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Underground Music Showcase (UMS) – Picks for Day 2 – July 25, 2014

Okay it’s Day 2 of UMS. Hopefully you’ve paced yourself ‘cause they’re three more days to go, packed with tons of bands to see and hear and so many good times to be had. So here we go…

Chimney Choir – 6pm – South Broadway Christian Church

Each year at UMS this Denver indie folk orchestra wows the crowd with their ambidextrous skills with a myriad of instruments, from stringed pieces and piano one would expect, to more modern devices and wine bottles used within the percussion kit. And at any point the show, the ensemble with play a bit of musical chairs, showing their craft for creative expression, a top of mood for pure celebration. A dose of Chimney Choir will no doubt set a good mood for the night ahead, but if you miss them tonight they’ll also be at the Cheesman Park Arts Festival on Saturday and at a Backyard Shindig at 52 W. Bayaud Avenue.


The Blue Rider, Colfax Speed Queen, and More at Kings Tavern – Starting at 6pm

This UMS hot spot has a perfect line up for staying put in one place, kicking off with psychedelic surf tunes from Blue Rider that perfectly complement these warm summer evenings. Colfax Speed Queen will bounce on board at 10pm, shredding strings and hiking up the heat in the club with a strong cocktail of punk and rockabilly, with The Knew coming on at midnight, a favorite of Denver for all the right rock reasons.


Tanlines – 8pm – Main Stage

The last time Tanlines came into Denver, playing Larimer Lounge, fresh off the heels of a tour in support of their album ‘Mix Emotion,’ the duo almost didn’t make it into town. But Jesse Cohen assured the hungry crowd that they were not going to miss this chance to play our town, and they were rewarded highly as the boys and girls danced and clapped gleefully to “All Of Me,” sang along to “Not The Same” with eyes closed, and moved a mean samba swing to the percussion-heavy track “Real Life.”

It was a night to remember, interspersed with hilarious banter from Cohen between songs, so it’s no surprise to find that he produces his own No Effects podcast, interviewing fellow musicians.

Tonight Tanlines, including Eric Emm, will be introducing UMS to material from their forthcoming third album as well as performing those infectious tracks. I’m so bummed to be missing this show, and to say I’m jealous of you all is an understatement, wishing I could beam them to London instead to play XOYO or Village Underground. I can only hope that they’ll hit the road once again once this new album hits the shelves.


Dragondeer – 9pm – Skylark Lounge

This blues and rockabilly club is the perfect setting for Dragondeer. Carrying the American blues torch forward, a style of music that runs deep from Memphis, down our highways and byways and back again, these Denver boys wear their heart on their sleeve, having throw down tunes with the legend Reggie Watts and John Lee Hooker Junior. So grab a whiskey or a cold one (or both) and get let all your troubles melt away.

Flashbulb Fires – 11pm – Illegal Pete’s

Saunter up the Broadway to Illegal Pete’s for a dose of sparkling indie pop from Flashbulb Fires, bubbling over with glowing vocals and percussion that gives goosebumps even during these balmy summer nights. This Denver band has made well-deserved headway over the years, from the inclusion of “Unseen Things” in a William H. Macy film to becoming a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition for that track and “Dark Ghost (I’ve Got Arms)” two years running.


Inner Oceans – 11:59pm – Hi-Dive

I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for Denver’s Inner Oceans even before my interview with Griffith Snyder and Charlie Kern earlier this year. The layers of sonic beauty and floating, fluid vocals take you to another place. They did well at this past year’s SXSW and expect their rise to continue for years to come.



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