Monthly Archives: October 2009

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Night of the Living Barn @ Lions Lair, w/SlakJaw & Denver City Saltlicks, Saturday, 10/24/09

Slakjaw's Floyd Hill and Bobby Gensler share the Lion's Lair's small stage last Saturday night. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Slakjaw's Floyd Hill and Bobby Gensler share the Lion's Lair's small stage last Saturday night. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Barn art, live performances by two of Denver’s best old-timey bum-core bands and the best damned dive bar on the country’s longest main street – all of this came together last Saturday night for the “Night of the Living Barn” at the Lions Lair, and attracted as large a crowd as I can remember for a local show in the tiny place. The lineup included SlakJaw and The Denver City Saltlicks, both deeply steeped in roots rock, blue grass and street-country. The Lair – hands down the coolest dive bar in Denver, maybe anywhere – was gussied up with nearly 50 original works of art along three walls, each piece focused somehow on the “barn experience,” and most fastened to the walls with small strips of plumber’s strap and drywall screws.  Such perfect punk machinery, and so fitting for the unique “Lair Experience.”

Among the pieces were a selection of compositions by Matt Hunter, SlakJaw’s gut-bucket bassist, that ranged from smaller, framed pictures of barns from different angles in a delightful, almost naive style, to large pieces of wall mounted sculpture. One in particular featured an infant doll, made up and impaled repeatedly with a variety of nails and hooks, mounted like an elk’s head, with three sixes – the kind you find mounted on any front porch –  hung over its head.

Floyd Hill, SlakJaw’s singer and songwriter, contributed one of the smaller pieces, “Space Barn,” which featured a barn tearing through space on top of a giant ear of corn – apparently a piece in favor of bio fuels for use in space travel. Another artist, Andriko (A.K.A “The Mad Russian”), contributed a few large, surrealist paintings that showed enormous skill with both color and composition, while Brandy Darling’s felt “Barn Animals” hung in effigy above. The collection made the Lair feel like a gallery, and the growing crowd seemed pleasantly engrossed during the opening reception, enjoying the corn on the cob provided as refreshments.

And then the music started, and brought the place up to a whole new level.

Denver City Saltlicks took the stage first, with loud, X-style rock. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Denver City Saltlicks took the stage first, with loud, X-style rock. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Denver City Saltlicks took the stage first, and spewed out an hour full of furious and brilliant Cramps and X-influenced jug band roots music that had the place jumping from the first hoot. Frontman ‘Bama Slim played a searing electric ukelele for nearly all the songs, and sung with a powerful voice John Doe would be jealous of, accompanied by Cate Hate on vocals and washboard. In the meantime, bassist Fish performed acrobatics on his baby blue standup bass, while his wife, Rev. Spooner, filled in with innumerable percussion toys, including a wicked set of spoons, maracas, wooden bells and more, and Dray, the band’s fast and frenetic drummer, laid down the beat.

For a few songs, ‘Bama took a seat on a soapbox and played slide a 2X4 with one string and a pickup as a sort of “backyard lap steel,” while Fish switched his baby blue for a weed-whacker strung washtub bass. The result was a mean and loud bluesy rock, akin to some of Bob Log III’s best, but with a heavy dose of almost psychedelic passion. The overall set included crowd favorites “Dreams of You” (a piece that rocked like a Buddy Holly and the Crickets ballad), “Baby Jesus Wept,” the psycho-surf tinted “Coffin Killer,” “Fuck Work” (an understandably popular anthem) and  “Death Came A-Knockin’,” among others.

The Saltlicks' Fish surfs the bass onstage, while Rev. Spooner plays some mean spoons, and 'Bama Slim and Cate Hate keep up the psycho! (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

The Saltlicks' Fish surfs the bass onstage, while Rev. Spooner plays some mean spoons, and 'Bama Slim and Cate Hate keep up the psycho! (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Denver faves SlakJaw took the stage after DCS, to provide the nearly soused late night crowd with their own genre of heartbreaking alcoholic gut-wrench, and were warmly welcomed. Backing up Floyd Hill’s growling vocals were Hunter (the artist and show curator) on gut-bucket bass, guitarist Bobby Genser and Ero Guy on drums.

