Artist of the Month

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April 2015
"Skull Cauldron
Skull Cauldron, Sandcastle’s latest LP, is a sojourn into a dimly lit wilderness. Recorded as a quartet (with the group moving forward without Micah Edwards) at West Philly’s Sex Dungeon, these songs pull you ever deeper into the thick of it with their hauntingly infectious sense of urgency and balance.
Album opener, “Atlantis Trance,” percolates as the guitar, bass, and drums tightly co-exist in a relaxed yet spring-loaded groove that is reminiscent to classic Talking Heads, while the quick-paced, tongue-twisting vocals run through a hypnotic, mythical tale. Continuing in a similar vain, “Wolf With No Eyes” is led by a spiraling guitar riff, reinforced with acoustic strums and low end that conjures ups an atmosphere of danger, climbing into the chorus: “Think I’m obsessive compulsive/I think I’ll think myself to death/Need a therapist or an alchemist to toxify my mind I guess.” This subtle searching of mental anguish grabs a hold of the listener, cautiously traversing the exploratory musical terrain. Casually, one slips into “Datura” as Sam Kassel’s secretively whispered vocals gain a foothold amid an up-tempo guitar-percussion combo that runs forward in fits and then lays back before a guitar burst leads you through the finish line.
“Wonder Where She Goes” has that catchy, restrained guitar plucking that lays down the foundation of its composition. As Kassel contemplates, “Am I too late for the ghost train? Am I too dumb for another plane?” The song appears on the cusp of breaking loose, but then steps back for a moment, until finally the pressure boils over. “And I can’t find, I can’t find the way/the way she walks when she walks away…”
“Evergreen” is a multifaceted tune that initially rides its acoustic guitar riff as Kassel prophesizes, “If I were a knight, I would be the Green Knight, I would be the Green Knight, and you’d be my Green Lady,” before it lands in a full stable of smoldering instrumentation. Then, the song transitions into a higher gear, led by the quickened pace of the guitar running anxiously ahead, while being propelled forward by the bass before falling back to that almost blues-rock zone with the thudding bass invigorating the track into an open-field mad dash. “Pterodactyls” sits in the shadows, marinating in an ominous tone of preparation for battle. It’s a clear yet heart-racing endeavor as bright injections of acoustic guitar serve as glimpses of daybreak.
“Medicine Song” creates a stir with its immediate fresh out of the blocks surge, dashing ahead for an abbreviated sprint, tempering off and then throwing caution to the wind when the final stretch is in sight. “Souls” puts the understated spoken vocals to prime use, developing a ghostly creeping self-aware vibe as the instruments tightly pulse around the unrelenting bass. The song takes turns jolting forward while refueling with reflective cool-down breaks as the song deals with the distance game of a relationship. “Yeah, sometimes she goes far away/Sometimes I get in her face/Yeah, even though we’re jaded/I still wanna play the game.”
The final chapter of the record, the adventurously forest-wandering instrumental “Drink Deep of the Skull Cauldron,” quixotically bookends the album. It’s an intoxicating concoction as Sandcastle marches forward as a four-piece beyond the menacing tree line. - Michael Colavita 

This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.

Go to the old Top 300 charts


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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!


At The Delancey on Tuesday 10.18 we'll have a truly fantastic bill with 9 NYC based electro-pop bands - and it's going to be free!. 21+ - $8.
Full listings of the Deli's CMJ shows here. See below for the Dream Pop and Alt Rock stages that same night in the same venue (downstairs).

P.S. If you are into Pedal Effects, don't miss The Deli's STOMP BOX EXHIBIT at CMJ on Friday and Saturday!!!


7.00 - The Casualty Process

7.40 - Illuminator
8.20 - Tiny Victor ies
9.00 - Mitten
9.40 - Computer Magic

10.20 - Psychobuildings

11.00 - Pretty Good Dance Moves

11.40 - Caged Animals

12.20 - Slam Donahue


Blank Spell Have Bad Intentions at Wolf Cycles April 19

With their freshly released EP 7’’ in hand, punk trio Blank Spell steps into Wolf Cycles. A sense of urgency is apparent in the group’s sound. Taking little to no time to storm ahead, their nonstop blow after blow bad intentions style jars as adrenaline stirs the off-kilter pot smashing whatever resistance lies in their path. Emerging from behind closed doors, The Bad Doctors prescribe highly danceable yet tormenting tunes. While keys, bass, and percussion combine to lay a stable yet moving foundation, Matt McDermott’s magnetizing vocals tie into a gloom undercurrent. A pair of St. Louis acts fill out the remaining slots, including the similarly ominously-tinged, noisy post-punk of Trauma Harness and hardcore four-piece Shaved Women. Wolf Cycles, 4311 Lancaster Ave., 7pm, All Ages - Michael Colavita


Buffalo Stance & Spaceship Aloha Opening for Beep! at JB's April 18

A trio of Data Garden artists is slated to perform this kinetically-concocted evening at Johnny Brenda’s. Jamey Robinson's (Man Man) experimental Moog synth trio, Buffalo Stance, crack open the door, rounded into form by bandmate Christopher Sean "Pow Pow" Powell and multi-instrumentalist Matt Gibson (The Extraordinaires, ex-Man Man). Buffalo Stance has new LP Drive To Dark Sky Dome on the horizon so expect new songs to be on display. Surely, playful, funky grooves will reign supreme allowing you to let go, get down and embrace those delightful unconventional sonic excursions. Powell will be working double duty with his electro-dance project Spaceship Aloha dropping you in the middle of an island, painting complex yet easily digestable sonic waves that refreshingly crash against you. Beep! (featuring Nate Brenner of tUnE-yArDs) headlines tonight inviting you onto their futuristic spacecraft of sound with its electronic free-from jazz meets extraterrestrial output. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $12, 8pm, 21+ - Michael Colavita

Bicycle Art Benefit Auction (BABA) 2015 at Studio 34 April 18

This evening at West Philly's Studio 34, there will be the Bicycle Art Benefit Auction (BABA), which will include bands, a vegan dinner, and upcycle bicycle art for sale and viewing! Local acts Pluto is a Planet, Snagwing, and Porn Cops (featuring Anne Marie Drolet of Mixed Signals) will be donating their time and talents. You should also bring a t-shirt to screen-print. All proceeds will go to support Neighborhood Bike Works, a non-profit organization dedicated "to increase opportunities for urban youth in underserved neighborhoods in greater Philadelphia by offering educational, recreational, and career-building opportunities through bicycling; it also promotes cycling as a healthy, affordable, environment-friendly form of transportation," and environmetally-friendly Earthship. Studio 34, 4522 Baltimore Ave., 6pm-10pm, $5, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman




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