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Folk/Country





Album review: Bloodbirds - MMXIII

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
Twenty-year veterans of the LFK/KC underground music scene, Mike and Brooke Tuley have played with a number of bands familiar to local rock audiences. Best known for their time with Ad Astra Per Aspera, they established Bloodbirds in 2011 with the intent of cutting loose and shaking things up.
 
And they have. Dense, dark—equal parts Fun House (Stooges), Spacemen 3 and Black Angels—Bloodbirds’ newest release MMXIII may also be their swan song, given the departure of bassist Anna St. Louis for Chicago. In some ways, it is St. Louis whose playing defines the band. Forward in the mix, and by no means shy, St. Louis plays with punchy authority, reminding of some of the other great “lead” bass players like Jon Entwistle and Peter Hook. Brooke Tuley is a powerful drummer; her parts are simple, but dead-on. She locks perfectly with St. Louis.  Mike Tuley plays on top of their aggressive foundation, a canvas for his arsenal of shimmering hammer-ons (“Modern Sympathy”), punishing riffs (“Did You Say”), and sometime dulcet tones (the comparatively clean Blue Mask jangle of “Convalesce”). Depending on the song, his sound can be metal harrowing or as ropey, surf-psychedelic as the theme from Repo Man.
 
About those songs: they’re functional, gripping, emotional soundscapes, not necessarily bound by pop hook conventions. They hit you with the shape-shift intensity of vintage heavy rock like Blue Cheer or modern darkness merchants like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Which is to say the focus here is not necessarily on hum-ability. Even allowing for that, it would be nice if the vocals had a dash less delay density and a bit more clarity in the mix. Lyrics and vocals on MMXIII are more about mood than meaning (or mood as meaning), stray lyrics emerging from the driving murk to arrest your conscious mind here and again.
 
The tough thump of “No Trains Coming Through” totally belies the song’s title. With Roky’s manic intensity, the song “Did You Say” features the ominous, repeated line “Did you say you want the end to come right now?” And the music echoes the sentiment. “Round Moon’s” cascade of guitar features some of Tuley’s most expressive fretwork, summoning up the incantations of bands like the Icarus Line and the guitar howl of the Stooges’ Ron Asheton. For an album that emphasizes a certain heavy-osity, MMXIII manages to shift mood and tone effectively.
 
Brothers and sisters, the Bloodbirds can make a show-stopping addition to anybody’s Psych Fest. Live shows may be few and far between, given the departure of St. Louis, but they have reunited in support of MMXIII occasionally and the members remain close friends and open to the odd gig. Go catch them if you have the chance.
 
—Steve Wilson
 

 

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Hazel English Releases Day Wave Produced Track - Fix

Hazel English is a singer-songwriter from Sydney, Australia. She currently resides in Oakland where she met producer, Jackson Phillips (Day Wave) in early 2015. They began recording songs together and the collaboration resulted in creating a blend of interspersed shimmering guitars and airy melodic vocals set amongst a nostalgic, dreamy ambience. Hazel's EP Never Going Home is set to be released this fall.

It´s exciting to hear about new music and new artists landing in town to share some great music. Check out Hazel English´s new song, Fix and we´ll keep you posted on the release of her debut ep, Never Going Home.

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SF´s Heron Oblivion Signs to Sub Pop Records Tours w/ Kurt Vile

The San Francisco based ¨funeral folk¨ band, Heron Oblivion has signed a worldwide record deal with the Seattle based independent record label, Sub Pop Records. Sub Pop was put on the map for releasing music from Nirvana, Mudhoney, The Shins, Band of Horses, Sleater-Kinney and more. It´s always good to see Bay Area emerging artists doing well! Keep your eyes open for their upcoming 2016 release on Sub Pop and their local shows with Kurt Vile:

Oct. 15 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
Oct. 16 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore

Heron Oblivion’s origins date to 2013 in SF’s Bayview district, where its four members-- fueled by a love of 60s/70s scuzz and commune jams, folk rock, noise, and P.S.F. Japanese underground—would get together for what Miller describes as "blistering, extended free jam sessions." The four musicians realized that their initial chemistry (which was strong from the outset) was undeniable and it’s vision unified. Heron Oblivion was born.

Ultimately, Heron Oblivion fused song craft to its improvisational leanings. What materialized is a mesmeric compilation of English folk rock and earthy West Coast psychedelia spiked with feedback and explosive dissonant elements. The sum of these elements will make up their Sub Pop debut.

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The Deli's NYC issue #44 is online!

Deli Readers,

I know, it seems like we put our latest issue out just the other day - but no, we haven't switched to monthly. It's just that the fall in NYC is a busy time for us, and with CMJ week and our NYC Synth Expo (linked to BEMF) coming up, there's a lot to write about.

Here's our 44th issue of The Deli NYC (one of our finest!). Check out cover band Stolen Jars, they'll be performing at one of the (several) Deli CMJ 2015 shows!

READ THE DELI NYC'S 44TH ISSUE HERE!

The Deli's Staff

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Song Premiere: Seth Lael - Big Country

We´re proud to premiere a new song from the San Francisco based singer/songwriter, Seth Lael. Upon the release of his brand new album, Bird Strings, we have an exclusive new track from the album entitled, Big Country. This song is charming, simplistic and fun to listen to!

Seth Lael, a passionate singer-songwriter who has a bit of a soft-spot for the underdog. (don't we all?) Lael brings 12 brand new songs to life in his second full-length, Bird Strings. His music marries Americana, Jazz, Folk, Pop, and Indie Rock into a definitive perspective of life. His commentary comes straight from the tips of his fingers on guitar, mandolin, and banjo, passing through to his modern/retro vocal delivery of honest, heartfelt lyrics.

I’ve spent the last 5 years working as a sound recordist documenting inspiring people ranging from Bobby Seal to the founder of the Black Panthers to Bill Gates. I’ve also spent time with working class folks struggling to make ends meet in hospitals, courtrooms, and on the road learning about what goes on in these 50 states. These songs are my reflections of those experiences. - Lael on his new album, Bird Strings

"After traveling to some of the poorest countries in the world, I began to look more closely at what we have within our own borders. It's been especially eye opening to realize how diverse we are in the US. For example, in my city of San Francisco, you can attend a street fair promoting kinky sex and somewhere else in the same country, you have fairs promoting guns. There is something for everyone, and whether it's viewed as a positive or negative is up to one's personal belief. You don't have these freedoms in most parts of the world, and I find many people could be more appreciative of this." - Lael on Big Country

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