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Denver’s UMS Hits the 10 Year Marker, Part 2

So now we’re on to night number 2, Friday, July 23, of the Underground Music Showcase. Pace yourself. You still have two more days to go. Or, if this is your first night out know that there is every genre possible playing in the various venues along and around South Broadway. Most of the picks I plucked for tonight are electronic in nature, but as you’ll see from Ilan’s picks, there’s everything from Mexican indie rock to Americana and hip-hop.

Carbon Choir
I still consider myself lucky to have experienced Jeff Buckley live at a beautiful venue in San Francisco, just when he was really making his mark. Having heard Joel Van Horne, lead vocalist for the Denver/Boulder band Carbon Choir, is the closest I’ve come to hearing those JB octaves that seem to reach into infinity.

Now on its third year, Carbon Choir, which includes Chris Hatton on piano/keyboards, Ryan Fechter on bass and Scott Weidner on drums, have two EPs and a full-length at the end of 2009, High Beams, under their belts. It’s evident that these last past three years have been time well spent.

“Mother and Son” is both captivating and elating, while on “Love in Third Person,” piano and guitar flow back and forth like two children synchronized on a playground’s swing set. It’s hard to decipher the sad slowdive entry of “Look Out Below,” whether it’s a slide guitar, a wailing stringed instrument, or Van Horne, stretching his vocals chords in an achingly, beautiful way.

Hear and buy High Beams from Carbon Choir, where you’ll also get two free tracks:

9:00pm on Friday, July 23 on the Verizon Droid Stage @ Skylark Lounge (21+)


When the Denver summer heat is beating us into submission, I can’t help but think of the cool breezes of the San Francisco Bay and the Kelly’s Mission Rock parties (set right next to the water), before the electronic music community morphed into a tacky Vegas MTV Spring Break mess.

Fur brings the best of those times to life, with intricate and refined bleeps, echoes and beats; like a chemist surrounded by bubbling tubes of colors and concoctions that fill the room with beautiful sounds and fragrances. The retro, b-boy groove of “Polybreak” would be a perfect headphone track for a ride on the train, on your skateboard or a stroll where the urban streets are your visual video.

Fur plays two sets this weekend. You’d be best to take in at least one.

7:00pm on Friday, July 23 on the WESTAF Stage @ Illiterate Magazine (All Ages)
8:00pm on Sat, July 24 on the Goat Vodka Stage @ Delite (21+)


Quick Picks

Jonathan & BPro – Hellz-yeah. Soul-sonic vocals and grooved hooks from this Denver duo will make the Import Warehouse a sweaty shindig, but no one will be complaining. Who can bitch when you’re dancing and realize that life is actually pretty damn good? Jonathan & BPro will make you forget about the economy, the oil spill, and the ass-wipes in the Tea Party, at least for a few precious moments.

9:00pm on Friday, July 23 on the Heineken Stage @ the Import Warehouse (All Ages)

Dances With White Girls – I can’t help but giggle at this act’s name, since it reminds me of that scene in “Animal House” – “can we dance with your dates?” Happy to have Dances With White Girls spending some time in Denver, spreading that dirty beat cheer and showering us with sweet, Pop Tart rain.

11:00pm on Friday, July 23 on the Heineken Stage @ the Import Warehouse (All Ages)


James Pants – Coming in from Spokane, James Pants members Compurhythm 8000, Hohner, JaX PPP, Daniel DMX, 303, Muzach, Syndrummer, Slingerland, Flexi-Tone will make their presence known with a bevy of layered electronics that dabble in dub, 2001 Space Odyssey, and where trash can orchestras meet up with drum and bass mo’fessionals. Sam-blastic-tastic.

11:55pm on Friday, July 23 on the Heineken Stage @ the Import Warehouse (All Ages)


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