the

Big Apple and released the Cellphone EP in 2008 with Dopeamine

Records. After that, the band released the Momo EP in 2009, and

toured with blogo-darlings like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

and Surfer Blood. You should also know that in late 2010, the band

released an undeniably bubbly and catchy single “A Place We Like”

with fellow NYC artist and pop enthusiast Twin Shadow.

Then, in June 2011, Hooray for Earth decided to show us all up by

creating a damn-near-spotless, air-tight pop record called “True

Loves” that gave listeners a shit-ton of things to hooray about.

Calling upon an era when pop songs and hooks had a secret cleverness

about them, “True Loves” incorporates a few tricks from 1980’s

synth pop/new-wave playbook, while still sounding totally current. The

hooks are molasses-y sweet and emotionally charged enough to make

the cut of a John Hughes film (Baby’s Day Out notwithstanding), but

can still throw their weight around on a playlist next to MGMT, Animal

Collective, LCD Soundsystem or Passion Pit.

Early album gems like “Sails” and “Same” show just how deftly Heroux

appropriates some of these ’80s synth pop conventions. Beginning

with arpeggiated keyboard lines that are nothing short of gorgeous,

these tracks call upon some of the finer moments of groups like OMD

and Depeche Mode in their prime (the galloping shuffle feel of “Same”

could be a dead ringer for a long lost Tears for Fears b-side). After

listening to the album in its entirety, however, it becomes clear these

stylistic touchstones are more of an entry point than a destination.

Part of the uniqueness of “True Loves” lies in a certain kind of heaviness

that’s intertwined with its pop buoyancy. The drums are massive

and brooding (and were recorded on a rooftop) and the keyboards are

thick and lush with extensive layering on every track. While the album

does have extensive guitar work, most of it is reworked and chopped

up to sound like keyboards. In addition, the album was mixed by Chris

Coady - who is no stranger to cutting-edge sounds (Beach House,

Delorean, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and TV On The Radio to name a few). In

June, Hooray For Earth did a cover of Kanye West’s “All of the Lights”

off of “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (another rich and densely

layered album) for Billboard.com which sounds nearly spot-on with the

rest of their repertoire. And oh yes, to top it all off, Noel Heroux also

cites Enya as an important influence on the creation of the record.

The album’s opening track (“Realize It’s Not The Sun”) starts with

nothing more than washed out layers of vocals and synth pads hovering

in a dream-like suspension. As momentum builds, the percussion

instruments slowly give way until fading back into ominous synth layers.

It’s definitely heavy — but it’s the kind of heaviness you would

expect from a one-man basement recording project (which to no

surprise, is how Hooray for Earth began). It’s not until the next track

(“Last Minute”) that you see how roles of all four band members work

together to truly bring the ruckus.

Varying bpm’s play an important role as well. The album finds an even

balance between down tempo dubbed-out grooves (“Black Trees”)

and the higher energy dance party jams (“Sails”, “Bring Us Closer

Together”). Other times, songs may bounce back and forth between

the two (“Hotel”). In either instance, there is no shortage of hooks

and instantly catchy melodies. The album’s lead single “True Loves”

has a unique almost-reggae feel with it’s booming synth-bass, syncopated

rim clicks and heavy snare cracks. If you’re reading this at

work, be sure to drop whatever you’re doing and check out the song’s

accompanying video full of breathtaking visuals of beaches, caves, a

Medieval knight and things are arguably related to magic (The narrative’s

a little murky, but hey, you’re supposed to be at work).

Despite the album’s ornate layers, in terms of function, “True Loves”

is an album of economy. With a mere ten tracks, every song is sharply

executed with each section going straight for the jugular and packing

a severe punch, whether it’s an intro, chorus or breakdown section.

Song structures are completely to the point and each chorus delivers

what the preceding section hint at. It is these same techniques that

helped create a countless number of classic pop songs in the 1980’s

to begin with. And while the arrangements do call for a good amount

of layering, Heroux’s production style does not allow this delivery

system to weigh itself down. The vocals tread very gently above the

compositions and lend themselves more to visuals than narratives.

Even the album’s monster hooks and choruses manage to carry an air

of pleasant understatement to them.

All in all, Heroux’s approach to pop music succeeds in winning over

the listener at the very first glance and makes “True Loves” one the

great debut albums of the year. Now cemented onto the “2011 bands

to watch list”, there’s no doubt that Hooray for Earth have a promising

future ahead of them. If Heroux can seamlessly pull out all the stops

and make such a concise pop record, he can just as easily take it in

other directions as the band continues to grow and evolve. Keep a

lookout for HFE on tour with Architecture in Helsinki this summer. In

the meantime, try to find some new hobbies to keep yourself busy.

the deli_23 Summer 2011


the snacks the deli’s CD reviews

NYC Bands, do you know that you can promote your

live show directly on The Deli’s homepage?

