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The Underground Music Showcase 2012 – Day 1

Yes, the Underground Music Showcase is upon us with over 300 and something bands (didn’t have the patience to count them all myself). Let’s just say there’s something for every ear. While it’s always a good time to see and support our favorite bands, and many of them they are playing, it’s yet another experience to discover something new, whether it be local or national.

So I’ve put together a mix of all of the above.

8pm – Mane Rok & Deejay Tense – Moe’s BBQ

I first learned of Mane Rok through the video, “99th Problem,” filmed and directed by Locker Partners during a day of Occupy Denver, where Mane Rok stood before a line of riot police proclaiming the state of our nation and inequality.

Joined by Jonny 5 of the Flobots, T Minus Katlyn of Wheel Chair Sportscamp, Dyalekt, Bravo One and Aja Black, makes a powerful first impression both lyrically and in delivery. His accolades span from Urb Magazine Next 100 nomination to the Westword Best Crew for his previous group, Maneline.

Now on his own, he continues write and produce new material while touring and playing in his home state.

9pm – School Knights – 3 Kings

Raw and raucous, Denver’s School Knights strut with a heavy dose of coastal influence, from the xylophone twinkles and jangly guitar lines to the slang style vocals that would have done Dead Milkmen proud.

Aptly named Fre-EP, School Knights come at you songs that easily flow through the ears from one track to the next, from the bass-leading dirgy-ness of “Calling Friends,” and what one can only believe to be a heartfelt love ballad, “Powerslut.”

Any of the other five songs will fit nicely into a PCH soundtrack and to your UMS plans.

11pm – Mombi – Delite

Quite simply, Mombi (pronounced mom-bee) makes gorgeous music. Made up of Kael Smith, Matt Herron and Michael Behrenhausen, the band’s sound is subtle yet intricate, layered with piano, guitars and warm vocals, a complement rainy day with only your bottles of red wine and Red House Painters vinyl to keep you company.

Mombi has been together for a number of years, releasing The Wounded Beat in 2011 on Own Records (available as a free download on Bandcamp), with tours national and in Europe. In 2012 the trio is in the midst of its next E.P., recording it here in Colorado at the band’s home studio dubbed, the Black Room, with mixing going back and forth between the guys and Al Weatherhead (Sparklehorse).

According to Kael, “We’re calling it an E.P. but it could become something more as the songs are longer and more dynamic than anything off of The Wounded Beat. It’s still a little too early to tell.”

Excitingly enough, you’ll have a chance to hear the new material at UMS.

12am – Cloud Nothings – 3 Kings

Sometimes music formations come together in surprising ways, from a few tunes taken from the cranium to a computer hard disc, and a bit of time later, it all emerges with a band, new albums, and lots of miles on the tour van.

That in a nutshell is Cloud Nothings’ story, which was started by Dylan Baldi as a solo act back in Cleveland in 2010. Over the past two years the move to drop out of college has been a good one, adding this year’s Attack on Memory release to Cloud Nothings’ repertoire.

Produced by the infamous Steve Albini, the first single “Stay Useless” was released in December of 2011 (which I played on my radio show), giving fans a juicy taste of what was to come. So far this year the Cloud Nothings have been non-stop since the release of Attack on Memory, hitting SXSW and summer festival dates, from last weekend’s Pitchfork Festival to our own UMS…and a cruise ship festival.

Yes, a cruise ship festival, a trend that’s been growing for some time, but this one isn’t going to be about shuffleboard and early bird specials on the lido deck. Coachella is putting on this party in December, taking people to the Bahamas and Jamaica. I’m guessing that Cloud Nothings is more than happy to join Hot Chip, James Murphy, !!!, and me if I can chisel some coin from ye old budget.

For the complete line up by day go to:

Tonight the UMS Box Office opens at 6pm in the courtyard at 1 Broadway next to Guardian Urgent Care, and just south of Buffalo Exchange.

Friday-Sunday, the UMS Box office opens an hour before doors (5pm Friday and 2pm Sat/Sun), and is located near the outdoor stage at 21 S. Broadway (across from Goodwill.)  

Single day tickets are still available, along with 4-day passes and VIP passes:


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