This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.

Go to the old Top 300 charts


Big Girl

Wifeknife bring their epically heavy hard rock poetry to Alphaville tomorrow night (3/30) alongside face-melting bill of local all-stars

Video of Wifeknife performing “Blackout” live at Our Wicked Lady on 5 January 2023 recorded/edited by Daniel Moore for Deli Mag Films

If you’ve ever read Book IX of Virgil’s Aeneid there’s a good chance you’ll remember the part where the three Trojan battleships transform into water nymphs and swim away, thanks to a little intervention by the gods, when the Rutulians attempt to launch a sneak attack and set them on fire:

And all at once, each vessel snapping her cables free of the bank
they dive like dolphins…turned into lovely virgins
each a sea-nymph sweeping out to sea

…but the chapter also tells the story of Euryalus which is more relevant to our purposes here, a fresh-faced Trojan teen voted “most handsome in Athens” who bravely/foolishly follows his older man pal Nissus into battle and despite the latter’s well known skill with a spear (*ahem*) they both end up getting captured and beheaded thanks to the young soldier's fecklessness...

…and once Euryalus’s mother catches wind of her beautiful son’s head being impaled on a pike she rushes to the front lines heedless of the raging battle, her voice rising above the surrounding mayhem with wailed lamentations and recriminations delivered with such force and fury that the Trojans almost pack up and go home on the spot...


…cuz the Trojans knew just as well as the Romans there's no sound quite so devastating as a mother’s voice wracked with grief and rage wailing raw-voiced lamentations especially when it's their only outlet for emotional release and their only means of protesting the patriarchal system that burdened them with such misery in the first place (women's laments were once considered so subversive they were outlawed across ancient Greece) which debatably makes them the first riot grrrls ever


…but if you’re looking for a raw-voiced punk rock Mom in the current day and age who’s likewise capable of entrancing listeners with melodic lamentations delivered in a voice that even at its most restrained is laden with heavy emotional resonance, that is, before lashing out in unrestrained fury and nearly ripping your face off with belted banshee wails worthy of those ancient Hellenic mothers raising their voices to the heavens then you'll no doubt wanna check out Sarah Hamilton fronting the band Wifeknife first chance you get...

…and you'll get that chance soon since Wifeknife is performing live tomorrow (Thursday 3/30) at local "fave hang" Alphaville as part of a stacked lineup chock full of female-fronted sonic fury alongside recent SXSW compatriots Tetchy and Big Girl (not to mention the mighty Nihiloceros) and if Virgil were ever to rise from the dead and oversee a cinematic reboot of the Aeneid with its action moved to modern-day Brooklyn which is maybe less a stretch than you may think when you consider how crossing the raw sewage and industrial waste laden Gowanus Canal would be no less perilous than the River Styx back in the day…

…no doubt the Greek bard would be keen on assembling a kickass soundtrack for the film adaptation chock full of heavy metal bands adept at summoning punk rock levels of urgency and immediacy, and punk rock bands adept at summoning Heaven & Hell-era Black Sabbath levels of Dio-fied epic grandiosity, all of which means said soundtrack would no doubt include Wifeknife given how they check off both boxes above with music suitable for virgin water nymphs and brutal battle scenes alike… 

…all of which probably makes you wish you knew more about these fearless warriors of rock 'n' roll and lucky for you the Deli conducted an interview with Wifeknife’s Sarah Hamilton not long ago—alongside hubby/drummer Keith—a transcript of which follows below minus our own inconsequential interjections so by all means enjoy and never forget what's truly best in life…. (Jason Lee)


Sarah: We’ve been called The OWL Family Band with Keith Hamilton being co-owner of Our Wicked Lady (OWL) and with me working at OWL since the beginning too. Besides the two of us, our lead guitarist Benny Oastler ran OWL’s livestream shows during quarantine and to this day helps screen band submissions. Rhythm guitarist Ramsey Elliott (also bass/guitar/keys in ExPollutants) is a veteran OWL bartender and Marcello Ramirez (bassist in WifeKnife and Whaat) barbacks at OWL part-time.

Keith’s dad was a hippie drummer who instilled a deep love of music in him from an early age. Keith, a drummer himself who hadn’t picked up the sticks much in the last 20 years, missed the outlet and invited Benny to jam with him in his rehearsal space at OWL Studios. Benny was in a band called American Fever that disbanded after Bryan Tell (vocals, guitar) moved to Austin and Benny was also itching to make music again. 

After Keith played me a few of his and Benny’s instrumental recordings I honestly started hearing lyrics right away. I’m a long-time actor who’s always loved to sing, and sang via theater and choir, but never like this. But as a new mom coming out of a bout with postpartum depression followed by a pandemic, the intensity of this music, and just getting to go to a safe space with friends and scream once a week, was incredibly cathartic for me as an artist missing creative expression deeply.

