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Chinatown's own Hip Hop phenomenon: The Notorious MSG

The Notorious MSG is Chinatown's one and only Chinese hip hop band. Besides hopping on stage and on record, the guys also make "educational" videos like this one (from the series "Schoolhousin' ", focusing on the many interesting and "different" habits of our Manhattan based neighbors - hey, you can't say these boys don't come from the ghetto! I highly recommend to watch at least the first 30 seconds of this video.

   

The Deli's 5th Year Anniversary shows in W'Burg: BEST OF NYC FEST!!!

Insatiable NYC Ears,

The Deli was founded as a magazine whose sole purposes were to give exposure to emerging NYC artists and make us millionaires. Although we are obviously failing our second objective, against all odds, The Deli has reached its 5th year anniversary! Isn't that a good excuse to party like there's no tomorrow?

WHY "BEST OF NYC"?

The Best of NYC 2010 Fest is the live transposition of our year-end Best of NYC 2009 list. This is the Fest's second year and it's going to be an exciting experience with 7 shows in 5 different venues spread over 3 nights in the heart of Williamsburg.

Here is the calendar:

- THURSDAY MAY 13 -

Brooklyn Bowl:
Midnight Masses + Beach Fossils + TBA

Public Assembly:
Alt Rock Night with The Shake, Click Clack Boom, Midnight Spin, Cavalier Rose

- FRIDAY MAY 14 -

Brooklyn Bowl:
Motel Motel + April Smith + TBA

Glasslands
7-12: Noise Rock Night with Talk Normal, Asa Ransom, Buke and Gass, Miniboone
12-4 am: Electronic party with Gordon Voidwell, Glass Ghost, Stereolab+ TBA

- SATURDAY MAY 15 -

Brooklyn Bowl:
London Souls + Locksley

Cameo
Afternoon: Folky Night with Julie Peel, Pearl & The Beard, Miracles of Modern Science, The Woes, Sticklips, Shanya Zayd + more
Night: Indie Rock Night with The Vandelles, Monogold + more.

   

Album Review: Birds & Batteries’ Up To No Good

Birds & BatteriesUp To No Good is a complex blend of creepy and dance-y.

Hard to categorize throughout, Michael Sempert’s disaffected and sliding vocals hold this 2009 EP together through five eclectic tracks that bring ominous bass together with psychedelic guitar, creepy keyboard chimes, and distorted whistles. They only break from the task of making the listener feel like he’s lost in the dark by occasionally turning on their dance party floor lights.

This EP is intricate, and lends itself to multiple listening sessions. “The Villain” starts you off feeling alone and confused, with plenty of well-placed synth noise to bolster the freaky guitars and dark lyrics. The excellent harmonies are the lightest part of the song, with the backup voices sounding downright cheery compared to the lead vocalist’s slow drawl. The eerie theme developed in this first track sticks around for most of Up To No Good. Though the short “Lonely Guns” elevates the tone into something more upbeat in preparation for the jaunty third track, “Out in the Woods,” you still hear plenty of those whistling keyboard runs in both tracks (complete with a sudden tempo change or two) to keep you tripping out about the whole experience. There’s even judicious use of that slide whistle sound that makes me think I’ve spotted a UFO, X-Files style.

You know the sound I’m talking about.

“Lightning (UTNC Version)” is their get-up-and-dance track, switching the beat over to a drum machine (or just a well-emulated drum machine feel) that occasionally drops out to leave the vocalist and keyboard on their own. Once I’m reminded to be freaked out, they turn the beat back on. This track is great but it is a partial break from the resonating feel of the rest of the EP. It’s their dark synth-pop moment punctuating the EP’s crescendo before they drop it back down for the final track. If Up To No Good was longer than 20 minutes (and I truly wish it was) I’d expect one or two more songs in this vein, and as it is I’m left wanting more.

Concluding with “Sneaky Times,” they finish up with some compelling vocals that alternately stretch out and rush through the lyrics in between really phenomenal bass lines, bringing us back down from “Lightning” into a slower groove. This is a great final track on a great EP, a good mixture of a funky feel with the unhinged hollowness that I came to expect by the end Up To No Good.

Birds & Batteries never commit themselves completely to any particular genre here, but still end up with a bizarrely cohesive feel that you should definitely experience for yourself. For the San Franciscan with a vehicle, they’ll be playing in Davis on April 10th. I on the other hand, will eagerly wait for a San Francisco show date to materialize.

-Kyle Wheat

Editors Note:  Birds and Batteries Up To No Good can be purchased digitally at iTunes.  For a hard copy contact Birds and Batteries here.

   

New Video by MGMT: "Flash Delirium"

Enjoy!

   

The Last Emperor LIVE at Silk City March 30

Philly’s superhero of hip hop and former Deli Tunes Wiz Wit showcase performer, The Last Emperor, returns from the Red Planet to save the day or should we say the evening when he celebrates tonight at Silk City the release of Science Team…Go!, a 20-song album mixed by DJ Mickey Knox and DJ Concept. It’s full of intelligent lyrical gymnastics that makes our underground warrior a hidden gem among the crappy manufactured hip hop polluting our airwaves. You can download a FREE copy for yourself here, and this is also a link to the artwork. Enjoy! Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., 9pm, $5, 21+ myspace.com/redplanetmusic - Q.D. Tran