Mike Donovan new album Wot is clean and strong.

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Mike Donovan sounds like a city punk who went to the country and found out he fits right in. Former member of the grittier Sic Alps, he shows himself to be an extremely capable singer/songwriter with this solo effort. The single “Do Do Ya” has such a great guitar twang background slinking up the half step melody, sounding like early Rolling Stones honky tonk. His soft, almost muted at times guitar tone is gorgeous on opening track “New Fieldhand Bop” as he strums just ahead of the beat, sliding each note into place and giving the whole thing some sass.

The tempo of “Fly Them Yourself” drags too slow for my taste, but the energy is high on most tracks, “Sic Ballad” having a soulful “Hey Joe” reminiscent verse; electric guitar sounding just properly dirty enough. The spaghetti western horns and slide guitar of “Sexual Reassignment Surgery Blues” gives serious credence to a song that could be seen as novelty. “MP3 Farm” has a forceful downward strummed rhythm that begs for getting down, and a simple acoustic major key solo. Overall, it’s a really well produced album, he can write beautiful songs, and he sounds good singing them.

Mike Donovan “Do Do Ya” video

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Vices I Admire Tear Up the Westword Showcase Pre-Party at Gothic

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Last night I was invited to the Westword Music Showcase Pre-Party by Vices I Admire, a quirky, rocking local band. They’ve got a genuine punk energy while writing great songs with interesting changes. The lead singer has some really pretty vocals too, try to catch him sound checking.

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Listen to their song Sweetest Girl , love the guitar tone. Also, check out this song and read the comments, “the new Slipknot” cracks me up. They are much better than that: Heartbreaker

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BRONCHO – Band to Watch Playing the Fox on June 30

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BRONCHO out of Oklahoma are really making a name for themselves this year. I caught them at SXSW and thought they were one of the better garage bands I saw that week, and have since had numerous people ask me if I had heard of them. I’m a sucker for bands that say their name in a song, so “Pick a Fight” sucked me right in from thegetgo. It also is the lead song of their album Can’t Get Past the Lips, a perfect collection of Ramones-influenced garage rock. “I Don’t Really Want to be Social” is a perfect minimal rock song about alienation, and they’ve filmed a great video for “Try Me Out Sometime” . They will be at the Fox Theatre in Boulder on June 30th, playing with the fantastic Two Gallants , don’t miss these guys and get your tickets here!: ticket link

DADS sign to 6131 Records and tour dates announced!

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New Jersey two-piece DADS just signed with 6131 Records, causing them to release a new EP and tour this summer! These guys have a wonderful sound, reminding me a little of Pinback vocally with great upbeat guitar licks and crashing percussion. They remind me of working in skate shops as a teen, something very free and earnest about them. Listen to their debut album here, American Radass

And check them out live! They’ll be in Denver July 8th at Circle Music Collective.

06/13 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
06/14 Greenville, NC @ Tipsy Teapot
06/15 Murrells Inlet, SC @ Suck Bang Blow (early)
06/15 Charleston, SC @ The Oasis (late)
06/16 Atlanta, GA @ Wonder Root
06/17 Savannah, GA @ Taco Abajo
06/18 Jacksonville, FL @ Burro Bar
06/19 Orlando, FL @ Wills’ Pub
06/20 Pembroke Pines, FL @ The Talent Farm
06/21 Tampa, FL @ Epic Problem
06/22 New Orleans, LA @ Big Top June
06/23 San Antonio, TX @ The Ten Eleven
06/24 Austin, TX @ Mohawk
06/25 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
06/27 Albuquerque, NM @ The Gasworks
06/28 Meza, AZ @ Nile Underground
06/29 San Diego, CA @ Che Cafe w/ Adventures
06/30 Highland Park, CA @ Growing Up Is Dumb Fest w/ Defiance Ohio
07/01 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Ratchet House
07/02 Oakland, CA @ 1234 Go Records
07/03 Eureka, CA @ Placebo
07/04 Portland, OR @ Garfield House
07/05 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon Lounge
07/06 Boise, ID @ The Shredder
07/07 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Shred Sled
07/08 Denver, CO @ Circle Music Collective
07/09 Kansas City, MO @ Art Closet Studio
07/10 ST. Louis, MO @ Fubar
07/11 Peoria, IL @ Broken Tree Coffee
07/12 Chicago, IL @ Swerp Mansion
07/13 Grand Rapids, MI @ The Turtle Den
07/14 Ann Arbor, MI @ 907 Lincoln
07/15 Indianapolis, IN @ Hooiser Dome
07/16 Pittsburgh, PA @ The Mr. Roboto Project w/ Adventures
07/17 Williamsport, PA @ West 4th
07/18 Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire w/ Daylight
07/19 Alexandria, VA @ The Lab w/ Daylight
07/20 Brooklyn, NY @ Suburbia w/ Daylight
07/21 New Haven, CT @ Bethesda Lutheran Church

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Music in Denver 4/24-4/30

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Music in Denver 4/24-4/30

Wednesday, April 24
Captured by Robots – 3 Kings – San Francisco musician and his band of robots. Saw this guy once on accident years ago, had no idea what was going on: Captured by Robots live video

Shovels and Rope – Bluebird – folk duo, tambourines, keyboards, happy sounds

Thursday, April 25
MTHDS – Casselman’s – nice guys that sing and rap about love and sexiness and nail Beastie Boy covers

Friday, April 26
The Men – Hi Dive – great band whose newest album has a whole different sound, can’t wait for this show: full KEXP performance

Rastasaurus and Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue – Cervantes – Rob Eaton of Dark Star Orchestra joins many talented musicians for a night of the Grateful Dead. Local favorites Rastasaurus are bringing their party as well.

Bonobo w/ El Ten Eleven – Ogden – drums, bass, looping pedals, interesting dance music from both acts, heavy on the pretty: Bonobo video that is wacky

Face to Face – Gothic – California punk, feel like a teenager again

Saturday, April 27
RJD2 and Disco Biscuits – Red Rocks – the snow is melting, it’s going to be beautiful Saturday, I am so in. Will be dorking it up front row with earplugs. Laserama.

Imperial Teen – Hi Dive – one of my favorite late 90’s pop supergroup are back, including a collaborator from that dog., who wrote my favorite 90’s pop song: He’s Kissing Christian

Sunday, April 28
James Blake – Ogden – people love him, the genius is in the simplicity apparently. I don’t hear it but maybe you will.

Monday, April 29
Gaslight Anthem – Ogden – the bands from Coachella are making the rounds to Denver this week.

The Veils – Larimer Lounge – they get compared to Joy Division a lot, never seen them live, they’ve got this hat: The Veils

Tuesday, April 30
Rodriguez w/Jenny O. – 1st Bank Center – the guy from Searching for Sugarman, I saw this show at Antone’s in Austin last October, he tuned his guitar about half the time and one woman stood on a collapsible stool. Big presence, he has gotten used to being on stage now, so this will be a very interesting, moving and memorable night. The opener Jenny O. is a talented, smart songwriter, and wrote my most listened to song of last year: catchy, catchy, catchy