Tag: Fellow Citizens
Somewhere along the way I put aside my point-and-click camera and got serious about concert photography. The first event where I used a DSLR was the 2009 Mile High Music Festival because their photo policy prohibited any other kind of camera in the pits. From there on out I fell in love with the art of photography and tried to capture the experiences I had through photos. Looking back on the last couple of years, here are my favorite 10 shots.
The Fray – MHMF 2009: As someone who had very little experience with a more-professional camera, I was surprised at some of the great shots I got that hot weekend in July of 2009. The Fray closed out my experience at Mile High with a real spectacle: U2′s old stage rig, a big crowd, and a sense of completion.
Monotonix – Monolith 2009: While not a particularly great shot, I will always remember this set from the now-defunct Monolith Festival. It’s the kind of picture that would offend most anyone, therefore it has a certain charm and power that your average concert photo can’t achieve.
Paean – Hodi’s Half Note, December 27, 2009: Being from Fort Collins I found myself up there for the holidays without much to do. When I saw that Danielle Ate The Sandwich was playing a show with a few Act So Big Forest bands at Hodi’s (formerly The Starlight, as I knew it), I said, “Why not?” As it turns out Hodi’s has one of the best light rigs in Northern Colorado. This shot matches great lighting, ambient fog, and perspective in a way that I have seldom replicated.
The Knew – Pulperia release party at the Bluebird, March 6, 2010: At a time when people were just starting to figure out what Something Like Sound was, The Knew were preparing to get big. I ended up seeing the Knew 3 times at the Bluebird (and once at Hi-Dive), and they remain as one of my favorite Colorado acts. I recall seeing this particular shot floating around on their websites for quite some time.
Fellow Citizens – Skylark , October 8, 2010: I saw Fellow Citizens and Old Radio (now Amazing Twin) play two shows at the Skylark within one year. This photo of Fellow Citizens singer Eliza Boote was originally done in color and not cropped, however I edited it for print in the Oredigger newspaper. After looking at the two versions I decided that I liked the black-and-white more- it has a certain aesthetic that is reflective of that time and place.
Andrew W.K. – Warped Tour 2010 (Chicago): I had been to several years of Warped Tours before I decided to live in Chicago last summer, however none of that could prepare me for Andrew W.K. Perhaps one of the most energetic and bizzare performances I’ve ever seen, W.K. thrashed about the stage while putting himself into the most intriguing positions.
Safe Boating Is No Accident – Denver Does Denver 2010: The first show I saw after coming back from Chicago was Denver Does Denver (a fitting return, if I can say so myself). Safe Boating did a set of Pee Pee covers in the Flobots.org community space and something about the lighting in that room lent itself to some really dramatic shots.
Night of Joy – Denver Does Denver 2010: Sometime great photos are purely dumb luck. Another shot for DDD2010, I managed to catch the flash from a camera across the room at the often low-lit Meadowlark. The result: A photo that captures the face-melting nature of a Night of Joy set.
Sufjan Stevens – The Paramount, November 2, 2010: I bought my tickets for Sufjan nearly 4 months before he came to Denver. Fortunately I snagged some primo seats and was able to snap a few shots with my point-and-click. This photo was taken during a reworked rendition of “Seven Swans” which literally took my breath away.
FLASHLIGHTS – Split Cassette release at Larimer Lounge, February 23, 2011: FLASHLIGHTS usually like to party with the house lights down and their special Rande Kamolz-controlled rig in full operation. This, however, makes getting a decent shot of the group a challenge. I decided to experiment with long shutter speeds and zooming out while taking this photo.
Well everyone, this is it: The Something Like Sound Graduation Party & Farewell Showcase. An event to celebrate ends and beginnings. Come down to the Meadowlark on Friday May 13th for a night of music and revelry as Fellow Citizens, Red Fox Run, PANAL S.A. DE C.V., and Thrifty Astronaut provide the tunes. Mines students get in for free and it’s just $7 for everyone else. Don’t miss this event! Click the poster above for the Facebook invitation.
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.