Go here: nyc.thedelimagazine.com (far right column)

Celestial Shore

California Eden EP

Uuuuuh... we like this

combination of words:

“playful psych pop with

an experimental edge”.

That’s our attempt at

describing the music of

Brooklyn based band Celestial Shore. These guys

follow on the bizarre and elaborate “avant-pop”

steps of acts like Dirty Projector and Deerhoof,

with a slightly “mathy-er” approach, and vocal

melodies and harmonies that will get Beach Boys

fans excited. The way “Pals” — a perfect pop

gem — gets truncated and pretty much sacrificed

as a “song” to the god of experimentation might

irritate the many pop purists out there. Instead,

it makes us smile with complicity. Boring song

structures are for later in life... (Paolo De Gregorio)

Facebook.com/celestialshore

Shenandoah

and The Night

Self-Titled EP

Shenandoah Ableman has

the rare ability to turn any

genre into a voluptuous

experience. Comfortable

singing in front of styles

ranging from German cabaret to doo wop, her

quintet Shenandoah and The Night are bringing

sexy back... one sultry style at a time. The band’s

new self-titled debut EP showcases this sensuality

with deep confidence through a series of songs

steeped in the tradition of American folk, but

featuring a very un-American, almost overwhelming,

nostalgic power — in the most literal and

decadent definition of “romanticism”. These songs

(“So Fine” and “All The Beautiful Ladies” deserve

a honorable mention) make us flirt with “dangerous”

thoughts like the fragility of love, the desire

for the lost past, the unreachability of perfect

happiness, our vain but primary quest for beauty.

They might not make us jump or feel happy,

but the do make us feel alive. Can you afford to

ignore it? (Mike Levine + Paolo De Gregorio)

www.shenandoahandthenight.com

Exemption

Public Cemetry Party

Ubiquitous Long Island

power trio Exemption

busts through the gate

with another mind-bending

collection of tunes on their

psychedelically sprinkled

nine-track affair Public

Cemetry Party. This multi-faceted unit allows its

prog rock sensibilities to overshadow their stoner

metal tendencies and modern metal panache this

time around (“Cold Bodies”) while tumultuous

percussive rumbles and layers of delectable guitars

illuminate their variety-addled path to musical

enlightenment (“White Animal”). Exuding as many

moments of jaw dropping musical interludes as

produced studio slickness (“Hyper Spiral”) with a

boundless energy and freewheeling musical spirit

at the helm, the compositions on this release are

jam packed with an encyclopedic knowledge of

a multitude of rock genres that reaches down

deep in the grab bag to obtain wondrous musical

prizes for folks who care to have their horizons

expanded (“Hounds of Sound”). (Mike SOS)

Myspace.com/exemption

Widowspeak

Gun Shy /

Wicked Game 7”

It’s always interesting

to follow how a promising

emerging band’s

sound slowly evolves and

matures — in particular if it

does so in interesting ways, of course. Widowspeak

first appeared in the NYC scene earlier this

year, sounding like a twangy version of The Velvet

Underground, and landing some noteworthy opening

spots for Crystal Stilts and Beach Fossils at various

NYC DIY venues. Things seem to have evolved

rapidly in these few months: the band’s brand new

7” signals the intent of taking that “twanginess” to

new levels, with the beautifully melancholic song

“Gun Shy” and a cover of what could be considered

one of the (if not the) best twangy ballads ever

written — Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. This band

is sounding more and more like a slightly psych

version of The Cowboy Junkies with really good

songs, and we like this very much. They just signed

with NYC DIY label Captured Tracks, announcing

a full release for August. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Myspace.com/bandwidowspeak

Cinema Cinema

Shoot The Freak EP

Brooklyn-based

Cinema,Cinema, an

amalgamation of Ev

Gold (vocals/guitar),

Chris Tropeano

(bass), and Pat Fusco

(drums), explodes into

aggressive, grungy garage punk on their grumbling

and demonic EP, Shoot The Freak. Frantic screamer,

“Lady Abortion” surges with distortion and high

speed drums. The EP continues the medical motif

with “Pleased to Meet You, Anesthesia,” which

features parallel melodies in vocals and instrumentation,

losing control in sirens of guitar feedback.

