Something Like Sound

Tag: Galaxies

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
Vitamins
Mike Marchant
Monroe Monroe
American Tomahawk
Oak Creek Band
Fingers of the Sun
Pictureplane
Lil Slugger
Galaxies
Hindershot
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).

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

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

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In Photos: Thrifty Astronaut & Galaxies at Yellow Feather Coffee

by on Apr.05, 2011, under Photos

Things at Something Like Sound have hit a feverish pace as we approach the final month of active existence. In the wild business that was the pre-SXSW weekend, I caught the send-off show for two Act So Big Forest acts going on a week-long spring break tour. Thrifty Astronaut and Galaxies (both of whom have a surprising lack of songs about outer space) played the modest Yellow Feather Coffee on Santa Fe. These are a few shots from that evening.

Thrifty Astronaut

Galaxies

Catch both bands this weekend at the FoCoMX festival in Fort Collins.

Click for more photos | FoCoMX | Thrifty Astronaut | Galaxies | Yellow Feather Coffee

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Galaxies: Like A Lion

by on Apr.03, 2011, under Album Reviews

Electro-pop (e-p) is an interesting creature. The seminal e-p record was 2003’s Give Up from The Postal Service. It was a somber reflection on life matched with 8-bit bleeps-and-bloops, synthesizers, and danceable beats. Owl City moved the genre on to more accessible grounds with 2009’s Ocean Eyes using ultra-sugary lyrics about lightning bugs and dentistry. It is on from this backdrop that I will introduce Galaxies- an electro-pop project headed up by Colorado musician and Act So Big Forest cohort Dillon Groeneman.

With regards to the aforementioned spectrum between sobering and sugary, Galaxies falls somewhere in the middle- which I would say is a good thing. The trouble with overly-morose electro-pop is that the lyrics undermine the fun instrumentation and my issue with overly-sweet lyrics is that they’re just cheesy. Galaxies manages to find balance between serious and fun with song like “Lost at Sea” and “At The Zoo With You” (along with other songs about zoos and animals). My favorite song is certainly “Kite Song,” which features beautiful airy female vocals.

Instrumentation is where Like A Lion really shines. In addition to synthesizers and samples, Galaxies uses live drums, ukulele, and guitar. The album’s BandCamp page claims it has been “years in the making,” a statement which shows a dedication to polished and cohesive sound. At the end of the day I would say that Like A Lion really shows Galaxies’ potential and ability, so give it a listen- you can stream this entire record below.

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ASBF – Red Basilisk: a soundtrack for snowy days

by on Dec.17, 2010, under Album Reviews, Downloads

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.

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BONUS:  The previous three ASBF Christmas compilations: Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3

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Act So Big Forest presents TRITON

by on Oct.24, 2010, under Album Reviews

Read this article in-print in this week’s Oredigger!

There are a lot of music-collective groups bouncing around Colorado these days (so many, in fact, it’s hard to keep track of them all). In my opinion, creating a culture that fosters cooperation and collaboration truly speaks volumes about the local music community. Case-in-point: Act So Big Forest Compilation Vol. 1: TRITON. A broad range of acts from all-over the Front Range constitute the 20 bands featured on the compilation curated by Jonathan Alonzo (who is a member of at least 5 groups on the ASBF label).

Since talking about every track on this hour-and-a-half long release might get a little long winded, I’m only going to talk about my personal favorites. However, this is by no means a way of saying these are the only good tracks, it’s all quite good (don’t take my word for it, just listen for yourself).

(continue reading…)

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