Monthly Archives: August 2012

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Girl Wreck Presents is booking more and more great bands throughout Denver. (Photo: DenverThread)

Live Review – Agent Orange Tears Up the Oriental with Raucous Surf Punk

Agent Orange's Mike Palm onstage at the Oriental Theater. (Photo: DenverThread)

Agent Orange’s Mike Palm onstage at the Oriental Theater. (Photo: DenverThread)

“This place is so awesome,” exclaimed Mike Palm, frontman of Orange County’s legendary surf punk trio Agent Orange last night in the Oriental Theater. “Not like the Bluebird.” His mini-review of another of Denver’s fine venues came just before the band ripped into “Living In Darkness,” one of a 20-song set that lasted a too-short 70 minutes.

Palm, bassist Perry Giodano and drummer Dave Klein, after setting up all of their own equipment, tore through an explosive version of “Miserlou,” followed by hits of theirs like”Too Young to Die” (dedicated to the late Phyllis Diller), “Everything Turns Grey,” “Voices in the Night,” “No Such Thing,” and “El Dorado” before playing west coast hardcore anthem “Bloodstains.”

“This place is so awesome,” exclaimed Mike Palm. “Not like the Bluebird.”

They also played a few covers, including the Weirdos’ “Living in Another World,” Dead Kennedys’ “Police Truck” and their pretty famous cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love.” Meanwhile a modest mosh pit was hard-won by a few dedicated slammers in front of the expansive stage.

Some surprising tunes filled out the list, as well, including “America,” the Tom Waits classic “Whistling Past the Graveyard” and “This House is Haunted”  before closing the raucous set with “The Last Goodbye.”

 

The legendary surf punk trio played 20 songs over abut 70 minutes last Wednesday night. (Photo: DenverThread)

The legendary surf punk trio played 20 songs over abut 70 minutes last Wednesday night. (Photo: DenverThread)

For a group that’s been together and touring in one form or another since 1979, Agent Orange proved they’re no worse for the wear. Palm’s vocals were still strong, as was his signature lightning fast surf punk guitar. Klein and Giordano built a wicked fast, strong rhythm foundation behind Palm that kept the sparsely filled Oriental fist pumping, pogo-ing and slamming. Palm was right about the venue, too – The Oriental’s size is a great boon to any band – and a three-piece like Agent Orange are dwarfed by the huge stage. The sound was spot on, too – something too many local venues seem to get just off.

The Oriental's huge stage and great sound made the show even better. (Photo: DenverThread)

The Oriental’s huge stage and great sound made the show even better. (Photo: DenverThread)

It’s great to see the acts that are accumulating at the north Denver venue, after many years of minimal booking and multiple owners. Local producer Scott Labarbera seems to be making a strong go of the place once again, as he did a few years ago, before the place changed hands a few times and ended up back under his control.

Girl Wreck Presents is booking more and more great bands throughout Denver. (Photo: DenverThread)

Girl Wreck Presents is booking more and more great bands throughout Denver. (Photo: DenverThread)

The show was put on by Girl Wreck Presents. the booking and talent agency started out of the Lions Lair and run by Brandy Darling. Her agency has also taken off this year, booking acts like crazy around Denver as well as the Lions Lair – including bigger punk names like Flipper earlier in the year. Girl Wreck Presents’ focus on local and national punk acts – and much more – is growing into a major force in Denver. Check out their upcoming schedule here.

Opening bands ZebroidsStraight Outta Luck, and Salt all played strong sets of punk before Agent Orange took the stage, showing off some of Denver’s thick talent pool.


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Local connoisseur Andrew Novick collaborates with a delicious Turkey Leg (Photo: Jeff Ball)

The Denver County Fair offers a local music tribute, and plenty of food and fun, to boot!

Local connoisseur Andrew Novick collaborates with a delicious Turkey Leg (Photo: Jeff Ball)

Local connoisseur Andrew Novick collaborates with a delicious Turkey Leg (Photo: Jeff Ball)

There’s not much that compares to a day at the fair, which is why Denver has rejuvenated the tradition. Well, actually the city just started the tradition last year, but it was based on plans from more than 100 years earlier.

This weekend brings the second Denver County Fair to the National Western Complex, starting Friday, August 10 at 10am, and finishing up on Sunday night, August 12th at 6pm. In between, fairgoers will be presented with all of the typical homemade, crafty, tasty and exotic traditions that fairs across the nation – and the world – are famous for: pie-eating contests, food and gardening competitions, arts and craft displays and plenty of fair-cuisine (mostly of the fried beer and food truck variety, we’re told – but that’s certainly not all).

But the Denver County Fair planning committee intends to deliver all of this down-home, wholesome goodness in a uniquely Denver fashion – just like last year’s fair – focusing on some of Denver’s local celebrity with the hopes of bringing a uniquely comfortable, metropolitan feel to the atmosphere, and that includes the choices for the fair’s all-day everyday musical accompaniment.

In an inspired move, local artist, entrepreneur, musician, producer and eccentric connoisseur Andrew Novick was named this year’s Entertainment Director and Breakfast Boss, and Novick has done the position proud. Already locally famous for his involvement in the legendary local Warlock Pinchers, his yearly “X-Treme Pancake Breakfasts,” art-centric barbecues, Peeps-inspired art competitions (and his overall, bona-fide Peeps legal expertise) and food- inspired art shows, Novick brought a uniquely keen and provocative – but completely sensible – aesthetic to his management of this year’s music.

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