Slakjaw's Floyd Hill and Bobby Gensler share the Lion's Lair's small stage last Saturday night. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Hill and Matt Hunter belting out their own brand of hilbilly heartbreak, East Colfax style. (Photo: John Kootz/MySpace)

Hunter’s amazing performance on the gut bucket was one of the highlights of the evening, and not because he ended up beneath Guy’s drums after a particularly lively number. Unlike many washtub bass configurations, Hunter’s features a mopstick neck that is completely independent of the tub, save for the single string. To play it, he mounted the stick in a divet in the overturned bucket with a microphone tucked beneath, climbed aboard and proceeded to move the stick and his hands up and down to change its tone. The antics added quite a flair to the bands performance.

Their set featured enough tales of hardship, booze and redemption to squeeze tears from the most stoic fan in the sweaty place, and all of us sang along to nearly every song.

They started out with a trashy and quick, two-minute version of “Free Bird,” and then led us all on a string of tales to listen to while standing around an oil-can fire on a snowy night. When Hill belted out the slowing, forced choruses of “Bullet in the Guts,” the entire place screamed along with each word. Their set also included the bittersweet “Soup Line Lament,” “Dust Bowl Heaven,” “Tent Town” and others.

Matt Hunter does his best imitation of Miles Davis, Slakjaw style. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Matt Hunter does his best imitation of Miles Davis, Slakjaw style. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

The entire night turned out to be a huge success – a good sign, as Hunter plans to try and hols new art shows in the future. “The plan is to try and hold themed nights every other month or so,” said Hunter in a recent phone interview. I’m sure I’m not the only scenester aching to see the next one . . .

More Photos of Denver City Saltlicks:

Cate Hate, surrounded in the mist from the fog machine. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Cate Hate, surrounded in the mist from the fog machine. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Rev. Spooner and Fish from DCSL. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Rev. Spooner and Fish from DCSL. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Cate Hate and 'Bama Slim hollerin' their hearts out. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Cate Hate and 'Bama Slim hollerin' their hearts out. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Cate & 'Bama. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)

Cate & 'Bama. (Photo: John Koontz/MySpace)


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e-town with Moby, Nellie McKay @ the Boulder Theater, 10/25/09 – Reverb

Moby entertained both radio and live audiences with his easy charm, wit and erudite conversation last Sunday night in Boulder. (Photo: Nathan Rist/Reverb)

Moby entertained both radio and live audiences with his easy charm, wit and erudite conversation last Sunday night in Boulder. (Photo: Nathan Rist/Reverb)

Moby is an erudite speaker, full of easy wit and loads of charm. He seemed thoroughly at home as he and host Nick Forster talked about things as provocatively disparate as religion, politics and climate change. When asked about his Christian beliefs — something Moby has been repeatedly chided about over years past — he retorted that “the agenda of the Christian right has almost nothing to do with the actual teachings of Christ.”

See the entire review at Denver Post Reverb!


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Great Lake Swimmers @ the Larimer Lounge, 10/21/09 – Reverb

Tony Dekker lead Great Lake Swimmers, and a hip Larimer audience, through a sad and beautiful set last Wednesday night. (Photo: Julio Enriquez/Reverb)

Tony Dekker lead Great Lake Swimmers, and a hip Larimer audience, through a sad and beautiful set last Wednesday night. (Photo: Julio Enriquez/Reverb)

Great Lake Swimmers’ beautifully sparse folk seemed more than a little incongruous among the torn paper and haphazardly stapled flyers on the walls of the Larimer Lounge last Wednesday night. Though the venue seems to feature a steady diet of punk, thrash, metal and overall mayhem most of the time, the Toronto band had no trouble making the place their own. And it was filled almost to capacity with a hip, indie-looking crowd that embraced their Appalachian-tinted folk wholeheartedly.

See the entire review on Denver Post Reverb!


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The Pogues @ Ogden Theatre, Friday, 10/23/09 – Reverb

Shane MacGowan, complete with a full set of teeth, joined The Pogues for their first ever Denver Show last Friday night. (Photo: Reverb/Joe McCabe)

Shane MacGowan, complete with a full set of teeth, joined The Pogues for their first ever Denver Show last Friday night. (Photo: Reverb/Joe McCabe)

After firing [Shane MacGowan] in 1991 because of his troubles, the band steadily declined into breakup by 1996, depriving millions of fans of their singular Irish folk punk, seemingly forever.

