The Monday before Thanksgiving I got a chance to review and shoot Black Joe Lewis for the Westword. As a long time fan, I thought the new material sounded great live, and breathed fresh takes to old material as well. Read my review here, and scroll down for some more photos. It’s time for a better lens.
Last night, local Denver favorites Rastasaurus played their first show at the Bluebird. They have a dedicated fanbase, as they went on promptly at 9:00 to around 25 people and within about two minutes the place filled up with happy people that all seemed to know each other. They have a reggae sound that is complimented by more psychedelic jamming, my interest certainly piqued when I saw all their pedals. A “Divided Sky” tease by lead guitarist Eric Ciccone followed by his twin brother Mark on bass playing Makisupa Policeman and noticing it was in the same key as the song they were about to play made the Phish fans of the audience get all excited, but this is no Phish cover band, and the teases were left at just that. Just as well, because their originals are great. Lead singer and guitarist Justus Lacewell is a huge guy and commands the stage well, they all do. All in all, it was a fantastic showing at Bluebird for these first timers, I’ve seen many touring acts absolutely bomb there in the opening slot, so kudos Rastasaurus.
Music to See in Denver, August 14-19th
Wednesday, August 14th
Oberhofer – Hi Dive – seen Oberhofer open for many great bands in the past, somehow this is their first headlining show I’ll get to attend. Frontman Brad Oberhofer is a ball of energy, say hi to him after the show, nice guy, great band: live Oberhofer footage
Thursday, August 15th
Kurt Vile – Bluebird – FINALLY Kurt Vile Day comes to Denver, it’s been a second. “Wakin on a Pretty Daze” has been in heavy, heavy rotation in my iPod, heck, my whole family’s iPods. Been counting the days til this one: “Never Run Away” video
Gogol Bordello/ Queens of the Stone Age – Red Rocks – Gogol Bordello always have a hell of a good time onstage, and QOTSA rock hard every time, so I’m going to take a guess here, but I’m pretty sure this show will be a barnburner, go tear it up. The new QOTSA album is great, so expect new material that fits right in.
Friday, August 16th
Robert Walter’s 20th Congress – Cervantes’ Otherside – former Greyboy Allstars player brings his heavy jazz funk keyboards to town Friday. A recent move from New Orleans to Los Angeles has infused a new energy into the band: “Sweetie Pie” live video
Confluence – Hi Dive – math rock local band that has a little of a Band of Horses/ Rogue Wave sound. Just got into this band and looking forward to more: Confluence bandcamp with music here
Pretty Lights/ Talib Kweli – Red Rocks – local favorite represent. When I first moved here someone pointed out Pretty Lights to me in LoDo “that’s Pretty Lights”. Looked right past the guy and nodded approvingly of a neon sign behind him, had never heard of him in 09, but everyone else had. His music is sexy, and if you haven’t seen him at Red Rocks, GO: Red Rocks video
Saturday, August 17th
Cold War Kids – City Park – one of my favorite over enunciating bands for free in a Denver city park? Twist my arm. It’s actually some big Chipotle festival, bring some cash to try out all kinds of stuff from guest chefs: Cultivate Festival
Charles Bradley – Larimer – busy week of shooting for me! Hop over to Larimer after Cold War Kids for this Daptone Records singing legend. Not much needs to be said, the king’s in town: listen to him, fer crissakes!
Monday, August 19th
Wood & Wire – Appaloosa Grill – Austin brand bluegrass, the lead singer has a voice that rises this band above most, and they have some of the tightest harmonies I’ve heard around
My Bloody Valentine – Ogden – legendary Dublin band with fuzz galore. They are touring to support their new album that isn’t clicking with me at all, but maybe the material has more life live.
Said the Whale – Larimer – opening for Kopecky Family Band, this Vancouver heavy pop band is my current favorite. I reviewed their album that’s being released in October yesterday, it’s such a great collection of very well put together songs, they finally made the US crossover, I hope for big things for them: “We Are 1980” video
Kris Kristofferson/ Lyle Lovett – Red Rocks – enough said. If you have never seen Lyle Lovett, by God, go go go.
Fantastic Colorado locals Princess Music are headlining tonight at Bluebird, as well as selling their unreleased studio album and this amazing four color, locally printed shirt. Want. Saw them open for Akron/Family a few months ago and was very impressed. This band has good momentum going, check them out tonight!
