Thursday, November 29, 2007

Indie rock Christmas music

Are you a hipster in need of background music for your holiday party? Fire up your computer, go to's Holiday Mixer, choose your player, and let 'er go. They've got everything from Robbers on High Street to Loretta Lynn to Charlotte Martin and Guided by Voices singing holiday tunes. Good stuff

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hometown for the Holidays

Here's your chance to give your favorite local bands some play on corporate radio.
KTCL (93.3 FM) is holding a contest that works like this: Songs from 35 local bands are online, and voters choose which ones they like best. The top 10 get airplay and get rated by listeners. From there, the top 3 play a holiday show at Andrew's on Lincoln. And the winning band gets studio time, a slot at the Not So Silent Night concert next year and they play at a Colorado Mammoth game at the Pepsi Center. If you've ever felt goofy about online polls, now is the time to get over it for the sake of your favorite Colorado bands.

Listen to all 35 songs here and vote here

A lot of the contenders sound like they'd slide right into the skater mix on KTCL (Saving Verona, Swear by This, Sky Fox), though Roe sounds like it's making a bid to become the next Fray with "Looking at You," and Kyle Britton's song "Heart 2 Heart" kind of sounds like Maroon 5.

The list includes heavyweights like "Anthem" by Born in the Flood. Love.45, Hot IQs, Flobots, P Nuckle, Swayback, Nathan and Stephen, and The Heyday are also on the list.

C's favorites, in no particular order:
"I Was Only Passing By," Spiv
"Caused by Me" by Educated Figures
"Going Home," Nathan & Stephen
"Handlebars," Flobots
"Anthem," Born in the Flood
"Come in or Stay Out," The Heyday

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Annuals and Manchester Orchestra did an early bird, lightning quick show Monday night. (Two, sometimes three drum sets!) It wasn't even 10:30 when Annuals ended their set. The audience cheered for them to do an encore, which caught the band by surprise, then sang along with the band. Kenny says the response was quite different from their last trip to Denver, when maybe two people showed up.

CP reminds us of the Apple one-day event on the day after Thanksgiving. Now is your chance to look for deals on Apple stuff. Online may be less madness than showing up at your local Apple store.

John Butler Trio and Brett Dennen play KBCO's holiday show, this Friday and Saturday at the Ogden, to get over your turkey hangover

Voxtrot in Denver 12/7! At the Bluebird

Meese plays the Bluebird, 12/14 for $10. Just be 16 or older.

It's official: The Denver area is over ozone limits and needs to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to get beneath the caps, plus how to stay under an even stricter cap the EPA is considering imposing. To see how you can help limit emissions, go here and scroll down. Little behaviors by a bunch of people can make a difference

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tifah's new name :: more hipster Birds :: Annuals / Manchester Orchestra

Tifah, now known as Autumn Film played at the Lion's Lair last night in a low dough show. But C+S, who got to the Lair early, insist that opener Paper Bird stole their show with their Americana act with tight three-part harmonies (think sweet adelines, barbershop almost) and rootsy folk. Have a listen but it's worth checking out live. They've got shows with The Wheel (12/28 at the Bluebird and 12/15 with Ian Cooke and Bela Karoli @ the Bluebird) coming up, among others.

Tomorrow, 11/19, it's Annuals and Manchester Orchestra at the Hi-Dive. The music starts early, but there will be two openers: Kevin Deane and the New Frontiers. This is your chance to pick up the split 7" in which Annuals and Manchester Orchestra each cover one of the other's tunes. Listen before you buy >>>>>>
Listen to Annuals covering "Where Have You Been."
Listen to Manchester Orchestra's (marvelous!!) version of "Brother."
(Annuals' own "Brother" is on their MySpace page, and MO's version of "Where Have You Been" is on their MySpace page.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Robbers on High Street / Great Northern in Denver

Congrats to all the peeps who stayed out late on a school night to bop along with Robbers on High Street and catch a beautiful set from opening band Great Northern last night. The bands played Seattle earlier this week. (GN bassist Ashley recommends hitting the Cha Cha Lounge. I digress.) Robbers on High Street: This Brooklyn bunch isn't kidding around. They were polished, tight, fun-lovin' _ even on their third pitcher of beer (or is that seventh?) and roadie Doug was working the crowd after four shots of Jager. Ben Trokan's vocals were dead on. Trokan, Steven Mercado, Morgan King and their touring keys and drummer were crisp, and opening band Great Northern jumped in on tambourine and vocals toward the end, including on the big-party finale of the band covering Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now"! Yee-haw! Mercado shook off his blazer, pulled off his sweater (and then put the blazer back on over his bare chest but still) traded places with Ben and sang lead. And good night!

