Monthly Archives: July 2010

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The UMS: 4 incredible days, 300+ bands, memories that won’t soon fade

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Nathaniel Rateliff and his band performed a late day set as the UMS drew to a close - after the biggest weekend it's ever seen! (Photo: Joe McCabe/Reverb)

Nathaniel Rateliff and his band performed a late day set as the UMS drew to a close - after the biggest weekend it's ever seen! (Photo: Joe McCabe/Reverb)

One impossibly acceptable truth: four days and nights of anything might be just about too much. This is what I found myself thinking last night as I carried pieces of a guitar, smashed onstage at the 3 Kings Tavern by a member of the local band Gangcharger, from venue to venue at the end of the best rock festival in the west. After over 300 bands had played their hearts out to thousands of Denver’s music lovers, the effort at the end looked still unfinished, still full of promise, melody, pounding rhythms, desperate screams and wild howls. All of that formed the beginnings of memories that will never fade.

Read this entire review – and loads of more UMS coverage, including videos, interviews, slideshows and more – at Denver Post Reverb!!


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High-flying antics are in store when Lucha Libre Mexicana comes to the UMS! (Photo: giantbomb.com)

The UMS, Day 3 – So many bands, so little time! More pre-kus from DenverThread

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The UMS enters day 3! With more to see and hear than ever, look here for your DenverThread Pre-kus!

The UMS enters day 3! With more to see and hear than ever, look here for your DenverThread Pre-kus!

Now that we’ve got two, fat and sassy days of the Underground Music Showcase under our belts, the real monster is being unleashed. This weekend, as in festivals past, begins the real UMS proper, and there are more bands, artists, venues, drinks and awesome food today than both of the previous two days combined!

Today also brings out the two-day visit of Lucha Libre Mexicana – a wonderful experience by any standards – in the Groove Automotive Stage at 3:45 & 5:15. If you haven’t seen the masked luchadores before – don’t dare miss this act! You’ll definitely regret it. . . .

As always, here are some preview haikus – or “pre-kus” – for DenverThread recommendations for Day 3:

High-flying antics are in store when Lucha Libre Mexicana comes to the UMS! (Photo: giantbomb.com)

High-flying antics are in store when Lucha Libre Mexicana comes to the UMS! (Photo: giantbomb.com)

Lucha Libre Mexicana – 3:45 & 5:15 PM @ Groove Automotive Stage

Haiku:

A fantastic move,

the two-legged, all-in drop

kick shatters his mask!

RIYL: Wild, fast paced wrestling with a latino flare, think Jack Black’s “Nacho Libre,” on steroids, and watch out for sweat, spit and blood!

Slakjaw brings its own, Denver-drenched brand of alcoholic jugband blues to the Irish Rover this afternoon.

Slakjaw brings its own, Denver-drenched brand of alcoholic jugband blues to the Irish Rover this afternoon.

Slakjaw – 4:00 PM @ the Irish Rover

Haiku:

That fingerless glove,

soaked in whiskey and bloodied,

is my handkerchief.

RIYL: Tom Waits, 32-20 Jug Band, Denver Gentlemen, listening to drunken tales of heartbreak alongside a smoldering oil can fire.

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake - this year's UMS poll #1 band - play two shows today and Sunday. (Photo: Sarah Slater)

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake - this year's UMS poll #1 band - play two shows today and Sunday. (Photo: Sarah Slater)

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake – 7:30 PM @ Cartoys Stage @ Goodwill Parking Lot

Haiku:

Fog curling around

your feet might just as well be

electric jell-o.

RIYL: Grace Slick, Joy Division, dark psychedelic rock, a lost weekend magic mushroom binge

Maraca Five-0 have reunited this year to bring the sound of surf - and so much more - back to these shores. (Photo: MySpace)

Maraca Five-0 have reunited this year to bring the sound of surf - and so much more - back to these shores. (Photo: MySpace)

Maraca Five-0 – 8:00 PM @ 3 Kings Tavern

Haiku:

Open, desolate

desert highway, and the rock

is all in my dreams.

