September 22, 2009

Mayer Hawthorne brings his retro cool to Denver this week


The Larimer Lounge has one of the loudest paint-peeling sound systems in all of Denver, and I tend to see a lot of raw, thumping shows inside those brick walls — whether it’s the calisthenic melee of the Handsome Furs, the “secret show” with England’s mega-power-poppers Supergrass, the facemelt of El Ten Eleven, or even a little set for me to DJ.

Tomorrow night, forget all that, maybe put on your good Sunday slacks and a healthy daub of Brylcreem and come buy me a mint julep for the total throwback sounds of young Mayer Hawthorne, on his first Denver stop.

Born and raised just outside Detroit, this whippersnapper (late-twenties) has come from a background of hip-hop and DJing, and despite a lifelong affinity for the sounds coming out of his dad’s old car stereo, he started making this doo-wop soul stuff just as a joke. Even the label heads couldn’t believe this was new material when Mayer first played his demos for them — even more amazing since he plays all the instruments, and recorded his swell songs at home in his bedroom.

Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’ – Mayer Hawthorne

Ever since I was wowed by how sublime vintage soul can sound on a live stage, I’ve been curious to try and see more shows in the genre. From releasing his first 7″ on red, heart-shaped vinyl to covering M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” in a San Francisco bar, Mayer’s having some fun with it, and I’d imagine he’ll bring the same tomorrow night.

I’m gonna try to buy him a drink (or a “drank,” if you will) to see if we can get him a little more feisty and fiery in concert, crack through that pomaded sheen of imperturbability and let loose with some howls, a gyration or two (does he do that?) and other activities better suited to the Larimer Lounge. Come on out and have some fun.

Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out (Astronote El Camino Remix) – Mayer Hawthorne

That’s one cool dude.

A Strange Arrangement is out now on Stone’s Throw Records.

Sep 23 – Larimer Lounge, Denver, Colorado
Sep 24 – The Waiting Room, Omaha, Nebraska
Sep 25 – Darkroom, Chicago, Illinois
Sep 26 – Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sep 27 – Drake Hotel, Toronto, Ontario
Sep 29 – Great Scott, Boston, Massachusetts
Sep 30 – Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 1 – The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, New York
Oct 2 – Mercury Lounge, New York, New York
Oct 4 – DC9, Washington DC
Oct 5 – Local 506, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Oct 6 – Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, Georgia
Oct 7 – The Social, Orlando, Florida
Oct 9 – The Parish at House of Blues, New Orleans, Louisiana
Oct 10 – Red 7, Austin, Texas
Oct 13 – The Rock, Tucson, Arizona
(w/ Ghostface Killah)
Oct 14 – The Clubhouse, Tempe, Arizona (w/ Ghostface Killah)
Oct 15 – Canes, San Diego, California (w/ Ghostface Killah)

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
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