It’s hard to believe the Underground Music Showcase has been rolling in Denver for the last ten years. Then again, I can’t believe it’s almost the end of July. My point: since UMS is spouting over 300 bands in 2010, it might be a good idea to get a game plan. Otherwise the whole weekend will be gone and all you’ve done is listen to one DJ while you drank yourself silly. If you don’t have time to sift through them all, I'm here to help.
Since 1998 Thrice (Dustin Kensrue - vocals/guitar, Teppei Teranishi – guitar/producer, Riley Breckenridge - drums, Ed Breckenridge - bass) have taken the road less traveled. Being brought under the heavy rock umbrella with the release of their debut, Identity Crisis, in 2001, the band’s musical style and essence continued to evolve and unfold beyond the confines of the genre.
The East Coast had a Profound effect on this fish out of water.
The weather is slightly now more predictable in Denver in terms of temperature (but don’t be surprised by the impromptu rain shower) so people are ready to shed that winter coat and run around town. That means the art events around Denver, especially during First Friday, may be a bit more crowded in June. Here's a few of our picks and places we're checking out personally.
After signing to Barzuk records in late 2009 and making their mark at SXSW 2010, the euphoric and dreamscape musical duo from New York, Phantogram, continue to tour with new material from Eyelid Movies, the group's recent full-length debut.
I had only lived in Denver a few months when I met Virgil Dickenson from Suburban Home Records, owner of the label and guy in charge of Denver’s Punk Rock Bowling Tournament.It was 2002 and the teams, made up of local musicians and their friends dressed in costumes that mimicked Halloween, had gathered to determine who would travel to Vegas for the ultimate alley throw down. The national Punk Rock Bowling Tournament.
Allmusic.com recently paid tribute to the year 1979 in their “Allmusic Loves…” series. That write up reminded me that with every decade, music fanatics like me going though a period of dismay and aggravation with the state of music. In 1979 so-called music critics declared punk rock dead, and many people followed like lame sheep. Record company execs were more than happy to fill “the void” with bland pop, the likes of Toto.
Today we are going through that phase once again. Thankfully, Tyler “Danger” Jacobson, co-founder of Denver’s Lipgloss dance night, has joined with Jake Ryan present SPLIT, offsetting the state of dismay caused by Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga infatuation. A night dedicated for music lovers like us.
Morning Benders has been a busy group in the past few years since Talking Through Tin Cans began to delight the ears of indie-pop enthusiasts. Transplanting from San Francisco to Brooklyn, and transporting from one city to another on numerous tours has landed Morning Benders in the midst of a new album, Big Echo (Rough Trade Records). And yes, another tour.
Contextual and aesthetic changes on Big Echo abound from that first musical intro, going from youthful frolicking to introspective and sauntering, while still retaining the twinkling pop persona that brought fans into the Morning Benders fold.
Complying with the short and sweet set limitations of a music festival like Monolith, Cymbals Eat Guitars came in like a lion and left the room torn and shattered. In between the emphatic and frenetic vocals and instrumentation on tracks such as the popular “And The Hazy Sea,” (from Why There Are Mountains, Sister’s Den, 2009) were interludes of beauty and finesse. That particular track, which soars and screams, then subsides and glides, is a perfect example of the wide range in which Cymbals Eat Guitars rides.
(One of our KB writers, Ilan Baril, arrives in Austin today - Friday, March 19. If you're at SXSW, watch for him on the dancefloor or at a bar near you.)
Tell me a story, something awesome, something I’d pay to hear about maybe. You can’t, can you? You want to, I know you do, you want there to be a story full of flamethrowers and plane rides and crazy people, brimming with the bits and pieces of a great movie. But for the life of you nothing comes up. It’s okay, happens to the best of us, and seems to happen to me all the time.
But then there’s Austin. Man oh man, Austin.