Something Like Sound

Tag: Dan Craig

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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Preview Review: Dan Craig – Alchemy

by on Aug.16, 2010, under Album Reviews

Alchemy, in the classic sense of the word, is attempting to change common metals into gold. Alchemy, in the modern context, could be considered less chemical in nature and far more artistic. To take constituent ideas and combine them into something of beauty and value is the goal of most artists, musical or otherwise.

It is in this sense of the word that we arrive at the newest release from Dan Craig. Craig, who I first encountered when he was playing with Hearts of Palm, is a veteran on the Denver-scene with several previous solo releases. For Alchemy he mixed folk, pop, rock, and gospel into a record that speaks to the human experience on several levels.

The joyful tune “Sunday Morning” kicks off the record with big choruses and a choir; it is reminiscent of an old-fashioned revival church service blended with an upbeat Avett Brothers tune. A few tracks later is “Enough,” my personal pick for best track on this album; it tells of a brooding songwriter and the sting of loneliness.

“Holy Moses” stands out for its attention to the details of the Bible story and for its questioning hook.

“Is this the price of freedom? Because it doesn’t seem fair!”

Overall what is striking about Alchemy are the lyrics. Some are joyful, while others reflect on the nature of a broken humanity. “Company of Friends” combines both into a sing-along that admits personal mistakes while emphasizing the importance of friendship.

Alchemy will be released Friday, August 20 with a show at the Bluebird featuring A Mouthful of Thunder and Churchill. If you buy a ticket in advance you’ll save a few bucks and be eligible to pick up a free copy of the new record. Click here for tickets. Listen to “What Is This Alchemy?” below (via Reverb)

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Festival Review: The UMS, Day 2

by on Jul.25, 2009, under Concert Reviews

I really should title this post “Julie Davis: The Hardest Working Musician in Denver.” I swear, everywhere I went last night I couldn’t escape the bassist/lead singer from Bela Karoli. Turns out she started the evening with a solo set (I didn’t catch), then I witnessed her playing with Dan Craig, Bela Karoli (obviously), and The Wheel. Kudos to you Julie, it takes a real trooper to do what you did. Ok, now on with the review.

To begin, I took it a little easier today. I rolled in to the Baker neighborhood around 7:30 and tried to catch some of the Josephine & The Mousepeople set at Indy Ink. The bit that I stayed for was enjoyable, but the non-traditional space suffered from 2 things: Deafening the people in the front and obscuring the view of everyone else (other than that it was great). From there I wandered over to the Hi-Dive (which seems to be a black hole to me, I am continually drawn towards it, with no hope of escaping). I caught some of Dan Craig‘s set, then stuck around for Elin Palmer. Palmer is absolutely charming, from her eclectic instruments (pictured is a traditional Swedish folk-instrument), to her soft voice and songs in Swedish, I must say I enjoyed the set.

Next was Bela Karoli, with special guest Ian Cooke. As the night continued, the Hi-Dive seemed to get more crowded and hot with each set. I don’t believe they had to turn people away, but there was certainly not a spare place to stand for this avant-pop group. The set was solid (as usual), but the addition of an extra cello and a keyboard really rounded things out.

I overheard someone say “There’s only one band in Denver, but it has all of these different manifestations.” Agreed. About half the people from Bela Karoli were on stage to perform with The Wheel. It seems like every time I see The Wheel, their sets just get better (I attribute this, in part, to the fact that they’ve gone to a full-band lineup).

Finally it was past midnight and things started to dissapate slightly. However, I had waited all night to see my favorite local group, Houses. When I listened to their Spring EP, I was hooked: flowing melodies and feel-good tunes. Andy Hamilton & Co. were not the ones to dissapoint that night, as they played through a number of new songs (from their forthcoming Summer EP, out August 7). While I loved the Spring tunes they played, the Summer stuff was even better. Tighter guitar parts and dancability have been added to the Houses mix: let there be much rejoicing. By the time they finished it was past 1:30, it was time to go home.

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