Archive for December, 2010
I was honestly a little surprised at the crowd that showed up for a show just a week before Christmas. However, when considering that it was the last time anyone would be seeing Hello Kavita and Roger, Roll live, the cozy atmosphere at the Hi-Dive made sense. Both of those groups played stellar sets filled with old and new favorites, songs that helped shape music in Denver for several years. Sarah Slaton opened the night and blew me away with her beautiful rendition of “The First Noel.”
It’s two days before Christmas and a gift has already arrived. Several months have passed since we last heard anything from the Houses camp, but today’s release of “Your Ghost” breaks that silence. The track, which will likely make an appearance on the group’s Winter EP, has a haunting piano matched with Andy Hamilton’s cool vocals. Take a listen below and visit the Houses Bandcamp page for a free download.
You may believe otherwise, but Houses has been hard at work on the Winter EP (the last of the four seasonally themed EPs) for nearly a year now. Somewhere between twenty and thirty songs have been tried, recorded, and shelved, but it’s finally beginning to take shape, ready for release in early 2011.
To assure you that we have in fact been hard at work, we release to you for free this nearly-finished version of “Your Ghost,” which is slated to make an appearance on the EP. Feel free to download, share, “like,” and otherwise enjoy and pass along this track.
Happy holidays from all of Houses. Come ring in the New Year with us at the Bluebird with Slim Cessna. Otherwise, we hope to see you at many shows next year.
I don’t normally write about food, but this extreme circumstance may warrant some coverage. Last night, before the final Hello Kavita / Roger, Roll show, I decided to stop by Sputnik for dinner. Sputnik, it seems, had recently updated their menu. Gone is the Benny Mac (a sandwich which contained mac-n-cheese, chicken, bacon, and BBQ sauce), and newly arrived is the Doughnut Sandwich. Being one for adventure (and possible myocardial infarction) I ordered the sandwich. It was by no means a “fancy” affair, rather a combination of all of those guilty breakfast pleasures wrapped into one object. Instead of a bun, a glazed doughnut is split in half and lightly toasted, filled with scrambled eggs and breakfast sausage, topped with cheese, and served with “fake” maple syrup. The sticky concoction balanced salty and sweet with a slight kick of savory. I only got 3/4 of the way through it before I was overcome with the sheer richness of the thing. So, if you’re looking for what may be the tastiest, least healthy food in all of Denver, head down to Sputnik.
I once told Eric Peterson he was the “most on-top-of-it person I know.” Juggling a school workload, practicing and playing in at least 4 different bands, web design, and occasional video-work, Peterson was understandably busy. Last week, when I received an email from Eric, I wasn’t entirely surprised to hear that he’s scaling back on his musical projects to focus on other endeavors.
While my personal hope is that Peterson’s musical hiatus will not be permanent, there is still one final chance to see the multi-instrumentalist songwriter perform his craft live. On Saturday, December 18th Peterson’s Roger, Roll will make its final appearance at the Hi-Dive. Furthermore, another blog-favorite- Hello Kavita- will be playing their last show that evening. Given the “farewell” nature of this show, it’s certainly not one to miss.
As a bittersweet bonus, the entire Roger, Roll catalog has been made available as a free download in addition to a handful of demos and other such recordings. Give a listen to 2008′s The Blackwell Gate (embedded below) and click through the links for other Roger, Roll recordings.
Last night snow began gently falling. This morning the world outside was covered in a glorious white sheet of powder. With the holiday season in full swing, the last few weeks have been filled with the schlocky songs of Christmastime with many looking for better listening alternatives. Along with the snow this morning, another delightful winter tradition took place: Act So Big Forest’s annual Christmas Forest compilation (Volume 4: Red Basilisk). A basilisk, for those unfamiliar, is a variety of mythical serpent.
The compilation brings together the recently re-branded/expanded Act So Big Forest collective in a more wintery context than their previous compilation Triton. Recently Pitchfork-premiered Candy Claws track “Snow Bridge” sits nestled in among a handful of delightfully gazey non-traditional winter songs. Among the more-familiar tunes are Fellow Citizens’ take on “Christmas Time is Here,” Galaxies’ percussion-based version of “Blue Christmas,” a jazzy “Three Kings” from Hosannas, and Paean’s “O Holy Night.”
Download Red Basilisk here. Listen to Candy Claws – “Snow Bridge” below.
While I have been a bit of a hermit for the last month, I did manage to make it out for a show at the Bluebird last weekend. Now that I’m done with finals, I finally found time to sort through the photos today. Politic certainly had the best lighting setup, although Monroe Monroe was definitely my favorite new act of the evening.
Vices I Admire
With the end of the year approaching many critics are putting together their “Best of 2010″ lists. While I have mixed feelings on placing one album above or below another, there’s no doubt in my mind that Candy Claws’ Hidden Lands record would make my list. Another reason to dig this band: the beautiful new video for their song “The Breathing Fire.” Watch it here.
There’s a slew of news coming out of the Tennis camp these days as the group continues their national tour and prepares for an album release. First up is a lovely orange-tinted video from San Fransisco video-art blog Yours Truly. The session features impeccable videography and a brief interview.
Up next is an episode of “Tunnelvision,” a program from Pitchfork.tv and NYC blog Chocolate Bobka that comes in 3 parts. The three songs, filmed at the the Cakeshop and Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn, make use of footage from two different shows. Posted here is “When I Walk In The Room” a cover of a Jackie DeShannon song.
Finally, here’s an audio stream of “Take Me Somewhere” from the group’s upcoming full length Cape Dory. The record drops on January 18, 2011 and will be available on CD, LP and tape from Fat Possum Records (pre-order it here). Also be sure to catch Tennis on their current tour, dates are listed after the jump (including a February 10th date at the Hi-Dive).
Admittedly, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of tiring excitement. Now, as the school-semester draws to a close, I have found myself holed up with nothing to do except study, write term-papers, and complain about the cold weather (and lack of actual snowfall). Needless to say, I’ve been a bit of a curmudgeon. However, a bit of brightness came across my ears in the form of The Oak Creek Band.
After listening to nothing but gaze-experimental tunes for several months, The Oak Creek Band brought me back to one of my musical joys: folk-inspired singer-songwriter pop. “1934,” the first track off the group’s eponymous EP features a pleasant rolling melody that showcases the talent of singer Jenna Cunningham. “We Were Alive” shifts into a slightly more proggy-90′s-sounding style (with a guitar riff that may or may not have been lifted from Weezer’s “El Scorcho”) while “Diving Bell” returns to simple folksy beauty.
Overall, this three track sampling from The Oak Creek Band is a rather strong showing for a group without a long history. In fact, Jenna Cunningham and Daniel Watters only moved to Denver from Arizona in 2009 and have already managed to make a few waves on the local scene. Take a listen to their EP below and be sure to check out their website for updates and show dates.