Fourteen years later, that move has proven almost clairvoyant, and the full eight-member band proved as much at the Ogden Theatre on Friday night with a resplendent performance of more than 25 songs that more than wiped the slate clean.

MacGowan, with a full set of new teeth, looked paunchy – even hefty (so different from the skinny, near-toothless punk we’ve all come to know and love over the years) – and seemed much more worn than his 53 years.

Read the entire review at Denver Post Reverb!


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. . . And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead w/Future of the Left, Bluebird Theater, Tues., 10/20/09 – Reverb

Future of the Left played some explosive Wire and Big Black influenced rock for a packed Bluebird last Tuesday night. (Photo: MySpace)

Future of the Left played some explosive Wire and Big Black influenced rock for a packed Bluebird last Tuesday night. (Photo: MySpace)

You couldn’t ask for a more apt pairing of bands than Tuesday’s Bluebird Theater lineup of …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and Future of the Left — particularly in size. Both feature overwhelming avalanches of pure volume, corrupted beautifully by strong melodies and ferocious rock rhythms. And both have a stage sound that can never be replicated on record. (OK — most bands are much better live than in the studio, but in this case the severity is akin to acute schizophrenia.)

And yet, there are many ways these two bands couldn’t be more different.

Read the entire review on Denver Post Reverb!


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High Art and Bum Core!! “Night of the Living Barn” comes to The Lion’s Lair Oct 24, 2009

Bassist and Art Promoter Matt Hunter, atop his "Gut-Bucket-Bass." (Photo: MySpace)

Bassist and Art Promoter Matt Hunter, atop his "Gut-Bucket-Bass." (Photo: MySpace)

This Saturday night, October 24th, the Lion’s Lair has a special night planned that will include  art, Bum- and Old-Tyme-Core and corn on the cob. And Matt Hunter, who plays the “gut-bucket bass” for local legends SlakJaw, wants all of you to join us for it. He’s dubbed the evening “Night of the Living Barn,” and explained in an interview this afternoon just what the whole dang thing is about.

“Well, it started a few months ago, when a couple of us artists were just sittin’ around drawing barns,” said Hunter. “We decided to put on a show here at the Lion’s Lair, showing off our “Barn Art.” So that’s what we’re doing.”

The first of its kind at the Lair (as far as I can remember, or find out), the evening promises to be something else. Artists have been asked – commissioned? – to bring in their best hang-able pieces of art depicting barns for an art opening in the legendary dive bar on Colfax.

“Well, it started a few months ago, when a couple of us artists were just sittin’ around drawing barns,” said Hunter. “We decided to put on a show here at the Lion’s Lair, showing off our “Barn Art.” So that’s what we’re doing.”

“We’ll be having a reception at 7:00, but we won’t be serving cheese and crackers,” said Hunter. “We’re serving corn on the cob.” Seems to fit nicely with the theme of the evening.

Local Denver legends SlakJaw will play at the "Night of the Living Barn" show, this Saturday, 10/24/09, at the Lion's Lair (Photo: MySpace)

Local Denver legends SlakJaw will play at the "Night of the Living Barn" show, this Saturday, 10/24/09, at the Lion's Lair (Photo: MySpace)

For Hunter, what started out as some harmless “barn doodling” a few months back has come to fruition, and may grow a lot more in the next few months. “We’re going to come up with more themed art shows, probably once every other month or so,” he said. “I haven’t thought up the next theme just yet, but we’re hoping it’ll happen in the next few weeks.” Hopefully, the trend will catch on, and we’ll be able to visit this brand of unique local culture regularly from here on out.

More than a few local artists have been asked to participate, also. Besides Hunter’s, the show will feature barn pieces from Twig, Johnny K., Andriko, and Brandy Darling, to name a scant few. The show has a Halloween-, or zombie-apocalypse-sounding name, but that’s just for show, according to Hunter. “It’s just about barns, just because,” he said. “All of the artists will broker themselves. The bar doesn’t take a cut, I don’t get a cut – it all goes to the artists.”