I did book a play at Florida Studio Theater (Late Nov-early March) shortly after we first started jamming together. The band would send me instrumental tracks and I would send back vocals recorded on top via GarageBand. That’s how we began to develop our earliest songs, “Move On” and “Blackout.” The play was a great experience. I’d missed acting so much after a five-year hiatus, but honestly after a month or so I couldn’t wait to get back into the rehearsal space with the band.

I’m an introvert who became comfortable on stage after years of training and jobs and really just working through the nerves; I finally kind of learned how to turn the nervous energy into fuel. Being in Wifeknife is more daunting than acting in a big way, because these are my words, not someone else’s, and I’ve infused my experiences and truth into the lyrics. It’s more vulnerable. The goal is always to leave it all on the stage. 

Our friend Amanda Hurley knew we were still exploring band names and sheepishly proposed the name WifeKnife. We all instantly loved it. It’s sort of badass and funny all at once. Being a wife, a nurturing mother, but also having a wild side and demons to release just like anyone else, it totally clicked with me. I’m a Gemini, what else can I say?

Keith: Sarah is a really talented actress. I knew her stage presence would be there, and that she had the pipes thanks to her background in musical theater. It’s just a matter of using your instrument a little differently. 

Sarah: Yeah, really differently haha. It’s been a learning curve for sure, staying on pitch when sing-screaming like that. I do want the songs to have lyricism too. I’m still finding that balance; places where I can bring it down a notch and find the melody. I’d never want to be a one-note actor, and I don’t want to be a one-note vocalist. “Blackout” is my favorite song of ours so far. It’s the most personal and the most vulnerable for sure. 

Billy Aukstik of Dala Records has a studio called Hivemind Recording in Bushwick, close to OWL. We’ve known him a long time through the Daptone family, he’s the nicest guy in the business and tremendously talented.

We went and recorded for two days for the release of our two singles, which we called Double. It was the best experience. We got “Blackout” in like two takes. Billy really nailed it, he engineered and mixed it. We’re pretty raw and intense live and it was interesting recording in the studio (the first time for me and Keith) and having such control over sound levels and everything. 

I had to remind myself not to strive for perfection in the studio, to keep some of the rawness. At the end of “Blackout,” the very last note, you can just hear my voice cracks at the end. There was a take where it didn’t that I wanted to switch it out with but the rest of the band, including Billy, insisted that the cracked take was better–because of the intensity and the emotion there on that take. Of course they were right. 

We also recorded “Dead Ringer” also engineered by Billy at Hivemind. It came out well but we decided it needed more grit, so we shared it with our friend Rich Crescenti, drummer in Bugs in the Dark, who was Head of sound at OWL for 6 years and moved to LA a few years ago. He ended up mixing and mastering it, and he just crushed it. 

We hope to record another song or two now that we’re back from Austin and are starting to discuss some music video concepts so there’s definitely some exciting shit on the horizon!

Some other things Wifeknife would like you to know:

  • If you enjoy epic rock tunes by female-fronted and -backed bands, the Rites of Spring weekend fest to be held on 5/6 and 5/7 at OWL (booked by Wifeknife’s very own K. Hamilton) with a mind-boggling lineup of 30+ female-fronted bands from NYC. A fundraiser for women’s reproductive rights, bands will perform atop OWL’s open-air rooftop while DJs spin and tattoo artists offer cheap flash tattoos downstairs. Bands include Thick, Tetchy, The Silk War, Frida Kill, Big Girl, Nevva, Shadow Monster, InCircles, Tea Eater, Powersnap, The Rizzos, WifeKnife, Bugs in the Dark, Gal Fieri, Abby Jeanne, Catty, DJ Sarabeth of Tower and more.
  • TV Eye’s two-night series “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” on 6/3 and 6/4 will likewise feature female-identifying led bands as well. Includes Baby Shakes, Mel Machete, The Out-Sect, The Dracu-las, Tits Dick Ass and lots more as assembled by Jen Manfredi of Fear City Presents



EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Tetchy & Big Girl swing down South for sweet SXSW bound tour

photos by Reja Khan, Sydney Tate, Yan K, Tyler Bertram, and Nicole Miller (above)
tetchy live montage video shot and edited by Daniel Moore (below) 

If you’ve ever been to a party where a rakish young man sporting a tousled shag coif says “meet me in the bathroom” and proceeds to offer you a six pack of Pepsi and 6 bags of Pop Rocks and you say hey why not, we only live once and proceed to ingest all six bags and down all six sodas which after a brief period of intestinal distress sets off an chemical acidic reaction of an intensity not seen since Mount Vesuvius buried all those pervy pagan Pompeians in hot lava and rips your stomach wide open from the inside out just like happened to that cute, moon-faced tousle-headed kid from the old breakfast cereal TV advertisements your parents made you watch on youtube or so the legend goes then you’ve got some idea of what’s in store for you if you go see Big Girl and Tetchy on tour together just CLICK HERE for a full list of dates and venues...

