Something Like Sound

Tag: American Tomahawk

2011 Westword Music Showcase nominees

by on Apr.14, 2011, under "Best of" Lists

Every year for the last 3 years I have been invited to act as a nominating committee member for the Westword Music Showcase. Every year I publish my picks for the sake of total transparency and because I think these bands deserve some recognition (even if they didn’t make the final ballot cut). The rules for nomination were simple: name 20 local bands which have had an impact on me in the past year (with the stipulation that none can have business ties to me, because that would be a conflict of interest). I have taken things a step further and decided to not re-nominate any act which I nominated in a past year. So here they are, in no particular order:

Thrifty Astronaut
Hot White
Night of Joy
Dan Craig
Mike Marchant
Monroe Monroe
American Tomahawk
Oak Creek Band
Fingers of the Sun
Lil Slugger
Panal SA De CV
Weather Maps
School Knights
Gauntlet Hair
Otem Rellik
Accordion Crimes

I would have also nominated the following, but can’t since they’re all affiliated with my record label (don’t let that stop you from checking them out).

Force Publique
The Kevin Costner Suicide Pact
Safe Boating Is No Accident

You can vote for your favorites online over at Westword’s ballot page. See my picks from 2009 and 2010.

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Something Like Sound Presents: Colorado Sounds Volume 2

by on Feb.23, 2011, under Blogs, Downloads

(click cover to download)

In late 2009 Something Like Sound released Colorado Sounds, a compilation of music from the Centennial State. Two years later Colorado Sounds Volume 2 is making its debut with an expanded roster and greater diversity of sound. The new release comes just weeks before Denver bands and fans swarm Austin, TX for the annual SXSW conference (where download cards for this free compilation will be liberally distributed). Curator Tim Weilert designed this project with one goal in mind: expose people everywhere to the quality and uniqueness of modern music in Colorado.


  1. Dan Craig – Enough – from Alchemy
  2. Gregory Alan Isakov – Evelyn – from This Empty Northern Hemisphere
  3. John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light– In My Neighborhood – from Beautiful Empty
  4. The Raven and the Writing Desk – Space Grenade – from RECIDIVIST
  5. Flashbulb Fires – Revenge Song – from Glory
  6. The Knew – Yellow Moon – previously unreleased
  7. Monroe Monroe – Ready The Fall – from Love Wins EP
  8. American Tomahawk – Sunshine People – from Contradictions, Generalities, and Future Criminals
  9. Fingers of the Sun – In My Basement – previously unreleased
  10. Amazing Twin – Naked Girl, Pt. 2 – from New Wives’ Tale
  11. Makeout Point – Don’t Drown Me, Please – from Don’t Look Up
  12. Safe Boating Is No Accident – Who Will Marry You? – from Isn’t It Fun?
  13. Thrifty Astronaut – Middleclass Suburban Teenager Blues – from Caffeine Heartache
  14. I Am The Dot – We Have Not Arrived – from Bridges EP & A Collection of Songs (2008-2010)
  15. FLASHLIGHTS – More Sunlight – from FLASHLIGHTS EP
  16. Fellow Citizens – Cincinnati – from Fellow Citizens
  17. The Biz – Infinite Light – from The Ancient Future
  18. PANAL S.A. DE C.V. – You Knew I Was A Snake – from You Knew I Was A Snake Single
  19. At The Forefront – Till I Find You – previously unreleased
  20. Tjutjuna – Mosquito Hawk – from Tjutjuna

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American Tomahawk: Contradictions, Generalities, and Future Criminals

by on Oct.15, 2010, under Album Reviews

There are two ways to review Contradictions, Generalities, and Future Criminals. The first involves talking about Adam Halferty and his involvement across every level of the Denver music scene. The second is to look at American Tomahawk in its own regard: the method of choice for this writer.

Contradictions might be what I consider an “escapist-rock” album. Halferty, while poetic, doesn’t mince words about how strange life can become and the means by which people create their own realities. In fact, several songs play through with imagery and words that could be taken as dying last words. “Sunshine People” proposes “Tell my friends and lovers anything but the truth [...] forgive me for the shit that I’ve been through.”

Disillusionment with ideas about truth provides for a thoroughly thought-provoking listening experience in addition to the sheer production quality at play. For a debut release, American Tomahawk got it right the first time. A certain cohesive tone brings everything together as one song transitions to the next (case-in-point: the transition between “Please” and “Las Vegas” plays through with a fluidity that feels like nothing more than a brief rest in a longer song).

Given the strength of their debut mid-length (at 7 tracks it’s more than an EP, but still shy of being an LP), it will be interesting to see where American Tomahawk ends up. If you have the chance, try to see them live (which may be difficult since their shows have been few and far between).

Contradictions, Generalities and Future Criminals is available via the American Tomahawk BandCamp page, and is streaming below.

<a href="">Contradictions, Generalities, And Future Criminals by American Tomahawk</a>

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American Tomahawk at the Meadowlark

by on Sep.05, 2010, under Concert Reviews

It would be hard to imagine music in Denver without the constant stream of fresh projects and musicians who refuse to stay tied to a single group.  Friday night’s show at the Meadowlark served as a showcase for three new bands full of Denver-music veterans.