Ringing bass and guitar riffs set Day-Leash” off in

a progressive rock frenzy, eventually returning to

the opening measures which fade into silence to

close Shoot The Freak. Cinema Cinema creates

cinematic music to say the least, with an uncommon

sound in the indie scene. (Meijin Bruttomesso)

www.cinemacinemaband.com

The Reverend

John DeLore

Little John

The Conqueror

The Reverend John DeLore

is not your typical country

crooner. The Wisconsin

born poet, songwriter

and musician has been active in the New York

since relocating to Brooklyn in 2003 and has built a

reputation around providing thoughtful roots music

with an alternative energy while staying away from

cowboy hat nostalgia. His sophomore effort Little

John The Conqueror showcases DeLore’s maturation

as both a lyricist and melodist behind a backing

band of classic Americana sounds. Sonically, the

group is firmly grounded in gritty guitars, roadhouse

piano, a dynamic rhythm section, and DeLore’s

no-nonsense tenor, creating a solid bedrock for the

published poet’s weighty lyrics. Like great songwriters

such as The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle,

DeLore has a knack for using relatable experiences

and presenting the ordinary as artful. Take the New

York-centric vocal opener “Avenue A” : “Her body is

much younger than her movements might suggest,

clutching at her breast, eyes distant and dispossessed.

/ Where she goes when the sun goes down

is anybody’s guess. All I know is she wears her loneliness

like a wedding dress.” Far from stock country

tropes, 12 bar blues, or Nashville’s underestimation

of its audience, the songwriter’s keen observational

style and sense of place can turn something

as common as a love song into something more

subtle and ultimately, satisfying. (Jason Bertone)

web.mac.com/johndelore

Mirror Mirror

Interiors

Interiors is the ten-song

sophomore album of

Mirror Mirror, the New

York based duo of twisted

sound-smiths David Riley

and Ryan Lucero. These

Brooklynites offer some

sonically adventurous avant-psych-pop that blurs

the lines between epic and grotesque, while referencing

a myriad of genres and influences (mostly

situated between the ’70s and the ’80s). Amongst

these we detect Brian Eno’s cerebral pop tunes from

the Taking Tiger Mountain era, Peter Gabriel’s audacious

avant-pop of the So period, King Crimson’s

and Pink Floyd’s trippy and insane early ’70s

prog- and psych-rock, and the occasional reference

to disco music. The ten tracks, glued together by

prominent buzzy synth lines, atmospheric keyboard

pads, and guitars and vocals drenched in various

effects (but mostly reverb), are filtered through

a psychedelic lens that distorts the material in a

way similar to what a curved mirror does to an

image — or David Lynch to a story. Recorded in

two parts, Interiors features the production work

of Chris Coady (Beach House, Gang Gang Dance,

Zola Jesus), who helped realize an expansive

sound from Mirror Mirror’s home-studio recordings.

The other album half, aided by Joshua da

Costa’s live drumming, was produced by Thomas

Asenault and Zeljko McMullen. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Myspace.com/mirrormirrornyc

Not Blood, Paint

Tommy

I’m not sure who Tommy

is, but he’s been having

a rough time recently. He

hasn’t been picking up

the phone, he’s bleeding

everywhere, and that bitch

called Destiny has broken

his heart. Poor guy. But then, with this amazing

an anthem to tell his story, how bad can things

possibly be? Theatrical arena rock (think Meatloaf,

Queen, Muse) has never been the easiest thing to

pull off. You go too far into theater and things get

ridiculous, too far rock and it isn’t fun anymore...

With Not Blood Paint, they got all your bases covered.

Their new single clocks in at over 6 minutes,

but that’s nothing compared to how many times

you’ll be listening. It goes from bluesy confessional,

to Brian May guitar theatrics, to a singalong

of brotherly concern and back again. Recorded

at their McKibbin loft home studios, this is a band

that lives, breathes and eats their music as much

as their own madness. Listening through to Tommy

is as close as I’ve come to witnessing this band’s

insanity, next to seeing them live. So enjoy, but

don’t get too comfortable... they have a debut LP

coming out soon, you may want to be careful walking

alone late at night in Bushwick. (Mike Levine)

Facebook.com/notbloodpaint

the deli_25 Summer 2011


the deli’s

icons

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

influences

nyc music

The Mast

Wild Poppies

The Mast is the new

project of NYC based

vocalist and guitarist

Haale and drummer Matt

Kilmer, who toured for

two years with Haale’s

band. Under that moniker they released a debut

CD in 2008 and played over 250 shows, including

Bonnaroo, Preservation Hall, and the David

Byrne-curated series at Carnegie Hall. In 2010

they returned to Brooklyn where they built a studio

and recorded Wild Poppies. Their new sound,

reminiscent of a punchier, more tribal version of

The Cocteau Twins, builds on Haale’s ethereal

and dreamy vocals/melodies, and Kilmer’s rather

aggressive and eclectic percussive work, open

to all flavors of drums. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Themast.bandcamp.com

Starlight Girls

Gossip

Starlight Girls would

have been the ideal

band to write the original

soundtrack for the “Austin

Powers” film series — at

least, this is what we

gather from “Gossip”,

the only track they have available online. This is a

sassy indie pop gem strongly influenced by early

’60s pop, with a loungy touch in the form of an

addictive piccolo sample that screams “Austin

Powers is at this party!!!”. Fun, clever music

for fun, sophisticated people like… those who

read The Deli (hopefully). (Paolo De Gregorio)

Starlightgirls.bandcamp.com

Zak Smith

Haunted Feet EP

Bluesy jams open “Under

Your Possession” on New

Jersey-born, New Yorksettled

artist, Zak Smith’s

Haunted Feet EP. Smith’s

airy and soulful vocals

enter, followed by guitars

that break into a chromatic bridge. A dancier

beat underlies melancholy lyrics on “Suffer Like a

Ghost,” and the EP floats forward with a nostalgic

ballad, “The Ones that Got Away Will Bury Me,”

made more sentimental with string accompaniment.