…with the salient-if-somewhat-labored point here being that here ya got two gender-subversive bands who just like Pepsi & Pop Rocks blur the distinction between sugary sweet (melodically, vocally, temperamentally) and aggressively in-your-face-ily pungent which granted may not make make your stomach explode but it will make your heart grow by three sizes at least all while gleefully melting your face off with frenzied acid-rock-ifed shreadin’ and yellin’ in the midst of pop-songs-that-rock and rock-songs-that-pop and one can only imagine what a combustible combination it’ll be with the two of ‘em put together with fully activated wonder twin powers (it doesn't hurt they share a member too) and oh by the way the live video clip found up top should give you some idea of what it’ll be like seeing Tetchy live (filmed at the very wicked Our Wicked Lady) so best gird your loins and say your Hell Yeah Marys…

…in preparation for Tetchy and Big Girl coming to your local VFW Hall or Elk's Lodge as they make their way from their native stomping groups of Brooklyn (Elsewhere, The Broadway) on down to a scrappy little music fest called South By Southwest to play a full slate of gigs in and around Austin (keep it weird!) and then finally back again for a homecoming show at Brooklyn’s Alphaville but not before hitting six Southern fried cities on the way to SXSW (if you don’t live in any of those cities well here’s a good excuse to visit!) and oh by the way this is a good time to mention how the live montage of Tetchy seen above is an original Deli Mag Films Productio (you heard it here first!) brought to you by our very own newly minted videographer Daniel Moore (Dimo Films) who first made his debut on this site back in December with a cool montage of Moon Kissed playing the first of their Heaven-Purgatory-Hell-themed shows at Baby’s All Right…

…but hey if you prefer florid prose to professionally shot video (or if you enjoy both!) be sure to check out these two Deli pieces on Tetchy and on Big Girl posted to this site and either way you’ll no doubt wanna keep an eye out for exciting new releases coming up from both bands in the weeks and months to come (note: before the tour proper starts Tetchy play in Philly at Kung Fu Necktie on 2/15 and here in NYC with Crazy and the Brains at Saint Vitus on 2/16) and truly the South Will Rise Again when these soul-baring-big-hearted-hard-rockin' Brooklynite babes drop in on their backyard barbecues so better lock up your sons and daughters cuz the Tetchy-Big Girl caravan is comin’ to your town (alongside lots of other great acts on each bill) so catch ‘em while you can before they blow up big like that poor little kid’s stomach. (Jason Lee)

3/3 -- The Broadway (Brooklyn, Tetchy only) with TVOD and Bats Bats Bats Ghost Ghost Ghost
3/4 -- Elsewhere (Brooklyn, Big Girl only) with Castle Rat and Lord Friday the 13th
3/6 -- The Runaway (Washington D.C., Tetchy only)
3/7 -- Arson House (Richmond, VA)
3/8 -- Static Age (Asheville, NC)
3/9 -- MOTR Pub (Cincinnati, OH)
3/10 -- Portal (Louisville, KY)
3/12 -- DRKMTTR (Nashville, TN)
3/14 thru 3/17 -- SXSW (Austin, TX)
3/30 -- Alphaville (Brooklyn, NY)


PREMIERE: Big Girl go big on epic late-summer jammer "Summer Sickness"

photograph by Sydney Tate

To see Big Girl play live is to be sucked into and enveloped by the band’s immersive mix of glitter-encrusted glam-rock-ish grandiloquence mixed with unguarded singer-songwriter-ish intimacy—with a notable flair for theatricalized self-presentation that makes the smallest dive bar feel like a Phantom of the Paradise style amphitheater—but not lacking for a light touch where called for nor an overall sense of unbound joy, as personified by band-fronting vocalist-guitarist Kaitlin Pelkey who commands the stage resplendent in her trademark neon orange-red jumpsuit like a flamboyant fighter pilot (or a long-lost member of The Clash?) who just happens to compose rock operas…

…flanked at all times by her two backup-singer assistants (although hardly “assistants” in the sense of remaining in the background!) a duo whose soaring harmonies and choreographed gesticulations and perambulations about the stage are musically and visually redolent of the Shangri-Las crossed with Divine-as-Babs-Johnson taken both the gum-snapping sass and the operatic dramatics of said entities and dialing them up to “11”…

…all of which sits atop a solid musical foundation laid down by a band obviously skilled at making seamless transitions between fever-pitched face-melting musical passage and more dialed-down ornate Baroque pop and pastoral folk passages all of which is pretty fantastic live but which begs the question whether Big Girl can translate their theatrical musical pageantry to the sound recording medium and as it turns out the answer is “yes” based on their brand new single “Summer Sickness” released hot off the griddle today…

