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Alt Pop

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Teen Violence @ the Smiling Buddha

Teen Violence is a really cool power pop group from Kitchener. We got to hear them rockin the Painted Lady for NXNE. I fired up their latest tune "Misery, Let Me Go" and I know for a fact I'll be singin this greasy pop jingle in my head all day tomorrow. They have popiness like Chris Murphy Sloan songs with some of that garage Andrew Scott Sloan songs mixed in. It could really be from the 60s. I'm actually listening to it again back to back. On tour see them 7/8 @ the Smiling Buddha w/ Kiss Me Deadly.- Kris "Big City" Gies

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The Deli NYC's record of the month: Pop and Obachan

Dreaming has always been a prerogative of the young. But seeing the raising wave of dreamy NYC based bands, we start to wonder if dreaming becomes a necessity for those who choose to settle in that post-industrial wasteland that is "non affluent Brooklyn." Or maybe it's the other way around: would anobody who doesn't have a dream to nurture settle in a place like Bushwick? Whichever the answer, that gray urban ugliness is producing many colorful psychedelic flowers. One of them is Pop and Obachan, a duo that, in just over a year of existence, released two EPs that show a radical metamorphoses - one that veers towards dreaminess. Their debut EP 'Unfurl' was a modest, sparse and sleepy alt folk record featuring just voice, ukelele and acoustic guitar. Its melodies and chord progressions owe a lot to the roots of American music. But this year's 'Dream Soup' sees the band entirely transformed - and for the better. An enriched instrumentation - now featuring also drum machine, keyboards and electric guitar - supports, through inventive arrangements, some truly imaginative and personal dream-pop songwriting. The highlights are opener 'Holly' and 'Dry Land,' with their impressionistic sound, beautifully whimsical melodies, and perfectly balanced production. If this is what "non affluent Brooklyn" can do to a band in one year, there's definitely nothing wrong with it, no matter how expensive the rent is.

This band submitted their music for coverage here.

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

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The many layers of Havania Whaal

Since 2012 Portland’s Havania Whaal has been making their own rules. Their ethereal sound can be likened to post-punk meets shoegaze...sort of. They call themselves “noise pop”, but when you’re forging new territory the descriptors fall short of the mark. All three members share vocal duties, which adds to the layers and dimension of their reverb-drenched domain. Stepping it up further, they recently created a live stage production with dancers and costumes, the soundtrack of which was the band performing their new cassette release “13 A.D.” Rumor has it that live productions will be a hallmark of Havaia Whaal shows henceforth. They’re touring the east coast with Portland’s Lubec for 10 days starting July 9 in Massachusetts.

See their tour kickoff show at The Know July 2nd. Buy their tape, pop it in the cassette deck of your ‘85 Volvo, and cruise around town lamenting the summer, wearing the darkest shades you can find. 

-Just Dave

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Walter Nichols

Here's something fairly different. It's not indie, it's not psych, it's not electronic (except in the most technical sense), hip-hop or beat: it's the compositional music of multi-instrumentalist Walter Nichols. It's fascinating stuff, music that is both obviously deeply technically advanced and that comes at you in forms and lengths and with style that is far from typical radio-ready pop-structured songs, but which also manages to be not overindulgent, tedious or impenetrable. It pulls the fun side of pop and modern music, not shying away from less stereotypically "classial" instruments but instead including things like synths, looping machines and saxophone (and much more), but it ditches the typical "song" rulebook and also pulls from the focus on technical mastery and experimentation and the willingness to use lengthy, complex structures that composed music tends to have. It's a best of both worlds scenario, really.

I can tell when I listen to Nichols' pieces that there's a lot going on here that, as someone with what's obviously much more limited music theory knowledge than the composer, I'm not fully comprehending or being totally aware of, even while I can still point out to particular elements that seem singularly complex or impressive. Yet, as a student of music history and the relationship between the so-called "high" arts and popular art, I know that what Nichols pulls off here is not easy to do at all, this walking easily between the two worlds of technical composition and music that's modern and fun for anyone to listen to. .

As a plain listener, playful and rich are the words that come to mind when listening to Nichols' latest work, the succinctly titled W, which you can hear below in full. Moods are built and played with and never overdone or hammered too hard home, one track is very much a new flavor from the last and yet all work together conceptually and stylistically. It's glimmering and beautiful at times, harsh and nicely grating at others, and in all a real work-out for the brain.

If you want to push your boundaries a bit, or are already the type to be intrigued by music that isn't tailor-made to slide right into your preconceptions of fun, modern music but which still has the ability to find its way into that part of your brain (rules be damned), give Nichols a try with W below. It's well worth a little time to see if it clicks, because if it does, you'll have some quite nutritious new brainfood to get yer noggin' snacking on.

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Coyote Black Tonight! @ the Baltimore House

Soft, Sweet and Sexy Rock n' Roll- Coyote Black, take claim to "Slop Rock". This Hamilton three piece has stories to tell with a warm inviting vocal and unforgettable musical elements, just like skipping stones over lake Ontario. Describing themselves as music "your mom will love" we couldn't agree with them more, Coyote Black vibes for all ages. Take a listen to their self titled EP and groove to the opening track "Ocean Black" it makes your body sway with a wholesome vocal, guitars that strum and pluck aromatically to a homegrown whistle. See them tonight @ the Baltimore House with Aukland and Boy With An Atlas. 

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