Alt Rock

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Bowery Electric

Brooklyn's Wifeknife comes to Austin alongside Our Wicked Lady compatriots in bid to make Austin weird again

“Keep Austin Weird" is a pithy little dictum you’ll find emblazoned on bumper stickers and t-shirts and tattooed on the left butt cheek of the barista who seduced you last night with their flat whites (the coffee and/or the derriere) but what’s oft left unstated is how the truest essence of Austin’s weirdness has long resided with local musical folk and the various establishments they frequent...

...ranging from Armadillo World Headquarters to Antone’s not to mention Raul’s and Emo’s and nevermind Waterloo Records and Liberty Lunch and let’s not forget the Broken Spoke and none of these institutions had or have any known equivalent in the world and btw your loyal scribe spent lotsa time hangin' 'round Austin during its ‘90s golden-age Slacker-era glory days (fun fact: for the first half of the '90s the Lone Star State had a sharp-tonged liberal women as its governor, wut wut!?!?!) so not to be too immodest about it but I'd like to think I know weird from “weird”…

…but since the dawn of our current century at least the “capitol of quirk” has found itself under constant threat of de-weirdification from a deluge of tech bros, suicide girls, trust-fund hackysackers and NIMBY gentrifiers and real estate surveyors—nevermind the barista/aspiring influencer who practically just moved to your fair city and got a “Keep Austin Weird" tattoo a week later—so lets not mince words Austin you could probably use a little infusion of weirdness these days and Brooklyn is here to help…

…and sure it’s more than reasonable to reply it’s precisely too many Brooklynites and their hipster ilk relocating to your fair city that helped created the crisis in the first place but once again music can save the day and at the risk of messing with Texas we think what y'all really could use right now is a little help from the cream of the NYC musical crop to give Austin a shot of weirdness serum right in it’s collective left a$$cheek and boy oh boy have we got the SXSW showcase for you to help make this dream a reality…

…a showcase taking place this Friday, March 17th (tomorrow! or today! check your damn calendar!) at Springdale Station which is part of the “Austin EastCiders Collaboratory” which is about to get transformed into the “Austin EastCiders Shred-i-tory” on the afternoon and evening of the 17th when twelve of "Brooklyn’s finest and weirdest" as scientifically determined by the weirdos over at Our Wicked Lady (they oughta know!) will convene at the aforementioned location and heck one of ‘em's even got “shred” right there in their band name, e.g. Shred Flintstone, which is a pun on par with “EastCiders” after all...

…and just in case yr skeptical allow us to reassure you that the NYC live music scene is on the ascendent lately with one mind-melting savagely shredding musical combo after another to be found on nearly ever street corner to a degree not seen since the halcyon Meet Me in the Bathroom days except that in 2023 the bathroom in question is likely to be gender-neutral (is this even legal in Texas?) which makes things even more interesting in a city and a borough already known for being an oasis of anarchist, drag-queen-story-readin’ pansexual refugees from the rest of the country to begin with…

…all of which can be sampled ahead of time through the music videos found on this page, two of which were shot especially for the Deli and more specifically for our new Deli Mag Films imprint under the supervision of the Deli's official videographer/editor/director, featuring exclusive luminescent live footage of Wifeknife and Tetchy both savagely rockin' the f- out (and both at Our Wicked Lady no less!) and since we’re already posted a piece on the Tetchy live clip and their current Austin-or-bust-and-back tour here we'll instead focus our attentions on the attention-worthy Wifeknife

…a band made up of personnel and regular clientele from the aforementioned Bushwick-based bar/nightclub/rooftop-performance space known as Our Wicked Lady and while there's only one “lady” in the band as conventionally understood there’s more than enough wickedness in this five-piece to make up for it and really you should just go and listen to their debut double-sided single if there’s any doubt in your mind...

