This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.

Go to the old Top 300 charts


Alt Rock

Maya Ruth unveils debut solo single “bell jar”

photo by Vincent Schaffer

It may be a controversial position to hold especially amongst all the One Directioners out there watching with growing dismay as Harry Styles racks up number-one hit songs and Grammy noms (and to think he was expected to be the next AJ McLean!) thus making a 1D reunion ever more unlikely by the day…

…but boy band stans be damned The Deli Inc. fully endorses the efforts of band-affiliated musicians who choose to explore side projects and/or solo projects seeing as how we can’t imagine a world without the Tom Tom Club or the Breeders or Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’s criminally underrated solo album or George Harrison's early solo work or the Postal Service or Run the Jewels (hell, even Dee Dee Ramone’s rap album had it’s moments!) and besides the more musical seeds sown the better the odds of a good musical harvest…

…and I’m guessing Maya Ruth concurs because despite playing guitar in the up-and-coming NYC outfit known as Homade (a band already featured in the Deli no less!) she recently put out her debut solo single “bell jar” (well, ok, she’s already released a short vibey instrumental “ditmars blvd” named after the Astoria thruway but this is her first full-on song) and whereas if “bell jar” were a Homade song I’d expect to be a whimsically-satirical-sing-songy-Seussian tale of a high-school classroom science experiment gone awry…

…but Maya Ruth instead goes full on possessed-by-the-ghost-of-Sylvia-Plath with lyrics about how “in our minds we scream alone” seeing as “ this is life and not a song / in life nobody sings along”…

and instead of Homade’s Au Pairs meets Slits meets Flipper meets Josie Cotten on a blind date with Avril Lavigne kinda vibe, Maya Ruth goes for more of a Superunknown-era Soundgarden meets Julie Cruise meets Dum Dum Girls meets Broadcast meets Elliott Smith out on a date with Alice In Chains in "Nutshell" mode vibe and I hope you’ll excuse my when-X-meets-Y-meets-Z Tourettes syndrome…

…so in other words we’re talking a heavy-psych-laced-melancholic-etherial-slow-jam with a pretty sweet outro solo that’ll have you doing your best face-grimacing air guitar routine and should Homade as an entity decide to go all in on the side projects I’m hoping they’ll “pull a KISS” and put out one solo album a piece all to be released on the same day (except with far less filler!) because if it produces even one “New York Groove” or heck even a head-scratching, left-field Disney cover it’ll all have been worth it. (Jason Lee)


Teenage Tom Petties to play first Deli Delivers™ showcase

Maybe some of you remember seeing a show called Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies (JHMB for short) for the first time back in the day or remember just hearing the name of the show for the first time—or who knows, maybe you’re a toddler-through-tween who knows Muppet Babies from its recent reboot on Disney Junior—but either way I bet when you first stumbled upon JHMB you simply thought “yaaaaas” to yourself…

…because the concept is total perfection—cuteness and nostalgia mixed with the Muppets’ trademark snarky humor (for a kids’ show, at least) but no less sincere for it and overall rough-hewn charm (not to mention the DIY-style felt puppet construction) plus I’ll bet that any one of the Muppet Babies could kick Baby Yoda’s ass all the way to Dagobah and back like Lou Groza on a good day and, I mean, Gonzo or Animal or even the Swedish Chef would probably inadvertantly rip the little backwards-taking, fortune-cookie-quoting green globule to shreds which would keep both of Jim Henson’s hands very busy.

But I digress. The real reason I’m bringing this up is because there’s a good case to be made for Teenage Tom Petties (TTP) being basically a modern-day equivalent of JHMB to the point where the band could legit be renamed Jim Henson’s Gen X Grunge Babies except I do like the mental image of Tom Petty’s lanky frame, center-parted hair, and hangdog face in adolescence with a mouthful of braces and a face full of acne bleating out “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with his laconic voice breaking on almost every syllable alongside a similarly adorable Teenage Stevie Nicks back when she still had a septum

But I digress. Much like Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies, Teenage Tom Petties was hatched from the mind of a single individual, namely, Tom Brown of Rural France fame, who despite the Gallic name are actually from rural England. And if you’re asking yourself “why are a bunch of Britons being featured on the Deli NYC page, and why aren’t they at home sobbing quietly whilst laying a wreath for the Queen?”

Well it’s because the TTP’s are on the road and they’re gonna be playing the first Deli Delivers show ever on 9/30, the one and only New York City appearance by the now fully fleshed-out band making their first trip across North America, playing alongside a coterie of cool local NYC acts (The Planes, Holy Tunics, and Kira Metcalf!) at the East Williamsburg EconoLodge (EWEL) but again I digress.

According to their Bandcamp page TTP is a home-recorded garage punk project serving as a semi-autobiographical account of a 90’s teenager, growing up in suburbia, written by someone who was there looking back years later. Quoting directly: “TTP bristles with the excitement of teenage life—the discoveries, the obsessions, the failures, the mundanity—cut through with the lo-fi indie rock sounds of early Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jr and even some Descendants [personally, I’d add Guided By Voices, mid-period Sebadoh, and late-period Replacement to this list not to mention Tom Petty perhaps?] capturing the grandness and smallness of teenage life.”

So ya see we’re talking nostalgia, we’re talking rough-hewn textures (felt puppets in musical form!) and fuzzy sweetness, all mashed up together DIY style just like those Muppet Babies. Take the propulsive “Boatyard Winch” for instance which opens TTP’s eponymous debut record a song that’s either about sailing winches or watery tarts—I can’t make out all the lyrics over the racket which is intended as a compliment of course...

