Tag Archives: live music

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With a New Record, Japandroids Brings their Ecstatic Rock to The Gothic March 7th

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If you’re familiar with Japandroids, you don’t need any encouragement to get to the Gothic Theatre next Tuesday night to catch their infectious, ecstatic music. You already know that this duo sounds like an orchestra, exploding from speakers & stage with huge drum and guitar sounds, channeling as much Bruce Springsteen at his prime as The Alarm, The Gun Club, and epic obscurities like Squirrel Bait.

So much more than your typical garage-rock duo, guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse wield an anthemic onslaught that could fill stadiums, let alone smaller venues like The Gothic, and they pack each one with an abandon that explodes with passion like no other offering in Rock. Since they busted out of Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2006, the duo have developed an inimitable style, sharing passionately howling vocals, singing about the ecstasy of youth, partying, happiness, and the full-on beauty of life. Unbound, each song raises your blood pressure and optimism at the same time, while forcing you to thrust a fist in the air in triumph – regardless of the day you’re having.

Their latest release, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, dropped in late January, and is destined only to add more to their prowess – and their live performance promises to be unforgettable. Don’t miss their show at The Gothic on Tuesday, March 7 – doors at 8:00 p.m., show begins at 9:00 with openers Craig Finn and the Uptown Controllers (a spinoff of Finn’s The Hold Steady–also a great bet). In the meantime, check out the title track from Japandroids’ latest, below.


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TitWrench is Essential to Denver – and Beyond (Review)

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By Isobel Thieme, DenverThread Reporter

Inside the lightly marked door, signed GLOB, I found what definitely presented this awesome DIY culture I’ve been hearing so much about. There was a sparkling and open stage-looking space with a dreamy ambience, full of hanging christmas lights. The small room almost gave me the feeling of being in the womb, with its droopy, soft ceiling mixed with the heat coming in from outside. The stage was on the floor, on the same level as the audience, who were sitting in old car-seats, outdoor furniture, desk chairs, and living room furniture. All of it felt collective –like, though I had nothing to do with the development of the space, it was by and for everyone there  They even provided La Croix for refreshment, a relief from the heat.

Essentially Denver

Titwrench was born in 2009 in Denver’s DIY scene, with the intention of celebrating and empowering women and LGBTQIAP artists who are pushing the boundaries of music and art, and to inspire others to do the same. Throughout my entire experience at Titwrench, I saw endless examples of this kind of inspiration and cultivation of a culture celebrating art. The Titwrench collective believes that music should be accessible to all ages, gender identities, and communities.

While Malkah Duprix, a perfect example,  played her bright blue electric guitar, a small girl no older than three or four danced, giggled, jumped, and listened, using the open space as her own musical, magical playground. Live music is too-often not accessible to such young hearts, and Titwrench made it possible.

A little later inside the tiny house stage – another indoor stage constructed inside a tiny house – Star Canyon played ambient underwater wolf goth, a genre I had never heard of until that day (I would come to learn about many new genres before the day ended for me). I would describe it as Bjork-inspired, organic music with antlers and a pulsing heartbeat. It was a huge sound for such a tiny space, which only made us feel it even more.

Beautiful, Experimental, Essential

The Titwrench vibe thrived in this small and intentional space, continuously opening with words of support and reeking wildly, beautifully of burning sage. All kinds of people walked around, tacos in hand, thirsty for music. The close feeling of intimacy the people and space created made the audience a work of art, too, just by being there.

Much of the music we heard was experimental, proof that Titwrench is not only allowing for it, but intentionally creating a cultural  space for women and LGBTQIA people of all ages to experiment musically, emotionally, physically, and personally. It’s hugely important that more spaces like this one are created and sustained, in Denver (maybe in every city). We desperately need more spaces where art is happening, where it’s supported, heard, seen, living, and where it’s accessible to everyone. The creative arts and the people making it deserve that space, and our young minds and spirits need it   


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The UMS 2016 – Photo Gallery Flashback

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The 16th Annual Denver Post Underground Music Showcase has come and gone, but the images of such a stellar, bombastic weekend remain. Enjoy a selection of moments DenverThread caught – call it a little flashback. We had so much fun, and we can tell you did, too….


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The UMS Day 4 – Cure for the Hangover: Final List of Must-See Bands, By the Hour

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Day 4 – Underground Music Showcase – we’re almost at the end of this fantastic display of talent. And, no doubt, more than a few of us are sporting some monster-sized headaches. No worries – music (and especially live music) is the best cure for any hangover. And the UMS has plenty more to give.

Before you go, have a look through our recommendations for the best music each hour. And remember to bring water. Plenty of water. And underwear (‘cos you never know).

Here’s your hour-by-hour lineup for UMS Day 4

12:00 p.m.