“We’ll be having a reception at 7:00, but we won’t be serving cheese and crackers,” said Hunter. “We’re serving corn on the cob.” Seems to fit nicely with the theme of the evening.

He also pointed out that, if you or any art or barn loving friends want to get in on it, you’re welcome to bring in your own. “As long as they’re hang-able,” said Hunter, “we’ll hang it for you. Just has to be pictures of barns, is all.”

After the reception, at 9:00, local bands Denver City Saltlicks and SlakJaw will play two sets of some of the best Bum-Core and Old-Tyme-Core you’ll find in the city – probably in the country – for a $5 cover.

SlakJaw plays a heartbreaking blend of booze and bum-core. (Photo: MySpace)

SlakJaw plays a heartbreaking blend of booze and bum-core. (Photo: MySpace)

For the uninitiated, SlakJaw plays a brand of jug band-based blues that drips profusely with alcoholism, heartbreak and pure beauty. The quartet features Hunter, who plays standing on the overturned washtub of his bass, singer/songwriter Floyd Hill (an old-school Denver scenester not many degrees of separation from another legendary local band, The Denver Gentlemen) on guitar and heart-wrenching, drummer Ero Guy on snare and sticks, and guitarist Bobby Genser. Their place in the Lion’s Lair seems more congruent than the famous black linoleum bartop and bright red  ceiling. Expect to be regaled with booze-soaked stories of damnation and redemption, beauty and pain, hobos and hookers, most set in bars just like the Lair.

Also in the lineup will be the return of The Denver City Saltlicks, who play a surf and punk infused bluegrass style that defies real pigeonholing.

Denver City Saltlicks will also play at Lions's Lair's "Night of the Living Barn," This Saturday night, 10/24/09. (Photo: MySpace)

Denver City Saltlicks will also play at Lions's Lair's "Night of the Living Barn," This Saturday night, 10/24/09. (Photo: MySpace)

Behind the leadership of ‘Bama Slim and his ukelele or Mandobird, the band sports four other members: Cate Hate on the bloody knuckled washboard, Fish on the standup bass, Rev. Spooner on various jugband percussion tools – including a wicked set of spoons – and Dray (with the once-broken neck) on drums. Their overall punky, “fuck you!” attitude really fills out the simple bluegrass-with-washboard rhythms, and brings a true flair to their show that’s well worth witnessing.

DCS's 'Bama Slim tellin' you where to step off! (Photo: MySpace)

DCS's 'Bama Slim tellin' you where to step off! (Photo: MySpace)

The whole gig, from preview to the inevitable stumble back out into the snowy Colfax night, promises to be one-of-a-kind. At least until the next one. . .

Y’all come!


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Elin Palmer (CD release), Sissy Wish @ the Hi-Dive – Reverb

Elin Palmer played another brilliant set - possibly her last in Denver as a native - last Saturday night at the Hi-Dive. (Photo: Brian Carney)

Elin Palmer played another brilliant set - possibly her last in Denver as a native - last Saturday night at the Hi-Dive. (Photo: Brian Carney)

Just as Elin Palmer is hitting her stride and taking her first solid steps on her solo career, the longtime Denver scene stalwart has decided to leave. On what promises to be a long, winding journey back to her native Sweden (according to a recent Reverb Interview), Palmer is headed to Nashville, and then Brooklyn. The Denver scene won’t be the same once she’s gone and takes her sparse, gorgeous arrangements with her.

Read the entire review on Denver Post Reverb!


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Surf-rock's favorite luchadores, Los Straitjackets, have released another rockin' collection of Christmas tunes. (Cover: Yep Roc)

New Release: Los Straitjackets “Yuletide Beat” available for pre-order – and they have a groovy Holiday Gift Pack, too!

Surf-rock's favorite luchadores, Los Straitjackets, have released another rockin' collection of Christmas tunes. (Cover: Yep Roc)

Surf-rock's favorite luchadores, Los Straitjackets, have released another rockin' collection of Christmas tunes. (Cover: Yep Roc)

Rock’s favorite luchadores, Los Straitjackets, continue to set the wave for shimmering yuletide surf-rock joy with their latest release, “Yuletide Beat,” available for pre-order from Yep Roc Records now. A follow up to their massively popular 2002 holiday release “Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets,” the new record has been made available in a VERY limited edition (1,000 CDs/1,000 vinyl copies) for order now.

