Tag Archives: Reverb

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#UMS2015, Day #3 – DenverThread’s Approved Lineup is Here!

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Well – here we are, in the thick of it, the UMS, day #3. At this point, you’re probably feeling the heat, sweating out the alcohol (soon to be replaced), trying to stretch your extremities and get them back under your control, and wondering how you’re still awake. But it’s really just begun. This is the long stretch, and it’s time for you to really begin to take in the deep, pungent aroma and humidity of the UMS.

We can help. Each and every day, DenverThread will publish recommendations – by the hour – for bands you need to see in this crazy, over-stuffed, incredible lineup. Come back here and catch the day’s recommendations before you head out!

Here’s our by the hour lineup recommendation for Day 3, Saturday, July 25…

12:00 PM – A Giant Dog – Hi-Dive

Reaching back to proto-punk roots in The Stooges, or “White Punks on Dope” Tubes, Austin’s A Giant Dog belts out garage rock that will light a fire under you. Everything is fast, loud and aggressive, exciting, and a little precocious. It may be early for a Hi-Dive Austin Party experience, but this band will help that breakfast beer cure your hangover, and get you in shape for another UMS day. Check them out a bit on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, to make sure your head’s in this game.

1:00 PM – Sun Blood Stories – Skylark Lounge

Boise, Idaho’s Sun Blood Stories weaves a sometimes dark and scary, sometimes playful brand of psychedelia that you’d probably expect to hear out in the Idaho landscape – or the Mars landscape. Echo-laden, majestic, big sound, and wide, open spaces come to mind and vision when they’re playing. It’s a ride through a black hole, but a comfortable one. Get some for yourself on Bandcamp and Soundcloud to feel that gravity.

2:00 PM – Obscured By Echoes – Hi-Dive

The Austin Day Party continues at Hi-Dive with the Texas-based psych band Obscured By Echoes. This band is sure to shake the ground beneath you, with overtones of Bowie, Eno, and TX faves Black Angels. OBE sounds a little more mature than Angels, really – more comfortable, not trying quite as hard. Take advantage of this chance to see it for yourself, and prove us wrong.

3:00 PM – Covergeist – Historians Ale House

Justin Dunning has his hand in something wet with rock n’ roll. Straightforward guitar – slide and otherwise – colors his jam, and an alternating smooth croon and Mudhoney howl. Take in this show as one that might just invigorate you the way a great adventure film could, and then slingshot to the rest of day #3. This is the kind of moonshine that’ll make that happen. Listen on Soundcloud and see if you disagree.

4:00 PM – Paw Paw – Eslinger Gallery

Now that the afternoon has likely started to turn into a more quiet affair, a little ambient, calming music may be in order. Step in Paw Paw – musical child of Eston Lathrop, formerly of Woodsman. Lathrop has a brilliant sense of rhythm and world music, which he uses to ground his ambient guitar, loop, echo work. Find Paw Paw on Bandcamp, and buy what you can!

5:00 PM – Codename: Carter – 3 Kings Tavern

The songs Pussy Galore listened to while dressing, tunes that Bond – James Bond – couldn’t get out of his head – these are the fodder of Codename: Carter. Skillful guitar work that makes you feel like you’re already on an impossible – and impossibly groovy – mission, just making it past the guards and into 3 Kings – this is what Codename: Carter has to offer. And you’ll love it.

6:00 PM – Pale Sun – Eslinger Gallery

Expansive, giant, cavernous – a few words that come to mind about Pale Sun. If you remember Denver heavy hitters Bright Channel and Orbiteer, or Snake Rattle Rattle Snake and Monofog, and you like the heavier, echoing side of those bands, you’ll love Pale Sun. Huge guitars, colossal drums, endless reverb, the feeling of floating into the atmosphere of a gas giant, slowly descending forever to its tiny core, Pale Sun can ensure you land safely. Get you some, on  Soundcloud.

7:00 PM – Cloacas – Illegal Pete’s

Santa Fe’s Cloacas (\klō-kus\) take Americana to another level. On the one hand, they appear to be your common, garden-variety banjo, jug, nose harp and saw playin’ country ensemble. But then they bring in a kind of humorous gothic element, and twist it up into a jangly dancing good ol’ time. Before haunting the crowd again with something you’d hear, when  you’re lost in the desert, wafting on a hot breeze from just over that next hill. Down there. Yeah – just one more hill away, forever. Check them out on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, then get into Illegal Pete’s, before you get lost, too.

8:00 PM – Eros and the Eschaton – 3 Kings Tavern

Jump back into the dreamy pop side of the UMS with Eros and the Eschaton – recent transplants to Colorado Springs from way out Southeast. This group dabbles in shoegaze, with a rural, almost woodsy feel.  They comfortably mix Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine with muted sun in cedars, and a  little Yo La Tengo vibe. Check them out on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

9:00 PM – Shady Elders – 3 Kings Tavern

Shady Elders have been climbing up in the Denver scene for just a few years, but they definitely have a strong foothold. Dreamy is too simple a word for their style, but it’s close. Summer music, Lana Del Rey, Beach House – all of these apply, too. But Shady Elders doesn’t stop there. They expand into an all-encompassing, foggy world that feels more like the David Lynch side of a dream. Catch their tunes on Bandcamp and Soundcloud to get a taste for yourself.

10:00 PM – The Traveling Suitcase – Irish Rover

Oshkosh, Wisconsin spit out The Traveling Suitcase, after shoving a landfill of Led Zeppelin-era big guitar music, Black Keys-heavy blues strings and mathy, thumping beats into its mouth. This trio will wake you out of the dream state you’ve been in for the past few hours – if you’ve been following our map of #UMS2015’s best bands by-the-hour. Come prepared – listen to the Suitcase on Bandcamp and Soundcloud before you enter.

11:00 PM – The Gamits – Hi-Dive

Solid, loud and fast Punk Rock is still alive in Denver, and The Gamits are part of the tartan. The Gamits have been many parts of Denver’s punk scene for more than two decades, and they’re still going strong. Crunchy guitar bashing, bass and drums, fast lyrics and a little melody promise to inspire your second (or third, or fourth) wind, and propel you long into tomorrow. Get some on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, too.

12:00 AM – Accordion Crimes – Irish Rover

Accordion Crimes brings a Jesus Lizard/Big Black post-hardcore feel to the UMS, late at night in this case, designed to open your eyes to the pounding, screaming, scraping, bruising side of music. Angular, minimal and perfect are the best words to describe Accordion Crimes – but the best way to get the vibe is to see it yourself, In the meantime, here’s some from Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

1:00 AM – Zebroids – Hi-Dive

What better way to wrap up #UMS2015 Day #3 than with some bass-heavy, fast, loud and riveting garage punk? The Zebroids have the pill for you, and they’re administering heavy dosages at Hi-Dive. After feeling the heat of this group, you’ll feel fine crawling back to your bed and passing into palookaville – or you just as likely might want to just kick down the walls and open up some space into tomorrow morning, buzzing until sunup. Get some on Bandcamp.