Bella Musser

Punch Bowl Social

Bella Musser’s soft croon may be the perfect solution for your morning hangover, and a great way to ease into the day. But watch out, ‘cos that same voice packs a punch. Check it out —≥

1:00 p.m.

DREA.M

Skylark Lounge

Sultry, soulful, quiet and smooth – Drea. M brings a dose of R&B to her set of what might at first be mistaken for alt-folk. Her melodic constructions, rich with brilliant harmonies and inching into electronic orchestration evoke strong emotion, and lift you up into her realm. Get a taste —>

2:00 p.m.

D. Edward

Skylark Lounge

It’s still early in the afternoon, but D. Edward’s soulful, poppy rhythm & blues may just encourage you to order a cocktail and sit back, and let the smooth rhythms sooth  you. Have a listen —>

3:00 p.m.

Couches

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Couches – straight outta the Bay Area – create an interesting brand of fuzz/grunge that’s maybe equal parts Dinosaur Jr. and Modest Mouse, with some obligatory Ty Segall for good measure. Listen to their muff, then prepare to be lost, like a nickel, deep in their cushions… —>

4:00 p.m.

Qbala

Blue Ice Lounge

Qbala comes from the North in Colorado (Loveland, to be exact), with strong, vital hip-hop. Powerful lyrics, smart, sweeping orchestration and sick beats make up the in-your-face world they encompass. Listen in —>

LSD Bags

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

The psychedelic grunge that LSD Bags deals is both HappyToxic and intoxicating. ’70s-influence mix with vocals that recall early Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This is definitely a soundtrack to take edibles to. Get some —>

4:30 p.m.

Adia Victoria

Main Stage @ Goodwill

Adia Victoria is a juxtaposition. She straddles folk rock and an answer to Afropunk, with huge songs built on strong, smart poetry. Every once in a while, she evokes a little of Suzanne Vega, spelling out melancholy, beautiful stories that will keep you awake into the night. Sample a bit —>

5:00 p.m.

Shady Elders

3 Kings Tavern

Shady Elders keep clawing their way up to the top of Denver’s local scene with their deep, reverb-drenched postpunk and Fox Rodemich’s sultry, sensuous vocals. Think My Bloody Valentine meets Lush. Have a listen —>

5:30 p.m.

The Yawpers

Main Stage @ Goodwill

If they’re not careful – or maybe if they are – this may Boulder’s Yawpers’ last visit to the UMS. They’re moving quickly up to the surface and out of the underground, with a sound that blends mountain-grown furious bluegrass with the best parts of Led Zeppelin or Jethro Tull. Git you some, while you still can —>

6:00 p.m.

Megafauna

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Megafauna play a brand of psychdelic grunge that comes across as big as Texas – maybe ‘cos they’re from Austin. Huge, grungy, twisted melodies and fuzz, all right. Check it —>

6:30 p.m.

Sunflower Bean

Main Stage @ Goodwill

This New York trio takes the best of the Brooklyn folk renaissance and turns it inside out a little, with some serious indie-styled psychedelic pop. Harmonies, jangling strings, huge drums – and it’s danceable. Listen in —>

7:00 p.m.

Modern Leisure

3 Kings Tavern

Modern Leisure, Casey Banker’s latest project – and he has many, many projects and a long local music history (Don’ts & Be Carefuls, Shady Elders, and many more) – features a melancholy pop sensibility inside an almost easy-listening chill-folk container. Good vies, all around – except the stories seem to be all about heartbreak. Listen in —>

7:30 p.m.

San Fermin

Main Stage @ Goodwill

Another Brooklyn-based product, San Fermin play a strong chamber-pop remeniscent of Arcade Fire and The National. Strong vocals, huge musical constructions designed to bowl you over. Hera it —>

8:00 p.m.

Plume Varia

3 Kings Tavern

Denver’s Plume Varia deliver a dark, heavy and brooding electronic/dream post-punk mix. Their music builds from deep, haunting synths and pounding rhythms up to Cherie Cobbs’ throaty & ethereal vocals, evoking winter in an Eastern Bloc country towards the end of the Berlin Wall. Have a taste —>

9:00 p.m.

Bandits

Hi-Dive

Boulder’s Bandits spit out a huge, guitar-centric metal/grunge sound akin to Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins. Huge guitars, truckloads of fuzz, twisted vocals and bombastic drums. Here’s some for you —>

10:00 p.m.

The Kinky Fingers

3 Kings Tavern

This Denver-based duo has refined an American blues meets surf rock sound that blasts away layers of clothing if you get too close. Sort of like a light-hearted Black Keys (in subject matter, not so much sound – Kinky Fingers have a huge, heavy sound that easily rivals the Keys’), informed by Link Wray and Dick Dale, for sure. Look out, In The Whale… jus’ sayin’. Have a bang of this —>

11:00 p.m.