…one of which, the searing “Blackout,” can be found above in music video form, with the other single being “Dead Ringer” and if you wanna learn a little behind-the-scenes info on both songs you should maybe check out this piece penned by our blogging colleagues over at Bands Do BK and also you'll most surely wanna check out the interview with two members of Wifeknife foudn below at the end of this article… 

…both of which begin innocently enough with dreamy solo acoustic guitar/bass guitar which only lures you in for the fusillades of musical fury as they build and build to eye-crossing climaxes of guttural “shrinking in tongues” by front-person Sarah Hamilton and paroxysms of head-banging string-and-skin-based shreditude by the four instrumentalists: Ramsey Elliott (electric guitar, bartender), Marcello Ramirez (bass guitar, barback), Benny Oastler (electric guitar, bar regular, OLW live-streaming guru), and Keith Hamilton (drummer and see below)…

…and when it comes to “Blackout” in particular the world hasn’t seen or heard a power ballad with this much power since '80s-era Def Leppard with epic Bic-waving rippers along the lines of “Love Bites”, “Bringing’ on the Heartache” and “F-F-F-Foolin’” even if they’re today most closely associated “Pour Some Sugar on Me” much to the delight and/or chagrin of strip club pole-workers everywhere depending upon their musical inclinations…

…and one can only but wonder what the hard-working exotic dancers of Pumps Exotic Dancing would make of these two Wifeknife tracks cuz if the strip club DJ ever put either of ‘em on while they were working the pole I’d guess someone is gonna end up with a sprained groin seeing as the five weirdos of Wifeknife shred way more intensely than Phil Collen & Co. did back in the day…

while Sarah has an even wider vocal range than Joe Elliott did in the Reagan era moving fluidly between the sweet dulcet tones of her operatic upper range (Sarah is a trained thespian who’s resumé includes some musical theater) and the unrestrained, guttural, vocal-cord shredding rage of her feral alter-ego and here’s another fun fact: the freakin’ Devil him/her/itself makes a cameo appearance a little over 3 minutes into “Dead Ringer” so obv the Head of Helltown approves of Sarah’s tortured moans and ecstatic ululations on the record…

…so if this sounds your thing (and if it doesn't, we're impressed you read this far!) and if you're currently closer to “Bat City” than to Gotham we encourage you to hop on the train (or more likely the pedicab) and head straight to Springdale Station around 2pm and to stay for the duration cuz no doubt the rallying cry will be LET'S GET WEIRD AUSTIN!!!

…but don't stop reaing yet b/c after jump directly below there's an interview (big bonus!) with two of Wifeknife’s members who just happen to be husband-and-wife themselves (knife not included), namely, the aforementioned Sarah Hamilton who also works as Director of Social Media and Private Events at OWL aka Our Wicked Lady, and Keith Hamilton, Co-Founder/Owner and Managing Member (with Zach Glass) at OWL and hey if you start your own rock club and shred as hard as these two do you may be able to play one day at SXSW too… (Jason Lee)


The interview is currently being meticulously edited for length and clarity and will be posted in this space shortly so please check back at this page again soon…!!!




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Mike Maurice
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The Triad Theater

Indie Rock

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Nuxx Vomica occupies her own fog-machine enshrouded headspace on new FTEV EP

photo by Allyson Piñon; stream the new EP here or here or here

Back in February 2021 when many of us were thinking this fresh hell isn't feeling so fresh anymore the electronic musician known as Nuxx Vomica drove upstate for a few hours and “performed a live set in the middle of a frozen lake to an audience of confused yet (no doubt) grateful freshwater fish” as we we observed back at the time…

…a socially-isolated performance recorded for alternative/electronic DJ Vox Sinistra’s Seattle-based Strict Tempo stream (select shows archived here) a Twitch channel featuring a steady stream of live sets by DJs (including Sinistra herself natch) and bands, not to mention blocks of music videos and artist interviews, spanning an array of multi-hyphenated genres of musique électronique...

…and with Nuxx having released her debut EP A Different Place not too long previous she was wiling to risk bone-chilling death to reach the homebound masses but then Nuxx laid low for a while and we were beginning to wonder if she were in fact a mythic frozen lake sprite who could only produce music in the MIDDLE OF A FREAKIN’ FROZEN LAKE!!...


…but thankfully that's not the case as Nuxx Vomica has returned with a batch of new songs released just today on an EP entitled FTEV—with a limited-edition run of 33 fluorescent green cassettes made available for fans of tangible media—and speaking of "tangible" these five specimens of machine-made music could hardly feel more bodily and visceral—by turns trance-inducing and seizure-inducing so pull up the appropriate disclaimers—and it's no wonder they call this stuff electronic body music (EBM) which isn't to overlook the hard techno and French house and Italo-disco/Eurodisco elements at play...

