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Artist of the Month
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May 2016
Mo Troper
"Beloved
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 Yes, you've heard the name Mo Troper before. Possibly as a part of Sancho and Your Rival, or maybe as a founder of blowing up label Good Cheer Records. Regardless, his recent release, late April's Beloved, has already reached levels of critical acclaim in just its first few days of actual release. And I'm adding to the pile - Beloved is one of the best new records to come out of Portland so far this year, and it's our new Album of the Month.

With a witty tongue and a sneering outlook on many things in life, Troper blares through Beloved's 13 tracks like an emotional Facebook feed. He, like the rest us, has shitty friends, a distaste for most social situations ("Star Wars") and a rollercoaster relationship with dating ("Princess," "Somebody Special"). He bitingly belts out his lyrics as if he's reliving every situation that's inspired him, making for a brashly heartfelt stock.

Beloved has received heavy comparisons to certain Elvis Costello albums and while that's fair in its own right, isn't entirely the whole case. The album does play into a Costello-esque domination of word play, but it holds a cult like influence closer to that of, say, the Get Up Kids and Saves the Day.

For his first release on his own, Mo Troper has already established himself as a solid solo artist to follow. Beloved will inevitably be added to a list of "classics," and his next album is already baiting with anticipation.


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PREMIERE: Human Ottoman - "YDKWH"

Opposing the conventional instrumental makeup of a band, Human Ottoman devise lively musicanship with Susan Lucia on drums, Grayson Fiske on vibraphone and Matthew Cartmill on cello. The three met each other in college and their shared interest in mingled measures resulted in a self released album, 2014's Independent Music Award winning Power Baby, and the single they're bringing to you today. "YDKWH" (standing for "you don't know what's happening") is a crazed, frenetic expression of each member's individual talent. With a video just as vibrantly chaotic as the song itself, Human Ottoman kill it. You can see for yourself with the debut of their new video below, and check out the album it comes off of, Farang.

-Cervante Pope

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XO Jasen shares "Kiss Me Dark Destroyer" music video and debut album

If you've been around Portland for a little while you may remember the electronic rap duo Serious Business. If not, that's okay. You can still appreciate the new music made by 1/2 of Serious B. by way of Jason Mampel. His solo endeavor, titled XO Jasen, brings fun and danceable beats in the same vein, yet takes on more important issues like sexual and gender identity. XO Jason's first video from his debut album Four Love Songs, "Kiss Me Dark Destroyer" is a visually intriguing interpretation of issues that many can relate to. The album also features guitar work from Nate Wey of the dreamy Souvenir Driver. Watch the video below!

-Cervante Pope

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Portland Best of 2015 Readers' Poll Results Are In!

A few days ago marked the end of the Deli Portland's Best of 2015 Readers' Poll, spotlighting our varied amount of local talent. It's after a rigorous effort that we can now announce the Top 5 emerging Portland acts as picked by you, the readers. Enjoy, and stay tuned for the upcoming composite chart, which will include the votes from our jury! 

1. LiquidLight

Alternative rock outfit LiquidLight catapulted to the top of the charts with not only their easily lovable songs, but also with their fervent ability to get themselves heard! Tinges of everything from psych rock to early 2000's pop punk can be found their songs. Some only in small elements, but enough to make LiquidLight's sound specific to them. Say hello to Portland's best band of 2015.

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2. Foxy Lemon

Sensually bluesy and devotedly oozing classical rock qualities, Foxy Lemon have crooned their way into the hearts of many of us, playing electrifying shows to a diverse crowds and immediately turning them into fans. There's a certain allure to Foxy Lemon that other can't be ignored, an obvious one that got them up to our #2 slot.

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3. Coco Columbia

She's animated and delightfully pleasant, jamming out through her huge hair and eclectic style, making music that's just as colossally interesting. It's equal parts dreamy, electronic, indie and jazzy, the perfect blend for well rounded pop. 

