Album Review: Science & Advice – The Armchairs

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It should be readily apparent to anybody with a working set of eardrums that The Armchairs fall firmly in the same camp as a handful of other 60s-esque pop acts cropping up. But where exactly they draw inspiration from is somewhat more of a mystery, because this certainly isn’t the simple pairing of Beatles and Beach Boys that we’ve come to expect. Instead, we’re treated to an odd menagerie of Zombies, Kinks, and earlier, goofier Floyd (you know, before the rest of the band decided not to pickup Syd). This is a slight, but welcome, change of pace, and what’s even more welcoming is the way they throw it all together. It seems that most bands, when under these prestigious influences, would either a) condense it all into pure power-pop confectionery or b) partake in the more indulgent qualities of psychedelia, to the point of tedium. The Armchairs manage to land it somewhere right in between, a sweet spot of controlled lunacy.

Opener "Grampa Yells Portents at Strangers" starts things off right with crazily shifting time signatures and vocal harmonies. It kind of feels like four songs in one, which proves representative of the album’s feel as a whole; tracks are short, almost fragmented, but still intense and fully realized. If there’s any obvious single, it’s "Little Sammy Ghetz" which begins and ends with an irresistible interlocking guitar riff that makes it hard not to get some muscles twitching.

But The Armchairs seem to know better than to trifle with too many obvious hooks. Why do it the easy way when you can do it the fun way? This is an album populated by guitars, alternately crunchy and spacey, awesomely analog-sounding synths, and joyous harmonies. But it’s also populated by mind-melting freakouts like "What For My Cow Eating There?" and tracks like the forty-nine second punk explosion "Harrison Ford". So, to get to the heart of it, Science & Advice is a record that manages to do all of these things with such panache making the album an impressive debut by the oddball but loveable quartet. You can stream and download the album here or purchase it at Punk Rock Payroll where it will come packaged in a handmade travel pillow – perfect for those partiers who never know where they’ll pass out at. (Cover art by Vincent Finazzo) – Joe Poteracki



Dead Man’s Bones releases video for “Pa Pa Power”

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Dead Man's Bones by Hama Sanders

Very rarely does anthing give me the chills, but this video did. Werewolf Heart/Anti- Records’ Dead Man’s Bones just released the video for their single "Pa Pa Power". The band filmed the video themselves and I have to say I haven’t seen anything quite like it. At almost thirteen minutes, it’s worth taking a break out of your day to watch.

Dead Man’s Bones is the brain child of actors Zach Shields and Ryan Gosling. Accompanied by the Silverlake Children’s Choir, Dead Man’s Bones’ music is haunting, sincere, a bit folky, and utterly outstanding. Their next show is September 4th @ LA State Historic Park for the FYF Festival.


NYC Artists on the Rise: Kordan, Live at Lit Lounge on 09.23

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Electronica and Shoegaze are genres that have a lot in common – in a few words: the inclination to toy around with equipment to forge new and interesting soundscapes. Brooklyn based (via Puerto Rico) Kordan bring these two genres together beautifully in the few songs we are hearing from the band’s upcoming debut album, entitled "The Longing" and scheduled for an early October release. If the fuzz-drenched guitars and the droney melodies are reminiscent of late 80s/early 90s shoegazer, the various electronic elements take the genre to a new dimension. "Mirror" is definitely the strongest track here, with a pulsating Roland 808-style drum machine, a synth arpeggiator melody that carries throughout the tune (sometimes floating, sometime drowning) and the occasionally use of the vocoder on the vocals. See them at The Lit Lounge on 09.23.


Qwel & Maker

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One of my favorite hip hop groups of the last ten years go by the name of Glue. The group was Adeem. from New Hampshire on the rhymes, djdq on the turntables from Cincinnati, and the beats of a producer from Aurora named Maker. Glue is not dead, but each member is currently pursuing other projects. Maker has gone on to make a couple of solo album now he is back with a local emcee named Qwel. On September 14th the duo will drop their 3rd full-length album titled Owl (Galapagos4). “The Owl watches and grows wiser,” explains Maker. “As we became more aware of our environment, we gained new perspectives. This album is our way of reconnecting with everything that surrounds us.”

This is Qwel & Maker’s finest and most mature release to date, and it feels like it is still only just the beginning. The duo will be performing on Sept. 10th at Reggies w/ Typical Cats, Meaty Ogre, Maxilla Blue.


Live Review: Apollo Run at Pianos

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It’s a lot of work being in NYC’s Apollo Run. John McGrew (vocals, piano, trumpet), Jeff Kerestes (bass, vocals), and Graham Fisk (drums, vocals) test their multi-tasking abilities to achieve their resounding orchestral rock aura. A crowded Pianos glowed with the hues of on-stage projections, as the band strutted their virtuosic stuff. Supporting their new release, “Here Be Dragons Vol. 1,” AR sprinted through an impressive selection of songs, highlighting “Nightingale” and “Love Song,” which melded sonata piano arpeggios, fervent call and response falsetto, and bass-driven reggae rhythms. Seductive, jazzy keys, trumpet, and bass lines surged with impassioned vocals on “That’s How It Felt,” while the audience basked in the warmth of Broadway-quality, three-part harmonies on “Wide Eyes” and (my) favorite, “Myography.” Other front row fan favorites included “City Lights,” “Devil in Disguise,” “Fireman,” “These Kind of Girls,” and “Chasing Rabbits.” Apollo Run joined the crowd for an a capella “stomp-clap song,” “All in Good Time,” to finish a visually and aurally stunning set with flair. – Meijin Bruttomesso


