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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.


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washington

The Funk Ark record release show for Man Is A Monster this Friday!

The Funk Ark are releasing their new album, Man Is A Monster, on October 14th via Ropeadope Records. Recorded at Richmond's Montrose Recording (an amazing space that has quickly become a premier studio in the DMV, recording many previous DC Deli Artists of the Month including Avers, and People's Blues of Richmond), the album is like going on a Caribbean cruise through space on acid with an afrobeat orchestra following you around deck while you sail past galaxies and supernovas. The songs are all instrumental jams, but the changes are so tight and inventive that the energy never ever wanes (not for one second), and each track is over much too quickly (which is the opposite reaction I usually have to this sort of thing). Six action packed minutes on the mothership feel like three. It's a trip. Don't miss Funk Ark's amazing live show, supported by the equally incredible Black Masala, this Friday, October 10th at Black Cat. Check out the title track below. --Natan Press   

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