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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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Here’s Your #UMS2014 Day 3 Lineup

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The DenverThread hour-by-hour guide to The UMS, Day 3 – You’re Welcome!

After two days of ear- and heart-blasting music, lights, beers and friends, The UMS is probably starting to feel like home to you by now. The problem is, there are still two full days left – and more acts than ever to try and catch! So – we’re going to help you out again, with a lineup of acts by the hour, recommended by DenverThread, and guaranteed to leave a mark – on your soul as well as your record collection. Take a deep breath, a swig of your courage of choice and hold on – here we go with UMS 2014 Day Three!

1:00 pm – Eldren (Presented by Spokesbuzz) – Irish Rover, 54 S. Broadway

Eldren-I-Live-in-Beauty-02Eldren explode from the stage with an overwhelming psychedelia that evokes Polyphonic Spree and – yes, I’m gonna say it – Electric Light Orchestra. There may be just seven members, they sound closer to 10 or 15. Big, lovely bombast and pure party happiness. Check out “Yankee Stargazer,” below. ★★★ (3 Stars)

2:00 pm – Inner Oceans (presented by Holy Underground + MusicFestival App) – The Hi-Dive, 7 S. Broadway

Inner Oceans 1.jpg Griff Snyder of Inner Oceans. Photo: lucaventer.com.Sweeping synthesizers over thumping bass hits and soft, shoegazey vocals lead you down into a cool, cavernous calm. This is where Inner Oceans lives, and where they want you to come and stay. Check out “Ready Your Ghost,” and see how you feel about spending time there. (Inner Oceans also plays at 4:00 pm Sunday, at the Skylark, if you miss this afternoon’s performance). ★★★★ (4 Stars)

3:00 pm – TV Girl (presented by Holy Underground + MusicFestival App) – The Hi-Dive, 7 S. Broadway

TV-GirlTV Girl lands at the Hi-Dive from hometown L.A., and bring in happyhappyhappy trip-hop mixed with fresh samples and throaty harmonies. If this doesn’t start off your Saturday evening in grand, Summer Pop style, you’d probably better have a few more shots before your next band. Check out “The Getaway,” and tell us it doesn’t melt you like a popsicle. ★★★★ (4 Stars)

4:00 pm – E.C. Lab – The Hornet – 76 Broadway

EC-LabEC Lab plays a simple, powerful brand of bluesy garage that evokes a little bit of Black Keys, a little bit of Red Hot Chili Peppers (back when they were screaming about real men and coyotes, not lamenting their Californication). The duo is part of L.A.’s The Royal Heist, and will rock the heat into your afternoon. Bring a towel. Check out “No Longer” and see (The band is so far underground that the only place y ou can hear them – outside this afternoon at the UMS, is on MySpace. Go figure.) ★★★ (3 Stars)

E.C. Lab on MySpace

5:00 pm – Two Tone Wolf Pack – Skylark Lounge – 140 S. Broadway

2-tone-wolf-packTwo Tone Wolf Pack may be the strongest example of what used to be called the “Denver Sound” at this year’s UMS. Based in some mixture of Appalachian Mountain music, Pentacostal tent revivals and gothic country, the sound defined much of the music coming out of Denver around the time the UMS was just cutting its first teeth (see 16 Horsepower, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, The Denver Gentlemen, Munly, and so many more). Two Tone Wolf Pack aren’t reviving it, though. They’re living the music, and the backwoods, jumping a train to the next town lifestyle, and howling about it. Great, great stuff. Check out “Dead Men Hangin’,” below. ‘Nuff said. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)


6:00 pm – Sugar Skulls & Marigolds – Brendan’s – 404 N. Broadway

Sugar-SkullsDanny and Andrew Aranow – both play in other Denver bands (Monroe Monroe, Microdots, Saturn Cowboys) – step right smack into the haze of Colorado’s most popular new retail item with this instrumental stoner rock band. If you’re not partaking – either with edibles, vape or the old fashioned way – you’re probably going to feel like  you have after their set. Great time to grab a basket of friings with those beers and mules. Have a listen to “The Coked Out Bunnies EP” while you spark up. ★★★ (3 Stars)

BONUS! Three – that’s right THREE – recommendations for 7:00!

We just couldn’t break these ties….

7:00 pm – AAN – The Hi-Dive – 7 S. Broadway

aaan.wideaAAN create melodious, dreamy folk that actually brings their home of Portland, OR to life in front of you. Easy, sweet pop hooks and vocals that approach the clean Jeff Buckley range over accomplished, math-ey guitars, synths and rhythms. This set should be a great time to wind down and re-charge for the rest of your UMS night. Check out “Amor Ad Nauseum” to get a taste of the Portland air. ★★★★ (4 Stars)

7:00 pm – A Shoreline Dream – Irish Rover – 54 S. Broadway

a_shoreline_dream_COASTAL_HIRESSimply put, A Shoreline Dream is HUGE. About to hit their 10th year in existence, they completely envelope the shoegaze genre, and then some. Their sound threatens to encompass the entire festival, but it feels as intimate as your 3am drunk dials or light blue 5am consummations. We don’t know how they’re going to fit all of that int the Irish Rover, but it’s definitely going to be worth it. Listen to “The Land of Those Who Wander EP,” below. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

7:00 pm – Joy Subtraction – Eslinger Gallery – 118 S. Broadway

If you stop by for a minute in the Shoreline Dream set to re-energize, then you’ll be ready for Joy Subtraction. Just don’t miss this one. Joy Subtraction welds together the heavy sounds of Black Sabbath and Black Flag with the screaming sarcasm and rage of Future of the Left in the heat of pure, molten rock ‘n roll. This band will make your skin crawl – in a really, really good way. Not to be missed! Check out their “Essential…” album, preferably very, very loudly, below. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

8:00 pm – Best Creeps – Illegal Pete’s – 270 S. Broadway

Best-CreepsWhen I found out that the Cramps spent years playing with no bassist, it blew my mind. Such an ominously, sickly sweet sound, seemingly from a torture chamber beneath some New Jersey garage, really. And I cried when Lux Interior died. If any of this resonates with your rock ‘n roll fantasy, you’re going to just love Best Creeps. Great, reverberating, old-school garage shockabilly at its best. Check out “A Fever,” again – loudly. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

BONUS! Two – that’s right Two – recommendations for 9:00!