Curtis Eller plays Wnder Wheel Park in Coney Island on 09.04

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Curtis Eller has proclaimed he is "New York City’s angriest yodeling banjo player,” but if you saw the fella you might agree his black, converse high tops and Chaplin moustache are doing nothing for his surly reputation. He plucks his banjo like an old bluesman but sings with the voice of a good-ol-boy. Eller is angry like a gentleman who knows that a well sung song is the best solution for a difficult situation. He mirrors Woody Guthrie’s union ballads with a side show slant: spins tales about a man on death row and a pack of drunken nerdowells. His politics shine on songs like “Sweathop Fire” which gracefully weaves a dirge for the sweatshop workers, comparing the fire to Ulysess S. Grant and the 1929 stock market crash. Eller’s banjo drives his one-man outfit like a freight train and if this doesn’t win your heart, his Mic Jagger dance moves sure will. See him live at the Wonder Wheel Park in Coney Island on 09.04. – Jenny Luczak


The Gay Blades: “Savages” Review – out on 10.04

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The Gay Blades’ October 5 release, “Savages,” is as eccentric and memorable as their aliases, “Clark Westfield” (vocals/guitar) and “Puppy Mills” (drums). A cross-pollination of genres, this sophomore record begins with aggressive, distorted “Rock N’ Roll (Part I).” The mood lightens up with “Try to Understand,” available to download for free in exchange for a tweet, and bounces with quivering vocals and peppy horns. “Puppy Mills Presents’” cabaret cadence is intensified by crunching guitars and transitions into the sultry and infectious track, “Mick Jagger,” to which the man himself would surely strut along. The melancholy of “Why Winter in Detroit?” and folksy “November Fight Song” culminates in the yearning and heartfelt “Too Cool to Quit.” “Shadow’s Like A Ghost” and “Wasted on the Youth’s” howling leads and unusual melodic progressions create haunting tracks, contrasting with the frantic pace of the punky pop “Burns and Shakes.” Last but not least, “Every Night Is Like a Revival’s” lilt converts to a ballad with string embellishments, fading into a unexpectedly tranquil close. For maximum appreciation, these guys’ music must be experienced live, so don’t miss their show when you have the opportunity (they have no upcoming dates in NYC at this moment). -Meijin Bruttomesso


The War on Drugs Releasing New EP Oct. 28!

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Looks like Philly has a lot to look forward to in the month of October with new releases from Sun Airway, Grimace Federation, Kuf Knotz and many more scheduled to drop (as well as The Deli’s Anniversary Party – shameless plug). Well, add one of our favorite experimental folk rockers, The War on Drugs, to the list. Adam Granduciel and the gang will be releasing a new eight-song EP, Further Weather, on October 28 through Indiana indie label Secretly Canadian, once again. Below is the first song from their upcoming EP called “Comin’ Through”, a Fleetwood Mac-ish track that they just released for FREE download here. Enjoy! – The Deli Staff

Comin’ Through by The War on Drugs


Starlight and Magic Summer Jam Mixtape

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Portland’s electro-pop due Starlight and Magic have just released their version of a perfect summer jam mixtape – the hope being that after listening to the first couple of tracks, you’ll glide into a room with (way too short) short-shorts and a lime green tube-top with ruby-colored sparkling sequin lettering that reads "First Dibs on Hottie" like a flashing marquee.

This is might not be for you rock ’n’rollers with long beards, sleeveless Ts, and armpit hair so copious one might mistake it for a dude with a Wookie in a headlock. This tape sounds more like hot, sweaty summer nights, American Apparel body suits and flexible dance moves. Check out the stream over @ Disco Workout or download here

Track Listing:

1. Slingshot – You Shook Me All Night Long

2. Love & Lust f/ Aisha – Love & Lust (Club of Cairo)

3. Beat Club – Security (Club Mix)

4. J*Davey – Valley of Love

5. Chi’lo’sa – Twin Love

6. Jan Leslie Holmes – I’m Your Superman

7. Natasha – Be Gentle with my Heart

8. Starlight & Magic – You’re Mine Megamix (f/ Connie)

9. Felix & Jarvis – Touch You

10. Babydoll – Girls Can’t Help It

11. R. Kelly – (She’s Got That) Vibe

12. Bill Summers and the Summer’s Heat – Seventeen

13. Bryan Loren – Easier Said Than Done

14. Howard Johnson – Say You Wanna

15. The System – I Wanna Make You Feel Good

Joel Sommer


The Deli Presents the Opening Party for the Philly F/M Fest Sept. 23!

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We’ve been pretty quiet here at The Deli for the summer as far as putting together live showcases, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been planning a whole lotta fun for you this fall/winter. Well, we are happy to announce the first of our most excellent upcoming shows. We truly believe that Philly deserves its own kick ass indie music festival. (Oh Popped!, why did you eat yourself?) That is why when we were asked to throw the Opening Party for the inaugural Philadelphia Film and Music Festival, we were happy to kick this shindig off with a bang! What’s the Philadelphia Film and Music Festival? In the tradition of Austin’s SXSW and NYC’s CMJ, the Philly F/M Fest will be taking over our beloved city for four days from September 23- 26 providing you with a plethora of awesome live music and film events all over town so look out for some more cool shit to be held at your favorite local venues as well as makeshift spaces and in the streets of Philly. So help us celebrate this momentous occasion and join us on Thursday, Sept. 23 at Kung Fu Necktie w/Univox, The Homophones, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb and Hair Rocket! We’ve experienced these buzzworthy bands live so we are super stoked about being able to bring them all on one bill for you! Look out for details about The Deli’s Anniversary Party this October. Much love. (Poster by Annamarya Scaccia) – The Deli Staff