Archive for March, 2009
It’s finally here, that glorious week that makes everyone on campus proud to be an Oredigger. E-days stands out as one of the greatest traditions this school has to offer, and in order to help ensure that everybody has a good time this year I’ve drafted a few rules of etiquette relating specifically to concerts. I have gone to more shows than I can count, everything from hardcore and punk mosh-fests to acoustic coffee shop performances and occasional trips to the symphony.
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you: The ‘golden rule’ couldn’t have a better practical application than at a concert. Case 1: When at the symphony, you wouldn’t want to be bothered by people talking on their cellphones during the entire show, so show the same respect to others. Case 2: Imagine you’re at Ozzfest and you’ve been moshing pretty hard. If you fall down in the pit, you’d want people to help you back up.
- Don’t get too drunk: It is E-days. There will be alcohol. Don’t be stupid about it. Having a few drinks before (and during) a show is great, but if you become belligerent and rude you easily break rule #1. Furthermore, your friends will likely have to step in at some point, which would be inconsiderate to them.
- Crowd Surfing: I’ve been on both ends of this great American past-time. Crowd surfing is fun, but only if you’re at the kind of show where it is acceptable. Many venues ban crowd surfing because it can lead to serious injury. To avoid injury (to you and the crowd) don’t crowd surf if you don’t think people will be able to hold your weight plus 50 pounds.
- Moshing: As far as moshing is concerned, it is acceptable, but only in certain circumstances. If you’re at a heavy metal show, go ahead. If you’re at a Hannah Montana concert you might be escorted off the premises. As far as moshing technique is concerned, don’t try to harm others, feel free to push, kick, jump around and do moshing-types-of-moves, but don’t use it as front to beat up that guy who’s been giving you the crazy-eyes all night.
Above all, use common sense. Whatever the situation happens to be, be considerate to other concertgoers and realize that everyone is there to have a good time.
The final version of this video went up today. Also available today is the great audio recording from Lance over at The Flat Response, be sure to check that out here. Also, thumbs up to The Flat Response for being named “Best DIY Live Recordings” Blog in Denver by Westword (pick up a current copy in print or check it out here).
In other news, I continue to dominate the NCAA brackets among Randeucians, but how long will it last? (Go UConn!)
5 years ago I did not like Death Cab For Cutie. The few songs I’d heard on Clearchannel radio stations always managed to leave a bitter taste in my mouth. I thought Ben Gibbard’s vocals were too nasally and high-pitched. That is, until I started watching a television program on PBS called “Austin City Limits.” Playing cuts from their 2005 album Plans, I began to fall in love with the Seattle group’s distinct sound. A mesh of melody, harmony, instrumentation, and catchy lyrics, Death Cab fever began to set in.
In 2008, during the Democratic National Convention here in Denver, I got my first chance to see Gibbard and Walla perform. It was amazing! Armed with 2 acoustic guitars and a baby grand piano, they cut through the political tensions with tune after tune, performed with beautiful simplicity. I knew then that this was one of my favorite groups.
Fast forward to the present day. Death Cab is prepping a new release of some b-sides from their 2008 full length Narrow Stairs and has been debuting tracks on Stereogum (links below). In addition to that, they’re going on tour (again). Last year I missed their performance at Red Rocks because 1: I was out of town and 2: I didn’t have any money. Well, I wasn’t about to let the same thing happen again, so last week I spent my $50 to get a ticket to what will likely be one of the best shows of the year (even though it’s not going down until July). Furthermore, my other current favorites Andrew Bird and Ra Ra Riot are playing. It will surely be an amazing night.
Hey everybody, here are some new releases you should check out.
The Decemberists – Hazards of Love: Colin Meloy & Co. go on a musical journey with themes of love and heartbreak strewn throughout.
MXPX – On The Cover II – Left coast punks MXPX are up to their usual punk-rock antics, this time with a handful of new covers of songs you might remember from the 80′s and beyond.
Pearl Jam – Ten (Reissue) – It’s been a nearly 20 years since Eddie Vedder & Co. released their breakthrough grunge/rock record. Still as good today as it was during the 90′s.
1090 Club – Natural Selection: We reviewed this group’s record about a month ago (right after seeing them open for The Appleseed Cast). And now it’s finally available here and on iTunes.