9:00 pm – Shady Elders – The Hi-Dive – 7 S. Broadway

shadyelders2013-04-05Shady Elders may just be the best example of what might be the new “Denver Sound” (see Two Tone Wolf Pack, above, for reference). With the dreamy, almost shoegazy vocals of Fox Rodemich, alternately shimmering and thickly distorted guitars and a distinct pop sensibility, this trio delivers where shallow bands like Tennis just can’t cut it. Have a listen to their “No Favors EP” and see for yourself. ★★★★ (4 Stars)

9:00 pm – Sputnik Slovenia – The Safari Room – 414 Broadway

YelenickJim Yelenick may be the hardest working man in Denver punk rock. Besides relentlessly – and brilliantly – spewing out acoustic covers of punk rock (and other) classics like “Police On My Back,” “Beat On The Brat” and “True” (a more heart-wrenching cover of the classic Spandau Ballet song you will never hear), Yelenick also leads Denver’s habit-adorned Nuns of Brixton (the only Clash tribute band that matters), as well as his own punk troupe Pitch Invasion. He also works with Jet Black Joy, Evil Hick and Negative Man – and he somehow also finds time to sleep and eat. Take some time to catch him, and bathe in his comfortable humor, with and inimitable charm. In the meantime, sample some good old “I Fought the Law,” below. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

10:00 pm – Kissing Party – Moe’s Original Bar B Que – 530 Broadway

kissing-partyKissing Party is quintessential post-punk with strong pop hooks and shimmering guitars. In a word – sweet. But they’re also a bit weighty at times, crafting the perfect Denver love song from time to time. Have a listen to their “Winter In The Pub EP” to see what  you think, then get on over to Moe’s for some great BBQ while you take in their live antics. ★★★★ (4 Stars)

11:00 pm – Thanks For Everything – Illegal Pete’s – 270 S. Broadway

Thanks For Everything used to be The Life There Is. They make a sort of intense, slower psychedelic pop rock. Listen to “Weekend,” then go see them. ★★★ (3 Stars)

12:00 am – Black Lamb – Brendan’s – 404 N. Broadway

black_lambBrian Hagman leads the heavy, Black Sabbath in hell assault of Black Lamb. It’s something you need to see to believe. So do that. In the meantime, listen to a simple, glorious playllist, and relax your neck. ★★★★★ (5 Stars)


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Guided By Voices at the Gothic Theatre, June 4, 2014 (Reverb Review)

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Guided by Voices played the Gothic last Wednesday night, fueled by just the right cooler-full. (Photo: John Moore - Denver Post Reverb)

Guided by Voices played the Gothic last Wednesday night, fueled by just the right cooler-full. (Photo: John Moore – Denver Post Reverb)

Robert Pollard and his “Classic Lineup” of Guided by Voices played the Gothic Theatre last Wednesday night – with a vengeance. For nearly three hours, and through upwards of 50 tunes and including three set-long encores, Pollard and the boys proved to a modest-but-rabid crowd that age ain’t nothin’ to the true rock ‘n roll heart.

More than that, GBV once again proved that they’re one of rock’s best live acts. Period. They emulated every seminal band from every significant genre of rock from the past 4 decades – Ramones, Stooges, Motorhead, British Invasion, Psychedelia – and they made each genre their own. Check out my full review of the show over at Reverb, and catch the rest of John Moore’s brilliant photos.

At this rate, Pollard will be seeing all of our funerals before slowing down.

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METZ is invading - but they're Canucks, so it's cool. (Photo: Colin Medley)

REVERB Review – METZ, Live at Larimer Lounge, 11-12-12

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METZ is invading - but they're Canucks, so it's cool. (Photo: Colin Medley)

METZ is invading – but they’re Canucks, so it’s cool. (Photo: Colin Medley)

If you’re unfamiliar with METZ, you’re behind on the buzz. Their loud, crunchy, loud, fun, loud, shit-hot, loud and aggressive (did we mention LOUD??!!) style is exploding into venues and destroying hipsters in its wake. It was on display last night at the Larimer Lounge, and we were there with HeyReverb.com. Take a few minutes to catch the review, and then come back to listen to the Canuck’s brand of explosion below.

Here’s an excerpt of the review:

Aside from some pleasingly shattered eardrums, the biggest danger during the sonic rant was the lack of sufficient people to catch stage divers, or enough critical mass to keep the mosh pit from disintegrating. But each of the flailing fans was committed, smitten, and leveled by the cacophony.

Metz, fronted by the screaming yet humble Alex Edkins and anchored by bassist Chris Slorach and drummer Hayden Menzies, is compared to noisy, aggressive bands like The Jesus Lizard or Pissed Jeans, but there was more “Confusion Is Sex”-era Sonic Youth with a heavy dose of Loop emanating from these Canucks last night.

Catch the entire interview, along with many more, at HeyReverb.com

And now take a few minutes to enjoy METZ – “Wet Blanket.”

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Watch for these guys to lead the Canucks into our borders. But don’t worry – they’re already hipsters. No need to reform immigration or anything.

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Hook and company brought a missing sound to ears that had been waiting for some time. (Photo: Al de Perez)

Live Reverb – Peter Hook & the Light play Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures,” Bluebird, 9-19-2011

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Peter Hook & the Ligth performed a solid, beautiful rendition of "Unknown Pleasures" last Monday night at the Bluebird.

Peter Hook & the Ligth performed a solid, beautiful rendition of "Unknown Pleasures" last Monday night at the Bluebird.

At the risk of eliciting a chorus of jaded groans: Yes, Peter Hook & the Light, led by the bassist for the influential Joy Division, performed a rousing rendition of the post-punk swan song “Love Will Tear Us Apart” last night at the Bluebird in the first of two encores. Did you think they wouldn’t?

The surprise was that the revered hit may have been the worst song of the otherwise iconic, appropriate, set. Maybe Hook meant it literally when he introduced the song as “One that’s meant to leave you with a smile.”

Over the course of 90 minutes, Hook and his much younger sidemen may have won over even the most cynical, jaded post-punk hipster as they played the entire seminal Joy Division album “Unknown Pleasures,” bookended by works that spanned the band’s early career, including a few from their early incarnation as Warsaw.

Though Hook’s reputation as a difficult character preceded him — furthered by depictions of him as a whining 20-something in movies like “Closer” and “24-Hour Party People” and the well-documented feud with New Order frontman Bernard Sumner — his dedication to these classic songs quickly eschewed any of that characterization. Aside from a tendency to scream out in an off-kilter (yet strangely fitting) exuberance, Hook played a strong, tragic Ian Curtis.

