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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!

   

Kishi Bashi Enchants All and Excites Compassion at Mohawk

 

It was the perfect Saturday at Mohawk for any seeking heart; the first breeze of Fall blessed Austin as Kishi Bashi and his band enchanted the audience with their orchestra ensemble, playing a mix of hits and songs off his new album Omoiyari – Japanese for Compassion. 

 

Kishi Bashi stood center on violin, playing with fervor, fun, and grace. Pip the Pansy stood to his left, with a black hat like a 70s lampshade and a flute in a quiver on her back. Creativity and sensitivity oozed from the stage and was met with the same from the audience. 

 

The sounds and lyrics of Omoiyari are whimsical and steeped in love, but the album’s narrative grounds itself in the historical and cultural context of the Japanese American internment camps during World War II. Kishi Bashi delves into a sociopolitical study of history in his songfilm, Omoiyari, and the lessons of empathy we can learn from a not distant past. Given the detention camps at our border and the festering schism in our country, Kishi Bashi’s album and artistry provides us with hope and a compass. The film is scheduled for release in early 2020. Let’s all go see it and then hang out with Kishi Bashi! 

 

Kishibashi introduced “Penny Rabbit and Summer Bear” as, “a song about love...that thing all we humans are looking for,” but many songs on the album are reminiscent of love. See “Marigolds;” he sings “I was the only one this century/ to remind you all is fine” and, “I wish I met you when your heart was safe to hold.” Or even, “Song for You,” that sings just like it sounds, “a song for you...it’s all for you.” 

 

The encore featured an audience favorite The Ballad for Mr.Steak with Mr. Steak himself, a walking steak! Once the steak exited the stage, an elegant white crane appeared behind Kishi Bashi. He closed the night with Summer of ‘42, penetrating my soul and bringing literal tears to my eyes, and there’s no way I was the only one. Every song, every note, everything about the performance felt genuine and carried out with the express interest to promote COMPASSION. Thank you, Kishi. Your art and compassion change the world! 

 

 

Melissa Green

   

Bad Birds Release New EP, Into the City

Bad Birds describe themselves as a mix between Television and The Smiths, and that’s a fair comparison. They blend the two sounds well, making music that is dreamy while still holding on to some more somber notes. They retain a harder Television-esque edge, but they're softer and easier on the soul. It like the soundtrack to a late afternoon daydream. This is especially true on their latest release Into The City. The album focuses on nostalgia, growth, and compassion. Vocalist Bobby Cheatham sings with an open heart, rendering a layered set of emotions into each song.
 
The song “Fairy Tail,” which is the opener on Into The City, starts the EP off with a sense of trepidation. It sounds like the rock’n’roll version of a dirge, and the somber lyrics speak of guilt, the passage of time, and the dangers of fairy tales. The guitar and bass, played by Mark Rodriguez and Adam Setzer, are particularly strong, thrumming with a low, raspy energy as the song approaches its end. The urgency within them resonates just as strongly as the lyrics.
 
The EP does give us plenty of fun, lighthearted moments as well. “Right One” is a great example of this. The songs subject material stays true to the album’s serious tones, but the instrumentals are more energizing and friendly. Drummer Kevin Flack keeps the beat light and airy, and the guitar riffs flow easily alongside it. Similarly, “New Heart” is friendly and inviting. You can hear the influence of The Smiths in Cheatham’s languid, romantic vocals. The band’s chemistry is strong, and the way they play off each other adds a level of genuine enjoyment to the music. This enjoyment translates well on the album and places the listener more solidly into the album as a participant.
 
-Avril Carrillo

   

Waldo Witt Releases Retro-synth Single "Crystal Ball"

 

Finding success, happiness and fulfillment as a consistent touring artist can be unique to each and every artist. No one ever knows where the road will take them or how long they will continue to go down the same fork. Put together the time away from home and the long nights spent performing, rehearsing and recording, and then to go and do it all over again to an infinite degree, can often leave one utterly drained. Mr. Waldo Witt has been able to find a perfect medium between the two. After traveling with several acts over the last 10 years, Waldo made the move from Austin, TX to Chapel Hill, NC to be close with his loved one. But alas, he continues to pursue this very thing. 

Under his new solo moniker, Waldo Witt has released only a fragment of his material, sorting through demos recorded while traveling on the road, all of which is pure gold. Labeling himself as a "DIY Hi-Fi Experiment", Mr. Wittenmyer is on a continuous journey into indie-pop fans hearts. Seeking influence, Waldo has created a connection with his Ford Ecoline he has traveled in for years, named Randall. The relationship with his van is one of that of a human and their dog. It's an unbreakable bond that has kept him sane on the lonesome roads over the many, many years onto of the asphalt. 
 
John 'Waldo' Wittenmeyer has delved into the psychedelic dream world to create a beautiful landscape of electronic mellow-pop. His melodies encapsulated around very deep beats keeps your mind in a head space full of fantasy. His low-key and hi-fi mechanics surround you, take you away, and leave you wondering where he'll go from here. With some of his tracks bridging on the hemisphere of Jizz-Jazz, a younger audience will be able to enjoy this just as much as someone who got to live through an era of electronic music revolution.  

The first single released, Crystal Ball, which has also had a subsequent video released, is a quick yet revealing glimpse into the head space of Witt. A deep dive into an 80's time capsule, the video brings elements of several 80's fan favorite movies. It's easy to find where Waldo finds his influence. There's a craving that fans have to bring back special feelings left in yesteryear, and this is a phenomenal hand reaching out to reel in those listeners. The dreamy nature of the video lets the audience take a quick trip into the imagination of Witt. 
 
- Dylan Welch