Michael Zapruder – Dragon Chinese Cocktail Horoscope: Another record we recently reviewed; it’s a musical journey of sorts, Zapruder’s newest release will appeal to fans of Andrew Bird and Arcade Fire. Also available here and on iTunes.
Imagine you’re asleep. You’re dreaming. The world floats around you in bathed in bright colors and warm sounds. You hear a voice, it is drenched in reverb. Now wake up. This experience is not something of the surreal, but is an accurate description of M. Ward’s newest work Hold Time.
Oftentimes a collaborator rather than a solo musician, Ward has worked with some of today’s most prominent indie bands, including everyone from Bright Eyes and My Morning Jacket to Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis. Ward has added his mellow sound to more than a few projects of note within recent years. In 2008, Ward worked with singer/actress Zooey Deschanel on a critically acclaimed project known as She & Him: Volume One.
“Hold Time,” the title track of the album, showcases Ward at his best. Simple layers of strings and piano accompany ethereal vocals and provide a strong support for the deep lyrics. “You were beyond comprehension tonight, but I understood.” “Jailbird” is another strong track with a straightforward pop-sensibility and catchy lyrics.
“Oh, Lonesome Me,” a Don Gibson cover featuring Lucinda Williams, is by far the black sheep of the record. The track starts out alright, but soon Williams’s raspy vocals take over. Her delivery is so odd and out of place on the smooth track that it sounds like she’s recovering from a bad head cold, not singing.
This is a country record for those who do not like country music. Do not expect to hear Garth Brooks, or even Johnny Cash, but think Sam Cooke meets Elvis meets Bright Eyes. Ward’s simple country/gospel/indie sound is mellow enough to relax listeners, yet catchy enough to garner repeated listening.
Watch “Hold Time” here:
Well, this is it, the end of Young Coyotes week here at Something Like Sound. We managed to bring you tons of exclusives every day and we leave you with this exclusive interview video. Continue checking back in the coming weeks as I finish editing video for 2 more songs from their set at the Oriental. Special thanks to Adam and Zach, the Young Coyotes themselves.
Also a special thanks to Amy at Bleemusic (their manager), we wouldn’t have done any of this if she hadn’t contacted us in the first place. She got her band featured by replying to our call for submissions. If you want to get your band featured (and get the same red-carpet treatment we gave Young Coyotes), simply follow this link and leave a comment.
Photo Courtesy Patrick Beseda
“When I Was In the Fire”
Edit: I just received the audio from my buddy Lance at The Flat Response, a new, better quality videos are up now.
St. Patrick’s Day this year was an enjoyable experience here at Something Like Sound. It was a day of music, merriment, and waffles. Before diving headfirst into the review of the show, I’d like to take a moment to tell you about one of Denver’s newest eateries, Lakeside Waffles. This joint is great, they’ve got $5 waffles with fresh fruits and other toppings, and they taste great (probably the best waffles I’ve had in a long time). Either way, they are located right next to the Oriental (on 44th and Tennyson).
As far as the show went, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Up first was Hawks of Paradise, a local rock group with a loud/steady sound. Following the Hawks, was a truly unique experience, another local group named Pee Pee. Even as they were setting up the stage I could tell that it would be an interesting experience. All together Pee Pee currently consists of 10 players (including a woman who plays singing saw). Their performance was truly impressive and enjoyable. A flurry of orchestral sound, jazz improvisation, and pop sensibility, Pee Pee moved from dance beats to jam-sessions with the drop of a hat.
Up next it was my most anticipated part of the night, Young Coyotes. Zach and Adam were spot on that night as they pounded through song after song. They played through most of the material from their newly released EPs, while also throwing in some new songs as well. Perhaps it was the acoustics of the room, or maybe just my own biases, but I felt as though it was one of the better sounding sets I’ve ever seen these guys put on.
Finally it was time for Akron/Family. At this point in the night I wished I had done something to alter my consciousness, because (unknown to me), Akron/Family is sort of a hippie-jam-band. This is by no means a bad thing, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. Moving from subtle, quiet sounds to earth shattering choruses, Akron/Family used dymanics to their advantage. Perhaps the best part of their set was when the musical collective Pee Pee joined Akron/Family on stage for an all-out rock-jam. I’m fairly certain there were at least 15 people on stage as the crowd began to bounce and move to the beats of the improv.
Video of Young Coyotes performance will be available soon, check back on the blog. (We’ve also got video of Akron/Family with Pee Pee that will go up too).
Photos courtesy Patrick Beseda