Read the Entire Reverb Review in the Denver Post Online!

Read More

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Wait for it… the UMS isn’t over yet. It’s just getting stronger. Trust us.

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Not to worry - it's just getting stronger before its inevitable demise. (Photo: Rupert Murdoch - indirectly)

Not to worry - it's just getting stronger before its inevitable demise. (Photo: Rupert Murdoch - indirectly)

The mighty UMS weekend may be drawing to a close, but it’s far from done. The last day brings some of the best of the bunch, and you won’t want to miss any of it. All three days previous have been more than spectacular  – and have shown off the Denver scene for what it is: strong, diverse and more than anything just plain good.

So you’ll want to dust off your flippy-floppies and saddle up your hangover, drench yourself in sunscreen and get out on Broadway lickety-split – before it wraps itself up and we kiss another year goodbye!

The final day has its work cut out for it, with a lineup that’s definitely up to the task. Read on to see a few of our recommendations.

Today’s UMS is proudly brought to you by:

Jesse Hunsaker's calling it quits - can't believe it's already over. (Photo: Ideal Fathers)

Jesse Hunsaker's calling it quits - can't believe it's already over. (Photo: Ideal Fathers)

Ideal Fathers – Indy Ink @6PM

Ideal Fathers has found itself finally, and just as they’re about to call it quits. Frontman Jesse Hunsaker’s gettin’ hitched, and moving to Iowa to raise a family and dream about making his kids into the next David Yow or Steve Albini. The rest of the band are all in other bands like Gangcharger, The Outfit and Sunder – fitting for a band that will go down in history as a seminal Denver music fertilizer. Guitarist Adam Rojo brings an East Bay Ray-meets-Andy Gill sound to their infectiously danceable sound, anchored by Mike King’s remarkable bass skills and Mike Perfetti’s wicked skin-thrashing. Don’t miss this one – you’ll regret it, and it’s almost their last.


Jen Korte defines a beautiful life lived in her music. (Photo: Jen Korte)

Jen Korte defines a beautiful life lived in her music. (Photo: Jen Korte)

Jen Korte & the Loss – South Broadway Christian Church @8PM

Don;t be fooled by the name – Jen Korte brings together the sound of a beautiful life, simply put. We can only guess the “Loss” part might refer to some sort of innocence lost – and the band’s songs sweat with enlightenment.  Korte and Jessica DeNicola share vocals, though Korte’s are strong and sensual enough to attack them solo, without a doubt. Her personality will fill up both the room and your spirit, and you’ll leave better for having taken it in – trust us.




Night of Joy bring the noise. (Photo: @NOJTPO)

Night of Joy bring the noise. (Photo: @NOJTPO)

Night of Joy – Club 404 @3PM

Night of Joy is all power, wrapped in a whip-smart package. Led by the bass antics of local journalist Bree Davies and  shreeking, Tom Verlaine-esque axework of Val Franz, this trio deserves top billing anywhere. Recalls the best of Television, with a minimal no wave, DIY aesthetic. Don’t miss them.




Denver City Saltlicks - Keepin' it salty and sweaty for years. (Photo: DCS)

Denver City Saltlicks - Keepin' it salty and sweaty for years. (Photo: DCS)

The Denver City Saltlicks – Club 404 @6PM

Ol’ ‘Bama Slim plays his hand-built 1-string 2X4 like no-one else – ‘cept maybe the eternally and beautifully damned soul of Robert Johnson – while Cate Hate literally comes close to melting her washboard and bruising herself with the spoons. In a word, this band kicks 110% of your ass, and doesn’t take any prisoners! ‘Cept you’ll probably want them to take them with you when they’re done.



Overcasters deserve to be at the top of the Denver heap - finally. (Photo: Overcasters)

Overcasters deserve to be at the top of the Denver heap - finally. (Photo: Overcasters)

Overcasters – 3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @6PM

Overcasters seems to have lived a long, dramatic life, much like that of frontman Kurt (Ottoway) Overcaster’s, but they’ve made it through splendidly. Even better – Ottoway and company use that rich experience and their own stubborn dedication to fuel an opulent psychedelic style. Recalling a little bit of Echo & the Bunnymen (especially with guitarist John Nichols’ homage to Will Sargeant style axework), Overcasters have landed on top of the Denver scene – where they deserve to be.




The DenverThread UMS List – Day 4

Moon Tides – Hi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @3PM – If you can gaze at your shoes while surfing, this is what you’d be listening to.

Sauna – Indy Ink @3PM – More landlocked surf goodness (does this seem to be a trend in Denver?)

Green Typewriters – Illiterate Gallery @3:30PM – Eerie, sweet twee-dream pop, complete with theremin. How can you go wrong?

Kevin Costner Suicide Pact – Delite @4PM – Ambient, instrumental post-rock – cathartic, and it tends to get loud (ask them, it’s true!).

Thee Goochi Boiz – Club 404 @4PM – Once, there was punk. Thee Goochi Boyz found some, and are using it’s power for evil. Join in the fun!

A Shoreline Dream – Moe’s Original Bar B Que – Verizon Wireless Stage @4PM – Post-rock-drenched psychedelic reverb is their forte, and these fellas know how to dish it up.

200 Million Years – Hi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @4PM – Pure, funky beauty, somewhere around your shoes, keep looking while you listen – you’ll find it. We love these guys!

the Shady Babes – Indy Ink @4PM – These guys start where the Breeders left off – with real, straight up rock, laced up with attitude.

Tangle – TS Board Shop – Bands for Lands Stage @5PM – We just realized we don’t glamourize nearly enough DJs. Tangle’s a great place to start. Seriously.

The Bottesini Project – The Bottesini Project @5PM – If you like Coltraine, Philip Glass and John Cage, this is where you want to be at 5.

Married in Berdichev – Delite @5PM – These vocals are what they’re talking about when people mention “music of the spheres.” We love this music – it makes us appreciate weather (whatever that means).

the Down – Club 404 @5PM – Fuzzy guitars and twang – perfect for a case of Old Style and sickly-sticky BBQ. MMMMMMMM…

Radical Knitting Circle – South Broadway Christian Church @6PM – Folky treats that recall Beatles’ and Garfunkel’s mythical children.

Colfax Speed Queen – Skylark Lounge – Verizon Wireless Stage @6PM – Straight up, out-in-the-back garage rock, the best kind of horror b-movie soundtrack.