Playing with more genre-mixing and

continuing the ghostly theme of the album, Smith

takes a poppier direction with “The House You

Haunt” and closes Haunted Feet with the uplifting

strums and call and response vocals of “Faith

But Wailing.” Zak Smith’s debut EP is a promising

start in the right direction for this up-andcoming

singer/songwriter. (Meijin Bruttomesso)

Zaksmith.bandcamp.com

Julia Haltigan

Julia Haltigan and

The Hooligans

Americana musicians are

often forced to walk an

interesting line between

folk idealism and popular

realities, with the best of

such acts successfully synthesizing the strongest

elements of both paradigms. One such act is New

York-based songwriter Julia Haltigan. Her eclectic

brand of roots music is reminiscent of iconoclasts

such as Tom Waits, the electric blues of Chess

records, and the atmospheric soundscapes of

golden age Hollywood. Haltigan’s cryptic lyrics

and blues-inflected vocal timbre sit right at home

amongst a backdrop of lush guitars, old-timey

horns, and a driving rhythm section. The pedal

steel guitar, a mainstay in country music since

the time of Hank Williams, adds an eerie ambiance

that appropriately ties together Haltigan’s

sound. Required listening for fans of classic

blues, alt-country, and rockabilly alike. Check out

“Knocking at the Door” from her latest release,

Julia Haltigan and The Hooligans. (Jason Bertone)

www.juliahaltigan.com

Yvette

Self-Titled

The rediscovery of ritual

music is a consistent

theme in much of

Brooklyn’s output over

the last decade. Bands

like Animal Collective,

Yeasayer and Tanlines

have adopted this minimal, repetitive style as their

own, reducing an internet’s worth of ideas to a

tribal, almost religious “primalism.” Brooklyn’s

Yvette channels this tradition, but they do it

like badasses, carving out their tribal energy

with religious devotion and knife-like intensity.

Their debut self-titled EP is a primal meditation

without all the psychedelic trappings. Making no

apologies to analog originalists, their construction

of LOUD, grinding, sawtooth synths is all

digital; which works well for them. Yvette’s

approach is so immediate, I doubt anyone will

mind how they’ve built their saturated, washy

textures. The same can be said of their vocal

chants. Most of the time when duo Noah and

Rick are singing, you really can’t make out any of

the lyrics, but really... what does it matter? The

way the earsplitting drums, laptops and vocals

are thrown into the fire, the need for narrative

detail is entirely discarded. The four songs on

their EP weave an intense journey without using

verses, hooks, or even chord changes to tell it,

trading in these usual placeholders for a deeper

sense of continuity... one droney shout at a time.

In a town blanketed in beach bands, Yvette is

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

Myspace.com/yvetteyvetteyvette

Religious to Damn

Glass Prayer

Like many current bands,

Afghan-American singer

Zohra Atash’s project

Religious to Damn is

inspired by the sound

of the ’70s and ’80s.

However, the influences

on this record are far from typical. Religious

to Damn’s music doesn’t have anything to do

with those dancey Motown tunes, glam rock, or

electro-pop. Instead, the album Glass Prayer references

dark and sophisticated artists like Japan,

David Sylvian, Siouxsie & The Banshees and (in

the poppier choruses) queens of cool Blondie

and Kate Bush. The best songs on the album are

“Drifter”, a track built on a super simple bass line

that develops quite surprisingly towards celestial

openings and the title track “Glass Prayer”, which

alternates a verse that’s almost a tribute to late

Japan with a chorus as beautiful and voluptuous

as Kate Bush’s best songs. Infused with exotic

sounds and atmospheres, the record features a

good number of ballads and mid tempo numbers,

but things seems to get more interesting whenever

the BPM go up, as evidenced by the Morriconian

The Wait”, and the tense and apocalyptic

“Let The Fires Burn”. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Religioustodamn.bandcamp.com


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:

thedelimagazine.com

/musicbuilding

By Kenneth Partridge

I

n 2008, FIGO dropped “Plaza,” its Danzig-does-disco debut

single. Although the dance-punk thing had long since run its

course, singer Parag Bhandari and his boundary-smashing

band mates offered something different: a scorching crunch ‘n’

thump sound still relevant in the post-Rapture era.

The subsequent two years brought remixes and high-profile gigs, but

amid all the globetrotting, FIGO finally found time to record a fulllength.

