Tag: Bad Weather California
Oh the subjectivity! Trying to decide on my favorite shows from the last few years is truly a difficult proposition. For this post I’m just going to talk about shows that were not a part of bigger festivals. These shows serve as a sampling of events that had such an impact that I can still remember them today.
Hot IQs – Farewell show at The Bluebird – June 19, 2009: The first Denver band I ever got in to was Hot IQs. I would listen to them on KCSU in Fort Collins when I was in high school. I saw them a few times before their farewell show, and every time was something special. Their at-capacity grand finale at the Bluebird was no exception: burlesque dancers, a Cookie Monster costume, and some of the catchiest pop-rock this city has ever known.
Hot Congress Prevue – Patrick Kelly’s Apartment – October 16, 2009: Pulling up to the ill-kept apartment building on Pearl St. had me second-guessing my choice to go downtown until I got inside and experienced the wild house party thrown by Hot Congress. That night introduced me to a bunch of great acts: Old Radio (now Amazing Twin), Night of Joy, the Jim Jims, and Fissure Mystic.
Everything Absent or Distorted – Farewell show at the Bluebird – October 24, 2009: I cannot remember a more raucous, energetic, and ultimately melancholy show than EAoD’s last big gig. Playing through every song they had ever written (and then some), the 11+ members of EAoD kept going until nearly 3 am.
Brand New – The Fillmore – January 30, 2010: Another throw back to my high school years, Brand New has always had a special place in my music library. As I grew up my tastes changed and Brand New changed along with them. No longer an emo-troupe, they brought their newer style of manic Lonesome Crowded West-inspired music to the Fillmore in a set that celebrated the new while appreciating the old.
Tjutjuna & Fissure Mystic – 7″ Split release at Meadowlark – February 5, 2010: Apart from Dick Dale (king of the surf guitar), the loudest show I have ever been to was Tjutjuna at the Meadowlark. With Woodsman and Fissure Mystic opening, it was certainly a night of intense psych the likes of which I have seldom seen replicated.
Julian Lynch – The Low Key – May 20, 2010: On an unassuming street in north Fort Collins sat a rather normal looking house. This was no ordinary house, it was the residence of Matt Sage who had dubbed it “The Lowkey.” During his time there Matt hosted shows for the underground and experimental alike. I happened to be in Ft. Collins one summer when Julian Lynch came through for a set of experimental tunes. I still remember sitting in that basement taking in the sound and color.
Denver Does Denver 2010 – August 28, 2010: It was fitting that my return from Chicago was marked by a showcase of Denver music and art. Hearing Safe Boating is No Accident take on Pee Pee, Pink Hawks doing Bad Weather California, and the Flobots performing Hot IQs made this an unforgettable event.
Sufjan Stevens – The Paramount – November 2, 2010: Last fall was undoubtedly the hardest academic semester I ever undertook. This had me feeling down on most things, concerts included. Fortunately I was lifted out of my funk by the prolific Sufjan Stevens. This performance helped me realize how magnificent The Age of Adz really is.
Hello Kavita – Farewell show at the Hi-Dive – December 28, 2010: Of all the times I saw Hello Kavita, this one was my favorite. Not only did Roger, Roll open (it was their farewell show too), but Hello Kavita played one of the fullest sets I can recall. From old and new originals, to Steely Dan covers, and a mash-up of “Colorado” with Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al,” it was Hello Kavita at their best.
Bad Weather California – Rhinoceropolis – February 18, 2011: I will close with this show, because it stands as a harbinger of things to come. While I only went to the Rhinoceropolis a few times during the life of SLS, I was always impressed by the nature of the place: it is a venue that encourages innovation. Bad Weather California has played the warehouse space more times than most, and as the group prepares for the release of their new full-length I can’t help but wonder where they’ll go and what kind of audience they’ll reach.
The first thing you’ve probably got to say about this post is “Take it easy on the acronyms, we can only take so many ‘nyms you know.” Yes, I do know, so I will explain:
SBiNA: Safe Boating is No Accident (possibly one of the best band names in Denver)
BWC: Bad Weather California (although I don’t think they actually have bad weather in California)
NoJ: Night of Joy (yeah, nothing to coy or sly to say here, maybe they’re just musicians who are happy and play at night)
In any case, last Friday found me in 5 Points for my biannual trip to Rhinoceropolis (it seems that I only make it down there about twice a year, it’s not intentional though). The lineup for the evening was an entirely local showcase of bands I hadn’t seen in a few months. Safe Boating kicked off the night with a few songs from their record Isn’t It Fun. At this point in the review I’m going to send you away to read a write-up from Leighton Peterson’s “mom” (click here, it’s quite the entertaining read, but come back when you’re done please).
Bad Weather California was next and had (what I would consider) the best set of the night. The group recently returned from recording a new full length in Detroit with members of Akron/Family and their enthusiasm for the new material showed. A sampling of new and old songs kept people dancing in the smoky room as Chris Adolf & Co. pulled out jammer after jammer. It was really excellent to see this group playing in their prime.