Kal Cahoone and The Dirty Pretty – South Broadway Christian Church @ 7PM – Beautiful, strong vocals that recall Siouxsie Sioux, backed by a true gothic country sound. Not to be missed.

the Outfit – Club 404 @7PM – Solid, straight up hard garage dance rock, also sort of a supergroup around these parts.

Pythian Whispers – Indy Ink @7PM – Local music journalist Tom Murphy’s experimental post-punk noise machine. Definitely worth a listen.

Fairchildren – Goodwill Parking Lot – Sailor Jerry Main Stage @7:30PM – We can’t stress this enough: You MUST SEE THIS BAND! That is all.

School Knights – Club 404 @8PM – Cool garage post-punk, with the emphasis on the punk part. Dare you not to dance!

Pacific Pride – Skylark Lounge – Verizon Wireless Stage @8PM – these guys are great punk – but we can’t help but think this is the band Alice Cooper always really wanted to be in. Oh well – maybe in his next life.

Bop Skizzum – TS Board Shop – Bands for Lands Stage @9PM – Flobots ex-gutarist’s longtime love – all funk and cool.

Fingers of the Sun – Skylark Lounge – Verizon Wireless Stage @9PM Oh my! This band is fun like a teen makeout session, and may make you almost as sweaty! We warned you!

Cannons – 3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ 10:30PM – Loud, droning and sweet like dark, dark, dark chocolate. No more, no less.

Il Cattivo  – 3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage – Superpowerd thrash metal, fueled by all the bandmembers’ communally similar drug addled and brilliant minds. DO NOT MISS.

After this, if you’re not suffering from a short case of the music DT’s, well, we don’t know what to tell you. Go home and sleep ’til next year. We think the UMS is only going to get bigger….

Follow us!!

Be sure and follow @DenverThread on Twitter to receive live updates on UMS shenanigans! Follow @RVRB – the Denver Post’s HeyReverb.com Twitter, while you’re at it! We’ll be trolling the same places as you, and would love to say hi!

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The UMS hits full speed today – plan accordingly! Don’t worry – we’re here to help.

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Day Three - and we're hitting top speed!

The 11th Annual UMS is now in its third day, and rounding the inside corner to slingshot itself into full, reckless, dangerous and foolhardy speed, and you’re going to want to grab on for dear life about now, and hold on. It’s going to get a lot more beautiful before too long, and there’ll be more than you can imagine to see, hear, taste and drink.

All the more reason to follow our recommendations for which bands to see, where, and just a little bit of why.

Today’s also the day that the all ages crowd can take the most advantage of the many, many options – and we’ve put a little emphasis on the bands playing that anyone can see, to encourage you to get out from under the Xbox and GET OUT HERE, NOW!

Today’s UMS is brought to you by:

Mombi plays beautiful, deep ambience. Deep, and sexy. (Photot: Mombi)

Mombi plays beautiful, deep ambience. Deep, and sexy. (Photot: Mombi)


Illiterate Gallery (All Ages)   @ 5:30

Breathy, quiet atmospheric electronic ambient sounds that almost beg to be visual. Mombi’s sounds infiltrate the air like watercolor paint into wet paper, and then imbues the audience. It’s addictive. Watch out.


The Blackheart Procession will dazzle you with heavy hearted love stories. (Photo: The Blackheart Procession)

The Blackheart Procession will dazzle you with heavy hearted love stories. (Photo: The Blackheart Procession)


The Blackheart Procession
Mayan Theatre @ midnight

They used to be Three mile Pilot (and some say they are again), but they made their biggest splash in the late ’90s and ‘aughts as the Procession. With their slow, dirge-like folk, they leave you with a feeling of being magically fucked with. Depressed, but strangely careless and optimistic. You’ll probably skip down Broadway when you get out. Seriously.



They should call him Marathon Mark. (Photo: Darin Spring)

They should call him Marathon Mark. (Photo: Darin Spring)

Mark Mallman
Skylark Lounge – Verizon Wireless Stage @ 11PM –

Chances are you’ve never seen anything like a Mark Mallman performance – and maybe you never will. They don’t make them like Mark anymore. They stopped with the likes of Freddy Mercury, Elton John  and Roger Daltry (which in NO WAY is supposed to bring Mallman’s sexuality to mind). But speaking of sex, did we mention he’s got the sexiest show around?    Minneapolis must  have to get written consent from other cities before they let him visit – his shows are HUGE, passionate cathartic piano-based anthemic pop-rock – and 1000% (typo intended) pure fun…. If you see one show Saturday, MAKE THIS ONE IT.

(But seriously, why would you limit yourself with only one?)

BNLX bring the fuzz to the table. (Photo: BNLX)

BNLX bring the fuzz to the table. (Photo: BNLX)



BNLX –  Skylark Lounge – Verizon Wireless Stage
@ 6PM

BNLX are a duo of noise that mixes a little New Order/Joy Division with a little Jesus & Mary Chain and X feel, and add their own fuzzy, fun style. Criptic press notwithstanding, they’re currently riding a national buzz – and it’s well-deserved. Check ’em out, and let them singe your ear-hair.



Accordion Crimes will get your Loaf up and screaming. (Photot: Accordion Crimes)

Accordion Crimes will get your Loaf up and screaming. (Photot: Accordion Crimes)




Accordion CrimesHi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage
@ 5PM

Accordion Crimes seems drunk sometimes, on skinny NC punk legends Archers of Loaf, with a Big Black back. It’s all smashing noise, noise, noise – and worth the inevitable Hi-Dive heat.




Fairchildren - one of Denver's gems - oozes sophistication. (Photo: Fairchildren)

Fairchildren - one of Denver's gems - oozes sophistication. (Photo: Fairchildren)

FairchildrenSouth Broadway Christian Church
(All Ages)   @ 5PM (also 7:30 Saturday @ Goodwill Parking Lot – Sailor Jerry Main Stage)

Fairchildren started as Nathaniel Rateliff’s backing band and includes some of Denver’s finest talent. Fronted by the fantastic Julie Davis (of Bela Karoli, among millions of other projects), they bring an air of sophistication, and a touch of Euro-folk, to the air. Well worth the time to see both sets, in our humble opinion.






The DenverThread List:

Tulip Wars3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @3 PM –  Moody postpunk, dream-surf

Mercuria  and the Gem StarsIndy Ink (All Ages) @ 3PM – Indy space folk

Marcus Church & the LevelsClub 404 @ 3PM – Early REM-ish Brit-pop

MicrodotsTS Board Shop – Bands for Lands Stage (All Ages) @ 3PM – Moody, quiet post-punk with poppy ends.

Blue Million MilesHi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 4PM – Spaghetti Western meets dark surf, slow metal.