- Dan Craig – Enough – from Alchemy
- Gregory Alan Isakov – Evelyn – from This Empty Northern Hemisphere
- John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light– In My Neighborhood – from Beautiful Empty
- The Raven and the Writing Desk – Space Grenade – from RECIDIVIST
- Flashbulb Fires – Revenge Song – from Glory
- The Knew – Yellow Moon – previously unreleased
- Monroe Monroe – Ready The Fall – from Love Wins EP
- American Tomahawk – Sunshine People – from Contradictions, Generalities, and Future Criminals
- Fingers of the Sun – In My Basement – previously unreleased
- Amazing Twin – Naked Girl, Pt. 2 – from New Wives’ Tale
- Makeout Point – Don’t Drown Me, Please – from Don’t Look Up
- Safe Boating Is No Accident – Who Will Marry You? – from Isn’t It Fun?
- Thrifty Astronaut – Middleclass Suburban Teenager Blues – from Caffeine Heartache
- I Am The Dot – We Have Not Arrived – from Bridges EP & A Collection of Songs (2008-2010)
- FLASHLIGHTS – More Sunlight – from FLASHLIGHTS EP
- Fellow Citizens – Cincinnati – from Fellow Citizens
- The Biz – Infinite Light – from The Ancient Future
- PANAL S.A. DE C.V. – You Knew I Was A Snake – from You Knew I Was A Snake Single
- At The Forefront – Till I Find You – previously unreleased
- Tjutjuna – Mosquito Hawk – from Tjutjuna
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.
There’s nothing quite like a Friday night in Boulder. Mississippi-based Colour Revolt played the intimate Club 156 on the CU-Boulder campus with local openers Paean and Fellow Citizens.
Friday night at the Skylark Lounge was a bit of déjà vu. It was last February when I found myself there basking in the yellowy light, listening intently as Fellow Citizens and Old Radio filled the night with music. This past weekend’s show, a showcase from local-arts/music collective Hot Congress, brought me back to the Skylark to see… Fellow Citizens and Old Radio.
While the obvious question: “Why would you see the same lineup in the same venue twice?” did come to mind, another query had me intrigued: “How have these groups progressed since I saw them last?”
Fellow Citizens began the evening with a set of sometimes-ambient, sometimes-unrestrained wall-of-sound music. The group played through a set consisting of a number of new songs, including one that will be featured on an upcoming compilation (Act So Big Forest Compilation Vol. 1: Triton out October 12). Singer/harmonium player Eliza Boote began the band’s final song by looping her reverb-laden vocals to create a rhythmic and melodic base. By the end of the song I had been blown away by the multiplicity of sounds and the sheer quality of the music.
Old Radio closed out the night with their unique brand of shoegaze-rock. As the group bid guitarist Eric Peterson adieu (he’s going to focus on his other projects: Houses and Roger; Roll), their performance was the most intense Old Radio set I have ever seen. Their songs that night had an ebb-and-flow, often building to a feverous level of sound and energy. At one point singer/guitarist Patrick Kelly knocked over the mic stand while the entire stage pulsed with movement and energy. The highlight of their set came in the form of “Asleep at the Wheel,” a slow-burner with an excellent use of build and guitar-layering.
By the end of the night I had confirmed my suspicious: both groups have definitely matured since February. We can only wonder where they will go next.
Of all the records that have found their way to my inbox this summer there is one that continues to pique my interest and demand my attention. It is an album with substance, a collection of songs thoughtfully arranged to remain stimulating even after the freshness of that first listen has faded away. The album in question is the newest release from Fellow Citizens, a full-length/self-titled affair from a group that had previously only done EPs.
Fellow Citizens begins with “Cincinnati,” a song that feels as expansive as the American Midwest. It builds slowly into a grand chorus, leading into ”On The Parkway,” the closest thing to a single that this record might possess. The lyrics float above the instruments as certain phrases stick with the listener.
“If you need a shoulder, well I’ve lost my limbs”
The first half of the record maintains this type of hazy, lyric-infused structure. Fellow Citizens is then punctuated by “Black Circle/Sky King,” an ambient-sound number that marks the beginning of the second half.
As the album continues each track blends seamlessly into the next. The songs are vast and spacious; layers of instruments ebb and flow as the songs build and relax. Lyrics are muddled by the walls of sound and only the melody manages to rise to the top. Closing song “Forget” marks a slight return to the musical theme from the first half of the record; this return manages to bring the record to a close in a way that reins-in vastness of the songs and leaves the listener contented.
