22 Oct 2010

I was in San Francisco, hanging out with friends on a cloudy Sunday when I got the news: Michael Larsen, known as Eyedea, songwriter, MC and the other half of Eyedea & Abilities, had passed away. I never knew Michael personally, having only had the one interview with him ealier in the year, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. Like one of my friends had died. I immediately contacted another friend of mine Jef Hoskins, who is as much of a fan as I am, and his phone was blowing up. We were stunned.

It was a 3OH!3 show at the Fox Theatre in Boulder two years ago when Kamtin Mohager stood alone on the stage with an iPod and his bass guitar as The Chain Gang of 1974. In 2010, things are quite different for the songwriter. Kamtin’s lone line up has grown from two, to three, to four people on stage and a ton more instruments in the mix. The new album, White Guts (Golden Gold) released in April of this year, has not only opened new doors, but the right ones. It has in his words, "Changed my life."

Just last week my friend Jennifer sent me a link from the Afghan Whigs’ Facebook photo gallery, showing Greg Dulli from the early days of his pinnacle band. The picture was sweet and childlike, showing Dulli and photographer Johnny Riggs in a comedic, marital embrace.
The Black Lips


The Black Lips have been known for many things; crazy and lively rock shows, feeling free of clothing, er, and getting kicked out of a country. But now the four-piece is seeing to it that deaf children have a chance to hear and play music.


Jimmy LaValle of The Album Leaf was taking a short, one-week break from his band’s five-month tour, hanging at his home in Santa Cruz while we chatted on the phone about nature, volcanoes, weird Japanese food, and his band's fifth album, A Chorus of Storytellers.

15 Apr 2010

There are many “back in the day” moments for tried and true, dedicated to the end, obsessed music fanatics. We’re proud to be music snobs and relate to the banter featured in the flick “High Fidelity.” While the record store chains like Tower have gone to the grave site, and digital download numbers continue to make their mark, independent stores are still alive and thriving. The in-person, record store culture lives on and is celebrated by an international holiday on April 17: Record Store Day (www.recordstoreday.com).

Russell Marsden from Band of Skulls plays Austin City Limits

Surprises are something of a tradition at SXSW. Mine happened when my friend Kris let me know Band of Skulls (he is part of the tour crew) was playing the PBS SXSW party at Austin City Limits (ACL)—and that afterward, I was completely blown away, as was friend Tisha and all the rest of us who were lucky enough to experience it all live.

12 Feb 2010
To say that Eyedea and Abilities’ latest accomplishment, By The Throat, (summer 2009, Rhymesayers), resides solely in the land of hip-hop is to say that that Africa is a country because that's what Sarah Palin read to you off her hand.

For fans of the Minnesota duo, I may be preaching to choir here. For the rest, Eyedea (Micheal Larsen) & Abilities (Gregory “Max” Keltgen) has created an amalgamation based on the foundation of hip-hop, but with a New York No Wave edge.

This magical musical ride takes place not just within the streets and alleys of Eyedea’s lyrics, but inside the unexpected quirky bleeps, dirgy guitars and abstract, billowing beat-laden melodies that wrap around each other like velvet and barbed wire.

As I’ve written before, Lipgloss (every Friday at La Rumba, 9th & Broadway) was the first dance night in Denver that I ever went to that also gave me a musical taste of home, a close cousin to San Francisco’s indie disco dance nights ala Popscene. It’s rare that a dance night is still around a few years later, let alone eight years later. After a while you just assume it will always be there with all its players.

But time goes on and things change. People change. Life changes. And that’s just the way the cycle is supposed to revolve. With all that in mind, it still came as a “wha???!!” surprise to me when I learned that Tyler Danger (aka Tyler Jacobson) was leaving his post as the co-host Lipgloss.

When I saw Atmosphere’s God Love Ugly being reissued, I had to stop and think for a second. Had that many years gone by to where this album was in the reissue category? I went back to the Kaffeine Buzz archives and yes, it was during the "Keepin' It Rural" tour in the fall of 2002 when Slug was talking to me from a van with seven other guys in their “tour bus” of that time.

Hard to believe it’s been seven years. Reminding Slug (Sean Daley) of this during a recent phone call made him laugh, “We’re gettin’ old Kim.” Yes indeed. Time is flying by.

So much has happened since 2002. The world has recovered from the dot com crash, only to wind up back in the stink again, this time from another self-indulgent arm of corporate America. We’ve endured the wrath of one president, demanded change and put in place another we hope will bring us out of the ashes and sludge.

During that time Slug has been on his own roll

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