Archive for June, 2009
Friday October 30th, 2009 may be 4 months and 4 days away, but it’s not too early to get excited about some world-class music. On that day indie-rock legends Dinosaur Jr. will be playing the Aggie Theatre, one of my favorite venues (and the best place to see a show in Fort Collins, my old hometown). Having just released a new album, Farm, Dinosaur Jr. is sure to play a memorable (and loud) set that will likely go down as one of the best the Aggie has seen (I also remember seeing Thursday, Against Me!, and Saosin play there, truly epic shows).
In the mean time, enjoy the newest Dinosaur Jr. video for their song “Over It”
Hey, if you haven’t heard already MJ died at the age of 50. Also, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Get Up Kids, and Dinosaur Jr. are coming to Colorado (considering I saw Appleseed Cast and Built To Spill already, it’s like 1997 all over again). Furthermore, there will not be many posts in the next couple weeks, we are on a much needed vacation.
I remember the first time I heard Hot IQs. I was in high school then and KCSU in Fort Collins wasn’t afraid to play “Firecracker” with it’s catchy beat and remember-able lyrics “Out of my gun, in to your burning heart.” I remember dragging my friends to see them play the night before the SAT tests. I remember winning tickets to their annual Christmas party and listening to my Houndstooth 7 inch too loudly on my turntable. I will never forget the amazing show they played one summer night at the Bluebird. It was their swan’s song. It was their last.
Upon arrival, the first band, FOMA (from San Fransisco), had already begun playing their mellow brand of avant-indie-pop. Their songs were enjoyable, but lacked the necessary energy to really get the crowd warmed up. As I watched the set I looked around to see many familiar faces from the Denver scene (even our pal Lance from the Flat Response was there, look for his quality recording soon).
Up next was local up-and-coming act Bad Weather California. Feeding on the energy building in the crowd, the Bad Weather guys used their reverb-laden guitars and vocals to kick things up. They have such an interesting sound, it is like a mix of surf records with oldschool punk undertones. Either way, their set was quite enjoyable and played well into the overall upbeat mood of the evening.
As with every Hot IQs show I’ve been to, there was dancing. However this show was perhaps a little more special. To get things heated up they had an exotic dancer do a fan-dance to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” it was quite the show. Then it was finally time for Hot IQs.
They began their set with a certain intensity (and Brian in a legitimate Cookie Monster costume), playing several of their stronger songs, including “Web In Front” (an Archers of Loaf cover) and “Houndstooth.” The gigposter described the show as a dance party, and the night certainly lived up to it. Playing though nearly their entire catalogue from the past 6 years Hot IQs kept the at-capacity crowd at the Bluebird moving to their 4-on-the-floor beats and catchy hooks. “We might talk a lot tonight,” remarked singer/guitarist Eli Mishkin, “We’ve been waxing poetic all week.” Throughout the night they thanked various people who had helped their career.
The normal set ended, although there was no way the night would end without an encore. Returning to the stage with a bag full of condoms, Eli tossed them to the crowd as they proceeded to play “Nightstand,” “Firecracker,” and finally ending with “Duck & Cover.”
I’ve already been too nostalgic, but I will end with this: Hot IQs, with their simple, catchy style and incredibly fun live set will always hold a special place in the hearts of Coloradoans and music fans. They will be missed.
Words by Tim Weilert, Photos by Kenton Larson
It was a couple months ago Dave Herrera at Westword contacted us to get our input on this year’s showcase. We sent in our picks and the festival finally came. Due to the shear massiveness of writing reviews for the acts we saw, each band gets 30 words… ready, go!
Astrophagus (1 pm, Curious Theater): Think Miles Davis meets Radiohead, minus Thom Yorke’s whiney voice. These guys built an amazing wall of sound with synths, guitar, drum loops, and trumpet. Expect to see them at UMS.
Houses (2 pm, Curious Theater): Ever since lead singer Andy Hamilton sent me their EP, I haven’t listened to anything else. With all 7 members, Houses had a big sound, but a relaxed attitude. Expect to see our EP review soon.
Hello Kavita (3 pm, Curious Theater): I remember walking in thinking “Who kidnapped Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and brought him to Denver?” These guys put on a top-rate performance, and are putting finishing touches on a new album.
Achille Lauro (4 pm, Curious Theater): “I feel like we’re in a Talking Heads video,” said bassist Jon Evans of the Curious’s interesting set-up. The group proceeded to create instrumental harmonies until we left early for Cursive.
Cursive (4:15 pm, Verizon Outdoor Stage): Having only heard The Ugly Organ once, and their new single “I Couldn’t Love You,” I had an enjoyable time watching this Omaha-based band’s incredibly intense performance.
BDRMPPL, CacheFlowe, luengliss, Josephine & the Mousepeople, Married in Berdichev, Pictureplane, and Slight Harp (5pm, Curious Theater): Perhaps one of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen, this group of about 10 musicians from all the groups listed filled the stage with synths, laptops, modulators, and all kinds of electronics to perform their unique styles of trip-hop/remix music live.
Bela Karoli (featuring The Wheel) (6 pm, Curious Theater): This avant-pop group had a little trouble with feedback, but once it was under control everything went beautifully. At the end of the set The Wheel came out and played a couple songs to the then-packed house.
Meese (6:55 pm, Verizon Outdoor Stage): This local group is releasing a new album on a major label at the end of the month. Quite honestly I got a little bored during their hour-long set, the generic pop sounds didn’t really strike me as memorable.