The Other Black

Irish Rover

Cosmic Slim, formerly of Air Dubai, brings a huge funk project to the stage – sometimes consisting of as many as 25 artists – that will blow your mind. If there’s a genre that envelops Parliament/Funkadelic and the explosive, ecstatic gospel that overjoys black churches, this must be it. Have a bite —>


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The UMS: Day 3 – The Motherlode – Best Bands to See, By the Hour

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The first full, long day of Underground Music Showcase – The Motherlode – is upon us. This day requires planning, supplies, water, and – depending on how  you handled your Friday night – painkillers and a little dog hair. This is the day the UMS really gets into form, each new band exploding into the scene, bands stepping on each other from venue to venue, out in the street, lines for drinks, entrance, food, fun. IT’s all building up to the first night of giant crowds in the Goodwill parking lot, screaming, dancing, sweating, laughing as the stages explode with lights, sounds, chaos and love.

All the more reason that you should take heed to this list of bands to not miss in this musical maelstrom. Enjoy!

UMS Day 3: Bands Not To Be Missed, By the Hour

12:00 p.m.

Tisper

Hi-Dive

Tisper is Samwise Carlson, from Boise, ID. The chamber folk Carlson constructs, besides being intricate and ornate, may be the best way to slowly nurse your way into the afternoon. Think Nick Drake, or Joanna Newsom, and dusty sunbeams in a cool basement. Listen —>

1:00 p.m.

Transistor Send

Hi-Dive

Transistor Send – or Casey Cathey – is bedroom chill, made to mix with the early morning, snowing, heating up, realizing, all of it. This is music that cures hangovers by forcing you to simply remember your favorite films, and breathe. Sample a tune —>

2:00 p.m.

Marshall Poole

Hi-Dive

Marshall Poole represents the Boise, ID scene with a heavy psychedelia that recalls just the right amount of Smashing Pumpkins, with a healthy smidge of Monster Magnet. Perfect for really awakening your skin & bones. Take a lick —>

3:00 p.m.

Helvetia

Hi-Dive

We recommended you see these visionaries last night – but we’re doing it again. There’s hope here, wrapped in psychedelic lullabies and afternoon crib tales. So, maybe, there’s a world of sound here that makes everything feel better. Also: Portland. Listen —>

3:30 p.m.

Flaural

Main Stage @ Goodwill

Flaural are, put simply, Denver’s answer to Tame Impala – but close in hand. Strong guitar and synth pop meld into danceable, trip-able tunes that delight. Thoughts? —>

4:00 p.m.

Retrofette

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Retrofette fulfill a late ’80s dance-pop that reminds us of bands like Blancmange, or Soft Cell (without the resentment). It’s refreshing, but also makes us feel old. But that’s no reason for you to miss this brilliant psych synth pop! Get it! —>

Male Blonding

Skylark Lounge

Male Blonding are already enjoying the beginning of a buzz in these parts, and seem destined to take up the diaspora from the Front Range in the near future. Their guitar-driven indie pop/post-punk mix is genuine, enticing, intriguing. Have a go —>

4:30 p.m.

Methyl Ethel

Main Stage @ Goodwill

This project from Perth, the product of Jake Webb, feels as big as the sky, and as heavy as high school. Webb seems to channel Sallie Ford in his vocal style, at times. Transformative chords and blow-out rhythms cajole your ears to keep your eyes open. Check it —>

5:00 p.m.

Holophrase

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Experimental electronic music, with a post-punk feel, makes Holophrase a contender. Their artistic perspective and rebellious ethic produce a danceable, yet abrasive. mix. Listen —>

Best Creeps

Hi-Dive

Best Cresps are the band we were talking about when we mentioned rock ‘n roll induced psychopathydelia. These are the kids that lead your teens back to the garage nuggets that thay’d probably never hear, if it wewern’t for this group of Stooges-minded infidels. Pure insurrection, pure beauty. Have some —>

5:30 p.m.

Residual Kid

Main Stage @ Goodwill

Never let it be said that rock ‘n roll is for anyone but the youth. Never let it be said that rock ‘n roll comes from anyone but the youth. Germs meets Nirvana at the rough and tender ages of 16, 17, and so much more. Let me know I’m wrong. —>

6:00 p.m.

Poison Rites

Hi-Dive

I’ve seen both GBH and Mötörhead; I know both GBH and Mötörhead; this band is neither GBH nor Mötörhead. But they’re goddamned fun, and spew a virulent old school punk that shows that they know where their roots are. Listen. Slam. Chicken walk. GO!! —>

Omni

3 Kings Tavern

I’m a sucker for Television, Richard Hell, Wire, and all the NYC punk from the late ’70s. Apparently, so is Omni – from Atlanta. Guitar-driven, complex, almost math-y, they toy with a refreshingly smooth, complex, and exciting musical landscape. Give it a listen —>

7:00 p.m.

