Tag: Old Radio
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.
Local music-arts collective Hot Congress has continued to make its mark on the Denver music scene. Most recently, the group curated a weekly residency at the Meadowlark, showcasing H.C. bands (and others) every Thursday in November. November 18th (tomorrow) will mark the final week in the series (since not many people would be keen on going to a show during Thanksgiving). The final showcase will serve as a tour-kickoff for Fingers of the Sun and an EP release party for Amazing Twin (formerly Old Radio).
As someone quite familiar with Old Radio, hearing the new EP reminds me why I started listening to the group in the first place. After hearing demos for “A Void” (now called “Cambridge Mile”) and “Asleep At The Wheel,” I recall thinking “These are good, but still embryonic.” Upon listening to New Wives’ Tale, the songs took on a new life. A few old favorites (“Naked Girl, Part. 2″and the aforementioned songs) make appearances, along with several songs that had only been heard live. Overall, it’s clear that Amazing Twin took their time in getting the sound they were looking for- the EP is cohesive and well-mastered, but not over-produced.
I’ll update this post once the EP is available for download. In the meantime listen to EP-closer “Asleep At The Wheel” and enjoy a free download of the track.
Edit: You can now purchase an mp3 version of this record at CDBaby.
Friday night at the Skylark Lounge was a bit of déjà vu. It was last February when I found myself there basking in the yellowy light, listening intently as Fellow Citizens and Old Radio filled the night with music. This past weekend’s show, a showcase from local-arts/music collective Hot Congress, brought me back to the Skylark to see… Fellow Citizens and Old Radio.
While the obvious question: “Why would you see the same lineup in the same venue twice?” did come to mind, another query had me intrigued: “How have these groups progressed since I saw them last?”
Fellow Citizens began the evening with a set of sometimes-ambient, sometimes-unrestrained wall-of-sound music. The group played through a set consisting of a number of new songs, including one that will be featured on an upcoming compilation (Act So Big Forest Compilation Vol. 1: Triton out October 12). Singer/harmonium player Eliza Boote began the band’s final song by looping her reverb-laden vocals to create a rhythmic and melodic base. By the end of the song I had been blown away by the multiplicity of sounds and the sheer quality of the music.
Old Radio closed out the night with their unique brand of shoegaze-rock. As the group bid guitarist Eric Peterson adieu (he’s going to focus on his other projects: Houses and Roger; Roll), their performance was the most intense Old Radio set I have ever seen. Their songs that night had an ebb-and-flow, often building to a feverous level of sound and energy. At one point singer/guitarist Patrick Kelly knocked over the mic stand while the entire stage pulsed with movement and energy. The highlight of their set came in the form of “Asleep at the Wheel,” a slow-burner with an excellent use of build and guitar-layering.
By the end of the night I had confirmed my suspicious: both groups have definitely matured since February. We can only wonder where they will go next.
Day four of the UMS began for us a little later than the day before. The rest of the festival was wearing on us, and we struggled to get to the Baker Neighborhood by 4:00pm. Once we got there, however, the music got us excited again. The day started off with The Conjugal Visits at TS Board Shop. This punk band didn’t have a huge crowd, but those of us who were there really enjoyed the sincere and energetic and incredibly catchy punk music we heard. Next up was The Photo Atlas at the Goodwill stage, filling in for an illness-riddled Hello Kavita. Dancy and passionate, The Photo Atlas is always enjoyable to see. We were sad to miss Hello Kavita’s last show for awhile, but the set put on by The Photo Atlas was a nice consolation.
Next, we crossed Broadway to The Irish Rover, to see Bela Karoli. We hadn’t seen Julie Davis and company for quite a while, and were happy to enter the, literally, overflowing bar to see them. Charming as always, the group always delights with it’s musicality and its relaxed attitude. After a fun and relaxing set, we walked down to the Hi-Dive for some auditory whiplash with Tjutjuna. Loud and weird, we loved this set. Their epic soundscapes filled the venue and the audience seemed to deeply appreciate the music. The only problem was the mere half-hour set, which left us calling for more.
Next, we trekked the 10 minute walk to Club 404 to see Old Radio. This shoegaze group was absolutely excellent. Powerful and well-crafted songs made Old Radio one of our new favorite Denver bands, and we hope they continue to play.
After this set, however, the festival caught up to us and we were too tired to continue. As I drove back to Golden after the Old Radio set, feet and back aching and my ability to appreciate live music temporarily destroyed, it struck me how amazing the Denver music scene really is. Certainly at this year’s UMS, we saw bands which are always fun to see and which we’ll check out every time we can. But there were also bands we’d never heard of that kept us more than entertained. I don’t think we saw a single bad set all weekend, and we certainly saw a fair share of amazing ones. Denver has an amazing set of creative and motivated musicians which make it possible for something like the UMS to be as successful as it was.
By the time Sunday rolls around chances are you’re going to be on the verge of passing out from exhaustion. Drink some coffee and cram down another slice of cheap pizza, it’s time for the final set of SLS picks for the UMS.
SUNDAY, JULY 25
Hello Kavita (Goodwill parking lot, 4:30pm): 2009′s To A Loved One was one of my favorite records of the year (regardless of the fact that Hello Kavita is a local group). Catch their set if you dig Wilco, Neil Young, or the like. Edit: As pointed out in the comments, Hello Kavita is going on hiatus following this performance, so don’t miss it!
Tjutjuna (Hi-Dive, 6pm): Spacey and loud, Tjutjuna will have you coming back for more. This group recently released a record called Conch Shell for free via their blog.
Old Radio (Club 404, 7pm): If shoegaze is your thing, then don’t miss Old Radio. They’re a bit of a local super group with a veritably stacked lineup. Unfortunately they’re not the only ones to see at 7.
Arliss Nancy (Skylark, 7pm): Another group from Fort Collins making their mark on the scene in Denver, Arliss Nancy has a raw sound that’s just as country as it is rock-and-roll (and perhaps a little punk too).
The Jim Jims (Club 404, 10pm): She’s drunk, you’re horny; why not have some fun and see The Jim Jims? Their set at Patrick Kelly’s apartment party was a highlight of one of the best parties I went to last year.
Woodsman (Hi-Dive, 11:55pm): Sometimes they’re spacey and ambient; sometimes they’ve got a driving tribal beat. Woodsman always manages to keep things fresh, something Pitchfork recently picked up on (but we’ve been talking about for months already). Also, their set is the last one of the entire week’s festivities, so if you haven’t passed out yet, it would be a good idea to go.
The Hi-Dive was awash with sound, the kind of sound that demands a listener. It was another one of those nights when the stage just didn’t seem big enough to hold what it contained. It was a night of shoegaze; the unique style marked by it’s near-psychedelic use of sound. It was also a night of celebration: KVDU was releasing a compilation and Mike Marchant was releasing a new record. In an attempt to keep things brief (so that I can get back to studying for finals) here are some of the better moments I captured with a camera.
Blue Million Miles
Mike Marchant’s Outer-Space Party Unit
To see a full gallery click here.
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:
Gregory Alan Isakov
John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light
Jim McTurnan & The Kids That Killed The Man
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”
Tracklist after the jump
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)
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.