Put It All on Black is due out in August, and if the blip-thrash

single “Faded” is any indication, the album is going to prove well

worth the wait.

When a band says it’s influenced by both the Misfits and Kylie, it

usually turns out to be bogus, but I really can hear both in your

music, as well as a lot of other artists. How did you develop

such eclectic tastes?

Fist fights and bitch slaps.

Rock and dance music have intersected many times over

the years, but it seems like the lines are blurrier than ever.

Artists melding rock and dance music has been around

for decades, obviously. But as technology

FIGO

RIYL: The Misfits, Primal Scream,

The Chemical Brothers

advances and using things like computers, iphones, etc., is the norm, the

concept of using computers and live music does not seem so alien.

In addition to playing your own music, you guys do a lot of DJ sets.

Do you prefer one to the other?

There’s a certain energy in dance clubs that is different but just as intense

and awesome as in live/rock clubs. We definitely approach DJ gigs differently

than LIVE gigs — they are two different animals, but we prefer LIVE

gigs and the energy of all of us being on stage.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com/artists/figo

By Kenneth Partridge

O

Mister Melt

RIYL: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Raveonettes, Cults

n “Drive Your Car,” from its forthcoming debut EP, boy-girl duo

Mister Melt sings about cars, sex, fighting, and dancing — the

Big 4 of rock ‘n’ roll. Mickey, the band’s car-averse singer and

guitarist, calls the tune “totally ironic,” but “escapist” is more like it. If

nothing else, Mickey and Maria dig how Brits like the Jesus and Mary

Chain recontextualized malt-shop memories.

On “Godzilla” and “Lemon Tree,” the pair cruises

along with the distortion cranked high, making a noise as

timeless as Wayfarers and black leather.

How did you guys meet?

Mickey: I first met Maria in front of Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn

Rhythm” at the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan. I was working

primarily in visual art before this project. But I was in punk bands

when I was a kid upstate.

Maria: This is the first “serious” music project I’ve been involved in. I’m

a writer; at least that’s what my college degree says.

What are the advantages of being a two-piece?

Drummers are notoriously crazy people, so you may have avoided

some headaches in that regard…

Mickey: Yeah, what actually happened was we just got tired of looking

for a drummer. We were rehearsing with drum tracks in the meantime and

then we finally just said, “Let’s get a sampler.” It has streamlined things—

we’re totally solid.

Maria: We’ve had an off-and-on relationship with the idea of live drums.

It’s easy to coordinate with just two people. I agree with Mickey that the

sampler has become a really useful tool in our creative process. And it

always shows up for practice.

You say that you’re influenced by shoegaze and new wave. Why do

fuzzy guitars blend so well with synths and electronic beats?

Mickey: It’s like jumbo shrimp.

Maria: To steal a vocabulary word from Mickey—it’s cathartic. Guitar

feedback can be super ambient at times. And messy, energetic noise

can provide a good counterpoint to the more catchy, melodic part of

a song. The beats and sampled noises can also be really distinct,

repetitive, and controlled.

Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com/artists/mistermelt

the deli_27 Summer 2011


kitchen a local business

Joe Lambert

Mastering

By Mike Bauer

“I

want to work with everyone,” says

mastering engineer Joe Lambert. One look

at his discography proves he’s not kidding:

from Deerhunter to Stephen Sondheim, Animal

Collective, The Black Crowes and Kanye West —

the list is as long as it is eclectic. Having worked in

Manhattan for over a dozen years, Lambert’s skills

were in demand long before he opened his own

mastering facility, JLM Sound, in DUMBO in 2008.

Lambert began his mastering career in the mid-nineties in SoHo at

Ground Zero Recording, which was a part of Zero Hour records.

He transitioned from the position of house engineer, as the studio

supported his desire to switch his focus by building a mastering room.

Says Lambert, “I knew that [mastering] is what I wanted to do.

I wanted to be the guy who adds that finishing touch.”

He moved on to mastering full-time at Classic Sound from 1999 until

2005, and then over to Trutone Mastering Labs, located in what was

previously the famed Record Plant Studios on West 44th Street. But

with an insider’s view of the Manhattan recording industry, he knew the

challenges facing studios at the time.

“You could see it becoming more independent artist and independent

label-centric. The majors weren’t putting out as many records, and

I could see how the labels were changing, but also how the studios

were changing. They were having to downsize at every studio I worked

at: no matter how talented the engineers were and how nice the

studios were.”

Moving to DUMBO, with it’s vibrant art scene, great views, and easy

accessibility was a natural choice for the location of JLM Sound.

Lambert has stayed busy with no signs of letting up: recent projects

include the latest from Panda Bear, Moby, and Russian Circles, as well

as Red Hot + Rio 2 and tracks for MGMT. He’s seen firsthand the recent

resurgence of cutting to vinyl, and the growth of the Do-It-Yourself

mentality when it comes to making records. But Lambert cautions that

for all the benefits of D.I.Y., it can be a double-edged sword.