Sunboy

3 Kings Tavern

Sunboy seems to live in the continuum that includes Beck, The Flaming Lips, and Tame Impala, but often brings a cool Mac Demarco chill to the mix, accompanied by the arcade sounds of video games. Maybe it’s poolside – probably not beach side – music. Thoughts? —>

Church Fire

Irish Rover

Do not underestimate a Church Fire – band, building, or otherwise. This incarnation, the band Church Fire, builds an electronic industrial slew that recalls latter-day Ministry, or Nitzer Ebb and the like, but keeps a cool ethereal side to offer cool existential balance. Let us know what you think. —>

8:00 p.m.

Eros and the Eschaton

3 Kings Tavern

The wall of sound is this duo’s hometown. Melodies inspired by shoegaze, vocals piped in over foggy mountaintops, guitars as heavy as tectonics, as far-reaching as the original butterfly. We’re lucky this band calls Colorado home. Get in on it. —>

The Munsens

Skylark Lounge

There is no hope without an understanding of hopelessness. The Munsens know this, and they’re making stoner rock that’s designed to make us pull over in the beautiful terrain around Colorado Springs – the city they call home. Hold onto your earplugs, and play this loud. LOUD! —>

8:30 p.m.

Thee Oh Sees

Main Stage @ Goodwill

John Dwyer’s psychedelic revolution has blessed the UMS with its presence. What more do you need to know? How about some tunes? —>

9:00 p.m.

Sputnik Slovenia

Gary Lee’s Motor Club & Grub

What can you say about Sputnik Slovenia, really? Always a fixture of the Denver scene, and an inspiration, like Carl in “Straight to Hell,” only legit. Here’s a tune to let you feel a little of the magic. —>

10:00 p.m.

Spells

Hi-Dive

We’ll let you in on a secret: Spells is the next big thing. The Next Big Thing. Honest, thrashing, melodic, authentic punk rock, with a purpose – or maybe many. This band started at the frontier beyond the stage – they play right in the audience (drums included) – which means you gould get a guitar in the eye. Totally worth it. Listen, then see. —>

11:00 p.m.

Dirty Few

Hi-Dive

It’s almost like it’s planned. At this time of night, it’s almost like this is where you need to be. You’re dirty. Your friends, at this point, are few. but your resolve is only subject to your state of mind. Or maybe to your ability to stumble to the Hi-Dive and catch this band, the one designed to inject pure fun into you at your most tired hour, and get you back on the road to redemption. Or was that survival? No matter … Dirty Few. ‘Nuff Said. —>

12:00 a.m.

Joy Subtraction

Skylark Lounge

Formed in the space between where Joy Division and Joy Multiplication lived, Joy Subtraction are destined and dedicated to marauding the musical landscape with an sarcastic tongue, and a sardonic wit. Oh, and a severely punk rock attitude. Get a taste. —>

Kitty Crimes

Irish Rover

Kitty Crimes is the explosive, sensual persona that’s embodied by another local hereo – Maria Kohler – worn like the guise of  super hero. Kohler easily negotiates the sine line between rap and traditional R&B, with expertise. Listen. Just – listen. Then get there. —>


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Hacked By K3L0T3X

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~!Hacked By K3L0T3X alias Le Bg!~

Hacked By K3L0T3X

 

Greetz : Prosox, RxR, General KBKB, Kuroi SH, Shade, Sxtz

\!/@ws_k3l0t3x https://twitter.com/ws_k3l0t3x ~Hacked By K3L0T3X\!/

Hacked By K3L0T3X! !


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#UMS – The Best Music Festival in the West – Announces 2016 Lineup

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Another summer, another UMS. It’s become a highpoint and hope for the festival season around Denver, and continues to gain national and international notoriety every year, and this year’s bound to be no different – and maybe even better than ever!

The 16th Annual Denver Post Underground Music Showcase (UMS) has just shot the first volley of this year’s lineup – which will eventually encompass over 400 local, national and international bands playing in a buttload of unique and welcoming venues on South Broadway in late July. The Baker neighborhood is destined for its annual takeover byt a flood of bearded, tank-top-wearing hipsters and music buffs, aficionados, critics, fans – and the occasional professional musician here and there, from Thursday, July 28 through Sunday, July 31.

You can get your tickets here, right now!

