Tag: Paper Bird
I have a confession: I still haven’t seen Tennis, the group that everyone and their mom is talking about. They’ve garnered a lot of attention on national blogs, in local newspapers, and even went on the road for a brief stint this summer. The sail-rock group (consisting of husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley) released a pair of 7″s full of shimmery, sea-voyage-inspired tunes which quickly sold out. While everyone will have to wait until tomorrow to see them open for STRFKR at Hi-Dive, their Daytrotter session went up today.
Joyful noisemakers Paper Bird also stopped by the Rock Island, IL Daytrotter studios earlier this summer. Their session went up a couple weeks back and features a delightful sampling of songs from their recently released full-length When The River Took Flight. They’ll be playing a handful of local dates over the next few weeks in addition to a Texas tour in late October.
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.
Day one of the UMS is always a little more relaxed than the rest of the festival. Only 8 venues featured music Thursday night (compared to 22 on Friday, 24 on Saturday, and 15 on Sunday) and shows didn’t start until 8:00pm. Even so, it was one of the most eventful and exciting Thursday nights I’ve had in recent memory. Despite staying between Ellsworth Ave and Cedar Ave (read: between the Hi-Dive and the Skylark) the whole night, I managed to catch at least segments of 8 or 9 (mostly great) sets and explore the wonderful Baker neighborhood; It was a great way to start one of Denver’s best weekends.
I started off my night at the Skylark Lounge for Fort Collins’s Sour Boy, Bitter Girl. This indie-folk band performed really well, and was a good start for the UMS – a local band who shows their passion for music each time they play, reminiscent of all the great local bands performing this weekend. After the FoCo group, I strolled to the Hi-Dive to see the solo act of Jeremy Messersmith. Messersmith started off his set playing acoustic guitar and singing over a recorded drum beat. His relaxed tunes at times channeled Neil Simon.
After 4 or 5 songs of Messersmith, I decided to head back to the Skylark and check out FoCo band Paean. This group was very intriguing; featuring occasionally non-standard instruments (at one point, there were 3 guitars, a violin, and a bass on stage), the band made a lot of noise. They created brilliantly-structured soundscapes, and filled the Skylark with their avant-rock sounds. I when Paean had finished, I stuck around for Good Evening Titan. Their bright and poppy melodies were another great addition to the night’s shows. I had never heard this group before, but am looking forward to seeing their dancy and upbeat guitar and synth-driven music again.
Next, I ventured back to the Hi-Dive for Shapes Stars Make!, a band from Texas which gave my favorite set of the night. The group draws easy comparison to Explosions in the Sky, if Explosions occasionally sang. Despite their similarity, watching the intensity with which they played was fantastic. I was very sad when they stopped play, after having only heard a few of their songs.
Because Shapes Stars Make! had finished a bit earlier than expected, I was able to catch The Swayback at 3 Kings Tavern. The venue was packed, filled with fans who fully appreciated the energetic punk-rock sounds of the group. After a few songs, however, their set was also over, and it was back to the Skylark for SLS-favorite Candy Claws.
I’ve seen Candy Claws a number of times this summer, heard reviews from friends of their recent sets in Chicago and Somerville, MA, and each time it seems like their a different – but better – band. The dream-pop landscapes they produce are joyous and relaxing, and it seems like they’re finally getting their due. The Skylark was absolutely packed with people eager, and pleased, to hear FoCo’s newest buzz band.
After a great Candy Claws set, we stuck around for Roger Roll. Eric Peterson (who will have played at least 5 sets when the UMS ends on Sunday and receives the honor of Denver’s hardest working musician) fronts this band, which also features Corey Teruya (of Hello Kavita) on bass and a viola and cello. We saw Roger Roll not too long ago at the Hi-Dive, where potential for brilliance was obvious, with the performance not quite matching the song-writing. At the Skylark, however, the group was much more cohesive and the beautifully-written lived up to their promise. It’s exciting to hear such deliberately well-crafted songs, and I’m looking forward to more Roger Roll music in the future.
Finally, it was back to the Hi-Dive for one last band – Paper Bird. As always, this Americana band is fun to listen to and a joy to see live. The Hi-Dive at midnight, however, wasn’t the sort of place where they really shine through. So, after a long first day at the UMS, I ventured back to Golden after 4 or 5 Paper Bird songs, excited to hear them again later on Friday.
