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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

Slomo Drags' new EP out of Already Dead Tapes and Records is complex indie pop that's a little transgressive when it comes to the rules of that genre, and it's a record that should do a lot for the band's popularity both locally and nationally. In that way it reminds me heavily of Elephant 6, especially of Montreal, in its approach to rich song creation, this eponymous EP is five songs of gleefully busy psychedelic indie pop, and like that legendary band, Slomo Drags seems interested in making music to love this weird life to and does a great job accomplishing that goal here.

In addition to the “pretty + odd” thing full of anormal song structures and 60s influenced vocal layerings that they get from of Montreal, Slomo Drags also channels a few other classic 2000s indie acts here, including using big screechy Deerhoof-ish guitar wind-ups and a healthy dose of local funky indie with some Spoon-like attitude added to the sound. Now, if I were to have read that a current band was living in the spirit of these now-aging acts at their height, I'd have been a little worried that the sound in question wouldn't be as fresh or engaging as it once was, but it takes about five seconds of opener “Going Out of Business” to know that thought is dead wrong.

This kind of music is just as good and just as fun in 2016 as it was in the mid 2000s, mostly because Slomo Drags seriously know how to put together a shitlload of song elements nicely to make something that is crammed full of moving pieces, but which is tight and arranged in well-thought out way that guides you through the layers of musical activity with skill and grace. The expert construction of these tunes leaves you able to just focus on the fun of the album and ride on its central aesthetic. It's great fun each time you listen, and that structuring allows you to pick out great little parts to focus on with each play-through, as if the tracks taken together were a big, wild psychedelic party that you're viewing through a giddy first-person recording taken by the band, and they're showing you all these cool things happening for just a moment. For me at least, it creates a sense of true, good, colorful fun time going on all around me, and that's a feeling that it's been a while since I got from modern indie music.

For a band to be able to create something as bursting with energy and slathered in creative layers as this EP is without things getting messy or completely breaking down, the members of that band have to be each be fully on top of their own musical game and yet still be totally in sync with each other member, and that's just the groove that Slomo Drags seems to be living comfortably inside of right now. This is a damn fine piece of pop music that both references and transcends the extensive history of the Venn diagram crossover between pop and indie rock, and it's one of the most thoroughly remarkable and enjoyable records out yet this year in Austin.

Listen below, and make sure to give every track a good once or twice over, because, in a way that feels directly rebellious to our current singles and SoundCloud culture, every track on here is seriously good stand-out music that could thrive on its own, but which does even better in the context of the whole record.

April 30, 2016
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A while back, Austin up-and-comer Plato III released a new track called "Womankind," a heady piece with a nice beat that puts the burden on men when it comes to our treatment of women in this world, which we thought was another very interesting and well-produced track for the budding artist. “Womankind” was a follow-up to the artist's killer take on fame that was track and video "Natalie Portman," and now Plato's kept up this pattern of releasing beautiful and poignant music videos for each of his few, but highly polished tracks by dropping a new video take on "Womankind."

The video here is, unsurprisingly, thoughtful and gorgeously rendered. It features a single stunning woman, presented as a being of intense power and beauty without referencing her sexually at all even, and this is difficult, when she is shown fully nude. The woman in question is shown dancing with confidence and skill through a raw natural setting, which doesn't feel like a contrast at all to her humanity, but instead feels exactly fitting. She's not fighting against nature, she is nature, a literal embodiment of it. That this woman is pregnant while moving like a lithe nature goddess isn't brought to the forefront of the video until the last half of the video, a powerful way to underscore the point of both track and video; that we've really stepped away as humans from valuing the incredible power and beauty of women outside of seeing them sexually. That they are our givers of life.

It's truly a nice piece of work both musically and in its film incarnation, and as such it's just more proof that Plato III is an artist worth both listening to and keeping an eye on. Put your own eyes to work below, and keep up with Plato at his Facebook page here, where he often gives meaningful commentary and context for his work.

April 27, 2016
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Last year's Deli Austin Artist of the Year CAPYAC is back early in 2016 with a new single, and the music is as glittery and spacefunky as ever. This time though, the duo shakes up things in its attempts at making this universe a sexier place with every bit of power they can muster by having Potion, an alter ego of CAPYAC instrumental magician Delwin Campbell, commanding the spaceship with his debut CAPYAC vocal performance on gorgeous track "Talk About."

Potion's performance fits right in with the CAPYAC futuresexfunk vibe, but whereas the regular crooning of P. Sugz, aka Eric Peana, is ultradynamic and soulful, Potion comes in with a more subdued yet deeply confident and damned smooth timbre that is every bit as fitting to the coolness-dripping funk vibe that CAPYAC cultivates with seeming effortlessness.

It's just more goodness from these guys, who seem to be everywhere these days with their funky boat parties, future-leaning fashion shows and Kickstarter for preordering their full-length album, and it does our groovy hearts good to know that the reigning kings of Austin music (in The Deli's eyes at the very least, and with any justice those of the rest of the world sometime soon) are at it as hard and smooth as ever with the delicious beats and funky feats.

Listen below, and if you're liking what you hear, preorder these guys' full-length at their Kickstarter here.