...or the strutting “Lambo,” a song about the narrator’s sweet sweet ride or more likely the Lamborghini poster scotch-taped to his wall as a teenager (is it snarky? is it sincere? is there a difference?) with an accompanying video proving you don’t need anything more than an old VHS copy of Cannonball Run II and a green screen to create art.

Meanwhile, “Boxroom Bangers” is indeed a banger with it’s mounting tension-and-release dynamics while “Last Starfighter” is fittingly anthemic with it’s repeated “I don’t care if you love me” refrain. So, yeah, speaking of refrains I’ll refrain from spoiling the back half of the album for you but rest assured Teenage Tom Petties fully live up to their name and then some with music that’s half math club geek and half shop class greaser—like a faded ‘90s high school yearbook distilled into an airy mist and sprayed into your earholes and here’s hoping their latest single “I Met A Girl In America” proves prescient on tour. (Jason Lee)


Neal Francis “Very Fine, Pts. 1 & 2”

Neal Francis has released the first double single, "Very Fine, Pts. 1 & 2”, from his forthcoming EP, "Sentimental Garbage", which due out on November 18th via ATO.

You can catch Neal Francis at Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom on October 21st with Marcus King.


On new single "Narcissus" Drive-In call out egomania with winsome melodicism

“Narcissus” is the new single by Brooklyn-based alt-rock duo Drive-In and true to its title the song deals with the topic of excessive self-regard which is relevant to music bloggers such as myself seeing as how (let's face it!) music critics can be just as prone to self-mythologizing as musicians (call it the Cameron Crowe Complex!) a tendency that's only been encouraged in the Internet Era with the rise of blogs and nudes shot with selfie sticks (which we're fine with!) and rampant oversharing in general...

…plus given the difficulty of translating music into words—"writing about music is like dancing in your underwear while reading Architectural Digest” or something like that according to one overused quote—it only further encourages music writers to fall back on their own biases and fixations and points of reference and personal anecdotes so that "reviews" such as this one risk being more like a self-absorbed, overly referential reflection of the author's own record collection than an unbiased take on new music...

…which reminds me that I spent a good chunk of yesterday organizing and shelving eight boxes of records recovered from my parents’ attic recently seeing as they were kind enough to store them for a couple years when they moved from Tennessee to South Jersey but now they're moving back and one record I happened across in the process was Having Fun With Elvis On Stage (1974) about which it’s been said that “hearing it is like witnessing a car wreck, leaving onlookers too horrified and too baffled to turn away” over the course of its 37 minutes of between-song stage banter recorded live at Presley’s early ‘70s concerts (but with no actual songs!) edited together collage-style into a postmodern montage of rambling self-regarding incoherence with Elvis reveling in the screams of horny middle-aged women while doling out sweat-dabbed scarves to concertgoers...

…which just goes to show nobody knows narcissism like jump-suited, bejeweled superstar musicians (except for maybe music bloggers!) and so it’s fitting that artists ranging from Alanis Morisette to Róisín Murphy to Napalm Death have grappled with the classical myth of Narcissus and applied its lessons to shitty romantic partners and presidents alike (Róisín Murphy’s take on narcissists is actually rather sympathetic!) with the latest installment being Drive-In’s “Narcissus," the first single from the band's upcoming coming-out EP this is not a rom-com set for release on 11/4/22...

…a song that seamlessly blends modern guitar-based indie rock stylings with an aching 1950s/early-60s style chord progression thus providing the perfect sonic backdrop for Alessandra Rincon’s swooning lead vocals (Ally moved from Baton Rouge to NYC to attend grad school in 2017) and also for guitarist Mitch Meyer's breathy 10cc-style backing vocals (Mitch is originally from Chicago and first met Ally in 2019) and if I were one of those record-collection fixated type of critics I'd probably describe the song as something like Ronnie Spector crossed with Regina Spektor as produced by Phil Spector but that's too narcissistically clever by half…

…not to mention the song was produced by Ryan Erwin (Particle Devotion, Nice Dog) who to the best of my knowledge is not a murderer with bass tones provided by Quinn Devlin and together they evoke a gently-swaying winsome innocence that makes it feel like you should be listening to "Narcissus" on a car radio circa 1953 while consuming a hamburger and strawberry malt at a drive-in diner on your way to meet a blind date at the drive-in movie theater which makes the band's name quite apropos but then again the song's opening lines are “you’re such a fucking narcissist / I can’t believe it came to this” which I don't think you could get away with in 1953 and nevermind having a Tik-Tok account...

 …but it’s the song’s chorus that really breaks down Narcissistic Personality Disorder with great acumen (I don’t wanna be your echo / don’t wanna stroke your ego / don’t wanna be second best to your reflection / cuz last I checked I’m a person) with backing vocals echoing the lead vocals (clever!) while offering a four-point plan for identifying narcissism and guarding against its deleterious effects across four lines which in turn address the narcissist’s insatiable desire for affirmation, their fragile ego, how they tend to turn everything into a competition and to dehumanize anyone who comes into their orbit. So here we have a song about self-care in relation to those who care only about themselves and let it be a lesson to selfish future frenemies and romantic partners and music bloggers everywhere. (Jason Lee)


Nice Motor "Dino DNA/Overstated"

Nice Motor recently released two new tracks, "Dino DNA/Overstated", from their forthcoming album Superior Street Sessions which is set to be released on Tuesday, Sept 27th.

This is the first new music from the group since the release of their 2019 album, Nice Motor Band.

You can catch Nice Motor for a Free show at Alive One tomorrow, September 7th, with Umbra and The Volcan Siege.


- news for musician and music pros -