All Liver No OnionsIndy Ink (All Ages)  @ 4PM – Nathan & Stephen/Polyphonic Spree madness – WITH 15 MEMBERS!!

Instant EmpireTS Board Shop – Bands for Lands Stage (All Ages)  @4PM – Somewhere between The Hold Steady and The Decembrists in style, passionate and cool in delivery.

Boulder Acoustic SocietyGoodwill Parking Lot – Sailor Jerry Main Stage @4:30 – Deep rooted acoustic with punk enthusiasm – might be one of Denver’s Avett Brothers.

The CavesIndy Ink (All Ages)  @ 5PM – Remember Prefab Sprout? The Caves do, with a dose of shrill psychedelic folk from KC, MO.

Young CitiesTS Board Shop – Bands for Lands Stage (All Ages)  @ 5PM – Emo punky power pop – perfect for the all ages crowd

Bare Bones3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ 6PM – Probably among the last defenders of the old “Denver Sound,” Bare Bones brings back a beautiful  alt-country gothic folk to the stage.

The KnewGoodwill Parking Lot – Sailor Jerry Main Stage @ 6PM (also Irish Rover – Red Stripe Stage on Sunday @9PM) – Straight up hard rock, ‘70s reo-phyte style, originating from Greeley. Also sporting a reputation as really, really great guys.

DeerpeopleGoodwill Parking Lot – Groove Automotive Stage @ 6PM – More beautiful, strong indie Oklahoma piano-led rock – recalls the The Wedding Present, and maybe some White Rabbits and Belle & Sebastian.

My Gold MaskHi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 7PM – Electro-proto-new wave, sample and rhythm driven, with strong, sultry vocals. Fittingly from Chicago.

MaudlinSkylark Lounge – Verizon Wireless Stage @ 7PM – Holy Pixies, Batman! Talk about the ultimate complement. Adding a little Peter, Bjorn & John makes this band a solid Weezer power pop rival.

Cotton KeysIndy Ink (All Ages) @ 7PM – Guitar pop, with a sort of Superchunk meets Built to Spill feel. Nicely done.

Le DivorceHi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 8PM – Punky PJ Harvey heavy rock ‘n Roll – Superstar Kitty Vincent fronts this with her powerful personality. It’s a perfect fit.

The Beaten SeaSouth Broadway Christian Church (All Ages) @ 8PM – Iron and Wine-esque quiet folk, also a little Mumfords.

VitaminsClub 404 @ 8PM – Is there something called “Post-New Wave”? Vitamins has it. Guitar-based pop rock. Lizzy’s vocalizing w/ Flaming Lips on tour for the Dark Side of the Moon tour.

Safe boating is No AccidentIndy Ink (All Ages) @ 8PM – Fun Americana-folk.

Red Eye Gravy3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ 9PM – Literally country punk from Oklahoma. Bring your shit-kickers!

GoldenboySkylark Lounge – Verizon Wireless Stage @ 9PM – recalls the beautiful stillness of Elliott Smith, with strong guitar – a soft melodic pop treat.

WanderduskClub 404 @9PM – A funky, American almost version of Bjork or CocoRosie, believe it or not – maybe the UMS’s most original sound.

The DendritesTS Board Shop – Bands for Lands Stage @ 9PM – Fit for your rock steady/ska fix!

Mike Marchant’s Outer-Space Party UnitClub 404 @ 10PM – Space folk, “drugs to take music to” music, One of Denver’s best, and truly a great lyricist.

The HollyfeldsIrish Rover – Red Stripe Stage @11PM (Also at Goodwill Parking Lot – Groove Automotive Stage, Sun @ 3:45) –  Brilliant Americana, country folk with strong harmonies.

Two Tone Wolf PackMichelangelo’s Coffee & Wine Bar @ 11PM –  Think Violent Femmes’ “Country Death Song.” Yep – ’nuff said.

Houses3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ Midnight – Sort of a Denver supergroup – huge, classic rock sound – well done.

PowerpointClub 404 @ midnight – Straight up hardcore punk rock. Need we say any more? No stage diving – since there’s no stage!

BarnacleClub 404 @ 1AM – The dirt underneath true metal, thick with thrash, and rust.

Follow us!!

Be sure and follow @DenverThread on Twitter to receive live updates on UMS shenanigans! Follow @RVRB – the Denver Post’s HeyReverb.com Twitter, while you’re at it! We’ll be trolling the same places as you, and would love to say hi!

Tune in tomorrow for Sunday’s List!

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The UMS is rockin’ – Here’s DenverThread’s list for Day Two

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Day one’s in the books, and it looks as if the 11th Annual UMS is off to a roarin’ start!

But – if you thought last Thursday night’s activities were brilliant, epic, miraculous – or tragic, melancholy, maudlin – hold on to your pants. The momentum’s just beginning!

Friday is the New Black

Here are our toppers for Friday, July 22 – and we’re happy to say that it was a damned tough job boiling the lineup down! The first few are our predictions for Friday night’s owners of the UMS. Scroll on down for a listing of the rest of our recommendations, in chronological order (still just a fraction of all the action!).

Friday’s UMS Lineup is owned by …

Oklahoma breeds strange, beautiful happiness. Colourmusic said so. (Photo: Colourmusic)

Oklahoma breeds strange, beautiful happiness. Colourmusic said so. (Photo: Colourmusic)

3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @11PM

Oklahoma seems to be fertile ground for a sort of bombastic optimism. Or maybe it’s a heightened sense of existentialism that leads artists to just say “Fuck it! I’m partying!” And then watch everything in their lives happily begin to fall into place. It’s chaos at its most beautifully complex, and most hilariously sublime.

Cue Colourmusic.

‘Nuff said. Go see them.



Twin Guns bring the psyche in from Brooklyn. (Photo: Twin Guns)

Twin Guns bring the psyche in from Brooklyn. (Photo: Twin Guns)

Twin Guns (NY)
3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage
@ 8PM

Out of Brooklyn-by-way-of-Pueblo (at least half of the duo), Twin Guns flail with a furious, drug-addled  post core drenched in reverb, and make a rock noise that recalls Spacemen 3, Alien Sex Fiend and BRMC and a few more like them. Sure to leave you massaging your ears, grinning, possibly sleep-drinking (or feeling like you have been).




Joshua Novak = talent. (Photo: MySpace)

Joshua Novak = talent. (Photo: MySpace)

Joshua Novak
Skylark Lounge Verizon Wireless Stage @ 10PM

Denver’s Brit-pop superstar in hiding, Joshua Novak channels both Liam & Noel, and a little Difford & Tillbrook through his brilliant compositions. Just look at how he (famously) plays his guitar – outfitted for a righty – upside down and lefty! Then tell us you’re not entranced…

But it’s the music, really, that gets you. It’ll stick to you, too!



