Something Like Sound

Tag: Pink Hawks

How Denver did Denver

by on Aug.29, 2010, under Concert Reviews

Of all the shows I could have attended to mark my return from Chicago there are few that could hold a candle to Denver Does Denver. Not only did I get to see (nearly) everyone from the Denver music scene, but I also witnessed some truly excellent art. For those unfamiliar with the premise of Denver Does Denver, here’s the low-down: Local bands covered 3 to 5 songs from other Colorado musicians (there was also a graphic-art portion of the evening too). I could not do every set its due justice, so I’ll just be covering the highlights.

Safe Boating Is No Accident (covering Pee Pee): Dedicated to the “departed” Doo Crowder, SBiNA played a tribute to folk-collective Pee Pee. Starting with a high-energy rendition of “Jaroline,” SBiNA displayed the same amount of energy and musicianship you’d expect from the ~10-person Pee Pee, but with a concentrated 4-piece. The jammer “Pee-Pee Song” may have been a loose interpretation of the original, but I’m not really sure that a meticulous copy would be an effective way to channel the song’s namesake. (SBiNA also gave out copies of their forthcoming EP, expect a review soon! Release show 9/3 at Hi-Dive).

Night of Joy (covering Lust Cats of the Gutters, T. Rex): The normally reserved crowd at DdD got loose when Night of Joy ripped through covers of fellow Denver femme-punks Lust Cats of the Gutters. Even without their signature eye make-up, Night of Joy kept things at a “face-melting” level (see above photo) as they transitioned into playing a couple T. Rex covers (not technically a Denver-band, but at that point nobody cared).

Pink Hawks (covering Bad Weather California): The 11-piece Pink Hawks took on one of Denver’s beloved underground band Bad Weather California in a stunning display that earned my nod as “best set of DdD 2010.” Festival organizer Yuzo Nieto and his big band breathed a distinct latin-flavor and energy into BWC classics such as “New Religion,” “Two Ways,” and “This Is My Country Too,” ending with the most frenzied version of “Let’s Go To Bed” ever performed.

Flobots (covering Tickle Me Pink, Hot IQs, The Pirate Signal): For a band that has found success on the national level, the Flobots certainly haven’t lost connection with their roots. Playing a set at the packed-out Flobots.org Community Space the group started off with a spoken-word rendition of Tickle Me Pink’s “Typical” (the performance felt slightly jestful, in the same vein as Pictureplane’s take on 3Oh!3 at last year’s DdD). The highlight of the Flobots set was certainly their take on the late Hot IQs- complete with a rap-rhyme segment worked in during the bridge on “Retromuff.” Closing out with a couple Pirate Signal tunes, the entire crowd got down to the hip-hop beats that filled the small space.

For many more photos (including Key of D, Tom Murphy, Hunter Dragon, Houses, and more) click here.

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The UMS 2010: Day 2

by on Jul.29, 2010, under Concert Reviews

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.


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