“Although you can do things all by yourself, that doesn’t necessarily

mean that that’s gonna be the best thing. There’s an advantage

to working with people who have made dozens of records,

who’ve worked with a lot of different people and a lot of different

environments, as far as tracking, mixing, mastering, whatever part of it:

there’s a lot of different people with specific skills.”

The music industry was

struggling with a combination

of falling CD revenue, lower

production costs, and labels

that were finding it harder to

stay relevant with the growth

of internet music distribution.

In New York City, the added

pressure of constantly rising

rent costs began to topple

recording fixtures like The

Hit Factory and Sony Music

Studios. Eventually, Trutone

was added to the list of

Manhattan closures, and that’s when Lambert decided to make the

move to Brooklyn.

“Mastering is way more

important now because

it’s very rare to find a

project that is recorded

in a really good studio,

with good microphones,

with people who

know how to place

the microphones,

and then mixed in a

professional room. You

have all these things

working against you

now, because of your

budget. So the mastering is just that much more important to make

sure it’s as good as it possibly can be.”

“Mastering is way more important now

because it’s very rare to find a project

that is recorded in a really good studio,

with good microphones, with people

who know how to place the microphones,

and then mixed in a professional room.”

“When you see these major studios that have been around for decades

closing shop, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that some things

need to change. I knew that I wanted to open my own studio and I

wanted to be able to work with the people I’d been working with.”

“A lot of my clients had already either been here or moved out here

— and newer artists were still coming from all over — but instead of

moving to Manhattan, they were moving to Brooklyn, not only because

they could afford it, but because this is just frankly where they wanted

to be...It’s just a great artistic area. There was a time where Philly

was the place to be and Seattle was the place to be, and right now

Brooklyn is the place to be if you are making records.”

JLM Sound has adapted to the changing industry too: Roman Vail has

been added to the mastering team, in order to help increased demand,

and offers a first tier of pricing for mastering services, allowing bands

on a budget to still get a great sounding record.

Looking back, Lambert likes the view from across the bridge. “From

day one, it’s been good and I’ve been happier here for sure. You know,

it’s a wonderful thing to not have a ‘job’. I’m really thankful that I can

spend my life helping people make records.”

www.joelambertmastering.com

the deli_29 Summer 2011


New Releases from Mother West

Kris Gruen

Part Of It All

“Artfully conceived and

expertly executed.”

-Dan Bolles, Seven Days

“Tranquil Vermont singer-songwriter

with engulfing folkie sound.”

-CMJ

The Davenports

Why The Great Gallop?

“Steeped in pop/rock — Weezer meets

Ben Folds meets The Hold Steady —

leading you to sing along to songs that

you’re hearing for the first time while

stories unfold of relationships gone awry”

-The Deli Magazine

Ceramic

The Past Ain’t Far

The Past Ain’t Far is the first full

length from these Brooklyn dreampoppers.

Moody guitars weave

with violins, percussion and grand

beats, while vocals hover and

careen about.

Tom Shaner

Get Real or Get Gone

“Get Real or Get Gone has got substance

like you can’t imagine” -Skope Magazine

“There are few singer-songwriters that are

able to create something that successfully

marries the rich tradition brought to the

genre by luminaries like Dylan and Cohen”

-Neuftur Magazine

Bela

Art Deco Smiles

Foreboding and somber like a Bela Lugosi

movie, but with a musical aesthetic more

in line with Béla Bartok, critics have long

spun superlatives that point to this band’s

chosen namesakes. The newest release

Art Deco Smiles infuses surf gtr, retro drum

machines and whimiscal melodies with

cinematic soundscapes and stories.

M-16

La Raiz De Todo Poder

Scathing, pulsing, and louder than hell,

M-16’s music is at times bombastic and

scalding, yet poetic in style and nature.

Unapologetic lyrics sung entirely in

Spanish scream and whisper tales of

mortal disillusion, political terror, and the

chaos of modern times.

www.MotherWest.com

the deli_30


kitchen recording equipment news

Brought to you by

The UAD-2 Satellite Quad

Firewire DSP Accelerator

www.uaudio.com

Review by Bo Boddie

The UAD-2 Satellite Quad — Universal Audio’s new

Firewire 400/800 UAD-2 plug-in platform (with Quad

processing power) — comes with a stellar collection of

plug-ins, which Universal Audio calls the “Analog Classics”:

1176LN and 1175SE, Pultec Pro, Realverb Pro, and LA-2A.

All of the other UAD plug-ins are pre-installed along with the system

software, and have 14-day demo periods.

