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NYC Artists on the rise: The Echo Friendly releases single + announces EP

Borrowing in equal measure from the bubble gum ballads of the 60s and the decadent atmospheres through which - during that same decade - The Velvet Underground were implicitly fustigating that music and a few other things, The Echo-Friendly's new single "Same Mistakes" is pretty much a contradiction in terms. The band's sound, also because of the addition of a female voice, has obviously evolved tremendously since the debut EP "Still Not Sorry", released at the end of 2010, which was faithful to the dark ballad format, but carried much stronger rootsy influences. The single was released a few weeks ago on Cantora Records. The foursome is well into completing its first EP, expected to come out this fall.

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Sam Mickens premieres video for "One Final Round" + Upcoming 7" - Live at Silent Barn on July 30

Sam Mickens has, since his teen years, been a shadowy figure operating across the landscape of international pop music with an experimental edge, in groups The Dead Science (Constellation Recording artists), Xiu Xiu (which he's recently rejoined and for whom he's presently composing new material) and Degenerate Art Ensemble, and acting as a sideman/guest musician with artists ranging from Daniel Johnston to Carla Bozulich. Additionally, for the past few years he's been extremely active composing music for large-scale modern dance works by a number of choreographers, as well as creating his own epic performance works, both as co-chair of the now-defunct Villainaires Academy and most recently under his own name. He presently lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he leads his large ensemble Sam Mickens Ecstatic Showband & Revue. You can see him live at Silent Barn on July 30.

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Experimental NYC: The Human Carpet, Borts Minorts and Little Band of Sailors

We welcome new blog contributor Valerie Kuehne, a Brooklyn based cellist and composer, who will write for The Deli about experimental/performence music. Valerie curates the live experimental series "The Super Coda" out of Cafe Orwell in Bushwick.

When I first moved to this city I took a Craigslist job working as an 'assistant' for The Human Carpet.  This meant attending happy hour at a handful of dive bars and lesbian clubs, helping roll The Human Carpet into his carpet, standing on top of "it" for the next 2 hours, encouraging everybody within 10 ft. to do the same.  The compensation was 20 bucks plus drinks. So it seems this is the fate of performance art.



But then there's Borts Minorts.  Borts plays a ski.  Borts dresses in a head-to-toe spandex suit that walks a distinguished line between condom and intergalactic time capsule. You kinda want to reach out and pet Borts. You want to take Borts home to meet your family. You are also vaguely afraid that Borts might eat a kitten.  Clearly Borts carries the torch once ignited by Laurie Anderson and Klaus Nomi, god rest his soul. However Borts is living dissonance, and while you might see him accompanied by dancers, they are less exuberant and more scary, scantily clad or dressed in burkas depending on whatever zeitgeist he's feeling by the hour.  His songs rarely span more than a minute and there is darkness.  His eyes burn with a nostalgia hungering for the grit and freaks of old New York, leering behind the scenes of Taxi Driver and scarcely escaping that fated commute in The Taking of Pelham 123.. 



The resurrection of Borts Minorts (it's true, he started a family and briefly left the circuit) took place at Cafe Orwell, during a Super Coda show 6 months ago.  Borts was summoned by Little Band of Sailors (in the picture), the brainchild of Rachel Mason, a Yale graduate whose degree was underwritten by gay porn and whose press kit is staggering.  Ms. Mason's Band of Sailors includes a revolving cast of personalities and a dizzying sequence of costume changes that pay homage to as many star-struck figures and iconoclasts as will fit into a 40 minute set.  (Lately Ms. Mason has been spotted dressed like Borts). In the spirit of all tortured heroines her sound pulls P.J. Harvey out of quicksand by the hair while recounting a rich tradition of witchcraft.  She is soothsayer, harlequin, medicine woman, demolishing any accountability to history through terrified hysteria and incongruous outbursts. Before the resurrection, I helped her roll Borts up like a mummy. I have no idea who inherited the Human Carpet gig.

Both Borts Minorts and Rachel Mason will be featured at this years Experi-MENTAL festival at Goodbye Blue Monday, August 5-7th.

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Aeroplane Pageant launch video + release new album at Mercury on 08.12

Aeroplane Pageant make music that's not easy to pigeonhole into genres - which is a good thing, even though this makes the reviewer's life a little harder. There is definitely a hefty amount of electronic and effected instruments here, in an overall "prog" aural enviroment, but not of the cheesy kind. The suffix "prog" in this case can be described as a playful, "ear-friendly" (or "pop" if you wish) experimentation. That's probably why a lot of music writers seem to hear in Aeroplane Pageant's music something reminiscent of The Beatles... Which is really a misleading comparison in my opinion, because these guys are way more out there in terms of song structure and overall complexity of the arrangements. This is pop with a non-pop structure, so basically a rather unique musical paradox, and the song in this newly released video "Help Me Shoot This Apple Off My Head" is a perfect example of this.
Aeroplane Pageant will be celebrating the release of their new album "Float Above The Yard" at Mercury Lounge on Auguts 12.


 

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Phil & The Osophers premiere video, release 7" + announce double album

Walking a musical line between quirky, lo-fi and psychedelic, Phil and the Osophers have been entertaining the NYC indie scene fans for quite some time. The brainchild of Philip Radiotes and currently a trio, the band has just released a 7" single of two new songs - "Figures Of Speech" and "Ink On The Page" via Brooklyn label Factual Fabrications. These two "sonic appetizers" are going to be followed by a true "feast" consisting in a double album due to drop later this year. The band is also premiering this video of "Ink on The Page", a song that reveals a more mature sound, leaning towards a sparse psychedelic-pop with elegant Morriconian influences. We like what we hear.

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