Yep Roc’s release has this to say about the new release:

Yuletide Beat’ is the long awaited follow up to Los Straitjackets’ popular Christmas album “‘Tis The Season for Los Straitjackets.” The band has created 10 all new rock & roll arrangements of traditional Holiday carols that’ll have you rockin’ through December and ringing in the New Year with a romantic slow dance to “‘Sould’D Lang Syne.”

The band rides a desert surf wave on “We Three Kings,” takes “Joy to the World” to Memphis, and makes “Jingle Bells” into a Bakersfield sleigh ride. Not to mention entering uncharted territory with a classic rock rendition of “Jolly Old Saint Nick” (retitled “Groovy Old Saint Nick” for 1971 ambience).

This limited-edition pressing (1000 each of the CD and LP) of the “Yuletide Beat” CD and LP are individually numbered and come in a lovingly printed and letterpressed package by renowned DC area poster artist El Jefe.  The limited-edition LP will be pressed on red 10″ vinyl.  These won’t last long, so don’t miss you chance to get your hands on some rockin’ holiday tunes from “America’s Instrumentalists.””

The “Yuletide Beat,” on CD or vinyl can be pre-ordered for $15/$20 (respectively) HERE!

And, for the surf-rock super fan, the band is offering a VERY limited number of Holiday Gift Packs for pre-order, which include the “Yuletide Beat” CD and extra commemorative items celebrating each of the members of the band.

“The “Daddy-O-Grande Key Ring” will keep all your important keys in one place while reminding you of how much Los Straitjackets rule. An “Eddie Angel Koozie” will keep your beverage frosty at your bbq. A “Pedro Del Mar Handfan” will keep you cool in a hot place. And of course A “Teen Hornet” edition “Teen Beat Luchador Mask” will be the  perfect apparel for new Year’s Eve reveling.

The “Yuletide Beat Holiday Fan Gift Pack” is limited to just 50 packs so don’t miss out. You can get all this great stuff for the amazingly low price of just $50 while supplies last!”

The special, SUPER LIMITED EDITION Holiday Gift Pack can be pre-ordered HERE!

The band have announced tour dates through late December, but for some reason continue to give Denver a wide berth. Send them a note to get them to stop here and bring our town some of their Christmas groove! Heck – they’re hitting Pontiac and Green Bay! Why not Denver on the way? It’s been too long!

Here’s a list of the most current schedule, anyhow:


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Yo La Tengo @ the Ogden Theatre, 09/10/09 – Reverb

Yo La Tengo (L-R): Georgia Hubley, James McNew and Ira Kaplan, played a jammy set at he Ogden last Saturday night. (Photo: MySpace)

Yo La Tengo (L-R): Georgia Hubley, James McNew and Ira Kaplan, played a jammy set at he Ogden last Saturday night. (Photo: MySpace)

Indie music heroes Yo La Tengo played an instrumentally tight, creatively meandering two-hour set at the Ogden Theatre on Saturday, leaving a fully packed house both elated and exhausted. Now in their 25th year together, the Hoboken trio have a cache of music that crosses and re-crosses genres but always remains within their own style. Their show featured Ira Kaplan’s signature reverb and tremolo-drenched guitar and overloud keyboards supporting his often sparse vocals, backed up by wife Georgia Hubley on drums and vocals and James McNew on bass and guitar.

Read the entire review at Denver Post Reverb!


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Butthole Surfers, Psychic Ills, Circle # Dot @ the Ogden Theatre, 10/09/09 – Reverb

Gibby and the boys had some trouble packing interest in their latest show at The Ogden. (Photo: MySpace)

Gibby and the boys had some trouble packing interest in their latest show at The Ogden. (Photo: MySpace)

If you’d never seen Butthole Surfers before last Friday night’s show at the Ogden, then you were treated to a mild spectacle. On the other hand, if this show was a chance for you to revisit the band after their many years away from stages (as it was for me), chances are you found yourself more than a little disappointed. After existing almost entirely upon a reputation for wild, often violent and over-the-top live shows and a general band attitude that matched, their somnambulistic performance that night just didn’t cut it.

Read the entire interview on Denver Post Reverb!


