Music On The Goe
David Goe on music
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By David Goe
Monday, July 14, 2014
Flashbulb Fires, who recently played the KAFM Radio Room, is one of many bands to watch for at the Underground Music Showcase.
The Underground Music Showcase is a couple weeks out but it's not too early to gear up for Colorado's biggest music event.
This year marks the 14th, and certainly biggest, year for the UMS and it is something that should be on your radar. Featuring more than 400 local, national and international artists, the UMS is a four-day celebration of this region’s thriving local music scene.
Located in the South Broadway district of Denver, the UMS is the most diverse music event of the year. Don’t make the mistake of writing this event off as hipster noise with limited mass appeal. The UMS is among the very best Colorado music events and I’d argue, the most important. This hyper regional event embodies Colorado’s young creative culture and puts it on full display for the state and nation to appreciate and enjoy.
“Like that old friend you only see once a year, The UMS will wreck your house, get you drunk and ultimately save your life in one sweaty blur, leaving you reeling and exhausted and a few days away from wishing it would come back again already.”
That’s the sales pitch on the UMS website and anyone who’s experienced the festival first-hand would agree completely with that assessment. Those unfamiliar with the event though may still be wondering, why bother with this downtown Denver bar-crawl?
Though the UMS has grown to include nationally and internationally touring acts, this is primarily a local event. It’s a showcase of the best Colorado has to offer and you can guarantee that one of these 400 bands will become insanely popular.
Can you imagine catching a live set from someone like the Lumineers in a small venue like the Hi-Dive before they struck it big? The UMS makes that opportunity possible.
Including the Lumineers, the UMS has produced a number of national success stories in recent years. UMS alums include DeVotchKa, Isaac Slade of The Fray, Flobots and Nathaniel Rateliff. Your chances of seeing a band right on the cusp of national stardom is quite good, and you’ll also get to see them in a crowd of less than 300 fans. At the UMS, you can get as close to the music as you want and probably talk to and share a beer with the band after their set.
This year that next great band could be In The Whale or A. Tom Collins, both of who play prime slots this year. Its impossible to predict who’s going to be a hit, but the point is that someone playing this festival will go on to great things.
If you’re not concerned with finding the next big thing and want to just hear some inventive new music then the UMS is the place for you. This year's festival lineup features a number of great Colorado bands including many that have recently played shows here in Grand Junction. The Knew, Flashbulb Fires, The Photo Atlas, Rose Quartz, The Blind Pets, Reno Divorce, and Rossonian have all recently played a GJ stage and all feature prominently in the 2014 UMS lineup.
Those who geek out on music and love to be the first to discovery will find great success here. With youth and talent in abundance there’s no better event to get lost in than the UMS.
The UMS itself is growing far quicker than I think anyone has imagined. The music magazine Paste has even jumped on board this year, naming the festival one of the top smaller music festivals in the nation. As this event continues to blossom right in front of our eyes, the whole state, even Grand Junction benefits.
As Denver’s music scene grows, we grow by proximity. We will continue to host these bands as they venture out on tours, new levels of creativity can inspire are own music ambitions, and eventually our homegrown bands can leave a mark on this expanding event.
By David Goe
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
During each Downtown Farmers' Market Triple Play Records is hosting a local band to play live in front of their store. No Outlet is the featured group this Thursday and they will play throughout the evening. Farmers' Market runs through September so stay tuned to Triple Play for band announcements. In the meantime here are a couple live recordings from No Outlet.
By David Goe
Thursday, July 3, 2014
The Underground Music Showcase is a couple weeks out but it's not too early to gear up for Colorado's best music event. We will be talking about the UMS a lot more in future posts but for now, who are you most pumped about seeing? Is it one of the national headliners like Real Estate or Blonde Redhead? Or are you more excited for one of Colorado's bands like A. Tom Collins or Snake Rattle Rattle Snake? Weigh in on Twitter at @David_Goe and @theUMS.
In the meantime, enjoy this amazing stop-motion video by UMS appearing band Sunboy.
By David Goe
Monday, June 30, 2014
Paper Bird have a number of good things going for them. That's probably why they once again stole the show at the Westword Music Showcase, winning the award for Best Folk Group, further cementing themselves as one of the very best Colorado groups. Thanks to the Cavalcade, we get to experience first-hand the excellence of this group.
On Wednesday, July 2 Paper Bird finally return to the western slope playing a small show at the Cavalcade in Fruita. It's been nearly a year since the band made their debut in Grand Junction, playing the Palisade Bluegrass Festival. After a stand out performance at the Palisade Bluegrass Festival it is safe to say the anticipation for Paper Bird to play again in the area is palpable.
To get you pumped for their show on Wednesday, here is a past review I wrote about the group. Keep in mind, this show will most likely sell out, so get your tickets early if you'd like to see Paper BIrd.
Excerpt originally published June 14, 2013
I first heard Paper Bird at last year’s Underground Music Showcase in Denver and have been a fan since. Listening to the live stream over Colorado Public Radio’s Open Air 1340, Paper Bird’s blend of indie folk rock Americana easily cut through 243 miles of spruce, pine, and aspen and into my little living room stereo. Even on two five-inch Panasonic speakers, the strength of the seven-piece Denver outfit was obvious.
