Archive for May, 2010
There have been few shows that were as odd as what I witnessed at the D-Note last night. When I say “odd” I do not mean to imply that the evening was a bad experience; by all means it was a lovely night full of wonderful music. It was just that the circumstances found many of the night’s musicians out of their normal spheres.
Danielle Ate The Sandwich
Seeing Danielle Ate The Sandwich is always a treat. Her stunningly beautiful voice and equally matched lyrics tend to leave me awestruck. Unfortunately for Danielle about 3/4 of the patrons at the D-Note were more interested in eating their pizzas than paying any attention to the musician on stage. However she wasn’t one to succumb to the ornery crowd and made light of the situation.
Avant-pop cellist/singer-songwriter Ian Cooke was in a casual mood when he took the stage. His set brought the crowd songs about large, flightless Australian birds (and their fruit bat lovers), spicy chicken cruchwrap supremes, in addition to several of his more popular tunes (Vassoon, Music, and Darkening are always my favorites).
By the time Candy Claws took the stage, the crowd had dwindled to a few committed fans (in fact, there were almost more people on stage than in the crowd). However, the 7 members of Candy Claws appeared unfazed by the poor turnout and proceeded to play several new songs from their upcoming album Hidden Lands. However, they didn’t just play new material; their performance of “Catamaran” was the highlight of the evening.
To see more photos click here.
Thursday was hot and lazy; it was the perfect day to do nothing except sit on the lawn and listen to live music. The jazzy-rock styling of Petals of Spain filled the air as the sun began its descent.There were quite a few DJs in between the bigger sets; this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, however those slots could have been filled by other bands from more diverse genres. Chali 2na took the stage with his live band to perform some post-Jurassic 5 hip-hop. His set was energetic and got the crowd moving and dancing along. Following Chali 2na there was yet another DJ (however this time more people actually were keen on dancing/participating) before a “hybridigital” set from Shiny Toy Guns. Initially I thought that the STG set would be a full-band affair, but instead it played out more like a DJ set with a few live instruments thrown in for good measure. Despite the lack of a full band, STG hybridigital was the best set of the evening, complete with dancers in strange costumes.
Petals of Spain
one of several DJs who performed
Shiny Toy Guns- Hybridigital
The real rock stars of the day were the hard-working members of the DU Grilling Society who provided delicious free food throughout the festival.
To see a full gallery of photos click here.
There was a modest crowd at the Hi-Dive on Wednesday night as Minneapolis-based psych-rock bands Vampire Hands and Daughters of the Sun brought their unique styles of music to Denver. Local space-jam band Tjutjuna played the first set of the evening, followed by a strong performance from a personal favorite: Woodsman. Despite the marked similarities between all the bands on the lineup I didn’t feel like I was listening to the same thing four times in a row. Overall the evening was an enjoyable mixture of ambient sounds and surf-esque rhythm and tone.
Daughters of the Sun
It’s warm outside, so that means it’s time to go out and hit the shows. Here are a few that feature stellar poster-art and great lineups.
Vampire Hands with Woodsman & Tjutjuna (5/26 at Hi-Dive): This $6 show pairs 2 of Minneapolis’s finest experimental rock bands with 2 of Denver’s best. Expect to hear new material from both Woodsman and Tjutjuna since both groups have new releases coming out soon (or already out).
DU May Days Musicfest feat. Shiny Toy Guns & Chali 2na (5/27 at Driscoll Greens): Nothing says awesome quite like “free.” The DU May Days Musicfest is great for several reasons: 1. The bands (the lineup is pretty solid and keeps getting better every year). 2. Free food (usually better than what you’d expect). 3. It reminds CSM students that we haven’t been in school for the past month and that DU still has another couple weeks to go.
Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Ian Cooke, & Candy Claws (5/28 at D-Note): Arvada won’t know what hit them after this show. It’s an invasion of sorts: Fort Collins folk singer-songwriter Danielle Ate The Sandwich will bring her unique ukulele styling while fellow Ft. Collinites Candy Claws play their unique style of ambient-indie-dream-pop. Ian Cooke’s amazing cello work will tie everything together quite nicely.
Hot Congress & Long Spoon block party (6/5 at Meadowlark & Larimer Lounge): This mini-music-fest showcases some of the best in what Denver’s music collectives have to offer. The lineup is ridiculously stacked and the evening’s events will feature prize giveaways and food vendors. For more information and a more in-depth preview of the block party visit the Hot Congress website.
Westword Music Showcase (6/19 in the Golden Triangle neighborhood): Westword just announced the full lineup for their annual music showcase and it is shaping up to be the don’t-miss event for June. They’re basically taking over an entire neighborhood for a day of great music and entertainment. Added bonuses this year include cheap tickets (only $15 in advance), more all-ages venues and a VIP option.
The release show for Slugger Comics #1 was a night of raw energy. The small warehouse venue-space at Rhinoceropolis was packed out and pulsing with each beat.
