Tag: Roger Roll
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.
I was honestly a little surprised at the crowd that showed up for a show just a week before Christmas. However, when considering that it was the last time anyone would be seeing Hello Kavita and Roger, Roll live, the cozy atmosphere at the Hi-Dive made sense. Both of those groups played stellar sets filled with old and new favorites, songs that helped shape music in Denver for several years. Sarah Slaton opened the night and blew me away with her beautiful rendition of “The First Noel.”
I once told Eric Peterson he was the “most on-top-of-it person I know.” Juggling a school workload, practicing and playing in at least 4 different bands, web design, and occasional video-work, Peterson was understandably busy. Last week, when I received an email from Eric, I wasn’t entirely surprised to hear that he’s scaling back on his musical projects to focus on other endeavors.
While my personal hope is that Peterson’s musical hiatus will not be permanent, there is still one final chance to see the multi-instrumentalist songwriter perform his craft live. On Saturday, December 18th Peterson’s Roger, Roll will make its final appearance at the Hi-Dive. Furthermore, another blog-favorite- Hello Kavita- will be playing their last show that evening. Given the “farewell” nature of this show, it’s certainly not one to miss.
As a bittersweet bonus, the entire Roger, Roll catalog has been made available as a free download in addition to a handful of demos and other such recordings. Give a listen to 2008′s The Blackwell Gate (embedded below) and click through the links for other Roger, Roll recordings.
Read this article in-print in this week’s Oredigger!
There are a lot of music-collective groups bouncing around Colorado these days (so many, in fact, it’s hard to keep track of them all). In my opinion, creating a culture that fosters cooperation and collaboration truly speaks volumes about the local music community. Case-in-point: Act So Big Forest Compilation Vol. 1: TRITON. A broad range of acts from all-over the Front Range constitute the 20 bands featured on the compilation curated by Jonathan Alonzo (who is a member of at least 5 groups on the ASBF label).
Since talking about every track on this hour-and-a-half long release might get a little long winded, I’m only going to talk about my personal favorites. However, this is by no means a way of saying these are the only good tracks, it’s all quite good (don’t take my word for it, just listen for yourself).
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.
Eric Peterson has managed to combine the things that artsy types love into one object: A 7″ vinyl record about Polaroid photos. Well, the latter item may only be an allegory for the fading nature of memory, I doubt he’s actually singing about light and chemicals being mixed into instant photographs.
Roger, Roll, the storied side-project from Peterson, has seen several forms and has always been somewhat of an amorphous musical outlet. For the Polaroid In Reverse 7″ Peterson recorded, played, and sang every part; for the live Roger, Roll, he has drafted the likes of Corey Teruya (Hello Kavita), Jeremiah Jones and Chris Durant (Sun Red), Emily Hall and Allison Sheldon (Dream Wagon), and Adrienne Short.
Pick up one of the super-limited copies of Polaroid In Reverse this Friday at the Hi-Dive. It’s an 18+, $6 show with openers Hello Kavita and the Lumineers (see the poster at the top of this post).
Listen/Download “Foreword” below.
When I woke up this morning I had to drag myself out of bed. The grey (or gray?) skies and cold weather almost had me convinced that staying in bed would have been a better choice. After finally mustering up the courage to face the day I checked my email. To my delight there was one in there from friend of the blog Eric Peterson (of Houses, Roger Roll, Old Radio, and every other band in Denver). From his message:
The gist of it is that I’m working with my friend Jennifer Brookes on a collaborative art project called tangled; we weave. Each week, Jenny will take about 180 photographs and string them together into a stop-motion piece. Completely independent of her, and under a pact of secrecy, I will compose a thirty-second piece of music. Every Tuesday, we show each other what we’ve made, combine them into a video, and post it to our website.
I watched the first one and was impressed by the haunting beauty of it. They’ll be putting out a fresh one each week and there’s an RSS feed for that, and a podcast on iTunes as well. Watch “One” below.