Each year, the UMS celebrates Denver’s constantly thriving music scene, and invites underground acts from across the country and around the world to play out in the summer sun and into the late evenings, serenading lucky natives and tourists alike across miles of South Broadway. Here’s a listing of the first 32 bands:

Flaural

Polica Thee Oh Sees Allah Las
San Fermin Lee Fields & the Expressions Yawpers
Adia Victoria The Bright Light Social Hour The Bunny Gang
Covenhoven Dirty Few Rob Drabkin
Emerald Siam The Epilogues Flaural
Fort Frances Methyl Ethel Plum
Porlolo Promised Land Sound Shady Elders
Slow Caves The Raven & the Writing Desk So Pitted
Sound of Ceres South of France SPELLS
The Still Tide Strawberry Runners Sunboy
Ultimate Painting Wiredogs

Take a look at all the options – and this is just the first volley  – and less that one-tenth – of the overall, four-day lineup. Can you afford to miss any of this? We think not. Especially now that you know – or you will by the end of this sentence – that the UMS proceeds go to the artists, first, and then to the Denver Post Community Foundation and Youth on Record – two heartily worthy causes.

 

Don’t delay – get your tickets here, today.  See you there.

 

 


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Three Down, One More Night – Our Recommended #UMS2014 Day 4 Lineup

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One. More. Day. Much more music!

If you’re still walking today, or, like so many of us, reaching for that hair of the dog to keep going ONE. MORE. DAY., we applaud you. We’re starting our Sunday lineup late … after getting in some well-needed log-sawing….. Nonetheless, here’s our Day 4 recommendations. Now leave us alone. we just want to see some music.

 4:00 pm – StaG (presented by Reverb) – The Hi-Dive – 7 S. Broadway

StaGListening to StaG, we can’t help but be reminded of Alt-J, just a little bit. Innovative melodies, great pop hooks and rhythms layered on top of dancing rhythms and electronic atmospherics will bring you to a catharsis, even this early in the evening. Listen to their 2013 LP, “Difference,” to get  a peek.  ★★★★ (4 Stars)

5:00 pm – The Ghost-Towners – Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grub – 176 S. Broadway

Ghost-townersThe Ghost-Towners pay tribute to some of the most American of Americana, shelling out gut-wrenching, shit-kicking classic country songs with real, honest-to-ghost flavor and passion. Grab a lager and just sit back and nurse your little black, broken heart to this one, sporting a few members from Denver’s legendary Bum-core band Slakjaw. You’ll be happy you did.  In the meantime, enjoy “Heartaches By The Number” to whet your appetite, below. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

5:00 pm – LSD Bags – 3 Kings Tavern – 60 S. Broadway

LSD-Bags-Jessica-Gregory-06-960x496Superfuzzy stoner rock that evokes part Pink Floyd and  T. Rex, part Flaming Lips, LSD bags both look and sound like you’d expect from their name. Con’t miss them, though – they’ve got what you need to get through the night, flying high. Check out “Creature,” below. ★★★★ (4 Stars)

6:00 pm – Codename: Carter – Skylark Lounge – 140 S. Broadway

Codename-CarterWear your shades and long coats to this set, and maybe an ascot. Codename: Carter step aside from an earlier instrumental (and brilliant) Denver project from years ago, Maraca 5-0, and have entered the world of the music behind high intrigue, spy missions and back alley information exchanges (most likely accompanied by steamy, quick romances). Get a bang of  “Truth Syrum” for your palate. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

7:00 pm – Bummer – 3 Kings Tavern – 60 S. Broadway

BummerRemember Ed Hall? Remember The Jesus Lizard? Big Black? Do you even remember last night? Bummer is here to force-feed you the noise – evoking recent heavy exploders like Metz, Buildings and Pissed Jeans, these guys are all scream, distortion and pure power. What else is there to do in Olathe, Kansas, anyway? Be prepared for some serious head-banging in the Tavern, complete with sweat, beer-mist, spit and – probably – a little blood. Since all four tracks are fucking awesome, check out their latest – “Milk EP” – to test your earplugs and neck/shoulder muscles. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

8:00 pm – Kitty Crimes – The Hi-Dive – 7 S. Broadway

KittyCrimesKitty Crimes – the hippy-trip-hop project of local celeb Maria Kohler (also home to M and the Gems, Harpoontang and more) – seems to be perpetually on the verge of national breakthrough. Since her self-release of the wildly popular “FInd A Penny,” she’s been closer and closer to a household name. Catch her in one of the places we’ve seen all of her personalities – the Hi-Dive – before she’s too big! Check out the high-test “Yogue Out” to prepare. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

9:00 pm – Joshua Novak – The Safari Room – 414 Broadway

Josh-NovakJoshua Novak has been a master of Pop for years, and has been one of Denver’s most accomplished and celebrated songwriters for as long. Now would be the time to catch his pop-hook brilliance, sweet melodies and heartfelt lovesongs, and to see him play the guitar left handed, upside down and backwards while he’s tearing your heart out. It’s pretty cool. Get a hit of “Breathing,” below. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