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New Release: Local Shakedown, Vol. 3 – Radio 1190’s brilliant snapshot of the Denver scene

Come join Radio 1190's Local Shakedown radio show THIS WEEKEND at one of three CD release parties!

Come join Radio 1190's Local Shakedown radio show THIS WEEKEND at one of three CD release parties!

If you’re familiar with Radio 1190 (KVCU Boulder, The University of Colorado at Boulder’s independent station) in general, or the Local Shakedown, their weekly Friday afternoon show dedicated to the local scene in particular, you already have a pretty good idea of the significance of this release. “Local Shakedown, Vol 3,” is the third installment of the radio station’s compilation of the best of the local best, and this year’s promises to be the best so far.

Volumes 1 and 2, released in 2000 and 2004 (respectively) by Smooch Records, have maintained a reputation through the decade as amongst the most legitimate archives of the Front Range music scene at the time, showcasing bands that show promise, or are on their way up and out. Volume 1 featured 45 bands and performers from all around Denver, Boulder and surrounding suburbs, some world-renowned (Dead Kennedy’s ex-frontman Jello Biafra and Blood Axis, for instance) or already longtime scene stalwarts (Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Jux County, Maraca 5-0). Many have gone on to become major national indie bands (Apples In Stereo, Devotchka, Dressy Bessy), and many have since splintered or disintegrated (Space Team Electra, Czars). Thanks to the Local Shakedown compilation, however, there will always be a record of where they were when.

Volume 2 is surprisingly similar in content to Volume 1 (it includes 12 of the artists from the lineup of Volume 1) but is nevertheless a stunning record of bands that made a difference in and around Denver towards the middle of the decade. After 4 years, the scene had grown, but how significantly?

And now, with Volume 3, it’s obvious that the scene has made a major shift. By comparison, this volume contains almost an entirely new band selection over its 41 tracks. If you’ve been following the scene, however,  you’re already aware that many of the players are old scene stalwarts and gadabouts.

Kal Kahoone, for instance, solo on this collection, used to sing for Tarentella, veterans of Vol. 2, and Moonspeed contains members from both Monofog and Bright Channel (and others), also veterans of – you guessed it – Volume 2. New bands, but many of the same faces, and some similar sounds, too!

Volume 3, besides being (of course) the most up to date record of the current scene, comes from it’s best and most staunch supporter, Radio 1190’s Local Shakedown – on the air every Friday afternoon from 4 – 6 PM (webcast at radio1190.org), and from Smooch Records. The whole collection was mastered by Denver’s local recording and producing genius, Bob Ferbrache – of Absinthe Studios, to boot!

And – to get your hands on some copies (only $11.90!!), and celebrate its release, join Radio 1190 and the hipster elite at one (or more) of these three Release Parties this weekend, all with live local bands:

Friday, Oct. 16th
Twist and Shout
2508 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
6:00 PM – The Kissing Party

Saturday, Oct. 17th
Bart’s CD Cellar
1015 Pearl St., Boulder
2:00 PM – Thee Goochi Boiz, otem rellik, Aënka

Sunday, Oct. 18th
Wax Trax
638 E. 13th Ave., Denver
2:00 PM – Bad Weather California, Magic Cyclops, The Fire Drills, The GetDown!


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Sian Alice Group, Gangcharger @ the Hi-Dive, 10/06/09 – Reverb

Sian Alice Ahern leads the Sian Alice Group in some ethereal, trancelike tunes (Photo: Still from the band's video for "Close To The Ground")

Sian Alice Ahern leads the Sian Alice Group in some ethereal, trancelike tunes (Photo: Still from the band's video for "Close To The Ground")

Sian Alice Group filled the Hi-Dive last Tuesday with a resplendent sound that coaxed visions of quiet, snow-filled night streets as easily it did hot, tribal raves in the desert. Unfortunately, their tremendous performance was about all that filled the venue, as the crowd was far smaller than it should have been, even for a school night. It was Denver’s loss, really. This band deserves a large following here — everywhere — for the wild and complex beauty in their experimental pop soundscapes.

Read the entire review at Denver Post Reverb!


