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NYC artists you may like: Drew and the Medicinal Pen

Drew & the Medicinal Pen sound like they belong on the soundtrack to a movie like “Juno.”  Drew’s sound is of the stripped-down-sing-a-long kind, witty and honest.  The recordings sound somewhat "casual", like it all took place in a musky, old basement, but it’s exactly this rawness that gives the songs both their charm and sincerity – reminiscent of Pinkerton-era Weezer.  The opening track from the “dream, dream, fail, repeat” album,  provides the first hint of an ongoing theme – catchy and charming melodies set beneath lyrics expressing real and often difficult emotions, unanswerable life questions, and a search for purpose...he accomplishes this expression not only through this juxtaposition of poppy-ness and depth, but also through surrealistic imagery.  The accompaniments are sparse and primitive – some whistling, clapping, and keyboard effects – but they are often the most infectious and driving forces of the songs.  It’s bare and it’s genuine -- Drew & the Medicinal Pen accomplish more with those two adjectives than most others can with their popular opposites (e.g. over-production and bullshit, respectively). - PJD

   

Album Review: LOVE - The Spinning Leaves

Right in the opening of The Spinning Leaves' debut LOVE, we hear a bit of chatter and some joyful exclamations, both of which are good indicators of the kind of group we're dealing with here. Rarely is that sense of camaraderie and honest-to-goodness fun felt even at a show, much less on record, and that's probably what makes the album so endearing.

Certainly there are a lot of folk acts in Philly, and a lot of them draw heavily from Dylan, and The Spinning Leaves are no different in that regard. A few of the tracks rely (rather beautifully, of course) on a slightly raspy drawl and harmonica. But this isn't to say that the album holds no surprises; far from it. "Try, Try, Try, Try, Try, Try" takes advantage of some horns to whip up a sort of New Orleans jazz ditty. The sitar in "Marigolds" is rather unexpected, as are the gypsy guitar stylings in "A Tale of the Northern Lights". These variations never get spread too thin, thankfully, as the album runs about 45 minutes (the perfect length, in my opinion).
 
My favorite parts of the record though are still the little inserts at the beginnings of certain songs. The chatter on the first track, again, is a highlight, but a variety of other noises can be heard on LOVE, from the crackling of a bonfire to the oddly dark spoken-word piece "Together". Little touches like this give the album a sense of something beyond itself. You're not just listening to a CD, you're having an experience, however quaint and modest that experience may be.

But hopefully with all this talk of "little touches", I'm not making anything about the record seem gimmicky. Because gimmicky it is not. At the heart of LOVE is charming boy/girl vocals, solid songwriting, and beautifully crisp production. And you get the sense that, if you asked The Spinning Leaves themselves, they'd probably say that's all they need.
 
- Joe Poteracki
 

 

   

The Deli Portland's First Ever Local Music Showcase hits the Woods on June 9th!

 

The quest for the utter domination of the globe is as inadmirable as it is impossible. Britches can only be so big, and to outgrow them with the humpty-dumpty girth of your aspirations hearkens to the uppermost eschelons of both fuckery and an obvious ignorance to the exponential heaping of broken waist belts into our landfills thereafter.

But slow, steady lunging is way okay in our book, and we want more people to check out not only our blog site, but the litany of amazing Portland underground bands we write about from time to time. With this in mind - and with help from our other favorite local blog, The Days of Lore - the Deli Portland is presenting an evening of radical folk, psych-rock and fuzzy synth pop to The Woods on Wednesday, June 9th! Consider it our first small step. Giant leaps are for buttholes.

Radiant acid-rockers Wax Fingers will kick things off, followed by current Deli Portland artist of the month, mbilly. Rounding out the evening will be the plunky, synth-rock of newcomer Jen Moon. We're beyond excited to have such a rad cross-section of bands for our first foray into Deli-sponsored events, and we'd be even more stoked to see you come out and rock with us.

With any luck, this will be a monthly showcase, so stay tuned for future updates! And don't forget! Wednesday, June 9th! 21 and over, doors at 8, show at 9. $7.

We appreciate your patronage, and let us know who you'd like to see at our next showcase by commenting below!

- Ryan J. Prado

   

California Dreamin’ with Creepoid at DDG May 23

As the latter days of spring advance towards summer nights, fans of daydreams and lo-fi crush hard on bands like Creepoid for their swirling dreamy soundscapes and irresistible vibes. Initially formed as side project by The G’s Patrick and Anna Troxel, Creepoid’s conception took place during the onset of a snowpocalypse and the buzz of a handful of drinks. Aided by a reel-to-reel tape machine circa ‘56 and former member of The G, Petejoe Urban, Creepoid’s sound began to take shape. Philly’s rendition of a predominately West Coast vibe, Creepoid’s dream-pop is cooked up in dirty basements on already recorded on tapes. Somehow more substantial than their Left Coast peers, their songs are intriguingly eerie and equally chill. Already having opened for Best Coast and local wunderkind Kurt Vile, catch Creepoid tonight with Medications and Deleted Scenes, and hear what the warm fuzzy buzz is all about. Danger Danger Gallery. 5013 Baltimore Ave. 9pm, $5, All Ages - Dianca Potts
 

 

   

Philadelphia Slick EP Release Party at The Blockley Pourhouse May 22

Since 2005, Philadelphia Slick have been giving Philly a fresh burst of jazz laden hip hop. It’s their 5th anniversary, and it also happens to coincide with the release of their latest EP Everything’s Game, which features impressive tracks like “Everything Must Go”, and guest appearances by Via Motive’s emcee Storyville and The Hustle’s Kuf Knotz. The band certainly has a lot to celebrate at The Blockley tonight so expect a torrent of horns, keyboards, and rhyme fueled hooks. They’ll be joined by the refreshing hip hop stylings of The Hustle who will be doing double duty today with a performance at Maysie’s Farmfest. The Blockley Pourhouse, 3801 Chestnut St., 10pm, $5, 21+ - Bill McThrill