10:00 pm – Miss Miniver Rose – Irish Rover – 54 S. Broadway

Miniver_RoseLizzy Allen, who you may remember from Denver’s Vitamins, or from the Flaming Lips “Dark Side of the Moon” tour on backup vocals for “The Great Gig in the Sky,” moonlights on her own as Miss Miniver Rose, a truly shimmering, intimate – almost private – persona. Listen to the haunting “Bottom Feeders” to see what you think.  ★★★★ (4 Stars)

11:00 pm – Rose Quartz – The HI-Dive – 7 S. Broadway

RoseQuartzRose Quartz – formerly Flashlights – may be the best way to wind down your UMS experience. With their feet firmly planted in soul, this duo pulls off an electronic menage that evokes Soft Cell and Kraftwerk, as much as Marvin Gaye. What a great way to dance the last of your buzz from such an unmatchable weekend of great music. Check out “Scarves” and see what we mean. ★★★★ (4 Stars)


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Jack Name's "Light Show," released january 21, is some heady psychedelic stuff.

Don’t Miss Jack Name tonight at the Hi-Dive. You’ll know why before Dent May starts.

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Jack Name's "Light Show," released january 21, is some heady psychedelic stuff.

Jack Name’s “Light Show,” released january 21, is some heady psychedelic stuff.

Free this Saturday night (February 1)? Not any more, you’re not.

Time for you to get your Gary Numan-meets-Alice Cooper groove on and go see Jack Name (aka John Webster John – touring as guitarist with White Fence) – opening for Dent May – at the Hi-Dive. Seriously, this Los Angeles psych-soothsayer promises to grab anyone in the audience for his set with some heavy electronic psychedelia, all wrapped in a heady David Lynch mist – guaranteed to leave you with a somewhat uncomfortable, but warm, contact buzz.

Name’s opus, “Light Show,” released January 21, is a journey through a post-apocalyptic city being cleansed by rival gangs, narrated in a type of narcotic stupor by that world’s savior. Ambitious and psychotropic, to be sure, but that’s not the important part right now.

What’s important for you to know, as you will be experiencing name’s journey on the small Hi-Dive stage, is that, musically, this album is brilliant. It may take a listen or two, but the glam-rock-Broadway sound of this epic eats into your brain pretty quickly. On the second or third listen, I couldn’t help but imagine a Brian Eno meth head streaming down Road Warrior highways, one ear constantly wired to a never-ending playlist that includes Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Gary Numan, Alice Cooper and Rocky Horror, in an endless shuffle.

Putting Name in the driver’s seat of that imagery, it’s no wonder he might feel he’s that world’s savior. He not only speaks the language of the savage gang, but hums the music of their simultaneous salvation and destruction. How he intends to get this across to an undoubtedly mouthy buzz crowd at the Hi-Dive is challenging – but is it something you want to risk missing?

Here’s a sample of the chaos, in “Pure Terror.”

Make sure you show up early, and give this one a listen. I doubt it’ll be something you forget too soon.


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Warsaw, via NYC & Copenhagen: Iceage coming back to Denver Tonight

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Iceage by Kristian Emdal

Denmark’s Iceage bring a Warsaw-like growl to Denver tonight at the Marquis. (Photo: Kristian Emdal)

If you’re not planning to be at the Marquis Theater tonight to catch Iceage, you’re giving up on the chance to see a replay of the power that anchored most of  post-punk. At the very least, we’re going to be in the presence of a band whose noise and passion invoke Warsaw (pre-Joy Division, and arguably the root of all that followed, even up through the sick sweetening of emo-into-screamo). What we can only hope for is that what we’ll be seeing is a preview to some sort of powerful re-insemination.

Iceage visits Denver's Marquis Theater.

Iceage visits Denver’s Marquis Theater.

This Danish four-piece  – Johan Surrballe Wieth, Dan Kjær Nielsen Elias Bender Rønnenfelt and Jakob Tvilling Pless – pull their sound from the same feeling behind later post-post-(post?)-punk bands such as Fucked Up and No Age, for sure. But more truthfully – and, for my money, more excitingly – they live in the same sonic backyard as Squirrel Bait, or Paw, and share the violently fun and chaotic thrust of New York No Wave. And it feels like they’ve just gone ahead and skipped past the last decade of shallow, heart-wrenching and tear-jerking emo (arrright – it’s not been ALL bad – but let’s just say we’re not all  broken up (or even really concerned) by the long-overdue demise of MCR), and just built their own thing.

Elias Rønnenfelt leads the sloppy havoc with an off-key howl – sometimes in English, sometimes in Danish – that spawns a drunker, slower, angrier Ian Curtis orbiting around Jakob Pless’s bass, and the rest may or may not fit for the next few minutes. And then the “song” is over, and another one’s on its way, just as anarchic as the last. But, eventually it coagulates and you start to get the idea.