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She Wants Revenge, Kill Hannah @ the Bluebird Theater, 10/4/09 – Reverb

She Wants Revenge opened up a can of techno dance whoop-ass at The Bluebird Sunday night. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

She Wants Revenge opened up a can of techno dance whoop-ass at The Bluebird Sunday night. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The band’s show at the Bluebird Theater last Sunday night turned out to be a perfect place to show off their emulative prowess, featuring a playlist of songs heavily influenced as much by old school bands like Joy Division, Bauhaus, the Cure and Soft Cell as Interpol and Nine Inch Nails, and with more than a bit of Rick James’ funk.

Read the entire review at Denver Post Reverb!


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New Releases: Lisa Germano, Elvis Perkins In Dearland – 10/06/09

"Magic Neighbor," from Lisa Germano, was released on Young God Records last September. (Album Art: Young God Records)

"Magic Neighbor," from Lisa Germano, was released on Young God Records last September. (Album Art: Young God Records)

Lisa Germano: “Magic Neighbor”

The first time I heard the ethereal, esoteric and often terrifying music of Lisa Germano on her CD “Happiness” in 1994 (through oversized headphones attached to my DiscMan), I was immediately addicted. Huge fans of anything 4AD, my friends and I were quick to grab up all we could as she released four fantastic records full of isolated, Kate Bush-meets-Ian Curtis-in-a-wooden-shack-in-Appalachia musical introspection on the British dream-pop label.

Then Germano seemed to just disappear. I’d heard once in a while that she was popping up here & there with some self-released stuff, but nothing ever seemed to catch my attention the way her early oeuvre did, and I figured she’d retired. Thank God I was wrong.

When I heard Lisa had been asked to join Michael Gira’s Young God Records (another label for which I have HUGE love and respect), I was ecstatic. And the first offering, 2006’s “In the Maybe World” seemed a beautiful launch back on the same genre-defying track Germano had forged earlier, but maybe even a little bit more isolated, childlike, while obviously the result of significant growth.

This year’s second Young God release, “Magic Neighbor,” released on September 29, is even more beautiful, and more accomplished, than the first. And it’s true, basic beauty, full of the same intriguing combination of beautiful composition, tragic melodies and enigmatic lyrics transport you to a place that’s cold and alone, but also warm with familiarity. Listen to the soft and brilliant “Snow,” and feel it for yourself:

[wpaudio url=”http://www.denverthread.com/wp-content/themes/mimbo/sounds/Snow.mp3″ text=”Lisa Germano – Snow”]

The artwork included with both the CD and LP releases is also breathtaking, and reflects pretty well the world I am personally transported to when listening to these 11 new songs.

Purchase “Magic Neighbor” online, from Young God Records

Elvis Perkins In Dearland will release their "Doomsday EP" on October 20 (Cover: ElvisPerkinsInDearland.com)

Elvis Perkins In Dearland will release their "Doomsday EP" on October 20 (Cover: ElvisPerkinsInDearland.com)

Elvis Perkins In Dearland: “Doomsday EP”

The fact that Elvis Perkins is the son of Anthony Perkins (of Norman Bates, in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” fame) doesn’t seem to have had any effect on the latter’s musical career, although it’s hard not to wonder how much the elder’s relationships might have. Fortunately, if any, it all seems to have been good – maybe even  great.

Elvis Perkins’ musical genre falls somewhere between dixieland jazz and “freak folk,” between Hollywood and Bourbon Street. He and the other members of ” Elvis Perkins In Dearland” are  about to release the new 6-song “Doomsday EP,” a perfect melange of their sound, October 20 (preorder the EP online here).

It makes some sort of weird sense that EPID would start a new effort out of the “Doomsday” single, since the song seemed to generate quite a bit of wild, apocalyptic reaction when they played it live on the last tour (at least here in Denver). More than any other one of their songs, “Doomsday” represents a culmination of Perkins’ growth from the sad, quiet folk singer he was on his first record, “Ash Wednesday,” to the bombastically extroverted, happy and effluent poet he and the Dearland band have become.

Listen to “Doomsday” below, and see what you think:

[wpaudio url=”http://www.denverthread.com/wp-content/themes/mimbo/sounds/Doomsday.mp3″ text=”Elvis Perkins In Dearland – Doomsday”]

Watch for more “New Releases” postings from DenverThread.com in the near future. While we’d like to focus on new music coming out of the Denver scene, we realize that it’s not made in a vacuum. We also want to spread the word about the bands we love, from all over the world.