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4. The Cabin Project

The Cabin Project take a symphonic approach to indie rock, with their songs seeming to sweep over you like a leaves in a light wind. Harmonies and string sections flirt playfully, with weighty choruses and orchestral effects that elevate their songs to a whole other level.

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5. Space Shark

Space Shark is an interesting band of sorts, taking the best of heady space rock and jam band minutia to manifest a low key heaviness. Their standout track, "Now Is We" off their latest release Ghosts, has been receiving much deserved praise for its perfect representation of Space Shark's forte.

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Let's also give a shout out to Dirty Revival, Consumer, Rod, The Ghost Ease and White Bear Polar Tundra for rounding out the rest of our Top 10. A big thanks also goes out to all the bands that participated, promoted and worked their damn hardest to get their music heard. Also, a thank you to everyone that voted. We do this for all you guys. If you'd like to dive into the deep with the vote counts, you can find the results, based on genre, by clicking the links below.

ALT-ROCK/METAL | ELECTRONIC | INDIE-POP | INDIE-ROCK | PSYCH | PUNK/GARAGE | ROOTS

-Cervante Pope, the Deli Portland Editor


Guest post: Daniel Barkness of Dad Works Hard talks Manx

    After spending the majority of my 34 years on this planet listening to a strange variety music, I sometimes feel like rock and roll is, in fact, dead. I don't really even listen to much music these days due to the fact that I'm simply not interested. When I do listen, I'm usually listening from the perspective of a producer, an engineer and a fellow musician, hearing all of the technical nuances that tend to destroy the blissfulness of just plain enjoying the fuck out of rock music like I could when I was 13 years old with no responsibilities or worries. 

    A few years ago I met a guy whose band took me back to that summer in the early 90's when "Black Hole Sun" was played on MTV every 20 minutes, of when I got my first Nirvana bootleg CD and would blast it on repeat until falling asleep in my twin bed back in the south hills of Pittsburgh, PA. The man who took me back to that wonderful place in time is none other than Oregon native John Barnaby who fronts the Portland based band Manx. I invited John into my house a few Saturdays ago to drink some shitty beer, talk about his band, their self titled record, his record label, the new record that's in the works, and the raw energy that he exudes on stage. Before we got very far into the interview, John was roasting cron flakes and dancing in my studio apartment wearing a pair of platforms studded with plastic gemstones. And...well...I guess that this is all you really need to know. That is Manx and Manx rocks. Fucking hard. Their raw and punchy, high-energy live set makes you want to repeatedly smash your face against a wall in the best possible way. While watching them perform, you can expect to see a crowd of loyal and intoxicated fans going ape shit while Barnaby drops to his knees nailing some sort of wild bass solo - sweat pouring down his face soaking into his denim jacket - attempting to put out the fire in his stomach from the last shot he took. There's no irony here. Manx is no frills rock n' roll at its finest. 
 
    Manx usually plays around town and there is typically little if any cover. You can't afford not to check these guys (and girl) out. Giant bass-wielding front man who has more stage presence than 90% of other local acts combined? Check. Foxy chick on guitar who rips 16 bar solos through an old NYC big muff? Check. Hard hitting, raw-as-all-hell drummer pounding on a set of tequila sunrise Vista-Lites that may or may not have once belonged to the late John Bonham? Check. Next time Manx is playing around town, go check them out. Trust me. Totally. Fucking. Worth it.
 
-DTB
 

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Lubec to have EP release show on February 5th

Lubec know how to pull some emotions out of you with their music, seamlessly blending shoegaze, indie pop and affection. Their forray into the hearts of Portlanders began around five years ago, yet is sure to stay with us for more years to come. They've been recently riding high on the creation of their latest EP, Concentration, due out February 5th via Touchy Feely Records. The release show will be that same night at the Know, along with supporting sets from Versing and Post Moves. Check out the latest single from Concentration, "Late Bloomer," below. You can also preorder the new EP for $5 here.

-Cervante Pope

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