Jimmy Stofer, former touring bassist for The Fray, current member of Hello Kavita, John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light, and Dualistics released the debut album from his new project Weather Maps earlier this summer. Employing a few friends from other bands, Stofer played through a handful of often-soft, always-melodic tunes as the space began to fill for the evening. A few of the tunes reminded me of  Bon Iver with less emphasis on falsetto and more weight on song structure.

When Meese broke up earlier this year it was unclear what would happen to the Meese brothers. A few months later it was announced that there would be a slight revival: The Centennial was created; moodier and more matured than what had been. While this was only the group’s second show, they still managed to fill the Meadowlark to capacity.

Adam Halferty’s gratitude was apparent as his close friends and family gathered to celebrate the release of Contradictions, Generalities, and Future Criminals, the debut album from American Tomahawk (expect a full review in the near future). Halferty, drummer for Young Coyotes (current), 3OH!3 (touring), and Axe That Chopped the Cherry Tree (former), enlisted six other musicians to help American Tomahawk see a proper live lineup. The sheer musicianship of the entire group was impressive and the quality of songwriting made me wish they had more songs in their repertoire.

Click for more photos | Weather Maps | The Centennial | American Tomahawk

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UMS Preview: “Who?” (7/24)

by on Jul.19, 2010, under Blogs

Just like the last post, this is who I would suggest seeing at the UMS. Note that some of these bands play more than once, so there is ample opportunity to see them. Others, however, only play once, so give them priority. The full lineup is available here.


Eleanor (Michelangelo’s, 3pm): As one of those groups with a large, orchestral feel, it’ll be interesting seeing them play in a small space like Micelangelo’s. If it’s all packed out, Houses is playing the Goodwill lot at the same time.

Jim McTurnan & The Kids That Killed The Man (Hi-Dive, 5pm): Jim and the Kids have gained some national attention (including a spot at CMJ) while figuring out how to be a 3 piece. However, cameo appearances from other local musicians are not entirely out of the question.

Tea Cozies (TS Boardshop, 6pm): I recall seeing Seattle’s Tea Cozies at Everyday Joe’s several years ago, maybe it’s time to give them another listen. Also, if you’re going to be stuck in Ft. Collins on July 23 they are playing at Road 34 with Kaiser Cartel (see previous UMS preview post) and Fierce Bad Rabbit.

Hideous Men (Indy Ink, 6:30pm): If you haven’t seen anything experimental by Saturday afternoon then you’re doing the UMS wrong. Rectify that situation with Hideous Men (and while your at it, help them out since their gear was just stolen. Night of Joy is playing a benefit show for Hideous Men July 31 at the Megahouse).

American Tomahawk (Illiterate Magazine, 7pm): If Young Coyotes and The Photo Atlas had a baby it would literally be American Tomahawk. However, don’t expect anyone in this group to be playing their normal instruments.

Consider The Raven (Moe’s BBQ, 11:55pm): Just for total transparency, I am personal friends with the Consider The Raven folks. However, that doesn’t diminish the fact that you should see them close out the night at Moe’s. Just like Friday’s final time slot, there are a few other great ways to finish Saturday: Ukulele Loki (Mayan), Dualistics (Club 404), or The Pirate Signal (The Import Warehouse).

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The alternate universes of Young Coyotes

by on Feb.22, 2010, under Concert Reviews

Despite the fact that Young Coyotes have now played a handful of “final shows” over the last few months; Adam Halferty and Zach Tipton decided to come together at the Hi-Dive to showcase their respective side-projects and play once again as Young Coyotes.

Adam Halferty’s band American Tomahawk opened up the night and I was immediately intrigued. Wielding a guitar, rather than his normal drum kit, Halferty played through a solid set of reverb drenched pop songs with the help of his band (which consisted of members of another local group, The Photo Atlas).

Zach Tipton’s project I Am The Dot took the stage armed only with a laptop, two drums, a microphone, and a spiral of red light. Tipton, who has been steadily releasing EPs in a genre he has titled “Apocalypse Pop,” played a few new songs in addition to some of his more established tunes (“Love Song for Camus” was my personal favorite).

Adding to the eclectic nature of the show, hip-hop duo The Pirate Signal got the typically reserved Hi-Dive crowd dancing, moving, and “jigglin’.” MC Yonnas rapped about everything from going on Warped Tour to finding “Love in the time of Swine Flu” while DJ A-What kept the beats pumping.

For the final set of the night Young Coyotes shed their normal acoustic set-up to play an electric set. While this slight change didn’t really alter their sound, it certainly added a dynamic not previously seen. One of the highlights of the set was the song “Hammering,” a newer tune that has no official recording (and will likely remain un-released). Toward the end of the set it became obvious that both Halferty and Tipton were feeling the effects of playing two full sets that night. However, they still managed to end strong, leaving the crowd pleased as the night came to an end.

See a full gallery here.

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