Local bands – If you have a record in production, or that you’ve recently released, let DenverThread know about it! We’re happy to let our readers know, and get your music out there!


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Clutch's Neil Fallon, schooling willing followers at The Fillmore last Wednesday night. (Photo: Mateo Leyba, Denver Post)

Clutch @ The Fillmore, 09/30/09 – Reverb

Clutch's Neil Fallon, schooling willing followers at The Fillmore last Wednesday night. (Photo: Mateo Leyba, Denver Post)

Clutch's Neil Fallon, schooling willing followers at The Fillmore last Wednesday night. (Photo: Mateo Leyba, Denver Post)

When frontman Neil Fallon screamed, it was anything but typical. He belted out songs with a voice that recalled all of the bluesy power of Robert Plant, peppered with a riotous style that Zack de la Rocha shakes on Rage fans, and more than a little Mike Watt mania, and we all knew we weren’t being serenaded so much as we were being schooled.

Read the entire review at Denver Post Reverb!


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"43rd Street Zoo Presents" wants you to see the music they see in Denver's scene.

Introducing: 43rd Street Zoo Presents – promoting Denver’s punk and techno scenes

"43rd Street Zoo Presents" wants you to see the music they see in Denver's scene.

"43rd Street Zoo Presents" wants you to see the music they see in Denver's scene.

Around the beginning of this year, Brandy Darling and Kevin Carlberg – AKA Cardinal – decided to pool their resources towards a common goal: to bring together two of Denver’s thriving sub-scenes. Cardinal is a fixture in Denver’s techno scene, while Darling promotes the punk rock side – and both of them have been stalwarts in the local scene for years. And so, they started booking and promoting local and national acts as “43rd Street Zoo Presents.” Pooling their resources and connections made perfect sense, and the association has already resulted in a few significant offerings.

Their first event, “Globally Dead: The Anti-Global Dance Party,” the  “. . .definitive anti-party after party to the annual Global Dance Party at Red Rocks,” according to Darling, was held at the Denver Creative Co-Operative Studios (DCCS) at 4th and Lincoln last July, and brought in more than 250 people to rock ’til dawn to tunes spun by more than 10 DJs.

Since then, the duo have presented more than a few shows at Denver’s world-famous Lion’s Lair, including D.F.O.S., Sons of Disobedience and The Taints on September 4th, DJ Baggett on September 20th and Privatized Air (California) with Brother Rockwell on October 1st. This weekend they’re presenting Punishment of Scaphae with Eldon Riley on Saturday, October 3rd, and meaTBikini, Slow Form of Suicide (Illinois) and Sons of Disobedience on Sunday the 4th.

"Globally Dead" was 43rd Street Zoo's first official production.

"Globally Dead" was 43rd Street Zoo's first official production.

Darling had this to say about the duo’s intentions: “. . . . Our vision for 43rd Street Zoo Presents [is] to bring together the people of two different music scenes, and to expose people to music they might not otherwise consider listening to. Cardinal, whose real name is Kevin Carlberg, is from the drum and bass/techno scene, and I have my roots in punk and rock. We cross-promote across the two scenes, and have begun building a community around this concept at different venues around Denver, including the famous Lion’s Lair on Colfax Ave.”

Simple? Sure! But a powerful combination, being promoted by a few of these scenes’ strongest insiders.

For a taste of the blend, and to help them continue growing, get out to the Lion’s Lair Sunday night for the meaTBikini (11 PM), Slow Form of Suicide (Illinois- 10PM) and Sons of Disobedience (9 PM) show. This is 43rd Street’s first national act, and they’re definitely worth the measley $5 cover (21+), especially if, like me, you appreciate good, solid punk rock. The show was going to include Doll Dumpster, but a few of the band members had to cancel. Rumor is that a few of the Doll Dumpsters will be at the show, and could be coaxed into playing a song or two!

Support the Denver scene - at the legendary Lion's Lair Sunday night, October 4th!

Support the Denver scene - at the legendary Lion's Lair Sunday night, October 4th!

Support your scene, and show the legendary Lion;s Lair some love! See you Sunday!