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Growl

Hark ye youngin's, and listen to a tale of ancient musical glory from yer fast-fading elders. Believe it or not, once there was a day when indie was primarily a genre that was less of a particular sound and more of a feeling. Really, it was just a term you used to refer to the weird, maybe rock-ish shit made by people that felt a little different and who didn’t fit into the regular music industry mold. It was weird, and it was kinda awkward and raw, and Growl is a band from Austin that is that weird, kinda awkward raw indie sound done right, and done right now. The record they put out late last December has been entrenched in my daily playlist since I first heard it, and while it's worth any Austinite's ear time, those who are into that old sound from the 90s and early 2000s will paritcularly love the Growl. They're a return to where this shit all came from, and their whole album is available for listening at their Bandcamp link right damn here. Listen, and bathe yourself in the echoes of the memories of late 90s youths.

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Riders Against the Storm Are All for Austin

Hold on to yer butts guys, SXSW is nigh. We've got mere days before Austin turns into the creative/partiers playground it does every March, and if you didn't know, The Deli has a lot goin' on. We're handing out 10,000 free print editions of The Deli to people with cool haircuts just like you, for one, and we're also adding to the creative dreamland mix a bit with a Stompbox Exhibit at the Convention Center and a Synth Space at the same spot. If you're into the idea of playing around and making weird noises with cool music tech, this shit is not only free and right downtown, it's also open to anyone whether you sold a kidney to get a badge or you remained poor and multi-kidneyed.

All this thinkin' on SXSW was on my mind when I saw somethin' that had me remembering South Bys gone this week, in the form of a new Austin-tacular music video by hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm. My awareness and subsequent jamming of this group came about first because of SXSW, SX 2013 to be specific, when I stopped the husband side of Riders Against the Storm, Chaka Mandla Mhambi Mpeanaji, on the street to shoot his bitchin' feather includin' outfit for my friend ATX Streetstyle's blog (click through here, if you wanna see one damn well-dressed local musician). Chaka told me he was a teacher and a musician, which I typed into my phone and let him hurry on his SX way. I found RAS later when I looked him up at home, and their high-energy, big-thoughts music got me hooked real quick. But, y'know, I'm a bit of a sucker for soul, skill and some goddamn good rappin'.

And that, plus ass shakin', is what you'll get in the boombastic, butt-focused "Booty Sweat" music video that RAS released on YouTube on Feb. 26. That this video is pure Austin love is no surprise to me, as the people I've known around town that have had the love for RAS the hardest have always been the most Austin folks I know, and with the optimistic thing it seems that RAS has got goin' on, that they love the ATX back makes sense. This vid is good, good Austin stuff, and if someone else in this town puts out another video even half this fun this year, well we'll have one hell of a year on our hands. Get that booty sweatin' good y'all, and come on by The Deli's shit this SX if you got a free, mildly sober moment (perhaps too much to ask, just come on by whatever your BAC).

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Modern Melancholy with Caterwaulrus

If his music is anything to go by, Caterwaulrus is probably a nice dude to kick it with. He seems like he could be the kind that'd show up to a hang with some flowers he picked on his walk over, just for you, but who'd also be willing to tell you that he feels a bit weird about killing something pretty. That feeling of sunshine and good days with an underlying soft gloom just drips from the sound on songwriter's newest album, the just-released "Songs that Go Nowhere." That title is a bit misleading, but also a bit of the truth- these songs do float around like gentle clouds, but they're also dense and complex and there's nothing ambiguous about the way they hone in on their target tone. The album is laced with looping vocals all reverb-ed out to blissfulness, little electronic touches and pieces of beats, all of which melds together with no element ever threatening to overwhelm the rest of the track. And, despite the expansive warmth and haze in the sound, the sounds collectively bely the underlying subject of the tracks on the album, which almost all speak of Caterwaulrus' melancholy. Lyrics like "I'm so fucking picky and I over think god damn everything," or "I'm a synesthetic skeptic slowly snoozing with regret, it's not quite what mom expected" reveal a mind that is a bit worried and not always happy with itself, though it'd like to be, and that thought tunnels through the whole album. But, it's delivered in such a poppy (albeit highly experimental pop), major-key fashion, buried deep within the summer smile that is the overriding tone, that you barely notice that these aren't songs about having a good day at all. It's a modern feeling buried in a modern sound, and if you have enjoyed artists like Toro y Moi in the recent past, you might find Caterwaulrus a good fit for your modern moods. Give it a go below, and float through your own contemporary, confusing life with a friend in your ear who understands.

Pollen Would Like to Talk to You about Products

We showed you a bit about Austin art garage group Pollen back in June 2014, and Pollen is back early this year with a new release, mostly about products and how we in the world deal with them. It's raw as fuck music, both in terms of its no frills, no bullshit approach and for its true garage band sound, and single "Supply Chain" is one that'll get pounding around in your head for a while. It's a little bit old NYC dancepunk with a bit of D.C.'s The Evens, plus some Austin awareness and DIY that work pretty well together, with that "Coca cola, co-coca cola," "Motorola, Mo-motorola" hook just refusing to leave the brain once it gets in there. See what we mean below, and keep these guys on your radar if you like your music to say something about society while also givin' you a beat to move your feet to.

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Announcing the Stompbox Exhibit and Synth Space at SXSW!

Stompbox Exhibit and Synth Space at SXSW!

Austin Convention Center, March 19-21, 2015 from 11am to 6pm.

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