Something Like Sound

Tag: Hearts of Palm

The UMS 2010: Day 2

by on Jul.29, 2010, under Concert Reviews

Friday night’s festivities began a little earlier than Thursday’s, and before 7:00pm hit, we were at the Goodwill Parking Lot stage to see blog favorite Danielle Ate the Sandwich. Her set was different than any other set we’d seen her play; sometimes-present band member and double bass player Dennis joined Danielle on stage, as well as a new addition, violinist Chris. While this has been the standard line-up since her new CD came out in early July, it was the first we’d seen of it. The addition of violin and bass added new layers to the music, and, musically, it was possibly the best DAtS show we’d ever seen. However, the awkward charm so often present in previous shows was lessened with the addition of new musicians. Still, things like a cover of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance along with great new songs made this a fun and charming way to start day two of the UMS.

We briefly walked across the parking lot to see Paper Bird’s second set of the weekend. They were much more at home outdoors, and the few songs we heard were fun and got the modest crowd excited. Having seen most of the songs they played the night before, we went to the TS Board Shop stage to see Accordion Crimes. The group was, as always, incredibly tight. Last time we saw them, some technical issues plagued their set. Those issues being gone greatly added to the performance.

We went next to the Hi-Dive to see, we thought, Kaiser Cartel. However, despite the indication of the UMS pamphlet, Kaiser Cartel was not playing, Dust on the Breakers taking their place (it should be noted that the UMS website noted this change and signs were posted near the box office). Despite the change in bands, it was very enjoyable to hear this band we’d previously not seen.

When 9:00pm hit, we returned to the Goodwill parking lot to see John Common and the Blinding Flashes of Light. The last time we saw this group, it was a super-intense performance. This time, however, was much more relaxed. Still a good performance musically, it lacked the passion we’d come to expect from this band. As such, we wandered back up Broadway, and were immediately attracted to the unrealistically loud music blaring out of Rock the Cradle. Lil’ Slugger (the only band with its own comic book that we know of) was sending its pseudo-punk sounds for at least a block in every direction. While the extreme volume was a good addition to the style of music, the music could have stood on its own. We spent as long as we could in the area before our eardrums burst, and before we knew it, 10:00pm had come.

While The Knew was playing at the Hi-Dive, the huge line coming out of the venue inspired us to find some new groups we’d never heard. As such, we headed down to the Skylark to see Pink Hawks. The crowd was up an moving at this lounge-roots group; while not our favorite type of music, it was obvious that the group was good at what they did. After a few songs, we did some browsing, stopping by each of the venues we passed. Doing this let us catch a song or two by Chris Adolf (of Bad Weather California), Story of the Sea, and Lion Sized. While none of these acts were mind-blowing, the ability to see better-than-average music every few steps was among my favorite parts of the UMS. Any time there wasn’t a group I particularly wanted to see, I could simply walk in a venue in search for a new band to love.

With the line to the Hi-Dive still too long to see These United States (and, eventually, Houses), we wondered around Broadway for a few hours, catching bits and pieces of some spectacular sets. These included Git Some, Hoots and Hellmouth, the Outfit, TaunTaun, and Coles Whalen. Finally, after a number of great sets and a musical break, we wondered into the Mayan Theater for the Nathan & Stephen reunion show. The show was supposed to start around 12:30, which is when the lobby of the Mayan started filling up. However, Houses was playing with two members of Nathan and Stephen. Finally, after a set by local comedian/musician Magic Cyclops, and well after 1:00am, the band took the stage. The high-energy set was well worth the wait. The group played a full set, and ended after around 2:15, but the audience and band seemed to want to keep going forever. This set was the perfect end to the first two nights of the UMS and got us extremely excited for the weekend stretch of the festival.

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KVDU Live, Volume 1

by on Apr.26, 2010, under Album Reviews

In-studio radio performances are often reserved for those few who possess the following: a radio/internet stream and enough sense of memory to actually tune in. I can name more than a few occasions where I have earnestly intended to hear my favorite bands play live sets over the radio waves, but simply lost track of time and space. Fortunately (and this is where the actual reviewing starts) there’s the new in-studio compilation from DU internet radio station KVDU.

The first thing that struck me about KVDU Live Vol. 1 was the ridiculously stacked track listing. It’s hard to go wrong when you’re listening to some of the best bands that Denver has seen in recent years. My personal favorite tracks are “Don’t Be Peaches” from Everything Absent or Distorted, “Asleep at the Wheel” by Old Radio, and the previously unreleased “Tunnel of Love” from Hearts of Palm. The live songs recorded by Widowers, The Knew, Paper Bird, and Pee-Pee also get my stamp of approval.