The Satellite Quad is extremely easy to setup and I was pleasantly

surprised at how well the system works over the Firewire bus. I tested it

at both 400 and 800 speeds, in both Logic and Pro Tools 9, and although

less plug-ins can be used with lower data bandwidth, using the Firewire

400 bus did not seem to radically affect performance.

The UAD control panel offers extensive control over how the Firewire bus

is used, and allows the user to make decisions about how much Firewire

bandwidth is allocated for the card’s usage. This is a wonderful feature

given that there will almost certainly be other devices on the Firewire bus,

either drives or an audio interface, and being able to have some control

over how data bandwidth is distributed is paramount.

Universal Audio recommends that the Satellite always be the first device in

the daisy chain, if there is one. The Satellite does not distribute bus power

to devices that may need it, so that will also be a consideration. There

is no question that more plug-ins can be used with PCI-based cards,

however, the Satellite’s major offering is its portability and compatibility on

computers without PCIe, like MacBook Pros and iMacs.

It is here that we see the one major difference between the Firewire and PCI

based systems: LiveTrack mode cannot be used with the Satellite. For me,

this certainly isn’t a deal-breaker, as I rarely incorporate any software-based

processing while tracking; as long as I can mix with the plug-ins I’m happy.

The only issue I had with the Satellite will not be a factor for most of you, but

presently the Satellite works only with Intel-Based iMacs, select MacBook

Pros and Mac minis. Make sure you check out the UAD-2 Satellite Support

Page to find your hardware on the list of compatible systems.

In my mind, there is one compelling reason to use this product, and

that is to have access to the dizzying array of analog emulations that

Universal Audio has developed. They all sound fantastic, and have made

a noticeable difference in my ability to more easily pull off great sounding

in-the-box mixes.

While I was only able to use the Satellite with my Mac Pro for this review,

the ease of set-up was fantastic, and I really enjoyed having 4 extra chips

worth of power with which to go hog-wild with the plug-ins for a few weeks.

I should note, that even with my DUO PCI card alone, I usually do not

max out the available DSP. A friend recently asked me if I thought the

Satellite would be a good addition to his TDM Pro Tools system, as he

had run out of PCI slots. After seeing how solidly the Firewire interface

has worked I can say yes!

The UAD-2 Satellite comes in several different configurations: DUO (2

chips) with $50.00 voucher ($899.00); DUO FLEXI with $500.00 voucher

($1,199.00); QUAD (4 chips) with $50.00 voucher ($1,499.00); QUAD

Flexi with $500.00 Voucher ($1,799.00); and QUAD OMNI with all the

UAD plug-ins up to version 5.7 ($4,499.00).

Visit www.uaudio.com/uad-plug-ins.html for the full range of UAD-2

powered plug-in systems.

NYC Studios

Brought to you by

Converse Opens Free

Recording Studio in Williamsburg

Converse has opened a recording studio they will book via online

application, for free. Located just off the L in Williamsburg, Rubber

Tracks is a brand-new studio based around a new API 1608 console

and a range of analog outboard gear and microphones. In addition,

there’s a smaller edit/mix suite, a rehearsal room, and a large main

stage/event space which doubles as a huge drum room. Management

will review online applications and reach out to schedule sessions,

requiring that “bands be serious about their art”, and working with

artists to help them make the best use of their recording time – also

pairing them up with an experienced house producer. To apply just

Google: “converse studio apply”

A Classic Now More Classic:

Electric Lady Studios Expands

Speaking of API consoles, Electric Lady — that storied rock-and-roll

For more on these stories, visit

www.sonicscoop.com

recording haunt on 8th Street made famous by classic sessions with

the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, AC/DC and Patti

Smith — has built a new API Mix Suite to cater to up-and-coming acts

and indie projects. The new room is part of a recent facility-wide renovation

that includes the installation of a classic (restored and recapped)

Neve 8078 in Electric Lady’s Studio A, where Kanye West, John Mayer,

and Coldplay have recorded in the last year.

NYC Studio Tour: Recording Retreats

City bands retreating to the countryside to work through the creative

process is nothing new. Artists from Led Zeppelin to Grizzly Bear to

Bon Iver have all generated some of their most recognized work while

shacked up in makeshift cabin studios. But sometimes, an environment

that offers a little more control and a proven track record is in order —

especially when time and money are of the essence. Our review of the

top destination recording experiences within 3 hours of Manhattan includes

a variety of converted churches, barns, houses and even a boat.

Check it out at www.sonicscoop.com/recording-retreats.

the deli_31 Summer 2011


Blue Microphone Spark www.bluemic.com

Review by Ariel Borujow

Blue Microphones have always

had a reputation for having

great-sounding microphones at

reasonable prices. When SonicScoop

approached me about doing the review

for the Blue Spark, I had no hesitations.