April 27, 2016
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Dropping their official first music video, Blue Healer throws out a heater that feels so right to listen to on a warm summer day filled with swimming and partying with friends. They call their music, “pop with teeth,” meaning a mash of pop with a garage rock sound, and Blue Healer certainly delivers the bite with the video in question, which is for their track “Luminescent Eyes.”

Made up of members David Beck (bass, guitar and vocals), Bryan Mammel (keys and vocals) and Dees Stribling (drums and vocals), the trio’s chemistry is unquestionable, with a flawless playing style that meshes just so well and highlights the strengths that each brings to the table. Blue Healer feels fresh where other bands can seem like reheated leftovers, and they carry a sound similar to Local Natives infused with influences of Bob Dylan's songwriting style, but taking that sound past the limits set by other pop artists.

Blue Healer shows their fun side and brings the raw energy from their live shows to the “Luminescent Eyes” music video, which they shot in a VHS-style fashion at the San Antonio Zoo. They start the song by laying down shimmering guitar chords that then pair with an injection of sun-bleached synth, both of which together set the tone of a song that rolls with a slow melodic pace. Tranquil vocals meld with the instruments like two clouds colliding, and overall it makes for a refreshing song to listen to when you want to relax and let the sunshine wash over you. The lo-fi video of the band exploring the zoo on just that kind of sunny day works well to give you a sense of chilled out good times, and it makes a nice match for the song's summer vibe.

Watch the video below to get in on all the fun you’ve been missing out on, and keep your eyes peeled for their first album, releasing sometime this summer. It’s sure to be one of the records you’ll want on repeat for the hot days ahead.

--

Andrew Conroy

April 25, 2016
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They call it “bedroom rock” on their SoundCloud, which we take to mean that Thanks Light's new track “Dreams” from the upcoming Hallelujah, Amen is best played when lying back on your bed in your bedroom in a state of repose befitting the relaxing track. It's the first thing we've heard from this group in a while, and it comes off as a bit Polyphonic Spree, with all its orchestral elements and sunny qualities, but with a more pure indie vibe (especially in the vocals, which are dynamic and reminiscent of a less weirdo Spencer Krug). It's got a lot going on, from piano to an angelic backing choir to horns, and it's quite pretty. We definitely suggest rocking back on said mattress and putting it on full blast with your eyes closed, or maybe softly in some headphones, for a little summer indie respite from the busy crazy world. Watch for the full album on May 6.

April 23, 2016
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Weird bands are making some badass high-tech, lo-fi impressionistic videos in Austin right now, and we are eating this stuff up. Latest in the line of Austin's most experimental artists to embrace abstract bizarro tech-created imagery for the visual representations of their music, a list that's recently included acts like Shmu and Rikroshi, are Deli-favorite doom sirens Troller.

The video in question is for the mightily-named and overwhelmingly pretty track “Storm Maker” from Troller's recent and sublime Graphic, and both it and the song itself are a departure, at least in surface aesthetics, from the majority of Troller's typically dark and heavy oeuvre. Here Troller applies their tremendous (in the true sense of the word) musical approach to being also gorgeous- the track is edgy, harmonic, modern, and outright heartbreakingly pretty. The subject matter is the typically heady and emotionally complex stuff you get with Troller (and, really, most all Holodeck Records acts), with no small amount of weltschmerz present, but as opposed to the overwhelming doom and crushing crescendos of their standard songs, “Storm Maker” is both audially and visually an assault of gorgeousness.

A large part of that in the song itself can be attributed to singer and deathbass maven Amber Star-Goers' thrillingly dynamic vocals, which are presented here in a manner that gives you a chance to hear her voice clearly and at its most skillfully dynamic. The woman hits notes in the crescendo that are shocking in their power and goosebumps-inducing, and this track is in one way a hell of an argument that Star-Goers' has the best command of her range in all of Austin music. Instrumentalists Adam Jones and Justin Star-Goers provide a slow, but driving drum pad-laced aural structure over which Amber's voice plays that is equally as entrancing and darkly lovely.

Troller is making Lord of the Rings-level epic fantasy music right now, but done by the hippest, smartest people you know, as if they weren't Austinite humans but the most truly metal avant garde band of dark elves and orcs ever to throw noise across the multiverse. The “Storm Maker” video here is perfectly constructed to match the music- a highly abstract and impressionistic take that's so very modern that it has that rare intelligent retro look at 80s and 90s computer culture that is only just now getting its due through burning edge artists like Macintosh Plus and PC Music, and now Troller. The song's a long'n' (Troller ain't afeared of nothin'), and it is thoroughly worth taking in as a whole at 1080p, preferably on some damn good headphones or a system worthy of the bigness of this sound and video.

Take a look below, check out the whole Graphic album here, and we'll leave you with this insightful Troller quote from the “Storm Maker” video premiere a la FADER:

“Lyrically, this song is about the cycle of chaos and order in life. When circumstances force you to re-evaluate and humble yourself, there is a somber process of accepting your own limitations. These self-reflective moments usually teach valuable lessons to better manage the moments when you actually are in control. It's the duality of being a Storm Watcher and a Storm Maker.”

April 19, 2016
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