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Spanish Prisoners

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Ghost Pavilion, Grave School, Last Canyon, Inspired & the Sleep at the La Cita Bar 9/21

On Tuesday Brooklyn-to-LA's Ghost Pavilion is hosting a show at the La Cita in Downtown Los Angeles. The band's synth-rich, lo-fi atmospheric sound started as the side project of James Higgs, multi-instrumentalist of Brooklyn's cozy dreampop foursome Spanish Prisoners. Two previously earmarked bands will start the show off: Grave School and Last Canyon. Both have released new EPs over the summer — the "Grave School" EP hummed '80s alt-rock cool, while "gold, sight and silver" featured a loftier sound than Last Canyon's debut. Psych-pop duo Inspired & the Sleep drives up from Oceanside to support at 10:00pm, too.

Grave School is on at 8:30pm — the beer's cheap and happy hour's until nine so of course this is going to be a 21+ gig. With free admission. - Ryan Mo

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Spanish Prisoners - Brooklyn band with a taste for LA

Fans of Destroyer now have a songwriter from NYC to call their own. Singing of the sticky situations that lead singer Leo Maymind finds himself in, the record 'Gold Fools' is a hypnagogic journey of competing influences, one half vintage synth wilderness, one half driving rock riffs. For their debut record, Spanish Prisoners ratchets their response to these influences up with the torrid journey of 'Rich Blood,' and personal favorite 'Los Angeles Guitar Dream.' This band's washy vibe will leave its 'tremolo-haze symphonies' (their words...) on that vulnerable sweet spot of yours found right between the headphones. See them when they get back from tour to play Cameo Gallery April 1st.

MP3: Spanish Prisoners - Los Angeles Guitar Dream

This band submitted their music for review digitally here.


Deli Best of NYC 2011 - Submissions Results for PSYCH ROCK/ SHOEGAZER/ DREAM-POP: Grassfight, Field Mouse, Spanish Prisoners, Dead Leaf Echo and Himalaya

Psych Rock and derivatives genres like Shoegazer and Dreampop are a very interesting musical niches with lots of loyal fans - many of which reside in NYC. Here are these genres results related to the submissions we received for our Year End Best of NYC Poll for Emerging Artists.

Jurors: Chrissy Prisco (Deli New England), Dawn Reed (Deli DC Area), QD Tran (Deli Philly)

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.

1. Grassfight (also overall submissions winners with 9.33 out of 10)


Bleak like Ian Curtis (but with a much higher range), danceable like, well... Joy Division (but twice as zonked out), Grassfight expands on the freaky shoegazer vibe in a way Interpol never got around to. Wtih a name based on a tragic battle during the Texas Revolution, their new EP Icon is bound to be confrontational. But don't let that scare you, singer Nathan Forster and band make the kind of lush, devastating music too catchy to keep you down.

2a. Field Mouse

There's something to be said about a band that could only come from a certain kind of collaboration. Field Mouse is a labor of love from singer/songwriters Rachel Browne and Andrew Futral. The duo take turns between rootsy sentiment and driving electronics ala Jesus and Mary Chain. Mouse's warm sentiment hits home in sweetly affecting songs like 'You Guys are Gonna Wake Up My Mom' and their fantastic cover of Deerhoof's 'Helicopter.'

2b. Spanish Prisoners
Cinematic and mysterious, Spanish Prisoners blends bubbly psych pop with dark telltale vocals and daydream guitar and keyboard textures. The band's album Gold Fools was recently declared "Best Free Album of the Year" by gimmetinnitus.com

4a. Himalaya
Here's a band you should add to your ipod for any trip you're planning on taking, outdoors or indoors. They're the perfect soundtrack, as this group's not in much of a rush to go anywhere. The songs of Himalaya can take a fair amount of time to gather steam. But once they do, anthemic choral singing usually supplements layers of washy guitar in an almost religious exultation. Tracks like Don't Stop and Hospital will land you at a church somewhere deep in outer space, and their live show will leave you equally blissed out.

4b. Dead Leaf Echo

With swirling guitars, beatbox percussion, and ultra-wet vocals, Dead Leaf Echo sound like the long-awaited return of shoegaze. As much an art project as band, singer-guitarist LG, bassist Mike DiLalla, and keyboardist-vocalist Liza B make films as often as they release records. No wonder tracks like Woolgathering and Trial hit you as a medium tempo, wide-screen production experience.

These artists had outstanding ratings from our jurors (almost 8 out of 10!) but won't qualify to the next round of our year end poll.

6. Fan-Tan
Meeting up at Chapel Hill a couple years ago, Fan-Tan have already been playing together for a few years now, and their live shows have earned the band a solid rep. Singer Ryan Lee Dunlap can sound pained like Spencer Krug, but he pours his heart out over an energetic mix of buzzing synthesizers and driving percussion from Kuki and Sandee Kooks’ rhythm section. Now the band is set to release their debut full-length early this year, and if 2010's EP The Age of Discovery is any indication, it promises to be full of the kind of pain and propulsion you rarely hear come together this energetically.

7. Yellowbirds
A Deli CD of the month in 2011, Yellowbirds blends psych-pop songs with country accents, creating entrancing songs which conjure up the warmest musical tones that recall the freewheeling spirit of the ‘60s. The complexities and layers of the songs make for an enjoyable, challenging listen, but the tracks are incredibly accessible pop songs. Butting guitars and bristling autoharp may create some stridency, but is always counterbalanced with calming acoustic guitar strums and Cohen’s Roy Orbison-esque vocals.

These artists also had really good ratings from our jurors (over 7.5): Backlights, Behavior and Prospector.


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