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November 2013
Wooden Shjips
"Back to Land
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Hailing from San Francisco, psychedelic group Wooden Shjips, has just released their newest album Back to Land. The album brings together a sound crafted from inspirations that range from psychedelic music to classic rock.

The album is an entire trip in itself.  One can hear hints of 80s music, classic rock, and modern garage rock styles in the record, but they always resolve back to their classic psychedelic sound. With tracks like “In The Roses,” which brings a very spacey, low volume vocals, and a lo-fi sound that is not too cheesy or under produced. to “Ghouls,” which is a much faster, much more psychedelic rock sounding song that takes influences from classic rock guitar chords, while still utilizing classic psychedelic synthesizers.

Most songs on the album carry a jam-band sound, without becoming too abstract or getting too carried away. And in some cases, the music is so vast in genre diversity, one is surprised at the resulting sound, such as in the track, “These Shadows”, which starts off with an extremely catchy intro guitar riff and carries a vague David Bowie meets Velvet Underground sound.

“Back to Land” is a great piece of work that utilizes the potential of each member of Wooden Shjips effectively and thoroughly.

Most importantly, “Back to Land” is an experimentation of how far the psychedelic genre can stretch while still successfully staying true to its roots.


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Indubious Gets the First Night on the Right Foot

As soon as the sun started to go down on Wolf Run Ranch, a cold breeze chilled the air initiating a rush of excitement for those who felt it. The cool wind reminded everyone that soon it will be pitch dark, and things might get a little weird. On top of the weirdness, the setting sun begins a night of incredible music for a crowd of festie-heads eager to dance.

On Friday evening, Ashland’s Indubious was set to play just before dusk on the Equinox stage, a new one positioned at the bottom of a large hill with Mt. Adams as the backdrop. Most of the area was shaded by trees as lay right within the surrounding forest, so the cool air was rushing fluidly throughout the crowd. As soon as the reggae playing duo took stage, we were greeted with a rolling bassline and an electronic drum beat. A blistering piano riff filled out their signature sound which is grounded in reggae but branches into electronic rock and funk.

Shortly into their set, they paid homage to the forthcoming legalization and went into “Ganja Weed” off their first album. The heavy bass lines and synthesizers on this song fed right into the tribal sounds and whispering chorus that make up the more recent, “Wake the Lion.” Both of these feature a bold dub influence that comes out clearly on all their vocals and create a prominent, authentic reggae tone. If you closed your eyes you’d swear you have been transplanted onto the beaches of Jamaica, but alas you’re still in Dufur, Oregon.

As concert goers slowly filed in and packed in closer to the stage, Indubious kept the beats coming. “Live Indubiously” was played and brought out everyone’s best smiles and even better dance moves. A couple of raunchy bass lines and powerful solos on the synthesizer, they slowed down and eased into “Infinite,” a fitting song about stars.

On the beginning of this first night, Indubious provided the festival everything it needed to get things going; good music and positive energy. It was not a very high maintenance crowd, but they delivered a performance that would have satisfied the pickiest ones out there.

-Photos and words by Colin Hudson

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Solovox Gets Funky For The Stumbling Hippies – LOL stage at What The Festival

After an enigmatic set by Big Gigantic came to a close, the crowd stumbled and scattered like a group of flying around a lightbulb that just went dud. It was now time to skip into the WTF’s signature Illuminated Forest but not before a quick omen with people holding a sign that says “We Need New Friends.”

Breathe in. Breathe out.

“Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm”

The path leading you into the forest and down to the LOL stage is steep, and full of bright distractions so we had to lean far back almost on our heels as we slowly entered. As we descended lower, the faint sounds of synthesizers and electronic beats found its way through the trees and into my ears. With each step, it got louder, and the fuzzy effects started to go straight to my brain. Eventually, I could distinguish the electric tones and piano solos. They were coming from Portland’s producer and keyboard wizard, Solovox.

