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-- The 60's --
The 13th Floor Elevators
Janis Joplin
-- The 70's --
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Asleep at the Wheel
Willie Nelson
The Skunks
Townes Van Zandt
Guy Clark
Jerry Jeff Walker
-- The 80's --
The Dicks
Marcia Ball
The Butthole Surfers
Joe Ely
The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Nanci Griffith
-- The 90's --
Lucinda Williams
Arc Angels
Shawn Colvin
Alejandro Escovedo
Fastball
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
The Gourds
Robert Earl Keen
James McMurtry
Toni Price
Kelly Willis
-- The 00's --
Okkervil River
The American Analog Set
...Trail of Dead
Explosions in the Sky
Patty Griffin
Sara Hickman
I Love You But I've Chosen...
The Octopus Project
Okkervil River
Bruce Robison
Spoon
The Sword
What Made Milwaukee...
   


Welcome to the new Deli Charts, organized by genre and scene.

To rank the artists with the star system go to the Top 50.


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scene blog

Instrumental music is hard to nail if you're looking for a decent audience in the contemporary age. Either you're way too technical and/or conceptual, or you're putting an excessive focus on being weird and experimental, and you alienate a huge number of listeners. Or, you could be Austin duo Chipper Jones, and you somehow both make music that's both named after a hell of an Atlanta baseball player and which is also instrumental while still being fresh to death and not boring for a second. Their latest work, the Tropics | COSM EP, is not really post-rock, though it can go there in parts of songs like the end of stand-out track "Tropics," it's not jazz or anything else so well-worn, and it's not fully pop (that'd take way more of a standard radio structure and some vocals), but it's somewhere between all of that in all the best ways it could be. At the very least it's instrumental music with some fucking real energy and little for an ear to apologize for, and you should certainly give the badass "Tropics" a try if you're a person who can get with the non-vocal music even a tad bit. It's better than that, but damn, we know it's hard to convert some of you vocals-needers to the ways of the instrument-only sound. Music is music, g'damnit, but we get that sometimes you just like what you like. Aforementioned all-inclusiveness aside, Chipper Jones is one we think is likely to be a hit with most anyone willin' to take a swing, and you can below with "Tropics," or you can listen to the whole EP here.

July 01, 2015
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Unless I'm entirely mistaken in my drunk memories of seeing bands in Austin when I wasn't really plannin' on it (you know that happens a lot in this town), I first heard Austin hip-hop group Magna Carda when I was vending used books at the now-defunct but formerly-the-shit goods market the Wonder Sale back in early 2014. I was stashed in a corner of a backyard off Cesar Chavez amongst a fuckton of real ATX folks vending real ATX-made objects right by the table where the sponsored and free Shiner was kept (of three types, though one was that not that great non-bock plain Shiner shit you see here and there). Regardless of my own band-hearin' experiences and whether they are real or entirely dreamed up on 10+ Shiners worth of imagination, Magna Carda is definitely a crew I've seen live at some point, and they're also defintely one that kills it straight dead from the hip-hop perspective. In fact, they just picked up a residency at the sadly soon-to-be-defunct Holy Mountain (Remember when Beauty Bar closing was a bad sign? Yeah, shit is worse now.). They've been releasin' some damn fine hip-hop lately too, like the coolness defining "Banger Jones" that takes some diamond-sharp rapping to instrumentals that kinda sound like somethin' you'd hear in one of those lava-and-ghost Mario levels in a way that is solid all the way from one piece of the production through to the whole rest of the track. Go see a live-produced Austin hip-hop group that's as killer and grassroots as it gets July 9, 16, 23 and 30 at Holy Mountain, a bar that's going the way of the buffalo on October 1, before Austin music just gives the fuck up and moves to California in retaliation.

July 01, 2015
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Here's something fairly different. It's not indie, it's not psych, it's not electronic (except in the most technical sense), hip-hop or beat: it's the compositional music of multi-instrumentalist Walter Nichols. It's fascinating stuff, music that is both obviously deeply technically advanced and that comes at you in forms and lengths and with style that is far from typical radio-ready pop-structured songs, but which also manages to be not overindulgent, tedious or impenetrable. It pulls the fun side of pop and modern music, not shying away from less stereotypically "classial" instruments but instead including things like synths, looping machines and saxophone (and much more), but it ditches the typical "song" rulebook and also pulls from the focus on technical mastery and experimentation and the willingness to use lengthy, complex structures that composed music tends to have. It's a best of both worlds scenario, really.

I can tell when I listen to Nichols' pieces that there's a lot going on here that, as someone with what's obviously much more limited music theory knowledge than the composer, I'm not fully comprehending or being totally aware of, even while I can still point out to particular elements that seem singularly complex or impressive. Yet, as a student of music history and the relationship between the so-called "high" arts and popular art, I know that what Nichols pulls off here is not easy to do at all, this walking easily between the two worlds of technical composition and music that's modern and fun for anyone to listen to. .