RIYL: Dick Dale, The Astronauts, Link Wray, pauses in high-speed chases behind burned out gas stations, miles from anywhere, and you’ve only got one smoke left. . .

Murder Ranks offers a brilliant brand of homegrown dancehall and punk/dub. (Photo: MySpace)

Murder Ranks offers a brilliant brand of homegrown dancehall and punk/dub. (Photo: MySpace)

Murder Ranks – 10:00 PM @ 3 Kings Tavern

Haiku:

What looks like dried blood

on the dancehall floor, turns out

to be spilled sloe gin.

RIYL: The Clash (Especially Sandinista era), Yellowman, Ranking Joe, searing, sex-charged and homegrown dancehall dub


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The UMS: Day 2 – DenverThread haikus the bands to see tonight!

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The UMS enter day 2! If you're looking for a little help deciding which bands to see, read these haiku previews!

The UMS enter day 2! If you're looking for a little help deciding which bands to see, read these haiku previews!

Here’s to the hope that you had a fantastic first night of the 10th Annual Underground Music Showcase all along about a mile of South Broadway last night! Having been to all ten years’ shows, I have to say last nights showing was among the most impressive so far. There were lines about 20 people deep at the box office from the second it opened at 5:30 PM, and crowds were filling all of the eight venues that were showcasing live talent until early into Friday morning.

Often, it seems that the first night of past Showcases has inadvertently played out as a sort of “warmup,” as well as a sort of “insider’s night,” and this year was no different. As I watched band after band, I saw oodles of other local bandmembers watching alongside, taking advantage of the chance to catch their friends, mates and (sometimes) competition before taking their stage later in the Showcase. Of course, the local scene swims in an overwhelming feeling of apporachability all the time, and you’re just as likely to rub shoulders with the members of Maraca Five-0 or Ian Cooke just about anytime, but the UMS offers the most probability of a chance meeting.

Members of The Knew (#4 in the UMS Top Ten this year) were enjoying Popwreck at Moe’s Original BBQ – easily one of the night’s highlights. Luke of Git Some (#7 in the UMS Top Ten this year) screamed and flailed on guitar in his second band, Kingdom of Magic – yet another brilliant metal/noise project from our burgh – at 3 Kings Tavern. Sadly, Hot White – one of Denver’s recent forays into old-fashion New York No Wave from the early ’80s – was sans Tiana Bernard, their super charismatic bassist/vocalist and ended up playing a damned disappointing, if not downright insulting short set (also at 3Kings) consisting of mumbling and Casio-bashing. Not to worry, though – long time locals The Omens brought all the rock back later that night – and then some – with a solid 50 minutes of sexy psychedelic punk.

So – as promised – here are some haiku-sized recommendations for shows to see tonight at UMS: Day 2!

Fur offers a soothing, yet still challenging, type of techno. (Photo: MySpace.com)

Fur offers a soothing, yet still challenging, type of techno. (Photo: MySpace.com)

Fur – 7:00 PM @ WESTAF Stage @ Illiterate Magazine

Haiku:

Prefabricated

adolescents motion to

ask you for a light.

RIYL: Boards of Canada, Underworld, smooth techno, sipping espresso on a hot afternoon with half your scalp shorn in a design in the style of “Adult Swim”

LISTEN: to FUR: http://mysp.ac/91vUSp

Ideal Fathers plays an exciting, danceable hardcore that recalls Wire, and oozes fun. (Phote: MySpace)

Ideal Fathers plays an exciting, danceable hardcore that recalls Wire, and oozes fun. (Phote: MySpace)

Ideal Fathers – 8:30 PM @ Floyd’s 99 Barbershops Stage @ TS Board Shop

Haiku:

Evil pennies, these –

the way they always come back

strong as kerosene.

RIYL: Wire, Gang of Four, Big Black, Tetsuo: The Ironman, watching Troma films late at night while drinking a case of Amped energy drink . .