The last band I stuck around to see was punk trio Night of Joy. Their high-energy, raw power style kept everyone moving and moshing around even though the clock had already passed 1 am. Their set was a collection of original songs capped off with an cover of Nirvana’s “Radio Friendly Shifter Unit” that kicked and screamed off into that good night.
Of all the shows I could have attended to mark my return from Chicago there are few that could hold a candle to Denver Does Denver. Not only did I get to see (nearly) everyone from the Denver music scene, but I also witnessed some truly excellent art. For those unfamiliar with the premise of Denver Does Denver, here’s the low-down: Local bands covered 3 to 5 songs from other Colorado musicians (there was also a graphic-art portion of the evening too). I could not do every set its due justice, so I’ll just be covering the highlights.
Safe Boating Is No Accident (covering Pee Pee): Dedicated to the “departed” Doo Crowder, SBiNA played a tribute to folk-collective Pee Pee. Starting with a high-energy rendition of “Jaroline,” SBiNA displayed the same amount of energy and musicianship you’d expect from the ~10-person Pee Pee, but with a concentrated 4-piece. The jammer “Pee-Pee Song” may have been a loose interpretation of the original, but I’m not really sure that a meticulous copy would be an effective way to channel the song’s namesake. (SBiNA also gave out copies of their forthcoming EP, expect a review soon! Release show 9/3 at Hi-Dive).
Night of Joy (covering Lust Cats of the Gutters, T. Rex): The normally reserved crowd at DdD got loose when Night of Joy ripped through covers of fellow Denver femme-punks Lust Cats of the Gutters. Even without their signature eye make-up, Night of Joy kept things at a “face-melting” level (see above photo) as they transitioned into playing a couple T. Rex covers (not technically a Denver-band, but at that point nobody cared).
Pink Hawks (covering Bad Weather California): The 11-piece Pink Hawks took on one of Denver’s beloved underground band Bad Weather California in a stunning display that earned my nod as “best set of DdD 2010.” Festival organizer Yuzo Nieto and his big band breathed a distinct latin-flavor and energy into BWC classics such as “New Religion,” “Two Ways,” and “This Is My Country Too,” ending with the most frenzied version of “Let’s Go To Bed” ever performed.
Flobots (covering Tickle Me Pink, Hot IQs, The Pirate Signal): For a band that has found success on the national level, the Flobots certainly haven’t lost connection with their roots. Playing a set at the packed-out Flobots.org Community Space the group started off with a spoken-word rendition of Tickle Me Pink’s “Typical” (the performance felt slightly jestful, in the same vein as Pictureplane’s take on 3Oh!3 at last year’s DdD). The highlight of the Flobots set was certainly their take on the late Hot IQs- complete with a rap-rhyme segment worked in during the bridge on “Retromuff.” Closing out with a couple Pirate Signal tunes, the entire crowd got down to the hip-hop beats that filled the small space.
For many more photos (including Key of D, Tom Murphy, Hunter Dragon, Houses, and more) click here.
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!
Hey everyone, here are a few shows of note:
TONIGHT: Young Coyotes and Fiery Furnaces (Bluebird, 8pm). Rumored to be Young Coyotes last show, if you haven’t seen this dynamic duo yet this might be your last chance. While you’re at it, download our compilation, they’re on there with “When I Was In The Fire.”
December 4: Take, Candy Claws, & Old Radio (Lion’s Lair, 9pm). See Candy Claws live and in person (as opposed to their global internet tour). Also, Old Radio puts on quite an enjoyable show (not to mention this one is only $5, so don’t miss it). Celebrate National Cookie Day in style!
December 12: Hot Congress CD Release Show (Oriental, 8pm). A few weeks back we covered the Hot Congress Prevue Party and picked up a copy of their very first compilation. Well, now they’re giving it a proper celebration and release. Performing that night will be Achille Lauro, Vitamins, Fissure Mystic, and Action Packed Thrill Ride.
December 12: The Wheel with Houses, Bad Weather California, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, Taun Taun and more! (Bluebird, 8pm). If there was ever a show that combined a bunch of my favorite local bands it would be this one. Unfortunately you’ll have to choose because it’s also on Dec. 12.
December 18: Flashbulb Fires CD Release Show (Hi-Dive, 10pm). We’ve got a full review of this group’s first full-length Glory coming next week and I can tell you that it is definitely worth checking out. Also playing that night: Danielle Ate The Sandwich.
December 31: Paper Bird & These United States New Year’s Party (Hi-Dive, 9pm). Ring in the New Year with a little bit Paper Bird’s brand of “joyful music.” Also rock out to the alt-indie goodness that is These United States.
Here comes the second, just like the first, a little bit louder and a whole lot worse.
Joseph Pope III (Rock The Cradle, 3 pm): I haven’t had a chance to catch his solo act yet, but I have enjoyed what he has added to The Wheel.