Show details here: Princess Music tonight at Bluebird
They had a jam packed show at SXSW this year, and now Phosphorescent has added a dozen or so extra U.S. dates, including a Denver stop at Bluebird. Very atmospheric, dense, layered music, the crowd will probably be slowly swaying. This band is definitely made to see live, and I’m sure it will sell out, so get your tickets sooner rather than later!
06/30/13 Mauntauk, NY- The Surf Lodge
07/13/13 Ottawa, ON- Ottawa Bluesfest
07/14/13 Burlington, VT- Signal Kitchen w/ Strand of Oaks
07/16/13 Columbus, OH- A&R Music Bar w/ Strand of Oaks
07/17/13 Cleveland, OH- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum w/ Strand of Oaks
07/18/13 Louisville, KY- Headliners w/ Strand of Oaks
07/20/13 Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival
07/25/13 Boston, MA- Bank of America Pavillion w/ Robert Plant
07/26/13 Newport, RI – Newport Folk Festival
07/27/13 Brooklyn, NY- Prospect Park Bandshell w/ Robert Plant
07/28/13 Camden, NJ – XPoNential Music Festival
08/09/13 Oslo, Norway – Oya Festival
08/10/13 Gothenburg, Sweden – Way Out West
08/15/13 Hasselt, Belgium – Pukkelpop 2013
08/16/13 Brecon Beacons, United Kingdom – Green Man Festival
09/14/13 Detroit, MI- St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
09/15/13 Nashville, TN- 3rd & Lindsley
09/16/13 Carrboro, NC- Cats Cradle
09/17/13 Atlanta, GA- Terminal West
09/18/13 Birmingham, AL- Iron City
09/21/13 Columbia, MO- Roots and Blues BBQ Festival
09/22/13 Denver, CO- Bluebird Theatre
09/24/13 Boise, ID- Neurolux
09/25/13 Seattle, WA- Neptune
09/26/13 Portland, OR- Hawthorne Theatre
09/28/13 San Francisco, CA- The Fillmore
09/30/13 Pomona, CA- The Glass House
10/01/13 Los Angeles, CA- El Rey Theatre
10/04/13 Phoenix, AZ- The Crescent Ballroom
10/05-06/13 Austin, TX- Austin City Limits Festival
10/11-13/13 Austin, TX- Austin City Limits Festival
The excellent video for “Song For Zula”
This Friday, June 7th, the fantastic March Fourth Marching Band will be bringing their circus to the Bluebird. I got the opportunity last year to shoot their Halloween show at the Gothic, and I never knew where to point the camera first. They have really been making the rounds and touring a lot lately, don’t miss this show! I honestly don’t know who wouldn’t enjoy them live.
Music in Denver May 8-14
Wednesday, May 8th
Pickwick – ETown Boulder – soulful rock, these guys are incredible and I’m excited to go to my first taping at ETown. Starts at 7, nice and early.
Bleeding Rainbow – Larimer – psychpop act that used to be a two piece named Reading Rainbow, better name, better band, better sound, this show should be exciting
Appleseed Cast – Hi Dive – so many people ask me if I like them, I’ve never seen them but they must be good since everyone’s always bringing them up!
Thursday, May 9th
Vietnam – Larimer – member from various Austin bands residing in Brooklyn now and on Mexican Summer, one of my favorite labels. They reached their goal on Kickstarter so tada! Here they are: video of the band and their goals and music
Zac Brown Band – Red Rocks – country jammy band, they’ll be here all weekend. This is where all the beautiful women that listen to country will be.
Friday, May 10th
Denver Disco Presents: Astronomix – Bar Standard – Denver Disco and Phibstock join forces to create a disco freakout. All info here, dress funky if you desire: facebook event link
Page McConnell and the Metermen – Ogden – the funk is here. I’ll be here tomorrow.
Saturday, May 11th
Page McConnell and the Metermen – Ogden – see?
The Thermals – Bluebird – I’ve been thinking this band would pop for a year now, pleasant garage pop punk that is accessible: video of people falling
Black Pus – Larimer – if I had a clone I would be here and Ogden. Definitely one of those bands that make your friends call you a freaking hipster. For fans of interesting noise and spectacle: check him out
Sunday and Monday 12-13th
Prince – Ogden. Yep.