LISTEN to Ideal Fathers: http://mysp.ac/cv1fbG

A.Tom Collins plays a sometimes smokey, sometimes heartbustin' type of piano crooning. (Photo: DougBeam.com)

A.Tom Collins plays a sometimes smokey, sometimes heartbustin' type of piano crooning. (Photo: DougBeam.com)

A.Tom Collins – 9:00 PM @ Club 404

Haiku:

Nothing like falling

off of the piano bench

from pregnant laughter!

RIYL: Tom Waits, Randy Newman, rambling and drunken marches, Scotch

LISTEN to a. tom collins: http://mysp.ac/a9lPxV

Jamie Mefford's Blue Light will make you think of early mornings with Leonard Cohen playing outside your window. (Photo: MySpace)

Jamie Mefford's Blue Light will make you think of early mornings with Leonard Cohen playing outside your window. (Photo: MySpace)

Jamie Mefford & Blue Light – 10:00 PM @ Sketch

Haiku;

Rasping in passion’s

cold grip, reflecting moonlight

off of rusty strings.

RIYL: Bruce Springsteen (from “Nebraska”), Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, playing a guitar strung with four strings outside, wearing gloves, under a winter moon, because the songs are in you, and need to come out . . .

LISTEN to Jamie Mefford & Blue Light: http://mysp.ac/bi3g2j

Git Some - #7 on this year's top ten - play some of the best noise in this here hemisphere. (Photo: MySpace)

Git Some - #7 on this year's top ten - play some of the best noise in this here hemisphere. (Photo: MySpace)

Git Some – 11:00 PM @ Evergroove Stage @ 3 Kings Tavern

Haiku:

Scraping the tarmac,

your knuckles ripping, under

your ass as you slide.

RIYL: Jesus Lizard/Scratch Acid, Black Flag, Planes Mistaken For Stars, waking up after a 3-day bender under a muddy combat boot in some cold, muddy field in the winter – giggling.

LISTEN to Git Some: http://mysp.ac/b3C7MC

Nathan & Stephen (now Hearts of Palm) will infect you with uncontrollable glee. (Photo: blkmtnstudio.com)

Nathan & Stephen (now Hearts of Palm) will infect you with uncontrollable glee. (Photo: blkmtnstudio.com)

Nathan & Stephen – 12:00 AM @ Mayan Theatre

Haiku:

Uncontrollably

gleeful, an avalanche of

mirth pours from these mouths.

RIYL: Flaming Lips, Splodgeness Abounds, giant ensemble bands, uncontainable ecstasy that threatens to burn your more cynical friends (especially when you’re downing tequila)

LISTEN to Hearts of Palm: http://mysp.ac/be5zvQ


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Ready for the UMS? Check out these Haiku pointers – to help you make the most of it!

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Ready for the UMS 2010? Check out these bands for a well-rounded, Denver music scene experience!
Ready for the UMS 2010? Check out these bands for a well-rounded, Denver music scene experience!

Denver, The UMS, Day 1, Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 –

It’s come around again. The UMS – Denver’s pinnacle celebration of the local music scene – is upon us, and this year, the festival’s tenth anniversary, this beast has grown, nearly to the point of bursting. Four days, over 20 venues, and over 300 bands, comedians, burlesque and other performance artists (are you a fan of Lucha Libre? Then plan to spend Saturday & Sunday afternoon on South Broadway!) – it boggles the mind!

And yet, this is the sound of our town, and it’s just down the street – and some of it’s even FREE! Denver’s scene has grown with at least the same fury as the UMS over the past ten years, branching out from almost every genre, weaving in and out of each other like trade winds and crosscurrents, and creating new ones along the way.

So how do you decide who to see, after all? Over 300 bands, playing over 4 nights, means . . . something like 75 options per night (not that they’re all split up that way, of course). Without cloning, your chances to see everything is nil. . .

To help out, we at DenverThread have put together some daily lists of recommendations, to help you out. And we’ve constructed haiku-sized images to describe our take on each – and included some links to some tunes from each one – to help you plan your own UMS path for each day. Oh – and we’ve tried to keep the choices in chronological order (but there’s so much goodness, you have to accept that it’s almost impossible), so that you have the chance to see all of them.

Be sure and check back every day of the UMS to see more haiku band pointers, and plan your way through the nights!

