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August 2014
Vinyl Thief

In high school, my friend Craig Lee took it upon himself to educate me on what to do when I got high, which was: take a 311 CD and play it through Windows media player, and set the visualization to “Ambience.” With those days behind me (and a few subsequent years lost devil-sticking for tips as I followed 311 tours) I had long forgotten that particular use for Windows until I listened to Vinyl Thief’s debut album, “Fathoms.”


Released July 22nd, “Fathoms” listens like an entity. Granted, all albums vary song to song, and this one is no different, but few pluck the same rubber band in your brain and sustain it throughout it the duration. Fewer still can be so closely likened to getting lost watching a pixelated visualization of music on your ’01 Dell, wondering:“Whoa, how did they know to do that?”


Vinyl Thief is a synth driven powerhouse of a band that has been gathering acclaim since the release of their “Rebel Hill” EP in 2012. The group has essentially come of age playing together, from their high school inception to logging hours of practice in a church-sanctuary-turned-rehearsal space to perfect the sound and rapport that makes Vinyl Thief extraordinary. There are not many bands with such an expert handle on their sound.


There are a few anchors in Vinyl Thief that make them so listenable. Their synthesizers are going to do something beautiful. Grayson Proctor’s vocals are going to run through an impressive range without ever sounding forced or theatrical. And every song is going to reliably blow your mind in some way. It might be on a smaller scale, like when the guitar breaks the silence after the bridge in “London” with what I can only imagine a swoon would sound like. Or it could be big, like when the track “Rebel Hill” finally reaches a crescendo after a series of goosebump-inducing change-ups. The band has a knack for zig-ing when a zag is expected, going soft instead of loud, or even bigger when they’re already turned up.


Vinyl Thief is one of the best examples of the modern face of Nashville music, where already talented musicians go through great pains to learn their craft and the business around it. This is a band that is one sync away from national exposure. Be prepared to hear much more Vinyl Thief after Apple or Toyota licenses one of their tracks. Considering that “Fathoms” is a collection of their best material meticulously recorded and lovingly presented like a bowl of all-red jelly beans ready for the grabbing, this is only a matter of time. –Terra James-Jura

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Brooklyn shoegazers on the rise: Chimes

Alright all you shoegazers out there, here's one for you.  Chimes is not playing games; they rep the gaze hard, especially considering Winston Scarlett who runs the slacker rock zine, Slackgaze, is a member.  Their first single, "Wipe Out", is a zero-gravity floater, with reverb and dreamy guitars coming out the wazoo. Linda Chen's vocals particularly remind us of a Toronto based dream-pop band called Memoryhouse, which you should also check out.  THe band is originally from New Jersey but they are playing the DIY Brooklying circuit on a regular basis. Check out single 'Wipe Out' streaming below.  - Jake Saunders

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best Psych Rock/Shoegazer/Dream Pop songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!


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Show Alert: Penicillin Baby at the 5-Spot 8.29

It's been a minute since Penicillin Baby showed their psychedelic skin on a Nashville stage; as in, almost two months. This is not to say that slice of summer was not occupied with tours and studio time. In fact, this blitzkrieg of activity has been the status quo for the foursome since the release of their debut 7" in May.  The band managed work on a full-length album and put a few miles on their van playing to hipster masses from Kentucky to New York, who seem to have the same appetite for slightly skewed trip-pop as Nashville does.  Friday's show at the 5-Spot is the start of a string of Tennessee shows, though not all dates can boast a lineup with the likes of Canadians-on-eternal-summer-holiday (do they call it 'holiday' up there?) Shark Week, slacker-rock-revivalists Sundonistas and Laurel Canyon mutts Bear in the Campsite.  The show starts at 9, and cover is $5.  Below is the video for their seasonally-appropriate ode to wasted time "Not Getting Any Younger." -Terra James-Jura



Air Traffic Controller invites you into their "House" on new single

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The Milkstains preview new album Broken Bones

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"La Adelita" is an expertly crafted surf instrumental, psyching the listener up for what's to come. "Sidewalk" is Replacementsy pop-rock, as engaging as that description can suggest. "Let Us Down" is an 80's proto-indie rocker, ferocious and meek, strong and sweet. "Caroline O'Keeffe" is some wacky low-fi garage version of Leiber/Stoller pop (with a blistering guitar solo). "Carrion Crow" is the desert and death, heat and haze, all gritty and sexy, like the loners and rebels your mom warned you about. "Heart of Mine" is a straightforward garage stomper, pounding drums and kinetic guitar-work. "Invisible Friends" is more dynamic garage with clever psychedelia conjured by the all analog studio. "Heavy Water" is the appropriate name for the next song; another instrumental surf track, but truly heavy, deep, crushing guitars. "Sonic Kick" fools you at the start with another heavy growling tone out of the bass, but turns immediately into a sweet and smooth indie-rocker, with shimmering guitars playing anthemic hooks. All too soon the album ends on title-track "Broken Bones," an even more anthemic indie-rocker with room to jam on some noise, like a combo of early 90's Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., riding waves of electricity, blazing through hooks, into Siamese Dream-like walls of sound.

Broken Bones is a triumph of non-stop excitement, head-shaking goodness, taste and ambition. It's like a shrine to analog sound and psychedelia, collecting iconography from 60's surf to 90's alt-rock, and everything in between. The Milkstains aren't copycats however. They channel an energy all their own through each song, a growling tiger ready to pounce from beneath each track, and harness their musicianship and the skills of their producers to create a seemless passionate journey.  

You can catch them next at Richmond's Fall Line Fest, where they'll have the first solid copies of the album for sale. Get this album, however you can. --Natan Press  


Empty Moon Releases New Single - 75 Degrees

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If you're old enough to remember the music of the 90s this band will bring you nostalgia for sure. Look out for Empty Moon's new full length album which is due out on November 4th on High Dive Records. For now, check out the free track and new single, 75 Degrees via Soundcloud.


Rising New York City rockers in love with the UK: Public Access T.V.

Public Access T.V. is one of New York City's newest alt-rock (potential) sensations. They come at us with attitude beyond their years and seriously catchy hooks, embedded in classic sounding pop rock nuggets with garagey tinges. Even though their sound seems to scream "Manhattan," they have developed an affinity with the UK, probably in an effort to follow on the steps of great bands initially under-appreciated in the US like The Strokes and - believe it or not - The Pixies. They recorded their debut EP 'Rebounder' in London, and in September they'll be playing eleven dates in the UK. The trio opened for Weezer in PA earlier this month for Musikfest, which is fitting given their sound. You can snatch the EP from iTunes or grab the vinyl from Rough Trade. The first opportunity to catch them live in their home town might be at the CMJ Music Marathon in October - Michael Haskoor (@Tweetskoor)

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best Alt Rock songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!



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