Thursday, October 30, 2008

Brandi Carlile

If you haven't yet experienced Brandi Carlile and her band live, then the EP "Live in Boston" is worth checking out. Carlile is amazing, and the Hanseroth twins (on guitar, bass, backup vocals, and contributing to songwriting) are talented and consistent as always. They complement and showcase Carlile without ever upstaging her. As the album progresses, so does the tempo and energy on four songs:

1. "Have You Ever" _ A mellow, fun song written by Phil Hanseroth. Backup vocals were slightly too quiet.
2. "What Can I Say" _ I'm a sucker for cello, and it's treated like another vocal in this song. Audience participation was elicited for one round of the chorus, and was surprisingly clear, synchronized, and in tune.
3. "The Story" _ This song begins with an almost bare voice, a treat. Here the live albums shine, retaining the energy and edge that are engineered out in studio albums ("The Story" album in particular). The fans give an appropriately warm reaction to this performance.
4. "Folsom Prison Blues" _ Her popular Johnny Cash cover. The "almost live" experience is most felt here. The electric guitar solo is flat out awesome. I'm torn whether I prefer her cover of "Folsom Prison Blues" or her cover of Radiohead's "Creep".

Carlile has released several other equally worthy live albums: Live from Neumo's (2005) and Live at Easy Street Records (2007), both recorded in Seattle. --By ATT / photo courtesy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jason Mraz in Denver :: campaign 08 :: and a quick hit

Jason Mraz only played one song Monday night before a female fan threw her bra on the stage. "Already?" he said before throwing it back. Going to a Mraz show is probably distinctly different if you are a woman (maybe 80 percent of the audience Monday night?) or a man, so here we present our review of the show, with C giving the female perspective and JF the male.

: There's lots of girls here. Like, teenyboppers
C: Although he has a new album out, Jason still sang old favorites like "You and I Both" and "Sleeping to Dream" and "Clockwatching." He had a horn section, with sax, trumpet and trombone.
JF: Iiiiit's poppy. Deeeeefinitely poppy
C: They performed "The Remedy" with a reggae twist, and the audience sang along. During the singalong, Mraz said, "Now just the ladies!"
JF: It sounded the same!
C: He also sang "I'm Yours." During one song, a photo of Barack Obama flashed on the screen behind Mraz and the audience started cheering really loudly. The horns moved up into the audience in the balcony and played from there to the surprise of the crowd.
During another song, Mraz tried to teach the audience some dance moves so they could dance along.
JF: He's kind of a weiner.
C: After about 45 minutes, he closed with Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds," asking different parts of the audience to sing out the chorus. But the lights stayed low and he came out for a loooong encore. He started with "Lucky" with opening act Lisa Hannigan singing Colbie Caillait's part. Also did a cover of "Buttercup."
JF: This is the part of the show where the girls are taking pictures of themselves and their friends. And two days later they're gonna put it up on their clipboards on their refrigerators, and it'll say "BFF" over it.
C: Also "There's No Stopping Us" and "A Beautiful Mess." It's possible the encore lasted as long as the main part.
JF: He's kind of full of himself.

Quick hit:
Delicatessen: If your music could be on a soundtrack for any TV show past or present.....any preference? Any certain song? and Why!

Ann Yu of LoveLikeFire: I don't watch a lot of TV, but my bandmates and friends have told me the show "Deadwood" was really awesome. I could see a couple of our songs being on a western drama show. We all really like old westerns, Morricone, Lee Hazlewood and some of that seeps into the tunes every now and then.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dungen @CMJ

GULLWING drummer
Friday night was definitely a night to remember and it renewed my love for music festivals. CMJ was alive and kicking across Brooklyn. My friend Jerris and I got together for an early evening practice session before heading out for the night’s activities. I have rehearsal studio space in the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, in the Ft. Greene neighborhood literally a stone’s throw from the front of my apartment building. Built in 1909, this historic temple has an arena that holds 1,000 people. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Broken Social Scene was slated to play a show there that night. We used my tenant status to bypass the long line of hipsters, young indie rockers and local neighborhood fans of the Canadian music collective that were queued up outside anxiously waiting to get in. The practice session was a good one, but our rehearsal didn’t last long before we found ourselves standing stage left, witnesses to greatness in our own backyard. Broken Social Scene did not disappoint, and the mass of fans was delighting in the collective’s catalog of hits. The band was impressive, and the Temple has never sounded better to me.

We had to drag ourselves out of the show and onto a G Train for Williamsburg. In no time we were at The Music Hall of Williamsburg where the Kemado Records CMJ showcase was in full swing. We were just in time to see The Muslims’ set. The San Diego four piece chugged trough a raucous set of energetic rock music that reminded me of an adolescent New Bomb Turks. The band warmed the stage and politely stepped aside to make way for Dungen, Stockholm’s psychedelic indie rock super stars.

