Something Like Sound

Tag: M. Pyres

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: Reading Rainbow / M. Pyres / SAUNA

by on Apr.26, 2011, under Photos

I normally don’t do shows on Monday nights, this show at the Hi-Dive a couple weeks ago was a special circumstance. Reading Rainbow was in town from Philadelphia, M. Pyres came down from Fort Collins, and I finally had a chance to catch the newest BPG band SAUNA. Highlights from the evening included an energetic rendition of SAUNA’s “Croctopus,” Matt Sage’s baritone guitar, and the few songs I stuck around for from Reading Rainbow.


M. Pyres

Reading Rainbow

Click for more photos | SAUNA | M. Pyres | Reading Rainbow

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M. Pyres & The Season Creeps: Mountain Pacific

by on Nov.02, 2010, under Album Reviews, Downloads

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.

Download Mountain Pacific | Download Apart The Echo

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The Best Things 2: Electric Boogaloo

by on Sep.22, 2010, under Downloads

It has been waaaaaaay too long since I did a “The Best Things Are Free” post. There’s been a multitude of incredible home-grown music released for free in the past few months; here are a handful to keep you occupied.

A bunch of releases from Patient Sounds: Matt Sage & Co. have been keeping busy in Fort Collins releasing tapes, going on tour, and being featured on NPR. Patient Sounds tends to put out at least one new lo-fi release per month these days. Highlighted above: Littoral Drift (Brett Taylor), Lush Cola (Tim Perry), and the Patient Sounds summer sampler (featuring M. Pyres, Ambassador Engine, The Good Old Fashioned Sinners, and more). Also check out Black Tape & Cast Off/Cold Months, collections of M. Pyres b-sides and music for the coming winter.

Pretty Lights – Spilling Over Every Side EP: The second chapter in a trilogy of EPs, Spilling Over Every Side reminds us all why Pretty Lights has become so popular in the last few months. Not only has Derek Vincent Smith sold out Red Rocks, but he did it without charging for his music.

The Pseudo Dates – 400 Some Odd Songs in 400 Some Odd Nights: Possibly one of the best records to come out of the Hot Congress camp, the debut full-length from the now-defunct Pseudo Dates combined psychedelic pop and rock. The result was a handful of catchy tunes: “Indeed We Love You,” “Amber, Show Me Your Scars,” and “Amateur Night At The Shooting Range” all well worth the listen.

Arliss Nancy – Truckstop Roses: The second release from Fort Collins alt-country band Arliss Nancy shows the group’s progression since their debut Dance To Forget. The guitar parts are tighter and the lyrics more heart-wrenching. Also, I’m fairly certain that Jon Snograss (Drag The River) makes a cameo.

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Woodsman & M. Pyres hit the road

by on Jun.12, 2010, under Blogs, Downloads

This is the kind of news that fits perfectly with the new summer format! Rather than keeping their music confined to the basements and bars of the front range Woodsman and M. Pyres have decided to tour together throughout the last part of June.

Woodsman is already out on tour supporting their newest release Mystery Tape (out now on Lefse Records) and will continue touring after the “Take Me To The Moon” dates are through. M. Pyres will be bringing his band The Season Creeps along to play some new songs as well.

As a special treat we have two tracks from the forthcoming M. Pyres and the Season Creeps record Mountain Pacific available for download. Look for this new album in July on Patient Sounds.

(click on the cover to download a zip with both songs)


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Gravity Deluxe

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Tour Dates:

June 17 – DC – house show
June 19 – NYC – 86 Guernesy
June 20 – MA – Copperworks
June 21 – PA – Cafe Metropolis
June 22 – OH – Believeland
June 23 – IL – TBA special show – Chicago (w/o Woodsman)
June 24 – IL – Box Social
June 25 – WI – Project Lodge

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Julian Lynch at the Lowkey

by on May.22, 2010, under Concert Reviews

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).

Click for more Lush Cola | M. Pyres | Julian Lynch. To see a full gallery from the show click here.

