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Live Review: T Bird & the Breaks + Brownout, Antone's 2/19

With lights low and stage bursting at the seams, T-Bird and the Breaks delivered a night full of deep funk and heavy soul, lighting up Antone’s dark stage and letting the old walls breathe a breath from its younger days. It’s hard not to think of the glory days of the “big band” when T-Bird and The Breaks hit the stage, T-Bird himself a talented, magnetic and charismatic song leader with a nine-person, symmetrically mirrored scale of soul machine occupying those forty square feet of plywood around him. T-Bird himself isn’t the only talented one, however, as the entire band was a cohesive group – horn section challenging the backup singers who are firing back like sexy, black-dressed sirens, horribly well choreographed in their dancing; drums and bass creating a smooth groove line while T-Bird and guitar hit a funky back-and-forth rapport. T-Bird and the Breaks are a fast, high energy engine that got the crowd moving around and got them there fast. The sound was contemporary rock and roll’s answer to the glory days of jazz and funk and soul --  a revamped, remodelled classic car that takes the best of yesterday and today to make something brilliant and beautiful. The set was strong, the band was tight and in synch, and it was evident early on that the night wasn’t about an opening band and a closing band, but about talented musicians coming together and putting on a great show.

 

After T-Bird and the Breaks knocked the crowd down, the rock-tejano-conjunto hybridization of a jam band, Brownout, took the stage to pick everyone back up. Trumping T-Bird’s band in numbers by one, Brownout, with their menagerie of horns and various drums and guitars mixing up across the stage took the strong-silent approach in their set, rarely busting out the lyrical guns, and when voices were heard they were rarely in english. Not that I’m complaining. The best thing about Brownout, I think, is that I can’t place them. By that I mean I’ve never heard anything like the tight, talented, towering, trembling sound quaking out of their amplifiers. The band left me torn on whether to call is Psychedelic Conjunto, or Funk-Rock Tejano or some other juxtaposed genre I can’t even think of. What was certain, however, is that the crowd was moving from the very first guitar licks and didn’t stop for a moment. 

Both T-Bird and the Breaks and Brownout have that sweet taste of Austin in their music, that kind of thing that doesn’t necessarily make sense on paper but sounds great in your heart.  Strong sets from a couple of genre-bending big bands. Couldn’t ask for a better night out in Austin.

--Mitchell Mazurek

 

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The White White Lights Shine

 

The White White Lights’ upcoming debut EP Medium Head Boy suggests the experimental indie rockers have what it takes to outshine their contemporaries. From eerie vocals to danceable rhythms, the band has deservingly catapulted into the spotlight already, receiving attention from sources such as SPIN and The Onion’s A.V. Club.

According to guitarist Deluxe Peroux, who at first said the band’s sound is like “Tom Waits sodomizing Blondie with a fuzz pedal,” Sonic Youth has had a major influence on the band. “Dirty was one of the first CDs I had. In starting this band, I wanted to get back to what I loved in my childhood. I wanted to feel like 12-year-old me could be proud of the music I’m making,” he said.

 

With a sound similar to the likes of not only Sonic Youth but also The Pixies and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, lead singer Jenny Gacy drives the band’s tendency to make you crave more and more of the catchy yet haunting aura TWWL has to offer in their 6 track debut, which covers topics including seduction, loneliness and aliens. Album highlight (and TWWL’s favorite to play) “Space Invaders” has the sort of synthesizing energy that is bound to spread like wildfire, while “It’s Cold Here in Japan” is a slow and vulnerable ballad held together by a xylophonic backbone.

 

Together since 2008, the band has had the chance to play live many times in their home city, although this Saturday’s show at Emo’s will be their first with a release in hand. 

 

“We’ve had the fortune of playing at most major Austin rock venues like The Parish, Mohawk, Stubb’s, Emo’s (inside and outside), Beauty Bar, and even non-traditional spaces like Blanton Museum,” Gacy said. “We played our first shows at Beauty Bar and we still love the feeling of playing in smaller spaces as close to the audience as possible. Emo’s is great in that sense; you feel very connected to the audience.”

