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Fingers of the Sun: sunny, psychedelic and oddly familiar

by on Sep.03, 2010, under Album Reviews, Downloads

When The Pseudo Dates went on hiatus/broke up/whatever happened last year it was looking as though there might be a void on the Denver psychedelic-pop scene. Fortunately for fans, Pseudo Dates singer/bassist Suzi Allegra and guitarist Nathan Brasil started up a new group called Fingers of the Sun.

Although the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of 1960′s San Fransisco may be 1200 miles away (and 50 years in the past), the new Fingers of the Sun EP effectively channels the likes of Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. Despite their uncanny resemblance to  psychedelic groups of the ’60′s Fingers of the Sun’s charm is not diminished. Actually, in a scene where many musicians have gone the way of shoegaze, lo-fi, and experimental, it’s refreshing to hear something that sounds like it could have come out of my parents’ record collection.

The debut EP from Fingers of the Sun is available as a free download from Hot Congress Records.

Click for more Fingers of the Sun | Hot Congress

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Weed Diamond: Goodiez + new demos

by on Aug.30, 2010, under Album Reviews, Downloads

The background on this post is a little strange, so let me begin by explaining. A few months back I found myself in Fort Collins at The Lowkey for a Julian Lynch show. Lush Cola (aka Weed Diamond’s Tim Perry) opened and I picked up a copy of his tape after the show. Tim also happened to give me a rather peculiarly wrapped CD with the word “Goodiez” scrawled across the disc.

Upon listening to the four track demo I determined this release to be some of my favorite material from Weed Diamond yet. For those familiar with WD, Goodiez is more along the lines of the Snowmelt/Oklahoma 7″, and less like Sweater Kids; the tracks are awash in surf-reverb (akin to Real Estate or Desolation Wilderness). For those unfamiliar… it sounds like music from a band with the name Weed Diamond.

In addition to Goodiez, two new demos have surfaced online via the Weed Diamond Facebook page.”Chalice” is a laid-back number, while “Field on Fire” is far more upbeat (definitely my favorite of the two). It’s unclear when WD will be back to playing shows and releasing records (as indicated by some rather cryptic Facebook posts). In any case, these new songs are certainly worth a listen.

Download: Goodiez | “Chalice” | “Field on Fire”

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Fresh Jam: Rob Drabkin & Davy Knowles – Melissa

by on Aug.26, 2010, under Downloads

There have been many winning combinations since the beginning of time: peanut butter & jelly, beer & pizza, John Elway & the 1997 Broncos… this list goes on. However, another duo can be added to the ranks of “so dang good together.” Denver singer-songwriter Rob Drabkin recently teamed up with Davy Knowles (of Back Door Slam, The Rhythm Devils) to record an Allman Brothers cover. “Melissa” combines an already great song with Drabkin’s unique style and Knowles’s intricate blues guitar solos. The result is available as a free download until September 3rd via Bandcamp. Listen to the track and watch a video of the recording process below.

<a href="http://robdrabkin.bandcamp.com/track/melissa-featuring-davy-knowles">Melissa (featuring Davy Knowles) by Rob Drabkin</a>

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Sufjan Stevens: All Delighted People

by on Aug.24, 2010, under Album Reviews, Downloads

It’s no secret that one of my all-time-favorite musicians is Sufjan Stevens. With the exception of a few tracks and an orchestral album about the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway there hasn’t been much new Sufjan in the vein of his previous traditional indie-folk-pop records recently. That changed this last week with the release of All Delighted People, an EP that feels more like a full-length album.

Kicking off the EP is the orchestral original version of the title track, an 11+ minute track that showcases the musical developments Stevens has made since 2005′s Come On Feel The Illinoise! Each track unfolds to reveal a few familiar features (plenty of banjo, warm piano, plenty of horns and strings, etc.) in addition to markedly more experimental undertones.

News of this release came on the heels of details/ticketing for a Fall 2010 tour (tickets for the Nov. 2 Denver date may still be available). Currently this release is available through Bandcamp and will likely see physical (CD & LP) releases in late 2010. Stream the whole thing below.

<a href="http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/album/all-delighted-people-ep">All Delighted People (Original Version) by Sufjan Stevens</a>

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Bad Weather California: Live Jammers

by on Jul.27, 2010, under Album Reviews, Downloads

I remember seeing Bad Weather California for the first time. They were opening for Young Coyotes back in January 2009 and I didn’t know what to make of them. Were they surf? Were they punk? Or, were they something else? After seeing them a few more times I’m still not sure how to classify them except by saying that they have one of the best live sets in Denver.

I picked up their CD Young Punks and it made its way into standard rotation on my iPod. While it is a good album, I always felt that the recordings didn’t really do proper justice as far as their live set was concerned. Fortunately for me, and anyone else seeking a more energetic and less-polished recording of Bad Weather California, the group recently released an EP of live jams called… you guessed it, Live Jammers.

Recorded back in March, when the band was unable to tour due to inclement weather, Live Jammers possesses the attitude, sound, and feel of a live set. It’s got a few standards (“I Don’t Know” always gets stuck in my head) and some new tunes that will presumably appear on a new full length (which will be produced by members of Akron/Family).