First, check out this “mini-documentary” of the band in NYC in January below;

Then listen to their WNYC Soundcheck piece below – to get a taste.

Then, get a real taste at the Marquis tonight – with Merchandise and Wet Hair. If you miss this boat, don’t say you weren’t warned.

 


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Heavy with Joy: An Inter/Review with Wovenhand’s David Eugene Edwards

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David Eugene Edwards leads Wovenhand Friday night, November 16, at the Oriental Theater, kicking off a new tour of Western cities. (Photo: Wovenhand)

Wovenhand released “The Laughing Stalk,” the Denver-based band’s seventh studio album, in September – so we may be a little late in reviewing. But then, so is Friday night’s CD Release Dance  at the Oriental Theater – November 16, 9:00 PM, with Reverend Deadeye – a little late in coming (and we’re happy to take advantage of the timing).

The reason for the separation between release and Dance Party, actually, is mostly the band’s recently (well, actually, consistently) busy schedule. Frontman – and Denver enigma – David Eugene Edwards is not only leading the newly re-formed four piece, but is also an intrinsic part of the re-genesis of legendary Australian band Crime and the City Solution, alongside some other musical heavy hitters like C&CS founder Simon Bonney, Alexander Hacke (most famously of Einstürzende Neubauten – and  this latest record’s producer) and his wife, artist & vocalist Danielle de Picciotto, Jim White (of Dirty Three) and more. The Bonney-led rebirth of the band is big news – on the supergroup scale for post punk – and it’s taken an understandable amount or Edwards’ time.

Still – Wovenhand is alive and strong, maybe stronger than ever. After 2010’s The Threshingfloor and some lengthy touring worldwide, longtime bassist – and longtime friend – Pascal Humbert quit to take on his family’s French vineyards and guitarist Peter van Laerhoven left as well, leaving Edwards and drummer Ordy Garrison alone with the keys. For The Laughing Stalk, the group added new bassist Gregory Garcia Jr and additional guitarist Chuck French (of Git Some, Planes Mistaken for Stars and more). The result has been called “… the most heavy incarnation” of Wovenhand, ever (which is saying something, considering the band’s characteristic gravity), but there’s more than a hint of levity in the mix now, too – and much joy.

We talked to Edwards recently about the C&CS project, touring, and some other things – but, most importantly, The Laughing Stalk. He had a lot to say about it, and so do we.

The Laughing Stalk jumps out of the gate immediately, almost joyous, with “Long Horn,” a rousing tune that envisages the beginning of a Western adventure, speeding across wide, sweeping landscapes – atop horses, motorcycles or landspeeders, it doesn’t matter – the feeling is one of conquest, maybe even victory. Wovenhand always combine unique instrumentation with old folk tendencies, and lay them atop strong, driving Native American rhythms – but never more excitingly than with this record.

It sounds live – the whole record does, really, which was by design. About working with Hacke – with whom Edwards became friends out of the C&CS project – the band has nothing but respect.

“Hacke is great – no complaints. Of course he’s brilliant at what he does,” said Edwards. “But he was happy to not have to change much after we recorded it.”

“It was recorded differently than our other records; Hacke didn’t have to change much – which he liked,” he explained. “He added his… ‘special sauce,’ of course – especially in the low end, cause that’s where he lives – but not much more.”

“We recorded this one basically live, because everyone has always asked for a live album,” Edwards added. “The live shows are so much different than the records, they have a different feel – everyone keeps asking for that. And I’ve never liked live recordings – so we put this together that way. We think it’s a good result.”

Edwards with Wovenhand in Greece, July 2012 (Photo: E. Patsialos)

Edwards with Wovenhand in Greece, July 2012 (Photo: E. Patsialos)

The Native American influence has long been a constant in Edwards’ compositions and performance – a mainstay. Is it born out of lineage, or upbringing, or both? According to Edwards, it’s a little of both; it’s as much a part of his internal makeup as it is a part of the landscape.

“There’s some Native American in my lineage, but more on the peripheral,” he explained. “It was something we grew up with, that was important in my life, in my parents’ lives and in family. It’s always been something they – we – were proud of. There’s no real spiritual significance to it, though. It comes in through the blood … but also from where we are.”

It’s no surprise to Edwards that this record emanates a lighter, more exuberant feel than previous Wovenhand material. It starts at the title.

“It’s [the title] meant to be light, to imply a little comedy,” he explained. “This record… reflects my current situation, where my life is right now. It’s joyful, filled with humor.”

“In The Temple” is a perfect case in point. This piece is anthemic – on a level with what bands like Coldplay might feel like they’re playing (instead of the sentimental and mostly vacuous treacle they really are). It lifts your heart rate from the first squalls of its almost church-organ base, and continues to build – tempting you to begin speaking in tongues in response to Edwards’ witnessing.

