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Codename: Rondo

I'm guessing it's not because Ghostland Observatory are big fans of the Celtics' starting point guard, but whatever the reason - we'll have more for you on this soon - the Austin electro-wonder act's fourth is christened Codename: Rondo and is due out October 26th. This is a little something to get you fired up about it. They'll also play a release party right here in town on the 28th. We'll have the album itself in our hot little hands soon, and a review out to you fine fine people shortly thereafter. 

(photo by Chad Wadsworth)

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The Deli’s Featured Artist(s) of the Month: Ground Up

Ground Up are emcees Malakai and Azar and producer Bij Lincoln (a.k.a. Malcolm McDowell, Alex Azar, and Bijan Houshiarnejad). Young, hungry and armed with the help from friends, these guys are dedicated to taking on the ailing rap game one mixtape at a time. If you ain’t heard, then you can download all their mixtapes as well as unreleased music for FREE here. We’d also like to introduce you to some more words from Ground Up.

 
The Deli: How did Ground Up start?  
 
Malakai: Well, Ground Up is much larger than you think. A lot of us met our first year at Temple University freshman orientation. Before all the music, we were just great friends. Azar had been recording since high school, and one day we decided to mess around in the studio. We recorded a song, not expecting to do anything with it. After realizing that we had some sort of musical chemistry, we jokingly decided to make a mixtape. In that way, Ground Up was more of a coincidence than a creation. As the music progressed and expanded, so did our fan base. Bij Lincs attended high school with Azar and was in California at that time. He produced a few songs for us before coming back to PA to join the group. 
 
TD: Where did the band name Ground Up come from?
 
M: The band name is a reference to the way we started: from the ground up. We have built a movement of sorts by pooling our resources and not being afraid to ask for help from the people we love most: our friends. As a result, everything we've done so far has been self-contained and in-house. Videos, web design, promotion, booking, and recording have been handled by the Ground Up family. There are only three of us being interviewed, but there are about 15 members of Ground Up that are serving just as important roles as us, the musicians. 
 
TD: What are your biggest musical influences? 
 
M: A lot of my musical influences are actually poets. Because I began writing as a poet, I guess I equate poetry and music. I'd say I'm influenced most by T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, and Saul Williams to name a few.
 
Azar: Guys like Jay-Z (the best ever), Tribe Called Quest, Black Thought, Mos Def, Kanye West, The Wu, Big Pun, and Big L helped mold me as an artist and as a person. There’s only a handful of artists that constantly motivate me to get better and those are a few. Also, my mother would play me The Gypsy Kings and The Buena Vista Social Club while my dad preached Pink Floyd and Leonard Cohen. And while I've always been a hip-hop head at the core, my parents were responsible for opening my mind to different genres and styles. I'm forever grateful.
 
Bij Lincoln: I come from a very musical family. My two older brothers are currently band members in the often featured indie rock band, Drink Up Buttercup. When I was a child, I was constantly surrounded by musical instruments as well as my brothers' music choices. Because of that, I acquired a love for jazz , classical music, and rock which I try to incorporate in my productions. The most influential musicians to me have been people like The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Waller, Queen, Gnarls Barkley, Cake, and Outkast. For a hip-hop producer, my favorite artists may seem strange, but I’m truly a fan of music in any form, as long as it’s distorted and polite.
 
TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
 
M: Locally, The Lawsuits and Drink Up Buttercup are both good friends of ours, and we happen to love their music. New artists like J. Cole and Wiz Khalifa are always a good listen. We're always listening to Hov. 
 
TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
 
M: I think my first concert was a Jay-Z Headline. My first album was by the St. Lunatics. I was a big Nelly fan in my younger days. 
 
A: My first concert was a Christina Aguilera performance...it's a long story...I was convinced I was going to sweep her off her feet and marry her when I was 10 at that show. The first album I ever owned was the cassette version of Puff Daddy and the Family's No Way Out. I loved the shiny suits, what can I say? 
 