…which serves as a sneak-peak teaser to the band’s upcoming debut LP Big Girl vs. GOD but which all on its own serves as a fitting introduction to the full expanse of the Big Girl musical universe over its five-minute running time, a song that should please both adherents of Led Zeppelin III and Led Zeppelin IV in equal measure not to mention fans of immaculately constructed indie pop (e.g., Warpaint, Band of Horses, Angel Olsen) and/or fans of mind-bending psychedelic-tinged hard rockin’ rock (e.g., Death Valley Girls, Pond, Ty Segall)…

…and if you're into the latter just check out the sick coda of "Summer Sickness" which in actuality takes up the entire last two minutes of the song and all I gotta say is that I’ve already added the track to my songs with sublime endings playlist what with the overall sublimity of the escalating, extended manic panic wall-of-sound outro and then there’s the music video too which is sublime on its own term with its pastoral-psychedelia vibes and synchronized dances performed in a forest clearing and btw if you hadn't notice the video's embedded multiple time above so as to be accessible no matter which paragraph you’re currently reading…

…but still you may ask yourself “what’s it all about?” and “what could possibly inspire such inspired music?” and hey far be for me to speculate, but lucky for us Kaitlin Pelkey herself was kind enough to provide some revealing personal insights (on short notice, no less!) into the lyrical content of “Summer Sickness” and re: the song's emotionally intense genesis as well as the creative process behind its construction and the musical personnel who brought it to life. So read on, dear reader, as all will be revealed after the jump… (Jason Lee)

The release show for "Summer Sickness" happens this Saturday (8/20) at The Broadway (Brooklyn) presented by our friends at Booked By Grandma


Kaitlin Pelkey: I wrote “Summer Sickness” in July 2020. Sitting in my backyard early in the morning I think it was like 6 AM on a Friday. I couldn't sleep and at the time I was going through a lot, the world was still in quarantine and earlier that year January 2020 my mother experienced a very serious brain hemorrhage.

It changed her life and my life forever. She went from living a totally independent life to losing all of the abilities that made her independent. Talking, eating, walking, voluntary movement, everything. This was all happening parallel with the pandemic when people all over the world were getting incredibly sick and dying. 

It was the most challenging thing I had ever gone through. To experience all of that grief and hardship with my family while navigating this rapidly changing world... it was like being on the moon. Nothing was familiar. Meanwhile the rest of the world was going through this kind of parallel traumatic experience. 

"In this year’s division / suffering is a season / but when the wind is blowing / I feel it die" 

When writing it, I thought of summer sickness as a spell for forgiveness. I was really angry at the time with the injustice of the situation that I was going through personally and then also the injustices happening all over the world. I was trying to find a way to contain the experience - my mom's illness felt totally enveloping and overwhelming and the metaphor of a season was comforting. In a way it was like an inside joke only I understood -- "call it summer sickness" *shrug*. 

If suffering is a season, the intensity and heat of the moment is temporary, necessary. A rare cool wind signals the possibility of release. Death. Freedom. I was trying very hard to admit these difficult truths and find solace in them. 

My mom spent a lot of time sleeping when she was sick. At moments she was in and out of a coma-like state. Often medically induced. I imagine her dreaming a lot and wondered what she would dream about. Before she had her stroke she also loved sleeping and she told me that she would she knew she was really happy in her life when she would have dreams of flying. 

I would imagine this approaching autumn wind, sweeping her up and carrying her to a place of freedom where her body was her friend and she could fly just like in her dreams. Freedom for her and for everybody. I imagined her flying over mountains and skyscrapers and oceans. The big operatic ahhs in the chorus of “Summer Sickness” are the sound of her flight. 

On the creative process and band/record personnel: 

Kaitlin Pelkey: We recorded the core guitar (Crispin Swank), bass (Elizabeth Sullivan), and drums (Liza Winter) live at a studio in Brooklyn in April 2021 with engineer Phil Duke. We later recorded lead vocals at our old rehearsal space in Ridgewood. Crispin set up the microphone and protools session and sat on the floor outside the studio door while I cranked out several vocal takes. I worked in the dark and oscillated between dancing and sitting while envisioning myself singing from the top of a mountain. 

Christina Schwedler of Elee Pink and Melody Stolpp of Sweetbreads added the additional vocals -- namely the soaring operatic ahhs in the chorus. 

Summer Sickness was produced mainly by Big Girl's guitarist Crispin Swank who is responsible for the lush and prismatic guitar arrangements that weave through this song. This was the first song we worked on with mixing engineer Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr, Pixies, Speedy Ortiz) who would become our very close collaborator and co-producer for the rest of the album. 

We figured out a lot about the record by working on Summer Sickness. The production in Summer Sickness set a precedent for the deep and intricate layers of guitars that ended up being definitive to the sound of this album. 


- news for musician and music pros -