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Artist of the Month
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deli cover

October 2014
Tetherball
"Whimsy
"
mp3

 

Steve Voss paints the picture of a mid-aughts major label stalwart that eventually buckled under the weight of feedback from the mess of people involved in the process. Framed with this context, the moniker Tetherball comes into sharp relief. At the end of his rope and refusing to be swatted back and forth into submission, Voss withdrew from Atlantic Records and his home state of Colorado. He receded to a studio in an industrial neck of Nashville, still tinkering with sound but with a very cracked perspective; essentially the industry version of Lazlo Hollyfeld.

 

Tetherball's album will officially drop October 28th via Silver Point Recods. Even if this backstory weren’t true, “Whimsy” still sounds like someone reveling in their eccentricity. It’s weird, and deals it out its peculiarity in mid-tempo canters and clearly-baked moseys. Sci-fi plays just as big of a thematic influence as personal experience, so if you have a taste for the slightly off-center, parts of this album will have you clapping your hands in delight. The guitar tone has a tendency to do infectiously cool things, like the jangle at the opening of “Vegetarian” or the tit for tat that kicks off “Bootss.” This album could probably play in tandem with any South Park episode and mirror it with frightening accuracy.

 

This is not to say that Voss has lost all awareness of pop sensibility. For very Primus off-note there is an alternative snarl, which makes for an interesting and palatable listen. Tetherball maintains a high level of theatrics throughout, from the grand sweeping boredom of “Hometown” to the Western swing of "Boulderado" the big top rhythm of “Spring Chicken,” a track that had me playing indie-rock matchmaker and wondering for a second how cool it would be to see them on tour with Thao and the Get Down Stay Down.

 

“Whimsy” is an amazing first statement from this fledgling band. It’s clear that this is a pin pulled from a grenade, and that the Tetherball dimension is something that will only expand. We can’t wait to see how this band evolves. Stream the album HERE, and check out their website at: www.tetherballmusic.com


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Show Alert: Friendship at The East Room 10.11

If there were a spirit animal for October 11th, it would have to be some sort of neon-colored panda riding a cigar-smoking dolphin, because thinking of that trips us out and makes us happy in the same way catching a Chalaxy show does. However, this Saturday's show at the East Room is one better than those tape-crazy psych-rockers: Friendship is a 9-piece supergroup conceived and executed by Chalaxy frontman Taylor Cole. With members from The Subnovas, Mesmer Tea, Girls and Money, Creature Comfort and Dotcom, it's a riot of talent that will be squinting in the stagelights as a collective for the first time this weekend. Considering that Friendship is so new and barely-formed, we can't even be sure of what they are going to sound like, but we have faith that the evening will be entertaining and include some left-of-center leanings. Also, since Friendship is only in its budding stages, we leave you with this video from Knoxville's "Trop 'N' Roll" outfit Marina Orchestra, who will be supporting the evening of the strange and wonderful along with Dr. Jungle Cat and Girls and Money. -Terra James-Jura 

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Congratulations to Brave Town, Our New Artist of the Month!

Brave Town's Artist of the Month Win falls in with their month of solid successes. They started September with a show at 3rd and Lindsley, had some spins of their first single "Jubilee" on Lightning 100, and then put out this gem in the middle of the month.

Yes, it's so good that we f*cked up our usual formatting just to drive the point home. This track scratches that itch that (reaching back a few years here) Cold War Kids left after “Loyalty to Loyalty” left us a little underwhelmed, with it’s sharp piano backbone and just-unhinged waver in Jay Ragsdale's vocals. It’s a promising chaser to last year’s EP “Flavor,” and we can’t wait for more. –Terra James-Jura

BraveTown.Bandcamp.com

 

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Foreign Fields Release Video "Little Lover"

Here's testament to how heavily environment can play into music. Two years ago Foreign Fields recorded their first album "Anywhere But Where I Am" in the duo's Wisconsin hometown. In 53 quiet, dreamy minutes they managed to distill the slow dread and surrender of yet another soul-deadening sink into the cold season (Midwestern émigré writing here). Since then, the duo of Eric Hillman and Brian Holl have received well-deserved recognition for their artfully rendered winter-listening, and also made the move to Tennessee. It’s clear by their single “Little Lover” that the South has quickened up their blood. Richer and fuller in even the silences, it’s a tantalizing glimpse of the sophomore album planned for early 2015. Foreign Fields will be playing Mercy Lounge on October 9th for Communion Nashville with Field Report, Water Liars and Great Peacock before heading out on tour with The Lone Bellow in November. –Terra James-Jura

http://www.foreignfields.net/

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Show Alert: Alanna Royale's "Achilles" Release Show at Exit/In 10.4

Alanna Royale's debut album, "Achilles" has been out since September 16th. However, October 4th will be when the band, friends, and special guests ring it in proper with an epic show at Exit/In. Because an album that is the culmination of two years of establishing the Royale name through heavy touring and intensive mind-blowing, not to mention a little, potentially career-ending brush with a hemorrhaging vocal cord demands a celebration. The band has been lauded for their airtight brass section almost as much as Royale's staggering stage presence, both of which will be in full-force on Saturday, as their joined by Kansas Bible Company and ELEL (fingers crossed that all groups joined Royale on stage for a final number. Just to prove the integrity of the venue’s support structures.)

While the show is sure to be a high-energy stiletto kick in the nuts, “Achilles" explores several dynamic avenues: sweet and wistful on “Phantom Limb,” fierce and vengeful on “Animal,” to maybe a little funky on “Big Time Me.” This magazine is partial to “Rock and Stone;" we interpret it as a neo-soul version of Reba McIntire’s “Fancy” (sans the prostitution bent. We're focusing more on the process of a woman coming into her own.)  and we love the addition of the string section of since the track’s appearance on their 2013 EP.   “Achilles” is a showcase of the band’s tested mettle, and their, as the opening lyrics of “Last to Know” perfectly sums up “backbone for days.” Saturday’s show starts at 8pm, and cover is $10. We’ll be amazed if it doesn’t sell out. –Terra James-Jura

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Aaron Lee Tasjan's Residency at The 5-Spot Begins 10.1

October 1st marks the beginning of Aaron Lee Tasjan's 5-week residency at The 5-Spot. Dubbed "The Happy Hour of Power," the event will take place the next five Wednesdays from 6-8pm. Tasjan will be bringing in a number of talented cohorts to round out the evening, including Todd Farrell Jr., Erica Blinn and The DuPont Brothers.  "Don't Walk Away" is the first single from his recent EP, "Crooked River Burning." The recording gained acclaim not only for it's emotional intensity, but also the crisp and very tangible energy gained from tracking all the instruments simultaneously; the impact of the recording will not deviate far from the impact of the live show. With recognition as "One of the greatest next-generation songwriters" from ASCAP and five opportunities to see him, there's little excuse to not make it to the 5-Spot a some point this month. -Terra James-Jura

 

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