Tiff Randol brings melodious melancholy in her latest effort

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Tiff Randol’s latest album, Strangely Familiar, proves that music can make a difference in people’s lives artistically and fundamentally. The six-track album is dedicated to the LA-based painter-singer-songwriter’s best friend, Michal, who died while giving birth to her gorgeous twins, Reverie and Jackson Snyder. The heart-stirring album displays melodious melancholy track to track, encouraging the listener to hold on to what is “strangely familiar” in their world. 10% of all album sale profits will go to Reverie and Jackson Snyder. Get more information at TheSnyderTwins.com. – Nicole Dawley

Won’t Give Up – Strangely Familiar by Tiff Randol



Weekend Warrior, December 30 – January 1

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New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday this year so there are plenty of places to party at and people to party with. What’s striking our fancy? Well, there is a killer lineup of bands for the grand openeing at The Level Room with Bleeding Rainbow, Eternal Summers, Creepoid, Slutever, Pink Skull, and more. The Making Time crew is taking over Union Transfer to bring the radness and all the alcohol that you can handle. Johnny Brenda’s is hosting the 2nd Annual Philebrity Snowflake Ball with special DJ sets from local favorites like Sun Airway’s Jon Barthmus, Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick, Man Man’s Chris Powell, Spinto Band’s Nick Krill, and Schoolly D as well as Arc In Round’s Mikele Edwards holding down the fort downstairs. Just down the street you also pop in at Kung Fu Necktie where Prowler, Hott Tubb, and Busses will be saying goodbye to the old and hello to the New Year. Honestly, there is a spot for everyone this NYE in Philly so go out and find yours. Just don’t get arrested. And if you do, please email us your mug shot.
Other things to get in trouble at this weekend…
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Orbit To Leslie, Circadian Rhythms, Your Children is Beautiful, SAT Philebrity NYE Snowflake Ball
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) SAT Prowler, Hott Tubb, Busses
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI Man Like Machine and The Rebel Yell, SAT Aspiga and Luther
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI (All Ages) Run For It and Dugout, (Late) Vital Stats and Nordic Chinnuts, SAT Nicos Gun, Lady, Black Stars
Tritone (1508 South St.) FRI Penrose, Levee Drivers, The Lawsuits, John The Conqueror, SAT West Philadelphia Orchestra, SUN Strange Engineers
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI The Heavy Beat, The Mahlors, Bumpin Uglies
The Blockley (3801 Chestnut St.) FRI Brothers Past and Beard O Bees, SAT Brooke Shiv & The 45s
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI Fistful of Sugar, Cait Black, Blueberry McGee
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI The Once Was Reunion Show, SAT Philly Bloco
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.) FRI Persia Sound, Sound Barrier Experience, WyldLyfe, BK Friendly, SAT Spin
Triumph Brewery (117 Chestnut St.) FRI Sinking Ship, SAT Grimace Federation, Damn Right, DVS
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI The Jackson Rider, World On Fire, Bang Diesel Express
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Mock Suns, Music Box Dynamo, Phantasm, Man The Fire, SAT Johnny Showcase New Years Eve Party w/El Malito
The Level Room (2102 Market St.) FRI Silvox #2 with Mark Lord and Coppertone, SAT Bleeding Rainbow, Eternal Summers, Creepoid, Slutever, Fire in the Hearts and Minds, Pink Skull, Exploding World
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St.) SAT Making Time NYE Party
Theatre of Living Arts (334 South St.) FRI mewithoutYou, SAT Good Old War
Festival Pier (Columbus Blvd. at Spring Garden St.) SAT Lotus

Orbit to Leslie, Circadian Rhythms & Your Children is Beautiful at JB’s Dec. 30

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If you’re anything like us here at the Deli, your New Year’s Eve plans probably include getting smashed and dancing until your legs fall off (OK, maybe that’s just me). But before you throw caution and reason to the wind, you should probably warm up tonight and kick off your totally insane and righteous weekend at Johnny Brenda’s. Orbit to Leslie, helmed by Grimace Federation‘s Chris Wood, will play their quirky, trance-like mix of lounge-surf, jazz-garage, folk-pop and neo-Afrobeat, while Circadian Rhythms will put on a peculiar revue of sprightly freak-folk and jangly ragtime measures, best heard on their plucky latest, A Dream or Something Else. Throw in the roughly crafted, distressingly ambient dream pop of Your Children is Beautiful, and you have one hell of a night on your hands. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ – Annamarya Scaccia