Monday, May 14th
Charli XCX – Gothic – new favorite pop star, she was always in cute outfits tearing it up at sxsw. She’s got it
Boris – Bluebird – Japanese expiremental for the quirky and the lovers of sound and chicks shredding without flinching: Boris video
Music in Denver 4/17-4/22
GWAR – The Gothic – metal cartoony grossness (sold out)
Los Amigos Invisibles – Bluebird – modern sounding Latin dance flava
Family of the Year- Hi Dive – fleetwood mac’y (sold out)
GHOST – Ogden – metal seriousness in elaborate religious costumes
Dilated Peoples – Cervantes – good hip hop
Lucero and Langhorne Slim- three nights at the Bluebird, check them out any night this weekend
Tesla – Gothic – black t shirts and your dad
Blaze Ya Dead Homie – Roxy – this is where the juggalos will be, and where I would be if in town (sold out)
Slightly Stoopid/Cypress Hill – Red Rocks – where the people acting a fool on 4/20 will be, wear a potleaf lei
Bob Mould – Bluebird – formerly of Husker Du and Sugar, still sounds great live
How To Destroy Angels – Paramount – new Trent Reznor project with his wife
Black Mountain – Larimer – good, loud rock
Pegi Young – Walnut Room – Neil’s wife
Marnie Stern – Moe’s BBQ – current favorite female musician, she shreds her guitar with this tapping method and is just awesome
Polica– Bluebird – plain ole beautiful music
Parenthetical Girls – Hi-Dive – experimental indie pop from Portland video for “A Song for Ellie Greenwich”
Hidden Towers – 3 Kings – post hardcore rock trio from Vancouver, they are touring for their first full length album
Shakey Graves – Hi-Dive – one man band from Austin, used to play on the streets, now he’s having a moment. True talent. video with story of his name and song
Acid Baby Jesus – Lost Lake – fuzzy punk from Greece, you may have seen them open for Black Lips a couple years ago: video for “It’s On Me”
Cold War Kids – Gothic – Long Beach based moody pop trio with piano. I LOVE these guys. Some friends don’t like the singer’s over-pronunciation, I love it, so make your own decision: new single from latest album
Spiritualized – Bluebird – space rock from England following the demise of Spacemen 3
Airborne Toxic Event – Ogden – for people who like this song
Merchandise – Marquis – these guys are good live video of Merchandise
Deer Tick – Gothic – see them if you haven’t, even the lead singer solo is great their main video
The Suspects – 7th Circle – Houston, TX ska band I’ve been seeing my whole life, great ska
Detective – Lions Lair- awesome band on the rise, favorite at sxsw some of their music
Slaughter – Grizzly Rock – gotta do some people watching at a hair metal show at least once a year
Purity Ring – Gothic – sugary dance pop, openers Blue Hawaii are pretty good so come early. For a good time read their Youtube comments where people fight over who was a fan first. Purity Ring Video
Saturday night at Bluebird saw a sold out show for Boulder/Nederland’s own Leftover Salmon. At HORDE tour in 1997, I was bored watching Lenny Kravitz, went to the side stage to see what was going on, and these guys were playing and changed my life. Never knew music could be so fun. 16 years later, they are just as good as ever, and continue to write amazing new songs as seen on last year’s Aquatic Hitchhiker release. Set One ended with my favorite song, “Euphoria”, speeding up faster and faster until you feel like you can’t go any faster. And then they went even faster. This is why I love this crazily talented band.
Last time I saw them, the lyrics to the pro-growing anthem “Pasta on the Mountain” had the lyric “pasta will be legalized”, but last night it was “pasta HAS been legalized”, followed by a roar of approval by the voters of the house and strong Nederland presence. The song then went on to become a medley including Marley’s “Stir It Up” and Led Zeppelin’s “D’Yer Maker”. The night ended with church, a rousing call and response version of “Rise Up (Wake and Bake)” that left the audience happy to be in Colorado seeing Vince Herman back in town. You’ve been missed! Special Guest Steve Berlin from Los LobosScramble Campbell and C Alan Crandall were also in attendance, making Bluebird the place to be last night.