Perhaps the best part is that this EP is a free download. So hop over to the Bad Weather California Bandcamp page and get this release!

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Chasing The Golden Light: A Summer Mixtape

by on Jul.17, 2010, under Downloads

I have done some driving this summer. A lot of driving. So much, in fact, that I started to imagine what it would be like to do nothing but drive for an entire summer.

One experience in particular always seems to put me in a hazy, blissful mood. That is what I call “chasing the golden light.” Driving at sunset and just seeing everything basked in the soft light of a summer’s sun.

This mixtape was arranged to give the listener the auditory experience of driving down the coast, up through the mountains, through a large city, then onto realization. The realization is that this adventure, despite being grand and beautiful, has created a large distance between the familiar and the fresh.

DOWNLOAD CHASING THE GOLDEN LIGHT: A SUMMER MIXTAPE

Full track listing after the jump. Thanks to Fuel/Friends for the idea.

(continue reading…)

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The Knew – Before It Ends

by on Jul.03, 2010, under Album Reviews, Downloads

Have you ever wanted great music for a road-trip? Have you thought about driving with the stereo yearning for the kind of music that embodies the spirit of summertime and the open road? Well, assuming that your trip is just a jaunt to the grocery store, I have a set of tunes for you.

The newest release from The Knew, a short three track record called Before It Ends, hearkens to Chuck Berry with more attitude and danceability for the modern listener.  Also, the song “Company” is the first pop song I’ve ever heard that uses the word “haberdashery.”

Before It Ends will see a physical release on 7″ vinyl and is available as a free download at theknew.com. Listen to “Company” below.

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Nathaniel Rateliff does Daytrotter (again)

by on Jun.21, 2010, under Downloads, Links

There’s something unique about the midwest. Driving through Rock Island, IL a few weeks ago I was half tempted to track down the Daytrotter studio and sneak a peek at how they do what they do. What they do, of course, is record bands on analog tape in one take, then post the whole thing online as a free download.

Last week I decided to go for a drive. Taking a state highway to the south of Chicago, I drove through woods and small towns as the golden-orange sun set in the west. Over the radio the subtle sounds of the new Nathaniel Rateliff record drifted through the car. It was the perfect harmony.

It makes sense (at least to me) that Rateliff is one of the new sweethearts at Daytrotter. He recently toured as part of their Barnstormer concert series and today they released his encore session.

Furthermore, I agree with their assessment of Rateliff’s new album. “In Memory of Loss is a debut album that can destroy you – its beauty just too much to handle.”

Download the new Daytrotter session | Download the old one

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From rising to resting: Night Beds makes the day

by on Jun.15, 2010, under Blogs, Downloads

Waking up this morning I had some lyrics stuck in my head. “We are born gasping for air, and we die gasping for air.” That was pulled from the late Everything Absent or Distorted’s song “A Form to Accommodate the Mess” and it kept me company on the the crumbling, pothole filled roadway as I drove in to work.

A Form to Accommodate the Mess (via Fuel/Friends)

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After 8 hours of silence at work I was ready to hear something good again. Enter: Night Beds. Arriving again at home I found yet another new mp3 from I Am The Dot in my inbox. Turns out that as friend-of-the-blog Zach Tipton was patching his way back to Denver (to do what? we all wonder…) when he recorded a collaboration with Night Beds, a band that calls both Nashville and Colorado Springs home.

Good Person (feat. I Am The Dot) (right click “save as” to download)

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But it doesn’t end there. Night Beds also recently released an EP titled Every Fire; Every Joy. It is the kind of music that dances gracefully across the room. Soothing, not boring; reverb-laden tunes that are hopeful and thought-provoking in addition to simply being beautiful. Every Fire; Every Joy was the perfect soundtrack for a rainy evening.

Click to download Every Fire; Every Joy (oh yeah, it’s free)

Click for more EAoD | I Am The Dot | Night Beds

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Woodsman & M. Pyres hit the road

by on Jun.12, 2010, under Blogs, Downloads

This is the kind of news that fits perfectly with the new summer format! Rather than keeping their music confined to the basements and bars of the front range Woodsman and M. Pyres have decided to tour together throughout the last part of June.

Woodsman is already out on tour supporting their newest release Mystery Tape (out now on Lefse Records) and will continue touring after the “Take Me To The Moon” dates are through. M. Pyres will be bringing his band The Season Creeps along to play some new songs as well.

As a special treat we have two tracks from the forthcoming M. Pyres and the Season Creeps record Mountain Pacific available for download. Look for this new album in July on Patient Sounds.

(click on the cover to download a zip with both songs)

Conchord

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Gravity Deluxe

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Tour Dates:

June 17 – DC – house show
June 19 – NYC – 86 Guernesy
June 20 – MA – Copperworks
June 21 – PA – Cafe Metropolis
June 22 – OH – Believeland
June 23 – IL – TBA special show – Chicago (w/o Woodsman)
June 24 – IL – Box Social
June 25 – WI – Project Lodge

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