The Good Old Fashioned Sinners, who had been on a hiatus of sorts, reunited for the evening, bringing with them a healthy dose of volume. The core of their set was definitely driven by intricate and intense drumming and a generous amount of synthesizer.
Hot White played one of the most punk sets I have ever witnessed. The high-energy trio was raw and kicking, not taking crap from anybody. In fact, at the end of their set, someone in the crowd started yelling for another song. Their response: throw a can of beer at the bastard.
Lil’ Slugger really played up their comic book release by wearing paper cartoon masks and outfits similar to how they are drawn in Slugger Comics #1. In addition to their outfits, they also had a walrus and squid along for the ride. Their musical set itself was a mixture of art, rock, and occasional dancing. As a fun bit of trivia, guitarist/singer Joey Wiley (pictured above in red) is a fellow CSM student and more living proof that engineers can, in fact, be quite musical.
To see a full photo gallery click here.
The light was soft as the sun set over Fort Collins. A group of friends gathered in an unassuming backyard to enjoy the weather, the company, and (of course) the music. While taking a well-deserved break in Ft. Collins this last week I decided to drop by Matt Sage’s house (also known as “The Lowkey”). I tried to keep all preconceptions and expectations to a minimum so that I could simply enjoy a night a lo-fi and experimental music. The result was an enjoyable evening.
Armed with a guitar amp, a few instruments and a veritable smorgasbord of effects pedals Tim Perry (of Weed Diamond) set up on the back porch to play a set under the moniker Lush Cola. He made extensive use of loops and layering to produce a sound that was ambient yet slightly driven. As he ended I overheard someone say, “That’s the best way you can watch a sunset.”
As the nighttime began to overtake the unsuspecting neighborhood, everyone headed indoors to witness a set from that evening’s host: M. Pyres. Along with his current band, The Season Creeps, Sage put on the most upbeat and energetic set of the evening. It was a flurried frenzy of guitar and fuzz, bass and drumbeats.
Finally it was time for the main event: Julian Lynch. Words cannot properly describe the sounds he created in that basement music-space, but suffice it to say everyone there sat with bated breath, taking in every note. It ebbed and flowed, washing over the room and causing me to think “Has there ever been anything in the world that sounded quite like this?” The short answer: probably not. Lynch had a few interesting instruments in tow, including a bass clarinet and an electronic woodwind (pictured above). His set was a continuous composition that lasted for probably 40 minutes (although I honestly lost track of time).
Every single day I get ~20 emails from publicists and bands telling me about their new album or tour. It’s always the same: “Hi we’re _____ and we just released our album _____ on iTunes, etc.” It is not very often that I get invitations to comic book releases in warehouse spaces. Lil’ Slugger, of the Hot Congress collective, just so happens to be releasing a comic book this week at Rhinoceropolis. Slugger Comics #1 is the first in a four part series of books the group plans on releasing throughout the year and will be available at their show on May 22.
In addition to the comic book, they’ve also made their entire discography available as a free download. The collection of songs titled Super Sweethearts The Complete Lil’ Slugger and is available by clicking on the album art below.
There are a few events in my recent memory that warrant further discussion. One of those is my memory of the Tjutjuna / Fissure Mystic 7″ release show at the Meadowlark a few months back. Although I tried to prepare for what was going to happen that evening, I can say that I did not expect to be as blown-away by Tjutjuna as I most certainly was. Their music was loud, layered, frenzied, and memorable. I can remember leaving the venue thinking “I certainly hope to hear more from them soon.”
Well, that time has arrived. Earlier this last week Tjutjuna posted their new album as a free download via SoundCloud (see below for a widget, and for free downloads). Upon my first listening I was thoroughly impressed by the 7 tracks on Conch Shell, each one a unique blending of sound and rhythm. For best effect listen to this album as loudly as possible. According to the band’s blog, Conch Shell was recorded at Woodsman’s “palace” in Curtis Park with the help of Eston Lathrop and Brian Marcus.
Tjutjuna will also be playing a few shows on a tour of the South with Woodsman. A full listing of dates follows the jump.
Woodsman has been a busy group as of late. In addition to prepping for a summer tour and new 12″ record they’ve been making the rounds in the blogosphere with a few new videos. The first comes via The Fader and is a 9-minute trip called “Smells Like Purple”
The second video here comes via Blood Drank Magazine and is a 3-minute excerpt from a longer performance titled “The Quiet Set.”
Woodsman will release Mystery Tape on June 6 on Lefse Records. A pre-order can be found here and a download of “When The Morning Comes” can be made here (right click “save as”). Listen to the track below.
The Hi-Dive was awash with sound, the kind of sound that demands a listener. It was another one of those nights when the stage just didn’t seem big enough to hold what it contained. It was a night of shoegaze; the unique style marked by it’s near-psychedelic use of sound. It was also a night of celebration: KVDU was releasing a compilation and Mike Marchant was releasing a new record. In an attempt to keep things brief (so that I can get back to studying for finals) here are some of the better moments I captured with a camera.
Blue Million Miles
Mike Marchant’s Outer-Space Party Unit
To see a full gallery click here.