As a plain listener, playful and rich are the words that come to mind when listening to Nichols' latest work, the succinctly titled W, which you can hear below in full. Moods are built and played with and never overdone or hammered too hard home, one track is very much a new flavor from the last and yet all work together conceptually and stylistically. It's glimmering and beautiful at times, harsh and nicely grating at others, and in all a real work-out for the brain.

If you want to push your boundaries a bit, or are already the type to be intrigued by music that isn't tailor-made to slide right into your preconceptions of fun, modern music but which still has the ability to find its way into that part of your brain (rules be damned), give Nichols a try with W below. It's well worth a little time to see if it clicks, because if it does, you'll have some quite nutritious new brainfood to get yer noggin' snacking on.

June 29, 2015
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Or maybe an android. Something machine wants to be inside you with BOAN's new record, that is all hard beats that softly fall on the sensibilities, taking the hard tech of the future and giving it emotional action. It's electronic music with that taint-gripping immediacy of stripped-down punk and, as the Bandcamp description of the record makes note, it was made entirely "using all hardware electronics to sequence and arrange infectious live dance music." That these guys have a specific vision and are capable of wreaking it upon the Texas electronic scene with such efficient skill is not much of a surprise, considering that creators Mariana Saldaña (vocals) and José Cota (beats) have been driving forces in big projects in the state for a while (SSLEEPERHOLD for José, //TENSE// for Mariana, both in Medio Mutante). The fact that these songs are in Spanish (we believe for the majority of it, though the reverb makes it a bit hard to tell at times) is just another point where BOAN sticks out from the rest of the Texas electronic noise, where there's just so much good going on that it's hard to always keep up with each group. BOAN is one that is absolutely worth keeping up with, if any are, however, and this latest product is some shit that does the "future is now, and it's kinda messy" thing just spot on. An album that's perfect to watch Dark Star to, or maybe to wander around an abandoned and rusting computer factory from the 80s thinking about how the world all went so prettily wrong.

June 28, 2015
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If you weren’t familiar with Beth Israel’s music before, hearing new track “Love” all on its own might easily see you placing this band within the realm of some math-rockier 80s avant-garde synth-using stuff, but it just as easily feels like something that entirely (and almost gleefully) confuses genre labeling. The whole track is so washed out it actually does sound like you’re hearing it through tin, and the 80s comes in hard with the breakdown riff that starts the song and is dropped throughout it, chopping up the steady synthpop beat and the shoegaze drone that is laid over the track. It’s fucking fun shit, and it keeps up the tongue-in-cheek, “not doing it for the praise” attitude that the iconoclastic and semi-secretive Beth Israel has cultivated over the past few years.

“Love” is cut right out of Beth Israel’s recent The Loaner EP (which you can here in its weird-ass entirety here), and it’s one of like three parts of that 15~ minute record that could actually be called a traditional song. The rest is some strange, creative business, so if you’re into the weird factor of “Love” (or just weird abstract shit in general) you’ll find much to get into in The Loaner as well, because “Love” is probably the least weird part of the whole strange shebang (It literally starts with a minute+ of British imperial orchestra music, with no explanation. Our vote is that is pretty awesome, even if it doesn’t make for easy jamming.).

“Love” is below, The Loaner is here, and Beth Israel is all up in your brain with their whacked out post-punk.

June 28, 2015
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One of the bright young stars of Austin hip-hop has just recently followed up a heavy quality first track (which we liked a lot) with a second, dropping “Only Rapper Alive” a couple weeks ago. Like a pink-hazed dream of a song, “Only Rapper Alive” features some glistening warm production from Eric Dingus, one of the co-owners of Dream Sequence Records and a Texan musician whose tracks regularly pull down 40k+ listens on SoundCloud. Now, metrics don’t make a track good automatically, but that’s tremendously more than most popular groups in Austin ever get. Hell, quick math says the average number of listens on Dingus’ last 10 posts on SoundCloud is exactly 57,212.3, a number that is higher itself than most decently well-known Austin acts get across their entire online catalog.

For a rapper with two tracks out, Plato III is also pulling down both big numbers and big attention himself. This big response from the net is interesting considering Plato’s firm and well-thought-out stance as something different than and a bit critical of most rappers (what a lot of his two existing tracks are about), but really it’s not surprising at all considering his obvious talent for wordplay and musicianship.

A jazzier-affair than career-opener “Natalie Portman,” “Only Rapper Alive” is somewhat of a stream of consciousness style rap, with Plato talking through his own and some other possible perspectives on life and everything from money to fame to strugglin’ to survive to death itself and the afterlife. There’s a lot of info to process in this one, but the gist is that Plato is a deep thinker who sees through the facade of the entertainment industry and the self-absorbed modern life, but who is also not just hating on those things and instead offering a balanced and mature perspective that’s all wrapped up in really pretty, catchy music. And we’re damn into that.

Get on our cultural plane and watch for new Plato III with us at his Facebook here, and put some Austin talent in your ears below.

June 27, 2015
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