…so in other words we're talking dank/dirty/darkwavey punk-meets-electronica which makes it highly appropriate the EP is out on none other than Synthicide Records—the Brooklyn-based label offshoot of the dark dance music series where ecstatic rituals of communion are set to pulsating waves of artful noise and flashing strobes and gyrating bodies typically held at Greenpoint Goth-Metal-Dark-Underground-Music-of-all-Stripes Mecca Saint Vitus where patrons' navigation of shadowy dare we say "sexxxy" inner-spaces and outer-spaces served as a source of inspiration for Madeline Seely a.k.a. Nuxx Vomica to create FTEV in the first place:

...“I find myself connected to spaces and environments a lot. And when I think of the music I make and enjoy, I think a lot about the headspaces that rooms can put me in. It’s something I notice a lot in retrospect”—spaces described as “undoubtedly pitch black and fog-filled’—where “oftentimes I’ll listen back to what I’ve made and realize that my music embodies the space I’m living in. Dark, sometimes grimy, but equally full of life and excitement…getting into electronic music gave me that thing that I didn’t find in other spaces. There’s an equality and facelessness to electronic music that you really don’t get in a lot of other scenes”…

…and when it comes to the newly minted partnership with Synthicide, Nuxx Vomica adds “I feel really lucky to be working with [founder/producer] Andi and Synthicide. Andi is such a fixture in my musical world and has gone out of her way to help put me on shows around New York. Through that we’ve developed a sweet friendship, so working together on this EP just felt right. Everything has just felt really natural”…

resulting in tracks like the EP-opening “Do It Twice” with its layers of grinding synthesizer and dexedrine-driven drum machine draped over one another in ever-shifting configurations with machine-tooled precision, projecting the listener into a headspace equivalent of an underground dungeon holding its weekly BDSM-themed “Whips & Synths” night or at least that's what I'm getting (gimping?) from it, followed by the record's first advance single “Easy Go” which’ll have you dancing your brains out vigorously yet sinuously like Ian Curtis on muscle relaxants as interlocking sequences evoke a dizzying impression that only heightens the sense of dislocation described in the lyrics…

…creating an overall vibe that’s something like "Giorgio Moroder in Hell" (pull quote!) with Nuxx’s vocals something like the ghost of Donna Summer in breathy come-hither mode but having come back haunted and if spellbinding death-disco jams chock full of squelchy synths and piston-driven beats is your Platonic ideal of electronic dance music like it is mine then the release of FTEV is cause for celebration indeed and let us return at last to Maddi to provide us with some closing insights on the record’s genesis and creative process...

When I think back on the making of the EP, I think of two main themes. One is risk, and the other is setting. After releasing “A Different Place,” I was in a moment of upheaval. I found the cheapest apartment possible and moved in. I wound up living in this really tiny studio in Chinatown with one window that directly faced a brick wall. I think I was getting about 15 minutes of sunlight per day. When I think about the record, I think about the hours waiting for my literal moment in the sun. It’s cliche, but the songs first existed just to get me outside

but because I was so shut in, I really struggled to find something to say that didn’t feel so uninspired. So, I just took the songs to the shows and figured it out there. For the better part of a year, these songs were just slowly revealing themselves to me live. Every show, it felt like I got a little closer. Whether that was finding a new vocal melody or lyric, I just kind of threw myself out of the nest and fell on the ground a lot. I feel like because I wrote these songs in front of other people live, I didn’t always have the chance to self-censor. Because of that, I just made something that was maybe a little more honest than I otherwise would have let myself be.” (Jason Lee)


2023 TOUR DATES with Clock Serum
March 22 Buffalo, NY - Chemical No. 2
March 23 Detroit, MI - UFO Factory (Tickets)
March 24 St. Louis, MO - Kerr Foundation 
March 26 Columbus, OH - Cafe Bourbon St.
March 29 Birmingham, AL - The Firehouse
March 30 Hattiesburg, MS - Thirsty Hippo
March 31 New Orleans, LA - Poor Boy's
April 1 Asheville, NC - Static Age
April 2 Richmond, VA - Fallout 

April 3 Queens, NY - TV Eye w/ Sextile (Limited Tickets Left)