China Venture - your answer to Archers of Loaf meets the Replacements. (Photo: MySpace)

China Venture – 8:00 PM @ Evergroove Stage @ 3 Kings Tavern

Here’s your Haiku:

Guitars, sandpaper

strung, and stone-ground screams shooting

clear through the beast’s heart.

RIYL: Archers of Loaf, Replacements, Raleigh! and heart-wrenching, scotch-soaked confessions of love or regret.

Hot White brings a no wave noise to the mix, with Lydia Lunch vocals and Contortionist guitars. May be missing a sax, if anything at all (Photo: Becci Cochran)

Hot White – 9:00 PM @ Evergroove Stage @ 3 Kings Tavern

Here’s your Haiku:

On the wrong side of

Teenage Jesus, but with two

fists dripping with screams.

RIYL: Lydia Lunch, Rat At Rat R, Swans, No Wave, Melvyns, confusing sex

Erin Roberts, aka Porlolo, will lead you to a picnic with yourself that you'll never forget, but may not remember when you wake up. (Photo: MySpace)

Porlolo – 10:00 PM @ Beonair.com Stage @ the Irish Rover

Here’s your Haiku:

Radio suits her

dear harmonies, and red haired

guitar. Strong, playful.

RIYL: Devendra Banhart, Angels of Light, The Carter Family, Portland, OR.

Aaron Hobbs' Popwreck could well turnout to be pop's only real salvation. (Photo: Jeffrey Webb Davis)

Popwreck – 10:00 PM @ ShareTheMic Stage @ Moe’s Original Bar B Que

Haiku:

Fast and messy soup,

melodies that bring heart sprains

back up in your throat.

RIYL: Squirrel Bait, Sebadoh, The Fugs, Hobbs N.M., lonesome heartbreak and microwaves.

Candy Claws is one Denver band enjoying some recent national attention. (Photo: Matthew Sage)

Candy Claws – 11:00 PM @ Verizon Droid Stage @ Skylark Lounge

Haiku:

Straight and moist, smooth dust

strands suspended across a

crystal sobriquet.

RIYL: George & Caplan, Cocteau Twins, Aphex Twin, relaxing yourself to a sound sleep.


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Reverb: Maraca Five-0, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club @ the Larimer Lounge

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Steve Gray, in an image from 2001, provides some of the grim reverb that defines Maraca Five-0's sound. (Photo: MySpace.com/maraca50)

Steve Gray, in an image from 2001, provides some of the grim reverb that defines Maraca Five-0's sound. (Photo: MySpace.com/maraca50)

Judging from the sounds that burst from the Larimer Lounge stage last Saturday night, Colorado is no longer landlocked, and Denver now sports beachfront property.

Those sounds came from local instrumental legends Maraca Five-0, who have reunited after six years to debut as opener for Slim Cessna’s Auto Club — one of a short list of shows this summer.

Actually, it’s far less than fair to classify Maraca Five-0 as a mere “surf band.” While they echo the sound of the Ventures, Laika & the Cosmonauts, Link Wray and Dick Dale, their interpretation of it evokes much more.

Read the entire review, including what Slim Cessna’s Auto Club offered, at

Denver
Post
Reverb
!


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King Buzzo, Melvins' frontman, at the Ogden Theater. (Photo: Joe McCabe/Reverb)

Live review: The Melvins @ the Ogden Theatre

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King Buzzo, Melvins' frontman, at the Ogden Theater. (Photo: Joe McCabe/Reverb)

King Buzzo, Melvins' frontman, at the Ogden Theater. (Photo: Joe McCabe/Reverb)

Mud. Mud and muppets. Those two words best describe the feeling inside the Ogden on Tuesday night, as the Melvins took over the venue on their last U.S. date before heading up to Canada.

As hot as Denver was that night, it’d be easy to chalk up the sweat and mugginess to the weather rather than the noise, but I’d swear it was much more the latter that pounded the snot out of the audience (a surprisingly small one). “Mud” describes that sound best – heavy, slippery, thick mud.

Read the whole review HERE, at Denvereverb.com! And see Joe McCabe’s fantastic shots!


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