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Waterfront Wednesdays Opening Event Postponed!

Ugh, this weather is awful! Well, tonight’s opening event for Waterfront Wednesdays, the free Wednesday concert series in Penn Treaty Park brought to you by the New Kensington CDC, is postponed. Check out the flier above to see who will be performing this 2010 season. We’re guessing that things will get shifted. Damn weather, it’s exactly why The Deli hasn’t done any outdoor events yet! - The Deli Staff


Bassnectar, DJ John Napier, & Paper Route @ Forecastle, 7/11

Sunday morning started off with a text from my friend reading, “Where is everyone at this festival?” I’m not sure if people were simply too mind-blown by the fully-hyped and beautifully-delivered Bassnectar set from the night before, or if everyone felt similar to the man tripping acid behind me screaming “I have to fucking work tomorrow!” Regardless, Sunday’s crowd was a little sparse compared to the day before, and those of us that were there had a lot of room to fill. Nashville’s DJ John Napier literally started the day off with his semi-engaging 1pm set at the Ocean Stage. Eventually drawing about a dozen people from the shadows of the surrounding hills to dance, Napier did a solid job of keeping the crowd entertained, while the infamous purple blanket man jumped from the closest tree and ran circles around everyone. I feel confident in saying that the crowd would have been much more receptive to DJ Napier had we been in a LED enhanced warehouse, instead of a brightly lit patch of grass on a Sunday afternoon. Still, Napier held his own as he set the mood for Quantum 38 and Sam Gracie to follow.
While waiting for Paper Route to go on, I was able to share a plate of blueberries and a few smiles with Flaming Lip’s front man Wayne Coyne (who is just as mysterious and fascinating when silent, as he is walking over a crowd in a man-sized hamster ball) reminding me of their ever approaching set. Like clockwork, herds of people started filtering in anxiously to get the perfect spot for the Lip’s headlining set. This surge of people also happened to give Paper Route’s 7:30 slot a nice appeal, as the band started serenading us just before sundown. With matching Ray Bans, Andy Smith (vox/guitar) and J.T Daly (vox, keyboards, percussion) really helped give the band an image with their polished looks and voices to match. Paper Route’s sound varied between mellow mixes of Death Cab harmonies atop slower breakdowns, and tight grooves over some pre-recorded beats. Drummer Gavin McDonald proved to be quite the beast and really locked in with bassist Chad Howat to give the crowd something to dance to. Touring with bands like Paramore and Passion Pit, Paper Route has created quite a buzz in the past few years, most recently with their hit “Carousel” off their latest album Absence.
After leaving the festival I found myself delightfully pleased with how well Nashville’s locals stood out amongst other big name groups. Hopefully next year will bring in even more Nashville natives and the word of Forecastle will continue to spread. Regardless, I left the festival with a new obsession with electronica music, and a bitter confusion as to why my All Access pass didn’t continue working in the real world.--Mackenzie Grosser


Two Fresh @ Forecastle, 7/10

When your day starts out in a sea of sweaty, glow-stick-enhanced, C-walk attempters, you know the chances of you enjoying yourself are considerably high.  When the pulse that’s moving the masses is coming from a Two Fresh set, the odds are even better. Like all great electronica shows, I found myself mesmerized by not only the man in the cardboard box running circles around me, but also the twin brothers delivering the beats. Sherwyn and Kendrick Nicholls are the heart behind the hip-hop and jazz infused trip-hop sound, with the help of live drummer Colby Buckler. Spinning hits off their latest album, Baker’s Dozen, the twins did a pretty damn good job of hyping up the midday crowd for Mimosa. Playing music and making beats since they were freshman in high school, the Nichols brothers have been touring non-stop with names like Pretty Lights, and can be seen at upcoming festivals like Camp Bisco. Their set really proved that two heads are better than one – especially when those two heads are syncing up on some of the hottest beats at Forecastle. Although Mimosa followed with a team of rave-party-girl dancers, equipped with fishnet tights, furry boots, and zippers in places where no one should imagine, Two Fresh remained fresh in our minds as the day continued on.--Mackenzie Grosser


Sunny Ali & the Kid Wanted at The Ox July 14

Upcycling the late ‘90s dance hit “Better Off Alone”, Sunny Ali & the Kid’s revamp of Alice Deejay channels the quirky vibes of Happy Birthday with the nonchalance of the Ramones. Cutting the track’s original length in half, Ali and Saeed instinctively emphasize its lyrical core alongside jaunty riffs and hissing snare. Easily read as indifference, “Better Off Alone” is vocally precise, and it’s brief repetition and harmonized end capitalizes on the song’s sweet brevity. A mix of buzzing psych folk meshed with surf drenched pop, Sunny Ali & the Kid’s latest EP Try Harder is a easy charmer with song titles like “I’m a Skinny Fucker” and “Fuck Me.” Filling the parentheses between lingering high school frustration and 20-something bliss, this local duo is fun and cathartic. Become their new number one fan when the join local funk fiends Prowler and Altered States at The Ox tonight. The Ox, 2nd & Oxford St., 8pm, $5, All Ages - Dianca Potts



Jesus Makes The Shotgun Sound enraptured listeners & makes art

For a tiny little place, Synchronicity Space packs a punch. This writer can't speak to the venue as a gallery, but for music, it's the jam. Cuddled up in warehouse-like spareness on one of those perfectly crispy L.A. nights that feel like 8 o'clock forever, four bands and a few in the know blended into each other's darkness like the black on black on black of the blacked out sky when the city lights burn out. On this night, the lights went dark and the music lit us up.

The best thing about a show in a gallery is not only the merging of multiple forms of art but the willingness of the bands to get loose, to make the space theirs for the night, to be more than themselves, to be the art, to be the medium. One F (from San Francisco), War Tapes, Jesus Makes The Shotgun Sound, and VoicesVoices (all LA based) brought us out and made us pay with some tortured exploration and some torrential force and some traditional rock and roll and some transformative lyrical imagery. We hustled free Colt 45 and we listened to it all happening. Sometimes it all happens and you can't say why but you feel the rolling underneath you and the earth wells up and someone great is born.

The clear standout of the night, hands down, was JMTSS. So raw, so loud, so scientific, these boys do not mess around. Not even a little bit. This is math rock and this is pathos. A fan tells us that we need this music and until we hear it we didn't know we needed it. Then she says, "But once you have it, you can't let it go." JMTSS make you need them. With their understated off-stage presence and their tight (as in cool, not ill-fitting) black suits and their intense scrutiny of every last element, this band goes all Mars Volta and all The Dear Hunter with a maniacal speed and precision. In a hyphenated word, they are mind-blowing. Maybe the stars aligned or maybe the other three just weren't at their best, but JMTSS owned it, claimed it, ate it up and spit it out. Friday was yours, Jesus Makes the Shotgun Sound.

-Angel Baker

Check out our review of DAMNANT QUOD NON INTELLIGUNT EP coming in the print issue of The Deli Magazine at the end of this month.


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