Something Like Sound

Tag: Hot Congress

Countdown: Top 10 concerts

by on May.10, 2011, under "Best of" Lists, Concert Reviews

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.

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In Photos: Rot Congress Halloween party

by on Nov.09, 2010, under Photos

The Friday before Halloween brought a ghoulish bunch out to the Skylark for a party from underground collective Rot Congress (aka Hot Congress). With morbidly renamed bands such as “Lil’ Slayer” and “The Killing Party,” it was a night filled with excellent music and costumes.

Lil' Slayer (Lil' Slugger)

Ghouls Walk By (Girls Walk By)

Bury My Bones

Fingers of My Son (Fingers of the Sun)

Click for more photos | Hot Congress

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Halloween weekend brings a slew of great shows

by on Oct.26, 2010, under Blogs

Halloween weekend is always a great time to go to a show. Costumes and rock music go together like too-much-candy and diabetes. If you don’t have plans yet, here are a few of our tops picks.

Hot Congress Halloween Show (10/29 at Skylark): Just a glance at the lineup for this show was more than enough to convince me to go. From Lil’ Slugger to Hindershot (and everyone in-between), it’s sure to be a wild one.

Elf Power, Mike Marchant, Paean (10/30 at Larimer Lounge): Colorado has been a hot spot for Elephant 6 bands lately. In the past weeks Of Montreal and Apples In Stereo both came through, while Elf Power will be here on Saturday (with openers Paean, Mike Marchant, and Faceman.

Devotchka and Snake Rattle Rattle Snake (10/29 and 10/30 at Boulder Theater): It would be difficult to imagine a local-only lineup better than this one. If you’re up for the trek to Boulder (and paying a pretty penny), there’s no better way to celebrate Halloween than with Devotchka.

Other concerts of note: Ween (10/31 at FirstBank Center), Woodsman (10/29 at Hi-Dive with No Joy | 10/30 at Meadowlark with Gauntlet Hair and others), Electric Six (10/29 at Larimer Lounge). Update: Electric Six has been canceled due to a family emergency.

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In Photos: Achille Lauro at Martyrs’

by on Aug.12, 2010, under Concert Reviews, Photos

It was a Hot Congress invasion on the Windy City Wednesday night as Achille Lauro came through to play Martyrs’ as part of their midwestern summer tour. The group, as always, brought a unique blending of styles which resulted in a set that turned out to be rather danceable (a couple ballroom-style-danced during most of the songs). My personal favorites “No Brakes,” “Summertime,” and “Unicorns and Consent” made appearances in addition to a new song called “Technicolor Heartache.” Denver-based poet Ken Arkind opened with an extended version of his poem about Los Angeles titled “Maggie.”

Ken Arkind

For more Achille Lauro and Ken Arkind visit Hot Congress. While you’re there, download Hot Congress #1, a compilation featuring both artists. To see more photos from the show click here.

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A slew of must-see shows

by on May.25, 2010, under Blogs

It’s warm outside, so that means it’s time to go out and hit the shows. Here are a few that feature stellar poster-art and great lineups.

Vampire Hands with Woodsman & Tjutjuna (5/26 at Hi-Dive):  This $6 show pairs 2 of Minneapolis’s finest experimental rock bands with 2 of Denver’s best. Expect to hear new material from both Woodsman and Tjutjuna since both groups have new releases coming out soon (or already out).

DU May Days Musicfest feat. Shiny Toy Guns & Chali 2na (5/27 at Driscoll Greens): Nothing says awesome quite like “free.” The DU May Days Musicfest is great for several reasons: 1. The bands (the lineup is pretty solid and keeps getting better every year). 2. Free food (usually better than what you’d expect). 3. It reminds CSM students that we haven’t been in school for the past month and that DU still has another couple weeks to go.

Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Ian Cooke, & Candy Claws (5/28 at D-Note): Arvada won’t know what hit them after this show. It’s an invasion of sorts: Fort Collins folk singer-songwriter Danielle Ate The Sandwich will bring her unique ukulele styling while fellow Ft. Collinites Candy Claws play their unique style of ambient-indie-dream-pop. Ian Cooke’s amazing cello work will tie everything together quite nicely.