 

On the brink of releasing Medium Head Boy this Saturday, February 27, TWWL have a number of shows lined up, including a few spots during SXSW. The four-piece are also set to roll out a full-length album in April, so it’s safe to say that TWWL will definitely be a band to watch this year.

 

With the level of passion and self-described honesty that speaks through the new record, TWWL could just be the next big thing out of Austin, according to Gacy. 

 

“We’re honest. We keep our recordings as live as possible; we don’t mask our imperfections. We glorify them.” 

 

Check out The White White Lights this Saturday, February 27 at Emo’s and see what all the hype is about. 


--Melanie Wolfson

 

(Photo: Daniel Perlaky) 

 

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Distant Seconds Anything But + New Poll

Overdue congrats to the Distant Seconds, who put the lie to their name by finishing a runaway first in our early February poll. And so their image rests atop our page. And we've been on to the new one for about a week already, shaping up now as a showdown between Beautiful Supermachines & The Pons - though there's still a week for comeback kids (Slow Down Lady pictured above). Get your vote in...

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Submit to play during SXSW 2010 - Deadline Approaching!

Deli readers who play in bands,

The Deli has reserved 1 showcase slot at the Music Tech Mashup during SXSW for one Austin emerging artist. The Party will take place at Rusty Spurs on March 17.

To apply for this opportunity all you need to do is fill in this for HERE and click on the confirmation email you'll receive (this will simply add you to our mailing list and enter your band in our fabulous charts organized by genre and region - one day we'll also create band profiles!). 3 bands will be selected by the organizers (one of them will be a local Austin, TX artist). DEADLINE IS MONDAY 22 at 11.59 pm.

Music Tech Mashup Showcase (organized by Coast to Coast Models & Events) will celebrate the convergence of music and technology and the opportunities it presents for everyone involved just as SXSW itself switches gears from Interactive Week to Music Week.This is a list of some of the artists already booked: Jada - Universal Motown Records (Boston, MA) - Bamboo Shoots - Epic Records (New York) - Shinobi Ninja - (Brooklyn, NY) - McAlister Drive - (Boston, MA) - Odd Modern - (Los Angeles, CA) - Keys and Crates (Toronto, Canada) - Curtis Santiago (Toronto, Canada) - Keith Masters (Chicago, IL) - FutureCop! (UK) - Mark Foster (Los Angles, CA).

Event support sponsors include HunnyPot, Hip Hop Howl, and The Deli Magazine.

The Deli's Staff

The Deli's Staff

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T Bird and the Breaks!

T-Bird and the Breaks can fully be described in the word 'classic.' Soul music with mastery of all the familiar and effective hooks and blues bass lines that defined early rock & roll. T-Bird & The Breaks seem to be ripped right from that era, back when parents were squares, music was the devil's work, and kids couldn't get enough of it -- which is fitting enough, because T-Bird is just like that, makes you feel young, makes you want to get up and move around, and you just can't get enough of it. The 10-piece band ranges everything from funk to soul to blues to funk to rockabilly; listening to T-Bird & the Breaks is like experiencing the history of Texas Music, like listening to the soul of the state. 

 

Since November, T-Bird and the Breaks have been releasing a single the first Tuesday every month that will keep going on 'til April – that’s right, two new songs, every month.  Following in their yesteryear style – though the new music attempts to stray away from this sensibility, making style their playground – the singles are available on 7" vinyl as well as digitial download.  Giving them a chance to flex a more experimental muscle, the most recent single, “The Piano Joint” showcases two different songs toying with a more hand-churned, hip-hop-meets-big-band-meets-funk feel.  Not to say that’s not what T-Bird & the Breaks had going on before, but this hits you in a different way.

Playing next Friday, Feb. 19 at Antones, end your President’s-Day-Week right with some jazzy-bluesy, bluesy-jazzy, sweet funky soul music that’ll warm you off from the cold and get you moving, dancing and sweating.

--Mitchell Mazurek

 

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