As far as sound quality is concerned, this collection is crisp, well-mixed, and much better sounding than you would expect for songs recorded in an internet radio station studio. This is due, in part, to the fact that the entire compilation was given the professional treatment and got professionally mastered in Chicago. However, as with any compilation or mixtape, track-flow is incredibly important. For KVDU Live Vol. 1 heavier rock songs are tempered with softer folk and pop songs in a way that keeps things moving while emphasizing each track’s place.

KVDU Live Vol. 1 will be released on May 7 at the Hi-Dive and free physical copies will be available that night. There will be live sets from Mike Marchant and his Outer-Space Party Unit along with Blue Million Miles and Old Radio. Marchant will also be releasing a new solo record, Indulgent Space-Folk Vol. 2 that night.

Listen to Hearts of Palm – “Tunnel of Love”

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Tracklist after the jump

(continue reading…)

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Hearts of Palm reunite to break up (Friday)

by on Nov.09, 2009, under Concert Reviews, Downloads

It’s been a year of good-byes on the Denver music scene. This summer Hot IQs called it quits, a couple weeks ago Everything Absent or Distorted said farewell, and this past weekend Hearts of Palm (aka Nathan&Stephen) played a pair of final shows. Hearts of Palm unofficially broke up last year, but never had a proper sending-off, so they re-grouped and packed-out the Hi-Dive for the last time.

This review only covers their Friday night show (International Day at CSM, aka “the tastiest day of the year” was Saturday, so that show was not covered). The concert had a rather odd lineup: the progressive rock Titan Courageous, the heavy metal To Be Eaten, and finally the indie-pop-with-a-horn-section Hearts of Palm. While the other groups had personal connections to the headliners, it certainly made for a bit of a weird lineup.As Hearts of Palm took the stage a fog machine began to fill the space with smoke; flood lights illuminated the stage and the 9-person band (which consisted of at least 3 Till brothers) filled the stage to capacity. Playing through a few of their more upbeat numbers at the beginning of the set, singer Nathan McGarvey kept saying, “Alright, we’ve got one more for you” (even just 2 songs in).

The crowd quickly warmed up and began to sing along with the classic H.o.P. tunes “No Water” and “Happier.” It was certainly a family affair as Stephen Till took the time to thank his parents, especially his mother, who “birthed about half of the people on stage.” Similar to the EAoD farewell a few weeks ago, Nathan&Stephen played through every song they had ever recorded and released. While they did not necessarily need to reunite for a farewell show, everyone on hand greatly appreciated the opportunity to see Hearts of Palm say a proper good-bye.

As a special treat and addendum to this review, Something Like Sound is proud to partner with KVDU to present a previously un-released acoustic session with Hearts of Palm, recorded in November of 2008. The radio-set even features a couple songs that were never formally released, so this is a must-download for any H.o.P. fan.

Download “Hearts of Palm – Live at KVDU – 11/13/2008″


1. Like You Don’t Care

2. Give “em Hell

3. Be Okay

4. Happier

5. Tip Your Glasses

6. Little Squares of Paper

7. Tunnel of Love

Special thanks to Eric Peterson for hooking us up with that. Also, be sure to check out Lance’s recording from the second night over at The Flat Response.

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Concert Calendar Round-up!

by on Oct.28, 2009, under Blogs

It’s been a while since I did one of these, but there are too many good shows coming up to not do one.

October 30 – Dinosaur Jr. at the Aggie Theatre (Fort Collins): As a primer listen to their recent performance recording from NPR’s Live Concerts from All Songs Considered podcast.

November 6&7 – Hearts of Palm / Nathan&Stephen at Hi-Dive: Most people think you can only say goodbye once. Heart of Palm are doing it twice! The Hi-Dive is sure to be packed both nights.

November 16 – Terra Naomi at the Walnut Room: For fans of solid female musicians (i.e. Regina Spektor, Joan Baez, etc.) check out this L.A.-based singer-songwriter.

November 17 – Pixies at the Fillmore: Where is my mind? More importantly, where are my 50 dollars? oh that’s right, it’s a Fillmore show.

December 31 – Paper Bird & These United States at Hi-Dive: What better way to ring in the New Year than with some kick-ass bluegrass and top-notch indie rock?

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This is going to be awesome!

by on Sep.21, 2009, under Blogs

Today has been a day of great news for Colorado music. First, it was announced that Hearts of Palm would be reuniting for two legitimate farewell shows (Nov. 6 & 7 at Hi-Dive), then this! Perhaps one of my all time favorite local groups, Five Iron Frenzy is finally getting around to releasing their DVD. Hopes are high, more details will be reported as they come in.

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Local Bands You Should Know

by on Apr.17, 2009, under "Best of" Lists, Blogs

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)
9. Meese
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
18. Roe
19. Brave Saint Saturn
20. Rob Drabkin

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