Virtual CH is Chrisn Harrington - the 21st-Century 1-Man-Band! (Photo: Virtual CH)

Virtual CH is Chris Harrington - the 21st-Century 1-Man-Band! (Photo: Virtual CH)

Virtual CH (Chris Harrington – MN)
Skylark Lounge Verizon Wireless Stage @ 7PM

Minnesota’s Chris Harrington will blow your mind. Visually and musically. There’s something extreme about playing everything yourself. Something more than an inability to delegate. Can’t put my finger on it, but Harrington has it – in spades.

Prepare for the ultimate in a unique one-man band experience – two screens (one Harrington on bass, one Harrington on drums) and Harrington on guitar. And it’s all live. THAT is worth the price of admission on its own, if you ask me…


As promised: Here’s the rest of the DenverThread list for UMS Day Two

And we keep chuggin’ through all the excess. like a kid in a candy store. A candy store filled with sonic booms in the shapes of giant lollipops, and screeching metal marshmallow puffs – wait, where were we going with that?

Anyhow – here’s the list:

AlamedaHi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 6PM (also Illiterate Gallery @ 7:30 Sat) – Plays a quiet folk-pop, imbued with Nick Drake, steeped in Simon & Garfunkel.

Night Sweats3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ 6PM – is electronic that reminds us of the popular Girl Talk mashup style.

Lee Penn Sky (ID) – Hornet- RMCAD Stage @ 6PM (Also at Michelangelo’s Coffee & Wine Bar @ 7PM Saturday) –  plays strained, pristine folk rock that recalls Bill Callahan and the great  Townes Van Zandt. Try not to cry when you read about Sky’s Idaho life, and then when you hear how he’s made music out of it…

MetermaidsGoodwill Parking Lot – Groove Automotive Stage @ 6:45 PM – are a solid, hilarious hip hop rock band from NYC, recalling Flobots, and mixing in their own blend of hip.

The Omens3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ 7PM – play fast, hard postcore, with a tint of burlesque goth and solid shockabilly.

Fierce Bad Rabbit – Hi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 7PM – Play passionate, anthemic string-laden pop – we can’t help but think of DeVotchka, with Built To Spill-leaning vocals

Mr AnonymousTS Board Shop – Bands for Lands Stage @ 7PM – formerly a member of longtime boulder band The Samples, is a new Dancehall/Reggae force, collaborating at times with legends like Ranking Roger, Sly & Robbie, and more.

EpiloguesGoodwill Parking Lot – Groove Automotive Stage @ 7:30 PM – Power pop/hard rock – recalls Silversun Pickups

VarletHi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 8PM – Lilly Scott (American Idol ex-contestant) – features sultry pop, sweet vocals – if a little light headed.

Andy Monley and the High HorsesMoe’s Original Bar B Que – Verizon Wireless Stage @9PM – is Ex- Jux County/Czars/Velveteen Monster hero Andy Monley’s new project – sheer guitar rock, with a swinging undercurrent.

Glass Hits3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ 9PM – Play a heavy, shrill, metal noise – reminiscent of Big Black, Shellac and The Jesus Lizard.

Sage FrancisGoodwill Parking Lot – Groove Automotive Stage @ 9PM – Plays solid, smooth hip hop-indie, or poetic rap, recalls an angrier MC 900-ft Jesus

Lil’ ThunderClub 404 @ 9PM – Marie Litton (Ghost Buffalo) plays solid, strong, rooted guitar rock.

Gardens & VillaHi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 10PM – Strong indie synth postpunk.

Kingdom of Magic3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @10PM – Sludge punk stoner thrash – perfectly pounding, sweaty, sexy.

Kissing PartyIrish Rover – Red Stripe Stage @ 10PM – A replicant Belle & Sebastian in Denver – well worth the wait.

GenerationalsHi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ Midnight – Cool pop, this duo channels the best parts of T-Rex in their indie aesthetic.

Git Some3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ Midnight – Sexy noise punk metal slash sludge, perfect to inspire nuclear-locomotive sex drives.

Follow us!!

Be sure and follow @DenverThread on Twitter to receive live updates on UMS shenanigans! Follow @RVRB – the Denver Post’s HeyReverb.com Twitter, while you’re at it! We’ll be trolling the same places as you, and would love to say hi!

Tune in tomorrow for Saturday’s List!

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The 11th Annual UMS Starts Today – So do DenverThread’s lists – here’s day one

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The 11th Annual UMSIt’s here! And it’s definitely THE highpoint of Denver’s summer music season! A full Red Rocks schedule, the Warped and other festival tours, multiple nights of Widespread Panic – even the monster U2 show in Invesco Field at Mile High – all pale in comparison to the magnitude of this weekend’s pinnacle. The 11th Annual Underground Music Showcase (UMS) starts this Thursday evening, and will dominate a few square miles of South Broadway for the following three nights.

This year’s show features close to 300 bands, comedians , singer songwriters and other talents, and will be housed in a huge number of venues, restaurants, bookstores, skateboard shops and t-shirt shops along South Broadway (here’s a handy listing, with a MAP!) – including two major outdoor stages – from 6th Avenue at the top to Cedar at the bottom.

Needless to say, the choices for live music abound – heck, they’re pretty overwhelming. Let’s face it: there’s no way anyone can possibly see all that the UMS has to offer, and it’d be a miracle to see everything you’d like to see. So let us at DenverThread take a little of the pressure to decide off of your shoulders, with our daily preview lists for this year’s festival.

Through the weekend, we’ll be listing our choices of the best things to see – for a lot of reasons. Whether your tastes run into the sludge-stoner-metal quagmire, meander through dreamy twee-pop or get hypnotically lost in psychedelic shoegaze, we’ll get you where you want to be, and make sure you’re catching something you’ve hopefully never seen before while we’re at it.

We’re also going to run quick, haiku-style reviews of the previous night’s highlights – so you can see what you missed while catching the best – and we’ll be in full collusion with HeyReverb.com with loads of social interaction. Make sure you’re following @DenvrThread and @RVRB on Twitter, and searching for #UMS and #DenverThread hashtags to get the whole story!

Day One – Follow this list, if you can!

Here are our recommendations for a solid foray into the thick of the Rocky Mountain region’s largest single music festival. Times, of course, are scheduled – but may run late (as hard as all those UMS volunteers work to keep things going smoothly!). Scroll down past the top owners to see the DenverThread List!

