Tag: Julian Lynch
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.
After hinting at its release earlier this summer, M. Pyres has finally released Mountain Pacific, an EP awash in hazy vocals and even hazier guitars. With this newest release, Matt Sage (accompanied by summer-time band The Season Creeps) take one step closer to finding a cohesive sound while still remaining fairly loose and garage-rock-inspired. Madison-based multi-instrumentalist Julian Lynch makes an appearance on “Japanese Milk Truck” with his signature horn-styling while an earthy, almost-tribal backing track supports.
My personal favorite track from this release is “Concord,” a tune we posted up here back in June right before M. Pyres went on tour with Woodsman. Mountain Pacific comes out on the heels of the announcement that the M. Pyres Apart The Echo cassette has officially sold out. Both releases are now available as free downloads via Patient Sounds. Listen to “Concord” below.
There’s something unique about how they do music distribution in Washington state. In the 90′s Seattle-based Sub Pop debuted their “Singles Club,” a mail-order subscription where members received a fresh 7″ every month. Olympia-based Wild Animal Kingdom Records has taken the idea of a monthly mail-order music subscription to new and interesting places with their “Monthly Mix-Tape Club.” As a subscriber to the first year’s tapes, I was greeted with an envelope containing a letter and a tape at the beginning of every month; it felt a little bit like Christmas every time the 1st rolled around.
The concept has been simple: get people from all-over to curate mixes and dub them on to cassettes. Each volume is unique, a reflection of the curator, or at least their perception of what a cassette mix-tape should be. A type-written/photocopied letter from the curator accompanies each tape as a means of beginning to explain the thought process (or nostalgia) that went into the mix’s creation. With year 1 of the club now over, I’d like to highlight just two of the tapes that really stand out (also, they happen to be in my car rather than in the kitchen with the rest of my tapes, so I’ve listened to them more than the others).
Issue II, Alex Davis (Leftist Nautical Antiques): Titled “Let Me Tell You ‘Bout My Ganja Problems,” this predominantly reggae mix has a few soul songs thrown in for good measure. Smokey Robinson’s “I Gotta’ Dance To Keep From Crying” kicks off the mix and segues nicely into a handful of delightfully fuzzy-sounding reggae tunes (only one of which comes from Bob Marley).
Issue XI, Martin Courtney IV (Real Estate): The letter that came with this tape ends by saying “I hope you enjoy my mix, but if you don’t, your mom probably will.” This issue, in particular, sounds like a mix-tape that could have been made when mix-tapes were actually popular. It’s not surprising to hear hazy tunes from the likes of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Fleetwood Mac get just a little hazier due to the nature cassette tape.
There are a few other gems, such as Issue VI by Jheri Evans (Get Off The Coast) and Issue IX by Julian Lynch. The only tape I really didn’t like was December’s mix of Christmas music (it just doesn’t hold up as a good soundtrack for summertime road trips).
Subscriptions for year 2 of MMTC are available now via Wild Animal Kingdom Records for $24 (that’s $2/month). Back-issues from year 1 are also available in their webstore.
The light was soft as the sun set over Fort Collins. A group of friends gathered in an unassuming backyard to enjoy the weather, the company, and (of course) the music. While taking a well-deserved break in Ft. Collins this last week I decided to drop by Matt Sage’s house (also known as “The Lowkey”). I tried to keep all preconceptions and expectations to a minimum so that I could simply enjoy a night a lo-fi and experimental music. The result was an enjoyable evening.
Armed with a guitar amp, a few instruments and a veritable smorgasbord of effects pedals Tim Perry (of Weed Diamond) set up on the back porch to play a set under the moniker Lush Cola. He made extensive use of loops and layering to produce a sound that was ambient yet slightly driven. As he ended I overheard someone say, “That’s the best way you can watch a sunset.”
As the nighttime began to overtake the unsuspecting neighborhood, everyone headed indoors to witness a set from that evening’s host: M. Pyres. Along with his current band, The Season Creeps, Sage put on the most upbeat and energetic set of the evening. It was a flurried frenzy of guitar and fuzz, bass and drumbeats.
Finally it was time for the main event: Julian Lynch. Words cannot properly describe the sounds he created in that basement music-space, but suffice it to say everyone there sat with bated breath, taking in every note. It ebbed and flowed, washing over the room and causing me to think “Has there ever been anything in the world that sounded quite like this?” The short answer: probably not. Lynch had a few interesting instruments in tow, including a bass clarinet and an electronic woodwind (pictured above). His set was a continuous composition that lasted for probably 40 minutes (although I honestly lost track of time).