It was apparent when they took the stage that they were the star attraction of the showcase. The hall quickly filled out and the crowd pressed the stage to witness the Swedes in action. Gustav Ejstes, Dungen’s front man and principal composer, began the set behind the keys of his synthesizer before taking center stage with his tambourine and banging waves of golden curls. The crowd grooved and bounced to the foursome’s powerfully polished take on psychedelic folk metal. Drummer Fredrik Bjorling is a master and I could not help but feel that I was somehow transported back in time to witness Mitch Mitchell playing with Jimi and The Experience. Dungen played many favorites including “Ta Det Lugnt,” “Djungelboken 2”, and “Panda” to the crowd’s enthusiastic hollers of approval. Their set was a cohesive collection of newer material and favorites from yesteryear that moved the crowd to excitable outbursts whenever there was a break in music. At show’s end, Dungen was begged for an encore and returned to deliver one last taste of their sonic psychedelic confections.

scenes from the weekend

An estimated 100,000 people crammed into Civic Center Park to hear Barack Obama speak. Hear being the operative word, since there were so many people, and there was no giant screen or anything to show people standing back on the state Capitol lawn what Obama was saying over in front of the City and County Building, but that's how large the crowd was. On a Sunday morning! During hangover hours!

The lines started forming EARLY. Gates didn't open until 10 a.m. but by 9:30ish a.m. the line went from between the Denver library and Denver Art Museum, down 14th, around the corner to Broadway, down Colfax to Bannock, with people standing five wide on the sidewalks. Two hours later (and we even cut in line!) we were finally inside the closed off area of the park.

The crowd filtered in once passing through metal detectors ...

Colorado Democrats like Sen. Ken Salazar and Gov. Bill Ritter made their pitch to get Rep. Mark Udall elected as a senator to take retiring GOP Sen. Wayne Allard's spot. U2's "It's a Beautiful Day," blared from the speakers that were lined up for two blocks and Obama came out.

He talked a little about tax cuts that he says won't affect Americans making less than a quarter million dollars a year, which includes many of us in the crowd and "99 percent of all plumbers," Obama said. He said his health care plan wouldn't affect you if you already have insurance through work, but your premiums would go down. Anyway, you can read more on Obama's health care plan. And you can read more on John McCain's health care plan.

Also from Wall St Journal, read about the candidates and your money


Let us just say this ... The Little Ones played at the Hi-Dive Saturday night and were so, so fun! Sunny Cali-pop for dancing. The full-length album "Morning Tide" is out! Time to buy!

Sir Reyes with sunshine girls:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Safes ripped through a set at the Lions Lair last night and closed down the bar. They're in Omaha tonight before taking a short rest back home in Chicago, and then they're back at it for more dates thru November. They said this tour's going all right so far.

Tonight, get ready for The Little Ones at the Hi-Dive!

And oh, no! LoveLikeFire was supposed to play Wednesday 10/29 at the Hi-Dive, but looks like Bob the bassist has to go home from the tour early to take care of some work-related issues.

Friday, October 24, 2008


John Elway appears with John McCain at the National Western Arena 10/24. Event begins 10 a.m. and you need a free ticket to get in.

The Safes at Lions Lair, 10/24.

The Little Ones are at the Hi-Dive 10/25! $10! With The Pseudo Dates and Titus Andronicus.

Barack Obama appears at a free public rally 10/26 at Civic Center Park in Denver. No tickets required, but get there early so you can attend. Gates open at 10 a.m. Event starts 11:30 a.m. Entrance on 14th Ave, between Bannock and Broadway. There will be security checks, so don't bring big bulky bags.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Aziz Ansari is at Comedy Works tonight and tomorrow, 10/10-10/11, in downtown Denver. $22.

Monday, October 06, 2008

We enjoyed the luxuries of the student rush ticket yesterday when we only had to pay $5 apiece to sit in fancy $60+ seats at Boettcher Hall to hear Lukas Vondráček play with the Colorado Symphony. The program was a crowd pleaser from start to finish, and Marin Alsop was back on the podium to conduct. (She's conductor laureate of the CSO but music director for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.) First was Wagner's Prelude to the Meistersinger, then Dvorak Symphony No. 5, which may be less familiar than other Dvorak symphonies but is wonderful to hear performed live. After the break, Vondracek played Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, with its familiar opening melody. Through the three movements, he played with energy, at times making the piano shake, but then also had great restraint and control with the pianissimos.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

MURS recap

MURS had his mom along for his free MySpace Release show Monday @ b.side lounge in Boulder, with hip hop heads lined up into the street to get in the back door. The new album "MURS for President" is out, marking MURS' major label debut. You may know him from Living Legends, which visited Boulder often, so let's just say this was a homecoming to his third home. MURS has the love songs, the heartbreak songs, the party songs, but I'm partial to "Hustler" and "Last Night." Anyway, Denver's Infinite Mindz opened. We heard older stuff like "Freak These Tales" and "Hustler," plus some of the new stuff like "Break Up," "Road is my Religion." He did a cover of Sublime's "Date Rape." We all know MURS has a mouth, so he had to tell his mom to cover her ears. Anyway, MURS got into it, and even though we were in a small club, people were yelling out the lyrics and MURS worked up a sweat. After, Out the Box TV managed to get a few words with him, and MURS talked to the crowd but then it was off to Independent Records to go sign autographs. He'll be back in Boulder at the Fox Nov. 22, but this time you all gotta pay. Just $12 though.