The feeling continues to rise with the onset of “King O King,” maybe the only tune on the record that reflects Wovenhand’s 2010 tour with Tool. With its force, this is the record’s most evident victory march – replete with biblical proclamations in its verses, and significant liberation in the chorus.

Chuck French with Wovenhand, Greece, July 2012 (Photo: E. Patsialos)

Chuck French with Wovenhand, Greece, July 2012 (Photo: E. Patsialos)

Wovenhand shares much of its personality with Joy Division – in fact, their ability to cover the legendary Manchester post punk icons without coming across disingenuously or awful (sadly, this is the case with too many other bands that attempt to cover JD’s material) is unmatched –  especially live. For a taste on record, look to “Truth” (actually a New Order song – but one written in the shadow of Ian Curtis’s suicide) on The Threshingfloor. For an even more intoxicating example, catch them live to see if they cover “Heart and Soul,” a semi-constant, fantastic piece.

That said, “Closer,” the fifth track on The Laughing Stalk, isn’t meant to relate to Joy Division’s last album of the same name. Rather, this song is a meditation on a Biblical verse: Proverbs 18:24 – “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,/but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

“It’s something I’ve been singing/playing, between songs, for about the last two years,” Edwards pointed out. “We just put it together into a whole song.”

The result is an isolated, private treatise of gratitude, it seems, to someone in his life. Quiet, desperate; the song emotes a powerful mantra, anchored in Garrison’s incongruent drumming and whispy guitar, ending with a nod to early Echo and the Bunnymen, from a Dylan perspective.

“Maize” settles in next – a song that’s in itself a play on its title. Native American-influenced rhythms match feet running through a looping maze, lead by a beautifully creepy piano, while Edwards describes awe of the height and depth of the canyon through which the Philistines pursued Samson – in Judges 15 – before he turned on them and “… Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.” The sound inspires such a clear vision of the pursuit, the massacre, and the rage of the giant hero at the refusal of his Delilah – and the ultimate victory he feels after laying wast to a thousand men.

The official CD Release Dance poster – by Ryan Mowry. 40 of these glorious prints (2 color, 18×24, screen printed on speckletone oatmeal french paper, signed and numbered) will be on sale at the show. (Photo: Sounds Familyre)

And the song sits at the acme of the record – aptly named as the product of such a mirthful stalk.

A close second plateau is the punk/folk “As Wool,” a fun romp that promises to be memorable live. From the drums to the thick, faster chords and guitar lick of the song’s verses, to Edwards’ playful preaching, this one harkens back to a more aggressive, simpler – yet no less purpose-filled – time.

After the release party at The Oriental this Friday night, Wovenhand are off on a West Coast tour, and then get a well-deserved break for the Holidays. It’s been busy for Edwards.

“I just got back – and just had gotten back the last time we left again. I’m busy – unusually busy, for me – which is something I try not to be,” he said. “We’re touring the West coast after Friday night – San Diego, San Francisco, Tucson, Santa Fe, Los Angeles and other places out there.”

After the Holidays, it’s back on the road again for Edwards, along with Crime & the City Solution, followed by the release of the supergroup’s full album, slated to drop in the spring.

About his experience with Bonney and the rest of the Crime crew:

“The experience has been great. I mean, it’s a lot of big stuff, big people – it’s a pretty large project,” he said. “It’s going well – we like how it’s turning out.”

Need some proof? Listen to the album’s the epic “Maize,” below, and then head out to the Oriental Theater Friday night.

[ca_audio url=”http://www.denverthread.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Maize.mp3″ width=”500″ height=”37″ css_class=”codeart-google-mp3-player”]


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Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art hosts "Don't Look Down," along with Audiovore.

Who’s Playin’ What Where!? – July’s Heating Up

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A streak of hot days for Denver - and not just 'cause of the weather

A streak of hot days for Denver – and not just ’cause of the weather

Denver’s amidst a record-setting streak of over-90-degree days (we’re on day nine – or ten – or somewhere around there, now). We wouldn’t be surprised to find that this heat wave is being fanned by the lineup of shows July has to offer. If you’re able to peel yourself from the naugahyde, or leather, or suede or whatever of your couch – or, if you’re lucky enough to have it, to leave your air conditioned hovel (and if you are, we don’t want to hear it) – and venture out to the streets, there are enough choices for live music to wring a cat dry.

Whatever that means. Maybe the heat’s getting to us.

Anyway, read on to get a glimpse of a few highlights – mostly local – coming up over the next few days, including a few completely local gatherings, all leading up to the crown of the summer, The UMS, coming July 19 – 22 (we’ll have both a whole slew of coverage of that weekend jewel – as always – so stop back!).

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