BL: My first concert was Jedi Mind Tricks at the Trocadero. It was a blast until all these clowns started moshing and throwing fists. My first album was Puff Daddy and the Family's No Way Out.
 
TD: What do you love about Philly? 
 
M: The artist culture of Philadelphia is a wonderful atmosphere. It's a great place to create and promote. In addition to that, people are open-minded and excited about new acts. And...the girls look nice here.
 
TD: What do you hate about Philly?
 
M: The police. 
 
A: My ex-landlords 
 
BL: Parking authority.
 
TD: What are your plans for 2010?
 
M: We have a mixtape called Girls Who Smoke Cigarettes coming out in early November, as well as an album releasing on ITunes by the end of the year. Our real plan is to perform anywhere and everywhere we can. We're gaining fans out there, and we can't wait to make it out to meet them. We'll continue to put out music at a rapid pace for our fans.
 
TD: What was your most memorable live show?
 
M: We did a show at the Firehouse in New Hope, PA last year. It was the first legitimate performance we planned and promoted ourselves. Azar and Bij Lincs are from that area, so we get a lot of love there. It was a great turn out, and probably the most fun we've ever had. 
 
TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?
 
M: "What was that thing we used to get back in the day? Oh yea, pussy."
 
A: Corned beef and cabbage and rolling papers.
 
BL: Pickles and provolone.
 
- The Deli Staff
 
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Glitz, Gold & Rock N' Roll with The New Up - Ticket Giveaway!!

San Francisco's The New Up are celebrating the release of their fourth album, Gold, this Saturday at Cafe Du Nord and The Deli SF is offering you a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show plus a copy of the album a month before it's available to the public! Email sfeditor@thedelimagazine.com and tell us any story involving glitz, gold or rock n' roll to be entered [and sorry kiddos, you have to be 21+ to win]. The winner will be notified on Friday.

Check out the video for "Bitch" here:

-Nicole Leigh

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NYC Artists on the Rise: Whale Belly

The other night I saw this new folky band called Whale Belly at Glasslands and they put on a pretty impressive show. The band had around 9-10 people on stage and they had the entire place dancing and screaming and singing along and clapping between songs, it was really something that rarely happens in W'burg. Check them out if you have the opportunity, they'll be opening for Beach Fossils in Vermont and then will play RoCkwood Music hall on 10.01. - Doug Sevcik - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).

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MMOSS, Peace & Quiet, Moon Climb the Wall, Once Dead Flesh Wednesday at O'Brien's

 

As Built PResents continues its September residency at O'Brien's pub tomorrow, Wednesday 9/15.  For fans of psychedelic and experimental rock and ambience, this is a bill to catch.  

Moon Climb the Wall's recent "Helium Demon" EP is a shades-of-gray, foreboding trip through ambient landscapes, often brushing elbows with hip hop, an unexpected but interesting angle.  Peace & Quiet stand closer to rock, but share MCTW's mind for ambience and rich textures.  Their "Inauguration" EP incorporates sludgy drums and vocals by turns spoken, sung and shouted - one of the most fascinating tracks, "I Am Capping," sits synth noodling underneath a frantic and distraught vocal diatribe before a sub-synth bassline that would make gangster rap jealous takes over the space.  And MMOSS, the headliner, is a head-turningly good revivalist psychedelia outfit.  They have heavy primary-source overtones; that is to say, this isn't your corner bar's resident band of Brian Jonestown Massacre fans, but the real deal, a band stemming right from the music of the '60s and '70s, and doing it damn well and with a spin of their own.

Here's an added bonus:  The first 20 guests will receive a free poster, and you can get most or all of this music right now for free (or name your price)!  Click a name below to grab yours.  (As Built PR's link goes to the label's Bandcamp site, where they offer, also free, a mix of bands playing in their September residency.)

As Built PR Presents (from bottom to top):
MMOSS
Peace & Quiet
Moon Climb the Wall
Once Dead Flesh

$8 / 9pm

- The Deli Staff

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