He began carefully blending in layers of synths over his mixes that wrapped in hip hop, break beats, and rock and roll into a dance floor explosion. Once everything was layered he would go off on a keyboard tangent, crushing his way through his own music. Suddenly, the beat came to a rest and he unleashed a furious bluesy piano intro that fed into the Beastie Boys belting out the opening verse to “Pass the Mic.” The voices of Mike D and MCA were suddenly being overpowered by the beginning of another solo that turned the course of the set with a little prog rock.

The LOL stage is set up almost at the bottom of the forest. It’s where yoga and other classes took place and there were several platforms spotted in different locations leading down to the stage. This set up created a choose-your-own adventure format. Some plats were full and some you had all to yourself, but Solovox was reaching to all depths and delivering a transcendental performance in the middle of the woods.

A couple of songs and several more volatile keyboard solos, the set came to a close and a crowd that had to stumble its way into the set was left with that same disorientation and forced back to reality until they found their next escape.

-Photos and story by Colin Hudson


Device Grips Make a Crowd that Felt Good Feel Great

As the sun was beginning to go down on the What The Festival’s final day and all the spirits were just about in the right place, Device Grips travelled from Portland to life these souls even higher. They set up their big sound on the main stage and right around 6:30 they walked onstage and went into a slow build up with long instrumental sections and trumpet solos before diving into “Coke Infusion” off of 2013’s Year of Boomslang.

A set that hovered around the first ten minutes going in between a psychedelic jam and progressive rock grove was suddenly pulled together Tyler Jon’s rapping. Hopping around these elements usually doesn’t work for those that try it, but Device Grips experience and fluidity shined through as worked in this signature sound on such big stage. They then played some newer material and unleashed “Traffic” a vocal intense jam behind flashy drums and a solid groove soothed right into “Last Days.” Both these songs are off of Forth World, released last month.

Device Grips played several more songs with guitar solos, smooth bass lines, and captivating hip hop that eased a crowd with few working muscles left to begin a final night of dancing. After three days of hard electronica, it was refreshing to see a full band. Especially one with the showmanship and suave of these local musicians.

-Photos and story by Colin Hudson

 


A Deli NYC premiere: Iola's 'Virginians' from upcoming LP 'Arnfinn' + plays at The Slipper Room on 07.02

IOLA is the alt folk project of Norwegian songwriter Carey Sveen, who moved to the US as a child. Carey was inspired to pursue a career in music by the example of her grandmother, a country songwriter from the deep South, but her sound doesn't owe much to that region's twangy tendencies. We are excited to premiere single 'Virginians' (streaming) from IOLA's upcoming debut album. An extremely peculiar love song about falling in love with her husband Charles (whom she just married), the track wonderfully balances tension and release, by alternating a whispered, playfully inquisitive verse (isn't it love when...?) with a chorus that assertively asks for help ("I need you to tell me 'cause I really don't know everything!"). The unanswered questions become like some kind of hidden lyrics, reminding us how torturing it is to love without knowing if we are loved back. Quite appropriately, an unexpected, semi-manic breakdown in the middle of the track doubles the tempo - and therefore the tension - only to return to the  initial, wondering verse. Don't miss IOLA at the Slipper Room in Manhattan on July 2nd.

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best songs by emerging NYC songwriters and artists - check it out!

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Mainland unveils new single 'Outcast' from upcoming debut album

It would be interesting to have stats about what's the percentage of indie bands that are still together after 2 or 3 years of existence: we are ready to bet that a majority of emerging bands doesn't last one year. Brooklyn's Mainland is a great example of what (should) happen to a band that manages to stick around for more than two years, while developing their sound: the songwriting becomes more mature, the sound more rounded out, the delivery more confident. Their new single 'Outcast' (streaming) raises above the ubiquitous "Brooklyn garage pop" sound, assuming the sonic characters of timeless pop. The single is the first tast from their debut album scheduled for an early 2016 releas.

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