Owning Thursday’s Lineup:


TRAINING TO BE A BAND ... OR JUST LOOK LIKE ONE. (Photo: Barbizon - the band, not the agency)

3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ 7PM

Remember the old-school modeling house? This group of  local heroes from Hearts of Palm and Mouth Full of Thunder and few more offer up some crunchy dance, with a sort of  New Order funky metal tinge.





Guantlet Hair plays reverb-drenched surf punk. (Photo: Gauntlet Hair)

Guantlet Hair plays reverb-drenched surf punk. (Photo: Gauntlet Hair)


Gauntlet Hair
Hi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 9PM
7 S. Broadway

Denver’s Gauntlet Hair plays a cool, intriguing brand of reverb-soaked, psychedelic surf punk that’s easy to get lost in. The Flaming Lips’ Steven Drodz agrees – and if that’s not enough endorsement, take my word for it! Check out a brand new FREE MP3 from our friends at One Track Mind to see for yourself! GO!



No guarantees if Tiana's a no show!

No guarantees if Tiana's a no show! (Photo: Hot White)

Hot White
Club 404 @ 9PM
404 N Broadway

One of Denver’s most exciting live acts, with a solid No Wave feel – a la Lydia Lunch, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, The Contortionists, etc. But last year’s UMS had the trio performing as a duo because Tiana Bernard – lead singer, bassist and the transfixing center of the live show’s energy – had a conflicting engagement. The result was less a performance than a sad bitch session directed (strangely) at the crowd.



The Bonnie Situation

Aptly named - great garage rock, out of storage! (Photo: The Bonnie Situation



The Bonnie Situation
Club 404 @ 11PM –

Sporting an old school, pre-“Denver Sound” Denver sound, The Bonnie Situation blasts their audiences with a shrill garage punk – fast, loud and explosive. Worthy of the band’s namesake from the film Pulp Fiction, the band features members of local bands The Fluid, Blackouts and others.




And The List . . .

Four toppers just isn’t enough – we know that! So here’s a list of our Thursday night recommendations – in chronological order! (How’s THAT for help in planning!?) Each one has a few words of recommendation/direction. Comment as you will – we’re sticking by them!

Try and make it to all of these – we dare you! If you do, you’ll win the supreme satisfaction that can only come from a job well done! Well, that and a pretty rough hangover, we’d bet….

Bury my BonesClub 404 @ 6PM –  A newer shoegaze two piece – think  Lust Cats of the Gutters howling out moonlight-stricken melodies with Yo La Tengo

Science PartnerSkylark Lounge Verizon Wireless Stage @ 7PM – Tyler Despres’ latest project ( from Dualistics) is full of crunchy, funky pop – think Weezer meets Dump

Vicious WomenClub 404 @ 7PM – Plays a noisy, thrusting industrially pleasing mess – think Big BlackShellacMinistry

Dirty Mittens (Portland) – Skylark Lounge Verizon Wireless Stage @ 8PM – Play a pleasing, misty folk. Think Frente!  Or Nouvelle Vague well mixed with The Head and the Heart.

Amazing Twin (used to be Old Radio) – Moe’s Original BBQ Verizon Wireless Stage @ 8PM – Offers some sublimely sloppy-pop, guitar-driven psychedelic shoegaze folk rock – and features Denver scenesters from Houses, Action Packed Thrill Ride, Hindershot and others.

The Spires (Ventura, CA) – Hi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 8PM  – play a beautifully quiet rock – think Galaxie 500 redux, put simply, like the band.

Don’ts and Be CarefulsThe Hornet – RMCAD Stage @ 9PM – play Buzzcocks-inspipred dance pop – it’s super fun. And, their new, 2nd album is coming out this fall!

Porlolo3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ 10PM – plays a quiet, passionate and darkly humorous style of folk – think a higher-brow, more substantial Danielle Ate the Sandwich (probably asking for it there, huh?).

Fellow CitizensMoe’s Original BBQ Verizon Wireless Stage @ 10PM – play a solid post-rock passion, mixed in intriguing, psychedelic shoegaze – think American Mogwai.

Royal BangsHi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 11PM – Hmmmmmmm…. This makes us imagine a show where Flaming Lips meets Colourmusic (ALSO a UMS band playing Friday!!), at a Cheap Trick show with The Strokes opening. What say you?

Lexigram (formerly Yerkish) – Skylark Lounge Verizon Wireless Stage@ 11PM – Play a fun, furious post-core prog rock – fast & loud. They recently changed their well-worn name, but not their style – thank God!

El Ten Eleven (LA) – Hi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ midnight – is a prog instrumental post rock duo – sort of Ratatat, a shade grunged – they do a great cover of Joy Division’s “Disorder,” which will leave your heart and soul enrapt.

The LandgrabbersClub 404 @ midnight – play a searing-hot style of country garage punk – fast, fun, furious – and perfect to wrap up the night with a few boilermakers.

So that’s our list for Thursday night, July 21, at the 11th Annual Underground Music Showcase. Follow, listen, learn – and love. It’s your town, and your scene!

Follow us!!

Be sure and follow @DenverThread on Twitter to receive live updates on UMS shenanigans! Follow @RVRB – the Denver Post’s HeyReverb.com Twitter, while you’re at it! We’ll be trolling the same places as you, and would love to say hi!

Tune in tomorrow for Friday night’s List!




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Live Threads – Reverb: Wye Oak at Larimer Lounge, Saturday, April 2, 2011

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Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner brought a blues-y heaviness to the Baltimore band's folk rock at the Larimer Lounge last Saturday night. (Photo: Nathan Armes, heyreverb.com)

Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner brought a blues-y heaviness to the Baltimore band's folk rock at the Larimer Lounge last Saturday night. (Photo: Nathan Armes, heyreverb.com)

At the Larimer Lounge on Saturday night, Jenn Wasner mentioned that she and bandmate Andy Stack of the Baltimore band Wye Oak, were tired. And justifiably so, having come from Salt Lake City that day, and in the very beginning of a 10-day stretch of their current tour that travels through the midwest and up into Montreal before they get a night off.

This apparent exhaustion, however, didn’t seem to make any difference in the duo’s performance.

A more valid reason the two should be tired, in fact, was the fury and passion they poured into an hour-long set. Often lumped in with indie or folk rock bands, presumably due to a tendency to alternate between screeching distortion and sparse minimalism on record, the pair was anything but mere folk that night. Wasner wailed meditations on solitude, love and aloneness and masterfully wrangled her guitar, while Stack covered the rest. Stack’s ability to multi-task the entire balance of such a huge sound — playing a trap set with both feet and his right hand while pounding on keyboards for both bass and melody with his left — was stunning to watch.


Read the entire review, and see more of Nathan Armes‘ photos of the show at HeyReverb.com!


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