The Spark is a cardioid, solid-state condenser

microphone, designed using Class-A discrete

electronics. The result is a versatile all-around

mic that is colorless and designed to handle

multiple jobs ranging from vocals, to drums,

guitars, pianos, brass, and woodwinds among

other sound sources. Also having the Focus

control, a mode selector which I explain in detail

later, users have access to broader control of the

Spark’s high and low characteristics.

I was scheduled to record The Clatty Lads, a

NYC-based folk/rock/pop/country band and felt

it was the perfect application to put the Blue

Spark to the test. The decision was to use it on

a pedal steel guitar played by the very talented

Matt Knapp. Matt brought in a Peavey Nashville

400 amp to record the song at Stadium Red in

Studio A, here in NYC.

In an effort to get the sound I was looking for I decided to record in their live

room. This was the first time I had ever recorded a pedal steel and I decided

to put the Blue up against the old trustworthy Shure SM 57. I also employed

two sets of room mics to capture some ambiance for this recording.

Once I had the chance to listen, the first thing that was apparent was how

much fuller the Spark was compared to the 57. The Spark was a bit duller

above 10K — which was perfect for what I was looking to achieve, while

the low end was very silky and smooth.

Once I heard the Spark on the pedal steel I was curious to know what it

would sound like rocking through a Marshall with a nice clean tone. The

Spark was able to capture a very pleasing, full sound on the electric.

However, when mixing, you might find yourself cutting some low mids to

help it sit better in the song.

Acoustic guitar was next: the first thing I noticed was the fullness on the

low mids which I love on acoustics. The highs were not where I wanted

them, but it was nothing a little bit of EQ can’t handle. Overall the sound

was really pleasing.

The Spark’s “Focus” control button provides you with two different tonal

characteristics when pressed, and de-pressed. With the electric guitar and

acoustic, when you have the Focus in the Normal position (de-pressed),

the low end seems to increase with less emphasis on the high end. When

Focus mode is pressed, the clarity in the high end was immediately

apparent, and the lows seemed to decrease slightly, but without losing the

richness. Having two different flavors like this can help tremendously for

being a bit creative and having different sonic qualities when tracking.

For the price tag of $199 for the Spark, I would recommend it for the

project studio owner and the seasoned engineer: It has its own unique

characteristics and would be a solid addition to any mic locker.


the deli's Pedal Board

Himmelstrutz

Fetto Custom

• Offers a great variety of

musical distortions.

• Perfect string separation,

all the way from

smooth overdrive to

heavy distortion.

• Designed to match the

volume control on your

guitar perfectly. Most

pedals sounds just like

a pedal.

Line6 M5

Stompbox Modeler

Delivers 100+ emulations of distortions,

choruses, reverbs and

other effects in a single-pedalsize

stompbox.

• It runs one effect at a time,

which makes it ideal for replacing

the effects you only use

occasionally.

• No menus, the display only

changes parameters according

to the selected effect.

• When you power down, your

settings remain, just like a classic

stompbox.

Strymon

Blue Sky Reverberator

• Hand-crafted, computationally intense

Plate, Room and Spring algorithms.

• Normal, Mod and Shimmer modes per

algorithm for extremely versatile reverb

options.

• High Damp and Low Damp controls for

über-flexible reverb tone shaping.

• Mod mode for a beautifully modulated

spring, room or plate reverb.

• Shimmer mode for infinite pitch effects

“in the tank”.

• Dedicated Pre-Delay control to fine tune

reflection times.

Way Huge

Ringworm

Modulator

• Analog modulator based

on old school synth technology,

recommended to

those who like weird tones.

• Five different waves of Low

Frequency Oscillator (LFO)

add beautifully bizarre and

unpredictable amounts of

modulation.

• Expression input allows an

expression pedal to take

over the function of the

Frequency knob.

the deli's Plug-in inserts

if you are interested in reviewing pedals

and plug-ins for The Deli and

Delicious Audio, please contact

delicious.editor@thedelimagazine.com.

Steinberg Portico 5033 Equalizer

• Bron from collaboration with Rupert Designs.

• It reproduces the analog warmth and sonic finesse of its

acclaimed hardware counterpart.

• Extremely precise EQ, with the help of EQ curve graphics.

Applied Acoustics System

Lounge Lizard EP-3

Delivers Authentic Rhodes and

Wurlitzer sounds.

• Smooth dynamics, no velocity layers.

• Huge library of presets + custom effect

to create original sounds.

Waves

Maserati GTi Guitar

• Plug in created exclusively for guitar bus

with the help of producer Tony Maserati.

• Subtle but effects usable in a wide

variety of applications.

• 5 no brainers presets: Clean, Clean

Chorus, Heavy, Thick Rhythm,

Soft Flange.

Native Instruments

West Africa

• Only works with Komplete plug in.

• Collection of beautifully sampled

percussion and melodic instruments.

• Comes with editable library of rhythms.

The interfaces allows the possibility to

change between traditional and chromatic

scales for pitched instruments.

the deli_33 Summer 2011

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