Weekly Feature: Spanish Prisoners’ album gets some year end love

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Music blog gimmetinnitus.com had the rather brilliant idea of compiling a compilation of the best free albums of 2011 – and NYC tremolo-haze masters Spanish Prisoners topped it with their record "Gold Fools." This resonates with The Deli of course, because if the album is free, it means that the band is emerging, and we are all about emerging bands as you know. Dave Cromwell interviewed the band a few weeks before they played our Dream Pop Stage at CMJ 2011, you can read the full piece here. An older interview from 2009 can be found here.


mewithoutYou Co-headlining w/Thursday at TLA Dec. 30

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The TLA will be hosting New Brunswick emo-punks Thursday tonight, alongside Make Do and Mend, Screaming Females, Aficionado and the local experimental/post-hardcore outfit MeWithoutYou. Back in late November, Thursday announced that they would be going on an indefinite hiatus via their website, which means tonight maybe one of the last times you’ll get to see the Jersey band in Philly for a while. mewithoutYou is co-headlining the show tonight, wrapping up their tenth year as a group. The Upper Darby-based band has been hard at work in the studio over the past year working on their as of now, untitled fifth album, which they plan to release in the spring. They recently performed this month for The Key Studio Video Session on XPN, where they played three songs from their forthcoming LP, as well as some fan favorites from Brother, Sister and Catch For Us the Foxes. Come out this evening to celebrate a milestone and to bid farewell. TLA, 334 South St., $20, 6 pm, All Ages Dan Brightcliffe

Key Studio Video Session #5 – Me Without You from WXPN FM


Penrose and Friends Bidding Farewell at Tritone Dec. 30

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Before they kick off 2012 in style by doing a recording session with Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man, Hoots and Hellmouth, Drink Up Buttercup, etc.), Penrose are giving 2011 one last hurrah with a pre-New Years Eve bash at Tritone tonight. 2011 proved to be a fine year for the Brothers Murphy that saw them win the Fans’ Choice portion of our Best of Philly Emerging Aritsts Poll, featured on CMJ’s website, launch the No Excuses Summer Series, and more. And they’ll be ending it on a good note by debuting some new songs this evening. Rockabilly countrified blues masters Levee Drivers are another band that will be hitting the studio with new material in 2012 so you should be treated to some new songs to kick back plenty of specials to help you get rowdy. Add in the soulful blues rock of John the Conqueror and the melodic alt folk of The Lawsuits, and you have a solid lineup to get you warmed up for tomorrow night’s festivities. Tritone, 1508 South St., 9pm, $8, 21+ – Bill McThrill

Deli Best of NYC 2011 – Submissions Results for TRADITIONAL ROOTS MUSIC: The Third Wheel Band, The Reverend John Delore, The Bottom Dollars, Tall Tall Trees

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After the Electronic category results published on Tuesday, we have for you the names of the artists that qualified to the next phase of our Year End Best of NYC Poll for Emerging Artists from what we call the Traditional Rootsy category. The other roots music categories – to be unveiled soon – are Alt Folk and Songwriters/Rootsy Pop.

P.S. If you are interested in understanding how our Year End Poll for Emerging Artists works, please go here.

Jurors: Jason Behrends (Deli Chicago), Jessica Pace (Deli Nashville), Paolo De Gregorio (Deli NYC).

The artists in this list qualify for the next phase of the poll, and will be added to the bands nominated by our jury of local scenemakers. The top two are tied with a combined rating of 8 out of 10.

1a. The Reverend John Delore – read 2011 Deli interview HERE.