Hot Congress & Long Spoon block party (6/5 at Meadowlark & Larimer Lounge): This mini-music-fest showcases some of the best in what Denver’s music collectives have to offer. The lineup is ridiculously stacked and the evening’s events will feature prize giveaways and food vendors. For more information and a more in-depth preview of the block party visit the Hot Congress website.

Westword Music Showcase (6/19 in the Golden Triangle neighborhood): Westword just announced the full lineup for their annual music showcase and it is shaping up to be the don’t-miss event for June. They’re basically taking over an entire neighborhood for a day of great music and entertainment. Added bonuses this year include cheap tickets (only $15 in advance), more all-ages venues and a VIP option.

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Lil’ Slugger preps for comic release

by on May.18, 2010, under Blogs, Downloads

Every single day I get ~20 emails from publicists and bands telling me about their new album or tour. It’s always the same: “Hi we’re _____ and we just released our album _____ on iTunes, etc.” It is not very often that I get invitations to comic book releases in warehouse spaces. Lil’ Slugger, of the Hot Congress collective, just so happens to be releasing a comic book this week at Rhinoceropolis. Slugger Comics #1 is the first in a four part series of books the group plans on releasing throughout the year and will be available at their show on May 22.

In addition to the comic book, they’ve also made their entire discography available as a free download. The collection of songs titled Super Sweethearts The Complete Lil’ Slugger and is available by clicking on the album art below.

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Old Radio at the Skylark

by on Feb.14, 2010, under Concert Reviews

If there is one thing that I have witnessed in the last year covering the Denver music scene it is community. It seems that no matter where I go there is the same core group of people supporting their own musical endeavors and those of their friends. Friday night’s show at the Skylark was no exception; friendly faces filled the bar as three exceptional local acts took the stage.

First up was a 7-person group from Boulder called Fellow Citizens. Their sound was a silvery mix of ambient guitar tone and intricate drums work (a fellow listener suggested that their tone was similar to Fleet Foxes). Each song swelled and sank as the set drove on. I recall being rather blown away by their last song; it was a climactic closer if I ever saw one.

Of all the tracks on the recent Hot Congress compilation, The Vitamins song “Sequined Dress” is a stand out. As would be expected, the song was a highlight of their set. Each note was spot-on as singer Lizzy Allen sang with a certain air of authority (there were several instances where she managed to hit notes that resonated in the room, it was impressive).

Old Radio is one of those groups that typifies the community I talked about earlier. With an “all star” line up, these guys have utilized some of the most talented players in Denver. Their set was a mix of old and new; songs that may show up on their debut record and an older favorite of mine, “In The Between” (from 2007′s The Blackwell Gate, when Old Radio existed, in part, as Roger, Roll). I found it difficult to quantify exactly what Old Radio sounds like live, but suffice it to say, Patrick Kelly is a passionate singer and they all know how to make a song ending “epic.”

See a full gallery from the show by clicking here and listen to a few featured tracks from these bands in our music player (on the right-hand side of this page)

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Hot Congress get spiffy new website

by on Dec.05, 2009, under Blogs

Hot Congress, one of Denver’s most active and eclectic music collectives has a new website just in time to celebrate the release of their premiere compilation. The new page, while not as colorful as their old one, certainly is user friendly and features a new “Downloads” section, currently featuring Action Packed Thrill Ride’s Best I’ve Felt EP.

Remember the Hot Congress Compilation Release show, featuring Fissure Mystic, Achille Lauro, and Action Packed Thrill Ride, will be going down next Saturday (December 12) at the Oriental. I’ve been listening to the comp. ever since I picked up a copy at the Hot Congress Prevue, and it’s quite the sampler. A few highlights include Achille Lauro’s “Cardboard Divas,” which I feel reflects their current live sound better than their 2008 self-titled record; The Jim Jims’ “Horny,” which features the unforgettable line, “We’re gonna have some super sex tonight!” and a spoken-word poem by Ken Arkind. The only thing that might make the comp better would be a song from Widowers.

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Concert Calendar Update

by on Nov.24, 2009, under Blogs

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.

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