It’s the first day of Denver’s Underground Music Showcase, so pace yourself. There’s 4 days and 400 bands and 20+ venues. Drink lots of water ’cause you have to work in the morning. You know I’m fucking with you, right? It’s UMS bitch, time to get to some ringing-ears-the-next-day-in-the-AM action. Here are but a few recommendations for the first day, Thursday, July 18, with more to come for the rest of the show.
South of France – 11:00pm, The Hi-Dive
There are bands that have ‘made it’ coming out of Denver, but they’re mostly in the ‘meh’ category. People that run in our circles are not necessarily clamoring for their next music release and bragging to those outside of Colorado or the states that this ‘big band X’ is from here.
South of France is a band that I hope not only makes their name known in our own country, but in lands in Europe. I’ve played their vivacious and lovely tracks, “September,” “Writers Block” and “Shadows” from their LP ‘Another Boring Sunrise’ on my Hoxton Radio show that airs out of East London. Granted, internet radio stations can be heard from anywhere with a connection, but I REALLY want them to venture across the pond to play at Shacklewell Arms, The Lextington and Sebright Arms, or UK festivals like Field Day Festival, where the likes of Feathers, DIIV, Wild Nothing, and others from the Capture Tracks crew have made their mark, but keep their home base in Denver…unlike Chairlift.
They’ve gotten lots of love from fans, the press and even some commercial action. South of France is now ready to go international.
Colfax Speed Queen – 10:00pm, Irish Rover
With a name like that, you know not to expect yet another folky, feather strumming 8-piece band from bum-fuck-wherever-in-Colorado. This Denver goes balls out with voracious punk rock that still runs in our veins, no matter how many years go by. That’s where the bonding happens. When lead singer Matt Loui thrashes about the stage, pouring every ounce of energy he has into every note, you’re there egging him an and begging for more. So beg baby and you shall receive. And then some.
Keepers – July 18 9:00 pm – Compound Basix
If you’ve ventured to a dance night at Beauty Bar or one of The Hundred’s parties, most likely you’ve seen yourself in the reflection of Peter Washington’s DLSR, or on occasion, dancing to a DJ set at Larimer Lounge. Well now, along with Collin McKenna, this duo of Keepers are making the beats. We’re talking deep and dirty beats, the kind that sway the body and soul into contortions you can only dream of pulling off in that sweaty-hot yoga class you insist on going to week in and week out. Honestly, this is way more fun. Find your chi in the subtle and cool trickles and trips of “Soul Button,” and whatever they pull out of their hat during their UMS set.
Mombi – 11:59pm, GOZO
From a whisper to a scream, without the scream. Mombi’s music causes you to lean in to absorb all the intricacies of each lyric and keyboard touch. It’s luscious and subdued but captivating, with harmonies that make swirly marks around your ears and brain. The band, made up of Kael Smith, Matt Herron and Michael Behrenhausen, are currently working new music (with Alan Weatherhead from Sparklehorse), a follow up to their 2011 ‘The Wounded Beat.’