Not your typical country crooner, The Reverend John Delore plays Americana music full of character that avoids stock country tropes, 12 bar blues, or Nashville’s underestimation of its audience. Like all the best songwriters, his keen observational style and sense of place can turn every day life experience into something more subtle and, ultimately, satisfying. – Read a 2011 Deli interview with the Reverend HERE.

1b. The Bottom Dollars

Like those serial heart-stealers out there, The Bottom Dollars may appear at first as charming gentlemen drenched in traditional values, but it doesn’t take too long to realize they are actually just a bunch of fun-loving, rocking sons of guns. As it happens, it will then be too late to withdraw your heart… check them out live at Spike Hill on 01.08.

3b. Tall Tall Trees
How much can the Americana genre be innovated without sounding like something else? Probably as much as Tall Tall Trees innovate it in their self titled debut album, which features an "outside the box" production, and tastefully blends bluegrass with varied influences ranging from pop, orchestral and even funk at times. This band has been slowly building a local following (which is a very good sign indeed) and it’s now playing regularly in NYC. You have 4 opportunities to see them in the next two months, the next one at union Hall on January 20.

3c. The Third Wheel Band
Serving their own brand of unadulterated roots music, The Third Wheel Band has the power to make your feet stomp even though they lack a drummer. A hefty dose of charm is brought to the table by vocalist and upright bassist Steph Allen, who sings the bluegrass with disarming spontaneity. Catch them at the Brick Cafe` in Queens on January 04.

These artists had outstanding ratings from our jurors (they all shared a final score between 7.330 and 7.66 out of 10) but won’t qualify to the next round of our year end poll.

5. JP & The Gilberts
You know how pretty much any song is SO MUCH MORE FUN when you speed it up by, like, 50 bpm or so? That’s what JP & The Gilberts like to do to country music, with devastatingly entertaining results. Their faster songs, like the one streaming below, call for cowboy moshing – I’d love to see something like that actually – although they also offer plenty of more traditional slower numbers.

6a. Mercy Bell
Traditional American music can be communal old time party entertainment, or it can be a lonely and thoughtful kind of thing, like in Mercy Bell’s case. This lady moved to NYC bringing with her a duffle bag, an air mattress, and a guitar; and her warm and caring voice, which animates introspective, soulful songs about that ongoing absurd mystery we call life.

6b. Natureboy
Natureboy, the musical project of Sara Kermanshahi, injects its folk ballads with dreamy elements, creating songs that will haunt you down memory lane. Read a 2009 interview with the front lady Sara Kermanshahi here.

These artists also had really good ratings from our jurors (tied at 7.16 out of 10): Toby Goodshank, Piñataland and Little Anchor (who should have probably submitted as "Rootsy Pop" instead of "Americana").


Lightfoils @ Double Door

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Lightfoils are releasing their debut EP tomorrow, December 30th through Xd Records. The released a sneak peak on Christmas in the form of the track "Into Deep Sea".

Lightfoils are performing at Double Door on January 5th with Battle Stations, Viceroy, and Tribe of the Mountain (Detroit). The doors open at 8:30pm and admission is just $1.

New England

Thick Shakes Announce Northeast Tour in January with Radio Control

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Thick Shakes are braving the New England winter (but wasn’t it 50 degrees just a couple days ago?) and hitting the road this January with Radio Control for a tour around the Northeast.

Tour dates:
1/13 Flywheel, Easthampton, MA: w/ Missing Data, the Fantasies
1/14 house show, Syracuse: w/ ThoseGhostfuckers
1/15 the Monkey House, Winooski, VT
1/21 131 Washington, Portland, ME: w/ the Restless Shades

The band says they’ll be back in Boston in late January for shows that include Ghost Box Orchestra, Royal Wedding & Leagues at the Rosebud, as well as Boston’s first Ladyfest.

–Chrissy Prisco


The Hood Internet’s Debut Album

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The Hood Internet (aka Aaron Brink from ABX and Steve Reidell from STV SLV) have been remixing and mashing and blending amazing tracks for the last four years, and have released mixtapes and single galore. The now have complied the best of what they have done into a debut self-titled album through Mishka. The duo also released a behind-the-scenes video filled with tacos and fun.