The band sets up:

Souvenir of former days of touring drummer Mikey, who used to be in a band called Good lookin Shoes:

Rachel from Great Northern grabs a tambourine, Mercado grabs the mic, and we're off to the races with Queen!

By the way, Great Northern has some great music, and they performed "Home" to perfection last night. Check them out. After Denver, Robbers on High Street head to Lawrence, Kansas; Minneapolis and Chicago, with Great Northern in tow, to close out the week.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Forecast

ROBBERS ON HIGH STREET :: Great Northern ::
old crow medicine show

Robbers on High Street brings its jangly Brooklyn-created but British-tinged pop to the Larimer Lounge on Thursday night, 11/15. Here's a live performance of "Across Your Knee" off the new album "Grand Animals" from this summer:

But mostly I want to see what shoes they all wear. Talk about a good bill...they're playing with Great Northern, out of L.A.

And Old Crow Medicine Show out of North Carolina plays Wednesday, 11/14, at the Bluebird in Denver, then Thursday, 11/15, at the Boulder Theater in Boulder. Be ready to jump! To a mix of bluegrass and old style pop

Denver Film Festival

Denver film fans are in luck, because the Starz Denver Film Festival is bringing a lot of worthy films to town that might not otherwise make it to local theaters. Among them is the Chinese film "Luo Ye Gui Gen" ("Getting Home"), in Mandarin with English subtitles. By Zhang Yang. It's billed as a comedy about construction worker Zhao as he tries to fulfill a promise to a deceased friend to take him home to the Three Gorges to be buried. This simple, light-hearted movie has something to say about friendship, loyalty, loneliness, life morals, but also life for the underprivileged in China. In particular it makes a statement about the plight of thousands of villagers displaced by the Three Gorges dam, which continues to uproot thousands of people today. (Read more about it). If you missed it, there's still a chance to see it tonight, 11/10 at 5:15 p.m. or Tuesday, 11/13 at 4:15 p.m.. If you like seeing previews, you can watch the clip below, although it reveals a lot of the film. I recommend going into this movie not having seen it so you can be charmed on its own merits instead of preconceptions.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I gave up a New Pornographers concert and watching the Carol Burnett special on PBS to have pasta made by Mike Laughlin. He served homemade ravioli stuffed with roasted butternut squash. First it was dunked in hot water, then put in a frying pan with butter, sage, salt and pepper, with shaved parmesan cheese on top. Mmmmm.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Behind the news

At The Geological Society of America annual meeting earlier this week, scientists publicized the findings of a rock, 330 million or so years old, with full-body imprints of three ancient amphibians. (Read more about theancient amphibians) The rock was sitting in a museum for years and noticed by David Fillmore, a 62-year-old retiree who had worked in computer science for 30+ years and got interested in fossils after reading about some of the first fossil explorers. He ended up going back to school in geology, graduated two years ago, and is still digging around looking at fossils with one of his professors Edward Simpson at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. "I'm retired and I'm 62. Instead of watching TV, I'm studying that
specimen (the one with the three full-body imprints), studying footprints."

Yes, it was crowded at the post-Series rally for the Rockies on Wednesday. But it was held in Skyline Park so that it would look like a lot of fans showed up and filled the park (it's a block long, a quarter of a block wide). Not quite like the lined streets through downtown for the parade after the Broncos won the Super Bowl (twice!) or the rally at Civic Center park after the Avs won the Stanley Cup, but the Rockies didn't win the big title either, so all in all, it met with expectations.

The new research support facility being built at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden will one day get some of its heat from biomass, such as wood chips from thinning forests in Colorado. A mechanical engineer there says don't worry that the lab is going to cut down trees for heat. They say thinning goes on enough with forest-fire prevention that they will not require additional cutting. They also say there will be a symbiotic relationship, with NREL getting wood chips in winter from those who typically sell mulch in spring and summer and don't have much of a market in the winter. When the sellers need to fill demand for mulch, NREL won't need to heat its building.

Chin Up Chin Up plays with the Ponys at the Larimer Lounge this Saturday, 11/3, late. Have a listen to "This Harness Can't Ride Anything" off the new album. $12 tix or $10 in advance