Elin Palmer (South Broadway Christian Church, 4pm): After seeing her play Friday night, I’m impressed (and also a little intrigued to learn more about Sweden). I might not show up to this one (since I did just see her), but you definitely should check it out.
In The Red (TS Board Shop, 5:30 pm): As a band on the local Suburban Home Records, I’ve heard alot about these guys, but haven’t heard them live yet.
Astrophagus (Hi-Dive, 6:30 pm): A band that combines beautiful and trippy soundscapes with guitar and trumpet. It’s like the ’59 sound remixed.
Wardens (Hi-Dive, 8:00 pm): I met the lovely ladies from Wardens Friday night, and I said I’d be there. Plus these girls came all the way from Brooklyn.
Danielle Ate The Sandwich (Hornet, 8:15 pm): Ukulele madness! You gotta love Danielle’s unique style
Dualistics (Skylark, 9:30 pm): Get ready to rock out, plus hear some new tunes from this group.
Bad Weather California (Hi-Dive, Midnight): Another excellent closer for the evening, Bad Weather will certainly not let Saturday go quietly into the night.
The Pseudo-Dates (TS Board Shop, 3:30 pm): Another band I met during the festival. These guys seem like a fun bunch, so why not check them out (what else would you be doing at 3:30 on a Sunday?)
Hawks of Paradise (Goodwill Parking Lot, 4:30): Last time I saw these guys was opening for Akron/Family, and I remember it being very loud (in a good way).
1090 Club (Goodwill Parking Lot, 6 pm): I already did a write up on these guys, read that.
Andrea Ball (Hi-Dive, 8:15 pm): I had “Beat Beat Pound” stuck in my head today (again), maybe she can get it stuck in yours too.
Bowerbirds (Hi-Dive, 10 pm): This group is making the trek all the way from North Carolina to croon us Colorado folk, don’t miss it.
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
Edit: It looks like the Hot IQs are breaking up after their June 19 show at the Bluebird (we learned the news from Backbeat Online here) I know we already mentioned this as a must see show, but we’re moving it up to “do not miss this show or you will never forgive yourself” status.
Further Edit: We took Fear Before, 3Oh!3, and Flobots off the list because you probably already know them.
So last month we had extensive coverage of one of my favorite DIY bands from Denver, Young Coyotes. This got me thinking, “Who are the other groups people should know about?” Well, then today Dave Herrera over at Westword asked us to send in our nominations for the 2009 Westword Music Showcase, here’s who we chose. You might have heard of some of these groups, some you don’t know. Hopefully we’ll be able to work with these bands to bring you the best new music from the Denver scene all summer long.
1. Young Coyotes
2. Hot IQs
3. Ian Cooke
4. Pee Pee
5. Bad Weather California
6. Born In The Flood / The Wheel
7. The Photo Atlas
8. Hearts of Palm (have apparently broken up too)
10. Andrea Ball
11. Richard Ingersoll
12. Danielle Ate The Sandwich
13. The Heyday
14. Paper Bird
15. Trace Bundy
16. Bela Karoli
17. Laura Goldhamer
19. Brave Saint Saturn
20. Rob Drabkin
Earlier we posted about some great upcoming shows, here’s the second installment. Also note that none of these concerts cost more than $20.
The Photo Atlas & 1090 Club – April 26, Hi-Dive, $8: Denver’s own Photo Atlas recently recorded a new EP as a followup to their 2006 full length No, Not Me, Never. 1090 Club also recently released Natural Selection, an album that we got the chance to review. Both bands are excellent live. Also playing: The Forecast
Manchester Orchestra – May 12, Marquis, $12: We already covered this one, but it deserves another highlight. MO’s new album Mean Everything To Nothing is excellent and they put on a great show.
Adrian Orange, Young Coyotes & Bad Weather California – May 13, Rhinoceropolis, $5 suggested donation: Adrian Orange, a Seattle based singer-songwriter will be on tour and stopping by Denver in May. Young Coyotes and Bad Weather California will also be there to represent the best in local DIY.
Kevin Devine – May 24, Marquis, $12: Kevin Devine is one of those singers whose songs have substance. He’s toured with Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, and a plethora of some of the hottest acts out there. His new album Brother’s Blood comes out at the end of April.
Lucero – May 29, Bluebird, $17: Part country, part punk, Lucero has been writing markedly beautiful and provoking music about life in the American west for the better part of the last decade. With songs that will break your heart and give you something to drink to, Lucero will certainly put on a great show.
Hot IQs – June 19, Bluebird, $10: Another Denver based group, Hot IQs recently released a single titled Houndstooth. They’ve been working hard on new material for their next full length, and will likely be playing new tunes when they play the Bluebird in June.
In other music news, SideCho Records has signed The Silent Years, a DIY band from Detriot. They’ve got a new EP, titled Let Go, coming out July 14. They also have an album already out called The Globe, which received positive reviews from The Onion and NPR. Keep an eye out for these guys and remember where you heard about them first.