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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!





Levitation Fest: Jonathan Bree Swanks the Scene at Empire

 Each bar of Levitation Fest ostensibly has its own scene given the night’s set, and as the weekend went on the scenes became more apparent. Thursday night at Empire listed dark wave dance artists, Jonathan Bree headlining. The humid hazy room was a relief from the damp cold outside. Jonathan Bree and his masked band elegantly entered the stage. The women in powdered wigs and ruffled collars and petticoats, the men with suspenders and black bowl haircuts. The dark dulcitone sounds danced with the light illustrations on the backlit wall. Jonathan Bree crooned and swayed, breaking into and out of synchronized choreography with the ladies.

 

When the band began “Waiting on the Moment,” everyone joined in and seemed to know the choreography. The light output reflected the women dancing on stage creating double vision on top of the already amorphous crowd in rhythm. The scenes will vary slightly each night at Empire, but on Thursday the scene was destined to dance.

 

The female mannequin froze Jonathan while she broke with the opening lines of “Say You Love Me Too.” The bass skips on top of their whispered lyrics. The steady, looped tempo challenges the building tension of the song, reflected in the fevered back and forth chassés on stage. Each suave detail contributed to a masterfully rehearsed performance and darkly curated dance wave that bewitches everyone into grooves and boogies. Bree’s “You’re So Cool” must be the spellbinding song that wins souls into his cult following. The song itself will leave you insatiable for it on repeat, but the live performance and magic that is Levitation fest has left Austin as fertile ground for his next church.

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Glasshealer Exudes Energy with New Single "Empty Bottles"

 

It’s hard to pin down exactly what you’re hearing when listening to Glasshealer. With a mix of electronica, noise rock, and a twist of pop-punk, the band’s high energy vibes and emotional lyrics certainly deliver excitement and intrigue. Their latest single “Empty Bottles” is no different. 

 

“Empty Bottles” feels like a more manic, less centered type of new wave. It has the same electronic waves and steady beats, but the vocals are more reminiscent of early 2000’s Brendon Urie; emotional and frequently veering towards sarcastic. The biggest impact from the song comes from its sense of urgency. It pushes you to get on your feet and do something, do anything other than staying stagnant. It’s difficult to maintain such an intense pace without overwhelming the listener, but thanks to how synced in the band is, the song keeps the tempo high and exudes good vibes simultaneously.

 

-Avril Carrillo

 

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Waldo Witt Debuts Video for Goth-Synth Track "Carteret"

Waldo Witt knows how to make a video. The electronic pop singer and songwriter understands the power of images, and he knows how to underscore and amplify the emotional intensity of his songs through visual storytelling. So far, his clips have been beautifully shot, dramatically acted, and as compelling to follow as any motion picture is. "Crystal Ball," his last video, was practically a love letter to '80s cinema: it featured the Chapel Hill artist in a succession of scenes and poses deeply reminiscent of the best-loved and most emotionally provocative movies of the first synthpop era. (Even the titles looked vintage!) "Carteret," the latest Waldo Witt video, ups the ante with a gripping story-line that borrows equally from dystopian and gangster cinema. He's an artist who understands the camera – one with a knack for making film-historical tropes his own. 

 

Nobody who knows the artist will be shocked. His music does something very similar: it alludes to prior electronic pop models and juxtaposes them, boldly, with contemporary approaches. Waldo Witt's music is gorgeously appointed, texturally sophisticated, harmonically rich, and sonically arresting. Once heard, it's not easily forgotten. Witt makes songs that cry out for video treatments – songs that feel like soundtracks to unforgettable moments. Call it psychedelia, or dream pop, or electronic soul, and he won't mind; what matters is the profound effect these cuts have on those who listen to them. "Carteret," for instance, is quintessential Waldo Witt: it's a waking reverie, a swim in a deep river with dangerous undercurrents. 

 

Sefárdico's "Carteret" enhances the dreamlike quality of Waldo Witt's music. The director presents a magic realism treatment on the United States – one populated by a desperate and passionate multicultural youth defined by its opposition to the dominant power group, in this case the Kadabros gang.  This is a needle-drop into a deep groove: a look at a subculture struggling, and celebrating, and adapting to a hostile society. But a closer look at the cosmetics suggests a division. The different clown face paint worn by the Kadabros and the minority gangs signify the differing ideology they present to the world. Narratively speaking, the clown face is also a device to lighten up the very stark situation in which we found ourselves as a country - that we are ultimately divided. Our hero is a young woman with a butterfly chest tattoo whose innocent appearance belies her dedication – and her determination to overthrow the current corrupt and obsolete order.  Only by symbolically killing the societal ideal we have of those in power we will be able to celebrate underrepresented voices and move forward as a society.

 

 

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