Fellow Citizens is currently available at shows in the form of a limited-edition, hand-made CD; it will see a digital release in the not-too-distant future. A full list of upcoming show dates can be found after the jump. Listen to “On The Parkway” below.
Before I get to the question “How?” there’s the little matter of who to see at this year’s UMS. While this list is by no means a picking of “who’s hot and who’s not,” it might be useful for those not well versed in the Colorado music scene. This post covers the first two days, July 22-23.
THURSDAY, JULY 22
Act So Big Forest Showcase (Skylark, 7pm-12am): Featuring some of the best music that Fort Collins has to offer, the Act So Big Forest collective has their own showcase during the UMS. Swing by the Skylark any time on Thursday to catch the likes of Good Evening Titan, Paean, Sour Boy Bitter Girl, and Candy Claws. Roger, Roll will be closing out the evening’s showcase.
Hot White (3 Kings, 9pm): Don’t be surprised if somebody gets a beer thrown at them during Hot White’s set. The trio packs quite a punch and doesn’t take crap from anybody.
Ian Cooke Band (Hi-Dive, 11pm): The always enjoyable Ian Cooke will be playing a full band set. Hopefully he’ll play “Spicy Chicken Crunchwrap Supreme” or whatever that song is actually called.
Paper Bird (Hi-Dive, 11:55pm): Why not end the evening feeling joyful? Paper Bird takes on the Hi-Dive’s closing spot on Thursday but will also play a set at 7:30 pm on Friday at the Goodwill lot stage.
FRIDAY, JULY 23
A Mouthful of Thunder (TS Boardshop, 6:30pm): We haven’t actually had a chance to see Stephen Till’s newest musical project since Hearts of Palm broke up (and started playing again). However, hopes are high for what AMoT’s MySpace page dubs “Christian Rap/Punk/Regional Mexican.”
Action Packed Thrill Ride (Club 404, 7pm): Last time I saw Action Packed Thrill Ride my roommate got me really drunk. As I try to recall, it was pretty great; although the morning after was a bit rough. Maybe this time we’ll all be a little more sober (or maybe not?).
Kaiser Cartel (Hi-Dive, 8pm): I saw KaiserCartel a couple times during last year’s UMS. The Brooklyn-based duo is one of the few out-of-town acts playing, so be sure to catch this set.
Lil Slugger (Brown Barrel Tavern, 9pm): These guys are the only band I know that has their own series of comics. Also, a free full length album to download via Hot Congress.
11:55pm: Take Your Pick: Why do they always do this? There are definitely more than 4 bands I’d like to see all playing at the same time. Oh well, catch them if you can. Houses (Hi-Dive), Achille Lauro (Club 404), Fellow Citizens (Skylark), Young Coyotes (Irish Rover) and more.
Last year, when SLS was still in its first stages, we got a big boost from local music journalist Dave Herrera at Westword when he asked me to nominate 20 bands for the 2009 showcase. A year has passed and once again I was asked to nominate 20 local bands that had made an impression on me. In the spirit of transparency, I’m going to list the bands I nominated. I decided to choose acts I had not previously nominated.
Be sure to check out these groups (even if a few didn’t make the final list) and vote for your favorites by clicking here.
In no particular order… Tim’s picks for the 2010 Westword Music Showcase:
Gregory Alan Isakov
John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light
Jim McTurnan & The Kids That Killed The Man
It’s that time again! Free and legal downloads from Colorado bands!
Kicking off this installment of “The Best Things Are Free” is a new spacey track from Widowers frontman Mike Marchant. Titled “Crass Stratus,” this song is one of a number of new tunes Marchant has been working on (he recently released Indulgent Space-Folk Vol. 2, a collection of solo songs).
Pretty Lights has taken the state by storm, recently playing a slew of sold-out shows in the major Colorado markets. One possible reason for this level of success: free downloads. As with past releases, the newest EP Making Up A Changing Mind is available via www.prettylightsmusic.com (a donation is suggested). This is a must-download for any fan of electronic music and/or hip-hop.
Fellow Citizens, a group out of Boulder that I had the chance to see about a month ago, has their discography up for download on their website (once again, a donation is suggested). Their newest EP, Rocket Pack, is probably my favorite in the bunch with “Holden Caulfield Makes a Phone Call to Jane” as my pick for the top Fellow Citizens track.