Built To Spill (8:25, Verizon Outdoor Stage): When I woke up on the day of the fest, I had “I Would Hurt A Fly” running through my head (basically, I love Built To Spill). Although they didn’t play that song, they did most of my favorites, including “In Your Mind,” “Strange,” “Sidewalks,” “Kicked It In the Sun,” and had a strong closing with “Carry The Zero.” Seeing these legends of indie-rock reminded me how much I love guitar and how good their music is after all these years.
Well, that was it, we took the bus home and slept. As you can see, we spent most of our time at Curious, this was mostly because that’s where most of the great up-and-coming acts I’d only heard about were playing. Our friends Young Coyotes, The Photo Atlas, Epilogues, Andrea Ball, etc. also had sets that day, but I wanted to expand my boarders. Special thanks again to Dave Herrera at Westword for getting us better connected with Denver music, we all look forward to seeing what’s in store for next year.
One last thing. Our buddy Lance from The Flat Response was there taping at both Curious and the Verizon Outdoor Stage for most of the day, if any of his recordings turn out, we’ll let you know where you can listen to them.
Words by Tim Weilert, Photos by Bengsoon Chuah
So here’s some things we’re working on. Expect to see these things sooner than later. Also, I’m making an extended visit to Fort Collins in 2 weeks and will hopefully be getting some interviews with bands while up there.
Contest Prizes*: 1 copy of Colour Revolt’s Plunder, Beg, and Curse on CD (it was on our top albums of 2008)
1 Digital download of Vampire Weekend’s self-titled album (official from Beggar’s Group, also on our top albums of 2008)
1 pre-release copy of our exclusive compilation, on a hand-numbered cassette, to be released this fall
1 T-shirt, possibly from an awesome local band
More prizes to be announced
*Our contest, as mentioned earlier, is to be our 100th follower on Twitter. www.twitter.com/somelikesound. Once we reach 100 followers we will do a drawing of those 100 to determine our winner.
Reviews: Houses – Spring EP
Dualistics – Dualistics EP
The Epilogues – The Beautiful, The Terrifying EP
Concerts: Westword Music Festival – June 13, 2pm-10pm, Featuring Built To Spill, Meese, Cursive, and more local bands than we can count
The Axe That Chopped The Cherry Tree – June 18, Marquis, A reunion concert
Hot IQs – June 19, Bluebird, Their last show
Death Cab For Cutie – July 14, Red Rocks, Featuring Andrew Bird and Ra Ra Riot
Mile High Music Festival – July 18-19 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Center, still waiting to hear back about press access.
The Underground Music Showcase – July 23-26, South Broadway – Like SXSW, but in Denver, hundreds of bands, super cheap
Here at Something Like Sound we occasionally like to take time from promoting Colorado-grown music to promote other CO based independent ventures. This time it’s actually a video game coming out for WiiWare called “Eduardo The Samurai Toaster,” a production of Fort Collins based Semnat Studios (run in part by my good friend Ian Bowie). For only 800 Wii points (or $8 for people who use traditional means of exchange), you can get this great game starting June 15. In fact, I was fortunate enought to be a beta tester (and I think I’m in the credits) and I can honestly say this is a good one to get. So check it out!
We sat down with Denver-based progressive-pop-rockers Dualistics before their recent set at the Hi-Dive to talk about their background, plans, and influences. Also, they had a watermelon but no knife, so we didn’t get to eat any of it.
So, we finally broke down and started a Twitter today. Check it out at www.twitter.com/somelikesound and in our nice new widget. Be our 100th follower and win a fantastic prize!*
*Prize TBD, but it will be good.
When Tyler Despres from Dualistics first got in touch with our blog about a month ago, I was swamped. Already dealing with a backlog of reviews and interviews, I had to worry about final exams. I gave their EP a quick listen and couldn’t quite put my finger on what I liked about this group. It was not until we got to see Dualistics perform live at the Hi-Dive last weekend that the quality of this group really began to sink in (more on them in a bit).
First up was a local band, Hot Robot. They had a straightforward rock sound and fairly polished sound, with guitar solos and vocal work that reminded me of more recent Sugarcult. Following this group was Salt Lake City (soon to be L.A.) based Kid Theodore. K.T.’s set was incredibly energetic as they mixed pop-vocals with classic instrumentation. With an old-school electric piano and a nice bit of spring reverb, they continued the Saturday-night rock show, warming up the crowd with sounds that occasionally reminded me of surf rock records mixed with upbeat pop-indie. Overall, they put on a great set for an opening act.
Finally it was time for Dualistics. The Hi-Dive was cozy with friends and family as the group took the stage. As a group that has been busy working on new material, they started the set with a new tune (Despres even had the lyric sheet taped to his mic stand, it was apparently very new). Then they moved in to the main part of their set.
Perhaps it was the great sound mixing, or just the straight quality of the group, but as they started playing “Sleight of Hand,” I was instantly transported back to when I first listened to the recording they sent me a month earlier. However, this time it was different. These were the same songs I had heard before, but now they had another, more natural and intense aspect to them. The hollowness of the recording gone, I started having fun and rocking out. Moving from song to song, I could hear the early 90′s influence as they played through literally all of their songs (and a few new ones). By the time the set had finished there was no opportunity for an encore, one of the band members simply said, “That’s all we have, thank you.”
Look for our review of the Dualistics EP and our video interview with the group later this week.
Words by Tim Weilert, Photos by Bengsoon Chuah
Hey, sorry about the lack of posts, I’ve been in my SolidWorks/CAD class all week for about 9 hours a day. See the results of my efforts below. As soon as we get the photos figured out we’ll have a review of the Dualistics show from last week.