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Album review: Bloodbirds - MMXIII

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
Twenty-year veterans of the LFK/KC underground music scene, Mike and Brooke Tuley have played with a number of bands familiar to local rock audiences. Best known for their time with Ad Astra Per Aspera, they established Bloodbirds in 2011 with the intent of cutting loose and shaking things up.
 
And they have. Dense, dark—equal parts Fun House (Stooges), Spacemen 3 and Black Angels—Bloodbirds’ newest release MMXIII may also be their swan song, given the departure of bassist Anna St. Louis for Chicago. In some ways, it is St. Louis whose playing defines the band. Forward in the mix, and by no means shy, St. Louis plays with punchy authority, reminding of some of the other great “lead” bass players like Jon Entwistle and Peter Hook. Brooke Tuley is a powerful drummer; her parts are simple, but dead-on. She locks perfectly with St. Louis.  Mike Tuley plays on top of their aggressive foundation, a canvas for his arsenal of shimmering hammer-ons (“Modern Sympathy”), punishing riffs (“Did You Say”), and sometime dulcet tones (the comparatively clean Blue Mask jangle of “Convalesce”). Depending on the song, his sound can be metal harrowing or as ropey, surf-psychedelic as the theme from Repo Man.
 
About those songs: they’re functional, gripping, emotional soundscapes, not necessarily bound by pop hook conventions. They hit you with the shape-shift intensity of vintage heavy rock like Blue Cheer or modern darkness merchants like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Which is to say the focus here is not necessarily on hum-ability. Even allowing for that, it would be nice if the vocals had a dash less delay density and a bit more clarity in the mix. Lyrics and vocals on MMXIII are more about mood than meaning (or mood as meaning), stray lyrics emerging from the driving murk to arrest your conscious mind here and again.
 
The tough thump of “No Trains Coming Through” totally belies the song’s title. With Roky’s manic intensity, the song “Did You Say” features the ominous, repeated line “Did you say you want the end to come right now?” And the music echoes the sentiment. “Round Moon’s” cascade of guitar features some of Tuley’s most expressive fretwork, summoning up the incantations of bands like the Icarus Line and the guitar howl of the Stooges’ Ron Asheton. For an album that emphasizes a certain heavy-osity, MMXIII manages to shift mood and tone effectively.
 
Brothers and sisters, the Bloodbirds can make a show-stopping addition to anybody’s Psych Fest. Live shows may be few and far between, given the departure of St. Louis, but they have reunited in support of MMXIII occasionally and the members remain close friends and open to the odd gig. Go catch them if you have the chance.
 
—Steve Wilson
 

 





The Deli's NYC issue #44 is online!

Deli Readers,

I know, it seems like we put our latest issue out just the other day - but no, we haven't switched to monthly. It's just that the fall in NYC is a busy time for us, and with CMJ week and our NYC Synth Expo (linked to BEMF) coming up, there's a lot to write about.

Here's our 44th issue of The Deli NYC (one of our finest!). Check out cover band Stolen Jars, they'll be performing at one of the (several) Deli CMJ 2015 shows!

READ THE DELI NYC'S 44TH ISSUE HERE!

The Deli's Staff





Fun Fact @ The Cameron House

Fun Fact is what it is, and that is, in fact, some serious groove and lots of fun. Smashing together a super tight funk with some catchy pop melodies and blues-rock chops. Sprinkle some jazz over top, and this three piece really rips out some great high energy party tunage. With their collection of songs under the moniker “mmm...”, they turn up the bass on 5 tracks of jam and really have fun with it. Showing their prowess for time changes on Mayor Rob Ford, while the fuzzed out guitars all ring and chime in time with the bouncing bass and nearly out-of-control drumming. Morning High introduces some mellow saxophone, and really lays it out smooth, a beautiful song that would fit on anyone’s summertime playlist. More Than This, brings a raw guitar lick, and fills every nook and cranny with something to keep your attention; tight fills, slow builds or some smooth jazz chords. Mary Jane has a ska-vibe to it, with attitude to spare. Melodious Vibes drives the whole thing down, and ties it together with a nice little bow, and more technical musicians flexing, just to remind you these guys can really play. All in all, Fun Fact threw together a solid funk-rock record, with some real good musical talent. Check them out at Cameron House, 09/24. - Cody Wright

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Debut Festival: Bay Area Vibez

The inaugural Bay Area Vibez music festival officially announces its 3-stage, 2-day music, arts and urban lifestyle festival being held at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland, California on Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th, with more than 25 artists to represent the line-up. The festival was created in celebration of music, art, diversity and the rich culture that mirrors the Bay Area and its unique characteristics.

The first round of artists to be released are Grammy©winning artist, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Nas, who has a #1 album on American Billboard top 200, eight time Grammy© winning artist/producer, Stephen "Ragga" Marley, Grammy© nominated Meshell Ndegeocello, #1 Billboard reggae performer Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, Jo Mersa; son of Stephen Marley, Fiji, Fishbone, Krooked Treez, Richie Spice, I-Wayne, Queen Omega, Ghetto Youths, The Courtney John Project, Black Am-I and the Oakland based fan-favorite band, Forrest Day, along with a few big surprises!

"...The eclectic mix is what constitutes the urban festival and represents the very nature of the Bay Area," says festival coordinator, Yurel Hassan Cooke. "The location is impeccable for an annual festival. With other surrounding fest locations as California Roots, Outside Lands, Reggae on the River and Treasure Island, the Bay Area Vibez seemed to fill a void on the map, and blending the genres for the Bay Area just felt right."

The water-lined breathtaking views of the city of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge have made Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland the perfect backdrop for this urban lifestyle festival. 

"Keeping the music alive for the next generations is key. Collectively, we need to support the creative flow of our children and open their eyes to a new world filled with creativity and a universal appreciation for diversity," says festival co-founders, an Oakland native; Tressa Wells, along with tour manager to Damian Marley, Albert "Pretty" Cooke.

General Admission are set at $85 for 1-day passes, $160 for 2-day passes and $225 1-day VIP, or $400 2-day VIP passes, which include early entrance to grounds, special VIP viewing and lounge area, VIP beer and wine garden and select organic foods and snacks. Shuttle services will be available for convenient entrance to the festival. Parking passes are $29 per day. Festival hours go from 11am to 10pm daily. For more information, or to secure tickets, visit www.BayAreaVibez.com.





Friends of Tricycle Records Compilation In Search of Music Submissions

The San Francisco based record label, Tricycle Records is in search of submissions for their upcoming compilation, The Friends of Tricycle Records Compilation. This will be the 5th compilation in the label's series. If you want to send your music to the label for consideration, go directly to their submission page!

http://www.tricyclerecords.com/friendssubmission/

The Friends of Tricycle Records Compilation is about building the Bay Area music scene. We are looking for new and/or unreleased songs from Bay Area / Northern California artists only. All genres accepted. This is offered as a free promotional download to help artists gain visibility in the local and national music scene. - Julie Schuchard Co-Founder Tricycle Records

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