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September 2015
Advance Base
"Nephew In The Wild

To say an album "returns to form" seems to allude to something being off or missing or in a deformed state in previous releases. With the new album from Advance Base (aka Owen Ashworth), Nephew In The Wild, it is more of a beautiful blending of two "forms". This album could have easily been the first Casiotone for the Painfully Alone album since 2009's Vs. Children. This is a clear return to the sound and storytelling of the Casiotone persona. The album's open track and lead single "Trisha Please Come Home" in the perfect example. Ashworth spins tales of the everyday but tinges of sadness. His stories are sweet and sad, and always fully realized. Musically, the album is filled with familiar sounds from an array of instruments; Electric pianos, drum kits, drum machines, autoharps, Omnichords, Optigans, Mellotrons. All of this, blending with Ashworth's skill, create a perfect late summer and early fall soundtrack.

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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Solovox Gets Funky For The Stumbling Hippies – LOL stage at What The Festival

After an enigmatic set by Big Gigantic came to a close, the crowd stumbled and scattered like a group of flying around a lightbulb that just went dud. It was now time to skip into the WTF’s signature Illuminated Forest but not before a quick omen with people holding a sign that says “We Need New Friends.”

Breathe in. Breathe out.


The path leading you into the forest and down to the LOL stage is steep, and full of bright distractions so we had to lean far back almost on our heels as we slowly entered. As we descended lower, the faint sounds of synthesizers and electronic beats found its way through the trees and into my ears. With each step, it got louder, and the fuzzy effects started to go straight to my brain. Eventually, I could distinguish the electric tones and piano solos. They were coming from Portland’s producer and keyboard wizard, Solovox.

He began carefully blending in layers of synths over his mixes that wrapped in hip hop, break beats, and rock and roll into a dance floor explosion. Once everything was layered he would go off on a keyboard tangent, crushing his way through his own music. Suddenly, the beat came to a rest and he unleashed a furious bluesy piano intro that fed into the Beastie Boys belting out the opening verse to “Pass the Mic.” The voices of Mike D and MCA were suddenly being overpowered by the beginning of another solo that turned the course of the set with a little prog rock.

The LOL stage is set up almost at the bottom of the forest. It’s where yoga and other classes took place and there were several platforms spotted in different locations leading down to the stage. This set up created a choose-your-own adventure format. Some plats were full and some you had all to yourself, but Solovox was reaching to all depths and delivering a transcendental performance in the middle of the woods.

A couple of songs and several more volatile keyboard solos, the set came to a close and a crowd that had to stumble its way into the set was left with that same disorientation and forced back to reality until they found their next escape.

-Photos and story by Colin Hudson


Device Grips Make a Crowd that Felt Good Feel Great

As the sun was beginning to go down on the What The Festival’s final day and all the spirits were just about in the right place, Device Grips travelled from Portland to life these souls even higher. They set up their big sound on the main stage and right around 6:30 they walked onstage and went into a slow build up with long instrumental sections and trumpet solos before diving into “Coke Infusion” off of 2013’s Year of Boomslang.

A set that hovered around the first ten minutes going in between a psychedelic jam and progressive rock grove was suddenly pulled together Tyler Jon’s rapping. Hopping around these elements usually doesn’t work for those that try it, but Device Grips experience and fluidity shined through as worked in this signature sound on such big stage. They then played some newer material and unleashed “Traffic” a vocal intense jam behind flashy drums and a solid groove soothed right into “Last Days.” Both these songs are off of Forth World, released last month.

Device Grips played several more songs with guitar solos, smooth bass lines, and captivating hip hop that eased a crowd with few working muscles left to begin a final night of dancing. After three days of hard electronica, it was refreshing to see a full band. Especially one with the showmanship and suave of these local musicians.

-Photos and story by Colin Hudson



The many layers of Havania Whaal

Since 2012 Portland’s Havania Whaal has been making their own rules. Their ethereal sound can be likened to post-punk meets shoegaze...sort of. They call themselves “noise pop”, but when you’re forging new territory the descriptors fall short of the mark. All three members share vocal duties, which adds to the layers and dimension of their reverb-drenched domain. Stepping it up further, they recently created a live stage production with dancers and costumes, the soundtrack of which was the band performing their new cassette release “13 A.D.” Rumor has it that live productions will be a hallmark of Havaia Whaal shows henceforth. They’re touring the east coast with Portland’s Lubec for 10 days starting July 9 in Massachusetts.

See their tour kickoff show at The Know July 2nd. Buy their tape, pop it in the cassette deck of your ‘85 Volvo, and cruise around town lamenting the summer, wearing the darkest shades you can find. 

-Just Dave


Slutty Hearts bring their noisy pop to The Trillium on July 3rd

"In the pocket" is a phrase used by music geeks to describe bands that are just... feeling it. And after a few years and some lineup changes, Portland's Slutty Hearts are there. Watch the closed-eyed communication between the band as singer Marisa Laurelle bashes a cymbal with a tambourine, smiling out lyrics about love crimes, and you'll see the prowess of musicians that have paid their dues. The confidence of their live set is obvious, yet there is a vulnerability that brings them to the level of the crowd. Combining the gritty realness of punk with the slick veneer of pop without sounding forced and pretentious isn't easy, but this band does it effortlessly - and with style. Catch them at the Trillium in Hood River July 3rd, or when they'll be covering the Kinks for Ray Davies Day at Bunk Bar July 15. - Just Dave


The Sindicate release new album Sleepwalker

What the world needs now is not love sweet love, what it needs is bands that can make dynamic music! It is not often I come across a band or album which I find myself, well, impressed with… The Sindicate impressed me. The band released their new album Sleepwalker Friday at the Star Theatre.

After having lived in California for a number of years and consequently having my ears flooded with every Sublime acolyte who could form a band I am always a bit leery of reggae bands. The first track on Sleepwalker dispelled any fears I may have had. I could immediately tell that this group of guys not only had a diverse range of influences but that they  were proficient at channeling them into their own music. The cherry on top was that they did it well. Each track has a really balanced blend on genres ranging from fairly straight forward reggae sounds to what I would say sounded like early Stones/ early punk stuff. As each track played I was quite pleased to hear very dynamic and diverse sounds in each individual song. Songs like Zombie evoke a sense of mystery and suspense almost like you’re tip toeing through some foggy graveyard at night while the very next song RB-HB feels more like a small Californian beach town on a sunny afternoon. Each song has its own vibe to the point it doesn’t feel like they took the same music and simply repackaged it with different lyrics. The work put into these songs shows. The band describes themselves as “reggae rock” and I would say that’s quite accurate. 

The overall dynamics of the album are similarly silky smooth. The placement of each track is very well done so that listening straight through the album feels like a musical journey. I was very impressed with how the album achieves a sort of roller coaster effect and does what a good album should do. It take you on a journey down through valleys and up through mountains.

The Sindicate and their team did a great job on this album on both a micro and macro level. The band shows excellent musicianship in a genre which is too often scabbed over with repetitive sounds. The band just embarked on a tour, but catch them when they return to Portland. In the meantime, listen to their new album here.

-Cory Huennekens



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