Words and photos by Jake Rezac. More coverage from the UMS to come…
Before I get to the question “How?” there’s the little matter of who to see at this year’s UMS. While this list is by no means a picking of “who’s hot and who’s not,” it might be useful for those not well versed in the Colorado music scene. This post covers the first two days, July 22-23.
THURSDAY, JULY 22
Act So Big Forest Showcase (Skylark, 7pm-12am): Featuring some of the best music that Fort Collins has to offer, the Act So Big Forest collective has their own showcase during the UMS. Swing by the Skylark any time on Thursday to catch the likes of Good Evening Titan, Paean, Sour Boy Bitter Girl, and Candy Claws. Roger, Roll will be closing out the evening’s showcase.
Hot White (3 Kings, 9pm): Don’t be surprised if somebody gets a beer thrown at them during Hot White’s set. The trio packs quite a punch and doesn’t take crap from anybody.
Ian Cooke Band (Hi-Dive, 11pm): The always enjoyable Ian Cooke will be playing a full band set. Hopefully he’ll play “Spicy Chicken Crunchwrap Supreme” or whatever that song is actually called.
Paper Bird (Hi-Dive, 11:55pm): Why not end the evening feeling joyful? Paper Bird takes on the Hi-Dive’s closing spot on Thursday but will also play a set at 7:30 pm on Friday at the Goodwill lot stage.
FRIDAY, JULY 23
A Mouthful of Thunder (TS Boardshop, 6:30pm): We haven’t actually had a chance to see Stephen Till’s newest musical project since Hearts of Palm broke up (and started playing again). However, hopes are high for what AMoT’s MySpace page dubs “Christian Rap/Punk/Regional Mexican.”
Action Packed Thrill Ride (Club 404, 7pm): Last time I saw Action Packed Thrill Ride my roommate got me really drunk. As I try to recall, it was pretty great; although the morning after was a bit rough. Maybe this time we’ll all be a little more sober (or maybe not?).
Kaiser Cartel (Hi-Dive, 8pm): I saw KaiserCartel a couple times during last year’s UMS. The Brooklyn-based duo is one of the few out-of-town acts playing, so be sure to catch this set.
Lil Slugger (Brown Barrel Tavern, 9pm): These guys are the only band I know that has their own series of comics. Also, a free full length album to download via Hot Congress.
11:55pm: Take Your Pick: Why do they always do this? There are definitely more than 4 bands I’d like to see all playing at the same time. Oh well, catch them if you can. Houses (Hi-Dive), Achille Lauro (Club 404), Fellow Citizens (Skylark), Young Coyotes (Irish Rover) and more.
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
It’s time, once again, for a concert calendar update. This time will be a special all New Year’s Eve update with a few of our top picks for your December 31st. A quick note: events sell out, so please check with the venues prior to going out.
Paper Bird & These United States: Hi-Dive, $20. Probably the top pick for our tastes (as well as users over at Gigbot, where you can see just about every show that’s going on in Denver). Paper Bird is some of the best bluegrass out there and These United States are redefining what it is to be an American rock band.
DeVotchKa & Gregory Alan Isakov: Mercury Cafe, $47. The intimate upstairs dancehall at the Mercury Cafe is the kind of place that looks like a movie. Lights, music, and dancing. There are fewer better ways to ring in the New Year.
The Knew & Brothers O’Hair (and others): Larimer Lounge, $10. For the patron who does not want to spend all of their money on entry to a show (and maybe have a little to get some champagne), there’s up-and-comers The Knew with Faceman and Brothers O’Hair.
STS9: Wells Fargo Theater, $65. I put this one on here because we’re going to the December 30th night of their stay-over in Denver. For fans of electronic and dance-beat music, this should be a hot ticket.
Drag The River & Motorhome: Road 34, Fort Collins, $8. For those seeking some fine alt-country with their festivities, consider Fort Collins’ own Drag The River, a band now legendary on the scene.
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.
When classes ended at the Colorado School of Mines in May of 2009 we got a wild idea: let’s curate a compilation of our favorite local acts and give it away for free! Over the span of 6 months we managed to gather a group of songs that reflect the diversity and quality of the Denver music scene. It is my hope that everyone can find a track that they enjoy on this compilation and discover something wonderful and new. Please support the artists who contributed by purchasing their music and attending their concerts.
It’s been a while since I did one of these, but there are too many good shows coming up to not do one.
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?
Paper Bird: those joyful noisemakers. I sat down with a few members from the group after their set at the 2009 Mile High Music Festival, enjoy the video!