Paper Bird sounds a bit like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros or the Head and the Heart. Because the band is so large, it is able to do things harmonically and dynamically that other bands simple can’t pull off.
Seven members, seven songwriters, each bringing their own flavor to the group. Sometimes they sound like a gospel jazz band, other times they are a rock band jamming on African rhythms.
The band is so musical, they are an absolute joy to listen to. I love hearing new music from groups that are fearless and free. Paper Bird is such a band. It is not caged in by a particular genre or sound. It is a band of explorers, discovering new sounds without limitation. Paper Bird ascends to levels of creativity rarely seen by other roots-based musicians.
“As I Am,” the opening track off Paper Bird’s 2013 album “Rooms,” is a perfect example of what Paper Bird is capable of.
“As I Am” starts off with an atmospheric and chordal guitar riff that wouldn’t be out of place on Jeff Buckley’s mid-‘90s rock standard “Grace.” A foot-stomping bass line leads the way to a bevy of beautiful birds — Sarah Anderson, Esme Patterson, and Genevieve Patterson, to be specific — collectively singing “these arms of mine/ were made for lifting up/ and when I set things down again/ I hope they are better than they were.”
A sweet acoustic guitar riff joins in, and, at this point, Paper Bird is soaring.
“These eyes of mine/ like what they see when they’re looking at you/ If ever I can’t see you anymore, I hope you’re more beautiful than before.”
As a listener and fan of what this band is doing, I humbly suggest my own lyrics: “These ears of mine/ like what they are hearing when they are listening to you.” That’s how I feel listening to the new album, anyhow.
Including “Rooms,” Paper Bird has produced three excellent studio albums and one live album collaboration with the Ballet Nouveau Colorado. They’ve been named one of the Top 10 Best Underground Bands in Denver three consecutive years and named the Top Local Band by 5280 Magazine in 2009.
It’s an impressive list of accomplishments for a band formed out of boredom on a vacation to Breckenridge.
Writing songs to pass the time, Paper Bird tested out its early material on street corners busking for cash. Apparently, they made enough money to keep this whole thing going, and I sure am grateful.
Paper Bird is such a nice addition to the Colorado music scene and my music collection.
By David Goe
Friday, June 27, 2014
Grand Junction, get ready to meet your new favorite band. It is called Tight Thump and it is one funky ball of teats. (See: “The Mighty Boosh,” funk.)
Only having played a handful of live shows, Tight Thump are relatively new on the local music scene but don’t let the band members’ youth fool you. This band is, as the name implies, tight, and its live performances are can’t-miss events.
I’ve been on board since the beginning, and as it broke into the opening groove of its first song at Barons’ grand opening party I remember thinking that this band is hands down going to be the most popular group performing in Grand Junction.
Packing dance floors left and right since and supplying more funk than is humanly safe to consume, Tight Thump is an entertaining crew winning fans over one show at a time.
“The name Tight Thump comes from staying ‘tight’ or musicians slang for being precise and staying perfectly ‘in the pocket’,” Tight Thump’s bassist Allen Bradley said. “‘Thump’ is something I picked up from old Parliament albums, which is a big influence on our sound.”
Bradley, who you may recognize from his work with the Williams Brothers Band, slaps the bass fast and loose like a delirious funky priest. His low-end work and the percussion rhythms of Mike Van Middendorp give Tight Thump its steady groove, allowing Tim D’Andrea and Casey Dry to engage in a funky free-for-all jam on guitar.
What initially started as a basement jam-and-beer session among friends has turned into one of the most enjoyable live shows in the area. The best thing about them is they write their own material.
“When someone brings a song or a riff to the table, the first thing we look for is something we call ‘groove-ability’,” Bradley said. “Our main goal is to keep people dancing. We love seeing people have a good time, and in turn that makes us have the best time (on stage).”
Tight Thump already has a number of crowd-pleasers worked into its sets. From the totally catchy jams “Salty Bacon” and “Serpent’s Spinach” to the group’s title song and my personal favorite “Tight Thump,” the band can keep a show moving deep into the night.
For good measure, the band also sprinkles in a couple covers, notably an excellent rendition of the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.”
It’s booty shaking music to the max and if you haven’t seen Tight Thump play, now is the perfect time. Loosen those knees, drop those hips and drink in that pure tasty funk.
Lucky for you, Tight Thump is serving up another milky funk-shake Friday night, June 27, at Barons, playing with a brother from another funky mother, Selector Trev.
“It’s like, one song (Selector Trev) plays will be great, and then he follows it up with another perfect song for dancing, and then after that, somehow he will play your favorite song of all time,” Bradley said. “I find it fitting to have him do the music for before and after the show, and during the breaks.”
Speaking of Selector Trev, he isn’t your typical DJ. He doesn’t over-complicate things by mixing or manipulating music through effects. His grove-ability factor is on point, kicking out hit after hit, and keeping the dance floor rocking all night long.
As a fan noted on the Facebook event page for Friday’s show, “Nothing in the world will stop me from being there! Nothing!!” There’s a funkadelic fervor spreading across western Colorado, and it’s all because of Tight Thump.
If you ain’t caught the funk yet, still standing there all rigid like a bread stick reading this column, then get down to Barons. Tight Thump will get you sorted right out.