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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!





Andrew W.K. Brings Affirmation-Rock To Ravenous Austin Crowd

Andrew W.K. walked into the Mohawk on Saturday night like a knighted champion of the court of partying. The one-man-band who found success with his 2001 debut album, I Get Wet, has continued to get new music out consistently despite issues with his record company. His latest album, You’re Not Alone, might be his strongest to date and his subsequent tour has unveiled a mature yet charismatic Andrew, who approaches his shows with a perfectionist mentality.

While many artists are complacent with lulls in their live show, bookending weaker tracks with hits, Andrew W.K. refuses to concede those nadirs in his show. Beginning with the building track of “The Power of Partying”, the stage then explodes with “Music Is Worth Living For” in flashes of strobe and Andrew in a messiah-like pose.  Many of Andrew’s songs, especially off the new album, have affirmation built into them and they serve as much as inspiration as they do for musical entertainment.

 

While Andrew is the focal point of the chaos onstage, he is surrounded by a perfectly rehearsed band that continuously challenges each other’s energy levels. Guitarist, Amanda Lepre, is a tour de force and also happens to be an Austinite, while his dominant drummer, Clark Danger, was discovered after submitting a personal Youtube video of himself covering

 

To say the set is polished is wild understatement and theatrical songs like “Ready To Die”, “She Is Beautiful” and “We Want Fun” are met with a riotous crowd reaction. Andrew W.K. addresses the crowd in his most sophomoric but endearing party-voice:

 

 “We’ve been partying in the Hill Country for a long time… And all those parties have swirled into one deja-vu party that keeps getting better. Even if you blackout tonight and don’t remember the show, your soul will still remember!”

 

W.K would get through 13 riveting tracks before another 4 that would throttle the encore. The final song would be his rainmaker, with “Party Hard” getting one more primal reaction from fans.  While Andrew W.K. might have a mainstream reputation of being a meathead headbanger, his songs tell a different story of positivity and resilience that adds another level of depth to his orchestrations. A liberated and optimistic Andrew, makes for a seemingly endless future of inspiring music.

 

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TOKiMONSTA & ZHU Illuminate Stubbs On A Wednesday

 

 

Whether it was divine intervention or just luck, the sold-out performance for Zhu and Tokimonsta on Wednesday night at Stubbs had a rare bout of good weather, in what has been a couple weeks of torrential rain. A long serpentine line spilled out of Stubbs as scores of young people prepared for a mental releae in what would be a mid-week dance party. With tickets ranging from $35 - $200 the sold-out crowd was even more impressive, given that the majority of attendees were seemingly cash-strapped millennials.

The pricing was however, justified, as the opening act, TOKiMONSTA is a bonafide headliner all on her own.  The New York-based artist, whose real name is Jennifer Lee, has been making blissful electronica for over a decade and is an adroit conductor of her audience’s mood and energy level. Her live act blends serene soundscapes with hip-hop breakdowns and unassailable optimism.

Lee also has one of the greatest comeback stories of recent memory. Diagnosed with a rare brain disease called Moyamoya, Lee had to have two brain surgeries that left her without the ability to walk or make music. Having to relearn most functions, Lee focused on a musical rehabilitation that bore fruit in the form of her fifth album, Lune Rouge

While TOKiMONSTA’s set raised the bar to a degree that would be uncomfortable for most artists to follow, ZHU is confident in his own magic. The mysterious producer and singer came onstage to a seizure-inducing light show and performed on top of a pyramid.

ZHU would blast through 20 different tracks, each featuring different instrumentation and visual sub-routines.  Pausing only to address the ungodly heat and eat some ice cream, ZHU had a sea of entranced fans swaying to his ethereal beats. Hits like “Drowning”, “Faded” and “Guilty Love” all invigorated the crowd’s energy in the sweltering Texas heat. 

Both sets had amazing vibes, and each artist has the versatility to play a small club or a mega-festival. However it is the wide-range of fans that they attract that might be the most interesting part of their appeal; EDM, house, hip-hop, indie-electro and trance fans were all included in the array attendees.  While both artists have been arguably under the radar until recent years, it feels like we are just beginning to see them take flight.

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Indie Rock

Time: 
19:30
Band name: 
The Wild Blue
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://www.facebook.com/The-Wild-Blue-676188892731530/?view_public_for=676188892731530
Venue name: 
Caffeine Underground
Band email: 
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