The New Deal: 24 Sept 2010 - Electric Factory, Philadelphia

Sachyn Mital

Seeing the New Deal is simply to experience the musical bending of rock and electronic elements into a unyielding experience.

The New Deal are typically affiliated with and often found in the jamband circuit of festivals. However they are less like Phish or Psychedelic Breakfast or MMW. Amongst their brethren one would include, The Disco Biscuits, Lotus and Sound Tribe Sector 9. All these bands specialize in the field of “livetronica” with the New Deal creating “progressive breakbeat house”. Their tour stop in Philadelphia brought with them openers Eclectic Method and Quannum/Solesides rapper Lyrics Born. Unfortunately, The Electric Factory was only operating at about half its capacity on the evening, with the upper balcony and 21+ section of the folder were curtained off for the all-ages show.

The DJs of Eclectic Method cut and mashed up recognizable radio songs into an interesting mix and incorporated a video display connecting the music videos with their reworkings. Though interesting and perhaps not far from what Girl Talk does, the crowd was thin for them and they wrapped up with Feist’s “1,2,3,4”. Lyrics Born, backed by Joyo Velarde and DJ Ice Water, promoted his forthcoming album a bit within his indie hip-hop set. I prefer his old school style to what most of the mainstream rappers are putting out. But unfortunately for Lyrics, the sound quality seemed underwhelming at times. And though I may be mistaken, I thought he called out for J5 rapper Chali 2na, but no one appeared.

The New Deal, a three piece outfit from Canada featuring Jamie Shields on keyboards, Dan Kurtz on bass and percussionist Darren Shearer, took the stage around 11:15. Though all three were situated somewhat back from the stagefront, Shearer played frontman from behind his drums. As I havn’t followed their output much in the last five years, partly due to the band’s hiatus at one point, I was unable to recognize a lot of the songs. And though a taper had his rig up near the soundboard, he has failed to post anything to Live Archive (if that was his intention). Hey someone has to take the blame.

But without knowing their songs, my rationale in seeing the New Deal is simply to experience the musical bending of rock and electronic elements into a unyielding experience. At many points the crowd was flailing away to the dance energy. At others, they drifted amongst spacey atmospheric creations as the trio harmoniously fused their instruments, and recuperated for the next bounce session. Shearer’s deft hands allowed him to switch hands holding the microphone to continue beat-boxing and drumming at the same time. Kurtz’s masterful bass and Sheilds’ nimble creation of synth squiggles are equally essential elements of the band.

Of what I did recognize (and can name), The New Deal opened their second set ferociously with an extended version of “Moonscraper”. Their finale included the fast paced raucous jam “VL Tone” with its kinetic energy imbuing and reemerging within the crowd. It was a great way to send fans off; The New Deal’s energy leaves many addicted for more.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.