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The Westword Music Showcase 2010 ballot

by on Apr.27, 2010, under "Best of" Lists, Blogs

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:

Achille Lauro
Candy Claws
Old Radio
Hello Kavita
Gregory Alan Isakov
The Knew
Fissure Mystic
M. Pyres
Arliss Nancy
Fellow Citizens
John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light
Jim McTurnan & The Kids That Killed The Man
Pretty Lights
Weed Diamond
Flashbulb Fires

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SXSW, according to Colorado, part 1

by on Mar.22, 2010, under Blogs

Last week, while I was kicking around Colorado catching up on some much needed R&R, some fellow Coloradans trekked down to South By Southwest (SXSW) for a wild week of parties and great music. Of all the coverage I’ve seen so far, here are some of the highlights. Expect another, similar post as soon as more people start posting their stuff.

Matt Sage’s (M. Pyres) photo essay at BROKEN\\FOCUS

Real Estate | photo by Matt Sage

Houses’ tour-feed on Twitter (@weareHOUSES)

They’ve got some entertaining videos posted, but specifically, this photo is awesome

“Mike’s proudest moment. He doesn’t need to have children anymore, because of this photo.”

Westword’s Backbeat Online  SXSW coverage

They’ve got interviews, videos, and Snoop Dogg. It also appears that they might have more content on the way, so check back in the coming days.

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M. Pyres & The Skygaze Family Band: Apart The Echo

by on Dec.04, 2009, under Album Reviews

Skygaze… is a combination of words. Shoegaze: “to play a musical instrument while looking at one’s shoes, esp. a guitar.” Sky: “the region of the clouds or the upper air.” While shoegaze bands of decades past may have collapsed into utter self-contempt, the form has been re-visioned by Fort Collins musician Matt Sage and his band of friends (aka M. Pyres and the Skygaze Family Band).

Unlike Sage’s previous full-length Consider Me, Ghost, Apart The Echo follows a more direct theme and general momentum. Described as “40 minutes of post punk classic rock radio transmissions. surfing high on rocky mountains or an ocean in your head,” Apart The Echo combines the delightful warmth of the lo-fi shoegazers of old with airy surf-esque guitar riffs.

Starting out with “River Song” acoustic guitars and words are supplemented with flowing, shimmery instruments (possibly guitars or keyboard?). One of the best tracks to typify the skygaze sound is “Rocky Surf,” and instrumental with heavily distorted bass, a catchy surf-guitar-riff, and drumming reminiscent of Dick Dale & The Del-Tones. Continuing on the theme of oceanside-entertainment, “Seaaes” closes the record and stands out as another highlight for the record, both musically and lyrically.

“It’s dark down here, but the water’s clear”

This record marks a few firsts for Sage and his compatriots at the newly formed Patient Sounds (intl). First, it is not simply another solo recording project, but rather a collaboration with other musicians. Second, it is the first M. Pyres release on Patient Sounds (the place where you can get this release, even on cassette), the new label formed from the ashes of the former Fir Traders Union. Finally, a free release, & New Past Tense, was also released as a “partner–not an addition–to” Apart The Echo, and is available for free download.

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Lo-Fi Sat-ur-Day

by on Nov.14, 2009, under Blogs

Today is officially Lo-Fi Sat-ur-day, I have declared it so. There are all sorts of delightful lo-fi things happening in Colorado, here are some of the highlights.

M. Pyres & New Past Tense live from the LOW KEY

After one of their shows got canceled this last week, M. Pyres & Co. decided to record a show in their basement and broadcast it to the world for all to enjoy.

M. Pyres & New Past Tense live from the LOW KEY from matthew sage on Vimeo.

I Am The Dot – Treetops (Feat. Boneless)

Zach Tipton is up to something again. This time he’s collaborated with visual-audio-artist Boneless on a song that is “filled with ambient dreamscapes.” We are streaming the song right here and offering a free download.

DOWNLOAD “I AM THE DOT ~ TREETOPS (FEAT. BONELESS)” (right click “save as”)

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Candy Claws Online World Tour

Another lo-fi group from Fort Collins is playing shows via the internet. Candy Claws has partnered with blogs from all across the world to bring the songs from their latest project In the Dream of the Sea Life to listeners via videos. Recently they made a stop at another Denver blog, Cause=Time, to play an acoustic version of their song “Lantern Fish.”

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