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March 2016
My Gold Mask
"Anxious Utopia

Gretta Rochelle and Jack Armondo working on the dark electro-pop sound of My Gold Mask since 2009. On their latest album, dropping today, March 4th, on Moon Sounds Records, Anxious Utopia, the duo may have finally found perfection. It may be the addition of James Andrews on production, but most of the songs on the album were written by Armondo and Rochelle. This album is a mixture of dance pop in the vain of Carly Rae Jepsen and dark gothic pop of Siouxsie Sioux. Rochelle is powerful and commanding through out with Armondo and Andrews providing her driving and infectious club ready tracks. Anxious Utopia is My Gold Mask clearly firing on all cylinders.

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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Take a Walk at Night, and Listen to The Division Men

It’s pretty damn easy to do singer-songwriter acoustic stuff badly. When you cut out almost all of the instruments and voices from a potential song, the restricted format you’re left with can lead to all sorts of issues. Not the least of these oft-seen issues with the format are making songs that are too simple, songs that are too confessional without being interesting or songs that feature that annoyingly common tendency for people to “weird up” their voice to stand out.

The Division Men don’t trigger any of these warning bells. In fact, this acoustic pair writes deadly lullabies with just (for the most part) two guitars and their voices, and what comes out is dark music for dark nights. And it’s just good. Their compositions are brooding and manage complexity despite the pared-down format, and the vocal contrast of husband J. Spencer Portillo’s deep baritone with wife Caroline Rippy Portillo’s floating, hyper-airy vocals fits perfectly within the methodical, plodding structures of their instrumentation. It’s lovely night music for night moods, and if I could, I’d suggest walking your neighborhood in the small dark hours while you let it play around in your head. It makes for an evening that’s somber in just the right way, which is not a bad way to describe this duo in general. Get listening.



We last covered Borrisokane over two years ago, and it’s high-damn-time they got another Deli look. Since our review of their 2012 “Disaster Face,” this Austin indie-gone-complex band has only improved what was already an interesting sound.

Borrisokane use the word “orchestrated” to describe their music on their Soundcloud, and the term fits: Borrisokane tracks have many moving parts, all of which give the impression of having been carefully set down exactly where they should be in the song. Somehow the group walks the tightrope that is balanced, busy layering and avoids the easy pitfall of overstuffing, resulting in dense, but highly approachable pop songs. I get echoes of surf-rock and The Evangelicals in here, but then sometimes a Borrisokane track will go quite electroish, or throw in some Swans-like deep droning vocals. What I’m getting at is that Borrisokane shows their influences, but they use them as influences should be, nailing that Jim Jarmusch-endorsed “authentic theft” that takes the source material someplace new.

Another reason to bring these guys up is that they have been slamming through recording track after track in support of a seriously fucking cool idea this past year. It’s called The Versus Project, and it’s basically a series of EPs that features Borrisokane and another band covering one song each from the other’s discography, then recording a new song each. Bands they’ve worked with include Pageantry, Knifight, Young Tongue and Major Major Major, all interesting in their own right. The resulting records are solid, and well worth a listen, so get your ears over to both the Borrisokane page and the page for The Versus Project and feed those things some freshness.


Kydd Jones Is Who He Is

Hip-hop should be as synonymous with Austin as any other genre of music. You might have noticed a bit more of it here at The Deli lately; that's my fault. Hey there, I'm Trevor Talley, and I've taken over as editor of The Deli Austin. While we're certainly gonna keep pumpin' out the good rock, folk and whatever else jams this city can create here at the ATX blog, one thing I'm doing as editor is to widen the focus of The Deli a bit and make sure that the good shit of all kinds that's coming out of the 512 gets its due.

In today's case, I'd like to kindly direct your e-gaze at Kydd, aka Kydd Jones, a bright comet shootin' out of the beats and rhymes system in this town. I went back today and found the first piece I did that mentioned Kydd, back when I was working the hip-hop and electronic beat for Red River Noise, and in that review (an RJD2 concert Kydd opened for) I said the man was a "true rapper, with a lazer-accurate flow." Two years later, Kydd has only gotten better. As a producer and a rapper, Kydd has quite obviously been doing work, watchin' where hip-hop is going and making sure he's right there with his own twist on it. "Who Are You" is the right question for the world to be asking about Kydd, and the snakelike winding of this slow-burner with trap snares and a stoned melody answers that question. He's goddamn Kydd Jones, one of the best artists in the ATX. I said back in that 2012 joint for RRN that Kydd could get big in the future, and this could well be that time. Keep your good ear on him, and keep your eye on The Deli for more of what you've loved in the past, and a little bit more. -- Trevor Talley @defenderdefends



I think there’s a certain type of music fan that misses Weezer and The Violent Femmes and Postal Service. Maybe they dug “Teenage Dirtbag” pretty hard at some point, and they’re frustrated with what happened to the reputation of the acoustic guitar (whether it deserved it or not is another discussion). I could be wrong about their specific influences, but that's what I hear with Crocodile, a young Austin band that’s at its best when they channel the rock-ier impulses of Weezer et al. with songs like “Somehow.” It’s not a new sound, but it’s done in a tight, dedicated way, and with so many bands with half-realized artistic pretensions out there, a group that just seems to want to write relatable, solid pop rock songs is kinda nice. Crocodile's chosen sound isn’t one that I as a music fan typically look for, but it’s done with skill and earns its emotional ground. Crocodile is certainly authentic, above all, and that’s worth more than a little. -- Trevor Talley @defenderdefends


ManoftheDown Makes Beats that Are Ready to Break Out

Our Artist of the Month poll is just about wrapped, and as of this post, the pack leader is an Austin beatmaker that goes by ManoftheDown, also known as Man-of-the-Downtrodden also known as MoTD. Hell let's be straight, this guy has led the poll from a few minutes after it was dropped until this point. And we have some sick contenders in this list.

There's not a lot surprising in the fact that people dig ManoftheDown's sound, a complex production that uses some real nice instrumental samplin' and slacks not one bit on the melody side of things either. Bass comes in huge, with ManoftheDown creator Eli Good putting his own signature spin on it that makes it feel fresh and fine like good bass should. Few moments are left to just be a plain beat in these tracks; Good's always tossin' in something new, messin' with the mix, doin' some Aphex Twin style breaks fuckery to play around in your eardrums and lock in the Good Feeling. You've heard beat music, and yeah sometimes there's not a lot to differentiate one guy from the next, even if it's pretty good shit. ManoftheDown leaves me with none of those doubts or nitpicks. The beats here grip ya, ya start noddin' your head, and you just ride it all the way down to the last second with a smile. We make good beats here in Austin. ManoftheDown makes some of the best, and there ain't much that can be said against that. If y'like what you hear here (and if y'dont, an ENT doctor might not be a bad idea), get more over at ManoftheDown's Soundcloud page or Facebook page, where he's a fairly frequent poster.




What's your favorite Emerging Chicago Artist on this list?

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